2002-09-21 / Sports

Greed May Be Good,

But Stupidity Kills|
By Elio Velez

By Elio Velez

The new Major League Baseball labor agreement is only three weeks old. Things are already starting to become apparent. And it's becoming the same old mess that MLB brings to you every day.

First thing is that Bud Selig, baseball commissioner, and supposed non- owner of the Milwaukee Brewers (his daughter owns the club with Bud's money through his car dealerships) will still get his money through the new labor revenue sharing plan of the agreement.

According to published reports, Selig will receive $8.2 million from the rich teams (Yanks, Mets, Dodgers), even as he made a $14 million dollar profit from his new stadium and $40 million payroll. It doesn't matter that the Brewers have not had a winning record since 1992, Selig made money. That's what matters.

But Selig is not the only one of the supposed mid level markets to reap the benefits that the Yankees and Mets made over the last 20 years. The two contraction candidates, Montreal, will receive $31 million for a team that will draw less than a million fans and no ownership.

Minnesota, will receive $29 million. Carl Pohlad owns them, a billionaire miser who made his money from being a Repo man during the Depression, would have taken a MLB buyout to get rid of his team. It was good that the Twins stuck the middle finger to Pohlad and MLB by clinching the division before everyone else. That's sweet justice.

Steinbrenner Doesn't Get It

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987): "You're walking around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his money are lucky enough to get together in the first place."

If you're wondering why the Yankees are hated around the league and by the media, add one more Steinbrenner story to the pot according to the great Peter Gammons from ESPN.

Georgie, not happy that he has to give up almost $45 million in revenue sharing to his hated rivals, decided in a cost cutting measure to cancel the annual September minor league camps. He also decided that scouts who make way less than Sterling Hitchcock's $6 million salary, needed to be fired. They only made $30,000 but they kept finding the Sorianos, Jeters and Williams that made the championship Yanks.

Asinine moves such as this only make Steinbrenner a heartless and gutless wonder that does not get the big picture. To make money, you must spend money. Until the labor agreement, Steinbrenner won 4 of the last 6 World Series because he paid the big bucks for the best talent. Even though he is a tyrant, Steinbrenner realized that letting his baseball people make the decisions wins him championships.

It sure helped Steinbrenner get deals from Adidas and others, draw 3 million fans to what he called a crime infested and decrepit Yankee Stadium and create his own cash cow in the YES Network, which will make millions for years to come.

The Mets have an organization where ownership could not come up with a focus for the ballclub and the team doesn't care for one another. The 2002 Mets are dead. Good organization from within wins championships and not adversarial and destructive bickering.

For any company that wants to make it to the big time, if you have the money, keep your employees who are doing a great job happy. Give them the money they deserve and give them support and your gratitude.

For those teams (see the Chicago Cubs) who believe that anyone is replaceable and making money is more important than respecting your people, there will soon be a reckoning. It's not just whispers anymore from Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood and the fans about the way the Cubs are run. The masses have decided to go outside their windows and scream, "They as mad as hell and they not going to take it anymore", from the Tribune Company.

Sellouts occur at Wrigley Field, and oodles of money are just pouring in, but the inmates are getting restless. They have started to show displeasure and management has not seen the light. Very soon, (at the end of 2003), the Cubs will not have Sammy Sosa to promote on their WGN Superstation and no one will go out to the jewel ballpark. Sosa is going bye-bye cause he will never see a championship in the friendly confines.

Money will be lost and the employees will go to better jobs and more pay with their competitors. Then their competitors will start to win. The prior business will start go in the toilet. And the new or existing competitive business, with their new talent, will laugh at the misfortunes of the prior ineptitude boss.

Do the Yankees want to become like the late 80's-early 90s teams who couldn't win a lick after bad management decisions? Instead of finding creative ways to keep the best talent, Georgie decides to play it cheap. Does Steinbrenner want the "Money Train" to be derailed because of ineptitude, arrogance and greed? Stay tuned folks.

Quick Notes

Stevenson and Flushing High Schools could not field a varsity football team and dropped out of competition due to a low turnout. For the new Joel Klein leadership, the reorganization of the PSAL must be made to provide all high school kids with the chance to play sports. Beach Channel only has 26 players for their football team this year. Let's hope BC doesn't have to drop their varsity program next year.

Patrick Ewing finally retired after 17 years. See you in the rafters big fella.

Until next week, Peace.

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