Many baseball fans in the St. Louis area are either sad, upset and/or disappointed after hearing news this morning about Albert Pujols signing a 10-year, $255 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. To them, I say, “Not to worry! The folks in the front office of the St. Louis Cardinals made a wise move when they allowed the Hall of Famer to sign with another team.”
Perhaps, an explanation is in order, so here goes it: The average length of a Major League Baseball player’s career is 5.6 years, according to Science Daily. Using that as a guide, Pujols — who has 11 seasons under his belt in St. Louis — has lasted almost twice as long as the average player. By letting another sign “The Machine,” the Cardinals will be able to sign numerous talented players without being burdened by a contract that’s almost guaranteed to turn sour (i.e., Pujols will get hurt and/or wear out).
FYI: If anyone from the Cardinals’ front office is reading this, please know that I’m willing to play any position for a fraction of what you were willing to pay Pujols. Also, my high school son drew the graphic above two years ago at age 13.
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Major League Baseball lost me as a “rabid” fan after a 1981 strike caused the cancellation of 713 games. I simply could not rationalize how players could complain about the compensation they were receiving when they were earning six-, seven- and eight-figure salaries — not to mention product endorsements and other perks — for playing a game. Today, the National Football League is on the verge of losing me as an already-lukewarm fan.
According to a report in the Boston Herald this morning, the NFL’s future is fourth-and-long, and “football Armageddon” is here: Negotiations between the league and the players union ended Friday with the union being decertified; several marquee players — including the Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning, the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady and the New Orleans Saints Drew Brees — are said to be filing lawsuits against the league; and, oh yes, the players have been “locked out” by the owners.
Perhaps the most-important line in the story is this one: The negotiations came down to money, and trust.
The writer of the above-mentioned article was, of course, referring to issues of money and trust involving players and owners. Sadly, he failed to mention in his article anything about pro football fans — you know, the people who buy NFL merchandise, game tickets, etc. — and the bad economy that’s resulted in many of them losing their jobs and homes.
I’ve never attended a regular-season game in person, purchased NFL merchandise or subscribed to a cable television package of league games. The highway-robbery pricing of such items has always turned me off. Still, I’ve spent several hours each week watching “regular” cable and network broadcasts of games.
If, as some expect it might be, the NFL season is canceled, I will probably stop paying attention to pro football altogether. After all, college football is much more entertaining and the NFL, a $9 billion-a-year enterprise, will probably not miss me.
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Two days ago, I published a post under the headline, “One-Sheet’ Sheryl to Headline MLB All-Star Concert.” Within 24 hours, someone claiming to be singer Sheryl Crow left a comment about that post. The exact wording of that post — misspellings and all — appears below:
“IF you are reading this rediculous statement from Bob McCarty about my limiting concert-goers to one square of toilet paper, be warned that you are being lied to. Not only is that untrue but I have never been kicked out of a minor league baseball field. I don’t recollect ever having been to one in the first place. And, furthermore, I am not getting paid to play nor am I getting paid by radio. PLEASE people, wise up and get a life.”
I responded to the comment above as follows:
“First of all, the word is ridiculous, not “rediculous”. Second, I don’t believe you’re Sheryl Crow. If you are, third, it appears you have a short memory about minor league baseball. Read the posts, dearie!”
Still curious as to whether the comment was actually posted by Crow or someone pretending to be the Missouri native, I threw the IP address (220.127.116.11) associated with the comment into the Geobytes IP locator and waited for a result. Curiously, it pointed to Nashville. Maybe it was Crow after all. Hmmm?
If it was Crow, I can only conclude that she made the comment (1) without reading the post and (2) only after checking her sense of humor at the virtual door to this blog.
For instance, she wrote: “…but I have never been kicked out of a minor league baseball field.” Had she actually read the post, she would have learned that I never claimed she had been kicked out of a park. Instead, I simply reported that, according to a blurb on the web site of the Hagerstown (Md.) Suns, a single-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball Club, she had been banned from their minor league ballpark — not kicked out.
Additionally, had she been a regular reader of this blog, she would have known that I simply could not be expected to pass on the opportunity to poke fun at a celebrity who promoted limiting people to one square of toilet paper during the two-weeks-long Stop Global Warming College Tour she conducted with television writer/actor Laurie David.
EDITOR’S NOTE TO SHERYL: Sheryl, if you really did post the comment, I want you to know that I’m willing to make amends with you. Simply wear one of my GLOBULL WARMING t-shirts — like the one at right – during the MLB All-Star Charity concert, and I’ll stop calling you “One-Sheet” Sheryl. Deal? Please let me know, ASAP!
Only a year after she was banned from a minor league ballpark, “One-Sheet” Sheryl Crow will be the official musical entertainer at the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Charity Concert in downtown St. Louis July 11, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today.
Rumor has it that, as part of her contract, Missouri native Crow is requiring local officials to limit concertgoers to one square of toilet paper during visits to the portable toilets that will be stationed around the venue.
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UPDATE 6/24/09 at 4:16 p.m. Central: See “Did Sheryl Crow Post Comment on My Blog?“
By Bob McCarty
One might think an accomplished journalist like Armen Keteyian capable of providing objective coverage of the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, the chief investigative reporter — and former sports reporter — appears to have allowed personal bias and/or professional ignorance to get in the way of the facts in his report that appeared on the CBS Evening News tonight (see video here).
Not only does he criticize oil companies for drilling on only one-third of the available acreages they’ve leased in the United States, but he verbally scolds them for developing those leases only when it is profitable to do so.
A statement like that one convinces me Keteyian knows even less about the oil and natural gas industry — and, perhaps, about business in general — than I thought.
Oil and natural gas companies can no more afford to drill on every leased acre any more than major league baseball team owners can afford to pay each minor league player in his farm system a seven-figure salary. Why? Because there is no guarantee of turning a profit in either drilling wells or training ballplayers.
If success was guaranteed with every drill bit lowered into the ground, there would be no use for the term, “dry hole.” If success was guaranteed at the ball park, every player would be an All-Star. There is, however, no guarantee of success in either endeavor. Not by a long shot!
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FYI: I grew up in the heart of the nation’s oil and gas country as the son of a man who spent more than 30 years as an independent petroleum geologist on the plains of Oklahoma and Kansas. As I noted in a post this morning, I will be in Western Colorado Tuesday and Wednesday as a guest of the American Petroleum Institute and The Williams Companies to gain first-hand knowledge of the latter’s oil and natural gas operations in the Piceance Basin. I’ll report on my visit in posts later this week.
Basketball is the first sport that comes to mind when I think about Barack Obama. In reality, the Democratic Party presidential nominee probably has more in common with a Major League Baseball team that’s making a lot of news these days.
Don’t believe me? Consider these facts:
- Based on his voting record for the year, Obama earned the distinction of being named the nation’s “most liberal senator in 2007″ by the nonpartisan National Journal. Today, the Democratic Party presidential nominee stands on the precipice of being elected president of United States and becoming de facto leader of the Free World. To win, he needs only win once — in the general election Nov. 4.
- Based on their win-loss record for the year, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays earned the distinction of being named the worst team in the league for 2007. Today, the Tampa Bay Rays — now sans “Devil” — stand only four wins away from being named World Champions. To win the World Series, the Rays need only win four games of a best-of-seven series.
The difference: If Obama wins the general election Nov. 4, this election will be recorded in the history books as a tale of a candidate going from “worst to first” without even having to change his devilish name to do it.