Sunday, May 18, 2008

Robert Redford, MLB in business

  • The power of distraction...and the popularity of meaningless self-flagellation.
(By Filip Bondy, NY Daily News, 4/21-4/22/08): "Tonight at Fenway, ...a public service video,

(Bondy): "It was at a 2003 meeting of the NRDC board at Sundance that actor and conservationist Robert Redford first devised this new strategy.

He told members in attendance that sports was the new opiate of the people, that it was a prime reason masses weren't revolting in the street. At the same time, sports provided a unique opportunity to connect to nontraditional allies, who might adopt a greener attitude."

  • (Blog note re Robert Redford from IMDB: "Mid-1950s:

(Redford) Was a pitcher on the University of Colorado baseball team."

"It's difficult to compete, because $1 trillion, four percent of our GNP, subsidizes global warming - the coal plants, the mines, the virgin paper mills, pesticides based on petroleum. But we ask, 'How can we get you rich while advancing environmental efforts?' And these are changes that can't be rolled back by an uncooperative administration or president."

  • Selig embraced the alliance.

Recycling bins were set up in ballparks around the country. Programs were printed with recycled paper. Soon companies such as Coke and Aramark were making adjustments - like turning off vending machines for several hours per day whenever there was no game in progress.

  • ...Athletes infamous for their big cars and substantial lifestyles are being recruited to the cause of environmentalism, which is

Tonight at Fenway, the president of NRDC, John Adams, will throw out the first pitch.

  • A public service video, narrated by Redford and co-sponsored by MLB, will be shown.

It is a night game, however, and the lights will glare....Five or six dozen baseballs will be used. Bats from precious ash trees will be smashed into shards. At 10 p.m. or so, thousands will drive home in gas-guzzling cars to the distant Boston suburbs."

  • (Oh, the "eco-ignorant masses").
  • (Earlier in the same article):

(Bondy): "It is an ecological horror show, and the one good thing that can be said about our favorite pastimes is that these sports are becoming fresh laboratories for reform. People in high and visible places - from Robert Redford to Bud Selig - have come to understand* that America's

  • games can spur change among corporate partners and

"We're not going to get rid of night games," said Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council. "We're not going to change how the business works. This is going to take a long time. But getting baseball to embrace ecology allows us to take all politics out of the discussion of climate change, and it allows us to reach out to nontraditional allies."

  • (Right). sm

From NY Daily News article by Filip Bondy, "Shea, Meadowlands Among Facilities Helping Spread Green Message," 4/22/08

  • *This presumes it's something Bondy "understands."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Red Sox bid$18 million for Clemens in May 2007--Gordon Edes, Boston Globe 5/6/07

MINNEAPOLIS - "The Red Sox had their chance to pre-empt Roger Clemens's elaborately staged announcement Sunday afternoon that he had agreed to pitch for the New York Yankees again.

Clemens's agent, Randy Hendricks, was in Boston last week for meetings with Sox brass Tuesday and Wednesday

Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, according to club sources, thought Clemens was still days from making a decision - Lucchino believed this Thursday was the operative date - leaving the Sox time to tweak their offer if they chose.

Instead, the next time the Sox heard from the Clemens camp was Sunday afternoon, when general manager Theo Epstein received a courtesy call from Hendricks - a similar one was placed to Houston GM Tim Purpura - informing him Clemens had elected to sign elsewhere.

  • And a couple of hours later, there was Clemens, holding a microphone in the box belonging to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, announcing during the seventh-inning stretch of the Yankees-Mariners game that he was putting on pinstripes again, legendary PA announcer Bob Sheppard alerting the crowd of 52,553 ''of a very special announcement.''

The Sox' offer would have paid Clemens $3 million a month; including the tax, the Sox would have paid $4.2 million for the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, who turns 45 in August. Hendricks maintained a factor in Clemens's decision was that the Sox didn't want Clemens until late June and Clemens wanted to come back sooner. Club sources insist that was not the case, and that Hendricks had raised the issue of the timing of the pitcher's return almost as an afterthought.

Club executives, including Epstein and Lucchino, declined to comment. The team released a statement which, in part, read:

  • ''We offered a substantial salary and suggested, for health purposes, that Clemens return on approximately the same timetable as last year. Today we learned from Randy that Clemens has signed elsewhere.''

Even if the Sox had been given a chance to make a counter-offer, club sources said there is no way they would have come close to the Yankees' bid. New York's willingness to lay out that kind of money, in the Sox' view, was a reflection of the desperate straits the Yankees were are in, pitching-wise, though the Sox fully anticipated that with or without Clemens, the Yankees would have been tough to beat in the AL East....