Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hello, Goodbye

The business of sports is baffling to me sometimes. Who in the Dodger's organization looked at Andruw Jones, getting fatter and fatter, slower and slower, and hitting worse and worse and thought, "that is the power-hitting center fielder we need to sure up the middle of our lineup. The guy hit .222 in a contact year hitting with Larry Jones and Mark Tiexiera. Thus far this year he has played 10 games. He's getting $18.2 million a year, or $1.2 million over these first 11 games so far. That's $308,950 per hit (4). $1.2 million per RBI (1). Infinity per run (0). Infinity per home run (0). $11 per pound gained since January 1 (approximately). But only $112,345 per strikeout (11), which is a steal!

But at least his defense is slipping and they only have $71.7 million left to pay for him.

But what really confuses me is why a city will lose a franchise because no one goes to the games, and then will immediately start begging for a new franchise. A lot of people in L.A. want an NFL franchise here. What they don't seem to remember is that we used to have two and wouldn't pay for them to stick around. So now they think some crappy expansion team, or an established team bad enough to lose their own home fan base, would sell here?

More importantly, they forget that TV coverage blows when you have a home team. We are stuck watching the Chargers play, but at least they are good. If we had a team in L.A. they would basically be the only team that we'd get to watch here. My wife's family is from the Bay Area and when we visit for Thanksgiving or Christmas, it is like football purgatory because the only games on TV are the 49ers and Raiders. No one deserves that, not even San Franciscans.

When the Charlotte fans gave up on the Hornets and the team left for New Orleans, it was not even a full season later that the NBA decided to put a new expansion team back in Charlotte. Really?

The MLS' San Jose Earthquakes were a perennial contender and they jumped ship for Houston when they couldn't get a stadium deal. Now the MLS, which apparently is booming (news to me) is placing a new expansion team back in San Jose (guess what they're called?...the Earthquakes).

I get it in a situation like when the Ravens bolted from Cleveland, or the Giants and Dodgers bolted from New York. I get it when Washington DC hadn't had a team in a long, long time and the Expos were dying in Montreal. But if the reason the original team just left was support, why will a new expansion (which is French for "terrible") team do better business?

Speaking of that Houston soccer team, their mascot is the Dynamo. Singular. The Houston Dynamo. Worst mascot in all of sports, without question. Why is it this crappy name? When they moved to Houston, they offered fans the chance to vote from among 13 choices for the new name. The fans chose Houston 1836, which is considered by some to be the year the city was founded. So the fans chose a name that hearkened back to Texas' historical richness. It was a crappy mascot, but a cool name for a team. And after all, it has worked for the 49ers and 76ers.

Apparently the name offended people of Mexican descent because besides it being the year of Houston's founding, it also happens to be the year that Texas won independence from Mexico ("Remember the Alamo", Battle of San Jacinto). So an American sports franchise had to change its patriotic name because people who used to live in another country that lost that war didn't like it. It is like making the Patriots change their name because Americans of British descent are mad about losing the Colonies still.

And "Dynamo" wasn't even one of the original 13 choices that fans voted on! So they just made it up rather than going with the #2 name. OK, so Houston had previously had two other pro soccer teams named the Dynamos. That name makes sense. I understand collective nouns being used as team names without the "s". But not a singular! And why are the Marlins not just the "Marlin"?

Why do I know or care about any of this?

No comments: