For me, the beginning of the baseball season means more than six sure-fire months of disappointment (to clarify further, I’m a Cubs fan.) But I still look forward to it more than the beginning of any other professional sports season, despite the constant signals of impending doom coming from Chicago. I don’t know, I think it’s more than just baseball – it means that spring is here, thunderstorms replace snowstorms, the trees leaf out, and you can grill outside without getting frostbite. But now I’m sounding too philosophical. There’s just something about baseball season, however, and with that in mind, here is the 2010 AL preview, brought to you by yours truly. (Note: Part II – the National League, will be composed next week.)
Now that we are all done with health care reform and there is no more controversy on the matter……..well perhaps not. There is of course, more business to attend to in our democracy. For the consideration of the Senate of the United States, we have financial reform! The all-encompassing amoeba of politics, finance reform is an issue that everyone seems to be interested in, and no one seems to be able to define.
For the last 18 months, the universal signs of evil were the denizens of Wall Street demanding and receiving bailouts, then giving themselves bonuses of staggering proportion. For the last 18 months, the idea that something had to be done about the greed, hubris, and audacity of the captains of finance has been embedded in the conscious of Democrats, Republicans, and Tea-Partiers alike. Surely this is an issue for which our democracy could find quick consensus and decisive action. Yeah, right!
Sustainability is one of those “of the moment” catchphrases that tends to mean radically different things to different people. To old school environmental warriors, sustainability is watered down environmentalism for wimps; for many pro-business types, the concept is an insidious “fifth column” of environmental activism. My take on the idea is somewhat different; as someone who grew up with National Geographic and Carl Sagan as guides, but matured as an adult in the business school of hard knocks, sustainability is environmentalism all grown up.
The basic idea of sustainability applies to businesses at every level; handle operations, marketing, and human resources in a manner which ensures the greatest sustainable benefit to your business, your customers, and your community. To all businesses, the simple approach involves looking at everything you do over the long term. The challenge for small businesses, in the minds of many, is the scale of short term costs relative to the business. In reality the fear of the costs relating to sustainability has almost no basis in fact; it is change that small business owners really fear, change in a model that has served them well.
The House Minority Leader, John Boehner, issued a message today that underlined the American process. While acknowledging the anger over the law, Rep. Boehner reminded Americans that violence and intimidation are not the tools of our democracy. He encouraged those that were most angry to register to vote and lead others to do the same. The House Minority Whip, Eric Cantor, also condemmed the violence while making the claim that Democrats are at fault. The reporting of his press conference is understandably mixed, depending on who is doing the reporting.
The Rational Middle feels that Rep. Cantor may have a point about the Democratic Party’s response to the ugly displays outside the capitol over the weekend. While it is the opinion of this site that reckless and baseless accusations about the plan by Republicans are the source of the problem, the use of the attacks in fund-raising material by the Democratic National Committee is both crass and irresponsible. Acknowledge the attacks and talk about the causes, then leave the issue alone. Dwelling on the ignorance and hatred of a few does the many a disservice.
Across the nation tonight, millions of armed Liberals lurk in the shadows, waiting for unwary Tea-Partiers to cross their path. Their Socialist agenda advanced, the liberal hordes look next to the guns and values of American Conservative families. Glenn Beck’s doomsday is upon us all!
What the heck is going on with our nation? For the last nine months, a series of bills have been debated that would attempt to resolve a problem that better than 75% of the citizens believe needs to be solved. The bill signed into law was consistently opposed by 45%-50% of the nation that hated it, and the 10%-15% of the nation that felt it wasn’t LIBERAL enough. Do not take my word for it; go to this poll, and this poll. A majority of your neighbors wanted something to be done along the lines of what was signed into law by the President. If you are one of the many who believe that this bill is wrong, for any reason, then you can be thankful that you live in the United States. There are a number of democratic avenues for redress of grievances available to the citizens of this proud nation; many of which I will cover below. I would also note that most of the items in the bill that anger folks the most, don’t take effect until 2014.
There go those damn Yankees again, spending $184 million on a baseball player.
Oh, what’s that? It wasn’t the Yankees? Well, it had to have been the Red Sox then, right? No? Wait, you’re telling me it was the Minnesota Twins? The MINNESOTA TWINS?!?!
Yes, the Minnesota Twins. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the economics of baseball, this is an unprecedented move for the Twins. If the numbers I have researched are correct, the Twins have committed to pay Joe Mauer nearly as much as they paid their entire big league roster in 2007, 2008, and 2009 combined. If, for a second, you assume that Mauer’s contract starts this year (when in actuality it starts next year), you would find that about one-third of the team’s 2010 payroll would be dedicated to Mr. Mauer.
And you know what? I think it’s a great move for the Twins. Now, the completely rational, baseball-minded individual in me doesn’t fully agree, but in this case, he gets overruled.