(Posted: 3/4/11; update 3/5/11)
Two once-popular media pitches that have disappeared: “Market Democracy” and “The Magic is Back.” Neither Washington nor Wall Street wants to remind fans of the undemocratic way the housing scandal played out: many who caused the scandal scoring big bucks, cialis generic stuff many innocent homeowners left stranded. Terms familiar to corporate-box holders like “oligarchy and “plutocracy” are being heard in the national ballpark today (along with “socialism”, sovaldi the warning chanted by defenders of the one-sided game).
The “magic” once claimed by the Mets has dissipated, leaving the team mired in pathos. Just as the market players cut ethical corners, concealing the truth of their safety sub-prime mortgage squeeze, so did the Mets owners hide the money-related reasons the once-proud franchise had become an embarrassment. Bob Klapisch of the North Jersey Record kept a scorecard on the deceit:
“The Mets already were lying last winter when they said they were financially insulated from (Bernie) Madoff’s arrest – the ($25 million) personal bailout from (Baseball Commissioner Bud) Selig suggested otherwise. Same goes for the assurances of an uncompromised off-season game plan. Another un-truth. The Mets spent only $8 million, their leanest outflow in 14 years.
As for the…pledge that Madoff’s crimes took the Wilpons by surprise, consider (that)….the Wilpons were the ones who brought their friends into the scheme, with the proviso that no new client would be allowed to speak to Madoff… The… instructions sounded like this: If you want to make money, just hand it over, don’t ask questions… According to the (NY) Times, only clients with limited understanding of investments were accepted by Madoff. Those considered too savvy or too curious were rejected. Does that mean the Wilpons were complicit in this Ponzi scheme? If they’re not guilty, they’re at least dirty.”
Klapisch summarizes his account with this suggestion – that the Wilpons follow the magic and “disappear”.
Unlike the embattled Wilpons, financial team owners who presided over shady risk-taking in the sub-prime scandal are getting a free pass from the criminal justice system. The Times’ Joe Nocera contrasts the dogged pursuit of executives involved in a similar savings-and-loan scandal of the ‘80s – resulting in more than 1,000 felony convictions in major cases – with the way the game is played now: “The federal government threw enormous resources at those (‘80’s) investigations…Over 1,000 FBI agents were involved… Today…with the FBI understandably focused on terrorism, there isn’t a lot of manpower left to dig into…the financial crisis.”
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The Slow Lane: It may not be the last word on the Mets’ $36 million mystery-man Olly Perez, but it could ultimately be decisive: “alarming” was the word Keith Hernandez used after Perez could only reach the mid-80s on the radar gun in his second spring appearance. Perez didn’t walk any in two innings but he couldn’t generate expected velocity. “You can’t pitch like that in the major leagues and last,” said Hernandez, who was doing color on the YES telecast of the Mets’ game against the Cardinals.
Masterful Mid-Infielders: Marshalling advanced stats that most of us have to take on faith, Baseball America’s Joe Sheehan identifies the majors’ surprisingly best middle-infield combo: Oakland’s Cliff Pennington and Mark Ellis. Sheehan says Pennington, a rookie last year, saved 10 runs at shortstop with his glove, while the veteran Ellis saved just under 10 at second base. Too bad we don’t get to see much of them in the East.
Knowing what everybody knows (and may recall sheepishly in October)…Let’s say there’s a 50-50 chance the Phillies and Red Sox will meet in the World Series. The odds are better than even that one of the two will make it. Remembering the sensible Curt Schilling rule that the team getting most starts from its original rotation has the winning edge, the Phils should advance to the final round.. Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton, and Kyle Kendrick have proved more durable through the years than Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka. An obvious caveat: the Phillies found a way to miss the Series last fall.
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