Friday, January 11, 2002

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. Yes, it's the sale of the Boston Red Sox, the auction where the bidders are vetted, the deadline is past, the winner is announced, and yet the bids just keep rolling in.

The reviews haven't been good; state AG Tom Reilly, still guarding the interests of the charitable trust that gets most of the proceeds of the sale, calls it a "bag job" and a violation of a "public trust".

And yet, the show goes on. As the anointed friends of Bud were presented as heirs apparent at the Boston Baseball Writers' Dinner, spurned bidder Charles Dolan upped his own bid to $740 million, well in excess of the winning $700 million dollar bid, though still not close to the $790 million bid by New York lawyer Miles Prentice.

This is, of course, just one aspect of Major League Baseball's general campaign to raise its loathsomeness profile, as I've earlier discussed. The campaign proceeds apace on other fronts, as noted in this scathing commentary on business dealings between Commissioner Bud and Carl Pohlad, owner of the Twins; Pohlad guaranteed a loan to Bud's Brewers, and now Bud is apparently returning the favor by offering to contract the league by buying out the Twins at a $50 million premium over their estimated $100 million market value.

In the big picture, this is setting things up for a perfectly ghastly lockout once the collective bargaining agreement runs out, and the ruination of the sport. I don't know why they're trying to destroy their own business like this, but they must have a reason. After all, these are private businessmen, who surely wouldn't work against their own financial interests without a reason, as if they were just, well, dumb. Would they?


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