Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bonny Prince Hank

I recently saw this article on espn.com in which Hal Steinbrenner calls revenue sharing ""Socialism, communism, whatever you want to call it." And says of teams in small markets, "At some point, if you don't want to worry about teams in minor markets, don't put teams in minor markets, or don't leave teams in minor markets if they're truly minor,"

So where does he want to go? Maybe Hal is for contraction. By my quick look around the internet 4 teams fall outside of the top 30 US media markets. So what, maybe get rid of those 4 (#31 Kansas City #32 Cincinnati, #33 Milwaukee, Toronto) then get rid of the double dippers (White Sox, A's, Mets, Angels) and you're all set right?

I like his "don't put them in small markets" comment like teams just got dropped in these cities randomly last week. These teams have been in most of these towns for a very very long time. When they were established baseball still had the reserve clause. You didn't need $200M for your payroll. Now times have changed. You need a healthy league to have interest. If you don't support the Royals then you're hurting the league.

I will say there should be a salary floor. If you take revenue sharing money you should basically be a break even organization. You should be forced to put that money into development, not the owner's pocket. Of course Hank could pay less in luxury tax if say, he kept his payroll down. Like maybe not paying $35M for a set up guy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Please Don't Melt Me in Your Pot

I was recently told by a couple young men that I should disassociate myself from the label or group known as "feminists."  They told me I'd be wise to avoid that group because they are now seen as crazy, man-hating, radicals.  They gave me this advise in order to "help" me.  I "needed their help", they said, because the world had passed me by.  Someone else told me we should "get rid of labels" especially the ones where people align themselves with color.  The idea was that these labels are divisive.  The goal, according to this person, was to move on to a world where we don't see any difference.

To me this is a nice whitewashed fantasy.  It is only from a certain privileged vantage that one can ask for the rest of the world to do away with the labels that have been forced upon them for so long.  It's an even more privileged view when you can make giving up these labels a condition of your acceptance.  As if somehow because you've been allowed to move beyond race we all have to follow or we're not really interested in equality.  Once again, the powerful are setting conditions on the rest of us, dictating what will be allowed in order for us to gain acceptance.

This same person said they don't mind labels related to culture as if culture and ethnicity and color are separate and unequal parts of identity.  I believe that when black, or Latino, or woman have been foisted on a people for hundreds of years and have eventually been adopted by those people and transformed into labels of liberation, that it is oppressive to then decide, no, you must give up these labels that were forced on you, that you have made your own because now they make the rest of us uncomfortable.  We did not choose to be labeled.  We did not choose to have color associated with inferiority.  But now that we have pride in ourselves in our color, our gender, people want to take that away too.

So I ask, what else should I disassociate myself from?  Should I not claim to be a Christian because of the bigotry and hate spewed by some who claim ownership of God?  Should I not call myself a man because of the horrors and atrocities men have visited upon the world?  Should I not align myself with Latinos because of the current backlash against immigrants?  What other parts of my identity should I cast off in order to make you comfortable?  How else can I deny my history, our history together in order to make you feel better?  What other accommodations can I make to you in order to ease into your acceptance?

How about none?  That is my offer.  I offer that I am a man, a feminist, a Latino, an Asian, a Christian, and many other things.  I cannot deny that I am any of these things and I will not hide from them just because you think they are divisive or crazy or radical or dogmatic.  Those are not who I am, they are your views of who I am.  What I offer is a future where I accept your difference and you accept mine.  A world where we acknowledge and celebrate our differences and our roots and the strengths we bring to the world through the lenses of our experiences not only as individuals but as member of groups as well.

If we can't accept all of someone then we can't accept any of them.  We can't ask people to leave their identities at the door.