Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rooting for Rick

The Washington Post:

Since July turned to August Short's batting average has hovered delicately around .400, a near mythic number in baseball that seems simple -- get two hits in every five trips to the plate -- but hasn't been achieved in a full minor league season since 1961, or in the major leagues since 1941.

With the end of the season less than two weeks away, Short -- who plays for the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Washington Nationals' top minor league team -- is hitting .392 and the attention that eluded him his whole baseball life is starting to trickle in.

Ahem, by the way all you cheeseheads, if you weren't already aware, the Zephyrs were a farm team for the Milwaukee Brewers until 1997. They were then affiliated with...ugh...George W. Bush's former team (which was given to him on a silver platter thanks to paw paw), the Houston Astros. Now, they're a farm team to the Washington Nationals


Always on the prowl for an opportunity to criticize Bush, I pounced too soon on the Houston Astros information. Of course, Bush owned the Texas Rangers not the Astros (thanks Michael). No matter - I welcome this occasion to set the record straight because Michael introduced another opportunity to repeat a story that always merits attention where George, Jr. is involved.

  • The cost of private land confiscated using eminent domain for a new Texas Rangers stadium: $0.
  • The price the taxpayers paid to build that stadium: $191 million.
  • George W. Bush's initial investment in the Rangers: $500,000 borrowed from a Midland bank he used to work at.
  • The amount the Texas Rangers franchise invested in the stadium, or paid for the stadium after its construction: $0.
  • George W. Bush's profit on the sale of his portion of the Rangers on an investment of nothing: $14 million.
  • Bilking the taxpayers for corporate welfare: priceless.

My June post on the topic was "Bush feathered nest with eminent domain takings".


At 8/25/2005 09:15:00 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Don't want to nitpick, but Bush's team was the (Dallass) Texass Rangers (the extra esses are deliberate). Not that Houston is much better (Enron Field), but Dubya's major "accomplishment" as part-owner (yeah, paid for with the easy money you describe) was getting a taxpayer financed stadium built--after using eminent domain to kick out the previous property owners.

The amazing thing about Bush (the younger) is that if you look at his life, he's FAILED at everything except perhaps his baseball venture--which is a government protected trust...then again, it's not like the Rangers were a particularly good team at the time (though they supposedly had a lot of steroid users--go figure). I said, didn't mean to get technical there...

At 8/25/2005 10:11:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Thanks Michael - don't know why I got them confused. Making the correction.

Yeah, the only reason he didn't fail at the Rangers venture was because he was just out front for the cameras. Other people actually ran the team. Kinda like now, but there were different people handling him then.

At 8/25/2005 05:40:00 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Hmmm, not quite the "free market" he likes to preach about, is it?

BTW, wasn't W. on the board of the bank when he borrowed the money? (Heard it; haven't confirmed it.)

At 8/25/2005 07:02:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Rob, he had some position of control in the bank is what I read, though I don't recall where I read it, nor what the postion was.

At 8/25/2005 08:21:00 PM, Blogger Schroeder said...

I'm cleaning my home office at the moment - which entails going through months old piles of printed articles I used for one thing or another.

Here's one article relevant to this post (interestingly enough) from ESPN - an entire series of articles arguing that the Rangers deals were all rigged for Bush, and that the Rangers experience was ready-made to convert a big-time loser with a big-time name into a gubernatorial candidate.

An excerpt on the use of eminent domain:

The Rangers also encouraged the state legislature to allow creation of the quasi-governmental Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority as owner and developer of the ballpark with the power of eminent domain. Never before had a Texas municipal authority had the right to seize private property for the benefit of a sports facility, and it used its power to condemn 13 acres for half of the appraised value. The owners sued the authority and won, and in 1999 after years of haggling, the Rangers agreed to reimburse the authority for the $11.2 million total plus interest.


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