Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sour Grapes for Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Batter up – Butter up

Spring Forward
A couple of people have recently mentioned in separate Letters to the Editor, the possibility of using baseball as a means of increasing tourist flow to the CNMI. Specifically courting more teams from Korea, Japan and possibly other areas where baseball is played competitively to come here for spring training was mentioned. This proposal seems a sterling idea and an achievable goal.

This concept works well in Florida where spring training camps are a big part of the tourist industry. Likewise Arizona and other locations where, professional teams and their minor league counterparts also hold sway during the months leading up to the beginning of the major league baseball season.

Huge sums of money flow into the coffers of the private sector and the local and State governments as a result of these training camps and exhibition games. Fanatical fans fly themselves and their families out to Arizona and stay for weeks and sometimes months to have a chance to see the teams practice and play each other in warm up games. The stadiums, affordable to build and much smaller than the big league mega arenas they play in during the regular season, are always filled to capacity.

The tourists come for the same reason the teams come, the weather. It’s tough to practice your sidearm screwball when your fingers are frozen. It’s also hard to exercise your baseball watching habit from the bleachers of an empty, cold and possibly snow covered stadium. We’ve got what both parties need: reliable, warm sunny weather. We also have what other spring training camp locations offer: other things to do and see when the teams are not playing and a transportation system flexible enough to bring the fans and the players here and to take them back home when they are ready.

This is a project that would require little in the way of capital infusion, as we could probably get funding assistance to build two or three facilities with assistance from the teams themselves. It would take a concerted effort on the part of MVA, the Administration, local sports authorities and concerned citizens. It would take lots of leg and phone work. That said, it is a project worthy of the time and energy necessary to put it together. If we can attract twenty or thirty thousand fans and a few hundred long-staying team players to our fair isles, the results to the bottom line will be noticeable.
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Commercial failure

As I sit here penning the above paean to baseball, I’m watching the Superbowl un-commercial that takes up more time than the game itself does here on Saipan. What entertainment!…vapid, endlessly repeating, third rate music (elevator rap?) backed up by a fascinating slide show of NFL team, errrrr logos, yes motionless, ridiculous logos reiterated ad nauseum. Why aren’t the high dollar, extravagantly produced super bowl commercials available to be seen here? I’m sure there is a reason, and I’m sure it’s inane. Go MCV! (Please note explanatory article below).
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Just gotta spend it
I see where the grant funds offered by OIA to our local government, with gooey strings attached to try to blackmail (too strong a word, – coerce?) particular behavior has been given instead to Karidat and will be strewn elsewhere as well. I also notice the strings attached aren’t quite as stringy as when offered to the government directly. Either way, the money is still here and circulating. Gov Fitial did the right thing by not giving in to the micromanagement demands of David Cohen, now the ex-assistant-deputy-under-beneath-below secretary of the out-of-sight backwoods.

Mr. Cohen it seems has resigned, probably in embarrassment at having co-written the CNMI Shafting Documents (aka theUS house and Senate takeover bills) along with his trusty cohort, Jim Benedetto, much to the dismay of most of our population.

I’ve always thought it is delightfully ironic that insular, ‘outside’, exterior affairs are administered by, who else (?), the Department of the Interior. Are we happy that they have such an all encompassing desire to rid US taxpayers of their hard earned loot? I suppose.

I also suppose that David Cohen will do well in his new incarnation. Since UP/Wharton graduates are among the sharpest pencils in the box, I’m sure Mr. Cohen will parley that innate skill along with his now strong connections inside DOI into a profitable and productive career now that he is back in private practice. Bye.
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Quotes of the week:
If it weren’t for baseball, many kids wouldn’t know what a millionaire looks like. Phyllis Diller (1917 - )

Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist. Alvin Dark, former baseball coach (1922 - )


bigsoxfan said...

Alvin Dark. Isn't that the manager, who Sal Bando the A's third baseman, referred to as; "the man, who couldn't manage a meat market? Putting down good butchers, who are also managers, everywhere. Nothing to do with the point of your column at all, but one of my favorite quotes, as it came up during the '75 playoffs. A period of legend and near glory for us sox fans.

Oh well, as we speak; the 'sox equipment truck is traveling down I-95. Destination, Florida and spring training (he writes, with a little extra excited punch to the key pad). Not Saipan, with a semi dejected half heartedly push. Might want to work on the problems, as noted by the soccer teams practicing on island a few years ago. Prissy Bastards, those Soccer players.

Buffalo Hunter said...

Even without Cohen, the Ombudsperson can still do plenty of damage on his own.

Especially when helped by the likes of Dekada Shyster.