If you know me, or if you’ve read this blog from time to time, you’ve got some inkling what I think of Merritt Paulson, ultra-rich scion of former Goldman Sachs CEO and Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. (If you don’t know me, and don’t want to follow the links, here’s what I think: he’s a spoiled rich kid playing sports team owner and an annoying little twit.)
After a bizarre series of attempted deals with the Mayor of Portland, Sam Adams, and the shadow mayor, Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard — who tried like hell to figure out a way to build the Paulsons two stadiums on the public dime, but ran into tenatious opposition from veterans, architects, urban planners, neighborhood activists and historic preservationists — poor wittle Merrit only got one stadium and had to sell his wittle baseball team for lack of a suitable playground.
(His daddy is a partner in his minor league sports empire, by the way, so it’s a wonder he wouldn’t put up more cash to build a stadium if it’s such a sure fire financial win to invest in sports stadiums as is frequently claimed. But I digress….)
The excavators are already busy at PGE Park (nee Civic Stadium; the Paulsons get the dough on the naming deal), ripping out part of the $38.5 million renovations done in 2001. These renovations, that Portland is still paying off, were done to make it a better venue for baseball, including a retro, manually-operated scoreboard. It’s a long story. Cutting to the chase: they’re re-renovating nine years later as a soccer-specific venue, to the exclusion of baseball.
Today comes the news that the Portland Beavers have been sold as expected, and are officially moving to Escondido, California.
I generally avoid the crappy comments section at OregonLive, the crappy Web partner of our crappy daily The Oregonian, but today I couldn’t resist jumping in to the Soccer v. Baseball war when somebody posted an invitation to a “Timbers Army/Sam Adams joke contest.” Here’s my entry, edited here in a vain attempt to punch it up a little:
A mayor, a councilman and a billionaire walk into a bar. A couple sleepy customers are watching a baseball game on the screen behind the bar. Bartender says, what’ll it be, boys? Mayor says, whatever my friend here wants, it’s on the house. Bartender says, no way pal, hit the road.
Next thing you know, a bunch of drunken, middle-aged, white man-children wearing scarves are flooding through the front door, knocking over tables and singing vulgar songs…. pretty soon the sleepy baseball fans are out on their ears, there’s a soccer game on the TV, the billionaire’s behind the bar with his hands in the till and the bartender’s getting beat up by the councilman.
The mayor takes out his phone and tweets: “This is a great day for Portland. #timbersarmy #mls”
Yeah. It’s a joke, but it’s not very funny.
Do me better. What’s your Portland/Sam Adams/Merritt Paulson/Randy Leonard/Timbers Army/Beavers joke?
My new beer league team put me on forward… on right wing to be precise.
So far it’s working out pretty good. I’ve got two goals in two games, which is 25% of all the goals we’ve scored. We lost both games, but I think I can get used to playing up front. (Playing defense, I got zero goals in about 25 games.)
Don’t worry, though, I still shoot left.
Still no word on public opening, which is driving me nuts….
But I hope to be hitting this ice on my lunch break soon!
The sympathetic vibration of wood has brought me great pleasure on this plane. Even though its first purpose is aural, there is great visual beauty in a finely purposed slab of wood. Herewith is a photo appreciation.
Do me a favor; if you’re interested in these photos, view full screen. (After you press the play button, click on the little four-arrows icon in the lower right corner.)
The weather’s wetter, which means…
the froggies are back, which means…
the snakeys are back.
Junior and I have gone from being fascinated by snakes to being kind of creeped out by them (after our snake ball sighting last weekend).
Oh, and we had another mantis sighting today, but we didn’t get any good pix. Here’s one from a couple weeks back.