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Game 33: Twins at Guardians

Let Twins be your “blast Battenfield.” (Extreme nerd points for anyone who gets that reference.)

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Cleveland Indians Announce Name Change to Cleveland Guardians
Maybe we need a Guardian of Traffic at the 62/I-35E interchange
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Time: 6:10 Central

Weather: Perfect spring evening baseball, calm & dry, first pitch 60°

Opponent’s SB site: Covering The Corner

TV: Steve Jobs Network. Radio: Here’s the stations, and here’s how to listen to radio on the Apple TV telecast

Today’s rookie Guardians starter, Peyton Battenfield (yes, he’s from the South), was a Houston draftee traded to Tampa and thence to Cleveland. A story about his commitment to Oklahoma State University says he grew six inches in high school “lifting weights and eating a lot of peanut butter sandwiches.” By internet medical advice standards, that qualifies as 100% proven, so kids, eat your peanut butter and pump those pecs.

Battenfield throws a 91-ish 4-seamer, a cutter, curve, and occasional change. His mound opponent, Bailey Ober, you know. Career digits:

Today’s Awful Owner Story isn’t about Guardians owner Larry Dolan. He’s actually, mostly harmless. Oh, sure, he’ll take gazoodles of free taxpayer money to add the latest gizmos and gimcracks to Progressive Field, and he’ll keep payroll as low as he can get away with, but every owner does these things. If greedy is their worst sin, and they basically stay hands-off the team and zipped-lips in public, that’s about all you can hope for.

His cousin Jimbo, on the other hand…

You see, the Dolans are very rich (as is usual with sports owners). They made their money (well, mostly brother Charles did) by being early investors in cable, and have sold off most of their cable holdings before the medium completely dies.

With that family cash, Larry was able to buy the Guardians in 2000. And Charles’s son James, whom we’ll call Jimbo, was given increasing control of the NBA’s New York Knicks and NHL’s New York Rangers since Daddy acquired therm in 1999.

He’s long been considered one of the biggest poop-for-brains in sports ownership. This 2015 article ranks him as #3 on the Butthole List, and #s 1 & 2 don’t own teams anymore.

The list of Dumb by Dolan is very long, and basically boils down to “he thinks he knows how to run a basketball team.” 99% of the time, when owners get involved with making roster or coaching decisions, the result is a disaster. Some highlights:

Dolan hired HOFer Isiah Thomas to be the general manager, then the head coach. This is backwards. Generally, famous players would try their hand at coaching before the front office. In any case, Thomas was awful at both. (He’d previously owned and ruined the NBA’s development league.)

Worse, it came out later that Thomas had been a serial sexual harasser, and Dolan had fired employees who reported his behavior.

Still worse, Dolan then hired Thomas to run the WNBA New York Liberty. (Outcry at this relegated Thomas to a basically salaried do-nothing role, and the Liberty subsequently won a championahip.)

Jimbo Dolan has a temper. (He’s gotten treatment for it, which is good; it doesn’t seem to have worked all that well.) He’s gotten into a beef with beloved former Knicks player Anthony Mason (from the last time the Knicks were actually good, e.g., before Dolan ran them). He’s gotten into screaming matches with random fans who yell at him to sell the team. (If you can’t handle fan criticism, you shouldn’t own a team in New York.)

He’s forbidden any Rangers or Knicks broadcasters to criticize those teams. He even pushed out legendary Knicks broadcaster Marv Albert for criticizing the team. The Marv Albert who Public Enemy frontman Chuck D said was an inspiration for his vocal style. (Albert had better reasons to be fired, but nobody ever did until Dolan got mad Albert said his team was bad.)

In a truly loony saga, Dolan has a feud with the many, many lawsuits against him and his management of his various companies. It’s understandable that he wouldn’t like those lawsuits. Dolan took it one step further, though, and found out the names of anybody who worked for one of the legal firms bringing those lawsuits. And banned all those legal employees from entering Madison Square Garden. Whether they were involved with a Dolan lawsuit or not. If you’re at firm X suing Dolan, and you strictly focus on pro bono work helping widows and orphans, you’re banned from MSG.

How does Dolan ban them? Does he have them on an automated S**t List when they try to purchase tickets online? Hell, no! Dolan’s using facial-recognition software!

The city of New York thought this was pretty sleazy behavior by Dolan. So they threatened to remove his liquor license for MSG (by law, liquor-serving establishments can’t ban anyone who hasn’t behaved badly on the premises). So Dolan hired a private investigator to follow around a member of the NYC liquor commission!

He has a temper, indeed.

Finally, Dolan wants the taxpayers of New York (the city, the state, or both) to build him a new Madison Square Garden. Typical sports owner demand, right? Except that building a new MSG would be estimated to cost around $3 billion. At least.

Also, Dolan has never paid property taxes on the current MSG. Legally so.

Normally, sports facilities are owned by the public. This doesn’t mean the public gets a piece of the revenues, are you kidding?! It just means that the owners, who have exclusive rights to profit from what goes on inside those buildings, don’t have to pay property tax. (The Metropolitan Sports Commission owns Target Field, US Bank Stadium, etc.)

But Dolan owns MSG. He’s owned it since Daddy’s company bought it in 1999. And neither has ever paid a dime in property tax on it. In Manhattan. That's valuable real estate to not pay taxes on.

They have a semi-permanent tax exception, gifted them by friendly governors who received tons of campaign cash.

So, a terrible owner with a terrible personality wants a free gift of $3 billion dollars that he won’t have to pay any taxes on.


Dolan also has a brand new state-of-the-art concert venue in Vegas, because before getting daddy’s businesses he wanted to be a musician. Although he stinks at it. U2 will play at the concert venue, since they will get lots of money, but nobody else wants to.

Dolan is a poop-for-brains.

In unrelated, better news, Snoop Dogg wants in on buying the Ottawa Senators hockey team. He’s apparently really into hockey. Good for you, Snoop. He’d be a better owner than Jimbo Dolan.

And this article about the TWolves/Wild’s inevitable playoff failings was pretty funny...

Lineups will be posted if I get home from work in time, otherwise make up your own and discuss which Great Lake is, really, the Greatest.

Today's Lineups

Max Kepler - RF Steven Kwan - LF
Carlos Correa - SS Amed Rosario - SS
Jorge Polanco - 2B Jose Ramirez - 3B
Byron Buxton - DH Josh Naylor - 1B
Joey Gallo - LF Josh Bell - DH
Donovan Solano - 1B Oscar Gonzalez - RF
Nick Gordon - CF Andres Gimenez - 2B
Jose Miranda - 3B Mike Zunino - C
Christian Vazquez - C Myles Straw - CF
Bailey Ober - RHP P. Battenfield - RHP