Sunday, April 05, 2009

Ode to Francis Scott Key

Dan provides a reasonably insightful look back at the Baltimore Orioles in his April 5th column, although he does revert to his time-worn rhapsodic manner of invoking ancient catch phrases (e.g., Ain't Too Proud to Beg, etc.) into his columns.

He also equates Baltimore's acquisition of Frank Robinson to the Celtics' acquisition of Bill Russell. The only problem with that is that the Celts drafted Russell out of college, while the Orioles traded for Robinson. The other mystery Shankism relates to how Fenway was empty in 1998. Huh?

Overall, however, the piece is a solid one and provides some perspective on where the Orioles are now, and where they spent nearly 20 years not so long ago, atop the American League and AL East.

Now, on a personal note, the Globe endorsed my book today. Betcha that pissed off a couple of people who shall remain nameless. To assuage one of my chief critics, and in an effort of making full disclosure, the author of the review did identify a glaring error of mine, which, unlike another author who wrote about the Curse, will be corrected in the next edition of my book.


ObjectiveBruce said...

Actually, the only problem is, the Boston Celtics acquired Bill Russell by trading Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagen to the St. Louis Hawks in exchange for Russell, who had been taken with the second choice in the draft by the Hawks.

The deal was cinched when Celtics owner Walter Brown promised the Rochester Royals, who had the first choice, appearances by the Ice Capades in the Royals' arena.

Some historians suggest that the Celtics acquired the draft pick and took Russell; even if this version is believed, the trade was the key and the intent was to acquire Russell for Macauley and Hagan.

JERRY G said...

OK, got me!

All I can say is that at least I'll admit it when I'm wrong!!!

Chris said...

Lifetime job guarantees at The Globe. How perfectly 'Liberal.' I do like it that the Herald published the names of several of these 'Lifers,' because each and every one of them now has a Scarlet 'L' emblazoned on their chests. Wherever they go, this 'crew' will suffer the insults and criticism of being a Globe 'Lifer.' Clearly, Shaughnessy must be on this 'special' list. But some of the others are 'head-scratchers.' It sounds like Liberalism run amok. Oh...the Globe facility looks like one of the containment buildings in Chernobyl. It just has that sad 'Soviet' look. Rather appropriate, I would say.

ObjectiveBruce said...

How is a contract negotiated and by both sides a sign of liberalism run amok? There was a quid pro quo that resulted in the agreement and the Globe is being called on to live up to the contract it signed.

Can anything possibly be more conservative?

I doubt, although I could be wrong, that the phrase "lifetime job guarantee" or "guaranteed a job for life" or any similar phrase appear in the contract. More likely, the company covenants that it will not terminate the employment of certain named employees without just cause -- thereby using the contract to provide an exception to the employment-at-will doctrine in effect in Massachusetts under which an employee can be fired for good cause, bad cause or no cause at all. I'd also suggest that the point of naming individuals was because the requirement for just cause to dismiss an employee outside of a seniority-based layoff probably extended to just about everyone in the union at one point, and that during negotiations over some contract or another the union gave it up for future employees as long as those subject to its provisions remained protected -- so they were named in the agreement. I also suspect that the company hired people it dubbed "freelancers" or "correspondents" to get around that provision of the contract until it could be revised at the bargaining table.

As for the list published in the Herald, it certainy looks like a local journalism all-star team

JERRY G said...

Personally, I find any media bias -- left OR right -- repugnant. I have always subscribed to the Edward R. Murrow School of Reporting which demands an evenhanded view of society "without spot or blemish."

That said, the Globe's cheerleading on behalf of President Obama was and is reprehensible.

Anonymous said...

The Herald posted all the names of the lifers at the Globe. Among those not on the list was CHB.

Roger Bournival said...

Who knew the price of fish wrap could go up so fast?

The Boston Globe is raising its prices in an effort “to remain viable,” according to a memo obtained by the Herald.

Key word - effort.

Effective May 4, the cover price of the beleaguered broadsheet delivered outside of Greater Boston Monday through Saturday will increase to $1.50 - a 50-cent increase.

What... the... fuck?

The price of the Sunday Globe will increase to $3.50 in Eastern Massachusetts and $4 everywhere else.

The paper, which its parent New York Times [NYT] Co. has threatened to shut down next month, said in the memo: “With the current economic conditions, The Boston Globe is making significant changes to remain viable.

Changes, yes. Improvements?

“One is this price increase, which now will cover the actual cost to distribute the paper.”

In a time of declining revenue and readership, and an inhospitable economic environment, it is remarkable that the Globe bean-counters feel it necessary to raise the price of a product that doesn't seem to be in great demand. Certain economic principles seem to be ignored with this decision.

Oh, who am I kidding? This is galaxy-class stupidity. I could give the Globe some of the 8P nails in my garage to seal the coffin, but that's no longer necessary.

The Globe is toast. Book it. Done.

Chris said...

They should just turn The Globe into a Shopper and be done with it. Then circulation will skyrocket.

Chris said...

Globe employees getting 'womb-to-the-tomb' preferential treatment number in the hundreds. The likelihood is that CHB is, in fact, on this list but hasn't been so identified to save him from whatever further humiliation is owed.

Roger Bournival said...

That'll buy a lot of Boston Globe newspapers:

Top executives at the New York Times [NYT] Co. and The Boston Globe were awarded stock options potentially worth millions just weeks before they told the Globe’s unions to cut $20 million or face closure, according to regulatory filings.

As Globe workers braced for another round of newsroom cuts in late February, the beleaguered broadsheet’s publisher P. Steven Ainsley, who made $1.9 million in 2008, was awarded options to buy 90,000 shares at $3.625 each. The options vest over three years and would include an additional cash payout in 2012.

Times CEO Janet Robinson and Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. each were awarded 500,000 stock options at $3.625 plus a cash payout equal to 50,000 shares in 2012.

The only way the executives won’t get big payoffs is if Times share prices drop below $3.625 - just off their historic low - and stay there. For example, if the options vested yesterday, when the stock closed at $4.83, Robinson and Sulzberger would get $600,000 from their options and Ainsley’s would be worth $108,000.

The stock option awards come on top of Robinson’s total 2008 compensation of $5.6 million and Sulzberger’s $2.4 million in 2008 pay. The pay includes $38,000 and $35,000 bonuses, respectively, in a year when share prices dropped 60 percent.

“That’s disgusting,” said one Globe staffer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Is that you, Shank?

The Times Co. is seeking pay cuts, the elimination of lifetime job guarantees for hundreds of workers and reduced pension and health-care contributions.

In a memo to Globe employees this week, Ainsley said that, to survive, the paper “will need significant concessions from labor.”

Because you're not getting them from management...

Ainsley, who received $247,896 in relocation expenses to move from Tampa, Fla., to a $2.4 million Wellesley manse in 2006, also said in the memo: “It is only fair that management also be prepared to make sacrifices.”

Let the rest of us know when you actually make sacrifices, OK? Or is a $2.4M 'manse' trading down?

Seems like it was only yesterday that the Globe 'highlighted' executive pay in the Bay State during the AIG kerfuffle.

Nope, no hypocrisy here!

O bjective Bruce said...

Today's Quiz!

Explain how the Boston Globe engaged in "cheerleading" in the election of President Obama. Take care to cite, and place in correct historical context, specific examples to support your claim.

Chris said...

430 Globe workers have lifetime contracts and the rest don't. Class warfare, grown in a Soviet-styled petri dish called Morrissey Boulevard.

Paul said...

So no new blog posts about Shanks Opening Day columns?

Roger Bournival said...

That's the best unintentional comedy you've posted yet, OB.

Perhaps you're unaware of the tongue bath endorsement of Obama by the Globe editors?

Even so, the way Obama has run his campaign has been a marvel of sound management: He laid down principles, put the right people in positions of authority, and spent money strategically. And he has shown a remarkable steadiness. Whether he was far behind Hillary Clinton before the Iowa caucuses or on the verge of locking up the Democratic nomination, whether he was leading or trailing McCain in the general election contest, Obama made the same forward-looking appeal to voters’ best instincts.

As the first black major-party presidential nominee, Obama has strived to make voters comfortable with a ‘‘skinny kid with a funny name.’’ And yet the historical significance of his bid is impossible to ignore. Voters can make no more powerful statement about America’s commitment to inclusion and opportunity than to put forward this man — Barack Hussein Obama, son of a father from Kenya and a mother from Kansas — as the nation’s representative to the world.

An early Obama campaign slogan declared, ‘‘We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.’’ His critics deemed such rhetoric too ethereal. Now it seems prescient, as the nation confronts a financial crisis of historic proportions, as well as all the other policy failures and debt-fueled excesses of the last eight years. The United States has to dig itself out. Barack Obama is the one to lead the way.

Celebrating the awesomeness of the Obama victory:

Hundreds of revelers, college students, and youths in their 20s paraded through streets and plazas in Boston early this morning to celebrate Barack Obama's triumph in yesterday's presidential election.

Dozens jumped into the reflecting pool at Christian Science Center after marching from the Boston Public Library, along Huntington Avenue, waving Obama signs and chanting, "USA."

"It was the excitement of it all," said Becky Tinker of Connecticut, a 19-year-old sophomore at Emerson College. "This was such a historic night, why not do what you want?"

Here's Joan Vennochi:

AMERICANS voted for hope, change, and history - but only after the economy crashed and Barack Obama showed strength and resolve in the face of it.

The Democrat had backup from an unpopular Republican president, a sympathetic media (understatement of the century! - ed.), and hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign donations. Those factors helped neutralize critics who called him a Marxist and a friend of terrorists. Obama stayed cool, no matter what the charge.

Granted, this isn't as blatant as declaring on national tevevision that a thrill runs up one's leg, but the point stands.

So what do I win? Some options to buy shares of the NYT? That's gotta be worth at least a one month subscription to the Globe...

Chris said...

Nice smackdown, Roger. Now he'll revert back to his 'The Globe isn't going anywhere' tack. The 'tongue bath' metaphor is hilarious but so appropriate.

ObjectiveBruce said...

Thank you, Roger, for your endorsement of my point. At least that's what it appears to be.

You offer a news story about some thing that indisputably happened, an editorial, and an opinion column.

As you make clear, that's not cheerleading. Newspapers run editorial endorsements all the time; columnists from both ends of the political spectrum offer opinions all the time; and when there are celebrations following the election of a president that are invariably covered in just about every newspaper.

Obviously the sun is beginning to set on the right-wing braying about how "the media" is to blame for everything the right-wingers don't like. The tired old arguments are fast becoming a laughingstock.

Roger Bournival said...

Funny how you fail to respond to matters financial, isn't it? That bet of mine's still on the table.

Thank you, Roger, for your endorsement of my point.

Other observers of this thread would more likely characterize my response as a refutation of your point. I have to do the bold thingy here to emphasize my meaning and to make sure, or at least attempt, to get my point across. You are certainly free to, um, 'reinterpret' what I say, which is why your detractors on this boy-blog refer to you as Obtuse Bruce.

You asked for examples of 'Globe cheerleading', you got 'em!

At least that's what it appears to be.

You're qualifying it already?

And by my citing a few examples of Al Pacino like over the top praise by the Globe for an individual uniquely unprepared for the position of President of the United States, you respond with...?

You offer a news story about some thing that indisputably happened,

...which was a Boston Globe article effusing with joy about Obama's victory, which some would call cheerleading.

an editorial,

...which was an ode to the greatness of Obama, in their minds anyway, which some would call cheerleading.

...and an opinion column.

...whose tone is adulatory, to put it mildly, which some would call cheerleading.

As you make clear, that's not cheerleading.

Sure it is! Compared to the verbal blowjob Chris Matthews gave Obama by declaring a thrill running up his leg? I will for now resist the obligatory 10 CC comment.

Newspapers run editorial endorsements all the time; columnists from both ends of the political spectrum offer opinions all the time; and when there are celebrations following the election of a president that are invariably covered in just about every newspaper.

That's all well and fine; the nuance you're missing or choose to ignore involves the flowery language the Globies employ in their praise of The One.

Obviously the sun is beginning to set on the right-wing braying about how "the media" is to blame for everything the right-wingers don't like. The tired old arguments are fast becoming a laughingstock.

As far as this website is concerned, I'm pretty sure it's not the right wingers that are the laughingstock...

Chris said...

Add to the mix the selectivity of which stories make The Globe. It's not always about the ones that DO make the paper; it's as much about the stories that DON'T. What the Globe is trying to battle like a salmon swimming upstream is the perception that they are an utterly Liberal and bias-driven newspaper. And you know what they say about perception.

...430 Globies with Lifetime guarantees. Wow. As Don Imus would say, 'Well, that explains it...'

Anonymous said...


Roger — 1
You — 0

Okay, bunky?

Your pal,


dbvader said...


You are wrong about the custodians and the SEC rule change. The change was a formality. The custodians always had the fiduciary duty to vote the beneficial owners interest. Custodians cannot control shareholder voting interest.