Matinee Idle

For reasons unknown and unknowable, the New Enthusiast is experiencing an unprecedented groundswell of new readership of late. First off, we’d like to say, enthusiastically, “Welcome, likeminded ladies and gentledudes!”

Second, and we have this on very good authority, when it comes giving the crowd what they want, the best way to keep laissez-ing la bon temps to roulez is to post more frequently than semi-fortnightly. Unfortunately, we don’t exactly have anything of substantial substance ready to share, so instead here are a few unripened fruits plucked from our idle minds:

IDLE! The Red Sox recently celebrated their Major League record 500th consecutive home sellout. That’s great! Strangely, the fans celebrated it, too. Huh? That seems a bit…perverse. Now, revenue from ticket sales is (for the most part) funneled back into player salaries, so good attendance is tied to continued on-field success. But something tells me that isn’t exactly what the team is thanking the fans for, since it’s the sellout which has allowed the Sox to raise the price of an average ticket for 14 straight years until 2009, hiking the cost to the highest level in the majors*. Now that’s an impressive streak!

*Pre-Yankees Stadium and Citifield data.

IDLE! Ronny PaulinoRon Paul. I’m just saying…

IDLE! The harshest decrescendo of awesomeness possible in a three word span? Vacation Bible School! If you’re a kid hearing it, that phrase starts off real, real good, but gets real sucky in a hurry.

IDLE! So there is a bit of a kerfuffle about Manny Ramirez playing in the minors before his 50-game suspension is up. While it does seem like this loophole is letting Manny skirt around his punishment, TNE is more curious about whether Manny will be eligible for the Triple A All-Star Game on July 15th in Portland’s PGE Stadium.

IDLE! Speaking of Portland, howzabout a “Portland Stadium Financing Debacle Update”? In case you need a quick recap, lemme sum up:

1. Way back in 2007, megasuperrichdude Merritt Paulson buys the Timbers, a United Soccer League* team, and the Beavers, the Triple A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The teams currently share PGE Park in lovely downtown Portland**

1. Paulson uses the promise of unimaginable windfall from a Major League Soccer team*** to extort tens of millions of public dollars for his stadium upgrade.

2. In exchange, he promises to build a new baseball stadium in the city, contingent on the city securing the land.

3. Due to civic resistance, negligent oversight, and general nincompoopery, the city drops the ball on finding a location for the new stadium.

4. Paulson keeps all the public money for the soccer stadium, doesn’t have to build baseball stadium, and…

5…is now free to shop the Beavers around the “Portland area” to see if any suburb might be willing to foot the bill for a new stadium. Hello, Hillsboro!

Well played, trusted civic leaders!

*Wikipedia informs me that this is the second tier on the American Soccer Pyramid. That is a much cooler nickname than is warranted.

**Just ask the New York Times.


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