Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

SMILES EVERYONE! The United States Olympic Committee is Coming to SF Nov 24th or 25th – A Secret “Private” Meeting

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Smiles everyone, smiles. Why? Because we all need to look our best when the United States Olympic Committee road show beauty contest comes to town on either Monday, November 24th or Tuesday, November 25th, 2014. If we “win,” there’s a good chance that we’ll end up with the 2024 Olympiad.

I was thinking we were overdue for a visit and it turns out we were:

“The USOC has already vetted LA, and was due in DC Wednesday. San Francisco will be visited early next week.”

And who will meet with Scott Blackmun and the USOC, that get-fresh crew from Colorado Springs? IDK, it’s a secret! And certainly you yourself, Gentle Reader, ARE NOT invited, ’cause it’ll be a “private” meeting. Of course, you’ll be “invited” to pay for any “overages” (typically, they run into the eleven-figure territory) but that will come down the road a bit.

And where will they meet? IDK, it’s a secret! Oh well.

These IOC people could be anywhere around town and/or the bay area, so make sure to smile at any and all tourists you see.

Now here’s the thing about smiles and here’s why democracies just aren’t into the Olympics all that much anymore, here’s an actual demand from the corrupt International Olympic Committee:

IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel.

This is the kind of greeting the Olympics road show beauty contest people want:

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Of course, the USOC isn’t corrupt the way the IOC is, but the question is why we’re even considering hosting the 2024 Olympics in the first place.

Shouldn’t San Franciscans have a vote on this matter? Mmmm…

Shouldn’t smart, skeptical people be invited to this meeting instead of just having the naive boosters who are happy to be on Another Committee? Mmmm…

San Francisco 2024 Olympics Roundup: Reaction to Today’s Big Push in the Pages of the SF Chronicle

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Well, today’s the big day for the bid to have the 2024 Olympics in the Bay Area.

San Francisco puts in chips for 2024 Olympics by John Coté

1. Obviously, an Olympics in the bay area would be good news for the San Francisco Chronicle. Obvs. I mean, that goes without saying, right? See the editorial below. I mean, they learned us this in Economics, case studies of media support for Olympics past.

2. What’s this?

“We have a lot of reverence for the Olympics … but there may be some ways to modernize the Games or do it a little differently,” said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer…

Sounds like Larry’s been looking at opinion polls. You know, Lare-Bear, the other option is to simply let authoritarian regimes host them from now on.

3. Gee, I really think “improvements” should be in quote marks here:

“Plenty of uncertainty remains, however, including whether improvements to housing, transportation and other infrastructure are worth the cost of hosting the Games.”

4. Is this right, our we still in the first inning?

Baer acknowledges that their effort is still in “the first inning,” even after a months-long exploratory process that included meeting with U.S. Olympic officials in July.

I’d say we’re in the seventh inning stretch. This contest will be all over in a month or two. After that, the only question will be whether America gets the Games in 2024.  This “first inning” stuff is spin spin spin.

5. Here’s the start of some nice OTOH grafs:

“It looks more and more like a boondoggle,” said Andrew Zimbalist, economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts and author of the upcoming book “Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and World Cup.” “It’s a very difficult calculus to make work for you,” Zimbalist said. “The modern Olympics costs billions and billions of dollars to host. The recent evidence we have is that it does not increase tourism, even during the Games.”

6. But this part here is false:

Private funding from international corporate sponsorships, ticket sales and local sponsorships would cover operating costs that Baer projected at about $4.5 billion.

How does John Cote know that operating costs will be covered? He doesn’t.

7. And what a coincidence that our budget and Boston’s are exactly the same! Who’s cribbing from whom?

Boston has a similar cost projection of $4.5 billion for hosting the 2024 Games, a number Zimbalist dismissed as “a nonsense figure.” “They don’t know what they’re talking about,” Zimbalist said.

This is a nice, strong statement. One would expect the cost overage to run from something like 200% to 500% – something in that territory.

8. Uh, the America’s Cup was a “boon” to which industries?

Last year’s America’s Cup was a boon to certain businesses but…” 

I can’t think of a one, honestly. A “boon,” really?

9. Here we go:

Olympic bid leaders aren’t touting the Games’ economic benefits, but rather the ability to rally a region around tackling some of its major problems — transportation and housing — while improving San Francisco’s marginalized southeast corner.

So, if we want to help black people in the southeast, why don’t we simply give them the $4.5 billion and be done with things?

10. And here’s your stinger:

“Olympians,” said Cribbs, “are just ordinary people who do extraordinary things.”

 Sometimes, I suppose. Other times, it’s like this:

Moving on… to this:

OPINION – Solid start to Bay Area bid for 2024 Olympic Games – San Francisco Chronicle

11. Whoo boy:

At the top of the list is a pledge that they will not be asking for any direct public subsidies in what is expected to become a $4.5 billion venture if San Francisco were to become the first U.S. city to host the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996.

Didn’t we just through this with the America’s Cup? Who’s pledging that there will be no public subsidies? This is laughable.

12. Whoo boy redux:

“We’re trying to take all the lessons learned, not just from other Olympics but what we learned from America’s Cup,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, adding, “We’re going to be smart about it.”

This is what everybody says every two years. What makes 2024 different?

13. Whoo boy redux II, Electric Boogaloo:

This region’s diversity, appeal as an international destination and leadership in technological innovation would make it a perfect fit for an Olympic Games — as long as it’s done our way, with sensibility and sustainability. The framework of this fledgling bid is very encouraging

The Olympics in the Bay Area would be good for some and not good for others. The Chronicle says we should do things “our” way, but we’re following the well-worn path of countless others. Any “sensible” Olympics proposal from the bay area would get rejected by the IOC, so that option’s not really on the table, now is it?

And here comes CW Nevius, a bit off-message:

Bay Area’s Olympic dreams focused on landfill near Candlestick by C.W. Nevius

14. Ah, Nevius. Let’s watch him beg for access right here on Twitter. A bit unseemly, IMO. And then he goes on about the weather / climate. That’s the least of our problems, right?

15. Remember that stuff from Larry Baer up above about us being in “the first inning?” Forget all that:

It could work, but it would need buy-in — and soon 

I’m not sure why the Neve is so negatory on Brisbane. I think it could “work” as well as any other location.

Anyway, for some reason, the boosters picked today to have a Big Push in the Chronicle.

We’ll see how it goes.

Onward They Charge:

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Boston and D.C. Just Had Private Meetings with Olympic Officials – Will SF Have One Too Today or Tomorrow?

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Or perhaps next week?

Check it, Boston just had its big meeting with the USOC, and DC had its yesterday.

What comes next on the list? SF and LA, right?

Now look at how many people were involved with this process in Boston two days ago.

If something similar were to happen in San Francisco, we’d have leaders from Stanford, UCB, UCSF, UCOP, ETC, and a bunch of Mayors from all over the bay area, gathering to meet with USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun.

I’m thinking our meeting will have a lot fewer people, as it’s still a secret, AFAIK.

And also, we seem to far behind Boston in terms of a public conversation.

The bogus I’m-the-Mayor-and-I-was-skeptical-at-first-but-now… pivot has already occurred in Boston a while back. Given the reputation of the Olympics process these days, the best way for the PR people promoting this coming fiasco to handle things is to have a kind of campaign like THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER’S OLDSMOBILE or THAT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A BUICK.

Anyway, it doesn’t look like the Public, La Raza, will be involved in this process anytime soon.

Oh well.

Why is the Threat of Getting Stuck with the 2024 Olympics a Big Deal in Boston, But a Nothingburger in SF? Plus, a Female CW Nevius!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

The possibility of America hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics is the talk of the town in Boston these days.

And there’s a lot of activity coming out of Los Angeles as well.

And look, Washington DC too.

But in San Francisco, there’s nothing like any of that.

Why?

I don’t know why the conversation in SF is so far behind.

I mean we made it past a bunch of other cities to get to the Final Four, but has there been anything discussed regarding a cost estimate? Like how many tens of billions of dollars it will cost us?

Nope.

This is a mystery to me.

There are all sorts of possibilities…

The danger is San Francisco getting the nod from the USOC and then the USOC beating out all the other OC’s of the world and then bam, the Bay Area will be hosting the 2024 Games.

What are the odds of that? IDK. Some Boston boosters appear to be very confident, but others say that the choice will end up being either LA or SF.

So it could be that San Francisco JUST ISN”T THAT INTO IT?  But then why have we made it this far along the process already and why is a/the web guy for the San Francisco Giants spending so much time on the clock building out the inchoate official 2024SF bid website? Would it be for the sake of the next effort, for 2028?

Mmmm…

All right, now I promised you a Female CW Nevius and here she is, poms poms in hand. Of course, she is supporting the Boston bid and CW Nevius is supporting the San Francisco bid, but they’re completing their assigned roles in exactly the same way. (BTW, am I a “naysayer,” a hater who wants to hate on people’s fun? Well then, how do the boosters look to me? A bunch of vapid cheerleaders who are unafraid to get mixed up in all the Olympic corruption, the bribery, the pay-offs, the reduction in tourism and who are unafraid to spend tens of billions of Other People’s Money on the off chance, perhaps five or ten percent, that things will all work out, don’t you believe in THE DREAM?)

Anyway, I know/ there’s something going on/ there’s something going on/ there’s something going on, but I just don’t know what it is…

Olympocalypse Now: The Time to Kill the 2024 San Francisco Olympics Idea is 2014 – New “NoSFOlympics” Site is Live

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Here are the Four Horse People of the Olympocalypse, these are the ringwraiths who recently rode to Colorado to promote the idea of inflicting the Olympics upon the San Francisco Bay Area in 2024:

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Read all about it at the new No SF Olympics website and NoSFOlympics Twitter. (I’ll tell you, Boston is way ahead of us this go-around. Its official pro-Olympics site is extensive and the concomitant NoBostonOlympics site / Twitter account are similarly active.)

Is it a probability that the Olympics will come to the Bay Area in 2024? No, not at all. But certainly it’s a possibility.

Remember the failed America’s Cup? It had an organizing committee as well, and you’d bump into its members all over town – how proud they were. You’d see them at Costco #144 in SoMA – so what are you working on these days, well I’m on the America’s Cup Committee and… So proud they were! And then they ended up costing us eight figures in cashola after all the promises and reassurances evaporated, after the team that got caught cheating won anyway, after a poorly-designed and/or poorly-maintained catamaran killed an Olympian.

And yet they thought they were Doing Good For San Francisco.

It’s the same thing now with the Olympics except we’re looking at an eleven-figure loss instead of just an eight-figure loss – the impact could be a thousand times worse.

You know, these people just seem to like Doing New Stuff. For instance, here’s Larry Baer hanging out a half-decade back at the debut of the failed UFL. Did he run away from this questionable venture? Oh no. He was quite interested in this quixotic attempt to compete against the NFL. Why? Because it was Something New.

Who knows, maybe the San Francisco Bid Committee will shut down operations next week. OTOH, maybe it will launch its website and there will be a big push, all of sudden, after flying under the radar with people saying, well, I don’t even know if this is a good idea in the first place.

The citizens of the Bay Area should be prepared for both possibilities.

“Barry Bonds” Catching Flies in the Presidio

Monday, November 10th, 2014

If you drive around long enough mouth agape in your look-at-me-I’m-Barry-Bonds-except-I’m-not-but-now-that-you’ve-mentioned-it-let-me-tell-you-about-x Audi* convertible, I’m sure that you’re going to get your fair share of flies squirming about your pie-hole.

It’s a lose-lose situation for both you and the fly. Hey, it’s Jersey Shore, West Coast. YOLO, Dude:

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Click to expand

(Hey, did Barry Bonds get a reputation rehab? News to me.)

In aggravation, this garish vehicle has no front license plate. Tsk tsk.

In mitigation, it appeared to be driven within the realm of reason, which is surprising considering it’s an exoticar in the 415.

Perhaps Dude will maintain that Barry Bonds lettering on the side of his ride until the next Giants Victory Parade, sure to come around the end of October 2016…

*So you buy and Audi but you didn’t actually want an Audi, so you black out the famous rings and also the trademark horse collar grill so people can’t tell it’s an Audi? OK fine. One assumes the Giants objected, or maybe Audi objected in some sort of appearance of a cross-license kind of deal?  

Marquee of Historic BRIDGE THEATRE on Geary Repurposed to Promote Area Supervisor Mark Farrell – Meet Your New Baseball Academy

Friday, November 7th, 2014

This is the scene days after our most recent election – one hopes this promotional effort for the incumbent Supervisor won’t stick around* for too much longer.

In any event, you can never be too careful when your Conditional Use authorization is under such scrutiny.

Hey, guess how many NIMBY’s complained about the Bridge being turned into the brand-new San Francisco Baseball Academy? Zero.**

So, PLAY BALL, somehow, inside of an old 1930′s-style movie house:

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On It Goes…

*It was part of my job to change the marquee at this Landmark-owned theatre, back in the day. That was no picnic. (Another part was to console the owners of cars that had been stolen from our parking lot. Back then, criminals wouldn’t  smash and grab – they’d steal the whole car. Ah mem’ries…)

**It’s the West Side, nobody cares. Target? Bring it. Chipotle? Coming soon, just up the street near Masonic. Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell? Maybe someday…

Big Sugar Causes a Traffic Jam on Chestnut Street on the Eve of the Prop E Vote, Same As Any Other Day

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Let’s take a look here, aging Rolls Royce* on the left and lots of stalled cars ahead, starting at the 2000 block of Chestnut – this is just another day in the Marina Landfill:

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Oh, here’s the culprit:

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And here’s the payload, trying to hide behind a passerby.** Hey, take your time, Coca Cola!

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Do the vaunted “planners” of San Francisco have a plan for this kind of thing? Oh no, you all just don’t want to deal?

Don’t you think this kind of situation lowers your credibility, Planners?

And oh yes, Prop E 2014 itself. Well, all the money coming in from out of town certainly has had the effect of making certain local institutions look foolish, that’s fo sho. There are pros and cons to it, of course. Direct intake of liquefied sugar certainly can be a factor in getting the diabetes, but there are others too, right? Perhaps Dr. Scott Wiener will help you work on those after the election…

*That would be your Old Marina, you know, Facie Terraemotus. Now make sure you don’t say nothing bad about Saint Joseph DiMaggio, the Patron Saint of the Marina, in front of Old Marina – they’ll get super pissed off. But, you know, before Joltin’ Joe had left and gone away, he was known for being a big jerk on Chestnut Street. Yelling at barbers for no reason, stuff like that. There’s an appointment system, Joe – what makes you so special? Anyway, area Supervisor Mark Farrell remains a big fan of DiMaggio, for some reason… 

**That would be your New Marina, you know, Post Terraemotus.

World Series Update: “FUCK SFMTA” – “Only in SF Do People Hate the Transit Agency More Than the Cops”

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Word on the Street, via @SFNick, @robertol, and @kevinmonty:

 RT : Only in SF do people hate the transit agency more than the cops. (photo via )”

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Hey, how’s Prop A doing? The last polling I saw it wasn’t doing so hot, but that was a while ago.

Oh look, media coverage:

The Ides of “May”: The Language of the Mayor’s Pet $500 Million Bond “May” Alarm You

Meanwhile, the people at the SFMTA claim to be offering, “Excellent Transportation Choices.” And they ask the public for advice about MUNI can become “more perfect.”

Something’s gotta give here – I suppose we’ll find out next week…

Instead of Concentrating on the 7th Game of the World Series, Mayor Ed Lee is Playing Ping Pong at a Political Event?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

In the words of the great John MalkovichWTF to that:

“…fundraiser for Evan Low is happening tonight in SoMa from 6-8 PM! With an open bar, amazing food, a live DJ set, and Mayor Ed Lee playing ping pong, this is an event not to be missed.”

And this official fundraiser graphic is odd, certainly, and “500 DOLLAR BUY IN” seems very “off-message.”

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Oh, there’ll be some TVs on that the Mayor Airbnb can glance at, perhaps in between sets with Ron Conway? All right.

(Hey, who’s Evan Low – what does he have to do with San Francisco?)

No wonder Senator Mark Leno is ahead in the polls, already, in next year’s mayoral race…

[UPDATE: And here it is, as advertised, incredibly.]