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Is the Prince Fielder signing evidence of a “financial disconnect?”

Jan 31, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

Detroit Tigers Introduce Prince Fielder. Getty Images

Over at ESPN, columnist LZ Granderson — a Tigers fan — wonders what Prince Fielder signing for $214 million means for a cash-strapped burg like Detroit:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Fielder’s contract. And again I am excited he is on the team and feel fortunate we have an owner who doesn’t just say he’s dedicated to winning but actually opens his wallet for the Tigers and his other franchise, the Detroit Red Wings, to prove it. The problem is the environment in which a $214 million contract in today’s wider economic landscape is even possible. Why are we so crazy about our favorite teams that the demand for better schools or roads takes a backseat by fiscal comparison?

I know how many of the responses are going to go: many of you will defend the Tigers’ right as a private business to spend whatever they spend, note that supply and demand is what it is and conclude by noting that this state of affairs mandates that entertainers and athletes get big dollars while school teachers do not and thus people like Granderson should STFU and deal.

Guess what?  I agree!  At least when we’re limiting the conversation to the ethics of sports salaries and the acts of sports franchises. Fielder should get whatever he can get. He’s the value there. He’s the labor and he should be compensated for it fairly, especially given the kind of revenue the bosses make off of him. And the bosses don’t just have the right to pay him that much. Given how things are set up, they almost have the responsibility to do so to reward the fans, support the other players and carry out the mission of the franchise.

But I’m not reading Granderson’s column as some simple “jocks make too much when teachers make so little” rant.  He clearly understands the economic dynamics that lead to that. Says so right in the column. He understands why they’re valued the way they are, but he’s asking why we value them like that in the first place.  Granderson is thinking bigger here than just sports.

I think that way fairly often myself. About 97% of the time I accept the world in which sports operates and relates to society for what it is because, hell, it’s not like we can change anything about it.  But that 3% can gnaw at a person. Granderson asks “what’s wrong with us?”  I think that a lot too.

One other thing Granderson and I have in common here: he recognizes his own disconnect. He makes a living writing about sports and thus it’s great for him that people value it or else ESPN wouldn’t find it worth its while to give him a paycheck.  Same goes for me.  If baseball players made what teachers make — and vice-versa — and media corporations made no money on it at all, I’d be slinging legal briefs (and if society valued good things more than it does, I probably would be doing way less of that).

It’s not that way. Never will be. I’m happy Prince Fielder got paid.  I don’t think we should storm buildings or occupy anything in protest of this.

But sometimes it is useful and even necessary to remember the value system that has led to the current state of humankind and ask if we’re doing the best we can do as a species. I’m Not sure we’d like the answer to that most of the time, but if we stop asking it, what’s the friggin’ point?

  1. cur68 - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Ah, the greater questions of life. IS Fielder worth all that filthy lucre? Given the state Detroit is in? No, probably not. Do I STILL want the Tigers to exist and Fielder to play ball for them? Yep. Will the one thing offset the other (a rejuvenated Tiger’s franchise bringing in tourist and investment dollars and be ultimately good for the city)? Hopefully. There, that’s the best answer I got. Now, can we play some ball? I’m tired of all this existential financial debatery. The real question is: will he rake? If yes, will he rake more than Bautista? If yes, is it because he’s in the best shape of his life?

    • yankeesfanlen - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      Thanks to all for getting all metaphysical about these things while poor Jorge Posada has to muddle through in retirement. Oh, the Humanity!

      • cur68 - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        Ahhh…..heck, Len. I semi promised to get off Jorge’s back: he’s got enough troubles with his son’s medical condition and retiring and all. Dang your oily hide, Leonardo! you have me in a corner! I am without recourse: I must agree…Poor Jorge. Someone send him some ramen, so he can eat today.

    • rambodiaz - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      I will now visit HBT on 100 different computers to give cur’s comment a thumbs up.

      Are we doing the best that we can do as a species? No.

      Would Prince Fielder being forced to play for the league minimum fix that? No.

      Is it fair that auto workers are unemployed in Detroit while Fielder gets paid a zillion times more than they could ever hope to make? No.

      Would Prince Fielder being forced to play for the league minimum fix that? Still, no.

      Would dropping the league minimum to $45K and having Prince make that fix anything? Nope.

      Is it worth debating why we value sports more than we value education or roads? Yes. Absolutely.

      Will the cumulative OPS for Pirate first and third basemen top .750 this year? Nah.

      Can we just play some ball? Not soon enough, brother. Not soon enough.

      • rambodiaz - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        cumulative OPS? What the heck? I got lost in my own rant.

        Gimme an edit button.

      • cmutimmah - Feb 1, 2012 at 9:06 AM

        The same article could be written about actors, singers, etc. Fielder’s signing is helping the city of Detroit’s economy because his star status will sell more tickets and circulate more money into the downtown economy. Is it city of Detroit money playing the Tiger salaries? NOPE but guess what… since they play downtown, Detroit gets to charge a city tax on their contracts… which 2% (current city tax) of 214 mil is 4.2 million was just contributed to the city over the life of the deal. Now include Fielder’s clearly healthy appetite, and a lot more of that money will be recycled into the restaurants around the stadium also…

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      Yeah…what Cur said!

  2. woodenulykteneau - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    That more than 15 minutes have gone by without the philistines weighing in might just be proving his point. It’s either that or there’s a particularly good episode of “Judge Judy” on right now.

  3. kopy - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    I think the best thing to do is just worry about your own money, and try not be too concerned with what other people spend money on; it’s ultimately not worth it.

    Some people may find it egregious that people give so much money (indirectly) to professional athletes, and I find it egregious that people gave so much money to Oral Roberts.

    • JBerardi - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      Prince Fielder and his owner should be allowed to make as much income as they like and amass personal fortunes as great as they like. I have no problem with that. I would simply ask that, having benefited so greatly from the society that allows them to attain such wealth, they should pay their fair share back into that society.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffett_Rule

      • kopy - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:22 PM

        A little off topic, but it’s annoying to see America’s wealthy half-assedly pining for increased taxes on themselves. If Warren Buffet (and Bill Gates before him) wants to pay more taxes, he can mail a check. If he wants new laws forcing his peers to do the same, he can pop off in the media about how he’s leading by example. It annoys me to see this attention-seeking without these people following through on their own demands.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        For now, Prince (!) Fielder’s income will actually be from labor. I doubt the Buffett rule would really be an issue for him. Most of his income will be taxed at the highest rate.

        It’s only people whose income comes from PAST work (and thus are making money off investments) who would see their taxes go up as a reason of the Buffett Rule. (Aside: I don’t understand ANYTHING about this carried interest B.S., other than it’s a way for rich people to pretend that their income was actually an investment.)

      • 18thstreet - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:25 PM

        The argument is fairness. Buffett isn’t simply arguing that he should be paying more in taxes. He’s arguing that people LIKE HIMSELF, who earn most of their money via investments, should pay more in taxes.

        He’s under no obligation to be the only one.

      • kopy - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        It just seems a little self-defeating to see somebody offering up advice that they don’t themselves don’t adhere to.

        If somebody publicly states that hybrid cars should be mandatory in order to help protect the environment, it would help their case much more if they were a hybrid car owner.

      • nategearhart - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:57 PM

        kopy, How does one go about paying more in taxes than they are required? I’m serious, because I don’t know how Buffett would go about doing what you’re asking. If I wanted to pay more in taxes than the government is asking of me, how do I do it?

      • kopy - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        Write and send a check to the United States Department of the Treasury.

      • kopy - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        http://www.fms.treas.gov/faq/moretopics_gifts.html

      • cur68 - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        Yknow, there may well be no mechanism in place for a person to do this: mail a cheque to the IRS, all of it completely above what tax law dictates a person should pay. As an accounting practice, I imagine that the IRS would need some legal mechanism by which they can intake funds to which they have no obligation to pursue or is owed to the government in any way: they have no “donation” financial mechanism. I imagine a similar problem will come up if some millionaire dies and wills their entire fortune to the IRS. Anyone know if this has ever happened?

      • cur68 - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        Ahh…thanks Kopy. Very instructive.

        Memo to Mark Cuban: there ya go. Now you too can “give back”.

      • nategearhart - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        kopy: Thanks for answering my question :)

  4. nonfcomm - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Where I think it gets complicated is how much subsidy from the state ballparks get. I’m a Twins fan and love Target Field, but I realize that there are better things Hennepin County could spend it’s money on. Prince Fielder’s salary didn’t influence schoolteacher (or police office or fire person etc.) salary at all. However, the money the city/state spent on Comerica Park very well could have gone to those more productive uses.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      but I realize that there are better things Hennepin County could spend it’s money on.

      This x1000.

    • kopy - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      It’s simply a case of taxpayers subsidizing professional sports to have them in town because they love them so much. If you don’t build a stadium, another city will because demand is that high.

      Things would be easier if there was a way of knowing where the money spent on a stadium would otherwise go. Voters might not approve a stadium at the direct peril of education and public safety, but they do because they assume the money, if not used for a stadium, would be spent on something they don’t care about.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        Kopy: You are dead on with regards to Buffet. He seems really eager to spend other peoples monies…like most of those that adhere to the “principles” of the warm and fuzzy party. Pretty simple Warren. Continue to right checks. Lots and lots of checks.

    • dink53 - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      Do some research and you’ll see how much the Tigers paid. Government paid for some road improvements, but the rest came out of the Tigers’ pocket.

      As to the main issue, we are still free to choose how we are entertained. It just so happens that the sports, entertainers we choose to support tend to benefit financially. If we choose to support arena football, for example instead of baseball, baseball won’t be able to afford $214 million dollar contracts. It’s nothing more than supply and demand and competition for fan dollars, no morals involved.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    I think an even larger question than the one posed in this article about whether or not athletes deserve the kind of money they’re making while the rest of the country toils in mediocrity and struggles to survive is why in the hell do people find Dane Cook funny?

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      Finally…someone ELSE who finds nothing funny about Dane Cook.
      I thought I was the only one.

    • Gamera the Brave - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      I’m pretty sure Cook gets his audience liquored up right before the show. It’s part of his business overhead for each show. And the only possible reason people laugh – they’re wasted.

  6. stackers1 - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Bobby Valentine just reported – he’s not too concerned.

  7. stex52 - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    And the citizens of the Roman Empire flocked to the local venue to watch gladiators hack at each other or other people get eaten by wild animals. It appears that we have a hard-wired love of spectacle in us. So we value the contributions of those who can provide us with this large scale entertainment and vicarious competition. (C’mon, did I really win tonight because my team won?) The level of that valuation does appear to have grown rather absurd, but part of that these days is because there are so many of us out here ready to contribute our few dollars. As the population grows, the value of any entertainer is increased vastly.

    So it won’t change until we change who we are. I hate to be a defeatist, but I think you are fighting a genetic propensity. In that case, it’s going to be tough to modify. The trick will be to make people conscious of the valuations they are making and suggest that others should fit into the mix.

    In the meantime, Play Ball!!

    • natstowngreg - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      Ecellent analysis. Especially the part about playing ball.

      It’s sort of like politicians saying, don’t blame the voters, even if the voters are part of the problem. Fans are part of the problem; they complain, but still buy the product.

  8. randygnyc - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    2nd time in 2 days you mention “occupy”. Stop referencing those flag burning, drug addicted, public defecating, child molesting, parent murdering, rapists in your “sports” articles.

    • nategearhart - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Is this a joke? I don’t get it. Who are you talking about?

    • Gamera the Brave - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Say WHAT??!

    • cur68 - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Randy are you on crack? WTF are you on about, dude?

    • natstowngreg - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      I’m traveling to Columbus tonight to occupy Craig’s front lawn, until he agrees to give us an edit function.

    • dizzydean - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      Uh, being from Oakland I have about as much reason to get annoyed with some of the more extreme elements of OWS as anyone, but “parent murdering”? haha ok.

  9. southcapitolstreet - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Oh, we’re not so bad as that. I bet if you looked at per capita spending on public and private education in the U.S., that number would dwarf the amount spent per capita on sports entertainment. I know I spent about 1000% more on preschool last year than I spent on baseball tickets.

  10. randygnyc - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Nategear- he can just send in a check, for any amount he desires, to the department of the US Treasury. Oh, and Buffet capitalizes on every possible loophole to reduce his tax liability. He’s been exploiting the system, not just doing what’s “required”

    • nategearhart - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      Until they close the loopholes, paying what you’re told after you go through them IS all that’s required. The problem is the fact that the loopholes are there.

  11. aaronmoreno - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    The comment on Rome is right. We’re hard-wired this way. Original sin can be described a myriad of ways.

    • stex52 - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:43 PM

      Definitely an alternative way of saying much the same thing. Although I would add that not all spectacle is bad.

  12. hansob - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    If Prince Fielder didn’t exist, how much less money would come in to baseball as a whole? Certainly not $23M a year. And I doubt that number is even $5M. That’s not to say that he isn’t worth that to the Tigers, but if the Tigers make an extra $15M on tickets, etc. because Fielder is there, then the rest of the AL Central probably loses that much in decreased ticket sales before and after they fall out of contention in August, or when fans take a look at the Tigers’ roster and decide to spend their entertainment dollars elsewhere because the Twins/Royals/Indians/White Sox now are worse. Maybe only comparably worse, but there’s only so many wins to go around, so it’s all about comparability.

    McGwire and Sosa, and later Bonds genuinely got people interested in baseball. Pedro in his prime brought people out. I don’t think Fielder, or 99% of the other players out there really do that all that much. At least not as much as their paychecks indicate.

  13. reospeedwagon916 - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Most Americans are educated by the government. What do you expect?

    • Thunder Chicken - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:58 PM

      I fail to see the relevance of your statement and question. What are you referring to?

      • reospeedwagon916 - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        The public schooling system is a quasi-government institution. It’s quality is suspect as evidenced by the average person’s inability to prioritize their finances. You could also argue it it’s no wonder people would rather pay an athlete for entertainment that put more money into schools.

    • owenpoin - Feb 1, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      Not a fan of most recent education reforms,but right now I’d say the biggest issue with being “educated by the government,” is that the government should fund education more.

  14. jpeterson4743 - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    if you want to get technical these player salaries are taxed by local and federal governments, theoretically that tax money goes to teacher, police and fire fighters salaries…if you take away the 150 million in taxable income in the state of michigan right now there would be definite tangible consequences…..so maybe its not such a bad thing!

    • michiganhockey11 - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      You are correct. State of Michigan has a flat 4.35% state tax. Granted, it would only apply to games in Detroit and not away games, where those respected states have their own rates. So with a 161 game season, lets say 80 home games just to make it easy.

      $23 million a year. 80 homes games means he will earn pre tax $11.5 million in Michigan.

      $11.5 million taxed at 4.35% is $500,250. So Fielder pays $500,250 in state incomes taxes annually. Add that up over the life of his contract (9 years right?) and you get $4,502,250. That’s a nice chunk for the state of MIchigan to use to help fix roads and schools.

      • jpeterson4743 - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        the players get paid salaries, not per game… so i think since the entire salary is coming from a michigan based company it does not matter where they play the games, it all would be taxed (unless you know something I dont)…plus if ya think about it fielder is going to be spending a portion of that 24m in the state of michigan…even if its only a fraction it still is money that he is spending that wouldnt be spent here if he wasnt signed! The way i was thinking is 150 million in team pay roll, taxed at the 4.35% is 6.525 million dollars of revenue the tigers bring the state of MI each year, not to mention salex taxes on tickets, merchendice etc. If you break it down further, thats close to 80k per county in MI…OR like you said just Fielder pays 500k per year, thats good enough to pay about 12 extra k-12 teachers

      • michiganhockey11 - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        I only mentioned the salary by state as it was mentioned before Pujols singed with Anahiem, people were discussing how he woudl have more take home $$ singing with the Marlins because Florida has no state tax and all his home games would be tax free. I don’t know if it’s a factual statement but it made sense to me. If I worked at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant, would I get taxed at Michigan’s rate because they are based in Michigan? I figure it would be in the state you “work” in. Granted, playing a very high level of baseball compared to a factory worker’s definition of “working” may be different, but that’s for a later discussion.

  15. michiganhockey11 - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    The issue is really-why is this a big deal for a Detroit franchise vs. anywhere else in the country? So it’s ok for A-Rod to sign his original quarter billion $ contract with the rangers because Texas has money, or for Pujols to get his quarter billion $ because he’s out in California and affluency runs wild out there, but for a player to sign in the D, with the economic conditions, it’s not ok?

    Look, people will pay to see the Tigers regardless of the conditions. Will they maybe not have as many sellouts, sure. I would love to see that data over the past 5 years pre recession, during and current. Illitch is in pretty good health for being 85 years young. He wants a WS. He has the extra cash to spend on the Tigers since the NHL went to a hard cap after the last lockout. Sure, maybe the price of beer might jump to $12 and a hot-n-ready pizza goes from $5 to $10, but this really isn’t an issue. Why is Granderson from ESPN making a issue regarding the state of schools and roads in the Detroit area and comparing it to the hype of sports stars? Roads in Michigan suck. That’s a fact, especially in metro Detroit. If our climate were more like California, perhaps they would last longer. State has been hit hard finanically and can’t repair roads on demand. School systems failing have nothing to do with Michigan residents apprecation for sports players in the D. Does he want private companies like Illitch Holdings to help the state of Michigan pay for raod repairs or fix schools?

    Perhaps Granderson is getting something else confused with this “financial disconnect”. Is the disconnect because Detroit as a whole is down (but not out), or is his real question- “why are these men paid that absorbident amount of money? To me, that is the real issue for a Michigan resident.

    • normcash - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      I live in California—and, believe me, Michigan has nothing on California when it comes to terrible roads (despite our milder climate) and crappy schools! A lot of these posts seem to suggest that poor, poor Detroit is a strange place for a player like Fielder to be getting such a big salary. What so many people seem not to realize is that, while the city itself has been losing population dramatically, the metro area has not. Metro Detroit has a population of over 5 million
      people—it is a large market. And much of it, despite the recession (which hit Michigan about 8 years before it hit the rest of the country) is wealthy. Oakland County, the second-largest
      county in the metro area, with a population of 1.2 million, is the third wealthiest county in the US with a population over 1 million. People have a very skewed notion of the Detroit area. The Tigers drew over 2.6 million last year and over 3 million in 2007 and 2008. The Wings regularly sellout. The Lions, now that they are competitive again, do too….only the Pistons have attendance problems—but they are a terrible team. When they were competitive, they often led the NBA in attendance. Then there is the University of Michigan where over 110,000 show up for every home game and Michigan State where 76,000 watch the football team. Detroit, in short, is a large market that supports its teams and always has. The inner city is NOT the whole of Metro Detroit—-not even close.

      • michiganhockey11 - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:14 PM

        You are right about the Pistons. They are trrrr-able. It is the people from the metro area that fills the stadiums and rinks. If not for them, they’d have huge issues with payroll.

        Trust me, metro Detroit has nasty roads and potholes. I-75 from Allen Park to Detroit and the Lodge. I’ll leave it at that.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      MichiganHockey: I am right there with you. Michigan’s roads are absolutely terrible.
      Indiana’s are as well. As bad as they are in Indiana…they pale in comparison to Michigan’s.
      What most people don’t realize (or perhaps don’t consider)…when you have a high concentration of Manufacturing facilities (in the cases of Indiana and Michigan a high number of Auto related Manufacturing facilities specifically)…the stuff they are hauling across the state are some of the heaviest, bulkiest, most overbearing freight in the Country.
      Couple this with the Indiana and Michigan Winters freezing…thawing…freezing…thawing…then freezing the roads again…it should surprise noone the roads are the worst in the Country.

      • michiganhockey11 - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        Yeah, if only we could have gotten toll roads. I hear Ohio roads are pretty good because most if not all the toll money from the turnpike, etc. goes towards road construction.

        Yeah, all the trucks hauling stuff around isn’t good. At least we don’t allow triple trailers liek some states. That would a downright mess.

  16. randygnyc - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    Dizzy dean- google “Robert Kamin and Susan Poff”. They were both murdered last week and their son was arrested for it (didn’t release his name as he’s a minor). This isn’t an obscure connection to occupy Oakland. He STRANGLED HIS PARENTS BECAUSE OF OCCUPY OAKLAND, after arguing with him over spending too much time at the occupy camp. Typical liberal democrat response. Stomp their feet, hold their breath and when that doesn’t work, heck, murder them.

    And you live in Oakland, dizzy? Lmao. Spend a little less time surfing anarchist sites and daily kos for your news. Haha, right back at you………

    • Gamera the Brave - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      Randy,
      You’re painting OWS with an awfully big brush, sir…
      If I understand you – because this one kid killed his parents – allegedly over Occupy Oakland – the rest are all scumbags? Really?
      And, without being a “liberal democrat” myself, I can imagine that any progressives in this crowd would object to your characterization.
      May I suggest you relocate your political vitriol to the political branch of msnbc.com?
      You would fit right in there.

      • stex52 - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        Don’t feed the troll.

      • Gamera the Brave - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        You are correct, stex – my bad…

      • normcash - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:03 PM

        I think you meant to say Fox “News”…MSNBC is the last place a nut like Randy
        would ever go….

    • nategearhart - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Ok, now I know you’re trolling.

  17. braddavery - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Most of these multimillion dollar athletes blow all their money in the private sector anyway, buying expensive jewelry, fancy vehicles, yachts, mansions and the like.

  18. randygnyc - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    Gamera- I didn’t inject politics into this thread. I objected to it, specifically the “occupy” reference in the main article. Which, btw, was the second day in a row in which Craig has done that.

    And as far as what progressives will think? I consider them my enemies. I could not care less. I’ll keep it rated pg and just say, “I don’t wish them well”.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      I’m a progressive, but if you’re an American, I don’t consider you my enemy. That’s really not helpful language.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      What I find funny is the way they keep re-branding themselves.
      The word ”liberal” has now become sort of a bad word. At least to the point of them re-branding themselves.
      So they are now calling themselves “progressives.” Far more “trendy” sounding don’t you think?

      • 18thstreet - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM

        Sometime I call myself a liberal. Either is fine with me.

        But, yes, the polling clearly suggests that “liberal” is not as popular a word as “progressive.”

  19. koreanfandeath - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    Illitch is disconnected from most sports fans because he’s rich enough to own a MLB team. The article doesn’t vilify him for this fact, but it also doesn’t mention the ways he’s helped the community while it’s been affected by the economic downturn. Comerica Park continued to fund a display for GM when it had to get govt funds for a bailout. Illitch built similar displays for Ford and Chrysler who are the employers of many Tiger fans.

    • michiganhockey11 - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Illitch has done so much for the city of Detroit and people in need. He is a stud and a BMF. I believe the sign at Comerica said something to the fact of “we support our automakers” with the logo’s of the Detroit 3 on the display.

      Loved his drunken rant after the wings won the cup at the parade.

      “This is hockeytown…..ahhhhhhhhh”

  20. randygnyc - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    18th street, I’m just reusing obama’s exact wording, when he said “punish our enemies and reward our friends”, during an October, 2010 interview when speaking about the how Latinos should vote during the 2010 mid term election. It’s the only thing he’s ever said that I agree with. He and his I’ll are my enemies.

    • braddavery - Jan 31, 2012 at 7:00 PM

      Stop typing for Christ’s sake. No one wants to hear about your idiotic politics in a thread about Prince Fielder.

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