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Why does John Olerud hate trees?

Sep 11, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

John Olerud

Retired Mariner (and other things) John Olerud lives in Seattle. His neighbors across the street have a big tree. A tree that was there way before Olerud and his wife built their house.  In a shocking development that could not have been foreseen by any available means, the tree that was there first blocks Olerud’s view.

So of course:

Olerud, a former Seattle Mariner, one-time American League batting champ and three-time Gold Glove winner, has been asking the Bakers for more than two years if he can pay to have the tree cut down.

For two-plus years, the Bakers have refused.

Now the Oleruds want the Clyde Hill Board of Adjustment to order their neighbors to cut down the tree, saying it unreasonably obstructs the view from their $4 million property facing Lake Washington, Seattle and the Olympic Mountains.

Money quote from Olerud who, in his own defense, notes that the tree is ugly:

“You guys saw the trees,” Olerud said at the board hearing. “They’re not attractive trees. I would say they’re the kind of tree that only an arborist would love. …

Um, OK.  Hey John: pro tip: If you’re a multi-millionaire and you’re building a house in a scenic spot, build it someplace where you can actually see the scenery. Like, say, the down-the-hill side of your street. You know, like your neighbors did.

  1. ajcardsfan - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Sounds logical to me, I love the smell of the outdoors, therefore I’m going to move downwind of a landfill and complain that it smells.

  2. Ben - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    He should probably punch the tree. I hear that worked for Mitt Romney.

    • kevinleaptrot - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      I thought Romney stapped the tree to the roof of his car during a cross country road trip. Or was it one of his sons……

  3. icanspeel - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I knew someone in a similar situation and the neighbor snuck into their yard and cut down the trees, and everyone knew who did it, but the police had no evidence so it went overlooked. Although I have a feeling John Olerud wouldn’t be able to get away with that and the tree sounds much larger.

    • danaking - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      Wearing a batting helmet while he did it would give Olerud away in a heartbeat.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        And he did have a sweet swing with the bat, so if he used an ax he’d further give himself away. Perhaps we can all chip in and buy him a periscope so he can see over the tree.

      • kevinleaptrot - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM

        Didn’t Ricky Henderson used to have a teammate in Toronto who wore a batting helmet while cutting down trees?

      • tfbuckfutter - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        “Man Rickey, I got this tree blocking my view of the lake.”
        “That sucks. I used to have a piece of property like that.”
        “I know….I bought it from you.”

    • tfbuckfutter - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      In the town I grew up in there was an old tree in the middle of a lot of primo retail real estate…..

      And the guy who owned the land couldn’t sell it with the tree there, and the local authorities wouldn’t allow (K-Mart I think it was) to cut it down as a condition of purchasing the land because it was historic….

      So the guy who owned it poisoned the tree and it died. And we got a KMart.

      True story. Why I felt compelled to share it I have no idea.

  4. gmsalpha - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Good thing he didn’t buy a hi-rise condo, where another condo was blocking his view.

    “You guys saw that condo. It’s not an attractive condo. I would say it’s the kind of building only an architect would love…”

  5. heyblueyoustink - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    He better be careful, the nature activists out there have been known to deface Hummers and such to prove their point.

    I’m sure Phoenix Jones could help them resolve the problem.

  6. raysfan1 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Here’s hoping everyone involved tells Olerud to stick it, especially the community board of adjustment.

  7. jashton11 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Slow news day, Craig?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      Yeah, it sucks that I wasted one of my finite number of possible posts — I think I’m allotted four — on this, thereby preventing the other vital news of the day to be considered.

      • jashton11 - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM


        You should really talk to NBC about limiting you so much on the posts, though.

  8. thatyankeedude - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    The guy is probably pretty wealthy I don’t see why he doesn’t move elsewhere since the people with the tree were there first. I do think though it’s not entirely unreasonable to have the tree cut down cause they could always plant a tree elsewhere.

  9. beefytrout - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    John Olerud hates trees because one time he was at the circus, and a tree came up and killed his father.

  10. kevinleaptrot - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Shouldn’t this post have been titled “Why is John Olerud such a whiny douche?”

    • paperlions - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      To clarify for those wondering, he never played for the Cardinals or had TLR as his manager.

  11. theawesomersfranchise - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    179 wRC+ in 1993 > Trees

  12. cur68 - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    I may be mistaken but this here’s a First World Problem, right?

    • natslady - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      Yup. Rich people, argue amongst yourselves.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      It reminds of the issues I twas having this past summer season. Fritz, my monocle polisher, traipsed
      all over my neighbor Bartholomew’s orchid garden while hurrying off to his night job a chimney-sweep. Indeed I say Bartholomew demanded that *I* pay for the damages just because he can no longer gaze upon his prized orchids whilst drinking Merlot in the dusklight! I do say, offended though I was that I should bear the burden of the recklessness of that lowly commoner Fritz, I made financial restitution. After all, if we don’t watch out for each other, who will?

      • cur68 - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        Bourgeois scum! I polish my OWN monocle. But traipsing on a fellow’s orchids? That’s criminal. Have Fritz flogged. That will teach him. They understand nothing else, you know.

  13. sportsdrenched - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Hey Johnny, com’n out to the high plains where I can tell you for certain there are no trees…except along rivers and creeks and at peoples houses…ok never mind.

  14. shawndc04 - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    If he cuts the tree down I hope it falls on his house.

  15. JB (the original) - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Dear John,
    F*ck you, you f*cking, sh*t spewing, entitled prick.
    The Tree

  16. spudatx - Sep 11, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    God help us all if in America we could be forced to cut down a tree on our own property because someone doesn’t like the way it looks. It doesn’t sound like the tree was suddenly put there or poses any danger to the Olerud property. The appeals board should charge Olerud for their time and tell him to move to North Korea if he’s such a busy body.

  17. scovidm - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Based on the story, pure arrogance on the part of a spoiled, rich athlete.

  18. kevinleaptrot - Sep 11, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    To be fair (why start now, right?) Olerud isn’t the first to pull this crap.

  19. historiophiliac - Sep 11, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Man, I wish this headline went with a story about someone breaking bats hitting HR’s on a hot streak.

  20. kalinedrive - Sep 11, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    The trees in Seattle are not the right height. He should move to Michigan.

  21. ravensoriolesnation - Sep 11, 2012 at 8:24 PM


  22. ravensoriolesnation - Sep 11, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    HEY John its the tree and I’m gonna kick your @ss if you don’t shut your pie hole and damit leave me alown,…and I mean it

  23. downhillrider - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    lol.. this is not uncommon here in Seattle. A new neighbor across the street built some modern monstrosity and when he moved in, sent his gardner a block down the street to cut down a guys tree. without even asking.

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