Lowe Campbell Ewald is moving 600 people to Detroit to be a part of the rebirth of the city and I love the video they announce it with. After you watch the video, I want to know why more cities don’t do stuff like this. Where is the video making the pitch for Saskatoon and being part of the boom and still shaping the city while you can?
By a vote of 47 to 1, the Council voted to extend the Garden’s special operating permit for merely a decade — not in perpetuity, as the owners of the Garden had requested, or 15 years, as the Bloomberg administration had intended.
Ten years should be enough time, officials said, for the Garden to find a new location and for the city to devise plans for an expanded Pennsylvania Station, which currently sits below the Garden, and the redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood.
“This is the first step in finding a new home for Madison Square Garden and building a new Penn Station that is as great as New York and suitable for the 21st century,” said Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker. “This is an opportunity to reimagine and redevelop Penn Station as a world-class transportation destination.”
So let me get this straight, James Dolan spends almost a billion dollars of his own money and then the New York City Council says, “we want this back in 10 years because we seen an opportunity to redevelop Penn Station.” Wouldn’t it have been wise to say that before the permits were issued?
To think that one can invest over $2 billion over a site over 50 years, make it into a global icon and then get told to move by New York City Council is pretty shocking. Of course Dolan has the upper hand, I am not sure if the New York public would like the idea of the Knicks and Rangers moving out of Manhattan but even the New York market. Those are loyal and affluent fan bases that reach far beyond the 20,000 people that watch each game in person. I am not a fan of James Dolan but don’t count him out of this yet.
This is an amazing read in the New Republic at what happens when a recession hits the legal profession. This is a fascinating glimpse inside the inner workings of global law firms.
There was frustration with other aspects of the new compensation system, too. Previously, partners were reluctant to ask colleagues to help on their pitches, because credit was a zero-sum game: If a partner landed the business, she would have to award some of the credit to the colleague, leaving less for herself. Under the new rules, the firm allowed the partner to claim up to 100 percent of the credit herself, then dole out up to 100 percent more among any partners who had helped.
This encouraged collaboration at times, according to several former partners. The downside was that many began to view the additional 100 percent worth of credit as a slush fund, ladling it out to friends with little role in their cases or transactions. “It led to sleazy deals,” recalls one former partner. “It took about thirty seconds for people to figure it out.” Says a former finance lawyer of two senior partners in his group: “I saw the billing going around. One was getting credit on stuff the second opened, and the second was getting credit for stuff the first one opened.” There seemed to be no way around it: The more Mayer Brown set out to fix its problems, the more deviously its partners behaved.
Then there is this.
As demeaning as life can be for a partner these days, it’s altogether soul-crushing for an associate. One of Mayer Brown’s young attorneys recalled scaling back her hours around the time her first child was born. The new schedule meant getting to the office by 6:30 a.m. so she could leave by 6 p.m., in time to put her daughter to bed. The problem arose when she had to work late, a not infrequent occurrence. “Then you’re in the office from 6:30 a.m. till 1 a.m. It sucks even more,” she says. Periodically, some of the women partners would lead seminars on striking a work-life balance, but she found them of limited use. “The primary talk we would get was: ‘Outsource your life. Your husband can stay at home. Or you can hire a cook, a cleaning staff, and you can [spend time with your kids] on vacations.’ Thanks.”
The legal profession has, of course, struggled with these challenges for decades. The problem is that the rewards today are less certain than ever before. There is, for one thing, the ever-lengthening partnership track. In 2004, the firm introduced something called an “income partnership,” a probationary period in which promising lawyers have to prove their worth before earning an equity stake. To the outside world, it looked like the income partner had arrived. Her business card said she was a partner, as did the press release the company issued. But, in reality, making income partner typically means three-to-five more years of hustling, after which the lawyer may come up for the true promotion. (It wasn’t lost on associates that, when a lawyer becomes an equity partner, she receives a budget to order plush new furniture, while income partners keep “the same stuff I had,” as one put it.) Becoming a bona fide partner at Mayer Brown, like many of its competitors, is now a ten-to-twelve-year proposition.
This epically drawn-out process has exacerbated other problems. While it never hurt to have a well-connected mentor within a law firm, today such a rabbi is essential for making partner. Unfortunately, it can be agonizingly difficult to figure out who will have influence years down the line, since partners constantly come and go or lose status within the firm. “You have to pick a horse in the race,” says a former associate. “Your horse may win. It might get taken out back and shot. But if you don’t pick a horse, you have no chance.” In the early to mid-2000s, Mayer Brown’s New York office was dominated by two prominent litigators who didn’t get along and who eyed each other’s associates warily. “Your first year, you figure, ‘I’ll be nice to everybody,’” says the associate. “Three years down the road, being nice to everybody is not doing anything for me.”
As for their own protégés, the partners seem less invested than ever before. One former income partner told me the way he learned he had no future at the firm was through a two-line e-mail from the head of his practice group: “The partners have determined that you will not be an equity partner. If you have any questions, please contact me.” He promptly called the senior partners he had been closest to during his decade at the firm, two of whom had attended his wedding. Neither ever responded.
Even lawyers with a dedicated mentor have trouble making equity partner unless they meet a second criterion: demonstrating a potential for attracting clients. There is an irony that flows from this. Lawyers at an elite firm like Mayer Brown have typically spent their lives amassing intellectual credentials. They are high-school valedictorians and graduates of elite universities, with mantles full of Latin honors. They have made law review at top law schools and clerked for federal judges. When, somewhere between the second and fifth year of their legal careers, they discover that brainpower is only incidental to their professional advancement—that the real key is an aptitude for schmoozing—it can be a rude awakening.
Wales has a complicated time balancing his new life with his old one. That was evident one morning this winter as he bounded into the lobby of the West End building where he rented office space and hurriedly signed himself in at the front desk. Wales, his brown Tumi bag slung over his shoulder, was 45 minutes late, disheveled and a little frantic. He had left the keys to his and Garvey’s Marylebone apartment at his place outside Tampa; the nanny, here in London, was stranded with the couple’s 2-year-old daughter. “I forgot to drop off the key,” he said. Just when Wales thought he might have to run home, his assistant, who is based in Florida, texted that a building manager had let the nanny in. Global child-care crisis averted.
Wales wore a too-tight black turtleneck under a black overcoat with a well-shorn beard, a look that could either read Steve Jobs superhero or Tekserve flasher. Almost any time you see Wales, 46, he looks like a well-groomed version of a person who has been slumped over a computer drinking Yoo-hoo for hours. After he composed himself, he explained that his office was too embarrassingly unkempt for public consumption. (“It’s a room with a couch, it’s a huge mess.”) So he joined me on a cracked sofa in a common lounge area downstairs. With its ratty Oriental carpets and mismatched folding chairs, the space exuded a bohemian chic look that Wales, a savvy purveyor of his own image, seemed to delight in showing off. The building, a condemned former BBC space, had been slated for demolition. Wales would soon be moving. “I’m not the Google guys,” he said.
Mark Cohen, an American who ran the department store operations north of the border between 2001 and 2004, lambasted the CEO and majority owner of the U.S. operation during a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg News.
“Sears is slowly and steadily failing at the hands of a ruthless, methodical asset-stripper,” Cohen said of Eddie Lampert, who has been widely lambasted for his management style, including restructuring moves likened to a losing game of Jenga.
“Lampert will come up with some cash every quarter or two to make sure the balance sheet is still viable,” added Cohen. “It’s a tragedy because Sears is a legacy brand that needed to be and could’ve been repositioned.”
The retail operations in Canada — a public company with 51 per cent of shares owned by Sears Holdings — were in a relatively unflattering spotlight last week as northern CEO Calvin McDonald confirmed that it would sell back its leases for anchor locations in Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto and Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga and close them by next spring.
An option for a similar deal was signed with Toronto’s Scarborough Town Centre.
The arrangement promised a cash infusion for the company and has also boosted its stock. But the prevailing assumption was that Sears was no longer the kind of big-box tenant that these malls were looking for when other retailers are eager to take the space.
Nordstrom, the higher-end U.S. department store which will move into former Sears spaces at the Pacific Centre in Vancouver, Chinook Centre in Calgary and the Rideau Centre in Ottawa, was expected to make a bid to take over at least part of the vacated Yorkdale and Square One locations.
A couple of years ago we were in Sears 10 days before Christmas. We were the only ones on the second floor and all of these staff were chatting with our kids. I was looking for something and there was not another shopper in the store. The sales looked like Boxing Day with big 75% off signs everywhere.
I walked back to Wendy and said, “we need to leave before the creditors lock all of the doors”.
I can’t see the chain lasting much longer.
Drought and other factors have created historically low water marks for the Great Lakes, putting the $34 billion Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipping industry in peril, a situation that could send ominous ripples throughout the economy.
Water levels in the Great Lakes have been below their long-term averages during the past 14 years, and this winter the water in Lakes Michigan and Huron, the hardest-hit lakes, dropped to record lows, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Keith Kompoltowicz, the chief of watershed hydrology with the corps’s Detroit district, said that in January “the monthly mean was the lowest ever recorded, going back to 1918.”
While spring rains have helped so far this year, levels in all five Great Lakes are still low by historical standards, so getting through the shallow points in harbors and channels is a tense affair.
The combination of low water and infrequent dredging is annoying to recreational boaters, but the biggest impact is economic: shippers, carriers and the industries that rely on the bulk materials like limestone, iron ore, coal and salt are hugely dependent on lake travel.
Lakers can move products at prices that beat rail or road by as much as $20 per ton of cargo, using much less fuel. Given those advantages and an improving economy, about 30 ships are being built this year to run cargo on the Great Lakes, according to Craig H. Middlebrook, the deputy administrator of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.
But for now, low water is “hammering our industry,” said Glen G. Nekvasil, the vice president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, a trade group. To cope, shipowners have had to lighten the loads on their boats, making hauling less efficient and profitable.
“When the water level drops as it has, we’re ripping tons out of the boat,” said Mark Barker, the president of the Interlake Steamship Company, which owns the Dorothy Ann.
In the Dorothy Ann pilothouse, 70 feet above the water, the sudden appearance of dashes on the screen was a moment of tight shoulders and held breath. The boat had already been lightened by dropping off thousands of tons of cargo earlier in its journey to float at this depth, and the boat glided the last few hundred feet over the soft bottom.
A large laker, 1,000 feet long, will lose 250 to 270 tons for every inch the water level drops, Mr. Nekvasil said. That can add up to 324,000 tons a season per boat, he said.
The impact does not stop with shippers. “The aggregate impact over time will be to raise the cost of commodities, which in turn will raise the price of manufacturing goods, which in turn raises the price to the consumer,” said Richard D. Stewart, the director of the Transportation and Logistics Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that inadequate harbor maintenance increased the cost of traded products by $7 billion in 2010 and that this cost would increase to $14 billion by 2040 if the work was not stepped up.
The weirdest part is that the money is there dredge the harbours and help fix the problem.
The owners of the big lake boats like the Dorothy Ann and its barge, the Pathfinder, contend that the federal government has fallen down on the job of dredging these harbors, which could help compensate for the low water. “If we had the dredging, we wouldn’t have the dashes,” said Mr. Barker, president of the Interlake Steamship Company.
He said the Great Lakes ports could be properly dredged for $200 million. “Pretty much all we’re asking for is the cost of a highway interchange,” he said.
The federal government has a trust fund for harbor dredging, based on taxes on cargo. The fund is supposed to receive $1.8 billion in the 2013 fiscal year, but the Army Corps of Engineers requested to spend only $850 million of the fund, a situation that led Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, to hold up a piece of paper that read “I.O.U. $6.95 Billion,” the surplus in the fund since it was established in 1986, in a hearing with Jo-Ellen Darcy, the assistant secretary of the Army for civil works. The Water Resources Development Act, which was drafted to address many of these issues, has passed the Senate and is under consideration in the House.
Don T. Riley, a former official with the Army Corps of Engineers who works with a Washington lobbying and consulting firm, Dawson & Associates, acknowledged that the extra money could seem absurd. “You’ve got this major surplus — that just sounds so dumb not to spend at least what you take in because that’s what you’re paying for,” he said. But the corps spends only what Congress appropriates, he said, and tapping the fund is not necessarily easy: even if money has been collected, ordering it to be spent increases the appropriation for the corps, and that can be politically troublesome in times of budget cutting.
The long term effect of this is that if the harbours don’t function at current water levels, it will mean more trucks on the roads moving goods through our cities that are congested already.
“What’s this I hear about you getting another house?” says the voice on the other end of the line. It comes across as more of a challenge than a question.
“It’s a cheap house,” Polamalu insists. “Like, really cheap.”
The Steelers safety can certainly afford it. He has no debt, made $367,000 per week last season and has plenty of money in savings. ”I made millions of dollars — what’s wrong with spending a small percentage of that?” he says.
The two volley back and forth for a couple of minutes about Polamalu’s wanting to invest in a third home, but the idea quickly gets shot down. “It’s not about whether you can afford it, Troy. It’s what that money can instead do for you over the course of your lifetime.”
And that was the end of it.
“As soon as the conversation was over, it was done, settled,” says Polamalu.
Here is how it works.
THE MAN ON the phone was Dusan Miletich, one of the managing principals of Arenda Capital. He’s not Polamalu’s agent or financial adviser but actually his partner.
Arenda is what’s called a multifamily office — there are around 4,000 in the U.S. — and is made up primarily of the pooled funds of four families, Miletich’s being one. Polamalu, who has netted more than $25 million after taxes since being drafted by the Steelers as the 16th pick overall a decade ago, is the office’s most recent partner.
Family office companies such as Arenda manage the net worth of wealthy families like a business. That means everything from cutting checks for car payments and mortgages to handling personal finances. It also means investing any income generated to make more money and managing wealth from generation to generation by resolving estate-planning issues. Because Arenda includes more than one family, investment decisions are made by the group for the group — everyone having something to gain, or lose.
The roots of Arenda go back to the 1960s with Miletich’s father, Vel, who partnered with Parnelli Jones, one of the most prominent race car drivers at the time. The two founded a family office with the goal of living off their real estate investments while accumulating enough to take care of future generations.
When the housing bubble burst in 2008, the company shifted its focus from retail, office and industrial properties to apartment buildings, which could be had cheaply. That year it also added the Meyer family, one of the oldest commercial landowners in Beverly Hills and Pasadena and started real estate investment funds so outsiders could take part in its growth; Arenda now has about $500 million in assets under management.
Polamalu was introduced to the business in 2010 by his brother-in-law, Alex Holmes, whose sister, Theodora, married Troy in 2005. Holmes had recently taken a job as director of business development with Arenda and had some concerns about the Polamalus’ finances and how they were being managed. This was family, after all. “He was being managed like every other athlete, and to me, that wasn’t good enough,” Holmes says.
He suggested Arenda.
Over the past year, Gallup researchers interviewed nearly 150,000 workers–people in all states and industries–and discovered that a stunning number are miserable in their jobs. More specifically, only 30% of the nation’s working population today admits to being fully engaged at work. While Gallup encouragingly notes that there’s been a slight improvement to engagement since the Great Recession, it’s hard to cheer when you realize 52% of Americans admit to being disengaged in their jobs, and another 18% to being actively disengaged.
To fully comprehend these grim stats, imagine a crew team out on the Potomac River where three people are rowing their hearts out, five are taking in the scenery, and two are trying to sink the boat. It’s hard to conceive how businesses can thrive when so few people are working to move it forward.
A decade or so ago, many in business dismissed the notion that there are clear links between employee engagement and an organization’s overall success. Fast-forward to today, however, and you’ll find few people who don’t strongly agree that engagement is the wonder drug for maximizing workplace performance.
Numerous studies have shown that engaged workers display greater initiative, approach work more passionately and creatively–essentially do all they can for their organizations. Gallup’s report specifically states that engagement drives greater productivity, lower turnover, and a better quality of work. For punctuation, it adds: “Organizations in the top decile of engagement outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share, and have 90% better growth trend than their competition.”
Get people in the right job: Harter is insistent that managers only put people into roles that fully leverage their talents and strengths. Too often, employees are assigned work to which they’re neither well-suited nor emotionally connected. “Make sure to get people the right job so they can be efficient, effective, and fulfilled.” This is accomplished through vigilance in the selection process, and by keeping the guidance of author Brian Tracy in mind every time you have a position to fill: “The single greatest mistake a manager can make is a bad hire.”
Set clear expectations: Gallup finds that only half of people surveyed have clarity on what’s expected of them–and this causes enormous frustration. “Unfortunately, a lot of organizations forget about that, or mess it up by not communicating effectively when changes happen–or the local manager is unsuccessful in translating to the front line people what the organization is trying to get done. It comes down to showing people how their work and contributions impact the success of the entire firm. Disengagement starts with having a confusing job.”
Give people what they need to do their job: When employees don’t have the equipment, support, or knowledge to do their jobs effectively, they quickly conclude their organization isn’t paying attention to them. Once people begin to feel their work isn’t important, or that they’re not personally valued, they head down a slippery slope of disengagement. Conversely, Harter notes that giving people greater autonomy and control over their workday has profoundly positive effects. It leads people to feel trusted, and influences them to do much more for the organization.
Be extremely generous with praise and recognition: One of a human being’s greatest needs is to feel appreciated and valued. According to Harter, many people in leadership roles underestimate how essential this is to employees–and how recognition lifts employee spirits. One key reason why so many workers are disengaged is that they feel their contributions and efforts are overlooked–or taken for granted. Harter advises managers to lean in the direction of over-appreciating people, and to devote greater attention to praising good outcomes. “People need recognition frequently,” he stresses. “We know there’s a physiological response when we get recognition. A boost of dopamine makes us feel good in the moment. This lasts a while; but if we do good work, we have a continued need to be lauded for it.”
Fed up with non-profits, Facebook Cofounder Chris Hughes And Google Are Giving Cash Directly To The Poor
Paul Niehaus, an assistant professor of economics at UC San Diego and a board member of GiveDirect, came up with the idea of transferring money to poor people’s cell phones back in 2008. He was working with the Indian government to limit corruption and saw how the government there transferred money to people’s phones. “I realized I could do that myself,” Niehaus told me. He told the gathering in San Francisco that most of the money that’s donated to help poor people goes to international development organizations, not poor people directly. GiveDirectly’s giving has had “big impacts on nutrition, education, land and livestock” and “hasn’t been shown to increase how much people drink,” Niehaus emphasized. “A typical poor person is poor not because he is irresponsible, but because he was born in Africa.”
GiveDirectly finds poor households – typically people who live in mud huts with thatched roofs – and uses a system called M-Pesa, run by Vodafone , to transfer money to their cell phones. Transaction fees eat up a mere 3 cents per donated dollar. Niehaus says plenty of recipients use the money to upgrade their homes by adding a metal roof.
Which is why I like to give money through Kiva.
Slate’s Matthew Yglesias says much the same thing in Slate
Poverty is, fundamentally, a lack of money. So doesn’t it make sense that simply delivering cash to poor people can be an effective strategy for alleviating it?
Transferring money to poor Americans has been a much bigger success than most of us realize. When it comes to the global poor—the hundreds of millions of slum-dwellers and subsistence farmers who still populate the world—one might be more skeptical. Perhaps the problems facing these unfortunates are simply too profound and too complex to be addressed by anything other than complicated development schemes. Well, perhaps.
But there’s striking new evidence that helping the truly poor really is as simple as handing them money. Money with no strings attached not only directly raises the living standards of those who receive it, but it also increases hours worked and labor productivity, seemingly laying the groundwork for growth to come.
The Raptors announced Tuesday that while Colangelo’s contract as team president is being extended, a new general manager will be hired within the next 30 days.
The changes were announced by Tim Leiweke, who is the incoming CEO of team owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Leiweke also said he is moving up his start date from July 1 to June 3.
”We have a lot of work to do in this organization,” Leiweke said. ”We’re not good enough. I believe Bryan can help in a lot of those areas.”
The Raptors were 10th in the Eastern Conference this year, finishing out of the playoffs for a franchise-worst fifth straight season.
”There is accountability here and we need a new set of eyes and a new thinking,” Leiweke said.
Leiweke was hired last month after a successful period in charge of Anschutz Entertainment Group, owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS.
Leiweke said Colangelo fought ”like heck” to keep his role as general manager.
”Bryan’s probably ticked off at me,” Leiweke said, then paused to chuckle. ”There’s no probably. He’s ticked off at me. This isn’t his perfect world, either. But to his credit, he accepts it.”
Colangelo said he was ”a little disappointed,” but denied being angry at Leiweke.
”It’s a unique situation for me to be in,” Colangelo said. ”Not an ideal situation but I’m going to embrace it and make the most of it.”
Leiweke addressed concerns that keeping Colangelo around would complicate things for any new hire by stressing that the new GM will have complete authority on basketball matters and will report directly to Leiweke, not Colangelo.
”If anyone ultimately disrupts that process, then I’ll clean it up,” Leiweke said.
Colangelo said he understood the message from his new boss.
”The bottom line is, if I get in the way, I’m not going to be around,” he said.
Of course Leiweke wants Toronto to become Canada’s team.
Leiweke said he wants Toronto to celebrate its 20th anniversary as an NBA city by hosting the All-Star Game for the first time in 2016, calling the game ”a must-have.”
He also said he wants the team to build a new training facility and hinted at changes to the Raptors’ brand, acknowledging ”specific” conversations with the NBA about potential changes.
”We absolutely have had conversations about the color and the makeup of our brand, our uniforms and our image,” he said. ”To me, we should be all about the Canadian flag and Canada.
”We are Toronto’s team but I think we have to learn how to be Canada’s team.”
If you want to be Canada’s basketball team, win something. That is how the Blue Jays did it and that is what the Raptors are going to have to do. No one feels good about themselves wearing a Raptors shirt because the team is unstable and most often a team of losers. You want us to care, consistently win.
According to reports, Leiweke didn’t want Colangelo to be kept around and it doesn’t sound like Colangelo wants to stay around. In other words despite having new owners and a new CEO, MLSE is still MLSE which is bad news for sports fans in Canada.
The Minnesota Vikings just revealed the drawings for their $925 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The stadium is set to open in 2016, built on the ruins of the Metrodome. Barring any unforeseen holdups, this will be the Vikings’ last season in the Metrodome—they’ll play two years at UM’s TCF Bank Stadium during construction. Expect a Super Bowl to be coming to Minnesota in the near future.
The public in Minnesota is responsible for $500 million of the cost. You read that right, they taxpayers are shelling out a half-billion dollars so a billionaire can charge them a massive sum to go into a stadium and watch the game.
The worst part of it is that in 30 years, the then owners of the Minnesota Vikings will be back looking for another new stadium. Then what? A billion or two dollars from the public purse.
I am big NFL fan but this is crazy. The NFL is the most profitable enterprise in North America. Each franchise is worth around a $1 billion but the public keeps buying them stadiums that charge ticket prices that they can’t afford. When does it stop?
That and I think I have seen this stadium design before.
Oh right, here it is.
Jeffrey Loria continues to solidify his position as the worst owner in professional sports. As Jeff Passan writes
Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria personally mandated the lineup card change that flip-flopped starting pitchers Jose Fernandez and Ricky Nolasco in a doubleheader Tuesday and left Marlins players furious with his continued meddling, three sources with knowledge of the situation told Yahoo! Sports.
Loria insisted Fernandez, the team’s prized 20-year-old rookie, pitch in the first half of the doubleheader at frigid Target Field instead of the scheduled Nolasco because the day game was expected to be warmer. The temperature at Fernandez’s first pitch (38 degrees) was actually colder than at the beginning of Nolasco’s start (42 degrees).
Rookie manager Mike Redmond delivered the news to Nolasco about 2½ hours before the first game against the Minnesota Twins, and it did not go over well with him or his teammates. Standard protocol for doubleheaders is that veterans choose which game they want to pitch. Not only did Loria ignore that and further alienate Nolasco, the Marlins’ highest-paid player who has previously requested a trade, he sabotaged Redmond less than 20 games into his managerial career.
By overstepping boundaries no other owner in baseball would dare, Loria presented Redmond with a Catch-22: listen to the man who signs his paycheck and risk drawing the players’ ire, or refuse to kowtow to Loria’s requests and find himself at the mercy of the owner’s short fuse.
So there was no short term payoff and a long term cost but Loria did it anyway.
Following an offseason in which they shed more than $100 million in payroll during an epic fire sale, the Marlins are 5-17, the worst record in baseball. Their beautiful new stadium sits practically empty on a nightly basis, even as the team gives away tickets. Neither free seats nor a public-relations barrage meant to spin Loria and Marlins president David Samson in a positive light seems to be working.
The arrival of Fernandez tried to maximize goodwill. For a low-revenue team such as the Marlins, prioritizing service-time consideration instead is of the utmost importance. Loria ignored that, preferring the splash the young Fernandez could make upon a sterling debut.
And indeed he has started well – too well, arguably, to send him to the minor leagues, which means Fernandez will be a free agent after six seasons. Had the Marlins stashed him in the minor leagues for the season’s first 11 days – a time during which Fernandez made only one start – he would not have been eligible for free agency until 2019.
No players enjoy hitting the open market more than the Marlins’, some of whom refer to free agency as parole. The only true way to build a winner, absent another misguided spending spree, is by changing that perception – by making Miami the sort of franchise for which players want to play.
The latest incident from Loria is simply another reminder: That will never happen as long as he runs the team. After more than a decade as an owner, Loria remains naïve to the real goings-on of a clubhouse – of how an incident such as this doesn’t just affect Nolasco but filters down to his teammates and even the purported beneficiary, Fernandez.
Whether they succeed or fail, they are changing the way cars are made
Whether Tesla ultimately succeeds or fails, it offers some important lessons. As Mr Passin points out, if a small company like his can produce a new car so quickly and frugally, surely carmaking giants can become leaner too. Another lesson is that when surplus factories are closed, they can sometimes reopen. (Surplus workers too are sometimes recycled: Qoros, China’s new carmaker, hired a lot of skilled people from European manufacturers during the downturn.)