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Monday, March 30, 2009

Baseball and soccer without Paulson

Rather than stomp around all mad about the City of Portland's insane plan to blow many tens of millions of tax dollars on redoing PGE Park yet again, and building a whole new minor league baseball stadium to boot, we've decided to take personal action. In the past, we've attended a few Portland Beavers baseball games, and we've had good things to say about the Timbers (although that brand of soccer has never been our cup of tea). Now that Henry Merritt Paulson is playing big spender with our tax dollars, however, we've decided not to pay any more money to attend Beavers games, and we'll urge others to stay away from both Beavers baseball and Timbers soccer.

As readers pointed out in blog comments last week, there are other opportunities to see these sports played in the Portland area. Maybe it's not the same caliber as the Beavers and Timbers, but if you're like me and my family, you're a casual fan who comes out once in a while for the game without having any idea who's playing. In that event, who cares whether it's pro or college, Triple-A or Single-A, Division I or Division III?

On the baseball side, so far we've got this list:

-- Minor league baseball with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, June 23 to September 6. Maybe we could get a bus ride going.

-- College baseball nearby: Lewis & Clark College, the University of Portland, and Pacific University.

No doubt there are some other local diamonds worth spectating at over the summer -- readers? We're interested in developing a similar list for soccer, and we're sure you'll help us with that one as well.

Comments (24)

How can we boycott if no one is going in the first place? The only times I have been to Beavers games has been when the tickets were free, beer was free, or I really had nothing better to do. Soccer is too statistically challenged to be considered a sport in the USA. Other countries with a completely different cultural time difference can deal with it.

I will still go to Beaver baseball games, nothing better on a warm summer evening than watching a ballgame.

No to soccer as I would rather watch paint dry.

My little brother and I saw a College Baseball tourney at PGE park a couple weekends ago--it was great!

I can vouch for how good the Volcano's are year in year out. Very nice stadium as well.

A boycott could come with some hidden risks. I would worry that an Ivy league-educated son of privilege who is subjected to the humiliation of owning a failed sports franchise just might start drinking again and end up being our next president.


Rose City Rollers: APRIL 4th RCR Freshmeat 21 and over TRYOUTS CLINIC 3pm - 5pm

I have never been to one of their events.

Saturday APRIL 18th 2009

12 bucks

"Parking will be free for this event!"

Or you could spend a day visiting Seattle and see a REAL Major League Game with the Mariners at Safeco Field. Sure it's a long ride, but you can also take the train which stops about a block from the stadium.
Also, the Volcanos are a fun team to see play - and they are multiple year League champions as well.

Definitely no soccer.

Does this sound like a family activity to you? Vulgar banners, vandalism and a post-game fight in the parking lot at a Toronto-Columbus MLS match in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday. http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2009/03/29/crew_3-29.ART_ART_03-29-09_C1_UFDCN1J.html?sid=101

I hope the neighbors near PGE Park consider the possibility of hooliganism when they negotiate those "Good Neighbor" Agreements.

And when the Timbers smash USL attendance records this upcoming season, putting them on par with some MLS clubs' attendance several years before actually being in the MLS, will you consider your boycott to be "Mission Accomplished?"

The Volcanoes' ballpark does absolutely nothing for me (and I've been to a few). It's a charmless aluminum structure where they don't post the lineups and with a view of I-5. It's easily my least favorite ballpark in the league. If you want NW League baseball, it's worth the time and money to get down to Eugene to see the Emeralds play in their classic digs, or catching a game in Tacoma on the way up to see the Mariners.

Of course, I'm holding onto my 12-game package for the Beavers. But then, I'm a wee bit touched in this regard, as I'm also holding onto my piece of a 16-game Mariner package. Two packages in one year for teams nearly 200 miles apart. Yeah, that's me.

BTW, I know that Tacoma isn't in the NW League. Silly error there. But Cheney Stadium is still really awesome, in spite of the unfortunate (and coincidental) connotations of the name.

smash USL attendance records this upcoming season

I don't usually follow such things, but I do note that Major League Soccer is off to another dud year in that department, even with the usual comical definition of "attendance":

Very disappointing attendance figures: Um, 14,686 for Columbus's first home game since winning MLS Cup, and the total included at least 1,500 TFC fans? The second-smallest home-opening turnout (15,895) at RFK? The usual 12K at Giants Stadium and Dick's? Dallas draws 6,500? Seriously?! Thank God for Seattle and the 28,548 who watched another Sounders victory and another Kasey Keller shutout.
You kids have fun. But I wish you'd do it on your own dime.

Hey...I didn't know I was boycotting.

Well, in that case, I'll just continue my boycott.

Say...We should have some damned decent softball teams since all those middle-aged white guys from all over the region have forced the poor Portland kids off the public fields. Poor kids don't need to play anyway...they can't even afford a mitt, much less the snazzy uniforms the middle-aged, middle-income, overweight white guys from all over the region have.

I mean....jeeeez...all this time, there should be some decent players out there. Old farts, but decent...y'know?

That's the dizziest thing about this whole deal to me -- making PGE Park soccer-only. Why would anybody with an IQ higher than their body temperature want to make a central facility like that single-purpose? Why would any elected official imagine that they are going to get props for ending all the years of baseball tradition there? It's insane.

Looks like another banner year for season ticket sales for MLS:

Kansas City made the biggest percentage gain, with sales jumping 232%. Perhaps most surprisingly, the David Beckham-led Los Angeles Galaxy suffered the largest drop in season-ticket holders (-15%).

1. Toronto FC - 16,641 (+34%)
2. Los Angeles Galaxy - 7,915 (-15%)
3. D.C. United - 5,976 (+27%)
4. Real Salt Lake - 4,632 (+5%)
5. Houston Dynamo - 4,116 (+87%)
6. New England Revolution - 4,001 (+14%)
7. San Jose Earthquakes - 3,822
8. Columbus Crew - 3,227 (+1%)
9. New York Red Bulls - 3,170 (+33)
10. FC Dallas - 3,002 (-4%)
11. Colorado Rapids - 2,968 (+59%)
12. Chicago Fire - 2,759 (+8%)
13. Kansas City Wizards - 1,539 (+232%)
14. Chivas USA - 837 (-2%)


I can only imagine the 2009 numbers. This ought to be fun watching the entire league go down in flames, except our tax dollars will fuel it.

"smash USL attendance records this upcoming season"

Speaking of "smashing" things, does anyone have an opinion on whether I should consider getting endorsements on my insurance policies to cover soccer riots?

Yes, let's boycott those terrible soccer games. They attract too many of those swarmy people. Scary. It'll ruin the PGE Park neighborhood and our precious Portland.

Sam Adams will give Paulson enough of my money.

I will still go to Beaver baseball games, nothing better on a warm summer evening than watching a ballgame.

No to soccer as I would rather watch paint dry.

Baseball IS like watching paint dry. It's only value is as an excuse to drink cheap beer on warm Thursday evenings.

In what other "sport" do "athletes" spend so much time just standing or sitting? I think a round of golf is more physically taxing than 9 innings of baseball.

Soccer offers boredom. The probabilities of scoring in soccer on any given kick are remote, which perhaps explains the feigned apoplexy involved with that annoying broadcaster screams "goal." What are the probabilities of a soccer participant scoring on any given possession? They are remote enough where you can safely discount it. Why else do we see so many 0-0 ties?

That's rich - *Baseball* fans calling another sport boring.

We're talking about sports. Sports, while enjoyable, are non-essential and should be paid for by the minority of Portlanders who support them.

Mr. Paulson's sense of entitlement is enormous. He bought the teams in 2007 and moved to Portland the same year. That's two years ago. And now he wants an economically-challenged population in an over-extended city to bankroll the majority of his dream.

Quote in today's Oregonian: ". . . Paulson and the city are left trying to fill a $26.8 million gap [which, only last week, was said to be $15 million]. Paulson, whose family's net worth has run into the nine figures, said bluntly, 'That will not be from me.'"

If Merritt Paulson wants to go through life as an owner of sports teams (he does nothing else), then let daddy pay for it or manage his business aspirations in such a way that they are self-supporting.

Paulson supposedly lives in Lake Oswego, not Portland.

Hi A Hopeful,

Yep, I know ;-) But I think if you're a denizen of Lake O (originally called Sucker Lake), you don't merely live, you "dwell."

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