Jason and I push the envelope back over the two-hour mark thanks to a long preview of the upcoming draft signing deadline when we discuss potential problem signings, how much Bryce Harper will get, and some potential legal wranglings. Also, Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram joins us to discuss last week's Rangers auction, and a 17-minute argument over the virtues (or lack thereof) of Wal-Mart.

Note: We do alert you to the presence of the occasional adult language. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Up And In Episode 12: "Because It's Sticky"

Download Here (114 MB; 124:31)
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Contact Information

Skype Voicemail: kingclipon

Table Of Contents

0:00 Intro, agenda review, housekeeping and an impromptu Bill Cosby impression

4:27 Email: Not hating stats, chili, Canada, Michael Ynoa, Pirates from India, Dominican catchers

20:03 Firing managers and coaches: does it matter?

24:38 Great races in five of six divisions – the standings exercise and the Reds/Cards fight

32:20 Signing deadline preview: Who will sign, who won't, and the strange case of Barrett Loux

50:17 Special Guest Anthony Andro of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram on the Rangers auction

  • Becoming a Twitter superstar over the course of one day
  • How did we get to this point?
  • MLB's involvement in vetting new owners
  • Enter Mark Cuban
  • How a Cuban victory would have led to more legal fun
  • Was Cuban's interest real, or just a money grab
  • For a baseball beat writer, was this a fun story to cover?
  • The Economist and the Ryan/Greenberg winner's curse
  • Mark Cuban's bad suit

80:09: Not Jim Leyland on how to avoid getting fired

82:06: What are you drinking/taking for medicinal purposes and dreams about Al Pacino

91:09: Pop Culture Moment: The Bear Coat

100:09: Wal-Mart: Part of the problem, or part of the solution

117:12: Jason – How's your mental state?

118:17: What's coming up this week and the size of ESPN

Music is by The Bear Coat, Copyright 2009 Swimming with Dennis Music.

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Wal-mart is a manipulative company that preys upon the ignorance of the less fortunate, all the while crushing small businesses and affecting local economies by accepting public subsidies. It's rather basic, actually. Wal-Mart is a breeding ground for complacency, masked as utility and affordability. Wal-MArt is nothing more than a dollar store run by a family of tyrants. Death to Wal-mart!
Does that make Sam's Club a breeding ground for obesity?
Well, clearly you took Jason's side here.
The Rangers stuff is interesting, if reminiscent of the NHL story revolving around the Phoenix Coyotes last summer (and still ongoing). They were bankrupt, and had one bidder who was offering way, way more than anyone else. The league didn't like the cut of that bidder's jib, and the courts upheld the league's view. In short, the league still runs the team today.
(Apologies for the length)

OK, as you already know, I love you guys, and love the podcast, so please take what I'm about to say in the way it's intended -- with great love and affection:

That had to be the most low-information discussion about Walmart that I've ever heard. Granted, I tend to avoid watching CNN, but even they'd be hard-pressed to come up with a quarter hour of discussion that was as fact-free as what you guys ended up with.

For my money, this article in the Chicago Reader summed up the issues nicely: A retail business that took advantage of logistical efficiencies and global markets was bound to happen, but Walmart goes out of its way to screw over it's employees to a scale that hadn't been tried before the '80s.

However, the complaints about manufacturing leaving the US are unfounded. As bonddad over at your former math overlord's site writes:

The "jobless recovery" is in fact a realignment of the US labor force. Fewer and fewer employees are needed to produce durable goods. As this situation has progressed, the durable goods workforce has decreased as well. This does not mean the US manufacturing base is in decline. If this were the case, we would see a drop in both manufacturing output and productivity. Instead both of those metrics have increased smartly over the last two decades, indicating that instead of being in decline, US manufacturing is simply doing more with less.

So I won't step into a Walmart if I can avoid it, either, but it's because they poorly treat the employees in retail that they actually have, not the unemployed in manufacturing that they don't.

Finally, since you've been offering a primer on middlebrow periodcals (The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Economist), I'd like to recommend to you both The New York Review Of Books. Instead of basking in perverse contrarianism (The Atlantic), or presenting reasoned discussions of current crises that always end up with "and that's why we should listen to the Republicans/Tories/George W. Bush" (The Economist), NYRB presents its point of view free of rhetorical flourishes and full of interesting, compelling information.