Alex Espinoza of the Yuma Sun wrote a story about former slugger Cecil Fielder entitled “Fielder hoping to mend relationship with son.”
Within the article there are no real details about why Cecil Fielder and Prince Fielder are estranged, but the story does include a bunch of quotes from Cecil–including “can’t anybody say I didn’t give my son everything in the world”–that seem to paint Prince as the bad guy.
In reality Cecil Fielder gambled away millions of dollars while married to Prince Fielder’s mother, went through a very difficult divorce, and allegedly took $200,000 of an 18-year-old Prince’s signing bonus from the Brewers.
There are plenty of good reasons for Prince not wanting to have anything to do with his father, yet every year Cecil manages to get articles written about their relationship that portray him as the victim looking to repair a relationship. Seriously, here’s one from 2006 and one from 2007 and another from 2009. And there are more where those came from.
I’m sure Cecil isn’t all bad just as Prince isn’t all good, but if all someone knew about the situation came from today’s article in the Yuma Sun they’d think Prince was just being a jerk to his father and … well, that simply isn’t true. Cecil Fielder goes out of his way to talk about his son while Prince Fielder goes out of his way not to talk about his father, and the media coverage of the situation reflects that. What happened is still what happened, though, and Cecil doing all the press in the world isn’t going to change that.
Last Tuesday night, the Braves hosted the San Francisco Giants at SunTrust Park. They lost 6-3. An Alabama man named Marcus Stephens almost came away a winner, however. At least if stealing a $4,500 golf cart that belongs to the Braves makes you a winner, which in some circles I suppose it would.
Stephens lost, however, when he crashed the cart into a metal pole, attempted to flee on foot and was apprehended by Cobb County Sheriff’s deputies. This all went down at 1:40AM Wednesday morning. The report doesn’t mention anything about alcohol being involved but I’ve read enough stories like this to make educated guesses about such things.
That being said, Stephens seems relatively composed in his mugshot:
I mean, yeah, the eyes look a bit red and puffy and the overall vibe he gives off is “I came to the game as part of the Sigma Nu reunion (Auburn University class of ’06, GO TIGERS!),” but I expected much worse after reading the headline.
Anyway, dude is out on bail. Somewhere, someone is really super proud of him, I’m sure.
The New York Times has a blistering report on the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund. The Fund is the charity the Yankees created in 2006 as a means of making up for the negative impact the construction New Yankee Stadium had on the surrounding community, primarily via its taking over 25 acres of parkland.
The idea of the Fund was a good one: to distribute $40 million in cash grants and sports equipment, and 600,000 free baseball tickets to community organizations in the Bronx over four decades. And it has been distributing funds and tickets. As the Times reports, however, the manner in which it has done so raises some red flags. Such as:
- Charitable donations have, in an amazing coincidence, often gone to other charities which share common board members with the New Yankee Stadium Fund;
- Funds have gone to many wealthy groups in affluent parts of the Bronx far away from the Stadium while the area around the stadium remains one of the most impoverished in the nation. For example, a private school in a wealthy part of the borough and a rec center in a gated community have gotten a lot money that, one would think anyway, could be and should be devoted to organizations closer to the ballpark that are in greater need; and
- There has been almost no transparency or oversight of the Fund. Reports which were supposed to have been submitted have not been. And no one, apart from the Times anyway, seems to care. The Yankees certainly don’t seem to. Indeed, as the article notes, the team has worked hard to keep the Fund’s operations out of its hands. They just got their new ballpark and write the checks and hand out the tickets. Everything else is someone else’s problem.
Cronyism in private philanthropy is not uncommon. As is a lack of oversight. Often it’s the best connected people who receive the benefit of such funds, not the people most in need. This is especially true in charities whose creation was not born of a philanthropic impulse as much as it was born of a need to put a good face on some not-so-good business dealings.
If the Times’ report is correct — and the lack of anyone coming forward to dispute it on the record despite the Times’ requests that they do suggests it is — it appears as if the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund is one of those sorts of charities.