Normally the political preferences and views of baseball ownership and top brass are only interesting insofar as they impact the teams they run. Yankees president Randy Levine, however, wrote a political column over at the conservative NewsMax website yesterday, however, that was fairly notable in and of itself.
Why? Because it comes out strongly against the tax plan currently being pushed by Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. That’s notable because, as we’ve noted in the past, Levine himself is, in addition to being your standard-issue wealthy executive who probably loves big tax cuts, has been one of baseball’s strongest and most vocal Donald Trump supporters.
Levine writes this, in an open letter to Trump:
When you ran and won, you ran on draining the swamp, not giving new life to it.
You ran on tax cuts, not on the swamp’s idea of tax reform where special interests win.
This is a plan that helps Wall Street, hedge funds, private equity managers, real estate and oil and gas partnerships and individuals who disguise income as profits or distributions . . . You were elected by people who work hard, pay their mortgages, interest and property tax, not the special interests who benefit most under this plan. A tax cut should help all.
This, Mr. President, is a swamp deal.
I feel like, for as bad a piece of policy the tax plan is, it’ll pass for all of the reasons a lot of bad bills pass. But dude, when you’ve lost Randy Levine because you’re too pro-business and pro-wealthy, you’ve really done something notable.
Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.
This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well, a little south for all involved.
Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.