Robbing Peter to Pay Peter the Great


To demonstrate how commonplace baseball welfare is, just yesterday my own Anaheim Angels made the paper twice by jacking over taxpayers in two cities: Tempe, where they extracted $20 million in city and state tax money to finance a new spring training facility; and their own hometown, which shelled out $30 million for stadium renovation back in 1996 on the condition that "Anaheim" remain the team's name, only to see the new ownership strip the city from its uniforms, and announce intentions to change its affiliation back to the neighboring county of Los Angeles.

As economist Raymond Keating once put it, "Another major downside to government-built and -owned ballparks is that clubs are transformed from owners to renters. It is always easier for a renter to move to get a better deal." Especially if the landlord has self-esteem issues.