News and Views: Problems with Blank’s wallet, Selig’s brain

Sorry, just feeling nostalgic.

When I hear, "News!" I feel nostalgic.

Welcome back for another edition of News and Views. This week, we ask the question: What do the World Series chances of potential National League pennant winners Philadelphia, Los Angeles and St. Louis have to do with San Diego pitcher Heath Bell? Ask Bud Selig.

But first: What’s up in Flowery Branch?

♦ News: Arthur Blank sells shares in the Falcons to four minority owners.

♦ Why should you care: Because it reaffirms that even your favorite self-made billionaire owner is having some issues.

♦ Views: There’s no reason to disbelieve Blank when he says he remains committed to the Falcons and has no interest in selling the team or even a controlling interest in the franchise. But the economic problems in pro sports are real, even if they exist on a different level in the NFL. Owners’ fortunes have been dented by the stock market and revenue streams have dried up because of decline in the retail industry, gas prices and Joe and Fred losing jobs. Blank also has dug into his own pocket for years, improving the area around the Georgia Dome and upgrading the Dome

This is a smart man.

This is a smart man.

itself. I’m not asking you to hold a canned food drive for the man, but he needs money. He needs liquid. Somebody else’s liquid. There have been layoffs and budget cutbacks within the Falcons’ organization just like everywhere else. The Arena League (where he owned/owns the Georgia Force) is all but officially belly up. He withdrew his bid for a Major League Soccer franchise. What Blank feels he really needs — and  certainly wants — is a new stadium with built-in revenue that he can’t get at the Dome (which he doesn’t own).  As our Darryl Ledbetter reported, Forbes magazine valued the Falcons’ franchise at $872 million, which ranks 29th out of 32 teams. If Home Depot ranked 29th out of 32 hardware stores, Blank wouldn’t be here.

♦ News: American League 4, National League 3.

This is not a smart man

This is not a smart man

♦ Why should you care: You shouldn’t. The problem is …

♦ Views: Because of arguably the dumbest rule in professional sports — no, not arguably; it IS the dumbest rule in professional sports — the result of an exhibition game again determines home-field advantage in the World Series. Here’s something for the Dodgers to think about if they go on to finish with the best record in baseball. Should L.A. face Boston in the World Series, the Red Sox would have home-field advantage because a Baltimore outfielder (Adam Jones) hit a sacrifice fly to score a Detroit outfielder (Curtis Granderson) off of a San Diego reliever (Heath Bell). Once again, with feeling: All-Star Games are not meant to be taken seriously. They are exhibitions. They are not staged or framed or managed or played like real games because if they were you wouldn’t have the starting pitcher go two innings and the two teams using 36 different batters for a nine-inning game. To try to artificially create some drama by saying the winning league will have home-field in the Series doesn’t add anything — other than mocking. And so, I mock.

89 comments Add your comment

Terrence Moore

July 15th, 2009
11:05 am

The white man is behind the All Star Game issue.


July 15th, 2009
11:09 am


Sherry Taylor

July 15th, 2009
11:22 am

Arthur Blank seems like a man who knows when to cut his loses, which he did with some players, but he isn’t the first owner to sell minority shares. More power to him. He’s the type of owner the Thrashers need, one who cares and will put his money where his mouth is.


July 15th, 2009
11:24 am

“He news liquid” WHAT??!?

Terrible Truth

July 15th, 2009
11:26 am

The closest Michael Vick will ever get to the Lombardi Trophy is sweeping the floor beside the trophy case that contains one. It’s a shame he never met Sahel Kazemi.


July 15th, 2009
11:27 am

The *real* Terrence Moore wouldn’t blame da ‘man. Somehow it would be either the fault of the ATL fans, the downtrodden history of the ATL franchises or owners, with partial blame to MV#7.

Ted Striker

July 15th, 2009
11:27 am

I spy graffiti at 11:09.

Jeff Schultz

July 15th, 2009
11:29 am

Thank you for checking in Terence.

OMG. Please please PLEASE tell me this isn’t going to turn into a MV venting, because I will shut this thing down so fast your head will spin. DON’T MAKE ME pull this blog over, young man.

SHERRY –Agreed. If Arthur ever sets his eyes on another franchise, though, it’ll be the Braves, not the Thrashers. Maybe he’s got a friend?

some sense

July 15th, 2009
11:51 am


Is it really worth all your fine effort to give that idiot a forum???

Jeremy H

July 15th, 2009
11:55 am

FALCONS SORRY: you’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t even know where to start here… Vick was convicted of a horrendous crime, for which Blank wanted NO part of – and rightly so. Where does this make him evil, or worthy of being called “the devil”?

Sorry man, but you’ve lost your mind. With that said, Schultz didn’t say Blank was going broke, he simply inferred that – along with all others in this economy – Blank was in need of some extra liquid to keep things running smoothly.


July 15th, 2009
11:58 am

I sure wish I could find someone to betray me to the tune of $140,000,000.00, or even the meager $37,000,000.00 guaranteed portion.


July 15th, 2009
12:02 pm

Maybe as Mr Marcus’ fish die off at the Ga Aquarium, he could sell their carcasses to science/Chicken of the Sea and raise money to buy the Thrashers, who are also dying off.


July 15th, 2009
12:04 pm

Ah, how nice….the man who speaks of Vick winning the Supper Bowl.

And the ‘Lombard’ Trophy? The Lombards didnt have a trophy; they DID have a crown, but I doubt you have even Bud Selig’s brain cells to figure that out -_-.

Back ON topic:

A. Mr. Blank is, for the most part, a shrewd man. To add other sources of cash is a good thing, especially in these hard times.

B. Selig needs to go….I don’t care where, just GO! And the sooner, the better.

panhandle buzz

July 15th, 2009
12:06 pm

Jeff, hello, hello, remember Bud is a used car salesman at heart. He is used to putting lipstick on a pig and selling it as a real beaut.


July 15th, 2009
12:10 pm

it’s too bad the economy stinks b/c i am hoping that mr blank will become the modern day version of ted turner – except he will own the falcons, too. All of our sports franchises could benifit from his leadership – and at the end of the day, my bet is that they would put a better product on the field.

as for bud selig….he lost my respect when they went to the divisional/wildcard format. why baseball couldn’t keep the two divisions and simply have the first half winners play the second half winners, I don’t know. that would have made the season exciting, created two pennant races, etc, etc.

all our sports now (save the NFL…but that’s gonna change) let far too many teams in the playoffs. It’s like we need to just cancel the season and have the season be a playoff. Why don’t the NHL and NBA just adopt a round robin world cup format and be done with it?

Ken Stallings

July 15th, 2009
12:28 pm

Bud Selig’s legacy holds this decision like a death grip, and it’s going to tarnish him for generations. Selig panicked because of the tie game, and vice a rational solution, fixed upon this radical concept.

You left one other point out of your article to strengthen your claim. The LaRussa ordered the intentional walk of Victor Martinez. It was his only at bat in the game and one must conclude outrage on the part of Indians fans who wanted to see their player perform in the EXHIBITION game!

On a personal note, Brian McCann is the best offensive catcher in the NL and he got precisely one AB, due in part to the need to keep the bench intact late in the game. That’s another result of Selig’s panic. The other part was the unfairness of the fan vote. At least Selig broadened the selection process.

C. Tampa Ironworse

July 15th, 2009
12:33 pm

I really don’t get the Bud bashing. The wildcard has been great for Baseball and as far as the All Star game/home field…alternating every other year was just as dumb. The wildcard allows San Fran to have a chance to win (the might just be the second best team in the NL) even though they’re in the same division as LA. As far as Roids goes nd Bud being to blame…can we PLEASE move on. Manny gets suspended and all heck breaks loose. I think we can safely say 10 NFL players will violate the Substance Policy in the next 60 days and jack will be said about it.

PS: Yea…no Mike Vick talk or Obama talk. Please…

C. Tampa Ironworse

July 15th, 2009
12:35 pm

MY bowtie is MUCH better than D. Orlando Ledbetter’s…

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 15th, 2009
12:47 pm

The World Series should be determined by inter-league play and not based on some stupid manager that shows favortism to his team or ballot box stuffing, misinformed fan voting. How the heck does McCann get shafted every year on playing time. Next year he might get in the game by the 6th inning.


July 15th, 2009
12:51 pm

terrance back from his self imposed exile.i knew it wouldn’t last


July 15th, 2009
1:01 pm

The headline makes the assumption that Selig actually has a brain. I’ve seen no evidence to believe that assumption. Yes, home field advantage based on an all-star game is the supidest rule in all of sports.

Najeh Davenpoop

July 15th, 2009
1:25 pm

“C. Tampa Ironworse” is one of the best commenting names I’ve seen on any AJC blog. Props.

Herschel Talker

July 15th, 2009
1:27 pm

Schultzie – we love you. Nice interview on 790 yesterday. Too bad Terence Moore can’t spell his own name correctly.

FALCONS SORRY is a racist. And he likes men.

Don't Feel Sorry for Arthur

July 15th, 2009
1:59 pm

My take on Mr. Blank’s sale was simply a move to diversify his portfolio. If the team is really worth almost $900 million, I would not mind pulling 5% off the table to have a little folding money in my pocket. I think he sold at the top of the market as these teams can’t keep going up in value, particularly in this economy as more and more fans are happy to enjoy games in the comfort of their own homes on HD flat screen TV’s. He still owns over 90% of the team. Don’t feel bad for Mr. Blank, admire his financial acumen and the direction the Falcons are heading.

Jeff, I enjoy your work and I hope you are busy preparing material for the upcoming Weekend Predictions.

Sun Tzu 7

July 15th, 2009
2:09 pm


I loved the captions. “This is a smart man.” “This is not a smart man.”

Great stuff.

Hopefully God will do us all a favor and not allow ‘FALCONS SORRY’ to reproduce.


July 15th, 2009
2:15 pm

FALCONS SORRY: you are obvisouly stuck on the fact that mike vick was a victom and he is being persicuted more stern because of his color. the fact is MIKE VICK IS A MORON, and that is why ANOTHER MORON defends him still to this day. Oh yeah where is that 7 Million vick owes Blank. Arthur Blank has turned around a dieing franchise, even in the middle of a fedral case against his franchise player.We should thank Arthur and shun Mike Vick. All these issues that have surrounded the franchise are slowing gowing away and I cant wait for #2 Matty Ice to throw that falcons jersey on and Spit in the faces of all the VICK Fans.


July 15th, 2009
2:18 pm

I would pay Blank money to have Selig covered in honey-soaked dollar bills and fed to MV7’s dogs. Then everyone will be happy.

jeffrey d

July 15th, 2009
2:24 pm

Jeff – those pictures and captions are so simple, yet hilarious.

I’m not as opposed to making the All Star Game count as I am to fan voting and the “every team must have a player” rule. I mean for goodness sake….Mark Redman was an All Star!!


July 15th, 2009
2:30 pm

Pretty sure my seats were right behind “FALCONS SORRY” all last season. The best part was when Matty Touchdown led the Birds to the comeback over the Bears. When Elam’s kick went through the uprights – you would have needed a bulldozer to pick his jaw off the floor.

I’m sure it was a long walk home for him. If only he would have won that Lombard trophy THE DEVIL

C. Tampa Ironworse

July 15th, 2009
2:58 pm

Thanks Poop…

David C

July 15th, 2009
3:06 pm

Blank has doubled his investment in the Falcons. Hard to feel sorry for him. Former GM plant at 85/285 would be a great spot for his stadium. Jerry Jones will be pulling in dollars for 30 years for non-Cowboy events at his stadium. Plus Falcons Sorry can take marta to doraville.


July 15th, 2009
3:19 pm

Falcons story… wow comparing vick to jesus. im pretty sure thats blaphemy.

So what did you expect to see...

July 15th, 2009
3:31 pm

…when looking inside a “Blank” wallet?

A Realist

July 15th, 2009
3:43 pm

Some people are just simply stuck on stupid. NEWSFLASH: Vick is gone….as in gone forever. SO….can we please blog about the CURRENT Falcons team, stay on topic or not blog at all.

Back on topic…I am elated that Blank purchased the team from the Smith family. At least the team is now headed in the right direction and it’s fun to attend the games and witness a competitive team on the field, win or lose. Now that Blank has other investors involved, maybe the minority owners’ resources can help Blank start building that new stadium soon.



July 15th, 2009
3:53 pm

Great point about the All-Star Game, Jeff, and you couldn’t have framed it better.

Paul H

July 15th, 2009
4:04 pm

TOTALLY AGREE that the dumbest rule in the history of sports is that the winner of the All-Star game determines home field. Why not make it more arbitrary? I say we use the winner of the Kentucky Derby. If the first letter in the horses name is closer to “N,” then the NL gets it. If the horses name is closer to the letter “A,” then the AL gets. THIS TIME IT COUNTS!

Falcons Ticket Operator

July 15th, 2009
4:31 pm

Operators are still standing by… fans with blog support are nice but only cash or credit cards are acceptable in terms of ticket purchases. Please stop the boycott of the Falcons, 2 tickets/2 jerseys $199!!!!

Hillbilly Deluxe

July 15th, 2009
4:37 pm

If Arthur Blank wants a new stadium, it’s fine with me as long as it’s paid for with private money.

Bud Selig has done something I would’ve believed impossible; he’s made Bowie Kuhn look half-way competent.

As for wild cards in any sport, if you can’t even win your division why should you have a shot at a championship? I thought 4 playoff teams in baseball was enough. That way you had quality teams. The way they are going it’s going to wind up like when the NHL had 21 teams and sent 16 of them to the playoffs.


July 15th, 2009
4:47 pm

The wildcard has been a terrible thing. The last great pennat race was Braves-Giants in 93. Maybe the way to fix it is the team that wins the AllStar game gets to reassemble as a Superwildcard and gets an automatic bye to the World Series with the rest of the bracket being decided by double elimination played on the home field of the team with the best uniforms as determined by Oprah.

Interleague play has eliminated the balanced schedule that baseball had over the other sports. There is now an uneven playing field based on your interleague opps. Very shortsighted. Fox gets a 3.5 vs. 2.5 rating for a Saturday Mets-Yankees game in June yet the World Series ratings sink because of three minute commercial breaks and the loss of mystique of two teams playing each other for the only time during a year.

IVORY MATTIE ICE RULES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 15th, 2009
4:52 pm

Falcons sorry you are a racist idiot.Follow Vick and his THUGS to jail,Vick will not play in the NFL this year.Matt Ryan is smart enough to be a ALL PRO QB unlike dunb ass Vick,


July 15th, 2009
4:59 pm

You can’t argue with the job Blank has done. He’s rebuilt this Atlanta franchise, not once but twice. He did it with Michael Vick and then he did it again with Matt Ryan once Vick was “no longer available.” Talk about rolling with the punches. Blank obviously knows what he’s doing

Now as far as Selig is concerned….the all star game thing was a terrible idea. It was a VAST overreaction to the tie game. But I like the move to the wild card. You can’t argue with that when you look at how many wild card teams have gone on to win it all. I think the NBA should go to the same sort of system. Seriously, they play what, 82 games to eliminate only half the teams? Then the playoffs go on for another two to three months. Completely unnecessary.


July 15th, 2009
5:24 pm

I said a long time ago letting home field advantage be determined by who wins the all star game is ridiculous because:
95% of the players for both sides in the all star game WILL NOT BE IN THE WORLD SERIES and 75% of that 95 % already know by the all star break their team wwill not even be in the playoffs, so they don’t care who has home field.

Jimmy P.

July 15th, 2009
5:24 pm

Falcons Sorry, Sorry you feel so bad. If you put down the pot and listen to yourself, you would hear how stupid you sound. You sound like a 1960’s white guy, only now it is reversed. Grow up.


July 15th, 2009
5:26 pm

Terrence Moore …. get a job … stop blaming everything on white people. Youre worthless.


July 15th, 2009
5:31 pm

Blank SUCKS!!! Get a real coach, and your problems might be solves, you idiot


July 15th, 2009
5:35 pm

IVORY MATTIE ICE RULES please explain to me what makes Vick a thug? What does that make hunters who hunt to just mount Game on their walls? Or the cockfighting that goes on in Louisiana, or the UFC!!! For goodness sake!!! Brock Lesnar is on tv knocking guys out on this HUMAN COCKFIGHTING SHOW, and no ones in jail? Or Sarah Palin moose hunting? Why dont you use the term that you want to use instead of thug? And we will see how good, MATTIE is without Michael Turner and Roddy (Butterfingers) White. Until then, continue to divorce your first cousin……..


July 15th, 2009
5:36 pm

Jeff Schultz, you suck to…

Chris M

July 15th, 2009
5:38 pm

He has gotten plenty of my money since he bought the team. I have six season tickets and they have gone up every year. But he loves the fans though!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

Jimmy P.

July 15th, 2009
5:40 pm

Blank FINALLY got a real coach! This is the best chance the Falcons have ever had to get its first back to back winning seasons, and this is the best chance we will have to get back to the Superbowl and maybe even win it!. We maynot get there this year (very yound Defense) but within a year or two, I will not be surprised to see a V.L. trophy in Atlanta.

Chris M

July 15th, 2009
5:42 pm

And Schultz you have some nerve to say you will “shut this thing down”. We don’t have to blog with you …. so lighten up and remember who pays your salary. And yes I do subscribe to the AJC (for now!) And I just pulled the plug on you….. bye!!!