April 14, 2006

Well, this isn’t the nastiest thing I’ve heard all week… Wait, yes it is.

I’ve often wondered how fans would react to an owner who’s really, really evil. Not a Steinbrenneresque blowhard or a Carl Pohlad-style greedy bastard, or even your everyday franchise-moving cretin like Bud Adams. I mean someone who does really bad things. When one complains to a non-sports fan about an Art Modell or Peter Angelos, you end up getting some weird looks. In the grand scheme of things, demanding a new stadium isn’t really that big a deal.

Now, chasing down Jews in government and barbequing puppy dogs, that might get a reaction. And soon, you and baseball fans across America might find out. The saga of the Washington Nationals and their possible ownership group has stumbled on for months, and be settled any day now. One of the finalists is a fella named Fred Malek. Recently, his activities as one of Richard Nixon’s henchmen has been chronicled in Slate. It was his job to find the Jews in the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It also has come to light that as a young man, he was arrested for killing, gutting and barbequing a dog on a spit.

Quality guy, isn’t he?

Thanks to Deadspin for pointing this out. I think.

Posted by Frinklin at April 14, 2006 10:35 PM | TrackBack

On the other hand, Malek's group has done far more than anyone except possibly Mayor Williams to bring baseball back to DC. There's a good chance that the Nationals wouldn't exist without the work of Malek and Co. (Meanwhile, the Lerner family didn't lift a finger to bring about DC baseball, and Smulyan was still in Indianapolis licking his wounds after the Mariners fiasco.)

As to the stories you related, the Jew-counting does bother me, but if you work for the President and he orders you to do something you find morally wrong, you have two reasonable options: do what he says, or resign. Sure, it's easy to say Malek should have resigned, particularly given the disaster that the Nixon presidency turned out to be, but I wonder how many of us, put in his position, really would have done that. We'd all like to think we would, but would we?

And about the dog story, at the risk of earning the eternal wrath of Frinklin and getting myself kicked off this blog: it really doesn't bother me that much. I certainly don't condone barbecuing dogs, but there are cultures that do. More to the point, Malek was 22 and apparently drunk. Anyone want to stand up and claim they never did anything stupid at age 22, particularly when drunk? I can understand where those people who tend to think of their pets as children would be horrified, but I'm not one of those people, and it strikes me as a young-dumb-and-drunk stunt that, while embarrassing in retrospect, isn't particularly morally repugnant.

Are the stories about Malek disconcerting? Sure. Do they cancel out all the positives of his efforts to bring the team here in the first place? No, but perhaps enough to justify selling the team to someone else. Is Malek "evil"? Come on, that's hyperbole.

Posted by: Mediocre Fred at April 19, 2006 08:20 AM


Are you trying to make me dislike you?

I'll give you the fact that some cultures do eat dogs, and I could go into all sorts of reasons why I beleive it to be barbaric. Just as I believe the US meat industry is when dealing with any edible animal. However, in our culture, in our country, slaughtering and cooking a dog is animal cruelty. It ranks up there with tossing animals off overpasses and is, in fact, completely morally repugnant! Serial killers and murderers often maim, kill, and cause suffering to animals before they move onto humans.

The treatment of creatures with less power and understanding is a defining matter of character. Displaying cruelty toward an animal, which may very well have been someone's beloved pet, is disgusting. Animals are not people, but they deserve to be treated with kindness and compassion.

While this may have been a "stunt" it doesn't excuse the behavior. Alcohol, stupidity, and youth are not excuses for vicious crimes, including animal cruelty.

Posted by: ensie at April 20, 2006 07:11 PM
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