Baseball season is just around the corner so it seems fitting to talk about baseball. More specifically, a mediocre baseball player that was known as the “brainiest guy in baseball.” A guy that graduated from Princeton and Columbia Law. A guy that went on to become a spy for the US government in Word War II. I’m talking about Morris “Moe” Berg.
It wasn’t until the last year or so that I heard about Moe Berg. Actually, it was when I was browsing the IMDB credits of actor Paul Rudd that first brought Berg to my attention (more on that later). If I’m only looking at his baseball career, there’s really no reason for me to know him. He was an average player that played at the beginning of the 20th century and never played for any St. Louis teams. It’s his post-baseball life that I’m surprised never caught my attention.
Berg joined the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. By this point, his baseball career was over, both as a player and a coach. Berg was seen as an asset due two previous trips to Japan with other ball players. He then went on to join the Office of Strategic Services, and the branch within the OSS called Secret Intelligence. He helped evaluate various resistance groups in Eastern Europe to determine who was the best suited to resist the Nazis.
Now that Baseball season is upon us, I thought I’d share a link that was sent to me a couple of weeks ago. Distilled History has a great look at the history of baseball parks in St. Louis (please forgive the author for not being a Cardinals fan). I never realized how many there actually were, especially in north St. Louis. Growing up, I only really heard of Sportsman’s Park, and of course, Busch II & III.
“Do I want to be in St Louis forever? Of course. People from other teams want to play in STL and are jealous that we are in STL because the fans are unbelievable. So why would you leave a place like STL to go somewhere else and make 3 or 4 more million a year? It’s not about money, I already got my money. It’s about winning, that’s it”. -Albert Pujols Feb 15, 2009
He reportedly signed a 10 year contract worth $255 million (which is $3-4 million per year more than what the Cardinals reportedly offered).
Starting this season, Fox Sports Midwest will carry all of the Cardinals baseball games. In the past, local channels would carry some of the games (KPLR, then KSDK). Because Fox Sports Midwest decided to carry all the games this year, they thought they could jack up the price for the channel (or for the rights to show those additional 20 games). Some companies did not agree. Most of the companies in dispute were small-time cable companies in rural areas. The major providers, such as the satellite providers as well as Charter Cable, agreed to the new fees. AT&T’s Uverse did not. They had months and months to come to terms, but they just figured it’s only 20 games, who cares.
Well, AT&T, one of your biggest Uverse markets is also the best baseball town in America. We want to watch EVERY game. We are some of the most loyal fans in all of baseball. By not showing those games you will be losing a lot of money from customers you’ve pissed off, either by giving them discounts on their bill or by watching them leave completely. Is it really worth it? I’ve already had one of your sales people offer me $25 off a month for the next 6 months and promise (and yes, I verified with him what he was actually promising) that the dispute would be resolved by today. Nothing like telling a lie to keep a customer, right?
As for me? Even with the discount offered, I think it’s time to say goodbye. I have been a Uverse customer for over 2 years and have watched them move the sports channels to higher tiers, increased fees for services, and now, take away games promised to air. I can take my business somewhere else where I will be sure to have access to every game.
UPDATE: In case you’re sticking with Uverse and want the discount (we’re missing games, time to hit AT&T where it hurts), call 1-800-288-2020 and ask for customer retention. Tell them you’re unhappy about the situation and demand a discount. I’ve seen some people get offered $15 off a month for 6 months, but they gave me $25 off a month. I wouldn’t go any lower than that.