LeBron’s Wise Decision

July 10, 2010

Not only will LeBron James win an NBA championship next year with the Miami Heat, but by signing with Miami, he saved himself millions of dollars in taxation.

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

We come not to praise or bury LeBron James, but only to note that by moving to Miami he’s going to save a bundle on taxes. We’ll take the King of ESPN’s word that he’s jumping to the Miami Heat from the Cleveland Cavaliers mainly for basketball reasons, but it is also true that Florida has no income tax. The rate in Akron, Ohio is a little over 7%.

Mr. James figures to earn close to $100 million in salary over five seasons in Miami. According to an analysis by Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University, Mr. James’s net present value tax savings on his salary are between $6 million and $8 million by living in Miami versus his home town of Akron. Professional athletes do have to pay other state taxes for the dates they play in visiting team arenas, but most of Mr. James’s considerable endorsement income would be taxed at Florida rates.

The tax comparisons looked even worse for two other teams in the LeBron bidding, the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets. The New York Post estimated that New York City and state taxes of 12.85% on high income earners would have taken more than $12 million from Mr. James. New Jersey’s rate is nearly 9%. Both of those teams are lousy, but it can’t help their free-agent sales pitch to start out $9 billion to $12 billion in the after-tax hole.

While LeBron’s departure got extraordinary media attention, it is hardly unique. In the early 1990s, Ohio was the home of 43 Fortune 500 companies. Twenty years later the number is 24. Census Bureau data show that from 2004-2008 Ohio saw a net outmigration of $6 billion of income and some 97,000 taxpayers. Even Ohio’s famously liberal Senator, the late Howard Metzenbaum, moved to Florida late in his life to reduce his estate taxes.

We feel for Cleveland fans, but maybe they should allocate some of their wrath to the state politicians who keep driving high-income individuals and their businesses to financially sunnier climes.


Great Run, Boys.

June 26, 2010

Proud American right here.

The Call From Andrés Cantor

June 24, 2010

Another amazing video.

The Greatest Sports Moment of my Lifetime

June 23, 2010


Awesome call by Ian Darke. “GO, GO, USA!”

Reaction from various locales around the United States:

Landon Donovan, you’re the man.

USA vs. England

June 12, 2010

[Update at 1:55pm] FT: USA 1, England 1. Great result for us!

Our next game is against Slovenia on Friday morning.

‘Nuff said.

Seattle: The Soccer Capital of America

June 11, 2010

As the World Cup gets under way, and story after story is printed about how Americans don’t care about soccer, I think it’s important to point out that those of us in Seattle are fighting to change that perception.

At Sounders home games this year, an average of 36k+ fans (myself included) have showed up to support the club, and if capacity were expanded, that number would easily exceed 40k. So while the national media may generalize Americans as apathetic soccer fans, we Seattleites want to let the world know that we’re the absolute exception to the rule.


And here’s the front page of The Seattle Times today:

You can read the full article here.

Perfect Game-Gate: Joyce Apologizes, Him and Galarraga Hug it Out, Galarraga Gets a New Car, Michigan Governor Granholm Awards Galarraga a Perfect Game, Selig Lets the Botched Call Stand

June 3, 2010

Yeah, it’s been an eventful last 18 hours in the world of baseball.

Post-game last night, from AP sports writer, Larry Lage:

Jim Joyce: ‘I just cost that kid a perfect game’

DETROIT (AP) Armando Galarraga bitterly sipped a beer minutes after he almost pitched a perfect game, lashing out at first base umpire Jim Joyce for blowing a call that negated his place in baseball history.

An apology and hug changed Galarraga’s attitude.

Joyce, in tears, asked for a chance to apologize after the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians 3-0 Wednesday night.

“You don’t see an umpire after the game come out and say, `Hey, let me tell you I’m sorry,'” Galarraga said “He felt really bad. He didn’t even shower.”


It’s rare for an umpire to acknowledge a mistake in one of the few sports that relies heavily on the human eye, but Joyce did to reporters and later to Galarraga.

“It was the biggest call of my career, and I kicked the (stuff) out of it,” Joyce said, looking and sounding distraught as he paced in the umpires’ locker room. “I just cost that kid a perfect game.”

Pregame today, via Joanne Gerstner at the NY Times:

Galarraga Given Standing Ovation, and a Car

DETROIT — Armando Galarraga brought out the lineup card to Jim Joyce, the home plate umpire, on Thursday before the Tigers played the Cleveland Indians in an afternoon game.

Galarraga, whose perfect game was broken up Wednesday night by Joyce’s blown call at first base, got a standing ovation.

Galarraga is being given a 2011 Chevy Corvette as a gift; General Motors is a Tigers sponsor. The car is a cherry red, a convertible. The car is on the field, behind home plate.

Galarraga looks shocked, as are his Tigers teammates, all on the field, laughing. He is getting high-fives and hugs from all the players.

Manager Jim Leyland asked the media before the game if they thought Galarraga bringing the lineup card to Joyce was a good thing. All media agreed, according to Detroit broadcasters.

The cards were just exchanged, Joyce appears to be teary or crying. His eyes are red, and he dabs at both of them with his fingers. He smiles at Galarraga, who is also smiling back. He looks over the cards, pats Galarraga on the back, and the group parts.

Fans have brought signs supporting Galarraga, with some saying “It was perfect.”

Reaction to the umpires taking the field was pretty mild, smattering of cheers and boos. Nothing too dramatic.

Galarraga and his new Corvette

Video of Galarraga and Joyce meeting at home plate:

Then, this:

Mich. governor awards Galarraga ‘perfect game’

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has issued a proclamation that says Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game against Cleveland, despite an umpire’s blown call.

Granholm issued the proclamation Thursday, one day after first base umpire Jim Joyce declared a runner safe with two outs left in the ninth inning, costing Galarraga a perfect game. After seeing the replay, Joyce said he blew the call and apologized to the pitcher for not realizing Cleveland’s Jason Donald didn’t beat the throw to first base.

Granholm tweeted about the blown call after the game and on Thursday told WJR radio that Galarraga “was robbed.”

And now, just breaking from the AP:

Selig won’t overturn call that cost perfect game

Commissioner Bud Selig won’t reverse an umpire’s admitted blown call that cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game.Selig said Thursday that Major League Baseball will look at expanded replay and umpiring, but didn’t specifically address umpire Jim Joyce’s botched call Wednesday night.

A baseball official familiar with the decision confirmed to The Associated Press that the call was not being reversed. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that element was not included in Selig’s statement.