In 1881 the future National League wanted to upgrade its image and target a more upscale fan base by doubling ticket prices, banning gambling, and outlawing alcohol sales. Several team owners who happened to be brewers refused to accept the new rules and banded together to form what would eventually become the American League. The National League attempted to discredit the new league by dubbing it the Beer and Whiskey League. This, of course only made the new league more popular. Duh!

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Baddest Part of Town

Odd alliances will form (just ask the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq): Peter Sagal, host of the most annoying show on all of National Public Radio, won me over with his piece on Chicago baseball--from the perspective of a Red Sox fan living in the Windy City. (On the calendar, click on April 19, then choose "Peter Sagal Talks Baseball"; you'll need RealPlayer). Sagal makes note of the White Sox being as popular in Illinois as the St. Louis Cardinals (as printed in the Sports Illustrated baseball preview), but fails to mention that in the same survey White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf ranks as one of the most hated sports figures in the Land of Lincoln. In any case, it's a good piece and you owe it to yourself to give it a listen, if for no reason other than you won't have to hear Thom Brennaman talk about Kerry Wood's nail-biting trixie of a wife.