So I have to be honest. I’m still not stretched out. So my normal nostalgical-statistical-humorilogical intro is not yet in my skill set. It will be. Just bear with me. In lieu of that, I came across an interesting story this week about John Malone. As I’ve told y’all many times in the past, Malone only owns the Braves because he wanted to limit his tax bill, and he runs the Braves, and his life, in such a way as to keep his tax bill small as possible. He has literally no other interests… least of all baseball.
Anyway, as Wall Street Journal put it:
The case stems from international tax rules created by Congress in 2017 aimed at making it easier for U.S. companies to repatriate foreign profits. Congress subjected accumulated past foreign profits to a one-time tax as part of a transition to the new system. It then imposed a minimum tax on new foreign profits and created a new deduction so foreign profits beyond that minimum tax were effectively tax-free for U.S. companies.
But Congress set the effective dates for those different tax rules in ways that didn’t match up, so companies could get different results depending on when their foreign subsidiaries’ fiscal years ended. In some cases, this mismatch let companies generate foreign profits that qualified for the new tax deduction but weren’t yet subject to the minimum tax.
Liberty Global profited from that gap with an internal transaction it called “Project Soy,” according to a government filing that described a “highly engineered tax scheme” that required the signoff of John Malone, the billionaire and longtime chairman of the broader Liberty Global PLC. The government cited internal corporate emails showing that executives were aware of the gap in the law and that the Treasury Department might later close it.
If there were a tax break under which the World Series champ’s owners owed no taxes for a year, the Braves would literally never lose.
So we’re on the road and we’re in San Diego, one of the most enjoyable parks I ever went to. And what is it about baseball players and two-wheeled vehicles? Between Ron Gant, Jeff Kent, and, now Fernando Tatis Jr., there seems to be a problem with baseball players and the need for speed. (OK. I’m not sure three accidents in 40 years should really count as much of a trend, but I’m allowed to create whatever categories I want… It’s in the blogger’s handbook.)
Rule 2.00 of baseball states that if one team doesn’t show up, the other team wins 9-0. Let’s just say that’s what happened. Nope… we can’t say that because the Braves did worse than they would have done by literally not showing up at all.
Charlie Morton did not pitch well. He loaded the bases in the first inning with two hit batsmen and a single. He then made Luke Voit look bad, but a two out single by Eric Hosmer plated two and a single from Wil Myers scored one more. A homer by CJ (‘don’t call me JJ’ – see below) Abrams made it 4-0. A somewhat nonaggressive charge from Marcel Ozuna on a fly ball made it 5-0. But Morton threw 95 pitches in 5 innings, so maybe he’s ready to start the season now.
Newk came out next and does what he does: frustrate the guys who pay him.
Then there’s the offense. It was offensive. I was certainly offended. Defense? How about a dropped fly ball by Rosario? Or a dropped throw by Olson?
So what’s the good news? Well, after five hits, Manny Machado is probably worn out. Ozzie was rumored to have homered in the 9th, but I’m not including it in the headline because it makes the game look even more futile.
Yep… He called CJ Abrams JJ Abrams when Ozuna grounded out in the second. Rewound and listened three times just to assure myself that I hadn’t slandered Chip. JJ Abrams’ production company is named Bad Robot. No one worse, or more robotically predictable, than our Chip.
In perhaps the stupidest stat I’ve heard in some time, Chip announced that since 2019, the Braves are 8-8 in the games following a game in which the opponent scored 11 or more runs. It’s really rare for a stat to be almost completely uninformative. Kudos.