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March 3, 2007

Motivations

Man I love you guys. I swear, all I really have to do is write a post that says:

"Hey everyone! How is it going?"

And then let all of you just go to town. In fact, I'm not sure any of you even read this schlock that I write. Unfortunately for you I won't let that fact stop me.

Let me make just one thing clear at the beginning. You should not take Sid's column last week about the Twins stepping into the fray lightly. There are discussions going on right now behind closed doors that may make all the stuff I write below moot. We can argue all we want about who is to blame more, the County or LPII, but in the end I think we can all agree that the Twins need to step up. And I think they will. In other words, I remain optimistic.

Having said that, I must also say that I remain a County sycophant. Mistakes have been made, to be sure, but in the end it is Mike Opat I will be thanking when this ballpark is built. I will not be thanking Land Partners II. Can you imagine? Thank you Land Partners II for delaying the project by trying to squeeze every cent you could out of the County and the Twins! I really appreciated it!

A lot of you disagree with this. That is OK. Truthfully we need pressure on both sides of this equation to see it through. The County certainly doesn't deserve a free pass for the mistakes they've made, but for the love of all that is holy that doesn't mean Pogin and Lambrecht aren't without fault either.

For me, it is a question of motivations. What is the motivation of the County? To build a ballpark and protect the public purse. What is the motivation of LPII? To make money. As a resident of Hennepin County I want costs to be kept down, I want ballpark infrastructure to be top notch, I want a fricken' ballpark so I can watch outdoor baseball! In other words, my motivations are a lot like the County's.

As Jeff T. has already said, until Land Partners II names their price and enters into negotiations, I will consider their actions shady and detrimental to the construction of the ballpark we all have been waiting 10 years for. I am as entrenched as those that would disagree.

One of the most ridiculous things I have read is that LPII is somehow exempt from negotiations because the County came in with what they consider a low-ball offer. How about they save everyone time and money, get their own appraiser, and make a counter-offer based on that appraisal? I'll tell you why that won't happen. Its because the chance for a huge profit is seriously diminished.

Condemnation makes a lot of sense for LPII since we've all seen that the condemnation process usually means a lot more money for land owners. It is NOT about getting fair market value. It is about getting more than fair market value. Usually I wouldn't fault someone for this, but when it jeopardizes a ballpark I've been fighting 10 years for, my sympathy for the landowners is seriously diminished.

That is my story and I'm sticking to it.


All I know, is when a movie is made that documents this whole mess, I want Ian Abercrombie to play Jerry Bell:

ianamb.jpgjerrybell.jpg

Posted by snackeru at March 3, 2007 6:34 PM

Comments

Shane - thanks for having the #1 site that I go to each morning for stadium updates. Forget the Pioneer Press and Strib. I have learned more on this blog than from any other media outlet. By the way, Jeff T. stands for Jeff Thompson in St. Paul. If you listen to Saturday Morning Sports Talk with Soucheray and Ruesse, I've been on 5 of the last 6 weeks talking about the stadium. I've devoted quite a bit of my free time to this crap over the past 10 years. I testified in front of the Hennipen County Commissioners last August,and even had a "Minnesota Wins" bumper sticker on my car in the late '90's. Anybody remember that group?

Anyway, according to Sid, the Twins might be willing to get involved and save this whole thing:

http://www.startribune.com/507/story/1032767.html

I'm hoping that the end to all of this land talk is in sight. I look forward to the day that the content of this blog is devoted to who should be the starting 5 for the Twins rather than talk about soil conditions.

Thanks again Shane.

Jeff T.

Posted by: Jeff T. at March 3, 2007 10:48 PM

it's because we want the team to stay in minnesota. everyone wins with a resolution to this.

Posted by: mullen at March 3, 2007 11:23 PM

Here's to the Pohlads for Saving the Twins from going to Tampa 25 ago and for saving them today. Hip Hip Horray!!! Thanks again Carl!!! Most Minnesotans hate the man because they are old guard socialist.

Here's to every social security check bouncing for the LPII widows.....Hip Hip Horray!....Screw you!

Posted by: mitchy at March 4, 2007 3:05 AM

Here, here Shane.

Couldn't agree with your feelings any more.

You nailed it.

Posted by: mlb2131 at March 4, 2007 11:16 AM

I, as well, agree with every thing you said Shane. Keep up the good work with this site and all that is involved with it.

Posted by: JBN at March 4, 2007 4:04 PM

Agreed that you've done good work Shane. I hope you will keep the site running and up to date on this issue. There will still be stumbling block as this stadium is built. I have a vision of Penny Steel chaining herself to a fence to stop the first bull dozer.

Posted by: D Howe at March 4, 2007 4:58 PM

Shane, LP II has worked harder than anybody and committed more resources (time and real money) than anybody to get this thing done. In what way is that jeopardizing a ballpark you have been fighting for for 10 years? The County can take the land whenever they want, but they (and you) have a problem paying a fair price so they haven't.

Regardless of what you think of them and what you think their motivation is, you can not overlook the role LP II has played in even getting this far. After the agreement in 2004 expired, this thing was absolutely a dead deal. When Jerry Ball and all of the HC Commissioners had plainly given up any hope and quit, LP II was there with the de-fib, supporting New Ballpark Inc and even your own efforts, and now they are even criticized for that!! Even today, they are still a part of the process, negotiation or not. One legal maneuver on their part could blow this thing up completely, but they haven't done anything but cooperate with the court and try to work towards getting a stadium. Pogin even said on Almanac he offered mediation and arbitration on several big issues and HC refused.

Your equation should be adjusted to read: Hennepin County AND the Twins AND Land Partners II are going get you (us) a new ballpark. Without any of these parties, we wouldn't be talking about this right now, and there would be no hope for a stadium in the future.


This is redundant, but March '07 was supposed to be when the digging began, not when the negotiations were to begin. This absolutely shows that negotiating is not the route the County chose - to start now is merely posturing and would certainly be fruitless. They don't want to negotiate- and never have - and are using a CYA spin to somehow get people like you to believe they actually do (see Actions v. Words, 2006).

The delay in land acquisition rests solely on the party trying to acquire the land, the same people who somehow forgot to address this until 2 months before they were supposed to break ground. They are either completely incompetent or deceitful, and I am having a hard time figuring out which is worse.

Posted by: Moonlight Graham at March 4, 2007 7:16 PM

The difference is that the Twins and HC actually want a new stadium to benefit the Twins, the City, the fans, the county, etc.

LPII just wants a stadium to get rich and extract as much $$ as possible from the deal.

LPII did work very hard to help get us get to this point. But then at the end of the day they won't even negotiate or put out an asking price because they want to extract as much $$ from this deal as possible, and that is all they care about now.

They know that condemnation is the only way that they will get potentially far more than true market value....and that's what they want and that's all they care about now.

However, the Twins and HC still want a stadium for all of the right reasons.

Posted by: mlb2131 at March 4, 2007 7:25 PM

People, if 3 independant appraisers rule the land is worth X, then X is the fair market value - nothing more, nothing less. Its really not that hard a concept to understand.

Posted by: Moonlight Graham at March 4, 2007 7:41 PM

Shane- I am so dissapointed in you it's ridiculous. I can't even express it in words, but let me try.

AS LONG AS THE COUNTY IS SUING LPII FOR EMINENT DOMAIN THEY WOULD BE COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY RETARDED FOR ENTERING INTO NEGOTIATIONS WITH THEM, AND YOU ARE EVEN MORE SO FOR HAVING THE AUDACITY TO SPEAK CONDESCENDINGLY ABOUT THEM FOR IT. IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT DELAYING NEGOTIATIONS, HENNEPIN COUNTY COULD DEPOSIT THE MONEY WITH THE COURT AND OWN THE LAND TODAY, THEY COULD HAVE OWNED IT MONTHS AGO, SO DON'T BLAME LPII AND FOR GOD'S SAKE GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD THAT MIKE OPAT ISN'T GOD, HE'S JUST AS SELFISH AND SELF-CENTERED AS ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING HE IS DOING THIS NOT FOR THE LOVE OF BASEBALL, OR FOR YOU, OR FOR THE TWINS OR FOR MINNESOTA. HE IS A POLITICIAN. IT IS A JOB. HE IS DOING THIS, BECAUSE HE WANTS TO ADVANCE HIS POLITICAL CAREER. LAWYERS DON'T WORK 80 HOURS A WEEK FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY, THEY DO IT BECAUSE THEY WANT TO GET PAID, AND EVENTUALLY GET PROMOTED. JANITORS DON'T CLEAN TOILETS BECAUSE THEY LOVE THE SMELL, THEY DO IT BECAUSE IT'S WHAT THEY GET PAID TO DO, JUST LIKE LPII GETS PAID TO MAKE THEIR INVESTORS MONEY. IF EMINENT DOMAIN IS ABOUT GETTING MORE THAN FAIR MARKET VALUE (WHICH IT ISN'T) THAT WOULD MEAN THE COURT SYSTEM IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED, AND I HOPE THAT IF MIKE OPAT ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT YOU OR MINNESOTANS, HE WOULD RECOGNIZE THAT AS A PROBLEM. GET OVER YOURSELF. GET OVER MIKE OPAT. GET A CLUE.

I feel better now.

Posted by: dissapointed at March 4, 2007 7:44 PM

Anyone who reads the above post is more stupid for having read such garbage.

Posted by: kevin in az at March 4, 2007 7:56 PM

That better not be Kevin Knight who just posted that last one. But seriously people, whatever happened to the blogging community being interested in the truth? Whatever happened to America's desire for real truth and knowledge, rather than blindly accepting the propaganda of the media, of politicians, of the institutions? (Pause for flag waving) People don't tell the truth, it's in our nature to lie. Not always is it intentional, people just remember things the way they saw it, and human perspective is biased based on person experience. You all can believe whatever you want to believe, but unfortunately, you are not rationally free to do so. If you want to keep thinking that the county should be put on a pedastal for doing their job (and badly at that) and want to keep blaming LPII for everyone elses failures including their own, feel free, but you'd have to blatently ignore half the facts. The truth is generally in the middle, and most of you seem to be choosing to forget that (exceptions moonlight and dissapointed).

Posted by: Ralph the Dog at March 4, 2007 8:18 PM

Shane-
You said it best. You do post "schlock."

Posted by: Stryder at March 4, 2007 8:21 PM

MLB,
You must have a job as a storyteller because you continue to spin yarns which have no basis and are nothing more than fairytales.
Here is your latest: They know that condemnation is the only way that they will get potentially far more than true market value....and that's what they want and that's all they care about now.

Please tell us where in the process you mention is there a chance for LPII to get "far more than true market value". The comdemnation process say;s "fair market value", not "far more than true market value". Oh, could this be another of your now infamous fairytale stories? Maybe you and the county share the same delusional behavior with no regard for the truth or the facts.

Posted by: Jimmy Jack at March 4, 2007 8:36 PM

In the three years I have written this blog I have taken a lot of abuse for having a pro-stadium stance. One of my favorite abusive comments compared me to both Chairman Mao and Joe McCarthy in the same diatribe. That one gave me a chuckle.

One thing I have always been proud of, though, is the fact that I am not anonymous. I stand behind what I say as myself, Shane Nackerud, for all the world to see. This lack of anonymity has gotten me in trouble. Some people have even contacted the president of the University of Minnesota to complain about me (and perhaps get me fired), but fortunately freedom of speech prevails.

"disappointed" -- your lack of civility in this debate is unfortunate. You could have at least had the decency, and balls, to call me a clueless retard with your own name and email address. Your name calling in anonymity has caused me to respect your opinion even less.

"Ralph the Dog" -- you write:

"People don't tell the truth, it's in our nature to lie. Not always is it intentional, people just remember things the way they saw it, and human perspective is biased based on person[al] experience."

So, why then should we believe or trust your opinion? I hate to break it to you, but you do not have a monopoly on the truth, especially considering I don't have a clue who you are.

"Stryder" -- you post under the same email address and IP address as "Ralph the Dog." Either you are the same person, or you are two people tag teaming your abuse on me from the same house/location. If you are the same person ... well that is just sad.

"Jimmy Jack" -- I am not "delusional" and I don't claim, like you, to have the "truth." I just have a different opinion than you. You throw out the word "truth" with as much freedom as the people that throw out the infamous "fairytale" numbers you are so upset by.

"Moonlight Graham" -- thank you for your opinion. You make a lot of sense to me and LPII is very fortunate to have an advocate like you championing their cause and stance. I look forward to more of your contributions.

Posted by: Shane at March 4, 2007 9:20 PM

I too have wondered why I am one of the few posters on here who does not have a 'handle' to keep me anonymous. I thought perhaps I was being naive. But really, I don't write anything on here I wouldn't also send in a letter to the Star Tribune. I wonder if all of you on here can say the same?

Posted by: David Howe at March 4, 2007 9:26 PM

When this place does get built, all three parties HC, the Twins and LP2 all deserve to be congratulated. I know for some of you rubes it's difficult to believe it, but without any one of the three, this would have never happened. LP2 included! Now I don't expect that they'll be invited to any special opening day festivities, but without the vision of Lambrecht & Pogin, none of it would've been possible. Deny that fact if you want, but it's the truth.

What you guys forget is that they are businessmen. They are trying to make the largest profit possible. That's what businessmen do. That's what Carl Pohlad does. If he didn't we wouldn't have to be subjected to $6 beers at the game.

Also, they only way that LP2 could get more than market value is if they would negotiate. Eminent domain results in fair market value. Not a penny more, not a penny less.

On a lighter note, Shane, who's going to play you in the movie? I'd go with Costner, he did a good job for me a while ago.

Posted by: Ray Kinsella at March 4, 2007 9:28 PM

You are right Ray. LPII deserves a lot of credit for getting us this far. No doubt about it. Believe you me, I know first hand that amount of work Bruce Lambrecht in particular put into this project. I suppose that is why I am so perplexed by what I see as a sudden change of heart.

I disagree with your faith in the condemnation process and LPII's intentions. Hopefully by the end of this week it won't matter.

Kevin Costner is a little old for me now (I am 34). Maybe Brad Pitt? Or, if it goes straight to video, Paul Walker?

Then again, my part would be pretty small. It would probably be more appropriate for me to be played by an actor who doesn't mind being on the screen for less than 30 seconds!

Posted by: Shane at March 4, 2007 9:43 PM

Shane, I did not call you delusional unless you are also MLB or the county. And, you and I have the same opinions. We both want the ballpark so we can watch baseballs flying outdoors while we are all still alive. We differ only on what we believe to be the facts of the situation. I'm obsessed with the truth because there has been very little in most of the posts on this blog. You have several times tried to gather the facts as you know them, but others just seem to make up unsubstantiated facts and have taken very "personal attacks" at LPII and their management. I believe that when the truth becomes known, there will be many people who will have egg on their faces because, "THEY CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! or they would not be saying what they are saying. You and LPII have lead the charge to get where we are now. As others have said, it will take all three parties to get the ballpark done and there is nothing to be gained by focusing on the wrong issues and wrong facts.

P.S. If I were you, I would write into your SAG contract that you must be played by George Clooney.

Posted by: Jimmy Jack at March 4, 2007 11:34 PM

Ray Kinsella,

You mention that we forget that LPII are businessmen. The only reason that we forget this is because they tried to make us forget this. I hate to keep harping on this, but in the meetings I went to, and in their literature, they claim that their "mission" is: "To build a world-class major league ballpark in Minneapolis." They claim to be out for the good of the fans and the good of baseball in Minnesota. All they cared about was money all along.

They quote the land price as being $17.5M in their literature. I have it right here in front of me. They pretended like they were one of us to take advantage of our enthusiasm and use it for their own profit. I know this may not have been intentional, but they have been less than 100% honest throughout this process. And because of that, I will never be able to give them very much credit for our new ballpark.

The people that deserve the credit are the people that did this without the promise of financial gain: Shane and his boys on this site, several politicians who went against their jurisdiction and thought about the greater good of having the Twins in Minnesota, and all Twins fans that wrote letters and spoke to their representatives.

Posted by: Derek Robertson at March 5, 2007 9:51 AM

"Stryder" -- you post under the same email address and IP address as "Ralph the Dog." Either you are the same person, or you are two people tag teaming your abuse on me from the same house/location. If you are the same person ... well that is just sad.

heh. If you want to heap on the abuse here, you should post one from home, and one from work.

But I suppose that it is hard to remember which account is which, when you are busy saving the world.

I'd post less anonymously, but I've had this "handle" for a while from multiple sites. So, I'm just "Drake33".

Posted by: Drake33 at March 5, 2007 10:52 AM

Shame on you Shane!

In the past when people say how rich Pohlad is going to be with the stadium deal and that he should chip in more money, you came back with that we should not be mad at someone who is rich. They are rich and we should just deal with it and not focus on that. This was your standard answer.

Now LPII is a rich company and bound to get richer on this deal and you come out and condemn them for that? What kind of John Kerry-esque flip-flopping is this?

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at March 5, 2007 11:32 AM

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