business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email yesterday from MNB reader Tom Jackson:

In response to your “Common Language of Food” – it reminded me of something I have always said  “  The shortest path to a person’s heart is through the stomach."

You're playing my song.  Both professionally - I've been preaching that here for years - and personally.

I talked about the "Common Language of Food" in my faceTime video yesterday, recorded at the Big E - a state fair "on steroids" featuring the six New England states.

MNB reader Tom Gordon wrote:

Such a great experience to visit!

I do have to call out, I always go to the Maine booth, not just because I’m originally from Maine.  I think there are other states that also do the baked potato to try to steal some of Maine’s thunder, but its nice that a Maine staple got some love.

It also reminded me of the story in the Portland Press Herald about Maine potatoes being shipped west to supplement a poor crop out west earlier this year…

"Westward Ho! Maine potatoes travel far after Western drought:  While Maine is known for its lobsters, the state was once the nation’s potato capital through World War II. Other states later stepped up production in the 1950s. Idaho and Washington State are currently Nos. 1 and 2 while Maine ranks ninth, according to the USDA."

Thanks for sending some love to New England and the Big E, as well as the humble Maine potato!

Reacting to yesterday coverage and comments about the Major League Baseball playoffs, one MNB reader wrote:

The major problem with MLB is the lack of a salary cap & floor which means the coastal large markets play “meaningful baseball” in October.  It’s the same every season – LA and NY (oh, and St Louis).   Expanding the playoffs did nothing but give lip service to “competition” and the expansion will now stretch the World Series into November.

Sorry, but baseball needs to be over by Halloween and it would be nice to see some other teams once in a while, and not just the ones like Kansas City who catch lightning in a bottle every 20 years or so.

I have no problem with a salary cap as long as there also is a salary floor - the Oakland Athletics should not be allowed to have an annual player payroll that is more than $200 million lower than the team with the biggest payroll.  (That would be the New York Mets.  Though, I have to admit that as a Mets fan, I'm less concerned about spending these days than I was under previous ownership.)

That said, the Seattle Mariners are ranked 21st out of 30 teams in terms of payroll, and the Cleveland Guardians are ranked 28th.  Both are in the playoffs.

The Boston Red Sox are 6th, Chicago White Sox are 7th, Los Angeles Angels are 10th, San Francisco Giants are 13th and Chicago Cubs are 14th - and none of those teams are in the playoffs.  So success also has to do with how you spend money and - regardless of your payroll - how your team performs.  Money is just one (though a big) factor.

As for being over by Halloween … Take your point.  But, I must tell you that I have an early November birthday, and as a kid I always was sorry that there wasn't baseball on my birthday.  This year, there is at least the possibility that Game 6 of the World Series will be played on my birthday, and I'm totally cool with that.

And finally, this note yesterday from MNB reader Jeff Gartner:

Wow Kevin, I was surprised (but not really) at the negative vehemence of a couple of your commenters in today's MNB. I didn't realize you were forcing them to read MNB. If a person doesn't like what you're  reporting and commenting on, my goodness, just don't read it. And it's free! So no worries about stopping and not getting what you paid for.

BTW, you said you might be getting "older and crankier."  Is that the onset of transitioning into a "curmudgeon" (I always loved that word)? 

Maybe.  Though I'd like to think of myself as a lovable curmudgeon.

But I love it when people disagree with me and express their views. That's what I signed up for.