08 February 2007

Death of Anna Nicole Smith Will Spotlight Ephedra Problem that Bechler's Passing Didn't

Well, nobody really paid all that much attention when a no-name baseball player died from apparent complications related to mis/overuse of Ephedra-based weight loss products, but the death of former Playmate/quasi-actress/model/gold-digger/weight loss poster-child Anna Nicole Smith today, at age 39, will be sure to turn some heads.

For good or bad, Smith had become the person most closely associated with Ephedra-based Trim-Spa. (As of today, 4:30PM on the day she died, Smith was still the front-page pin-up girl on Trim Spa's website.) But if the coroner's report shows that the over-use (or, God help them, the "appropriate" use) of Trim Spa played a part in Smith's passing, the company will surely go bankrupt. Sadly, it seems that Smith traded her life for her fame, using the weight-loss product to get back into the limelight after years of being in the news only for her legal battles with the family of her deceased husband, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II.

Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler, who died four years ago this month during pitchers and catchers' workouts. Had Bechler's death occurred during a game in Spring Training or the regular season, or if Bechler had been a more famous name, his passing might have done more to curb the sales of the so-called "all natural supplement" and force a little responsibility upon the company and others like it. Because such supplements are produced from herbs andor other natural sources, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate their distribution, advertising or the claims made on the product itself, requiring only a "statement not reviewed by the FDA" disclaimer. These kinds of things mislead consumers who don't know any better, who don't realize that things that grow in the ground can kill you just as easily as something synthesized in a laboratory, especially if abused.

Whatever you thought of her as a person, it is a tragedy that Anna Nicole Smith died today, especially if it turns out that it was somehow related to the Ephedra stuff. But it is even more of a tragedy that Steve Bechler and other valuable human beings had already suffered the same fate, and no real action was ever taken, because they didn't have huge boobs.

Trim-Spa Baby? I Don't Think So.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

01 February 2007

MVN.com: Travis Nelson's Yankees Tickets Oddysey: 2007

"Hey, what are you doing Saturday?"

"Nothing. Why, what did you have in mind?"

"How about a Yankee game?"

"Sounds great, you got tickets?"

"Nah, let's just buy them when we get there."

"OK, man. See you then!"

Have you ever had a conversation like this? Have you had one in the last five years or so? And, if so, could you actually buy tickets when you got there, without having to risk buying from a scalper? Me neither. For the last decade, as the New York Yankees have experienced unprecedented success, and have gained unprecedented popularity, it has become increasingly difficult for Joe DaFan to purchase tickets to a single game.

Yankees tickets went on sale to the General Public at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, 31 January 2007, and within an hour, virtually any decent seat to a weekend game was already off the market. One hour. So, with 26 home games on either a Saturday or Sunday, and, let's say, roughly 20,000 "decent" seats to those games in the stadium, that is, not part of season ticket plans, the Yankees are averaging almost 150 tickets sold per second, for that hour, anyway. And that's just for the weekend home games.

Right now, as I write this, it's just three, short hours since the flood ticket gates opened, and if you want three tickets to a Saturday game, you can still get them. I mean, not for games against Boston or the Mets. Or Detroit, or LAnahfornia. But, you know, against lousy teams, like the Royals, Pirates and Devil Rays, sure, you can get tickets. Those tickets are all either in the Tier or the bleachers. In some cases, you can get Tier Box seats to certain games. These tickets are about $45/each with applicable fees, and are only slightly closer to the playing field than, say, Alpha Centauri. They're called "Box" as opposed to "Reserved" seats because they're in the front of the Tier, which really just means that there are more people behind you who might spill their beer on your head. There are also, in some cases, Tier Box MVP tickets, where the "MVP" designation means that they're near the infield, but they're still in the 600-level of the Stadium, as you can see from the stadium map (complements of Ticketmaster and Yankees.com):

Read about the rest of my ordeal at MVN.com's Boy of Summer site...

Stumble Upon Toolbar