(Posted: 4/30/12; e-mail 5/1/12)
During the Tigers-Yankees game Friday night, buy help former Yank Paul O’Neill, tadalafil doing color on YES, talked about a tactic of his last manager Joe Torre: “Joe would have a hitter who was struggling,” he said, “bat in the number two hole. Joe knew he’d get something to hit because the pitcher didn’t want to face the number three hitter with a man on base.” The strategy worked as a slump-snapper, O’Neill said.
Torre was on the bench last week, celebrating the man who helped him and his fellow ballplayers snap their long economic slump. It began to come to an end in 1966, when the players hired Marvin Miller to run their union. Miller, now 95, was honored at NYU (he declined to travel to the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, where the event was originally to be held) to mark the 40th anniversary of a successful 1972 players strike.
By then Miller had helped double the players’ minimum wage – from $6.000 to $12,000 and the average salary from $19,000 to $34,000. Now (in ’72), the players, overruling Miller and general counsel Richard Moss, voted to strike for increased pensions and salary arbitration, which they won. Today, the minimum is just under a half-million, the average salary more than $3 million.
Miller, with much of his old passion, decried opposition to the minimum wage in many parts of the U.S. He said, despite the owners’ warnings of economic doom, major league baseball prospered, almost doubling in size after the minimum was regularly raised. He said fears expressed by business interests that jobs would be lost if states raised the federal minimum wage from $7.65 an hour have never been corroborated statistically. Only nine of 50 states have enacted higher than the federal minimum: Washington $9.04, Oregon $8.80, Vermont $8.46, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada $8.25; California, Massachusetts $8.00; Alaska $7.65. Conspicuous by its absence: the vaunted Empire State, New York.
P.S. The Players Union almost blew the chance to hire Miller. He turned the job down when they proposed Richard Nixon to be his general counsel.
Relevant History Lesson: “May Day (as we know it) started here (in 1886 and) became an international day in support of American workers who were being subjected to brutal violence and judicial punishment. Today, the struggle continues to celebrate May Day not as a ‘law day’, as defined by political leaders, but as a day whose meaning is decided by the people, a day rooted in organizing and working for a better future for the whole of society.” – Noam Chomsky, Zuccotti Park Press
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April Illusionists? Dodgers, 16-6, Orioles, 14-8; Jose Altuve, Astros, .373 in 21 games; ex-Met Chris Capuano, Dodgers, 3-0, 2.76 ERA.
Travel Advisor: The Rays’ Joe Maddon, on packing for a three-day road trip – “I’m hoping everybody just brings their little carry-on luggage. One pair of jeans, three shirts, some socks, and those who wear underwear bring underwear. And your toiletries. … As we move forward into this century, I think minimalism is going to become a more popular concept.” – quoted by ChiTrib’s Phil Rogers
Where Has the Bucs’ Offense Gone? – “We’re not on any milk cartons yet.” – Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle
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