Posted: 3/11/12; update 3/13)
The last time baseball owners tried to break the players union – in 1994 – the move led to a cancelled World Series and the steroid crisis (personified by HR-hitting Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa) that swept the sport in ensuing years. Fan backlash fed the disarray.
State Skipper Scott Walker is risking a similar reaction with his union-breaking game in Wisconsin. His switch-hitting – transforming a legitimate budgetary swing into a hit at collective-bargaining – was an audacious play that so far has caused a fan and media uproar.
Democrats were able to slow the process down (by having key legislators leave the state) and convince both voters in Wisconsin and the national media that there was something beyond business as usual happening in Madison. National and state polls show they were successful in that effort. Walker and the Senate Republicans ignored the Democrats’ attempts at compromise and ignored the public turning against them and decided to pass the legislation anyway.
“That was their prerogative, and now it’s up to the voters to decide whether to recall the eight Senate Republicans who are eligible for judgment this year, and to defeat Walker and the other Republicans in a year or two.”
Implicit in Klein’s suggestion: time is on Team GOP’s side. Heated responses are cooled by the raw demands of daily living. Wisconsin will test the truth of that conventional wisdom.
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A Different Wisconsin Ferment: Zack Greinke has put a crimp into the Brewers’ hopes for a fast start. A foolish basketball injury – a cracked rib – means Milwaukee’s newly acquired ace will miss his first few turns. A less serious development, but hurtful nevertheless: the Tigers’ fireball reliever Joel Zumaya will be out with an elbow injury at season’s start as well. Nothing (so far) compares, however, with the damage Adam Wainwright’s season-ending elbow injury has done to the Cardinals’ chances.
An Ex-Yankee’s Red Sox Challenge: Even after being unscored-upon in seven spring innings, ex-Yankee Alfred Aceves was a long shot to make the Red Sox roster. Then he gave up three clinching runs to the Rays in the ninth inning on Thursday and it became almost a sure thing the veteran righty will start the regular season in Pawtucket. The Sox have Jonathon Papelbon, Daniel Bard, Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler among the five sure members of their relief corps. All are righthanders, so lefties have an inside track on the remaining two slots
Attention Potential Mets Investors: Bobby Bonilla, now 47, returns to the Mets this July 1; not to the team roster, but to its payroll. He’ll be receiving annual $1.19 million in deferred payments for 25 years; that’s close to $30 million, stemming from a deferred deal on a 2000 contract for $5.9 million. And, by the way, the Mets have been paying pitcher Bret Saberhagen, who, like Bonilla, played for the team in the ‘90s, $250,000 a year in deferred compensation since 2004. Those payments will also run 25 years. Just a small sample of why the Mets’ finances are in disarray.
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