The Nub

The Bad ‘Best Interests’ Game on Both Fields

(Posted: 3/9/12; e-mail update 3/10)

The beginning of a rally? Baseball’s most prominent player agent Scott Boros is saying what Mets fans have been saying in private for a couple of years. The team needs new ownership. Never mind the self-serving part: that Boros believes the Mets should be spending more money as befits a major franchise (from which he and his colleagues would stand to benefit). It’s a persuasive pitch, check seconded by many members of the media as well as the fans. 

But whatever the argument’s merits, sildenafil sovaldi we’re aware of the immovable obstacle to its getting results: outright release of principal owner Fred Wilpon is unlikely to happen while friend Bud Selig is commissioner. Selig has been granted imperial power by team owners to act “in the best interests of baseball.” That means he can get rid of the combative Frank McCourts and Marge Schotts, but protect owners with whom he gets along. The undemocratic wielding of that power, we learn, is a reflection of the legal game as played under Team Obama.

Speaking for the skipper the other day, bench coach Eric Holder explained why the O-team is able to invoke a national “best interests” rule: instead of removal of a disagreeable business adversary, the rule justifies both dispensing with “due process” rights of alleged enemy combatants and depriving them – even Americans – of their lives. Here’s how one pressbox observer, Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, summed up Holder’s radical delivery:

“The President and his underlings are your accuser, your judge, your jury and your executioner all wrapped up in one, acting in total secrecy and without your even knowing that he’s accused you and sentenced you to death, and you have no opportunity even to know about, let alone confront and address, his accusations; is that not enough due process for you?”

Another observer, Esquire’s Charles Pierce, put it more tersely; he called Holder’s pitch “a monumental pile of crap that should embarrass every Democrat who ever said an unkind word about (George W. Bush’s “due process” avoidance game).” 

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Pinstripe Palaver: During a game on YES the other day, Jack Curry told of Russell Martin identifying the active catcher he admired most: Yadier Molina, of the Cardinals: “He can receive a low pitch and somehow make the umpire believe it was a strike. Nobody can do it like him.” In the broadcast booth with Curry, Kenny Singleton reminding viewers that when Robinson Cano broke in with the Yankees in ’05, he batted ninth. Jim Leyland called the Yankees then “murderers row and Cano.” A rare sighting during the same game (Yanks vs. Rays): Derek Jeter, whose on-field composure is seldom ruffled, berating himself for failing to catch an average runner at first after fielding a ball deep in the hole.

Win Some, Lose Some: When Joe Girardi was a YES broadcaster in ‘07, he picked two players with possibly unlimited potential: he was right about Cano, one of the pair. He was less prescient about the other:: long-gone Mets pitcher Oliver Perez.

Solace: This figures to be a tough season for baseball fans on both sides of Chicago. The 2011 combined total of 150 wins seems like a reasonable two-team over-under for this season. But things could be a lot worse. One of our teams could be dealing with the Bernie Madoff  fallout, which has paralyzed the Mets.” – Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune

 Woe is Me(ts): Amid the Mets’ lineup of problems: Daniel Murphy is a “disaster” at second base (MLB-TV’s Larry Bowa); Lucas Duda is a “lumbering” right fielder (Daily News’ John Harper). Hit-to-right opposing batters should be salivating.

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(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments to dickstar@aol.com are welcome, and only they can be addressed by the skipper. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)

About Richard Starkey

Dick Starkey handled media for former NY Governor Mario Cuomo, former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and many other office-holders and candidates. He was sports editor of the Paris-based Herald Tribune. Perfect Pitch partner Robert Sullivan was the first to adapt focus groups to politics and has been called by Cuomo and others one of the "best" pollsters in the country.