Castro plays baseball, too.
June 30, 2005 1:12 AM   Subscribe

Republicans are threatening to revoke Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption. Not because of the steroid scandals, or the numerous abuses of the monopoly to shakedown cities for publicly financed stadiums. No, the GOP is attacking baseball because George Soros, a liberal, might buy a team and he would be a "polarizing figure." Oh yeah, Fred Malek, a non-polarizing, competing bidder is a GOP fundraiser and a aide who compiled a list of members of the "Jewish Cabal" at the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Nixon. This injection of politics into baseball seems eerily familiar to me...
posted by hipnerd (44 comments total)

 
Jesus isn't too happy either.
posted by missbossy at 1:52 AM on June 30, 2005


Yes, eerily familiar, indeed.
posted by shunpiker at 2:52 AM on June 30, 2005


In America, rich people shouldn't be allowed to buy the things they want if they have devient political views.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:09 AM on June 30, 2005


Ooo. I want to see them try to argue that baseball is unmerican.
posted by TwelveTwo at 3:23 AM on June 30, 2005


Well, that tears it. If I could, I would drive around Virginia to get to any place south. Tom Davis (R-VA) is an idiot. A transparent foolish man who has NO IDEA what a hornets nest he is stirring up.

Actually, I'm kind of hoping this gets a lot of press. Washington, DC has a team after 34 long years of waiting. The team is doing very well. The team is called The Nationals, because WDC doesn't have senators.

I like Tim Robbins' response to the Hall of Fame 'tool.' His words apply in this situation as well:

"... you expose yourself as a tool, blinded by partisanship and ambition. You invoke patriotism and use words like freedom in an attempt to intimidate and bully. In doing so, you dishonor the words patriotism and freedom and dishonor the men and women who have fought wars to keep this nation a place where one can freely express one's opinion without fear of reprisal or punishment. Your subservience to your friends in the administration is embarrassing to baseball and by engaging in this enterprise you show that you belong with other cowards and ideologues in the Hall of Infamy and Shame. "
posted by Corky at 3:45 AM on June 30, 2005


Baseball owners are just held to a higher standard. Take Marge Schott for example.
posted by BigFatWhale at 3:46 AM on June 30, 2005


i say bring back steroids

beltre, thome, sosa, giambi, beltran, helton, huff, rolen, b. boone, and mike lowell all suck now

sport is entertainment.

grounders to third are not entertainment.
posted by tsarfan at 4:12 AM on June 30, 2005


Looks like Davis is now feeling the heat and backtracking. [Just click on the Baltimore Sun link in the Google news search to avoid having to register to read this one article].
posted by caddis at 4:29 AM on June 30, 2005


What? A wealthy liberal? Not possible. He'd have given all his money to downtrodden workers and revolutionaries, just like all those movie stars do.
posted by acetonic at 4:37 AM on June 30, 2005



What? A wealthy liberal? Not possible. He'd have given all his money to downtrodden workers and revolutionaries, just like all those movie stars do.


Eh. You're confusing "liberal" with "leftist". The two often have little overlap.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:06 AM on June 30, 2005


hipnerd, are you related to modernerd? is there some kind of nerd clan we should know about? one that's down with baseball and franz ferdinand? you go, ner (d).
posted by Hat Maui at 5:18 AM on June 30, 2005


What? A wealthy liberal? Not possible. He'd have given all his money to downtrodden workers and revolutionaries, just like all those movie stars do.

Ah, acetonic. Flame-baiting again. Wearing it on your sleeve again. Soros is one of the most prodigious philanthropists of our time, and gives plenty of it away through his foundations.

As for baseball, it has long deserved the removal of the antitrust exemption. May it rot.
posted by realcountrymusic at 5:22 AM on June 30, 2005


Baseball owners are just held to a higher standard. Take Marge Schott for example.

Or George W. Bush or the National's potential new owner, Gen. "Colon" Powell.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:44 AM on June 30, 2005


I guaran-damn-tee that the first thing Soros does (if his bid wins) is get rid of the "W" logo & switch to blue caps.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:10 AM on June 30, 2005


I weep for my country a little more every day.
posted by AspectRatio at 6:29 AM on June 30, 2005


The GOP is power mad, and is going off the rails.

God save the Republic.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:32 AM on June 30, 2005


On-topic: File under "stupid lawmakers say stupid things then backtrack" (item number 8,734,932).

Off-topic: Pollomacho, why is "Colon" in quotes?
posted by pardonyou? at 6:36 AM on June 30, 2005


Shouldn't that say "Republican" with no 's'? The article said that one guy mentioned that. But to hell with semantics, clearly this is a platform of the entire Republican party.

Off-topic: Pollomacho, why is "Colon" in quotes?
posted by pardonyou? at 6:36 AM PST on June 30


Because he hasn't graduated from elementary school and thinks its funny and/or clever to be the first person to point out how close Colin is to colon.
posted by dios at 6:53 AM on June 30, 2005


actually, pardonyou?, i'd file this under "stupid republican lawmaker says stupid things to distract media and public from iraq/economy/bush blunder, distraction works, lawmaker guarantees re-election and reward from rove" (item number 10,001,321).

marvin gaye said it best: makes me wanna holler.
posted by lord_wolf at 6:58 AM on June 30, 2005


Off-topic: Pollomacho, why is "Colon" in quotes?

That makes it his baseball nickname like Ty "the Georgia Peach" Cobb, Randy "big unit" Johnson or Carleton "Pudge" Fisk. It's just his happens to be his actual name as well as your lower intestine. I guess he could be Colon "Duodenum" Powell if you'd prefer.

Or, what dios said.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:59 AM on June 30, 2005


Baseball owners are just held to a higher standard. Take Marge Schott for example.

Or George W. Bush


Or Rupert Murdock.

Sally Jenkins great column on this from yesterday's Washington Post.

oh, and *fwap* *fwap* *fwap*
posted by terrapin at 7:03 AM on June 30, 2005


Really lord_wolf, do you really think this makes Davis look good, or enhances his chances of re-election? Why would he already be backtracking? I suspect that aside from the far-right hardline elements of the party, most people would find his statement eminently stupid.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:05 AM on June 30, 2005


To my point above, did some searching:

Instapundit: "Doesn't this seem a bit petty, even by Washington standards?"

Right Wing News: "It was totally inappropriate for Congressman Tom Davis (R-Va) to suggest that there might be retaliation against pro-baseball if they allow George Soros to become an owner. Davis came across like an arrogant buffoon who had no qualms about abusing his power to hurt his political enemies. Americans deserve better than that sort of behavior from our Congressmen."

Captain's Quarters: "But what Congress should not do is to demand political philosophy thresholds for ownership, either for the obviously partisan motives that Sweeney and Davis have or for the ostensible war-on-drugs opposition that Davis references. This is nothing but stupid, petty, and self-destructive posturing that makes politicians look foolish in the extreme. The GOP needs to reject it outright, and immediately."

In other words, lord_wolf, I think your hypothesis could use some work. As much fun as it is to insert the name Karl Rove into every single post, I don't think for a minute that Davis' statement was anything but the stupid, stupid utterings of a stupid politician.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:15 AM on June 30, 2005


oops. Jenkins article was first think. Sorry.

Davis is trying to help his buddy Fred Malek win the bid.
"Isn't it strange that rival bidder Fred Malek, the head of the Washington Baseball club, just happens to be a very big GOP fundraiser? And isn't it strange that, in a telephone interview, Davis went out of his way to praise Malek's bid? And isn't it strange that these attacks on Soros from Republicans came on the very day that Ledecky and his partners [which includes Soros] were being interviewed by MLB?"
posted by terrapin at 7:17 AM on June 30, 2005


pardonyou?, because after observing the way things work w/ the republican party over the past few years, i've concluded that as long as you're in good standing w/ rove and you do or say things that serve as distractions, nothing bad happens to you. in fact, you get rewarded pretty well.

trent lott is an example of someone who was not in good standing w/ rove, said something stupid, and got knocked.

frist and delay are just two examples of people who do/say jacked up things all the time, but b/c they're "made men", they're doing just fine. i believe davis will likewise profit from the mini-circus he's created. his "backtracking" was done by an aide, and it's the typical tepid statement issued by the made men in these situations.

on preview, there are calls for the republicans to reject stupid things done and said by their members outright, and immediately all the time, from various quarters. i seem to recall some republicans taking issue with rove's "liberals are wimps" bullshit. yeah, the white house got right on that.

once you're in w/ the inner circle, you're golden. it's the same with the dems, but they're not the ones in power right now; i'll save my venom for them for some other time.
posted by lord_wolf at 7:33 AM on June 30, 2005


once you're in w/ the inner circle, you're golden. it's the same with the dems

Yeah, just look how much they fought for Joycelyn Elders!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:05 AM on June 30, 2005


As for baseball, it has long deserved the removal of the antitrust exemption. May it rot.

The first sentence is true; if the second sentence indicates you are one of those sad souls who don't appreciate the beauty of the game of baseball, my sympathies. But baseball wouldn't "rot," it would flourish without the stranglehold of the owners' monopoly. No more government-sponsored "major leagues," just a million local teams vying for your support. I used to hate the idea of changing the antitrust exemption, however unfounded and un-American the exemption is, because it would mean the end of the majors and the loss of the continuity of leagues and records that's so much a part of baseball—but now that they've fucked up the continuity anyway with their designated hitters and multilevel playoffs and interleague play and steroid-enhanced home run records, the hell with it. I hope this guy succeeds and lets baseball get back to being a neighborhood game rather than a bloated fat-cat "sport."

But it won't happen.
posted by languagehat at 8:09 AM on June 30, 2005


I assumed the "Colon" remark was to point out the shift in the pronunciation in Powell's name which has taken place over the past few years. Coh-lin no more.
posted by mek at 8:13 AM on June 30, 2005


Hasn't Powell's first name always been a homophone with the intestinal portion/punctuation mark? I seem to remember that being the pronunciation even back in the Clinton era. There's nothing new about all this Colin mockery. *rimshot*
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:58 AM on June 30, 2005


Hasn't Powell's first name always been a homophone with the intestinal portion/punctuation mark? I seem to remember that being the pronunciation even back in the Clinton era. There's nothing new about all this Colin mockery. *rimshot*

Which is kind of why I asked in the first place. I couldn't believe someone was still trying to make a joke about the fact that his name sounds like the word for the large intestine.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:08 AM on June 30, 2005


Shouldn't that say "Republican" with no 's'?

Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) ... said if Soros buys the team and seeks public funding for the new stadium or anything else, the GOP attitude would be, "Let him pay for it."

Another senior Republican lawmaker who requested anonymity said that the league should be aware of the perception problem that might be associated with selling the Nats to Soros.

posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:17 AM on June 30, 2005


God save the Republic.
Amen.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:18 AM on June 30, 2005


I couldn't believe someone was still trying to make a joke about the fact that his name sounds like the word for the large intestine.

And I can't believe we're still talking about that. Even I admitted it was stupid and juvenile. So sue me!

Folks don't seem to be this concerned when someone refers to the President as Duh-bya or Shrub, why this sudden fascination with Colin? Must be the poop connection. Nothing sends them over the top like bathroom humor.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:47 AM on June 30, 2005


I hope this guy succeeds and lets baseball get back to being a neighborhood game

It already is. Professional baseball is definitely not. It used to be the one affordable sport but not for long.

Go see a high school game instead.

Colon Powell takes a backseat to no one when it comes to abstinence and abstinence education.

More info.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:16 AM on June 30, 2005


Thank goodness we have these concentious politicians looking out for us. I hear Soros was going to make them wear pink tutus and swing magic fairy wands instead of bats.

The politicians are getting powercrazed again. I say we liquidate all them, Republican and Democrat and start fresh.
posted by fenriq at 10:38 AM on June 30, 2005


Yeah, just look how much they fought for Joycelyn Elders!

d'oh!!!!
posted by lord_wolf at 10:48 AM on June 30, 2005


Shouldn't that say "Republican" with no 's'? The article said that one guy mentioned that. But to hell with semantics, clearly this is a platform of the entire Republican party.

Actually, dios, the article says:

"...That's exactly what some Republicans on Capitol Hill are suggesting, led by Tom Davis, the Republican from Virginia who is trying to steer the sale of the Nationals and who says Soros is just not the kind of person 'we need or want in the nation's capital.'"

and

An even nastier abuse came from Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), who actually suggested baseball's antitrust exemption might be in trouble on the Hill if MLB let Soros have the Nats.

Which ain't the entire party, but it is quoting two different Republicans (while intimating that there are more on board). But that's just semantics, I guess. Feel free to keep your panties wadded, if you like.
posted by papercake at 10:56 AM on June 30, 2005


"There's nothing new about all this Colin mockery."

Heh.
posted by Floydd at 11:25 AM on June 30, 2005


i say bring back steroids

beltre, thome, sosa, giambi, beltran, helton, huff, rolen, b. boone, and mike lowell all suck now


You may have forgotten D.Lee, M.Ensberg, A.Jones, A.Pujols, V.Guerrero, M.Cabrera, C.Floyd, M.Teixeira, M.Ramirez, D.Ortiz... and so forth.

Every year people have shitty years.
posted by ORthey at 12:22 PM on June 30, 2005


Revoking baseball's anti-trust exemption would be good for the sport. It would get rid of some of the dead teams...and, hopefully, somehow, it would get rid of Steinbrenner. I'm not sure how it would do that, but that's what I pray.

This is all because George W. owned the Texas Rangers.

It's all because the American league is a bunch of pussies compared to the National League. Designated hitter? Ha!
posted by nyxxxx at 12:27 PM on June 30, 2005


Every year people have shitty years.

Especially when its the year they quit juicing.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:35 PM on June 30, 2005


Thanks, Floydd. I was worried that it might have been too subtle or confusing.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:26 PM on June 30, 2005


I used to hate the idea of changing the antitrust exemption, however unfounded and un-American the exemption is, because it would mean the end of the majors and the loss of the continuity of leagues and records that's so much a part of baseball

Why would that be? The NFL and NBA don't have antitrust exemptions, yet they're still going strong.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:49 PM on June 30, 2005


Hmm. Good question; I was basically repeating something I read years ago when the exemption was a hot issue, but now that you mention it I'm not sure why football and basketball have effective monopolies despite the lack of an exemption. I'd certainly like to see discussion by someone who understands the economics better than I do. In the meantime, here's a good attack on the exemption: the introduction to a House report from '94, when they were trying to get rid of the exemption.
posted by languagehat at 3:10 PM on June 30, 2005


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