View Full Version : Nice Article on strike

08-23-2002, 12:08 PM
Greedheads Strike Out (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48445-2002Aug22.html)

It even has a dig on Sammy and steroids, I mean performance enhancers.

Greedheads Strike Out
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 22, 2002; 8:40 AM

It's almost "three strikes and yer out" for baseball.

Whether or not there's a work stoppage a week from tomorrow, the press has taken a bat and clubbed both the owners and and the players.

Couldn't happen to a nicer buncha guys.

In most labor disputes, reporters try to present the conflicting claims and analyze the strategies involved. But with memories of the disastrous '94 strike still fresh, much of the media isn't bothering with detailed dissections of the "luxury tax" proposals.

The underlying tone: What a bunch of greedheads. A pox on both your houses. If you take a hike, don't bother coming back.

And this is only a taste of what the big-bucks boys of summer can expect if they actually torpedo the season.

Fortune magazine is likening Commissioner Bud Selig and players' union chief Don Fehr to Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon.

The press (which includes many baseball fans, or former fans) is simply reflecting the public's revulsion over the prospect of another strike. There's a huge pot of gold in baseball, and yet its denizens are endlessly fighting about who gets what.

Not that there isn't a serious issue in how revenue is divided between wealthy teams like the Yankees and smaller-market clubs that are often unable to compete. But a big enough deal to shut down the game? Hardly.

Let's take a look at some recent commentary. Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"It's nearly impossible to choose sides in the dispute between baseball's players and owners. The choices are distasteful and disgusting.

"On one side of the table are rich owners. They drive up salaries by overpaying mediocre players. They strong-arm municipalities for taxpayer-funded stadiums. And they have the gall to whine about shaky finances. On the other side are the players, who reside in a fantasy world that includes fat paychecks, guaranteed contracts, five-star hotels, $70 a day in meal money, cushy chartered-airplane travel, groupies, sycophants and servants."

Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Baseball has returned to The Brink, to what should be a familiar neighborhood. Only this time, erosion brought about by greed, indecision and a lack of trust, vision, leadership and intelligence, has made the ground terribly unstable and navigation difficult. Baseball is without a compass and rudder. The cliff awaits."

Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News: "Explain to them once and for all that just because a whole lot of baseball owners are slobs, and greedy slobs, doesn't make baseball players noble. . . . They can't be so blinded by the rhetoric of their leaders Donald Fehr and Gene Orza really think representing millionaires makes them Eugene V. Debs that they can't see that a baseball strike on the first anniversary of Sept. 11 would be a public-relations calamity for these players that would make the strike of 1994 look like the kind of day-camp outing kids got for a noon game at Shea."

ABC's Terry Moran said last weekend: "On this strike, I don't care. This is a sport now where they're paying a quarter of a billion dollars to people, they're popping 60 home runs a year after popping enormous numbers of pills. . . . They already wrecked the game."

Jeff Greenfield, writing in Slate, concludes that a strike could hurt the former Texas Rangers partner and the GOP:

"What overhangs our political climate is a growing sense that things have soured in the land. It is a sense captured dramatically by one of the most significant benchmarks of the national mood the poll question that asks if the country is essentially 'on the right track.' After Sept. 11, an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found that 72 percent of Americans said yes, we were on the right track. Now, though, every public opinion survey shows that the pessimists are in the plurality. The gloom seems rooted in a broad sense that the people and institutions we trusted have let us down. They couldn't protect our safety last September; they couldn't protect our financial future; they violated the trust of investors, workers; they violated the trust of congregants; and when we turned to the playing fields for diversion, they couldn't even figure out how to end an All-Star game.

"If there is one political constant, it is that the party in power always suffers when Americans skulk to the polls looking for a way to vent their anger. What kind of mood will American voters be in if another postseason of baseball has been snatched away from them?"

Are the owners and players suicidal enough to walk the plank together? We'll find out soon enough.

08-23-2002, 05:20 PM
If Greenfield is right things aren't looking so hot the GOP this fall.