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spiritof66 last won the day on June 22 2017

spiritof66 had the most liked content!

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1,487 All-Star

About spiritof66

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 10/30/1951

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  • Location
    New York City
  • Homepage
  • Interests
    Reading, music (drums, guitar), baseball history, college basketball
  • Occupation
    Retired lawyer
  • Favorite Current Oriole
    I dunno. Who's left? Mancini?
  • Favorite All Time Oriole

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  1. It's "whom." English pronouns have three (or fewer) forms: subjective, objective, and possessive. If it's not part of a subject, a non-possessive pronoun should be in the objective -- me, her, him, them, whom -- regardless of whether it's the direct object, indirect object or used with a preposition.
  2. I looked at the top executives of MLB and couldn't figure it out. https://www.mlb.com/official-information/executives/ But a quick glance shows an impressive diversity among MLB's top eight executives. All white males. But just to judge from their last names, they appear to be descended from several different European ethnic groups. Their hair color runs the gamut from dark brown to brown to gray to white (no facial hair), with varying degrees of baldness -- and one has no hair at all! Some of the eight went to law school, and some apparently didn't. Now that's diversity for you. Seriously, if this Website listing is an up-to-date presentation of the top guys running MLB, this is an absolute disgrace, and just one more indication of how the game is in serious trouble.
  3. A natural lefty -- with a right-handed drum kit.
  4. It seems to me that these are among the incentives to play, other than the pro-rated salary: the extra income from making the playoffs, having a shot at a pennant or WS title, the chance for borderline/aging players to show they belong in the majors in 2021, the possibility that in the future some owners or GMs will take a dim view of healthy players who opt out, and (for a few) the enhanced opportunity to reach career milestones. Players are likely guessing, and talking to one another, about how winning the 2020 WS will be regarded and about the likelihood of going through the risks of pre-season training and then not getting in many games before the season implodes (along with the related uncertainty of the owners' interest in pulling the plug if a full playoff schedule looks unlikely). Judging from the comments I see on this board and elsewhere, I am guessing players will be all over the place as to how they value these incentives, as well as the health risks. BTW, I assume that once a player opts out, he's not eligible to return later in the season. Is that correct?
  5. I'm wondering about umpires, many of whom are in their 50s and 60s. Some don't look to be in top-top shape, to put it mildly. During the course of a game, the home plate umpire will be in close range of more people than any player. (They should be thankful Earl isn't around.) Can umpires opt out of the season? If enough of them do, or test positive, to run through the MLB umpires, what happens? Call up AAA umpires? Go with crews of three? Another advantage to electronic umpires: they may get viruses, but they won't be contagious.
  6. I practiced law in New York City for 35 years before I retired in 2013. (And I'm still a lawyer, technically.) If it doesn't show, I guess I'll take that as a compliment. 😁
  7. Since seeing some his work close-up in the MASN dispute, I've bounced back and forth between viewing Manfred as an idiot and as a guy who was forced to take some on-productive positions (in my opinion) at the direction of the owners, or based on his interpretation of what those owners wanted. This statement, offered gratuitously, seems just plain stupid -- surprisingly candid, but just stupid. One of the qualities Manfred has shown at every turn is arrogance, and my best guess is that Manfred made the statement as a way of claiming victory for the owners: I out-negotiated the union once again. We got what we wanted, and they didn't. Watch out for me in the CBA negotiations -- I'll beat the union again. I didn't follow these negotiations very closely, but a month or so ago I got curious, and I went back and reviewed pretty closely the statements and actions of both sides since June. It became pretty clear to me that MLB, at least since late April or May, has been dragging out the negotiations. Every regular season game played benefits the players, because they get paid their pro rated salary for that game, and hurts the owners because most of them will have expenses (those per-game salaries and other costs of puttng on a came) that exceed what they take in from the media rights for that game. On the other hand, every post-season game is expected to bring profits to the owners from national television (and possibly from some limited paid attendance), while the players on the playoff teams get only a share of any gate receipts (with a floor) and none of the media revenues, and none of their season's salaries for post-season games. Early on, MLB put a cap on the post-season of November 1 (or early November) based on concerns that the virus might become more widespread around that time. So, as far as the length of the season is concerned, the only issues were the start date and whether to add the extra playoff round that the owners were seeking. From the time of a settlement, you could count the days until October 1 (the start of the playoffs), subtract about a week to get organized and three weeks for summer training, and the number of days left (minus a few days off) is the number of games in the season. Manfred and MLB used a number of familiar tactics -- making proposals that they knew would anger the players, calling the players/union names in public, lying in public about whether an a deal had been reached -- to put off that agreement and reduce the number of games. I thought they were going for 40-something or 50, or maybe for 0. On the other hand, you can blame the union, and Tony Clark in particular, for putting the players at the mercy of Manfred and the owners by agreeing to base their pay on the number of games played, while putting that number in the control of a party with an interest in minimizing it and a negotiator with no apparent scruples in getting there. The union walked right into that, and who knows whether it did so with its eyes open to that possibility? One of a lawyer's critical roles in negotiating agreements like these is to advise the client of the possible consequences of proposed contract terms under a wide variety of situations. I have read that Clark negotiated and signed the March agreement without a lawyer present. If that's true, and there's nothing to explain that, I would fire him (or change his role) for the offense of overestimating his own abilities.. It's a fuzzy area of contract law, and it differs somewhat from state to state, but generally if you and I are negotiating a contract, we aren't obligated to act in good-faith or to avoid scummy tactics like the ones Manfred used. This situation may be different for a couple of reasons. The March agreement remains unavailable to the public, but the union has argued, and it makes sense, that it provides for, or by its nature anticipates, future negotiations over the length of the 2020 season. If so, the March agreement probably imposes on the parties an obligation of good faith and fair dealing in those negotiations, which it appears MLB violated. Second, the federal labor laws impose on employers and unions lots of obligations to bargain with one another in good faith. It would seem logical to me that the teams and the union had that obligation here and that the crap Manfred pulled was not good-faith bargaining with the union, but I don't really know much about labor law.
  8. Mostly because this thread needs some pessimism, I'll say Dwight Smith. Due to injuries and illness, Smith plays pretty much full time, hits some HRs, leads a sleepy offense, plays a passable LF, and generates excitement among the fans watching and listening at home. It's not enough to generate much trade interest, but is enough to create uncertainty about whether to give him a roster place and playing time in '21.
  9. I'm old enough to have seen all six World Series (in person for a game or two in three of them) in which the Orioles played. Not quite as impressive as Jim Palmer -- he pitched in all six.
  10. A team had to switch leagues because of the imbalance in the number of teams in the leagues (and in one division of each league). Houston was a good choice for that move. But the continuing problem of having leagues with an odd number of teams is the result of Manfred's mismanagement of expansion, which in turn has been extended by his failure to force a resolution of the difficult situations in Tampa and Oakland.
  11. I don't think anybody with much of an interest in baseball thinks that any more. It seems to me vital for MLB to restructure the Commissioner's office, maintaining the owners' control while getting some valuable input about what's in the best interests of the game's long-term future (and creating at least the appearance that it has some interest in that). Still thinking about ways to do that.
  12. Why do you say that? Once the U.S. started getting serious about the coronavirus in March, a lot of companies couldn't (or, for health/ safety reasons, chose not to) operate, or had to eliminate a large part of their operations. Their revenues dropped dramatically, to zero or close to it in some cases, but some of their expenses continued, putting lots of companies in a squeeze. Congress's approach focused on making payments to assist smaller businesses, on the theory that larger companies had sufficient cash reserves to get through the crisis. So far, almost all those big companies have stayed afloat. Many of them have met their contractual obligations to pay employees, or have kept those employees on the payroll, even though there has been (or still is) little for them to do. Unlike some businesses, MLB teams didn't lose all their revenues, but they lost a lot. I believe they kept their rights fes payments from regional sports networks, though that might not be true in every case, as well as smaller revenue streams like those from merchandise sales. But two characteristics about MLB put teams in a difficult position. First, unlike most businesses, they wouldn't be able to just flip a switch when they were ready to operate; they would need to work out and announce a schedule, and get the players ready to play that schedule. Second, MLB player salaries represent a very large portion of MLB teams' expenses. Unlike a lot of businesses, MLB teams can't fire, lay off or furlough those employees to reduce their payment obligations. Every MLB player has a uniform contract under which the team promises to play the player a certain amount and the player makes himself available to play the major-league schedule, not to play for any other team, and to abide by certain rules. They get paid by the year, not by the game. So far as I can tell, nothing in those contracts says that the team doesn't have to pay the player his full salary if the team is either unable or unwilling to play the full schedule of games defined in the CBA. I may be wrong about that, but if so I wish someone would point me to something in the uniform contract or the CBA that leads to a different result. In March, as it became clear the season wouldn't start on time and the length of the season was and would for a while remain uncertain, the threat of having to pay players their full salaries (or a negotiated discount from those salaries) was hanging over the clubs. Of course they were able to pay those salaries, even if some of them had to borrow to do so. Sure it would have been painful, just as a lot of companies have lost a lot of revenues and felt a lot of pain since the pandemic shattered their business models. But the union bailed out the teams. We don't know what the March agreement between MLB and the union says since it hasn't not been made public -- hell, we're just the fans; what business is it of ours? -- but what we do know is that the union/players agreed not to seek salaries higher than their full season's salaries prorated for the number of games played. I don't know why the union and players agreed to that salary cut. Maybe they thought that concession was necessary to save the season. Maybe they underestimated the amount of games that would be lost to the virus, or overestimated the owners' willingness to play as many regular-season games as could be scheduled. Maybe MLB lied about how this concession would make the owners flexible about saving the season or other stuff, or spewed some crap about how this kind of good faith would be helpful when the CBA gets negotiated. But the players will end up making a lot less than their full salaries, somewhere from about 37 percent to 0.
  13. I agree, and I have said, that Clark has been ineffective in explaining to the public what the owners' strategy has been. I'm not sure how much that matters, and there's time to fix it. I have no idea whether getting into all that would help or hurt the chances of a CBA getting done without further disruption to the sport. But I don't think "Clark is contributing to the impasse," or not very much anyway. My point is that, no matter what the union leadership did or how brilliant or skilled the union leadership was this year, I doubt we would have had any baseball. The only question mark is whether the owners would have agreed to a 40-or-so-game regular season, with expanded playoffs from which the players would get a little bit more than the floor amounts in the CBA. My best guess now is that even a short season wasn't going to happen. Somewhere, probably just in Manfred's head, there is a list of tactics and demands for use in avoiding reaching an agreement on the 2020 season, and he's probably only a little way down that list. Here's an example. It's pretty common knowledge that one way to sabotage, or at least stall, a negotiation is to tell (or plant for others to tell) a lie about what the other side said or did, especially if the negotiation and the subject of the lie are things in which the public is interested. I believe that's what Manfred did last week when he arranged for the media to announce that he and Clark had reached a deal, the elements of which were never announced and, so far as I can tell, were not written down anywhere. A lie about an important matter like that sometimes will cause the other party to give up the negotiation, and at the very least will put things off while the lie gets sorted out and the other side cools off a bit. I think the only serious criticism you can make about Clark's role is that he shouldn't have agreed to cap the players' salary demands in the March agreement when he was dealing with a sleazeball like Manfred, who would use that concession to kill (or truncate) the regular season, not to save it. In hindsight, that installed in the driver's seat a guy with no scruples or honesty who knew exactly where he wanted to take the car but never told anyone the truth about his destination, and the chances for a 2020 season were pretty much dead at that point. But I'm reluctant to criticize Clark for that when I haven't even seen (and don't expect ever to see) that March agreement, much less understand the circumstances that led to it.
  14. I don't know much about the June training regimen, but this time of year residents of Florida spend a lot of time indoors to stay out of the heat and rain. If players were doing that when they weren't working on the practice fields, that didn't help.
  15. True. That would be to the union's and the players' advantage. I'm not sure whether it's possible to do that, but it doesn't appear that Clark tried.
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