Tuesday, June 28, 2005

bullying baseball

Usually I'm all for abusing baseball owners and threatening their anti-trust exemption. Baseball owners have held cities hostage, extorted hundreds of millions of dollars out of cities from sea to shining sea for the construction of new stadiums, used Enron-like accounting to spin their collective sob story of poverty and loss, and colluded to hold down the salaries of the players -- the people we really care about.

But when the threats come from meddling members of Congress, I'm not so sure. Republican Congressmen John Sweeney (NY) and Tom Davis (VA) told Roll Call this week that baseball would be making a mistake if it selected the ownership group that includes billionaire Bush-basher George Soros. Sweeney said it would be"not smart" to hire a politically polarizing figure, while Davis said that Major League Baseball understands the stakes -- "I think it's Major League Baseball that gets hurt. They enjoy all sorts of exemptions from antitrust laws."

A few weeks ago when Jonathan Ledecky's group announced that Soros had joined them, I wondered if that was wise in today's politicized climate -- especially for a team that plays in the nation's capital. Once again, the GOP Congress is worrying about the truly important things -- revenge and threats against dissidents.

I can't stand it.

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