Ok, this is slightly out of the international and national security purview of Democracy Arsenal, but I couldn't resist. George Will yesterday struggled to repackage conservative talking points on Obama's Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor in terms of her "saving baseball," arguing that her pro-union, anti-capitalist decision to force MLB owner's hands during the 1994-1995 player's strike hindered, not rehabilitated the sport:
Will says that "in fact, what she did was take sides, took union's
side against the management, and in so-doing, wasted 262 days of
negotiations. That, far from saving baseball, consigned baseball to
seven more years of an unreformed economic system, which happened to be
the seven worst years in terms of competitive balance."
Sotomayor, Will says, "delayed the restructuring of baseball. So I
would say that far from her saving baseball, as the president says,
that in fact, baseball thrives now because we got over the damage that
her judicial activism did in that strike."
Lack of context and historical accuracy on Will's part aside (negotiations between the owners and players basically dried up in December of 1994 and the owners and management were far from unified in using replacement players, which would have further splintered, fractured, and decimated baseball's future), his ridiculous assertions were slammed yesterday, though not directly, by real baseball expert Peter Gammons:
She didn't necessarily save baseball; she saved the owners from
themselves. The people who tried to rig the system with collusion,
pay-for-performance and the artificial attempt to implement their own
labor system were, as usual, ill-advised and leaderless. When Sotomayor
forced the game to resume and charged that they bargain in real faith,
baseball under Selig went from a $1.3 billion to $7.5 billion business.
Hard to argue with those facts from Gammons. But as we all know, Will isn't one to use facts with terrible accuracy. I think he's just bitter cause his Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908. Maybe he should stick to lambasting Levis and not the Major Leagues.