This tweet from Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal is interesting:
Breaking News: Spurned Texas Rangers bidders
invited to federal mediation.
Kaplan promises more details later, but my first thought is that this cuts a couple of different ways, one in which is good for team Greenberg and one that isn’t.
On the one hand it could suggest that the mediator and/or the bankruptcy court are less-than-impressed with the notion that Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan represent the only viable bidders out there and the frustrated bidder’s (i.e. Jim Crane, Jeff Beck/Dennis Gilbert) presence at the table is designed to pressure Greenberg into sweetening his deal in order to satisfy creditors.
Another possibility is that the mediator and the bankruptcy court got a bit perturbed earlier this week when reports came out that Beck or Crane were still talking to creditors behind the scenes and the court wants to bring them out of the shadows and into the light, holding their feet to the fire. In effect, such a move would either make the bidders and/or the creditors put their money where their mouth is and stop their little whispering campaign that seems designed to throw a wrench into the Greenberg deal and the bankruptcy resolution.
No matter the case, having the bidders around and, more or less, on the record, would make any final disposition in the case a lot neater inasmuch no one could later complain that a low or inadequate bidder won. They’d actually have to say something official and out in the open. Ultimately, that makes for a more transparent process.
So: no matter your motives, Mr. Bankruptcy Court, good move.
Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark met the press late this morning and covered a wide array of topics.
One of them: free agency, which he referred to as being “under attack” based on the slow market for free agents last offseason.
“What the players saw last offseason was that their free-agent rights were under attack on what has been the bedrock of our system,” Clark said. He added that they “have some very difficult decisions to make.” Presumably in the form of grievances and, down the road, a negotiating strategy that seeks to claw back some of the many concessions the union has given owners in the past few Collective Bargaining Agreements. CBAs, it’s worth noting, that Clark negotiated. We’ve covered that territory in detail in the past.
Of more immediate interest was Clark’s comment that the idea of a universal designated hitter is, among players, “gaining momentum.” Clark says “players are talking about it more than they have in the past.” We’ve talked a lot about that as well.
Given that hating or loving the DH is the closest thing baseball has to a religion, no one’s mind is going to be changed by any of this, but I think, practically speaking, it’s inevitable that the National League will have the DH and I think it happens relatively soon. Perhaps in the next five years. The opposition to it at this point is solely subjective and based on tradition. People like pitchers batting and they like double switches and they like the leagues being different because they, well, like it. If the system were being set up today, however, they’d never have it this way and I think even the DH-haters know that well. That doesn’t mean that you can’t dislike a universal DH, but it does mean that you can’t expect the people who run the game to cater to that preference when it makes little sense for them to do it for their own purposes.
Anyway: enjoy convincing each other in the comments about how the side of that argument you dislike is wrong.