Murray Chass gives Pete Nice the gas face, doesn’t understand how the law works

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Remember Prime Minister Pete Nice? I do, because I’m old, but you should too because 3rd Bass was pretty awesome. Well, Nice’s real name is Pete Nash, and his gig these days is baseball memorabilia. I’ve read some stuff about him operating in this world and, like a lot of memorabilia dudes, he sounds pretty shady. He’s been in trouble for fraud and has lost lawsuits and all kinds of things. It’s an icky world and he sounds quite of it.

Murray Chass, a blogger, takes on Nash today. As far as the inspiration goes — Nash being crooked and Nash not being cool to other people in the industry — Chass has a pretty good point. Of course like anything else he does, Chass stretches the point in order to try to make some other, totally stupid point:

Known in his rapper days as Prime Minister Pete Nice, Peter Nash is known today as the epitome of what is primarily wrong with the Internet and blogs … They give Nash a free hand to do and say what he wants about whom he wants with no way of being stopped. Nash has a Web site, “Hauls of Shame,” which he uses to defame people. The Internet gives him that opportunity. Anybody can use the Internet for whatever purpose he wants. You don’t need a license. Just pay a few bucks a month, put a name on the site and you’re off and writing.

This from the guy who uses his blog to level unsubstantiated accusations of steroid use against ballplayers all the time.

Hey Murray: guess what? The law still applies to blogs. If Pete Nash defames someone, he’s just as liable for it as a newspaper writer might be. Really. I mean, I know you may think that’s not the case because you’ve never been sued for the nonsense you’ve blogged about, but that’s just because no one pays attention to you, not because the law doesn’t apply to you.

But that aside, let me know when your “people who write about things on the Internet should be forced to get a license” campaign goes.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.