Republicans Blackmail MLB

In order to prevent George Soros from being part owner of the Washington Nationals, Tom Davis threatens to remove Baseaball’s antitrust exemption.

I mean, this isn’t the first time Congress has threatened to do this. But I think this is the first time it’s been done simply to attack a political opponent. Am I wrong? Look at this quote from Davis, the House Government reform chairman:

“I don’t think it’s the Nats that get hurt. I think it’s Major League Baseball that gets hurt. They enjoy all sorts of exemptions from antitrust laws”

Classic blackmail.

I say, go ahead. Remove the freaking exemption. Anything to get away from the influence of Government mobsters.

Actually, I think some outside competition might be good for MLB. What do you think?

What I don’t get is why Republicans are so riled up about this. What do they think Soros is going to do? Change the team name to the Washington Bush Lies?

To me, this tantrum makes about as much sense as Democrats picketing a boxing match because Don “GOP” King is the fight promoter, or boycotting the Red Sox because of what that one pitcher said about supporting Bush in 2004. Who freaking cares?

And go ahead, Congress, remove the antitrust exemption. It is about time.

[public address announcer]
And now, to throw out the first pitch for the 2006 season, the prevaricator-in-chief, President Bush!

Nothing for baseball to worry about, really. The antitrust exemption means essentially nothing in practice. The other pro leagues have managed just fine without it, btw.

If MLB didn’t sell the Nats to the highest qualified bidder, even if it’s Soros, they’d be opening themselves to a world of restraint-of-trade and fraud problems.

Yeah, but you still have to wonder why the Pubbies are getting so pissy. It’s like they don’t think Democrats should be allowed to own things …


Hmmm. The article clearly says “Republicans,” as in the plural. Yet it only notes the remarks of a single Republican - Tom Davis. Anybody know if there actually are additional Republicans on Congress (stupidly) trying to make political trouble about this?

That’s just pathetic, GOP. I’m right of center, and I can’t imagine supporting them in this.

To play devil’s advocate, I guess that their concern is that he’d try to manipulate media coverage of the games to highlight Democrat pols over Republicans. And naturally, the audience for Nationals games is more heavy with politicians and the politically-connected than for other teams’ games.

But I still think this is still really stupid.

The point is that Soros is their worst domestic enemy, because he spent 20 million of his own money to oppose Bush in the last election. This has almost nothing at all to do with baseball and nearly everything to do with sticking it to George Soros in any way they can. MLB is just the lever.

Here’s a funny headline from

It’s a nice baseball league you have here; it’d be a shame if something happened to it

No, not at all. Through the exemption MLB gains things like the power to prevent teams from moving, the absolute right to choose whomever they wish as a fellow owner (Soros could bid $1,000,000,000 for that Nats and still not get them) as well as protection from labor laws and such.

It’s valuable to them. Wrong for the game, IMO, but valuable to the owners.

What is so worth mentioning is that the prospective Nationals owners are being encouraged to include Politicians with juice in thier ownership goups to increase the Team’s and MLB’s power and profile in town.

Colin Powell is involved in one group, ex (GOP)Senator Peter Fitzgerald is involved in another.

Besides Davis, Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), vice chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that covers the District of Columbia’s budget said his committees feelings about Soros would make them unlikely to help fund the stadium (Which DC and MLB agreed to do - unclear if he is threatening a federal cut equal to DC $$ spent on a stadium).

soooo it sounds horrible right? and I to make my point I know I should leave it there. However in the interest in fairness I will add : It is Soros and not “democrats” who the Republicans are going apesh^t over: Yusef Jackson (son of Rev. Jesse) and Vernon Jordan are parts of other bids - and AFAIK there hasn’t been a republican peep.

Also, I would add that Davis was also a HUGE booster of Baseball being moved to Northern Virginia, was a sore loser about DC getting the team … and is (I suspect) a bit of a sore loser still and will be a thorn in the side of the Nationals (until the stadium is built and/or they win a NLCS and he beings parading around in the W cap).

I’d be shocked if this is anything but bluster. Pointless and vindictive bluster, but I don’t see anything coming of it.

Why would the Republicans want to blackmail Martin Luther Bing?

Oooooooooh… Never mind!

This is from Sally Jenkins Washington Post column which is on, so no registration is required:

So it would appear there are at least two idiots involved in this, and that their motives seem more toward helping one of their fundraisers. Not that that makes this any less despicable.

Don’t overlook this aspect:

Damn furriners, we don’t need them buyin’ our 'merkin ballclubs.

Randolph cited

Sorry for using the newest tool here.

Ah-hahahahaha. Hahahahaha. Hahaha haha… hah. Oh, man. That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day for sure.

“Kent Brockman here, talking to pitcher E. Luci, of the Pittsburgh Proletariat. How do you like your chances against the Washington Warmongers, E?”

“Well, we come to play, Kent, though the trading of Reeder to the Oakland Anarchists leaves a bit of a gap in our Far Left Field. And we expect a bit of trouble with their catcher, Shodan, who insists on overuling the umpire, which we think is a bit less than fair. We’re kind of hoping that the umpire strikes back…”

“So, you have your game face on, then?”

“If I had another, would I wear this one?”

That is some poorly played politics. Tip O’Neill is shaking his head somewhere at the amateurishness of this move.

I swear, we’re our own worst enemy sometimes. The only thing that keeps us going at times like this is that the other side has lost all of its good players as well.

Moto, whose most surreal life moment remains when Tip O’Neill shook his head and told him “Aw, son, you don’t look like a Republican.”

Thank you. That’s an indication, but I’d really like to see the actual words of this Sweeney guy. I’d prefer to not have to take some pundit’s word as the full truth.

Don’t these people have any real work to do?

(On the other hand, given the results of their “work” on substantive issues, wasting their time might be an improvement.)