Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Senator Specter to Launch Colossal Waste of Time Commission for Terrell Owens? Vic Power, Seven Time Gold Glove Winner, Dead at 78.

Senator Specter to Launch Colossal Waste of Time Commission?

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter (R - Tool) joined fellow solons John McCain (R - Straight Out Of His Ass Talk) and Jim Bunning (R - The Game Was Better In My Day) in the We Have No Other Pressing Issues That Need Attention club today by butting into the Terrell Owens v. Philadelphia Eagles "controversy". Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

PHILADELPHIA - Sen. Arlen Specter accused the National Football League and the Philadelphia Eagles of treating Terrell Owens unfairly and said he might refer the matter to the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.

Specter said at a news conference Monday in Harrisburg it was "vindictive and inappropriate" for the league and the Eagles to forbid the all-pro wide receiver from playing and prevent other teams from talking to him.

"It's a restraint of trade for them to do that, and the thought crosses my mind, it might be a violation of antitrust laws," Specter said, though some other legal experts disagreed.

The Eagles suspended Owens on Nov. 5 for four games without pay for "conduct detrimental to the team, and deactivated him with pay on Sunday after the suspension ended.

Arbitrator Richard Bloch said last week the team's actions were supported by the labor agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association.

"The arbitrator's decision is consistent with our collective bargaining agreement, and it simply enforced the terms of the player's contract," Greg Aiello, an NFL spokesman, said Monday.

"To have an antitrust violation, you have to have a contract or conspiracy in restraint of trade," said Robert McCormick, a law professor at Michigan State University.

Matthew J. Mitten, director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University, said, "We're in the labor arena, not antitrust."

Full Story

Why the hell is Specter sticking his useless nose into this business? Does he, like the aforementioned senators McCain and Bunning, have nothing better to do with his time than insinuate himself into matters that not only do not need his interference, but that will sort themselves out in due course? Like McCain and Bunning, who implied that they had the right to make Major League Baseball toughen it's steroid testing policy, Specter is grandstanding.

Hey Arlen, news flash: There are probably hundreds of other matters on which you should focus your attention.

Short list:

  • The failure of the Iraq war and the probable fixing of the intelligence that led us into it.
  • The federal government's woefully inadequate response to hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.
  • The countless no-bid contracts given to Vice President Snarl's Halliburton and it's limitless subcontractors.
  • The administration's outing of a covert operative to get back at her spouse for having the audacity to tell Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy that his Iraq nukes intelligence was bogus.
  • Rampant corruption by members of your party in Congress (Cunningham, DeLay, Ney).
Get the point? Or maybe he's going to launch another Warren Commission in which he'll determine that Terrell Owens's bad behavior was the result of having been struck in the noggin by another magic bullet.

Vic Power, Seven Time Gold Glove Winner, Dead at 78

Baseball lost one of it's most colorful characters today when Vic Power, seven-time Gold Glove winning first baseman, died today of cancer at the age of 78. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico - Vic Power, a flashy fielding All-Star and the last major leaguer to steal home twice in a game, died Tuesday. He was 78.

Power died of cancer in a hospital in this suburb of San Juan, said his sister, Carmen Pellot Power.

A four-time All-Star who won seven Gold Gloves at first base from 1958-64, Power was known for his showy, one-handed snags. He hit .284 with 126 home runs and 658 RBIs in a 12-year career, mostly with the Athletics, Cleveland and Minnesota.

"I think Vic was one of the best-fielding first basemen of all-time," former Indians roommate Mudcat Grant said Tuesday. "He'd catch balls on one hop, two hops, all sorts of ways. "I remember once when he missed a popup over his head, down the right-field line. After the game, he took his glove into the clubhouse and cut it into little bitty pieces," Grant said. "He said he didn't need that glove anymore."

Power achieved a rare feat in 1958, becoming among only a handful of players to steal home twice in the same game. His swipe in the 10th inning led Cleveland over Detroit 10-9 — curiously, Power had only three steals the whole season.

Power was flamboyant on the field and off. He drove a Cadillac, listened to all kinds of music and liked to visit museums. "He liked life," Grant said. "He'd blow kisses to fans in the stands. And when I roomed with him, you never knew about Vic. He might come in right after the game, and he might come in four hours later."

Born in Arecibo, Power was among the first Hispanic players in the majors. Traded from the New York Yankees farm system in December 1953, he made his big league debut in 1954 with the Philadelphia Athletics. Power went with the A's when they moved to Kansas City in 1955, and was traded to Cleveland for Roger Maris in the middle of the 1958 season. That year, Power became the Indians' first Gold Glove winner.

He also played for Minnesota, the Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia Phillies, and finished his career with California in 1965. Later, he played first and third base and worked as a manager in the Puerto Rican league.

After his retirement, Power set up a baseball academy for young players and managed an amateur team that participated in various international competitions.

Full Story

Power is ranked as the 81st best first baseman of all time in the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Here are Power's Career Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com (see link on my blog roll).

In James's capsule analysis he refers to Power as being "a spectacular defensive first baseman, an acrobat who would dive for ground balls half way to second base". Doug Meintkewicz, former Twins/Red Sox/Mets first baseman is the only active first baseman to play the position the way Power played it, just to give you an idea about how good Power was with the glove.

James also revealed that Power was stalled in the Yankee system after two outstanding years at their farm club in Kansas City. In 1952 he led the American Association in doubles with 40 and triples with 17 to go along with his .331 batting average, 16 homers and 109 RBI. He followed that season with a league-leading .349 batting average on 217 hits. These performances did not earn him a promotion to Yankee Stadium, at least not as a Yankee.

James points out that part of the delay in Power getting to the big leagues was the fact that he was a dark-skinned Puerto Rican who came along before the Yankees were ready to break the color barrier, which they finally did with Elston Howard in 1955.

Traded to the Philadelphia Athletics before the 1954 season, Power broke in as an outfielder, and would also play a little second base and third base from time to time, even once he had established himself as a top-notch first baseman. He was second in the American League batting race with a .319 batting average in 1955 (Al Kaline of the Detroit Tigers won it with a .340 mark), and led the AL in triples with 10 in 1958. He was second in the AL in doubles with 34 in 1955 and again in 1958 with 37.

James ends his piece on Power with the following anecdote: "Vic Power in a restaurant in Syracuse, 1951. An embarrassed waiter shuffles up to him and explains, "I'm sorry, sir, we don't serve colored people." "That's OK," says Power. "I don't eat colored people."


Ken Kaniff from Connecticut said...

Partisan claptrap. What Specter stated is a fact; the NFL has very specific rules regarding a team's ability to punish its players. What the Eagles are doing is wrong. I am not a fan of TO nor of his agent Rosenhaus however for the Eagles to shelve TO like this, someone needs to stand up. And since the arbitrator refused to acknowledge this reality, perhaps Congress should.

I also disagree with what you stated about Senator McCain, and it is surprising to see you blog something like this, I thought you would consider voting for Mr McCain for president? Of course not; yellow-dog democrat.

listerplus said...

Been drinking the CST coffee again Ken? I did NOT address the issue of whether or not the Eagles were correct, I addressed the issue that Specter, like McCain, is a grandstanding so-and-so. Neither Congress nor the Senate have any business in this matter. To insist that they do shows you to be the antithesis of what you claim, as a conservative, to support, namely smaller, less intrusive government.

And we've discussed McCain before. I voted for him in the 2000 primary because I wanted to stick it to Governor Bush, not out of any real desire to see him as President. But, having said that, I'd take him over Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy any day, and it has nothing to do with any knee-jerk reaction, as is assumed by your inaccurate name calling.