Though I’ve already weighed in on the inanity of Arte Moreno and Bud Selig threatening to suspend or terminate Gary Matthews Jr. — whom at present, has merely been accused of purchasing drugs that weren’t on MLB’s probibited substance list at the time — the New York Sun’s Tim Marchman has even less patience for the grandstanding efforts of a certain New York Daily News columnist / crap novelist.
I think that Mike Lupica of the Daily News (above) should be fired for using human growth hormone.
Do I have any proof that he’s used the stuff? No, I have to admit that I don’t. Do I have any particular reason to think the News is legally able to fire sportswriters because they use hGH? No, I again have to admit that I don’t. Still, Lupica doesn’t have any more proof that Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. has used hGH than I do that Lupica has. Nor does he have any more reason to think that the Angels can void Matthews’s contract than I have to think that the Daily News can void his. Despite this, he felt free to wax ludicrous in yesterday’s paper over how Angels owner Arte Moreno is being deprived of his rights because he can’t fire Matthews, who was recently alleged to have ordered hGH over the Internet in a Sports Illustrated article.
Turnabout is fair play.
“How come Matthews has more rights than the owner here?” Lupica groaned, mourning the injustice of a legally binding contract to which both Matthews and the Angels agreed freely. “Why can’t Arte Moreno do what bosses in the real world do, and fire somebody for drugs?”
Assuming this isn’t meant rhetorically, the answer is that Matthews is protected from being fired capriciously over the fact that his name has come up in a drugtrafficking investigation because he’s represented by a union. Additionally, the Angels, like all baseball teams, are protected from having to employ ballplayers who enjoy this right by their own rights to not sign them and to buy out their contracts. If the unproven allegations against Matthews are so intolerable to the Angels, after all, they’re perfectly free to cut him a check for the $50 million he’s due and send him packing.
Lupica, like all people who think that the rights others have fairly negotiated are valid only so long as they don’t irritate them (a shocking number of these people write about baseball for a living), is a soft target. The problem is that people who think like this aren’t all seen foaming in the newspapers and heard raving on drive-time sports radio; some of them are wandering the halls of Congress.