AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! and AMEN! again

I feel zero sympathy for A-Fraud, but Joe Sheehan’s body slam of the Used Car Salesman, who’s reportedly prepared to ban the Yankees third sacker for life under the “best interests of baseball” clause, is SOLID FUCKING GOLD.

It is ludicrous that Bud Selig would find himself about to invoke XII.B against anyone. In the 1980s, as owner of the Milwaukee Brewers and a labor hawk, Selig faithfully executed MLB’s plan of colluding to fix the market for baseball players. With his fellow owners under then-commissioner Peter Ueberroth, Selig agreed to not compete for talent, to not look to improve his team, in violation of federal labor law. … Selig may have cost his team a division title while spearheading an approach that would end up costing MLB owners $280 million across three separate judgments and queering relations with the MLBPA for the next two decades.

Seven years later, Selig would make the costs of collusion look like ashtray money. After participating in the ouster of commissioner Fay Vincent in 1992, Selig became the de facto commissioner in advance of the negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement in 1994. As the head of the Executive Council, Selig pushed a hardline approach that included a payroll cap, the ending of salary arbitration and the gutting of free agency. The walkout forced by this approach would cost the game more than a half-billion in direct lost revenue in 1994, and more than a billion dollars in total when 1995 and slack revenues in post-strike seasons are tallied. …

The single most destructive act towards baseball in my lifetime isn’t a player cheating, isn’t Pete Rose betting, isn’t a team snorting coke and it isn’t baseball teams colluding. It’s 1994, and 1994 happened because Bud Selig called a play that a Supreme Court Justice saw right through. Alex Rodriguez could kidnap the NL Central, the Texas League and the Southeastern Conference, shoot them up with heroin and drop them off a barge and not violate XII.B to the extent that Selig has.

This should be required reading for every baseball scribe and broadcaster, most of whom forward the ridiculous argument that the Scourge of Milwaukee has somehow been good for the game.

The best $160 million the Braves never spent

It’s often forgotten that, had then-Rangers owner Tom Hicks not lost leave of his senses, Alex Rodriguez would’ve probably been a Brave.

JS was prepared to offer A-Fraud a contract in the neighborhood of 8 years and $160 million, and early indications were that the Mariners SS was itching to play for Atlanta, his favorite team growing up. In fact, A-Rod chose #3 in honor of his boyhood idol.

Murph should sue for defamation.

Rodriguez, who is seeking a long-term deal averaging $20-$25 million a year, said last week he won’t necessarily go to the highest bidder. The Braves are thought to be willing to offer him a deal averaging $20 million per season, $5 million more than Chipper Jones’ salary, but won’t go any higher.

“What I’m focusing on is a team with a good chance to win, the players, the city, things like that,” Rodriguez told ESPN’s Peter Gammons. “I’m not a selfish player. I want to be one player on a good team that has a chance to win a ring.

“When I sign, people will see that there are no big side deals, and they may find out that I took a little less to play for the team I want to play with.”

“Uh oh,” a baseball executive said to Gammons when informed of Rodriguez’s comment. “That sounds a lot like Atlanta.”

Nope, that sounds a lot like a huge phony.

Rodriguez officially reached rock bottom today, announcing, through his lawyer, his intention¬†to have “no discipline,” not just a reduction in any suspension. And thus ends Ryan Braun’s tenure as baseball’s most loathsome superstar.

All I can say is thank God for Tom Hicks. The Braves have largely avoided players who embarrass the organization, save for one major exception.

Come to think of it, A-Rod and John Rocker would’ve probably gotten along famously had they been teammates — two unlikable cheaters who blame everyone but themselves for self-inflicted wounds.

No to Nick Swisher

The Braves are among six teams pursuing Nick Swisher at a starting price of three years and $11-to-$13 million per, reports Jon Heyman. I wouldn’t pay that, and I suspect he’ll get more.

Stat geeks will pillory me for this, but here’s why I’m wary of Swisher, 32 on Opening Day: 1.) He would be bad for team chemistry and 2.) He’s terrible in the clutch.

Only A-Rod is phonier, according to an SI poll of 232 players. And his postseason numbers are abysmal: 46 games, 154 AB, .169 BA, .283 OBP, .305 slugging percentage. We’ve seen enough of that in Atlanta. (Plus, he’s married to a Scientologist.)

There’s a reason the Yankees aren’t showing much interest in Swisher, and they can afford him.

The Braves can’t afford to spend $35 to $40 million next season on Swisher and Dan Uggla.