who Jose Canseco will endorse in the Presidential race. For several hours, they listened to the top muckity of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who arrived in a seven-car motorcade (surely with air, ground and water support), and outlined ways to make games safer next year - (such as eliminating food and food service workers - yep, fire the help! Good luck on that, folks!)
I don't mean to belittle attempts to improve ballpark security. (Full-body strip-frisks, at times, can be quite titillating.) But today, the owners get down to the nitty.
First, they must write a "Chase Utley Rule," aka "Save our Shortstops," - making it tougher for Shelley Duncans to spike Ray guys in the balls, after one of Joe Madden thugs has done a home plate cheap shot on Frankie Cervelli, affecting his Yankee career, but that's another story.
Then, the old codgers will start divvying up the future.
The meetings, which end Thursday, are the last before the likely start of collective bargaining with the players’ association for a labor contract to replace the deal that expires next Dec. 1. Even before talks with the union, owners have to determine their bargaining positions on key economic issues such revenue-sharing, the luxury tax threshold and rates, and whether management wants to push harder for an international amateur draft.
Yes, today, the future of baseball will take shape. If the owners continue their seismic moves toward full-revenue sharing via luxury taxes - in other words, if they follow the NFL and NBA on a socialistic bent toward parity - it'll be great news for Hal "Food Stamps" Steinbrenner's bottom line... and awful news for every ticket-buying, YES-subscribing, Little Debbie Snack Cake-eating Yankee fan.
If MLB makes every franchise equal in the amount of money it can spend on payroll, then NYC teams are in for some tough decades. If everything is equal, the NYC players face traffic jams, subway rides, doggy-poo, and distractions that range from brutal carjackings to Times Square transvestite hookers. Meanwhile, the small market team drives to work in 15 minutes and only has to worry about how to order his prized Kansas City steak - or Denver sour diesel.
If the big market teams can't use their extra money, the small market teams will dominate. Look at the NFL. Look at the NBA.
The toughest place for pro athletes to play will always be New York City.
Today, Hal Steinbrenner either goes in, guns blazing, and tells the old-timers that baseball needs the New York Fucking Yankees... not the NY Padres or Devil Rays - not another team that looks to build by coming in last for the next five years.
Today, Hal either tells them he's not a comfortable, boot-licking son of old money - or he'll just click his heels, whine about the help, and order the squab.
Listen: I write nasty things about Hal way too often. I'd love to cut him slack. I'd love to see him as a great owner of the Yankees. All he has to do is win. Believe me, I'll praise him to the heights.
But today, he's gotta fight.