Sports Medley: 25
by Tony Medley
Tom Brady’s suspension, overturned last September by U.S. District Court
Judge Richard Berman in a ruling directly contrary to the law, was
upheld Monday by a Federal Appeals court, which stated, in part, “We
hold that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under
the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were
properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of
fundamental fairness,” adding, “the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, has
especially broad powers to discipline improper conduct.” It went on to
say, “It is not (the court’s) job to second-guess Goodell’s procedural
rulings or if Brady schemed to deflate footballs.”
In my column on
August 12, 2015, I wrote, “(T)his
is an arbitration. Courts are historically reluctant to overturn
arbitration decisions based on mistakes of either fact or law.
Arbitration awards are almost always inviolable unless someone can prove
fraud, which is why nobody in their right mind should ever agree to
Our system of justice
sets the stage for individual judges who so choose to be petty tyrants
(especially federal judges who have lifetime appointments), ignoring the
law at will to reach a conclusion they want. It appears that that’s what
happened in Brady’s case when Judge Berman overturned the NFL’s
arbitration decision. Brady should have served his suspension and, if he
had, the 2015 NFL season would undoubtedly have had a completely
different ending, all because of one tyrannical judge who ignored the
law for his own personal reasons.
The more things
change, the more they stay the same:
The season was only two days old before it was clear that the Dodgers
are up to their old bad habits. Two years ago I railed all season long
that Justin Turner was their best hitter and should be the first name
penciled into the lineup.
It wasn’t until
midseason last year, though, 12 months too late, that tired old Donnie
Baseball relented and made him a starter, and now Turner is batting
third or fourth, the spots of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in the batting
Last year it was
clear that Kiké Hernandez was one of the most talented players on the
team, a guy who could hit for average, run, and defend, and always gave
100%, ŕ la Eddie Stanky and Pete Rose. Yet Kiké couldn’t break into
Donnie’s starting lineup.
Now we’ve got this
new manager, Dave Roberts, who is keeping Kiké as a utility player.
Sunday, for example, Kiké, batting a robust .325 despite having to come
off the bench much of the time to pinch hit (and who hit two home runs
off of the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, one of the best pitchers in the
game and who had made a spectacular catch in left field the preceding
day to preserve a no-hitter by Kenta Maeda), found himself on the bench
with Trayce Thompson (.243) playing left field and Howie Kendrick (.175)
playing third base, both positions Kiké plays well.
In the 4th
inning on consecutive plays, Thompson misjudged a fly ball, running
backwards when it fell in front of him, and Kendrick misplayed a ground
ball, both resulting in runs as Colorado cut the lead to 7-4.
Where do the Dodgers
get these people like Mattingly and Roberts who couldn’t recognize
talent in newer players even if they were looking at a young Babe Ruth?
Kiké Hernandez should play every day, period.
As a postscript, one
would think that Dodgers major domo, Andrew Friedman, would want Kiké in
the lineup to assuage fans still incensed at the trade of Dee Gordon,
last year’s NL batting champion, stolen base king and leader in hits.
The Dodgers received Hernandez for Gordon. If Kiké plays regularly and
is, indeed, a .300 hitter, as is possible, the trade could turn out
better for the Dodgers than it looks (although they also received
reliever Chris Hatcher, who has been a boon for opposing batters
allowing almost one run per inning this year, in the same trade). But that can’t happen
if Hernandez isn’t a starter.
“…This call should of went that way; this call should of went this
way…,” Chris Broussard ESPN analyst, on “Mike and Mike in the Morning”
speaking of criticisms of NBA referees. Broussard graduated from Oberlin
College in 1990 with a degree in English (yes, you read that right!).