State Rep. Jim Murphy wants the DH kept out of MLB. He wants a “traditional” National League as his state isn’t quite as “traditional” as he thinks.
Think of a baseball question, practically any question, and you may not have to wait very long before some politician somewhere gives his or her two cents’ worth and sits guilty of overspending. But at least he or she would waste their own money doing it, if you can call that good news.
Missouri state Rep. Jim Murphy boasts that he’s filed a concurrent resolution in his chamber objecting to the prospect of the National League introducing the DH. (More than a few think it may, in 2021.) Murphy tweets the boast and adds, “In MO we stand for tradition!” As if MLB didn’t have enough troubles and nuisances as spring training begins.
Resolutions such as Murphy’s aren’t intended to become binding law, of course. But so much, too, for government restraint, and for keeping its meathooks away from things it’s neither competent nor constitutionally sanctioned to bother about.
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Murphy’s resolution may not become binding law, with or without being laughed out of the chamber, but it still says there’s little enough left in American life that’s immune to political attention.
Of all the mischief you can accuse baseball’s government of committing or ignoring, the DH isn’t exactly the worst of the lot. But Missouri, like MLB, has essentially stood for tradition until it didn’t when the tradition(s) in question deserved not enhancement but expiration.
Once upon a time, American tradition included slavery in about half the country. It took at least one erroneous Supreme Court ruling in a case that began in a St. Louis court, and the subsequent blood, sweat, and tears of a national civil war, but Missouri’s government abolished legal slavery in January 1865.
One hundred and five years later, a St. Louis Cardinals center fielder—objecting to being traded like chattel at nothing more than the will of his master—spent his Christmas Eve day writing to baseball’s commissioner declaring his intention to challenge the old reserve clause that bound baseball players to the will of their teams’ owners.
Proclaiming along the way that a $90,000 slave was still a slave, so long as he lacked the right of any other American worker at any level to an open job market, Curt Flood‘s second shot heard ’round the world eventually went all the way to the Supreme Court and lost. (It took Andy Messersmith to blow off the hinges the door Flood bumped open.) But not for nothing was he nicknamed by one writer “Dred Scott in Spikes.”