01 Dec 2010

David : Goliath :: Lincoln : Davis?!

All Posts 11 Comments

I was listening to some “light” commentary on NPR concerning a guy Miller who apparently yet again didn’t make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I tuned in during the middle of the monologue, so I didn’t catch the guy’s full name. I gathered he wasn’t a player–or at least, not a player of note–but rather a representative of the players, and was responsible for bringing free agency into baseball.

(For those who have TVs and watch sports, don’t judge me. I catch Krugman errors, not fly balls. There are only 24 hours in the day.)

Anyway, the NPR commentator was trying to describe the injustice of the powerful baseball commissioner (who locked horns with Miller) already being inducted into the Hall of Fame, while Miller had not yet been given the honor. The guy said, “That would be like having Goliath in the biblical hall of fame, but not David. It would be like inducting Jefferson Davis in the league of honored presidents, but leaving out Abraham Lincoln.”

Eh, I don’t think that second analogy really works, unless it just means, “Here are other people I dislike and like.” I can understand how someone raised on standard American lore would even go so far as to compare Lincoln to Jesus. (Not that I endorse the comparison, just saying I understand how someone could think, “Ah yes, a righteous person wielding overwhelming power, freeing slaves and slaying bad guys.”)

But to compare Lincoln to pipsqueak David, and Davis to the monstrous Goliath? I don’t think so.

11 Responses to “David : Goliath :: Lincoln : Davis?!”

  1. Bob Roddis says:

    Marvin Miller was the baseball players’ union chief who basically got players salaries to go from $10,000 per year to $20 million per year.


    Thank goodness for the wisdom of NPR, eh?

  2. knoxharrington says:

    I thought the same thing Bob but then considered the source (Frank DeFord and NPR) and moved on. I’m waiting for DiLorenzo to weigh in.

  3. Daniel Kuehn says:

    David’s “fame” exceeds the “fame” of Goliath.

    Lincoln is “honored” more than Davis is “honored”.

    What is the problem here exactly? That not everyone honors Lincoln? I imagine the Philistines weren’t big fans of David but that doesn’t seem to concern you in the first case.

  4. Bob Roddis says:

    Doesn’t NPR just mean:

    David: good and godlike – Goliath: evil and satanic

    Lincoln: good and godlike – Davis: evil and satanic

    Miller: good and godlike – Commissioner: evil and satanic

    If the bad guy opponents are in the HOF then our godlike heroes must be in the HOF too.

  5. RG says:

    I think he, along with Pete Rose, Arnold Rothstein, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire, would be at the head of the first MLB Hall of Infamy class.

  6. Caveman says:

    “…a righteous person wielding overwhelming power, freeing slaves and slaying bad guys.”

    That sounds more like Moses than Jesus.

  7. Robert Wenzel says:

    @Bob Roddis

    It’s clear that Marvin Miller is who they were referring to. However, I question that he was the one who got players salaries “to go from $10,000 to $20 million.”.. Maybe Baseball Hall of Fame Voters understand economics better than most economists do.

    The sucess of Miller is a total myth promoted by unions everywhere. There is no way MLB could be generating the revenues they are now, while paying players even $10,000 PER MONTH. Total myth.

    • RG says:

      Agreed…if you really dig through the history the only mentions Miller gets are “advising” players to challenge MLB’s reserve clause. But those players had numerous federal court cases “advising” them as well as other professional athletes in other countries “advising” the same way.

      Ironically, it’s free agency that has brought the players’ union to the brink of extinction.

      As soon as all the players figure out that the union is completely unnceessary, it’s gone.

      We could see the same thing happen to the NFLPA in the offseason.

  8. Robert Wenzel says:


    I am going to be real difficult here and say it wasn’t the “free agency” court decisions either. There is no way the money that is floating around in baseball today would ever end up just in the hands of the owners, regardless of what the law said.

    • RG says:

      I’m just suggesting that Miller advocates cite free agency when touting his HOF credentials.

      I agree with your assessment, but I think the money floating around baseball, as well as the quality of players and product, significantly increased specifically because the reserve clause no longer exists (although MLB still maintains exclusions for less experienced players).