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August 9, 2001
The Daily Prospectus
Your Tax Dollars at WorkTaking their cue from the compassionate conservative currently occupying the White House, a group of Congressmen have taken it upon themselves to personally intervene in an individual's job action.
The catch? The person in question is Eric Gregg, one of the major-league umpires who resigned as part of an end run around a perfectly legal labor agreement in 1999. The attempt to strong-arm Major League Baseball failed, and 22 of the umpires in involved were subsequently let go by MLB (an arbitrator recently ordered that nine of the 22 be rehired, a group that does not include Gregg).
In appealing to Bud Selig, the 25 Congressmen, led by Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.), state in their letter that Gregg is "destitute and near bankruptcy" and may be in danger of losing his home. Gee, I can't imagine why. Gregg has stubbornly refused to pursue another line of work in the wake of his resignation. As best as I can tell, he's been doing some odd jobs, including bartending, and essentially biding his time, waiting for a phone call that isn't going to come.
This seems like a natural development, right? A man quits his job as part of an illegal labor action, won't establish another career in the wake of doing so, and finds himself suffering the consequences of that decision.
Of course: Congress should take up his cause!
Eric, get a job. Mr. Brady, get some common sense. Gregg is not a victim of anything but his own decision-making, and his ridiculous attempts to create sympathy for himself are embarrassing. There are millions of people more deserving of a helping hand, and the use of government officials' time and effort on Gregg is a slap in the face to each and every one of them.
I had planned to provide a full list of signatories to the letter sent by Brady to MLB, but I'm having some difficulty doing so. I have been able to acquire a partial list, which I'll include below. If your Congressman is on here, and you happen to be falling on hard times, drop him a line. I'm sure he'll be happy to round up some of his cronies and make it their business to get you back on your feet.
Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.)
Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. You can contact him by clicking here.