(Boy, do I hate having to post this.)
Aging Yankee starting pitcher CC Sabathia was ejected from his final start of the 2018 season for intentionally throwing at and hitting an opposing batter. This meant Sabathia would fall a couple of innings short of pitching his 155th inning for the year, which would have triggered a half-million dollar bonus bonus. Not the CC needs the money: the not-quite-Hall of Fame caliber hurler has already earned about a quarter of a billion dollars plying his trade, and he’s still in his thirties.
Nonetheless, the Yankees decided that CC has been a loyal and exemplary employee, so they decided not to be technical about the bonus provision, and gave him the $500,000 anyway.
This is pure gratitude and generosity, and much as I detest the New York Yankees, attention must be paid. The Yankees have no reason to try to suck up to CC, who is already signed for next season and who is probably going to retire after it. They are simply signaling that they appreciate what Sabathia has done for them, the city and Yankee fans, and acknowledging that he lost those last few innings “protecting his team mates,” according to the ancient, often stupid, unwritten rules of baseball.
Still, a half-million bucks is one hell of a Christmas bonus.
This is the final day of the regular baseball season, and an appropriate time to salute a major league player who placed principle over cash….even if I disagree with him
Phil Hughes was a bargain pick-up during the off-season for the Twins, a failed pitching phenom for the Yankees widely viewed to be on a fast slope to oblivion. He surprised everyone with a wonderful season for the otherwise woeful Minnesota team this season, potentially setting the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio record, and began his final start of the campaign needing to throw eight and a third innings to reach 210 and trigger a $500,000 bonus in his contract.He would have made it, too, pitching eight dominant innings against the Diamondbacks and allowing just one run. Then there was a downpour, with Hughes needing one more out to get the extra $500,000.
After more than an hour’s rain delay, the game was resumed, but as is the practice in baseball, Hughes did not return to pitch: too long a delay, his arm too cold, too much risk of injury, especially after throwing so many pitches. Hughes accepted the bad luck without complaint or rancor, saying that “some things aren’t meant to be.” Continue reading
It has been a rotten week in every way. My good friend and mentor, legal ethics expert/ attorney/ professor/performer David Austern died, leaving me with memories of how much he meant to my life, and how inadequately I thanked him. My son has been off on his first extended road trip without us, giving his mother and I a preview of how much we will miss him as he prepares to leave the nest. And, of course, I simultaneously watched our government fulfill my most pessimistic predictions as it appeared to fairly shamelessly embrace lies and abuse of power as legitimate tools of governance, and lost respect for many, many people I had once thought better of for not only excusing the inexcusable, but embracing a looming threat to democracy.
Depressing, discouraging, frightening, and rotten through and through.
I need a break.
I need hope.
Thank you, Miss Jo, whoever you are. Continue reading
Michael, who now leads the field in Comments of the Day, picks up another with his commentary on my post about AIG’s continuing habit of living large on taxpayer funds. Here are his reflections on the post Dear AIG: I’m Not Going To Be Able To Keep Criticizing “Occupy Wall Street” For Destructive Class Warfare If You Act Like This:
“A company can allow any expenses they want. That being said, since they are now majority owned by the US government, we need to ask who is giving the go ahead to things like this? Why haven’t they been fired? The Wall Street culture is so entitled and so out of touch with the reality of the common Americans that it is almost beyond belief.
“The Occupy Wall Street group could have a lot of legitimate gripes, but they don’t seem to have anyone with half a brain in the group. Instead of hearing “I want them to take the money from rich people and give it to me” form a college aged girl wearing $500 worth of clothes or “I have gone to every protest I can find for the last 40 years” from the aging hippies, why not try one of the following angles: Continue reading
Pelican Hill...where wealthy insurance executives can spend taxpayer funds like it was Monopoly money!
American International Group Inc. (AIG), the huge insurer—too big to fail!— that is now majority-owned by the U.S. after a 2008 bailout of $85 billion, has resumed its arrogant, irresponsible habit of living like sultans on the money of taxpayers, many of whom are getting kicked out of their homes and who can’t find jobs.
Back in October 0f 2008, the House Oversight Committee nearly had a collective stroke when it discovered that, just one week after the federal government bailed out AIG because it was too vital a part of the shaky world financial markets to let go belly-up as it richly deserved, company executives went on a wildly-expensive retreat to a luxury resort. The executives “spent nearly $500,000 on manicures, facials, pedicures, and massages,” among other things. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) was incredulous, and he wasn’t alone: Continue reading
"Iolanthe's" Lord Chancellor has nothing on me: his nightmare* was only "love unrequited." Mine is the SEC.
[ I read about the following outrage before going to bed last night, and vowed to write a post on it in the morning. It literally gave me nightmares and an upset stomach, so disrupting my repose that I gave up and headed to the keyboard. I am writing this at 4:30 AM. I have never written anything at 4:30 AM before, but I have learned something useful for future reference: I’m not in a good mood then.]
And here we have a prime example of why 1) many people don’t trust the Federal government and 2) why they are 100% right to feel this way.
I’ll take “Incompetence, Failure of Accountability and the Appearance of Impropriety” for a thousand, Alex!
SEC Inspector General H. David Kotz has issued a thorough report on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing that an employee who investigated Bernie Madoff in 2005 and 2006 and failed to notice that he was running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme was later rewarded by the agency with a cash bonus…for his fine work on the Madoff scandal after it was discovered, the lives ruined, the damage done. Continue reading
Next, how about a bonus for confessions?
Sometimes a story starts the ethics alarms ringing so loudly that it is hard to think about anything else. It is rare, however, to have this occur when it is not entirely clear what is so unethical. An unusual bonus arrangement in Colorado is in this category.
Carol Chambers, the District Attorney for Colorado’s Eighteenth Judicial District, offers financial incentives for felony prosecutors who meet her office’s goals for convictions. Plea bargains and mistrials don’t count in the incentive program; they have to be trial convictions. The bonuses average $1,100, and Chambers says she gives them out to encourage prosecutors to bring her district’s rates in line with other jurisdictions in the state. No other Colorado DA gives out bonuses, or bases evaluations on conviction rates. Continue reading
Here we go again.
A.I.G. is paying out another 100 million in “retention pay,” also known as eye-popping bonuses, which is certain provoke another round of cursing from the public and posturing by politicians. The question is whether it is unethical to pay these bonuses, and you’re not going to like the answer. I don’t like it much myself.
It is no. Continue reading