Recess Time

fun_and_games.jpgPresidents often use the time-honored (or dishonored, depending on who you ask) tradition of the recess appointment to fill positions that have been blocked by the Congress.  Usually these are judges that one party is holding up because of some ideological dispute or just to prove a point.  Nothing says “screw you” quite like, well, like screwing you.

Presidents wield supreme executive authority and that makes it easy for them to make these kind of moves.  Legislative powers are spread out between 535 (mainly) crusty old men and even supreme judicial power is divided up between 9 judges.  But the president is one person and that means he can make decisions much more quickly when he needs to.

So, here’s the question.  Where could a baseball team take a lesson from the president in this matter?  The manager is already relatively free to play who they want when they want but most don’t have the power to unload a guy who’s underperforming.  Team owners are pretty much expected to pony up the money and then get out of the way.

When it comes down to it, if there’s one guy who can exercise executive power in the ballpark, it’s the GM.  The team owner endows the GM with the ability to make huge decisions affecting the present and the future of the franchise and the GM is expected to repay that trust with quality acquisitions and wins.  When the guy is Brian Cashman and the bank account is bottomless, that works out pretty well.  When the guy is Isiah Thomas and an entire league no longer exists because of your actions, well, that’s a different story.

But if the GM is like the president, how would he go about making a recess appointment?  If you ask me, pretty much everything done during the offseason is a recess appointment.  Trades and moves made during the season take place under the watchful eyes of millions of fans.  Once the World Series is over, the diehard fans still take notice and the news will get some play but there’s so much else to keep track of, any hubbub dies away pretty quickly.

So here’s a hint for any of you budding GMs out there.  You want to follow in the President’s footsteps and make a recess appointment?  Just wait til people’s heads are turned the other way and then make the trade you know will infuriate everyone.  They don’t have to like it, they just have to get used to it.


-Photo via Skull Swap



  1. Jonestein

    Recess appointments are just another slimy way to circumvent the three-branch system of checks and balances put in place to protect us from ambitious, yet idiotic chief executives like the current and previous occupants. Republicrat rent-seekers and useful idiots, however, tout the usefulness of such affronts to the republic just as long as “their guy” is the one polluting the Oval Office.

    In the realm of MLB politics, however, Texas Rangers Mega-GM Jonestein wouldn’t hesitate to distract Nolan Ryan with a prize heifer and the “I Am Second” Christian crowd with a MercyMe concert long enough to offload Josh Hamilton elsewhere for someone who isn’t made of paper mâché.

  2. Jonestein

    …and before any of you start quoting the Constitution to me, allow me to clarify: I speak of modern day recess appointments and how they are abused by our chief knuckleheads via loose interpretations of Article II.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled RSBS Comment Section Snarkathon.


  3. youcanhangastaronthisone

    You know, I completely disagree. GMs don’t make deals in the offseason because of less media/fan pressure. Really, if a GM thought about these things when trying to make a deal they’d be a terrible GM. They’d always trade prospects for veterans, they’d overpay for “stars” and do other numerous stupid things. Also, I think owners are a great deal more involved than you imply. GMs don’t have completely free reign over their team’s fortunes. They most certainly have to make a case to the owner before trading anyone. No, the owner isn’t the one fielding the calls from other GMs or putting players on the trading block or negotiating the player to be named later. But the owner clearly will want to be notified because in any trade payroll will increase or decrease and the performance on the field will be affected. And owners tend to be keenly aware of such things. I think GMs make deals in the offseason because that’s when player values are the highest. Every team thinks they can compete this year (unless the team is located in Pittsburgh or Kansas City) so every team thinks they can add that one extra piece to make the playoffs. Mid season, half the teams are going to be out of the race and the market for Curtis Granderson is cut in half. Also, the owner really cares about the fans showing up and buying garlic fries. And the fans show up when the team is winning. And so while it may infuriate fans in the offseason or even midseason to trade a certain player, really the goal for the organization is to win. Because winning drives gate receipts, fills the owner’s pockets and keeps the fans happy. If trading a player and putting up with some fan backlash can help the team win more in the future, that’s the true goal of a GM/Owner team. So they don’t really care when the trade is or the reaction.

  4. Jane Heller

    Completely off topic, but didn’t you guys have a post last year around this time about the controversy in Detroit – the Tigers were having their Opening Day on Easter Sunday and Catholics were upset? I remember there was a heated discussion, but the specifics are fuzzy. Anyhow, since the Yankees open in Boston on Sunday – Easter – I’m wondering why no one seems to mind this time. What am I missing?

  5. redstatebluestate

    Jane — The controversy last year wasn’t about playing on Easter… every team played on Easter last year. It was that Detroit was playing on Good Friday, during the hours that supposedly sky daddy’s son was dying on the cross… of course, if you believe in that sort of flying spaghetti monster stuff, I can see how it might bother you… wait, no I can’t. That’s a lie. It was stupid really. Even if all that stuff WERE true (I have never seen any evidence supporting this idea), people seemed to lose sight of the extreme time difference between Detroit and Jerusalem.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s