Don’t forget the players who cleared the path
Wilton, N.Y.: Not too many big-leaguers hail from Wyoming like the Mets’ Brandon Nimmo (photo), who the team recently re-signed to an eight-year, $162-million free-agent contract. Tom Browning, 62, pitched a perfect game while he was with the Cincinnati Reds. He’s from Caspar. Then there’s pitcher Dennis DeBarr, who, like Nimmo, is from Cheyenne.
Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities end. When DeBarr played for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1977, he earned $19,000. In the new collective bargaining agreement ratified this past spring, the union representing today’s players, the Major League Baseball Players Association, made sure the minimum salary for players went up 23.8%, from $565,500 to $700,000.
A vested retiree such as Browning can earn as much as $245,000. But DeBarr? He’s among the 500 retirees who played before 1980 who are being thrown a bone during their years on golden pond. They don’t receive pensions because of a vesting change in 1980.
In the new collective bargaining agreement passed in March, that formula was amended: For every 43 games, the man now gets $718.75, up to a maximum of $11,500. While DeBarr is happy to be getting a little bit more in retirement, he’s hardly jumping for joy — literally, because in 2018, DeBarr, who suffers from type 2 diabetes, developed a blister that wouldn’t heal. It morphed into sepsis. Gangrene followed and his left leg was amputated below the knee.
Men like DeBarr stood on picket lines, went without paychecks and endured labor stoppages all so free agency could occur — all so Nimmo could cash in. Douglas J. Gladstone
Dix Hills, L.I.: Ah, so we are being tortured daily by the incessant whining of former royal Prince Harry. It seems disingenuous that complaints from an incredibly rich and happily married young man, who posted nude photos of himself on the internet, who dressed up like a Nazi for a costume party, should be complaining about the bad behavior of his family. Oh yeah, his brother pushed him — yikes. He never had a chance, but I don’t care, and as far as I am concerned, the whole idea of royal lineage in 2023 is nonsense. B. Lorge
Valhalla, N.Y.: I received my Sunday Daily News and splashed on the front page is a smiling picture of a jihadi attempted murderer (“Making of a radical,” Jan. 8). What is The News doing?! This guy is a criminal! Why are we glamorizing him? You’re giving him the friggin’ front page of a monster newspaper! And then two pages inside with happy pictures?! This idiot is probably basking in it and bragging in jail to other criminals: “Hey man, I tried to kill cops, and look, I made the front page of The News!” You’re giving other twisted minds reasons to go out and commit crimes! I understand you want to report the news to the public but couldn’t you report crimes without glamorizing these criminals? Do you have to treat them like they’re celebrities? Michael Grisanti
Brooklyn: I believe Times Square jihadi Trevor Bickford’s photo doesn’t deserve to be, daily, on the front page of the Daily News. Francisco J. Castillo
Gave away the store
Ashburn, Va.: After a historic battle, Kevin McCarthy finally won the House speakership, but he had to promise the far-right and the Freedom Caucus more power in the House. What does it mean, practically speaking, for the rest of us? More conservative bills getting passed in the House but killed in the Senate, a legislative deadlock; more investigations of the Biden administration and calls for his impeachment; numerous economic crises and stock market nosedives as the House delays raising — or outright refuses to raise — the U.S. debt ceiling or to fund government spending; near-complete frustration of the Biden administration and its agenda for the next two years. If you like excitement, hate new laws, oppose abortion, don’t own any stocks or need any government money (like Social Security, loans or entitlements), and don’t care if Russia takes over Ukraine, this could be a fun time for you. Mike Barrett
Path to servitude
Manhattan: Requesting, entreating, begging, pleading, groveling, wheedling, beseeching, imploring, pandering, kowtowing, fawning, toadying, conceding, surrendering. Winning? Phoebe Celentano
Chicago: While Kevin McCarthy walked away with the speaker’s gavel after midnight Friday night, we should be asking ourselves, did anyone really win? Certainly not the Republicans, at least not those who still belong to that part of the party once founded by the likes of Abe, Teddy and Ronald. Not the American people, who are certain to face a minimum of two years with virtually nothing of importance being legislated. In fact, we’ll all be lucky to escape a government shutdown while Jim Jordan and his cohorts investigate phantom threats to our democracy. Even McCarthy is a loser, having given away most of his authority to the Freedom Caucus and, by association, their disgraced leader, currently exiled in Florida. Bob Ory
Massapequa, L.I.: It’s too bad the Republicans aren’t robots like the Democrats, who all vote lock and stock along the party line. If they were, they should have nominated Donald Trump for speaker of the House and voted him in. Watching the complete meltdown of all the liberals in D.C. and across the country would have been worthy of a pay-per-view. Tom Ascher
Brooklyn: To Voicer Frank J. Cifali: I keep wondering why no one has yet recognized the fact that Donald Trump would sell anything to make a quick buck. Why did Trump have a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018, with only their translators in the room? The classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago were probably on their way to Moscow. If any of our government’s classified documents are still missing, they are probably already in Moscow. We can only wonder how much Putin paid for them. Damo Baliga
Brooklyn: The United States of America is a laughingstock around the globe. The Republicans can’t get on the same page for a speaker. President Biden finally went to the border — just when he decides he will run again in 2024. He doesn’t want Kamala Harris, which I don’t blame him for. Here she is, the first Black woman who could have moved mountains, and she did nothing. Egomaniacs are on both sides, losers who only think about themselves and their pockets. What happened to common sense? Reduce all term limits. Let them sign an affidavit — if they promise something and don’t get it done, they are out. Put a fire under their lazy butts. What happened to people who truly wanted to serve their government? It’s embarrassing, to say the least, but more so, it’s sad for all Americans. United we don’t stand. Mariann Tepedino
Bronx: I live in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx. My last pickup for recyclables was Dec. 19. We had Christmas, then New Year’s, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day is coming next week. My day for recyclables pickup is Monday. They do not send a truck for Monday on holidays or days after. Can the city make an exception when this happens? My can is ready to overflow. I know it’s all about money and overtime. Charles Lavorerio
Brooklyn: All of a sudden, judges are crying about politics when it comes to the nomination of Hector LaSalle. I had never heard a judge complain about politics before when it worked for them. John O’Hara
Margate, Fla.: Taking away NYC retirees’ right to choose any doctor and any hospital they want is what will happen if the City Council amends Administrative Code 12-126, allowing insurance clerks to delay and sometimes deny medically necessary treatment for 250,000 retirees under the guise of “pre-existing conditions.” During his campaign, Mayor Adams correctly called Medicare Advantage a “bait-and-switch.” Now that he is under the influence of insurance company lobbyists, he is using that bait-and-switch to take away hard-earned and hard-won medical benefits from retired civil servants who have supported the labor movement their entire working and retired lives. Richard Sherman