Presidents 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