March 5, 2008 2:36PM

Clinton Promises to Protect Yankees from Unfair Trade Practices

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A little ditty from an author who wants to remain anonymous:

NEW YORK — Senator Hillary Clinton vowed Tuesday that if elected president she would enact legislation that would give the New York Yankees a reprieve from what she characterized as the "unfair and exploitive" trading practices of the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Clinton, a self-described Yankees fan, told an audience of supporters that the lower wages paid by the smaller-market clubs give the teams an unfair advantage over the Yankees, who are compelled to pay high salaries for the team's superstar players. She vowed that upon assuming the presidency she would immediately ask for a "time out" for trades between the Yankees and the so-called "parasite" teams for five years, during which time Congress and Major League Baseball would study the harm done to the Yankees from these trades and construct a remedy that would protect the team.

She suggested that such protection should be extended to other teams as well, with the Dodgers, Mets, and Cubs among the teams that have been victimized in trades by rivals.

Clinton's proposal was hailed by Yankees fans as a welcome first step toward correcting the imbalances in Major League Baseball that have hindered the Yankees' efforts to remain competitive.

"Let's face it, these teams continually manage to steal talented minor leaguers from us, some of whom eventually enjoy moderately successful major league careers," said Michael Kumar, 26, a florist from Brooklyn. "As a result, we occasionally find ourselves wishing we had the players back that we traded to them. I'm tired of them conniving to weaken our teams in this way. It's about time someone stopped this."

Greg Packer, 43, from Huntington, N.Y., a self-described avid Mets fan, echoed that sentiment. "For too long Major League Baseball has allowed the Royals to rip off our teams without doing anything to prevent it. Brian Bannister was our pitcher and now he's an ace for the Royals. That's (garbage)."

In her address Clinton noted that the Yankees lost once to the Royals in 2006 and twice in 2007, a trajectory that would have Kansas City sweeping the Yankees in the season series by 2011. "We are giving them the rope to hang us with," she said. "This must stop!"

An aide to Senator Clinton pointed out that the payroll of the Royals has increased by over 10 percent per year over the past four years, while the Yankees' payroll has stagnated over the same period. Such a surge has given Kansas City vast resources with which to compete for talent with the Yankees on occasion.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig indicated that he will duly investigate the matter and come up with the appropriate prescription that will give the Yankees at least a modicum of relief from the relentless competition that the Royals inflict upon them.

"I am well aware of the myriad advantages that the Royals have over the Yankees, and it is clear to me as a matter of basic fairness something must be done to rectify this situation and protect teams like the Yankees and Red Sox," he told a reporter in his Milwaukee office.

Selig suggested that the trade "time out" could be phased out over time as the Pirates and Royals increase their attendance and television ratings.

While Senator Barack Obama enthusiastically supported a trade "time-out" as well, analysts have questioned his sincerity after his senior baseball adviser contacted the Chicago Cubs to assure them that if he were elected president they would still be able to make trades.