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Rat sighted under Barstool

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With a possible baseball strike looming, and Stoolie tomfoolery dumped in our laps just yesterday, it’s time to check in with our labor watch-rat, Scabby

You may have noticed a couple of new bylines recently (Leonard Gore unveiled the White Sox 2020 schedule, and now IceColdFalstaff aka Rob Warmowski aka @Whitesoxski on Twitter graces us with this interview), without the usual accompanying Meet the Players writer intro. There’s a reason for that, and we’ll get to it tomorrow.


@ScabbyTheRat is a voice and icon of organized labor on Twitter, which is a singular accomplishment for a 10-foot-tall inflatable rat. I got a chance to sit down with him to talk about the recent threats against employee unionization by Barstool Sports head Mike Portnoy.

Rob Warmowski: How long have you been a White Sox fan?

Scabby the Rat: I go back to the days of Wilbur Wood and Rich Gossage. Loved Nova last night. And attaboys to the defense — a complete game with only three Ks? Wow.

RW: Portnoy and his team are spinning yesterday’s outbursts as some kind of three-dimensional chess move on the part of the boss, a victory in the attention economy. What do you say to that?

Scabby: In spite of himself, the guy managed to do a great service to working people yesterday. The United States is the birthplace and home field of company public relations propaganda. What we call news in this country is overwhelmingly the viewpoint of the boss. We have been living for just about a 100 years now under this propaganda’s spell, so tens of millions of workers have very little idea about the facts of life for a boss. But after yesterday, we could all see exactly what keeps the boss up at night — it’s the idea that the people who do all the work and create all the value could join up and protect themselves from him. The mask slipped right off. That doesn’t happen often.

RW: You have to laugh at the idea that anyone who owns a cyclone of dumbfuckery like Barstool is playing chess.

Scabby: We give the boss the benefit of the doubt — that’s one of the effects of the propaganda system we live under.

RW: Another revelation was that his threat to fire anyone “on the spot” was in violation of federal law. I bet that was news to a lot of people beyond Portnoy.

Scabby: Yes! It will be news to working people that federal laws actually exist that protect workers from being fired for showing interest in a union. That there’s a way to protect yourself in the workplace, to get a better deal in spite of the boss. The efforts of the Trump administration and the GOP haven’t been able yet to transition this country back to slavery, and that’s a hopeful message.

RW: Just like 1994, there’s going to be another baseball strike right when the White Sox are in contention, isn’t there?

Scabby: The free agent market and service time manipulations plainly show ownership doesn’t actually care about contention. We White Sox fans should take it up with the responsible parties — Jerry Reinsdorf, Rick Hahn, and, assuming he actually does anything in his office, Kenny Williams.