$ay it ain't $o

It's all about the money. "Money, money, money makes the world go round," intones the comic in the Broadway musical. Money counts! Always has. Always will.

"Follow the money!" That was Ben Bradlee's marching order to his hotshot pair of rookie reporters. Masters Woodward and Bernstein did precisely as the boss demanded and it led to the toppling of the President of the United States.

Vulgar as it may seem to the squeamish there is nothing abnormal about this essential notion governing the mentality of the most materialistic society ever to bloom on the face of this earth. It was yet another president -- the one who presided over much of that hedonistic romp known as "the Roaring Twenties" -- who famously declared, "The business of America is business!"

And what is the essential grist of business? Why, it is money! What else? It's how you make it and how you spend it, old Sport.

But why must it permeate everything we do, say, think, or yearn for all the way from the corridors of high finance to the ball yards of the Republic? It's in baseball that money, in all of its omnipotence, begins to look silly.

The issue of money has come to obsess baseball; dominating everything from policy through performance. Where once the rallying cry was ''Take me out to the Ballgame,'' now it's ''Show me the Color of your Money!'' No aspect of the game is more hotly disputed than the infernal mishmash of contracts, payroll, free-agency, and luxury tax. Currently shaping up ingloriously is a banner year for all this bloody stuff.

In Boston, they'll spend the season counting down the Fenway service time of Jacoby Ellsbury, their most talented player although there's reasonable doubt about his motivation. With "Mr. Squeeze" -- Scott Boras -- for an agent it's reasonably presumed he's gone at season's end and can't wait to split, probably for the West Coast. Shades of Freddie Lynn!

If the Red Sox' season turns out to be a dud -- entirely possible given the early look of things -- the outcry to trade him somewhere, anywhere, while it's still possible to get a bucket of balls and a bundle of bats in return will reach operatic extremes by the end of July. It's a depressing prospect that could only amuse a talk-show.

But as these fiascos go it will be chump-change compared to the grand opera now shaping up in New York where Robinson Cano becomes the latest alleged franchise-player to go to the mattress with the Yankees. It's the worst case scenario for the erstwhile money-is-no-object Bronx Bombers who suddenly find themselves rapidly deflating and crying poor-mouth.

Talented as he may be Cano is overrated. Aren't they all? But the Yankees have convinced themselves that they can't let this guy flee if only because he'd be their only alleged franchise-player still in his prime and not teetering toward dotage while commanding a superstar-salary.

Compounding the mess is the fact that Cano, who in his perpetual nonchalance will gladly hustle the last lousy dime, also has for an agent the insufferable Boras, who has mastered the dubious art of hustling the last lousy dime.

It's the perfect storm of contract disputes that's now evolving in the Bronx. It has all the choice ingredients; a player with a gravely exaggerated sense of his worth, an agent who thinks it's all about him, and the ultimate team in the ultimate market gripped by panic as they brink on an identity crisis. Early in March, the pot already boils. This one's going to be a whopper.

And if the Yankee's season turns out to be a dud -- already a very strong possibility given the early look of things -- the Cano controversy could get wonderfully ugly.

If I were them I'd be looking for ways to bail out on this guy, much as I would if I were the Red Sox in the matter of Ellsbury. But because Cano is the better player and there's more at stake in his case the matter is more urgent for the Yankees, and more complex.

Cano is a 30 year old middle-infielder believed to be seeking power-hitter Joey Voto or Albert Pujols money, and that means a 10-year deal for upwards to a quarter of a billion bucks which, by the way, is well more than either Voto or Pujols is worth. But such a contract for Cano is even more absurd. For all his skills he remains capable of going AWOL for an entire post-season which is precisely the stunt he pulled just last fall, seemingly without allowing it to ruin his winter.

Is this where the Yankees want to go as they enter the last wretched throes of Alex Rodriguez's epic meltdown with his historic albatross of a contract now effectively paralyzing the franchise? Next question: "Do the Yankees ever learn?"

It would have been unthinkable even a year ago and deemed treasonous when Big Daddy George was still with us but you have to believe Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman are pondering the option of waving on Cano. For they know that if they cave in to Cano and Boras it will be near impossible to meet their determined goal of keeping next season's payroll under $189 million thereby avoiding the huge luxury tax penalties about to go into effect in what amounts to baseball's new -- if unofficial -- "salary cap." Baseball has its own fiscal cliff. It's called "the luxury tax."

To keep Cano, the Yankees would have to excise other killer contracts. That Curtis Granderson must be sacrificed is a foregone conclusion. But deeper cuts are necessary and nobody's going to relieve them of the the nine-figure millstone pacts of Brothers Teixeira and Sabbathia. Nor would they dare stiff Derek Jeter. Which leaves them with the ever lovely A-Rod and his $114 million, still on the books.

They will try to purge A-Rod. Doubtless they're plotting it even as we speak. The process will be fascinating -- maybe the biggest story of the 2013 season -- and it's almost certainly doomed to fail.

A contract is a contract is a contract, as Gertie Stein might have said. It's the most fundamental premise of the business of America. It's all about the money.

How the Yankees would love to have the Dodgers come along and rescue them as they did the Red Sox by casually absorbing Boston's bloated contracts last summer. The Dodgers payroll is so far over the tax-threshold they don't even pay attention anymore. What's another $100 million among plutocrats? Money is king in La La Land. Someday, they'll wake up and it will be Monday Morning again. But it ain't happening this year.

The Dodgers are believed to covet Cano and Boras is near certain to plant him out there, where he too is based. But why should the Dodgers get the Yankees off the hook now? Loaded up as they are, they'll gladly wait until October.

Of course, dumping ridiculous contracts guarantees nothing but the opportunity to reprise your ruinous folly. Few are impressed with what the Red Sox have thus far done with the huge savings accrued by shedding Messrs Gonzalez, Beckett, Crawford, and Punto. Replacing them with a gaggle of journeyman spare-parts and pricey bit-pieces is not dazzling the cranky "Nation," thus far.

Patience is urged. It's the policy that's been changed, not just the lineup. Every once in a while in baseball you have to swallow your pride and start over. It's a lesson Boston bellied up to last summer and accepted with something akin to humiliation. Now it's the Yankees' turn.

But then patience is in even shorter supply in the Bronx than the Back Bay. The turn of the screw will be even more painful down there. But they'll adjust and sooner or later they'll be back on the "Money Train." They'll be unable to resist. It's in their genes.

Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...

Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Advocates decry historically low cap for refugee entry in 2019

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Advocates for refugee admissions into the United States decried what one statement called a historically low cap of 30,000 for fiscal ...