I get the idea of wanting to control player costs

The easy answer is locality. Lynch, an Oakland native, is considered a Bay-Area legend of sorts. He’d sell tickets (not that the Raiders have an attendance issue), and he’d make an already-interesting AFC contender that much more interesting.

Yes, the list of available, non-retired, unrestricted free-agent backs includes names that would add flare to Oakland’s roster. But it also includes big numbers, and we’re not talking about career rushing totals. We’re talking about age the reason most on the list remain unsigned.

And while Lynch isn’t young, his year-plus away from grounding and pounding in the NFL and relatively clean injury slate combine to help explain the Raiders’ interest.

Look, I get the idea of wanting to control player costs, I really do. I don’t have a problem with Levine saying all those things to an arbitrator in an attempt to pay Betances just $3 million in 2017 instead of $5 million. That’s how the system is set up. Hey, he won. Good for him.

But to gloat about the win publically? To demean Betances?

Here’s something that has a pretty firm basis in reality: If Randy Levine is still with the Yankees by the time Betances is eligible to become a free agent, there’s pretty much zero chance he stays with the club.

It is a game and a celebration, but there’s a direct line between Jackie Robison and me standing here. There’s a direct line people loving Ernie Banks and the city (of Chicago) being able to come together and work together in one spirit.’

He added, Sometimes it’s not enough just to change laws. You’ve got to change hearts, and sports has a way of changing hearts sometimes in a way that politics or business doesn’t.’

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