In Chaucer's day (ca. 1340-1400), before the prescriptive grammarians had begun to wreak their foolishness on the English language, multiple negation was employed as a means of emphasis. In the instance cited above, Chaucer was stressing the Knight's noble character. Perhaps Howard is resurrecting this ancient and valuable rhetorical device.
I think your INSIDE PITCH (June 13) wandered a little high and outside when Herm Weiskopf said that one of Tal Smith's duties with the Mariners would be "to observe Seattle players he may have to belittle when he represents the club in postseason arbitration cases." I have been on the other side of the table from Smith during several arbitration cases, and I have never heard him say anything that could be construed as an attempt to belittle a player. While there are a few teams that will attempt to portray a player as being worse than he is and a few agents who will attempt to portray a player as better than he is, the experienced people on both sides of arbitration cases know that that method doesn't work—most of the time, anyway. Smith is a lot more interested in winning a case than he is in running down a player.