Boy am I glad I had a chance to follow Major League Baseball when it was truly great.
I remember the day when every team had an equal chance, when impressionable boys trying to comprehend the nuances of the game didn't have to have it explained to them why the best player on their favorite team have been traded away for minor leaguers in the midst of a pennant race with half the season still remaining.
Half the season!
CC Sabathia could have possibly led the Cleveland Indians back up the ladder but he's now a Milwaukee Brewer. Anybody familiar with the New York Giants' remarkable second-half surge to catch the seemingly uncatchable Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951 could attest that the possibility of an Indian uprising was (and maybe still is) within the realm of possibility.
The Oakland A's are only four games out in the American League West yet they succumbed to the allure of the Chicago Cubs for one of the game's top pitchers, Rich Harden. Darned good thing Billy Beane isn't in community relations where he'd have to explain to loyal Oakland ticket-buyers how he could throw away their season when truly in a tight pennant race.
So the fans of Cleveland and Oakland who plunked down their hard-earned bucks (unlike the cosmopolitan corporations that pay the freight in the major markets) have been led into a crumbling mine shaft.
More deals are pending. The cash-strapped will sell out to the fat cats with no regard for the fans. Too bad for the hard-working Oakland dad who bought the tickets and Harden shirts for his kids. Screw you, buddy, but we'll be back next winter to convince you to fork over another $250 to support a team that's going to sell out in July.
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Perhaps Robin Hood should have carried a baseball bat instead of an archer's bow.