Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Parity on the Move & O's Woes

The great myth currently being circulated throughout major league clubhouses and front offices is that parity has finally triumphed in MLB.  The perpetrators of this fiction point to close races in all but the AL East and NL Central as proof.  Hogwash.  Never mistake perpetual motion for parity.  What has really occurred is that teams are becoming more and more fungible as players move and are moved from team to team in a dizzying rotation that more resembles a game of musical chairs than evolution.  When the music stops, which team is your former cleanup hitter with now?  However, in the end, only the big money clubs or those willing to mortgage their futures will be left standing at the end of the season.
In the last 45 years, to pick an arbitrary cut-off date, sixteen different teams have won one or more World Series.  Fourteen teams have never won during that time.  (The total number of teams has increased slightly during those years.)  Depending very much on one’s point of view, the darlings of the last decade are the Florida Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks, who mortgaged their futures (the Marlins have done it twice) to reach the top.   And where are the Diamondbacks today?  In the midst of another fire sale.  As for the Marlins, they are contending, but unless they can extort a new stadium from the local citizenry, they will be contending in Portland, OR, or perhaps Monterrey, Mexico, or some other locale a few years hence.
* * * * *
Somebody out there, please buy the Orioles.  Please.
Either that or let’s turn the old baseball maxim on its ear and fire the owner not the manager or general manager.
The Orioles are in a sorry state despite years of big spending on free agents.  One of the most admired franchises in baseball over the last fifty years has become a perennial loser.    
How did happen?  Who is to blame?  Can you spell
P  E  T  E  R      A  N  G  E  L  O  S?
How many more managers will this man fire?  What big name free agent will he overspend to land next?  Hasn’t he made enough money at Camden Yards?  Didn’t the value of his franchise soar since he purchased it?  Doesn’t he stand to make even more money in “compensation” for “allowing” MLB to move the Expos from Montreal to either Washington, DC, or nearby Northern Virginia?  Why can’t he stay out of the baseball side of things and just clip his coupons?  Or better yet, why doesn’t he just take the money and run?  He could always practice law.

No comments: