Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Jay Smooth sez: "Don't Hate the Player, Hate The League".
Now first of all I admit I got beef with Steinbrenner going back to the mid-70s--when he snatched Catfish and Reggie from Oakland. (Chuck O. Finley's dead already, so I'll leave him be.) I was only, like, a wee pal then, but we don't forget! I'll admit that up front.
Over the last three decades, Steinbrenner has been at the forefront of creating this rich-get-much-richer/poor-stay-poor divide in baseball--first with free agency, on up through salary cap debates, etc. At every turn, he's been there to pry the divide bigger. It's not like he's an innocent gamer here, he's very responsible for the way the game has turned out.
So yeah it will be much more satisfying when the A's or whoever crush the Yankees come summertime. It will be enjoyable to read the NY Times sports page trying to figure out what went wrong. It will be most gratifying to see Derek Jeter forced out of New York within 2 years.
But I don't see how it's possible defend the ethics of a Steinbrenner, not when you look at the history. He's got just as much of a not-so-invisible hand in everything that really sucks about MLB as anyone in the last half-century of this sport.
(Melle Mel neckveins popping) RRRRRRRRR-AH!
Addendum: My man is right about the Red Sox, though. Cheering for the Red Sox must be like being a Jeb Bush fan. Doh! Ah, spring training and March Madness must not be far away...
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