We all know that today’s baseball is all about business. Yes, we can still state the baseball rhetoric that it’s “America’s Pastime,” but in reality, it’s not. Like everything else in America, the run-a-way capitalism has leaked out of the Wall Street corporate boardrooms and snuck itself into America’s entertainment and in this case baseball.
Today it’s very rare to see players start and end their baseball careers in one particular team. Players like Roberto Clemente who started in Pittsburgh as the #1 drafted rookie, where he was unknown thus the Pittsburgh fans were not exactly laying out the welcome mat. However, Clemente persevered playing 18 seasons proving himself and grew with the team and its fans to eventually be adored and be called “The Great One”.
Players like Chipper Jones who retired after the 2012 season, playing 19 major league seasons for the Braves and players like Yadier Molina who will be returning to the St. Louis Cardinals for his 18th season are indeed rare in today’s baseball. Derek Jeter is another rare one who started and ended his whole career with the Bronx Bombers.
Josué Espada, coach for the Houston Astros was recently quoted as saying, referring to Carlos Correa.: “He is playing for a contract”,
The Puerto Rican coach of the Houston Astros understands that the valuable shortstop will go through a crucial 2021season, as he will be a free agent at the end of it.
What happens to all the Houston Fans that became hard core Correa fans when he was selected by the team as the #1 in the overall 2012 baseball draft. If he moves on to another team will Houston fans still wear his apparel from the Astros team? Will they be as heartbroken, or disappointed as fans have been when their favorite player is traded, or leaves for another team?
I still remember the uproar from fans in Texas when Ivan “Pudge” Rodríguez was traded to the Florida Marlins in 2002 after being a Ranger since his rookie season in 1991.
Nothing can sum up my position better than this quote from Tyler Carey, a Cleveland sportscaster: “When Jim Thome left the Indians, I cried. As an 8-year-old, he was my favorite player, someone I wanted to see in a Cleveland uniform forever. I knew he was a free agent, but always just assumed he would re-sign.
Instead, he left, signing what was at the time a mega-contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Such was my harsh introduction to a phrase that is too often repeated around these parts: “the economics of baseball.”
So, my advice to baseball fans today is to think about buying your favorite players jersey. Before you invest your hard-earned money to buy a player’s team jersey, perhaps just stick to buying a team hat.
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