Swear to Bonds, I was thinking about writing a book about baseball economics this offseason. I had parts of an outline worked up, even. The last attempt at something like it was Bob Costas’s book, in which he claimed the Minnesota Twins had no shot at winning more than two games ever season, and they should just give up because they can’t compete. A few Twins division titles later, the argument doesn’t quite hold up.
The thesis of my "Lords of the Realm" and "Garfield Weighs In" hybrid would be something about how baseball’s indentured servitude (six years before free agency) allowed for competitive balance. Sure, the Yankees had a financial advantage, but it wasn’t as great as folks made it out to be. And, heck, I think there’s some benefit to the largest market and fanbase in baseball having a perennial contender – that’s good for the financial health for all of baseball. Something like that.
Then I look at this year’s Yankees. They have C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez leading the charge – that’s $500,000,000,000,000 in contracts if my math is correct. There are only a handful of teams that could absorb just one of those players. The Yankees have all three because they can, and it’s a big reason why they’re so successful this season. It’s freaking annoying. I can see myself writing some 70,000-word missive on the subject, and having someone say, "Good points. But it’s annoying to watch the Yankees buy whichever good players they want." Then they’d throw the book down, do a little goat dance as they metaphorically urinate on the last year of my life, and punch me in the face.
So my book will be about owls. Their heads spin around and everything.
It’s obvious, then, that I should root for the Phillies, right? Kind of. I’d like to think, though, that in an alternate dimension, Pablo Sandoval hit a three-run home run in this year’s All-Star Game, which would have led to the Phillies having home field advantage during this series. During a tense seventh game in the alternate dimension, the Phillies will use support from a raucous crowd on the way to a walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth inning. It will make up for Joe Carter in Phillies’ lore in the alternate dimension.
So if there’s any possibility that the technology to travel between dimensions will ever exist, I would like the Yankees to win the Series in this dimension in their last at-bat, in the seventh game, and in New York. And as Charlie Manuel sits in his dark hotel room thinking about what might have been, I would like someone from the alternate dimension to bring Manuel a copy of a newspaper with "Phillies Repeat!" on the front, with a Post-It note reading, "Here’s what would have happened if you had selected Pablo Sandoval for the All-Star Game, you idiot." And then Manuel would totally cry.
Until the days of trans-dimensional travel, then: Go Phillies.
Open Rooting Interests Thread. And go ahead and throw a prediction in there, too. Phillies in six, says I.