Monday, November 12, 2007

Lowell, Sports, and Life

Mike Lowell stands perched on the opportunity of a baseball lifetime, free agency after earning the MVP in the World Series. More power to him, I guess. I believe in the free market, and if I could do what Mike Lowell can do, then I'd have the right to choose how much money I'd make and who would pay me. Will he be happier in Philadelphia with fourteen million a year and four years? If he is, then that's his right, earned, by Curt Flood, Catfish Hunter, and Andy Messersmith.

Yes, I got to see those dinosaurs play, Hunter dishing out those comfortable 0 for 4s when baseball games lasted two and a half hours on a long day.

As for A-Rod, Mike Lupica has a really compelling article about A-Rod's zero for twenty-seven in the postseason in the past few seasons with men on base. Signing A-Rod turns your team into a circus after your GM has become the puppet in Scott Boras' puppet show. Now I'm not saying Boras isn't the best at what he does. Look what he did for Barry Zito, today's contemporary Bill Lee, who won seventeen games thrice for Ye Olde Towne Team, when 'drug testing' meant something quite different to players.

I don't begrudge major league rookies more money than I can make as a doctor in a couple of years, because that's the market. If I wanted to move somewhere else and practice, I could probably make more money, but would that make me happier? And why should you care?

That is the point. Sports makes us care, fantasizing that we can go yard or get the two quick strikes busting the heat up and in, and then throw the disappearing slider on the outside corner. But we can't, so we watch Big Papi and Lowell deliver in the clutch, Josh Beckett become OUR Bob Gibson, and Jacoby Ellsbury conjure up images of Lou Brock torching the Sox on the bases in 1967.

So you probably don't remember those days, hearing of Jose Santiago's homerun in the series, Yaz drilling two, or Lonborg tossing a one-hitter against the mighty Cards. But you'll tell your grandchildren about how J.D. Drew hit the grandest slam of his life when it mattered, and when Jon Lester came back from cancer to clinch the World Series in Game four. And no one, not A-Rod, or Scott Boras, or Sam Levinson can take those memories from you.

No comments: