Thursday, December 5, 2013
Posted by el duque at 8:28 AM
The cashier will spew some claptrap about free market capitalism, product value and shipping costs - he'll sing "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and quote Ayn Rand, blah-blah-blah - but we don't have to listen. Under our new terms, we won't pay more than $20.
That's the new posting plan set forth by MLB to Japanese baseball teams. Instead of letting teams bid for the rights to Japanese players, American teams will cap the fee at $20 million, and then negotiate with the players. This, of course, neatly coincides with the nightmare scenario of the New York Yankees sitting down to the poker table.
Two months ago, the traditional Japanese process appeared to give the Yankees a huge advantage in obtaining Masahiro Tanaka, the star pitcher. MLB teams could bid for the rights to negotiate with Tanaka, and the posting fees would not count against the the luxury tax - a de facto salary cap. Thus, the Yankees had an advantage - one of their last remaining advantages under the new rules structure.
In the past, when the Redsocks and Rangers went madly overboard in posting bids for Dice K and Yu Darvish, the Lord Chatterly's of baseball simply hunched their shoulders and ordered another scotch. When the Yankees join the bidding, everybody throws down their cards and says the rules must change.
Thus, baseball - which is run by some of the richest men on Planet Earth - once again wriggles to avoid the free market capitalism that allowed their fathers and grandfathers to amass treasure troves that would make King Solomon puke. Why... the last thing they want is open bidding! That would mean teams pay too much for the hired help! The process must be capped.
Yes, yes, yes... I realize that MLB players make a sickening amount of money, and we're all queasy about Robbie Cano preparing to go Auric Goldfinger on the radio-listening (definition: cheep) audience of the Yankiverse - (of which this blog is a proud member.) But that's Robbie's right. He's got one shot at making his fortune. By 2020, he better be set for life, because Jay-Z might not be returning his calls by then.
Under Bud Selig, MLB wants the Yankees to be equal to the Seattle Mariners. I have nothing against the good people of Seattle, or Mariner fans everywhere. But the Yankees are not the Seattle Mariners. Never were, never will be. If the Mariners cannot build a contender, they haven't been watching the Tampa Rays closely enough. So MLB suddenly wants to include the posting process into the salary cap - thus keeping the Yankees from landing Masahiro Tanaka. It's so perfect - so timely, so clean - damn, the $22 million per year Commissioner must have been grinning when he first heard the idea.
Why is that the Rangers, the Dodgers, the Redsocks and assorted other teams suddenly shell out huge sums for free agents, without mass outrage. But the Yankees lay down their money, and the billionaire poor-mouthing cheepos run screaming for the hills, wailing about financial disparity in the game.
Hey, that's a fine crowd to be lamenting income inequality, wouldn't cha' think? The MLB owners: OCCUPY RIVER AVE!