Ah, the sights and sounds of spring training are here once again: "Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjack, I don't care if my team is 20 games back."
We're talking to you, Mad in Miami. You too, Ticked Off in Tampa Bay. Don't forget Bummed out in Baltimore.
Sorry, your teams are toast already. You lose because Money Ball wins. It always does.
Money may not buy championships, but it does provide an escape plan for talented players stuck in franchises run by Groupon executives. Have they got some deals for you!
The Tampa Bay Rays just dumped their best offensive player in outfielder Steven Souza Jr. for a couple of prospects, continuing a massive salary dump. Pitcher Jake Odorizzi, see ya. Evan Longoria, the face of the franchise, also got caught up in the purge. You will find him in San Francisco this season.
The Miami Marlins, now run by an executive better suited to play shortstop, are also dumping salaries and All-Star players. Giancarlo Stanton is gone, part of a purge that also included Dee Gordon. Derek Jeter is leading the charge as the Marlins' new chief executive officer/Garage Sale Executive Secretary.
The Baltimore Orioles will unload one of the Top 5 players in the game in Manny Machado at some point this season. His likely destination? The New York Yankees.
Funny, that's where Stanton ended up. And lookie here: The Yankees filled a void at third base by acquiring Brandon Drury from the Diamondbacks in a three-way deal that sent Souza to Arizona.
This is great if you're a Yankees fan. Not so much if you aren't a fan of the Richie Rich Dark Side.
I know you hipsters think I'm an old man complainer. "This is just the way of the world, grandpa. Don't forget your Metamucil before taking a nap."
Sorry kiddos, but this just ain't right, and you know it.
If your team doesn't care, why should you?
It may be beneficial for TV ratings and marketing plans that the Money Ball teams rule the world. But the beauty of baseball and every other sport is that it can offer hope to any fan.
The only thing baseball offers Miami, Tampa Bay and Baltimore Fan is irrelevance. They may be competitive for a while, and win some games, but let's not fool anyone into thinking that these guys will shock the world and "The Bad News Bears" will celebrate a World Series title.
Reality check: They will stink.
Yankee Fan must be proud, beating up on little kids and stealing their lunch money, along with the best players on their team.
Do the math kiddos. The Yankees' payroll stands at $157,870,357, which is actually eighth overall among all MLB teams. The Boston Red Sox are first at $229,761,428. The Red Sox are led by their $30 million man David Price, who used to pitch for, wait for it ... the Rays.
The Rays are down to $73,063,332, 27th among all MLB teams, and will likely drop some more. The Marlins are at $82,962,14, and the Orioles at $122,317,115, still below the MLB average.
But thanks to the magic of revenue sharing, bad teams with apathetic ownership can make it rain on their investments. A year ago, the Rays invested only $70 million in payroll while taking in $205 million in revenue. The Marlins spent $114 in payroll off a revenue haul of $206 million in revenue.
That sucker in the mirror is you, and the players left behind.
"I am 100 percent frustrated and very upset with the moves, no beating around the bush," Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier told the Tampa Bay Times. "It's one of those things that makes you scratch your head, you don't know the reasoning why. And then you see the team's explanation and still it's just like, okay, well, so be it."
Suck it up Kev. You too Sally and Sam.
Your team stinks.
Worse than that, the people in charge don't seem to care. Please hook them up with some grocery store coupons if you happen to see them around town.
They could use the spare change to stick in their pockets.
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