Thursday, November 05, 2009

Waiting for 2012

No, that isn't a presidential election reference. I'd predict that Obama is reelected (running against an actual or simulated loon) after tough midterms in 2010, but that's not what I have in mind here. By now the 2009 elections are so earlier-this-week anyway, whereas last night's baseball travesty remains fresh for another few hours.

The 2012 reference, rather, is to when I am hoping baseball's owners will lock out the players after expiration of the current labor contract.

OK, I am not actually hoping for a lockout, but there is no other realistic scenario for restoring the basic competitive balance that fairness and equity demand - no, strike that, let's say instead that consumer principles of enjoyable viewership require, among people with basic good taste.

The $210 million Yankees will presumably be adding Lackey and Holliday this offseason (unless they prefer Jason Bay). Perhaps a few others as well. How long before they add Cliff Lee? And I wouldn't be surprised if they get Utley in a couple of years. This is what they generally do with people who have hurt them in the postseason. They will also continually get their pick of the big money international free agents, such as from Cuba and Japan.

Maybe they'll even find a way to add LeBron. (Insert smiley face here.)

The other 29 teams get to squabble over whomever the Yankees decide they don't want. This isn't really a formula, at least to my taste or any that I find easy to understand, for interesting competition.

A lockout of, say, one full season plus half of the next would be well worth it, from my standpoint, if it meant that baseball competition subsequently would be more like that in football and basketball. (I'm hoping LeBron will come to the Knicks, but think it's great that (a) this is far from certain, and (b) the Knicks can only get him within the salary cap that applies to all.) If this hurts my team, the Mets - just imagine what baseball's dumbest organization could do with only a median budget - so be it.

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