The word on the streets is that Mariano Rivera is going to accept the Yankees’ contract offer.
If that’s true, it’s good news for people on these streets: Baseball’s most dominant closer will stay in the Bronx where he is beloved.
But it’s also bad news for people on these streets: The greatest pitcher in this team’s history was allowed to be bullied by some of the richest men in the world.
Major League Baseball owners, as they always seem to do, turned the system inside out and upside down to make sure they got what they wanted.
They scolded the Yankees for giving Jorge Posada a four-year deal and banded together to make sure they didn’t do the same for Rivera. Then, in an amazing slight-of-hand, they were able to publicly label Rivera an “ingrate” who wasn’t satisfied with a “more than generous” three-year, $45 million offer from a group of fat cats sitting on $6.075 billion from just this year.
People who use numbers to calculate a man’s worth will tell you why standing on the three-year offer was a “prudent business, humm, I mean, baseball decision.”
People on these streets will tell you why it wasn’t right.
The negotiations should have been between our team – the team we support with the pennies that trickle down from the wealthy that run this game and this country – and our player – the man we have cheered and supported from day one.
But the wealthy consider people on the streets even less than the great Mariano Rivera. They fleece him and then use him to fleece us. They make sure the money flows to the top one way or another.
Ultimately, Rivera will sign this deal for his teammates and for the people on these streets who fill Yankee Stadium.
It may be good news for us, but that doesn’t make it right.