The owners played the card up their sleeve when the Major League Baseball Players Association mentioned collusion a few days ago. That card, of course, would have everyone believe that this is all about one player.
The owners love to play the one-bad-apple game. Barry Bonds was the bad apple of the steroid era and now they want to make Alex Rodriguez the bad apple of the greedy-player era. If everyone is kicking the bad apples they won’t pay attention to what’s really going on, which, right now, is clearly collusion.
In this morning’s Daily News, Mike Lupica was selling bad apples for the owners the same way Dick Cheney sells wars for the White House.
Lupica and the owners want everyone to believe that Alex Rodriguez is the only reason that the Major League Baseball Players Association is raising concerns about collusion. They want everyone to forget the meeting in Orlando last week where every Major League general manager unburdened themselves of their off-season plans like some sort of Alcoholics Anonymous for GMs.
But there was nothing anonymous about the plans and the players discussed. There will be well over 100 free agents this year and this affects every one of them. It affects free agents next year, too. And it affects free agents the year after that and the year after that and the year after that, which is to say: it affects everyone.
Collusion isn’t a joke. What happened to Major League Baseball in 1980s was the biggest fix in the history of sports. A bunch of rich baseball owners gathered in a room and decided who was going to win and who was going to lose and how they were going to make money on all of it.
Those were good days to be a baseball owner and bad days to be a baseball player or fan. The owners and their lapdogs in the media would love to return to those days. They believe wealth should always remain in the hands of the wealthiest.
The rest of us aren’t buying their game no mater how many cards they have up their sleeve.