MLB watches as the Yankees, Astros, and Twins make a mockery of pennant races in their respective AL Divisions. So much for tanking in MLB as non-existent.
The Yankees hold a commanding nine-game lead in the AL East. The Twins have surged to a 5.5 lead over the inconsistent Indians. The Astros closest competitor is the Oakland A’s, a full 10.5 games behind Houston.
The Wild Card races look much the same. With Oakland as the only team vying for the final spot with Cleveland. Unless that is, you still believe the Red Sox are the sleeper lulling everyone into a dream.
The dream is over. The AL pennant races this year are precisely the way they were predicted at the beginning of the season.
Of the three top teams, only Minnesota merits a surprise tag, and even that’s a stretch given Cleveland’s injury demolition of the team.
Already, and it’s only September 4, four teams have been eliminated (Baltimore, Toronto, Kansas City, and Detroit). Soon to follow are the White Sox and Angels. Their seasons, they are over.
This is not the way the suits at Major League Baseball (MLB) drew the season up. Or is it?
MLB Sitting On The Sidelines
Baseball is fast becoming a league of the haves, and the have nots. The Yankees, Twins, and Dodgers rule the league with a record-setting splash of home runs and overwhelming margins of victories at home. Eight out fifteen teams have negative run differentials. Almost a quarter of the teams in the league are on a pace to lose 100 or more games this season.
How much fun is that?
The Haves including the Yankees will quickly draw 3 million fans, and the Dodgers will likely top 4 million. Meanwhile, the bottom feeders are shown in the table below:
Of the teams listed, only Tampa Bay has a winning team. And they need to be discounted due to the venue they continue to play in. But this is not
This is not healthy for baseball, even for a team like the Yankees who welcome the opportunity to visit Camden Yards and the Orioles regularly.
Tanking Has Become The Norm – And MLB Allows It
Revenue Sharing, the bane of Yankees former owner, George Steinbrenner, was supposed to fortify teams at the bottom with a decent amount of cash to build their roster for the future. However, Steinbrenner asked an ugly question. He wanted to see where his money was going. Oh George, how foolish of you.
Even today, it is impossible to get a straight answer from MLB that answers the question. Which remains – how much of the revenue sharing monies end up in the pockets of owners?
So, it is no wonder that teams like the Yankees tightened their belt to stay under the tax threshold for two consecutive years – and counting. Screw you is the mantra of teams like the Yankees and Dodgers…
Overriding this development is that MLB sees a duck because it walks and talks like a duck, but still refuses to name it as a duck. Tanking is prevalent in baseball today. It’s hard to lose 100 games in a season. A team needs to work at it. And much like a child, if there is no one to say “No!”, the behavior persists.
MLB has the power and money to curb tanking. From their lofty headquarters at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, an iconic 48-story office tower completed as part of the new expansion of Rockefeller Center, Rob Manfred oversees our National Pastime. (Above)
Major League Baseball: Just Say No
If history has taught us anything, it’s that a vast divide between the haves (Great Britain) and the have-nots (the Patriots) is a premise to violence and war. Major League Baseball is on the precipice of that divide.
The haves like the Yankees cannot be enjoying their stay in Tampa when they play before 9,000 fans under a dome that was built before most of the team were born.
Nor can the Yankees enjoy sloshing through puddles of water as they walked to their excrement laden “clubhouse” in Oakland a week ago. (Above)
The pennant races for 2019 are non-existent. Wild Card hopefuls like the Mets and A’s hold on by a thread. MLB should be ashamed of the system they’ve created and then let persist.
Don’t mistake this column as one of those “whines.” The issue is real. As a fan of the Yankees, it’s easy to say, “Who cares?”. But I do…