July 26, 2000
It has become an all to familiar chord among professional athletes in today’s society. The whine and cry about wanting long term stability and guaranteed contracts to safeguard against injury. They threaten to leave to another team if their demands are not met. Franchises succumb to these threats and provide the players with enormous contracts that rival some third world country’s Gross National Product. The player then gets into this new contract and when the team cannot field a contender due to the fact that the majority of the club’s money is being used on a handful of players, they squawk that the team is not doing enough to put a winner on the field. The disgruntled player then demands that he be traded to a contender where his talents will be appreciated. The player feels slighted if they are not given the opportunity to contend for a world championship. Don’t these players think that everyone within the organization is hoping for the same end result? I am fairly confident that there are very few teams out there that are hoping the do NOT make the playoffs this year. In all cases, all members of the organization are working towards that goal. But you don’t hear the bat boy or the usher or the ticket taker go to management and demand a trade if the team is not competitive. Better yet, perhaps the season ticket holders of these teams that are not competitive should go back to the ball club and demand that they be traded to a team that has a chance to make the playoffs. I can just see the lines forming in Minnesota and Montreal to demand season tickets to the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves. With the trading deadline looming on Monday at 1:00 PM Arizona time, I am sure we will hear a lot from these mercenary players who will be demanding a trade to become the next gun for hire. It should be an interesting second half of the season. I can hardly wait.