Curt Flood should be in baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Many baseball purists would take a look at his career numbers and disagree.
It’s important to remember that Flood retired at age 31. It’s even more important to remember that Flood’s sacrifices and contributions to baseball go way past what he did on the diamond.
“After 12 years in the Major Leagues, I do not feel that I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes.”
That quote taken from a letter Flood wrote to Bowie Kuhn, baseball’s commissioner at the time, forever changed the course of the sport.
Up to that point, baseball had the “reserve clause.” Teams retained the rights to players after their contracts expired. They were unable to enter free agency and sign with another team.
Do you realize what kind of power that gave owners? Players essentially had to accept the contract offered to them. What were they going to do? They couldn’t sign with another team. It was either take the deal or retire.
Curt Flood retired from a game he was still capable of playing at a high level to fight for future generations of players. He took his case all the way to the Supreme Court. Flood lost that case, but through further appeals, players eventually won the right to become free agents.
The fight didn’t end there.
All three of those players are in the Hall of Fame, by the way.
The owners had come together and agreed not to sign any free agents, no matter how much doing so would have helped their team. We call that collusion.
More appeals. More fights ensued. And more rights were won by players.
Fast forward to 2000.
Álex Rodriguez signed a 10 year deal with the Texas Rangers, worth 252 million dollars. At the time, that was the largest contract in sports history. Not just baseball. Sports history.
Fast forward to 2020.
Álex Rodriguez is attempting to buy the New York Mets. Ironically, even though he has multiple highly paid athletes alongside him, he doesn’t have the capital required to purchase the team, and he needed a large cash injection from JP Morgan.
A few days ago, Rodriguez, who made 440 million dollars during his playing career, advocated for a salary cap.
Why would he do that?
It’s simple. He isn’t an active player anymore. Why would he care about current and future players?
You’re not going to change this player’s game in the ninth inning.
I lost count of how many times he denied using steroids on news specials and in press conferences.
He even held a press conference to admit that he used steroids!
I mean, ok. The guy is self-centered. He wants to be the center of attention. That’s not really the end of the world, is it?
No. While, I did get tired of seeing him on prime time television every time the word steroids were mentioned, it’s not a crime. The acquisition of the steroids he used were criminal, but that’s neither here nor there.
Here’s my issue.
He used performance enhancing drugs to be able to play at a high level his entire playing career. That play made him one of the highest paid athletes in the world.
Once he stopped earning money as a player? Ok, that’s it. You know what? I think we need a salary cap now. Conveniently, these sentiments coincide with him attempting to become an owner? Please. Spare me.
Spare me from ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, or as I like to call it, the A-Rod Variety Hour.
2014 wasn’t that long ago. Remember 2014? When Rodriguez was banned from baseball for violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy? Now ESPN has made him baseball’s spokesperson. After he spent the 2014 season suing the sport? Shameful.
You mean to tell me he got busted for steroids after all those spring training interrupting heartfelt press conferences? Wow, I don’t believe it.
Spare me from Rodriguez pandering to the Mets fan base on a national broadcast after the Yankees had effectively excommunicated him.
“I grew up a Mets fan. I actually wanted to sign with them before I signed with the Yankees!”
Talks between Rodriguez and the Mets stalled when he gave the team his list of demands.
- Personal office space at the stadium.
- Tents at Spring Training to sell his A-Rod merchandise.
Yesterday took the cake, though.
We finally have a society paying attention to race, discrimination and injustice. And now that there’s a chance to sell the Mets to bidders of color, MLB wants to give instead to Steve Cohen — a billionaire with a long track record of shady dealings?https://t.co/fi2zL3ruuU
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) July 17, 2020
That’s a tweet from Bradley Beal, an NBA player. Bradley Beal is part of the group of investors looking to buy the Mets. That group is led by, you guessed it, Alex Rodriguez.
I sympathize. Look at how many athletes are on Rodriguez’ team. The fact that they can’t afford the team should show you the divide that exists between rich and wealthy. (Keep that in mind when the next owner/player debate pops up.)
But here’s the reality.
Álex Rodriguez and his team, (which again includes a huge cash injection from JP Morgan,) don’t have enough money to outbid Steve Cohen for the right to own the Mets.
Having come to that realization, Rodriguez’ team orchestrated a hit piece on Steve Cohen in the Daily News.
The Daily News “article,” written by Jessica Ramos, a state senator, details all Cohen’s shady past dealings. The article is summed up by suggesting that Rodriguez should get the team because his wife is a woman of color.
In the above tweet, Bradley Beal posted the hit piece, suggesting that MLB would “give” the team to Cohen, just because he’s white.
Does it surprise ANYBODY that in the wake of George Floyd, BLM and nationwide protests that Álex Rodriguez would play the race card?
Álex Rodriguez is now the face of baseball and race relations in America?
This is how an auction works. The person/group with the highest bid wins. It’s pretty simple, actually.
Curt Flood sacrificed his career for future generations of baseball players. He endured unspeakable racism every step of the way.
Immortalizing Flood in Cooperstown is a worthy cause.
Whatever the hell Álex Rodriguez is trying to convince you he’s deserving of, is not.
(Right here is where a tweet from Mason Plumlee should be. But, oh no! It was taken down. I wonder why.)
Well, that’s interesting. One of A-Rod’s co-investors put out a post laying out all the reasons why it would be a good thing for A-Rod to own the team.
At the end, he said that Brooklyn Nets owner, Joseph Tsai would be joining their team. The inclusion of Tsai, Plumlee says, would put them over the top of Cohen in their respective bids.
Sorry Twitter, it is not true. I grew up as a Mets fan and I have a lot of respect for Alex and Jennifer. But I’m not involved in bidding for the Mets. Gotta focus on basketball. https://t.co/lX3C4sWnJk
— Joe Tsai (@joetsai1999) July 18, 2020
Are we about done here?