Because the Yankees are the Yankees, people seem to think that baseball is an inherently unfair sport. It’s not that I disagree with that sentiment exactly, though I am going to tweak it a little bit today. At least that’s what I hope to do. But it’s going to take some time, so bear with me.
One of the things that people moan about when suggesting that baseball is unfair is that free agency is out of control, and that only teams like the Yankees and Red Sox can afford the good free agents. On this front, I happen to agree completely: good free agents generally go to one of three or four places. But I’m not so sure that makes baseball unfair—at least no more so than any other sport. After all, is it fair that a bunch a basketball players enjoy South Beach? Is it fair that some owners happen to be Art Modell? Not really, no. But we deal with it and move on.
So today I thought I’d take a look at the rosters of some well-run organizations and see where they got their best players. Then I’d compare those teams to the Indians. If other teams’ best players are all coming from free agency and the Indians aren’t, then maybe we can call the system broken and move on. Then maybe we can all adopt a more equitable hobby—like knitting. But maybe there’s something else to find. Let’s see. [Read more...]