Ichiro To Yankees, And Life Is Not Fair

Ichiro
Photo by Rick Dikeman

As the announcement came down a few hours ago, that the New York Yankees got themselves Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners for DJ Mitchell and Danny Fahrquar, one thought went through my mind.
 
Steve Nash to the Lakers.
 
Why does it seem that some big name teams always seem to grab superstars from their lesser known siblings? Look back in history and see that this started happening when sports started happening.
 
In the Greek games centuries ago, the Sikyon Artists traded Duseus to the Athens Parthenons for a three goats and eighty pounds of grapes. Duseus ended up scoring all his team’s points and swept the games, and we all know what happened to Sikyon. Sikyon who? Exactly.
 
From Babe Ruth to Suzuki today, the big name teams have fleeced their smaller town counterparts. Just look at this list from the Yankees:
 
– The aforementioned Babe Ruth for cash from the Boston Red Sox.
– Also from the Red Sox, the Yankees traded Mario Guerrero for Sparky Lyle.
– David Cone from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Yankees for Jason Jarvis, Mike Gordon, and Marty Janzen.
– Roger Clemens from the Toronto Blue Jays (again) to Yankees for Homer Bush, Graeme Lloyd, and David Wells
– Rickey Henderson from the Oakland Athletics to the Yankees for Tim Birtsas, Jay Howell, Stan Javier, Eric Plunk, and Jose Rijo
– Paul O’Neill from the Cincinnati Reds to the Yankees for Roberto Kelly
– Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano
– Roger Maris from the Kansas City Athletics to the Yankees for Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern, and Marv Throneberry.
And many more, too numerous to list.
 
And this list from the Los Angeles Lakers…
 
– Wilt Chamberlain to the Lakers for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff from the Philadelphia 76ers.
– Kobe Bryant to the Lakers For Vlade Divac from Charlotte.
– Robert Horry and Joe Kleine from the Phoenix Suns for Cedric Ceballos and Rumeal Robinson
– Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008 for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, the draft rights to Marc Gasol and two future first-round picks.
– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from the Milwaukee Bucks for Brian Winters, Junior Bridgeman, Dave Meyers and Elmore Smith.
And many more, too numerous to list.
 
You can add the Boston Celtics to this list, who took in Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Tiny Archibald,
Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and so many more.
 
I mean here’s an example…Golden State Warriors Trades C Robert Parish and the 3rd Overall pick in the 1980 NBA Draft to the Boston Celtics for the 1st pick and the 13th pick. The pick Boston made gave them Kevin McHale. The Warriors picks? Joe Carroll and Rickey Brown. Yeesh!
 
Part of it is shrewd management, no doubt, but the other part of it is that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In this survival of the fittest, it’s kill or be killed. The Yankees were accused of buying a championship back in the 1970’s, and as a matter of fact they did. So what Yankees fans say, and they’re kind of right.
 
Like in “real life”, The Yankees, Lakers, Celtics and other “big name” teams represent the 1%, and all other teams represent the 99%. We can say, “it isn’t fair”, but then how is sports any different than our society, where those that get rich are loved by everyone, given everything for free, while those that are poor have to scrap by day by day. The middle class? What middle class? They’re becoming extinct.
 
If the Lakers get Dwight Howard we may as well not watch the regular season because you know what will happen. Heat vs. Lakers in the Championship.
 
Say what you want about the NFL but one thing they got right. No one team can sign or trade for all the superstars.
 
I don’t blame the Yankees for signing Ichiro. It was a shrewd move and a master stroke. They were just better than anyone else in making this deal. In any case, we shouldn’t feel bad for any of those 99% teams. They’re still making more money than any of us “regular guys”. Sometimes I just laugh when I hear “the player was signed for $10 million.” I can’t even imagine that much money, and to play ball?
 
Have fun punching the clock tomorrow, guys.
 
What a crazy world. Tarnation.
 
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