It’s nothing new. Mama may help. And Papa may help. God loves the child that ‘s got his own. Trump knows it. George Steinbrenner knew it. Derek Jeter knows it. Of course, it’s a little different now in the major leagues of organized baseball. Benchwarmers make the kind of money that All-Stars in the past could only dream of and owners of cellar dwellers are raking in the kind of dough that Connie Mack and Charles Comiskey could not even when they had World Series teams.
Giancarlo Stanton finally had the kind of season that folks have been waiting for him to have in 2017, and now he will be playing half of his games in that P.O.N.Y. league park in the Bronx. So now the comparisons roll in to the glory days of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and people will be expecting 130 home runs and 270 runs batted in between Aaron Judge and Stanton in 2018. Plus, the Yankees still have Gary Sanchez and most of the supporting cast from the surprising team that almost got into the World Series this past season.
You can see the Marlins point of view. With Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon and other pretty good players they won 77 games and finished twenty games behind Washington while paying Stanton Pablo Escobar kind of money. Perhaps Starlin Castro, while not having the most popular surname in Miami, can prosper at last in his new surroundings. He will never be a Bill Mazeroski type second baseman just like he was never going to be Omar Vizquel at short, but he can hit.
Teams, particularly the Giants and Cardinals, that pursued Stanton enthusiastically may be disappointed, but the whole free agent route to success has to be somewhat discredited by this time, especially since the attack on the middle class is now going full bore and the number of people able to afford high priced tickets, beer, and purported food plus all that paraphernalia will soon be dwindling. Stanton set a personal record in 2017 by appearing in 159 games. He played 145 in 2014 and 150 in 2011 but otherwise it has been 100, 123. 116, 74, and 119. Players generally do not get injured less frequently as they grow older. For you glum San Francisco fans out there, ask Hunter Pence.
Even though there are just rich and richer teams now, the smart money seems to be going in the direction of building with youth. I think that will be good for the game. The Fullerton Angels signing of Shohei Ohtani is much more interesting to me. Now they can carry 14 pitchers and two designated sitters. But he is only 23, and here is hoping that he finds success. Of course, I would play him in the outfield and use him in relief, but what the hell do I know?