Right here, right now, it looks as though the Boston Red Sox are an absolute cinch to repeat as World Champions in 2019. So let’s all go back to bed and I’ll talk to you in October.
Wait—just kidding. Sort of. There seems to be a correlation between how much reverence and attention are given to the business world and how, at the same time, the business world, at least here in the Disunited States, continues to plummet toward the bottom of the outhouse. So to speak. It takes a lot of famotidine to get through all of the jibber jabber on ESPN or mlb.com etc. about who is going to sign famous roughhouser Manny Machado or famous dullard Bryce Harper before the season starts in, oh, 65 days or so. All we can seem to talk about are free agents and trade rumors. If there exist any up and coming young baseball players who might crash through and make us forget these guys we are not hearing much about them. Perhaps that is because the headlines that they might create would not qualify for what those in the know refer to as “click bait”. All of the teams appear to be salivating at the prospect of adding that one star that puts them in contention to play for all the marbles when the leaves change colors and fall.
Except, of course, for the San Francisco Giants. The Giants are to be commended for finally realizing that last year and the year before that and the year before that have little effect on the here and now other than by providing memories, both good and bad. They have hired a new brain trust in Farhan Zaidi, who made his bones with Oakland and the Dodgers, and he has wisely refrained from making roster moves just so he can say that he did. They have re-signed pitchers Derek Holland and Will Smith, which didn’t seem to get President Schicklgruber or Nancy Pelosi off the front page. The big moves for the Giants so far have been to expand the size of the scoreboard so that people with binoculars in Menlo Park can see that Kelby Tomlinson is batting .183 every time he comes up and to change the name of their ballpark again. We can stop calling it the Phone Booth now because AT&T has relinguished the “naming rights” to another Bay Area monument to greed and stupidity, Oracle. This is the huge, wealthy company that has made billions by supplying unsuspecting business owners with practically useless software that costs so much money that no one will admit that it stinks. It is said that many employees of Oracle, which was the last name of the building that the Warriors played home games inside, say that the letters making up the name Oracle stand for One Real Asshole Called Larry Ellison but that cannot be fact checked. Naming rights getting sold seems like a really huge scam but, since it is being played on people like Ellison, who personally also owns the face of greed, who cares?
Maybe Zaidi and the Giants will fool us all and sign Harper or Machado tomorrow. What is truly sad, however, as the winter days of raging storms draw closer to their end, is that more and more attention is drawn to all of these transactions as if they have no affect on the real human beings that get shuffled around to all of the various rosters. No, this is not to say that we should pity these millionaire players or their families. It’s just that the game that is played with bats and gloves and balls seems to be playing second fiddle to the games played by billionaires with cash and stocks and real estate. That game is about as much fun as trying to play with Larry Ellison’s software.