Gosh, we thought you liked us. We thought you’d bonded with us. After all we’d been through, we thought we had something special.
“Hey, babe, it was fun — see ya around sometime,” pitcher Cliff Lee told the Texas Rangers and the many fans he’s made since coming here in July and leading the team to the World Series for the first time.
But that’s okay. Don’t be bitter. We should wish him well. He earns $20 million a year for throwing a baseball, but he represents the working man.
In the 1970s, free agency came about in Major League Baseball because team owners had routinely exploited players financially for the previous 100-plus years.
So it’s great to see Lee shun the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees (the only two teams thought to be in the running for this star player) and take less money to go play for the team he likes best in the city in which he most prefers to live.
Sure, we’ll miss him. He was our best pitcher. But who can blame him for not wanting to pitch in the brutal Texas heat for a perennial loser that’s had one great season since coming to Arlington in 1972?
The Rangers had a magical season in 2010 and, perhaps with Tom Hicks gone and Nolan Ryan’s ownership group in place, they can do it again in 2011.
Still, the team’s chances are slim. Especially now that Lee’s gone.
But if rich, monopolistic owners hadn’t abused players for so long and made them de facto indentured servants with unfair reserve clauses, then maybe the sport wouldn’t have devolved into the musical-chair rosters seen today.