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MLB

Steve Cohen Got All The Babies Crying

11:50 AM EST on December 22, 2022

Justin Verlander
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Mets owner Steve Cohen just spent a whole bunch of money on making the baseball team that he owns more entertaining and competitive, which is something that only those possessing the dullest minds could find fault with. The job of a baseball team is entertain its fans and compete for a title; the job of a baseball team's owner is to spend money in order to help that happen. You don't need this explained to you, because you are not a baby.

Unless of course you are one of the anonymous team executives who was quoted in this story from The Athletic's Evan Drellich. If that's the case, then you are in fact a stupid little baby and I am currently on my way to your house so that I can put you in a diaper.

Look at this baby:

“I think it’s going to have consequences for him down the road,” said an official with another major league team who was not authorized to speak publicly. “There’s no collusion. But … there was a reason nobody for years ever went past $300 million. You still have partners, and there’s a system.”

Sounds like someone needs to get burped! And what about this baby:

“Our sport feels broken now,” a different rival executive said Wednesday. “We’ve got somebody with three times the median payroll and has no care whatsoever for the long-term of any of these contracts, in terms of the risk associated with any of them. How exactly does this work? I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it.”

Get this man a rattle and a bonnet, please. And also this baby:

“This game is based on partnership and relationships, and these small markets are going to be really pissed at him,” the club official said. “They’re going to try and gin up s— and cause Rob (Manfred) to f—— get pissed at him. It’s not that they can do anything to him, but everybody needs help in this game. I don’t think he’s going to get any help.”

Pop a binky in this club official's mouth because he is getting fussy. You can tell these guys are actually upset, because a team executive who is in better control of his emotions probably doesn't hop on the phone with a reporter and just come right out and say that the entire league operates under an unspoken policy of soft collusion.

It's clarifying to see the structure of baseball described this way by the people nearest the top of that structure, if only because it helps to chart the size of the gulf separating how the game is understood by the people who consume it and the people who lord over it. Ask a random fan at a bar what MLB is, and he's likely to describe something that sounds like a large-scale entertainment concern; ask one of these executive the same question and he starts describing the game's players in terms of the long-term risk and expense that they represent and yammering about "partnership and relationships" between owners—that is, describing something that sounds like a cartel. That distance from one side of that gulf to the other is where you find so much of what can make rooting for a sports team a drag.

Anyway, I hope someone tucks these babies in tight tonight. Wouldn't want any of them escaping their crib and making a mess in the middle of the night.

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