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Old 08-03-2002, 03:33 AM   #7
Anthony
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A few points, Vinny. First, don't fall for all the myths and outright falsehoods that are being circulated out there, mostly by the owners' side.

For example, you cite the Braves as a big market team. Really? According to the 2000 Census figures, Atlanta had a population of 416,474, making it the 39th largest city in the United States! (Ted Turner is rolling in money of course, but that's a totally separate issue).

Indeed, the whole "competitive balance" thing is another myth: In the last 23 full seasons before the Reserve Clause was invalidated - 1952 through 1975, not counting the strike-shortened 1972 season - the average gap between the teams with the best and worst records in each league was 40.8 games in the American League and 40.4 in the National. In the 23 non-strike seasons played under the free-agent system - 1976 through 2001, omitting 1981, 1994 and 1995 - the averages are 39.2 in the AL and 35.5 in the NL! (Don't feel bad though; I bought into this one myself until someone "straightened me out" so to speak - on the MLB Fans Strike Message Board of all places!)

Even the matter of Yankee domination becoming more chronic since free agency was introduced turns out to be a fallacy: On two separate occasions prior to 1976 the Yankees won the World Series more than three times in a row - four straight from 1936 through 1939, and five straight from 1949 through 1953. Since 1976, no team - the Yankees, or anyone else for that matter - has won more than three consecutive World Series championships.

While I certainly understand everyone's frustration at what is apparently about to happen again in baseball, fans should not allow themselves to be led around by the nose by Bud Selig and his very powerful propaganda machine.
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