Don’t subscribe yet? Sign up here to get this newsletter every week!
All Betts Are Off and So Are the Red Sox
You would think that they would have learned by now. About a century ago, the Red Sox traded Tris Speaker–one of the greatest hitters to ever live–to cut salaries after winning a World Series. Four years later, they sold Babe Ruth for a pile of Yankees cash. This time around, it’s Mookie Betts packing his bags, who despite having played for only six seasons, is already the tenth most valuable Sox player of all time, at least according to WAR. Betts is exactly the type of player a team dreams of developing. He should have been in Boston for his entire career, his number 50 retired, a beloved icon like Williams and Ortiz.
He would have been, too, if not for some cheapskates.
Fans and owners have always had a complicated relationship. It’s the owner’s team—they own it after all—but every sports franchise also belongs to its fans. The generations of support earn some kind of sweat equity, and in that way, an owner is really more of a patron. An owner is supporting something that’s not just for them, and in return, fans have no choice but to trust that their benefactor is a benevolent one.
For the owners, there’s a certain responsibility that comes with that agreement. They don’t need to put a winning team on the field every year. And they don’t need to lose money consistently, […]