25 October 2010

Money For Nothing

The rumor Kirk Gibson is peddling Dodger memorabilia to distance himself from that organization sounds plausible - and characteristically fiesty. The 1988 Dodger MVP isnt parting with Detroit Tiger or Michigan State loot, and the auction comes right on the heels of Gibson's managerial extension in Arizona.

So this is a targeted discard and he doesnt appear financially wanting.

It has to sting in Tinseltown, even as Angelinos feign indifference. Captain Kirk (with Orel and Fernando) embodies that underperforming outfit's lone glory of the past quarter century - and now an icon's abruptly cashed in that emotional connection... apparently to further close ranks with his hapless Diamondbacks. The fledging franchise with tradition deficit disorder.

The fact Gibson's employed by a division rival is no big deal, nor is the auction itself, really. It's the reason he's initiated this, and the timing, that's fascinating - in a down collectible market, when he doesnt appear to be cash poor.

One has to wonder how much of this has to do with the McCourts. As dubious as Diamondback ownership is, the Dodger divorcees have broken barriers when it comes to major league brand desecration. Even Peter O'Malley betrayed his patrician clan's longstanding discretion by shrieking to the LA Times that Frankie and Jamie get out of baseball. (Maybe O'Malley 50's era decorum died with June Cleaver.)


In other news, the Yankees were 'eliminated' - a euphemism for 'shat' - which better summarizes their week. When your $33M third baseman hits .190 and the $13M catcher appears eligible for assisted living, that's entertainment. In another display of clutchness, Mr November scored two runs in six games, no doubt saving up towards next month's quota, when imaginary runs attain peak theoretical value.

As tempting as it is, however, to mock New York's deified core, their ALCS downfall was mostly hastened by a profane 8.39 ERA from Sabathia, Hughes and Burnett. Unfortunately, the Yanks' timely collapse reinforces an illusion that MLB's predicated on competitive, sporting principles. The upside, of course, is...the Yankees lost!


On The Bookshelf : Three Nights in August, published 2005.

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