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High Price, High Speed, High Post, High Roller

Recently, Poppa Lerner told a forum audience at the greatest institution in the history of mankind:

"What concerns us the most at the moment is the free-agency signings that have been occurring the last 90 days and could take baseball out of control."

I'm sure anyone in the crowd with a passing knowledge of professional sports yawned disinterestedly; Lerner might as well have called rock 'n roll---the devil's music---a threat to the next generation of impressionable minds. Lerner's taken to the talking points all too well. I'm sure Dick Young, wherever he is, would even call that quote passe by now.

As Boz points out in his Friday column, "since 1976, when free agency arrived, baseball payrolls have gone out of control every few years, like clockwork." This is true. Payrolls will invariably rise and fall, rise and fall. But the highs of the rises will far exceed the lows of the falls. That's just the way it is. This article at The Hardball Times has a really neat graph that provides a fitting demonstration, but I'm not really in the mood to reproduce copyrighted material. Instead, I'll give my own artistic impression of the phenomenon---yes, in Microsoft Paint:

At some point---probably not next year, mind you---we'll see a bit of a dip. People will forget about salaries going out of control . . . until, that is, they rise again. And then someone else will be the new Gil Meche, just as Gil Meche of 2006-07 is the new Bud Black of 1990-91.

Understand this post has nothing to do with "The Plan." It is merely a goof post designed to ridicule an old coot who will forget these very words when they become inconvenient and then suddenly recall them at a point in the future when it's expeditious to do so.