Thanks, Jim Murray, for the great article regarding free agency. I was 15 years old when the Boston Red Sox went to the World Series with a team developed almost entirely from its farm system in my home state of Rhode Island. The following year, free agency came along, and within three seasons most of my "heroes" were gone. The game was ruined, and I vowed never again to give my trust and support to an athlete.
When you're a kid you really believe that a ballplayer would care that you're wearing his number in the sandlots, spending your allowance on his baseball cards, or screaming his name with joy every time he steps to the plate. I often wonder if the game really changed or I had simply "grown up." Either way, I shall mourn for the days when I saw ballplayers as anything but overpaid, whining, pampered, coke-snorting prima donnas who care about nothing but themselves.