Friday, June 5, 2015

Oh the Times, they are a Changin'

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Hey guys, Drew back here. I hope you all enjoyed my take on which members of the Hall of Fame are overrated on Tuesday. It sparked more debate than any of my prior Ten for Tuesday posts, which is exactly what I had hoped for. The entire purpose of the weekly series is to inspire debate among my readers, and I've had a lot of fun putting the projects together; it certainly gives me something to look forward to.

If you read my blog, I'm going to assume you read Night Owl Cards as well. If you don't, you would be doing yourself a disservice. Greg is twice the writer I'll ever be, and I know I've improved from my days as a teenager in this community. He created his blog in 2008, around the same time I did. We have witnessed countless people phasing in and out of the hobby; more blogs disappearing by the day. But we've both (he especially) been able to maintain our interest in not only the hobby itself but in writing as well throughout the course of almost seven full years.

Last Sunday, Greg wrote about something that has peaked my interest ever since. He said that only two players in the Dodgers' 2008 Topps set have remained with the team up until now; Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier. From there, I was influenced into figuring out how many players have stayed with the same team since the birth of this blog. I technically started with Weebly in the summer of 2008, until I carried over my posts to Blogger that winter, but I will refer to the summer as the beginning point of this timeline.

This is what I was able to come up with:

American League

Baltimore Orioles - Adam Jones
Boston Red Sox - David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz
New York Yankees - Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner*
Tampa Bay Rays - Evan Longoria*
Toronto Blue Jays - Jose Bautista

Chicago White Sox - John Danks, Alexei Ramirez*
Cleveland Indians - None
Detroit Tigers - Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander
Kansas City Royals - Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar
Minnesota Twins - Joe Mauer, Glen Perkins

Houston Astros - None
Los Angeles Angels - Jered Weaver, Erick Aybar
Oakland Athletics - None
Seattle Mariners - Felix Hernandez
Texas Rangers - Matt Harrison*

* = Rookie in 2008

Total: 20 Players

National League

Atlanta Braves - None
Miami Marlins - None
New York Mets - David Wright, Daniel Murphy*, Jon Niese*, Bobby Parnell*
Philadelphia Phillies - Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Carlos Ruiz
Washington Nationals - Ryan Zimmerman

Chicago Cubs - None
Cincinnati Reds - Johnny Cueto*, Jay Bruce*, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Homer Bailey
Milwaukee Brewers - Ryan Braun
Pittsburgh Pirates - None
St. Louis Cardinals - Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia*

Arizona Diamondbacks - None
Colorado Rockies - Troy Tulowitzki, Jorge de la Rosa
Los Angeles Dodgers - Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw*, A.J. Ellis*
San Diego Padres - Will Venable*
San Francisco Giants - Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Sergio Romo

* = Rookie in 2008

Total: 27 Players

47 Players. 13 of which, rookies. We aren't even talking about a decade of time passing by, and only 47 Major League players have stayed on their respective teams. There are 30 teams in the league, with 25 men on each team's Active Roster. That alone makes 750 total players, not to mention all of those who have been called up and sent down within that period. Only 36 of the 47 listed have played their entire professional career with one organization. It was Miguel Cabrera's first year after being traded from the Marlins to the Tigers in 2008. Alex Rodriguez's name wasn't completely obliterated, and he came off of a 2007 MVP Award and enormous contract extension. Tim Lincecum was on his way to his first of two Cy Young Awards. That old, washed up Phillies team we see today won the World Series. Oh, how times have changed.

No wonder why baseball is no longer the powerhouse it once was compared to other sports. Ever since the dawn of free agency in baseball in the 1970's, players have constantly been on the move. One of my best friends has always followed the game, but after missing most of the news from the past offseason, he was so confused from all of the player movement. How are kids supposed to grow up and love a particular team in a day of age where baseball rosters change as frequently as college rosters?

Growing up, I always wanted the newest pinstripe jersey of whoever the Yankees would sign over each winter. Looking back, a majority of those jerseys were of players who made pit stops in New York before traveling elsewhere, which meant I constantly had to get to know a new team and buy new jerseys. I know it's part of what you sign up for being a Yankees fan in particular, especially ever since the late George Steinbrenner took the helm in 1973. But clearly, my Bombers aren't the only team that makes you feel like the new kid at school every Opening Day.

It's difficult to think of a way to go about fixing this dilemma. It appears that the business revolving around the game is in too deep, and that it would take a substantial amount of energy and effort to market players who are always in flux. With the Core Four retired, Alex Rodriguez is now the longest tenured Yankee, and I have to be honest, it can be boring to root for them at times. My favorite players now come from all over the league, because I have since learned not to grow too attached to anyone on my own team in fear of losing them to the next team willing to cough up hundreds of millions of dollars on them. My huge Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher collections now collecting dust can attest to this fear, without question.

It's really sad. I love watching old documentaries and hearing about those "classic" teams; the ones where people could rattle off the entire Dodgers and Yankees rosters, position by position; without worrying about accidentally naming someone who is no longer a part of the organization. But, they make me jealous. Very jealous.

I know it's an old school opinion and approach to a game that is trying so hard to adapt to newer technology and innovations; but I still wish something could be done. At least we've had Yadier Molina and Chase Utley to count on being donned in red.

What do you all think? Has free agency negatively affected your interest in your team?

See Ya!


  1. I'm only 25 and I can absolutely say that it has gotten worse even in my lifetime... I've been a Braves fan my whole life and I can remember being able to recite their lineup backwards in the late 90's. MAYBE we'd acquire a position player and two or so relief pitchers in the offseason, but today I don't feel like its uncommon to have teams turnover lineups that vary by 6 or 7 position players. That is frustrating.

  2. I'm not jealous of the people who can rattle off old lineups and rosters. It pretty much means that their teams stuck with the guys they had and there was a 29/30 chance that they didn't win the World Series because they didn't look into improving themselves.
    That said I am jealous of the people who can name every player the Yankees have had for them these last five years. They're masters at useless trivia games.

    Ever since the Tampa Bay Rays showed that you can have a contender for cheap but only if you constantly keep turning over the roster, it's caught on the rest of the MLB and will stay there. Plus with the contracts given to proven major leaguers getting bigger and bigger, constantly turning over the roster and relying on new guys out of the farm system or arriving via trades is the future for a lot of teams.


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