MLB wants us to think there was a poignant moment in the A’s-Astros game, and to a lesser extent the Mariners game. At that point, Carlos Correa and Kyle Seager were taken out of the game mid-inning to receive a standing ovation from the crowd.
Are these players retiring? New. Have they played for only losing teams that allow them to score one last time at a World Series sometime in their final years in MLB? No, in fact Correa hasn’t had a non-conflict in seven years. Seager may have been that long-suffering player, except the Mariners are on the rise and he’s only 33.
Both players are only going to free agency, and in Seager’s case, he has a $20 million team option next year. It seems a foregone conclusion that Correa is leaving Houston – the only team he has played for, which he has been a key part of for years – simply because he will ask to be paid what he’s worth. Why do Houston fans take it as a given that he’s gone? And why are they so willing to accept it?
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Fans are so conditioned or knocked down by teams chasing efficiency that there’s almost no backlash when a big pillar like Correa just heads for the exit. You’ll see Astros fans arguing about how Pedro León could take the baton in short – or Alex Bregman moving from third – and this is just the way things are and how you can’t keep Correa in his thirties. can pay, because that will just cripple the payroll. Maybe Seager will even replace him on the roster. Some of it is right, some of it isn’t, it just shouldn’t be accepted that way.
MLB executives have successfully beaten fans and the media alike by claiming that potential free agents are simply away from their original teams. That you leave the fan base as soon as you want real money. That paying your free agents is actually bad, and when they get to that point, everyone will be happy with that last standing ovation. It is now part of the routine. Like they’re moving to a new league or something. It just resembled the actions of brainwashed masses.
These are probably some of the things the new CBA will tackle, but teams will always find ways to pay less for more. And there will be more times when fans will step up to greet a player who just moves on to find the right check.