Hey, it's nearly damn playoff time. The summer went fast, per usual. My team of choice clinched their spot in the playoffs and you can read a few of my thoughts on that here and here. The interesting thing is that even though there are less than ten games left in the season, not all the spots are decided yet. Will the Tigers hold on or will they Fernando Rodney their playoff chances? That's right Fernando Rodney is now a verb and Tigers fans know what it means. In St. Louis, it's pronounced Isringhausen, but diverse speech accents are what make America grand.
The proximity of the World Series had me thinking about the Yankees and the Cardinals: the two teams with the most championships. Now the Yankees have the most by far with 26. The Cards are a distant second with 10. But how did those teams do it? Existing for over 100 years helps. But what did the Yankees do to be so successful? You have to remember that these teams won in a time when there was no such thing as free agency. Players stuck with their team until they were traded away. So the Yankees began their success with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Having control over such great players made the team the premier franchise in league. The players knew they had to stay with the team as long as the team said. Wouldn't the best players want to be with the franchise that can pay the most and/or give the best opportunity to win? Success breeds success, indeed.
Also, there was no such thing as a farm system. The farm system was pioneered by the Cardinals. It gave the team a deep pool of players from which to choose their major league roster. That pioneering can probably explain some of the Cards' success.
Now that free agents keep players on the move and each team has a farm system to support the big club with cheap, young talent, the MLB is close to being the best possible system for league "parity" without the boring, facelessness of the NFL. Every team has a chance as long as their management doesn't spend 17 years thinking Jack Wilson type players are the key to your future championships.
In the music world, some of my favorite artists are or have put out new albums. Already out there are new releases by Frank Turner, Banner Pilot, Chuck Ragan, The Gateway District, and Pissed Jeans. Look out for upcoming music by Nothington and Lucero. It's a damn good time for new music. That's what makes it even weirder that I am ending with this song:
Poster of our heroes hawking cancer sticks courtesy of Deco Dog.