"The players' worst fears are unfolding. The owners are in the driver's seat back to self-control."
So sez Richard Griffin today in the Star. I am quick to criticize Griffin for inconsistencies and biases, but when he isn't slinging mud at the local team, Rich often has some provocative thoughts, and he builds a strong argument around the Rangers letting Pudge walk, then hits a bullseye:
"The most talented free agents in this crop must feel bushwhacked by the sudden availability of a talented Expos core group of players offered by cost-cutting MLB ownership. Conflict of interest? No doubt."
Yesterday on the Transaction Oracle thread about Steve Finley, someone posted "Call the 1-800-COLLUSION complaint line. Oh wait, that number's not in service yet." I suggested calls to that number should be forwarded to Scott Boras' office. This "correction" in the baseball economy is a response by the teams to the new CBA that has gone further, sooner, than many of us expected, but it will take one greedy owner to start a stampede in the opposite direction. Until then, though I'm not implying management is doing anything illegal, we're almost back to the days of the great Andre Dawson signing a blank contract. The smart and flexible teams will get the "right" bargains, so the Jays are well positioned to improve.