For those who have missed it, there’s an extremely lively conversation going on in this thread about the pros and cons of abolishing the draft. The only thought I have on it that has yet to be voiced (at least I don’t think it’s been voiced) is that while there is a lot of surface appeal to the argument that goes “well, in any other business employee X can go out and negotiate the highest salary,” it misses something. What it misses is that in that scenario, employer X has different incentives than would a baseball team faced with total free agency, and that’s that, unlike a baseball team, employer X would benefit quite a bit from competitor Y’s having to shut its doors and going out of business due to its inability to attract and/or pay top talent. Baseball needs the competition to say viable.
I remain kind of where I was on this when I posted the item yesterday: (a) philosophically predisposed to favor freedom over baseball’s version of servitude; but (b) wary of radical change; and (c) ultimately unsure as to how it all plays out. The pragmatist in me thinks that all weighs in favor of subtle tweaks over revolution, even if the concepts behind such a revolution are more intellectually satisfying. If that bothers you, well, that’s just how a thirty-five year-old/father of two/Midwesterner/lawyer tends to approach things. If I’m going to go all-in on anything this week it’ll be to get the Astros to let in outside food.
A final bit of draft business before things get going tonight: read this post on the economics of the draft from Steven at Fire Jim Bowden. Good stuff for anyone who really wants to jump into that previous thread.