It is an outrage that in the wealthiest nation on earth some children go hungry, some veterans go homeless, many hard working people have no health insurance and…and today is payday and the “Boys of Summer” may not get paid! It is indeed a sign that the Apocalypse is upon on us that the Los Angeles Dodgers have filed bankruptcy. “Say it ain’t so, Joe!”
I suppose anyone who read the Book of Revelation could have predicted this. The 13th Chapter of the last book of the Bible warned us. “Men worshipped the dragon for he had given his authority to the beast and then they worshipped the beast saying, “Who is like the beast and who can fight against it?” In Major League Baseball, the beast is what it has become in politics, religion and all else that was once good in America. Money!
While conservative, apocalyptic Christians may see the United Nations, World Trade Organization, and the International Criminal Court as preliminary steps to the formation of a one world government, what they should really fear is the takeover of Major League Baseball by tycoons like Frank McCourt!
When the storied Brooklyn Dodgers packed up and moved to Los Angeles in 1958, many prophesied the end of the world as we then knew it. But this week, the end times are seriously near as the Los Angeles Dodgers moved from the playing field at Chavez Ravine to a bankruptcy court in Delaware. The Dodgers are assured larger crowds there than they have had in LA this season.
From the time my memory begins, I was a Dodger fan. It became harder in 1993 when the Rockies began playing in Denver. It became impossible in 1998 when Rupert Murdoch and his FOX Group bought the team from the O’Malley family. That day the Boys of Summer became just another banana republic whose mission was no longer to win championships but to provide a lavish income to a few wealthy families. A franchise that had won 21 National League championships and seven World Series “BM” (before Murdoch) never won another.
Current owner Frank McCourt continued the tradition Murdoch started of skimming the profits and investing in his own lavish lifestyle rather than the future of the team. He wasn’t as clever as Murdoch and this week his Ponzi scheme caught up with his greed. In truth, the Dodgers were bankrupt long before their formal filing this week.
“And I heard a voice from Heaven saying, “Write this! Blessed are the dead!” (Revelation 14:13) Fortunately the end times came earlier for fellows like Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Johnny Roseboro, Don Drysdale, Junior Gilliam and Roy Campanella. They didn’t have to witness the demise of what they and Walter O’Malley, Walt Alston, Branch Rickey and others had built over the long haul.
Enter Bud Selig and the “mark of the beast.” The Book of Revelation famously predicted a time when “no person can buy or sell unless he (sic) has the mark, the mark of the beast.” For the Dodgers now, that mark is Bud Selig’s signature. Let’s hope he is a bit more circumspect about lending the mark in the future than he was when Rupert Murdoch and Frank McCourt came calling. It may the last chance to decide whether America’s Pastime will be making money or playing baseball.