Our economy is centered around screwing people. I don't mean the fun kind of screwing- although that figures in mightily. I'm talking about simple capitalism.
Burger King has meat, bread, cheese, grills, condiments and packaging material. They have people to make burgers for you. They handle pretty much everything. If you deal in the volume BK does, it ends up costing them about 20 cents per burger (that might be wrong...I made it up....blogging rules).
You have 30 minutes to get and eat lunch. This isn't enough time to get down to Argentina, kill a bull, prepare and cook it, eat it, and get back to work on time. So you go to BK and get a Big Mac, or whatever other filth they are pushing at the time. You pay two dollars for a twenty cent burger. That's how Burger King makes money.
Sure, you just got robbed...but the alternative costs you a lot of time and effort. So, you are actually happy to do it...assuming you like Big Macs.
Basically, it works out for both of you. They're willing to do, and you're willing to pay. That is how our economy works. It's the free exchange system...and even if you don't like the burger, you're only out a couple of bucks.
American sports works on more of a barter system. I have a young third baseman with a lot of potential. Texas has a veteran relief pitcher with an expiring contract. We each have what the other team needs, and we each covet what the other team has. So, some calls are made, some red tape is unspooled, and I send Jeff Bagwell to Texas for Larry Anderson.
Those of you who follow baseball know how that one worked out. We essentially bought a 356098879485 dollar Whopper. It happens to the best and worst of us.
Here's a few trades I can come up with. In each case, someone ended up looking mightyyyyy bad. Jobs were lost, dynasties crumbled, stars were born, and fan bases were alienated.
- Babe Ruth for $100,000 and the rights to a play called No No Nanette.
- Don Ford for Cleveland's #1, which became James Worthy.
- Shaquille O'Neal for Brian Grant, Lamar Odom and Carom Butler.
- Charlie Scott for the Lakers #1 pick, which became Larry Bird.
- Joe Barry Carroll and Ricky Brown for Robert Parish and Kevin McHale.
- Moses Malone for Caldwell Jones.
- Herschel Walker for Minnesota's 1987(?)draft.
- Vlade Divac for Kobe Bryant
- They don't really count as robbery, but Danny Ainge managed to trade 2 players who still somehow continue playing for the Celtics.
- Sammy Sosa for George Bell
- Bronson Arroyo's hair......ooops, thought it said "worst braid"
- Tebucky Jones for Corey Dillon, once the dust settled.
- Pete Harnisch, Steve Finley, and one Curt Schilling to Houston for Glen Davis
- Tractor Traylor for Dirk Nowitzki
- Grant Hill for Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins
- Eric Lindros to Philadelphia for Peter Forsberg, Mike Ricci, Chris Simon, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Ron Hextall, $15 million, and two first round draft picks. NHL fans call this the Hockey Herschel.
- Vancouver trades Cam Neely and a draft pick that would go onto be Glen Wesley to Boston for Barry Peterson.
- Patrick Roy and Keane for Thibault, Rucinsky, and Koval
- Glen Rice for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell
- Charles Barkley for Andrew Lang, Tim Perry and Jeff Hornacek (who they traded a year later for Jeff Malone, who soon retired).
- Brad Daugherty for Roy Hinson
- Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens
- Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins, Brandon Armstrong to the Nets for the rights to Eddie Griffin.
- Jermaine O'neal and Joe Kleine to the Pacers for Dale Davis
- Ozzie Newsome for Mike Phipps
- Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio (I got them scrawny legs, but I move just like Lou Brock)
- Raphael Palmeiro AND Jamie Moyer to the Rangers for Mitch Williams
- Hack Wilson for Burleigh Grimes (this forum was long overdue for some good Hack Wilson talk)
- Rip Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse
- Dominique Wilkins for 22 games of Danny Manning
- Christy Mathewson for Amos Rusie
- Keith Hernandez to the Mets for pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey (No play for Mr. Grey)
- Delino Deshields for Pedro Martinez
- Ron Harper for Danny Ferry
- Wilt Chamberlain to Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Paul Nuemann, Lee Shaffer and cash
- Wilt Chamberlain to L.A. for Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark, and Darrall Imhoff
- Mark McGwire to Cardinals for pitchers T.J. Mathews, Eric Ludwick and Blake Stein
- John Smoltz to Braves for Doyle Alexander
- Jay Buhner to Seattle for Ken Phelps....Costanza's dad is still pissed over that one.
- Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb
- David Cone to Yankees for pitchers Marty Janzsen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon
- The pick that became Magic Johnson for Gail Goodrich........LA capitalized on the then-current NBA trend of trying to get a lot of white guys, essentially getting Magic and Worthy for Goodrich and Ford.
- David Justice to Yankees for Ricky Ledee