Posted on: March 12, 2008 3:01 pm

This will be here if it's the last thing I do

OK, last try.  The last two attempts have been eaten by the system.  So, if they show up, I again apologize.  Not trying to beat a horse I've already beaten.

Yes, it is only human for young players to want to capitalize on their value while they know they have it--especially when comparing checks to other players of their apparent caliber.  But it is equally as human for the teams to pay these players as little as they possibly can get away with in order to keep them as long as they can.  If I signed on with an employer who was paying plenty of people below my level of productivity many times more than I was getting paid, I'd probably be a bit perturbed.  But if my co-workers had long been unionized, and had used this position to gain a compromise with the employer that dictated that the first few years of my time there would be compensated at a prescribed level regardless of my output, in return for the opportunity to gain exponential figures hiring myself out to the highest bidder based on perpetually overblown "market value"--where serviceable players wind up with what was formerly superstar money--I'd be a bit reticent about complaining.

Prince Fielder didn't strike me as being a childish brat saying that he'd do his job the same way he's been doing it (if not better), and cash in as soon as he can.  Good for him.  The same goes for Cole Hamels.  If these guys keep producing, they can say whatever they want and feel however they want to--they'll get their due (whatever the market says that is at the time, or however much it will take to keep them from seeing how much the market says it is).  Being an Orioles fan, I'm inclined to feel that Nick Markakis can say whatever he wants so long as the O's brass is smart enough to see that this guy needs to be the cornerstone of the franchise.  But I digress.

From the perspective of John Q. Taxpayer, the system is completely wacky and beyond the mind of mortal man to comprehend in any coherent way.  But looking at it subjectively from all three angles, you can definitely see how it got that way...and that there's not much chance of it getting any better.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com