Baseball lends itself eternally to a game of "What if?"
What if, for instance, the Red Sox had not let go of Babe Ruth, thereby engendering far too many years of "The Curse Of The Bambino?"
What if that same Boston team had been willing to break their own color line by signing a kid who tried out for them named Willie Mays? Is it possible they would have avoided that other longtime hex, "The Curse Of Pumpsie Green?"
And what if the Dodgers once upon a time had not let go of Branch Rickey, who promptly signed with the Pirates, then outfoxed his erstwhile employers by stealing away a bonus baby named Roberto Clemente?
Moving to more recent times, what if the Dodgers last year had accepted a better offer for Dave Roberts — one which they turned down for fear the speedy outfielder might have led the National League in steals… a stat that "Money-Ballers" frown on?
What if Terry Ryan, my idea of what a General Manager should be, had not spotted a lefty named Johan Santana?
What if Milton Bradley had not worn out his welcome in Cleveland? Would there be a spot for one of the most promising guys on their club: Coco Crisp?
And what if the A’s were ever to give the multi-talented Eric Byrnes not merely a guaranteed spot in the lineup, but also the greenlight to steal? My sense is that one-dimensional "Money Ball" would be consigned to history as the guy the Dominicans call "Captain America" stole forty, fifty, or who-knows-how-many bases.
Guess all we can do is speculate…