- Jayson Stark, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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First off, let's all agree on one thing: Money is an excellent invention. And we're all in favor of accumulating as much of it as possible.
But now let's agree on something else: We've all heard enough talk about the impact that money, the economy and the recession have had on baseball to hold us for the next 12 lifetimes. Haven't we?
So here's our appeal to baseball's powers that be as another season approaches:
No more talk about the economy. Please. No more charts showing attendance during previous recessions. Please. No more in-depth analysis of how far free-agent salaries have fallen versus previous offseasons. Please.
Has baseball been affected by the economy? Sure. Obviously. Now let's move on.
At times like these, we don't need baseball to remind us we barely have enough money left in our life savings to buy a hot dog and popcorn. We need baseball to remind us it's guaranteed to bring us seven consecutive months of uninterrupted fun.
So from now on, here's the only kind of money talk we want to hear:
$$$ THE ALL-MONEY PLAYER TEAM $$$
If all our net worth was riding on one game, we'd run this team out there:
$$$ THE ALL PAY-PER-VIEW TEAM $$$
A team full of guys we'd pay to watch play:
$$$ THE ALL-BULL-MARKET TEAM $$$
Here's the advice from our team of advisors: Buy stock in this group now before the world catches on:
$$$ THE ALL-BEAR-MARKET TEAM $$$
Better sell now before these stocks crash:
$$$ THE ALL-MONEY-FOR-NOTHING TEAM $$$
Many, many dollars spent on these men but that ain't workin':
$$$ THE ALL-MOST-ACTIVE-STOCKS TEAM $$$
$$$ THE ALL-CHAPTER 11 TEAM $$$
Here they come, the greatest players wearing No. 11 that money can buy:
$$$ MOST TRADED STOCKS $$$
Number in parentheses represents number of teams that the player has played for (* = includes new team this spring).
$$$ THE ALL-FUTURES MARKET TEAM $$$
They probably won't be heading north, but we'll hear from these phenoms again:
$$$ THE ALL-MONEYBALL-NAME TEAM $$$
The only cash we're interested in hearing about this year is Kevin Cash. The only price-earnings ratio we care about involves David Price. So on that note, here are the greatest names in baseball -- if Alan Greenspan were picking them:
Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com. His new book, "Worth The Wait: Tales of the 2008 Phillies," was published by Triumph Books and is available in bookstores and online. Click here to order a copy.
Everyone knows the economy could have a profound impact on baseball. But the more important question is this: Who'll be money on the field in 2009?