As a farewell to George Steinbrenner, King George, the mob Boss of MLB, here is an adaptation of a great historical document to the pains he and the Yankees have caused us and other small market fans:
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one group of baseball teams to dissolve the economic bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the baseball world, the separate and equal station to which the laws of baseball and of baseball's gods entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of other baseball owners requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation from the past and to the freedom of baseball in the time after King George.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all baseball teams (but not players) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Commissioner, by the express written consent of the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the ability to obtain hitting, pitching and the pursuit of baseballs on defense. That to secure these rights, baseball is instituted among men, deriving its just powers from the consent of the fans, not just the fans in large markets. That whenever any form of baseball becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the fans to alter or to abolish it, and to institute baseball anew, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their parity and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that baseball long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that fans are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the form of baseball to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations by George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right as fans, it is their duty, to throw off such a structure in baseball, and to provide new guards for their future security, through a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and Major League Agreement among owners. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these fans in small markets; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of baseball. The history of the former King of New York and now his Steinbrenner heirs is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these other baseball clubs. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the good of baseball.
He has forbidden his other owners to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance to maintain competitive balance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them and complained of small market teams' budgets.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of once-proud and once-competitive small market teams, such as larger and more effective revenue sharing, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation at the annual Owners' Meetings, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together bodies of Scott Boras' free agents at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fitting them into Yankee uniforms and in compliance with his measures restricting the length of hair and the abolition of facial hair other than mustaches.
He has dissolved managers' houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of those managers as baseball men. (See Martin, Billy)
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be hired as managers, instead appointing former Yankee players as holdovers; whereby the baseball powers, incapable of operation without a manager or general manager, have returned to the players at large for their exercise; the team remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from the other forces of the American League, and convulsions within the American League East.
He has endeavored to prevent the growth of other fan bases; for that purpose obstructing the laws for decency and land-based fan relationships; refusing to pass others to encourage fan migration, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of All-Stars.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing league-wide disciplinary and governing powers that might restore parity and fairness.
He has made arbitrators and agents dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices and a $1 billion stadium, and sent hither swarms of scouts and player agents to harass our players, and sign them to bigger contracts which are not affordable for small market teams.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing media armies without the consent of our small market owners or fans.
He has affected to render the media independent of and superior to fan power and knowledge.
He has combined with others, the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox among others, to subject us to a salary structure foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended superiority.
For quartering large bodies of mercenary All Stars among us. (Not to be confused with the good work the All Stars Among Us, honored annually at the All Star game, do for communities across the country)
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any steroids which they should use to confuse the inhabitants of these Major League cities. (Clemens, Rodriguez, Giambi, Pettite, among others)
For cutting off our ability to meaningfully trade with all teams of the Major Leagues.
For imposing the Yankee bias of the YES Network and of ESPN on us without our consent.
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of playoffs involving competitive small market teams.
For transporting us beyond seas to overpay for different sets of free agents.
For abolishing the old free agent system of the 1970s and 1980s via the strike and now Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, establishing therein an arbitrarily inflated free agent market, and enlarging its salaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule against these other baseball clubs.
For taking away our players, abolishing our most valuable contracts, and altering fundamentally the forms of our player development structures.
For suspending our own competitiveness, and declaring themselves invested with power to compete for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated player control here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us by overpaying for the services of our players.
He has plundered our rosters, ravaged the international free agent market, burned our pennants, and destroyed the lives of our fans.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign free agents to complete the works of pitching dominance, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a Major League Baseball team.
He has constrained our former players and sabermetricians taken captive in New York to bear arms against their former teams, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us as fans, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Cleveland Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, claims of small market competitiveness, and minor league pillory, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms through the correct avenues at the Commissioner's Office; our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A King such as a Steinbrenner, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the leader or example of a just baseball structure.
Nor have we been wanting in attention to our New York brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their team to extend an unwarrantable dominance over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our foundation in reputable cities across America. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence during the regular season. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold the Yankees, as we hold the rest of the large market bullies, enemies in baseball, in peace friends.
We, therefore, the representatives of the small market baseball clubs, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the baseball gods of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these cities, solemnly publish and declare, that these united clubs are, and of right ought to be free and competitive clubs; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the Yankees and ESPN, and that all political connection between them and the estate of George Steinbrenner, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and competitive clubs, they have full power to levy baseball, conclude negotiations, contract All Stars, establish competitive international scouting, and to do all other acts and things which competitive clubs may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the baseball gods, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
Submitted by the fans of the Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, and the Pittsburgh Pirates