The MLB made itself look silly recently with the whole Aaron Judge/Manny Machado tampering fiasco.
It began with the innocuous quote
“I told him he’d look good in pinstripes.”
Suddenly the MLB is deciding whether to fine Judge for tampering and the New York Yankees front office reprimands one of its most respected stars.
After a quick dictionary search of the word tamper, several sinister words appear as synonyms: rig, manipulate, bribe, corrupt, cause damage. None of these words comes remotely close to describing this conversation.
Every player in the league would like the best players to join them or vice versa. Many of these players are friends off the field. It’s extremely likely that players from every team are trying to recruit talented players to their team. In fact, fans should be disappointed if their players don’t care enough about winning to try recruiting.
One look at the NBA shows the proper way to react to these conversations. According to their own admissions, several players on the Golden State Warriors were trying to recruit superstar Kevin Durant while he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The NBA didn’t do anything. That is the correct response, because who cares?
There’s not a team in the major leagues who wouldn’t want to see Manny Machado in their uniforms. Aaron Judge said what Machado and other stars have probably heard in texts and conversations from countless other players (though he’ll never admit that now, surely).
These are grown men. They’re going to make the decisions that are best for themselves, and their loved ones.
In the words of the Remember the Titans coach: