- The century old "reserve clause" was effectively eliminated in the mid-1970's, allowing players to achieve free-agent status and create bidding wars for their services;
- Any attempt by the owners to fight back by agreeing not to bid on players was denounced as "collusion" and resulted in arbitration victories for the players in the mid to late 1980's and expensive fines against the owners;
- The costs imposed by free agency and owners' legal inability to fight it resulted in increased expansion in the 1990's together with a wave of municipal financed stadium construction, replacing many relatively new baseball stadiums and plunging teams and (already precarious) cities into debt; and
- As baseball careers became better than winning the lottery (even for marginal players), players became willing to make deals with the devil by injecting themselves with gonadotropin (for example) in exchange for a .250 average - or sometimes even the ability to rewrite (destroy) baseball's treasured record book.
An overview of the carnage
Click here for the introduction that defines the issues. Here is a sample: