Thank you contrarian23 for that dose of reality. I cannot resist making a point that is tangental to baseball, but more relevant than football anyway:
Around 70 percent of the US working population worked in agriculture in 1870.
By 1900 it was around half, and by the 1930s about one-third.
Today it is 2-3% at the most.
But we have not died of hunger just because one person working fed 1.4 people in 1870, 2 people in 1900, 3 in 1930 and now feeds around 50.
I mention this because for decades (20 years since Ross Perot peddled his charts on national TV about it) we have heard that Social Security will go into crisis because once there were 5 people working for every one that received SS, then 4, now it is around 3 and soon 2 and someday in the foreseeable future (assuming trends continue which is always problematic) 1-1.
Now these concerns always ignore three main issues. One, since it is directly political I will not going into, namely the un-progressive "flat tax" nature of the SS tax (payroll tax). The second is wages - since SS is paid for from wages, if wages are relatively higher as a proportion of the economy, then there is no problem financing SS and Medicare for the future, but they have stagnated and in fact gone down since their high point in 1973. So raising real wages should be the priority.
But these things aside, the main issue is productivity. One person today produces around what 2 people produced in 1973 - 1.9 to be exact. So either wages should have doubled - adjusted for productivity and inflation the MINIMUM wage should be $19-20 an hour now, or else half as many people working could produce the same amount of wealth. Yet in 1978 there were 100 million people working in the US economy, and today there are 155 million. Two-thirds of that working population, given our actual productivity, could be relieved of work and we could all live at 1973 levels (remember the high point of wages in the US in real terms) OR we could all be working around 14 hours a week, or else just 3 months a week.
So if instead we have 1) 55% more people working, that is 1.5 people working where 1 worked in the 1970s, and 2) each producing what 1.9 people produced back then we have 2.8 times as much wealth including what is theoretically available for Social Security. There is nothing to worry about except if those who have an interest in convincing the people that there is a crisis succeed in doing so, leading to unnecessary changes.
It is always important to grasp the extent to which things have changed in terms of population, productivity and, yes, the number of teams, but to understand their relation to one another.
This has been a public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood italyprof. Back to strictly baseball now...