As a lifelong baseball fan, I've spent many a late July worrying about my favorite players being traded away, as happened last night with JD Martinez (went from the beloved Tigers of Motown to the utterly souless D'Back of rock gardens and urban sprawl/ mediocrity-I believe he was as enthusiastic as I am). Nevertheless, this is a function of the business of baseball. People on "Your team", is not a lifetime anointment, but rather quite temporary and transient. Stalwarts of your team surely exist, and will have their numbers retired, have bobblehead days, etc. The surreal part is this-Your team tends to take priority over the people that come and go. After a trade (assuming you lost a favorite), you are sad, but the sadness eventually goes away. In fact, when your team, goes up against your former favorite player, there is NO QUESTION as to where your loyalty lies. The person you once admired and rooted for, is now the enemy. Even though, they are the same person, and you are the same person. You now want different things. This is primal, and it goes beyond baseball.
The wine business operates the exact same way. For me, as a supplier, I have a team (distributors). People I work with, and have shared business interests. These people are anywhere from people I generally like and respect, to great friends. Some of us are fortunate enough to be able to choose our wine team. Sometimes these relationships last a very long time. Due to the transitory nature of this industry (no doubt, as a result of the restaurant creep and the grass-is-always-greener mentality), there is turnover. Fortunately, most of my distributors are on the end of the food chain that is most desirable (not to mix metaphors). The people I work with, if they lose anyone, they lose those people, not to the competition, but to supplier jobs or relocation. Once in a while though, and this has been going on long enough, and I've been on the other side enough to know what's coming, a person flips companies, and expects everything to stay the same. And sometimes it does, for a while. Business is business, but sometimes, when you're in close proximity, fighting together for the exact same thing every day, one person switching sides, can forever alter than relationship. The flip side, the person that just moved-may now be selling against the ghost of themselves. All of these wines and people they championed, how do they reconcile replacing those wines? I struggled with this, personally. You may find yourself replacing wines you placed and loved. Now you have new wines to sell. It's tough.
Switching teams is tough, and dramatic. Never to be taken lightly. We are all responsible for ourselves and our families, above all else. Just like free agent contracts, we need to think of our livelihoods. It's sort of interesting that with all of the logic, we still go back to our neolithic-type allegiances.