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Frustration With Major League Baseball

March 29, 2010

Some of you are not baseball fans… not everyone is perfect.  Baseball is my favorite professional sport.  I will not argue for its superiority as a game, nor for my particular local bias, but simply say that baseball for some reason touches a deep part of my soul: summer, sunflower seeds, the smell of leather, the feel of the seems, the hiss of the ball, and the crack of the bat, all of it holds an enchanting power over me.

But I am frustrated with the state of Major League Baseball.  It’s not just the banned substance issue, the free agency issues, the lack of continuity from year to year on a team, its not even the exorbitant amount of money being dished out to people with a knack for hitting a small ball with a big stick.  I am angry ultimately that baseball as a sport has become enslaved to an idolatrous love of money and big business.

Without getting too long-winded, sport is meant to be played for the sake of playing itself, and it is meant to be watched for the enjoyment of watching itself.  But it has become about not only making money, but making more and more and more.  Even small-marked teams such as my Padres are making stupid amounts of cash: as Jayson Stark at ESPN comments, regarding these small market teams, “Your team collected more money this season — before it ever sold one ticket — than it spent on its entire major league payroll. In fact, it collected more than it spent on its major league payroll and its player-development system combined.”  At least in this sense the Yankees have a commitment to winning by dumping boatloads of green-backs on what in effect is its own league-wide farm system.  If the clubs are making so much money then why I am being subject to watching crappy teams slug out a losing season year after year, while the owners are making a killing off of profit-sharing and ticket sales?  Seriously, come on, dish out a few dollars, put a good product on the field for the sake of sport, and rest a happy man with a few million less in your pocket.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Daniel permalink
    March 30, 2010 3:22 pm

    baseball doesn’t have a “revenue sharing” system, unlike its counterpart and the NFL, but needless to say the small market teams owners still make tons and tons of money. This post reminds me of Jerry Maguire in a sense, and the greater idea that baseball, america’s game, last long lost itself even before the era of free agency.

    there is nothing more that i would like to see that for baseball to return back to her true self, but am happy knowing, in the unexpected, somewhat mundane moments there are still moments and hints of this fragile innocence those who love the game for itself remember and hold on to.

    i guess much like life, things are never as they seem, and are always changing, but occasionally, the grandeur of god can been seen amongst the fresh cut green, pine tar, and chalk of the lines.

    • April 5, 2010 8:25 pm

      Yeah, I can’t abandon the sport because of its nostalgic, competitive, and intellectual appeal (contra Justin who obviously isn’t smart enough to appreciate the sport). But I do hope after Selig leaves someone comes in and cleans house, but he’ll probably be in it for the money too.

  2. Justin Ruttkay permalink
    March 31, 2010 10:09 pm

    baseball makes me want to jump off a cliff

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