Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's wrong with Baseball

I was watching the fifth game of the World Series last night and thinking that it didn't seem like ideal conditions to show off the best in baseball. It was 40°, windy and raining steadily. Why were they playing?

Fast forward. The World Series is over and Philadelphia prevailed after a two-day delay and a two-and-a-half-inning continuation. We could change the subject and talk about how great and exciting this abbreviated evening of baseball was, but I'd like to stick to my original question: what's wrong with baseball?

It's easy. The answer is greed, which is often the answer to questions that begin "what's wrong with." TV is paying for the World Series. TV has it's reasons for wanting the game to be played despite the cold and rain. These reasons also have to do with greed. Sponsors, mainly Budweiser, are paying TV to pay Baseball to broadcast the World Series.

Aside from the obvious greed motive, why does baseball need so much money when the result is a watered-version of the game? It's obvious. Owners and players are also greedy. Owners couldn't pay the players nearly as much if it weren't for all that TV money. I think we're finding a consistent them in this discussion. Lots of the problems with baseball, and all of professional sports, have to do with greed, which has very little to do with the sports.

Interestingly, there's a big greed thing going on in the world of international economics these days, as well. If sports is a metaphor for life, why shouldn't greed permeate every aspect of the game? This one's got me stumped, though it does seem as though greed isn't the best thing in all cases when it comes to figuring out the world's finances. So maybe there is a lesson here, afterall.

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