Once again baseball has begun its playoff series. Would those who really care please raise your hands? What, only people from New York?
For old baseball fans, a question buzzes louder each October. How has baseball gone from the national pastime to the way people waste the months between hockey and football seasons? The answer boils down to fan alienation and money.
In August, baseball avoided a strike that would have meant its ninth work stoppage in 30 years. It was sickening enough that filthy rich players and owners would even consider a strike that harms only the fans just to squabble over their millions. What was most disturbing was that they wanted the fans to feel proud of them for not striking; because, after all, there’s not that much difference between $4 million and $4.5 million. Money isn’t everything, right?
In days gone by, players used to ask their teammates’ permission before signing big contracts, and they remembered the people who paid their salaries. Now, players are given $200 million salaries while the fans pay unreasonable prices. An average family of four cannot go to a game now for less than $100.
Ever wonder why the Yankees win every year? Again, the answer is money. Some teams have it, and others don’t.
The NFL shares all television revenue. Baseball does not. Therefore, New York and Atlanta, with their high-priced television deals, keep on spending and keep on winning. And teams like Tampa Bay and Kansas City will never have a chance.
Every year, a city’s NFL team has a chance to win the Super Bowl. Unless profit sharing is adopted in baseball, it seems the sport may die a slow death. Owners and players need to ask themselves how much money they actually need. They also need to remember that with no fans in the seats, there is no sport.
If the teams would take a little less and let teams other than New York win, maybe fan alienation would slow.