If sports in the twenty-first century primarily function as an entertainment business, then heroic status is linked inextricably to the procurement of a major contract, with winning becoming merely a secondary or instrumental good (since it helps pave the way for such a contract).
Etrigan: Dismissing Lebron James as a "celebrity player" and saying that it has nothing to do with the Cavaliers' quality in the immediate future is ridiculous.
Potomac Avenue: “On the other hand, players are the ones who actually do the work, so them benefiting at the detriment of teams who are owned by racist billionaires maybe isn't such an End of the World type sitch.”
The upshot, though, is that to get to 23 WAR, a player would have to basically be Mike Trout if all his extra base hits turned into home runs, if he traded 70 outs for singles, if he played shortstop as well as possible, and if he stole 50 or so bases a year without ever being caught.
By this approach, the baseball equivalent of LeBron James is absolute peak Barry Bonds at the plate with, I don't know, absolute peak Ozzie Smith in the field. And, presumably, this imaginary player is better both at the plate and in the field. And he doesn't miss a single game. So.
I’m a lifelong Cleveland sports fan, and I’ve spent hundreds or thousands of dollars following the Indians, Cavs, and Browns, but the feelings I had weren’t excitement about a possible championship (I don’t count chickens before they’ve hatched), they were about Cleveland—my town—finding peace, finding success, and bringing home another native son.
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