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Overpaid and juiced
March 19, 2004 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Why I stopped going to baseball games. I was there for McGwire's 62nd homer, hugging my son afterwards and glad-handing everyone in sight. Although it was a special moment for us both, the luster is now gone, and we don't go to the ballpark anymore. Donald Fehr is one reason, who refuses budge from his latest contract to effectively address the steroid issue. Count me gone... but perhaps it's always been a dying sport.
posted by F Mackenzie (37 comments total)

 
As far as I'm concerned steroids and performance enhancing equipment should be encouraged in any and ever sporting event. I don't see what the big deal is with people taking advantage of the tools available.o begin with

The people playing these gamess aren't "natural" to begin with. lets let them take advantage of modern technology to enhance a game as much as possssible.
posted by Dillenger69 at 8:20 PM on March 19, 2004


OK, bye, bye. I do not condone steroid use, but if you are letting the actions of a few spoil the game for you, your not much of a fan then anyway. The game is bigger than them and it's bigger than you. The last article you linked to proves my point. Even with all the screw ups, the game still survives and a runner will still get thrown out by a step on a ball hit right of short.
posted by jaronson at 8:31 PM on March 19, 2004


they cancelled the world series. if anyone thinks i'm ever going to support this game after that, they are sadly mistaken.
posted by lescour at 8:43 PM on March 19, 2004


You mean in 1994, right? Well you have missed some outstanding baseball in the last ten years. Did you see the last two World Series?!?!? Come on back, bro. We've missed ya!
posted by jaronson at 8:58 PM on March 19, 2004


Look if you go now, you're missing the year that Pedro and Curt and Manny and Nomaaah finally bring it home for the Sox. And the year wear Alex Rodriguez erupts into a roiling fireball at Yankee Stadium.

Good days, these.
posted by xmutex at 9:01 PM on March 19, 2004


s/wear/where.

Jesus.
posted by xmutex at 9:02 PM on March 19, 2004


Boy, is this a badly framed post. No offense, F Mackenzie, but I don't think anyone here really cares whether you go to baseball games or not. And however questionable the suitability of steroids for athletes, do you really think a union leader's negotiating on behalf of his union is a crime up there with endemic racism or gambling and throwing games (which was a scandal already in the 1870s)? Is that really the reason you've withdrawn your patronage, or are you just bored with a slow-moving game? Anyway, it's a good topic for MeFi, but (as so often happens) emotions got in the way of effective posting.
posted by languagehat at 9:04 PM on March 19, 2004


I must admit I couldn't care less whether athletes use performance enhancing drugs. More power to em as far as I can tell. These types of drug laws are just the same kind of BS mommyism we get about other "unapproved" drugs. It's all a stupid waste of time and money.

Furthermore if all these folks who sit on their asses watching these spoiled athletes earn their millions actually got out into the field themselves and did a bit of exercise and competed in their own events none of this would be much of an issue at all. And perhaps there wouldn't be warnings from our doctors that we Americans ARE ALL FAT PIGS.

Seriously more power to em & McKenzie if you want to do right by your kid take em to play baseball not watch it.
posted by filchyboy at 9:39 PM on March 19, 2004


I remember when SNL did a skit about an "All Drug Olympics" once and I laughed.

SNL did a fake commercial about a triple-bladed razor, because "you'll buy anything" and I laughed.

They started the whole fake news thing.

The luster is now gone, and I don't watch to SNL anymore.

They gave Chris Kattan a contract...but perhaps its always been a dying show.
posted by john at 10:04 PM on March 19, 2004


I disagree, languagehat. It's a post in the same style as many really well-written sports articles, where the writer adopts an almost tragic persona as he is personally abused by the sport he loves. It may come off as a little ridiculous at face value, but anyone who really has felt a personal connection to a sport can sympathize.

Of course I would have to agree with your point about the content of the post-- baseball has been through a lot worse and come out the other end.
posted by cell divide at 10:10 PM on March 19, 2004


You can take this post and repost it every 5 years. Don't ya know? Baseball has been dieing for years! I'm sure my grandsons will be reading these same type threads of doom in 40 years while still enjoying the game.

The black sox scandal, allowing black players to play, cancelling the world series, steroids, put topic here...

For some reason, baseball has always been held to higher standards than other sports. I really hope those who no longer watch baseball also ignore the NFL and NBA, or risk soaking in hypocrisy.

But baseball will survive, and I feel sorry for anyone who use to be a fan who missed last year. Then again, tickets to fenway are already tough to come by, so maybe its a blessing in disguise.
posted by justgary at 10:39 PM on March 19, 2004


I don't see how baseball is held to a higher standard than other sports -- it's just that baseball is slower than all the other sports in adopting reforms necessary to keep a fair and competitive environment.

Steroids is a good example. Baseball was the last major professional sport in the US to adopt a steroid or performance enhancing drug policy. When you consider that similar reforms were passed in the NFL 10-15 years ago, that's a pretty ridiculous spread.

But there are other plenty of other issues (likesay, revenue sharing and the salary cap) where baseball is way behind other professional sports. So I don't see the higher standard -- I think the real problem is that baseball can't keep up with the standards already in place that the other leagues have already adopted. And that can be a serious problem.
posted by dogmatic at 10:54 PM on March 19, 2004


Regarding drug use -- saw on the cover of USA Today that something like sixty five "pro" wrestlers are dead in the last five years. That's alot of corpses.

The real issue is that baseball's pretty boring to watch, basketball is vastly more accessible (and thus relatable), and, well, the Yankees really are a problem. The fact that alot of cities have been extorted for their stadiums, that Barry Bonds is such a despised figure, and that playing with the record books is no longer very interesting doesn't help.
posted by effugas at 11:27 PM on March 19, 2004


I don't see how baseball is held to a higher standard than other sports

Would football fans really care about players being on steroids? No, they wouldn't. The bigger the player the better.

Baseball, because of its past, is often romanticized. Baseball fans seem to be particularly sensitive to issues, while other sports are treated more like the WWE.

The real issue is that baseball's pretty boring to watch

Oh please. The post was about people who LOVED baseball who are now leaving. Your opinion that baseball is too slow is your personal opinion. I assure you that millions of people watch and enjoy baseball and even like the slower speed of the game.

The whole 'baseball is too slow' is a cliched response from people who never liked baseball in the first place. That's the sport. You can't change it. It's like saying you don't like sushi because its too fishy. Its not a "problem" like steroids or spending. Baseball will never please those who think its too slow, and for most who love baseball its a non-issue.

basketball is vastly more accessible

Really? Seems to me the NBA has its own problems. Regardless, baseball is completely different than the basketball, football etc. Comparing the sports is a useless exercise.

the Yankees really are a problem

MLB has had three different world series winners the past three years and none have been the yankees (the nfl has had the same team win two out of the last three).

that Barry Bonds is such a despised figure

Please show me any fans who followed baseball and then left because Bonds is a despised figure. I'm thinking they number in the tens.
posted by justgary at 12:24 AM on March 20, 2004


For insight on what the hardcore fans think, check Baseball Primer.
posted by trharlan at 12:55 AM on March 20, 2004


Dillenger69 & filchyboy - Let them use steroids? If you're serious, then you aren't truly fans of the game... or any sport for that matter. The difference between a performance enhancing drug and say, a nice pair of new shoes is that the latter isn't likely to cause long-term side effects. Most steroids do... or have yet to be proven that they don't. So it is unfair to those athletes who don't/can't/refuse to use steroids, to have compete with those athletes that do. Steroids simply are not natural. They increase and athlete's strength and speed without the player having to do the work for it. I understand that a person still has to work out and all that. But without steroids, x-amount of work produces x-amount of results. With steroids, x-amount of work produces x+n-amount of results. This results in unfair competition. without fair competition, you don't have sport... because, well what would be the point? For those who wish to participate and/or watch competitive sport, then it is in the best interest of all involved to keep performance enhancing drugs OUT. It's as simple as that, and can't be argued.

I really hope those who no longer watch baseball also ignore the NFL and NBA, or risk soaking in hypocrisy.

Uhhmmm? No. All professional sports businesses have similarities, sure. But baseball, as dogmatic put it, is just ridiculous when it comes to keeping up with the demands of the game and of the business.

Would football fans really care about players being on steroids? No, they wouldn't. The bigger the player the better.

Absurd. I'm much smarter than that and take so much more away from the game of football than the size of the player. Speak for yourself.

Baseball is a slow game. The game has slowed down more and more, decade after decade. They bring in pitchers now like a 6-year old kid changes unlucky fishing lures. They change the pitcher just for one batter. SLOW. Why do they get to warm up once they get to the mound? The guy's been warming up for two innings in the bull pen, fer cryin' out loud. Get in the game and PLAY BALL! Batters step out of the box over and over.

I was talking about baseball's issues with my father the other day. We addressed the slowness of the game. The fact is, my father used to go to double-headers all the time back in the day. He could see two games in just about the same amount of time one game is played today. With a 162 game schedule, and at 3+ hours per game... that's 486 hours of game time per team, per season. I just don't have a spare THREE WEEKS to watch my sorry-ass team play baseball (that's 3 weeks of round-the-clock baseball watchin').

MLB has had three different world series winners the past three years and none have been the yankees (the nfl has had the same team win two out of the last three).

Well, you missed the whole point.
posted by Witty at 1:09 AM on March 20, 2004


But baseball, as dogmatic put it, is just ridiculous when it comes to keeping up with the demands of the game and of the business. baseball, as dogmatic put it, is just ridiculous when it comes to keeping up with the demands of the game and of the business.

My point was not about baseball at all, but about baseball fans. Already there is talk about putting an asterisk next to bonds home run record if its proven he was on steroids.

Anyone putting asterisks next to old football records when steroids ran rampant? Nope.

Absurd. I'm much smarter than that and take so much more away from the game of football than the size of the player. Speak for yourself.


Again, not what I meant.

The majority of football fans could care less if the players are on steroids. And if you think the NFL would have the same audience for a game with normal sized humans, you're wrong. And I realize I'm speaking for myself, thus the name after my post. Thanks for the concern.

MLB has had three different world series winners the past three years and none have been the yankees (the nfl has had the same team win two out of the last three).

Well, you missed the whole point.


Nope. Didn't miss it at all. The salary issue is indeed important as a whole. Its not a yankees issue.

Really, I've seen the way baseball/MLB is seen at metafilter many times. I realize I'm fighting a losing battle. And sure, you could speed it up some. Not to any level that would satisfy most of those who think its too slow. It will never be the NBA or NFL. Thank god for that.

So you and your father can watch other, 'faster' sports, and reminisce about the past. Most baseball fans, and several in this thread, thought last season was fantastic. Didn't hear much about the games taking too long.

Everyone wants to mtvize baseball, make it something its not. If baseball has to make major changes to attract so called fans who think its too slow its dead already.
posted by justgary at 1:46 AM on March 20, 2004


So it is unfair to those athletes who don't/can't/refuse to use steroids, to have compete with those athletes that do.

They won't have to compete, because they won't be able to.
posted by kindall at 1:47 AM on March 20, 2004


Eh, I was a pretty big baseball fan until the strike and then subsequent World Series cancellation. I'll never go to an MBA game again or buy any merchandise. Each person only has to give it up once, you know.
posted by toothless joe at 1:51 AM on March 20, 2004


I think the problem with professional sports is that they're, well, professional. They are businesses with a lot of money riding on keeping people interested to a point where this flow of big money goes uninterupted. Athletes that make it to the professional level are under constant scrutiny over performance and some may go too far to protect their jobs. That's not to say I condone it, but can understand how one might be tempted to do most anything to keep that astronimical paycheck. What I don't understand is why anyone really cares about what these players do. Why are we holding someone who "plays" for a living to some higher standard?

I love baseball. I love it at all levels from Little League to pro. I love going to a park, getting baked by the sun, eating hot dogs, yelling, all of it! I especially love those innings where you sit on the edge of your seat while your team has a good shot at taking the lead, and then either does or doesn't, it's still a great feeling! For me it's almost a romantic sport and I'll spend as much time as I can afford going to Yankee Stadium (and as many semi-pro, high school, or LL games too) this summer to feel all this, without ever concerning myself with what a player has done to alter himself. In fact, the only "altered" people at the games I'll be worried about are those obnoxious drunks in the stands! :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 4:21 AM on March 20, 2004


Three words: Minor league games. The magic and the fun are still there to be enjoyed.
posted by alumshubby at 5:23 AM on March 20, 2004


Would football fans really care about players being on steroids? No, they wouldn't. The bigger the player the better.

But see, it's a moot point, because football had the wisdom and foresight to level the playing field nearly two decades ago. Honestly, that baseball is just now getting to the points where it's doing something about banned substances is pretty frigging ridiculous.

MLB has had three different world series winners the past three years and none have been the yankees (the nfl has had the same team win two out of the last three).

This is really just a poor example. Sure, this is true, but it's not exactly reflective of parity in the NFL on a whole. For instance, Patriots fans can't be certain that their team is going to make the playoffs year after year, and if anything, the salary cap ensures that if they do, it's because they improved their team organically, picking smart draft choices and using trades to bet on undervalued players. Can you say the same for the Yankees?

The MLB has a problem where the AL East, the AL West, the NL East, and the NL West have all been more or less wrapped up by one or two teams for a long time. The Central Division of either MLB conference and the wild cards are the only x-factors in the baseball playoffs, and even then, on any given year you can count on either the Yanks or the Red Sox to win it in the AL East. Now imagine for a moment what the division series playoffs looked like before baseball expanded them from four to eight teams.

I would hate to be an Orioles or Blue Jays fan, for example, knowing that my team could win more than 90 games each year over the next several years and still not make it to the playoffs. That's just plain insanity. Whereas in the NFL it's come to the point where it's reasonable to expect a team to be able to turn itself around and have a shot at the playoffs within 2-3 years of a 4-8 season. Honestly, when the biggest losers in football history, the Tampa Bay Bucs and Cincinnati Bengals are making it to the playoffs and the big show, that's something to cheer for. When do you think the next Tigers trip to the playoffs is going to be? And Tampa Bay can probably write off any chance of ever making it before the team is contracted.

This is a very serious problem. No one likes it when their team has no chance at a title, but baseball's pay and playoff structure have pretty much assured that about 3/4s of its teams can forget about that for the next 5 years. Sure, there have been several different World Series winners over the last five years. But don't you think it's strange that to get to that point, they beat out the same four teams in the playoffs?
posted by dogmatic at 5:43 AM on March 20, 2004


Those are good points, dogmatic, but the parity in the NFL is exactly why I don't like it anymore. There don't seem to by any traditional rivalries anymore (Cowboys - Redskins, Oilers - Steelers, Raiders - Steelers, 49ers - Giants) that made the game so great back in the 70s and 80s. These years, any one of those teams could be up 12-4 one year and 4-12 the next. It completely takes any drama out the regular season, or as Seinfeld put it, "you're only just rooting for the uniform".

In baseball, those rivalries are preserved (full disclosure: I am a lifelong Red Sox fan) which makes the pennant races and not just the playoffs compelling. I do grant you, the gulf between rich and poor in MLB makes it very unlikely for the Expos to compete... but, the game seems to be much more about how effective the business end of it is now. Look at what Billy Beane has done in Oakland, and what the Marlins did last year. It's not quite (yawn) parity NFL-style, but if a team has a smart organization top to bottom, they still can put a championship caliber team on the field.
posted by psmealey at 6:52 AM on March 20, 2004


My point was not about baseball at all, but about baseball fans. Already there is talk about putting an asterisk next to bonds home run record if its proven he was on steroids.

What does one have to do with the other? You're not making very much sense.

The majority of football fans could care less if the players are on steroids. And if you think the NFL would have the same audience for a game with normal sized humans, you're wrong.

I, and every other football fan out there, care about steroids in the NFL about as much as it affects us directly. There is nothing a fan can do about it. So I can only care about it so much. I wouldn't like it if say, one team were bigger, faster, better because they used steroids team-wide, while my favorite team chose to go all-natural.

Football has a variety of positions that require a player to fit the mold of that position. There are big guys and smaller guys. I'm 6'0", 185 lbs. There are at least a dozen players on every team with similar stats (less body fat of course {wink}). Am I abnormally big? I don't know where you get this "football fans think bigger is better". A 300 lb. man cannot play wide receiver.

Really, I've seen the way baseball/MLB is seen at metafilter many times. I realize I'm fighting a losing battle.

What battle? You're making it a battle. All people are saying is how they feel about baseball and how it compares, TO THEM, to other sports. You're taking it personally because you're obviously a baseball fan.

So you and your father can watch other, 'faster' sports, and reminisce about the past. Most baseball fans, and several in this thread, thought last season was fantastic. Didn't hear much about the games taking too long.

We do... all the time. I was simply offering my conversation with my father as a piece of evidence that the game has slowed down, that's all - just facts. Most baseball fans thought last season was great because the Cubs and Boston were both in it. But doesn't that make perfect sense? Here are two teams that haven't won a World Series in 150 years between them. The Cubs hadn't even been to the playoffs in decades. Those two teams are what got people excited... even the casual sports fan.

Everyone wants to mtvize baseball, make it something its not. If baseball has to make major changes to attract so called fans who think its too slow its dead already.

Nope. You're assuming again. No one is asking for anything major. But baseball could try SOMEthing to switch things up a little, without changing the heart of the game. When the NBA was faced with a game that was getting more sterile year after year (due to one-on-one style games), they reinstituted zone defense. How hard was that? Did it change the game of basketball? Nope.

Baseball could do something similar. How about only two pitching changes per game? How about a pitch-clock? Just ideas. You can defend baseball 'til the cows come home. But the fact of the matter is, baseball's popularity is low, at best. It could be better.

The NFL faced the issue of steroids back in the 80's and dealt with it. It happened to them just as it is happening to baseball right now. So if the the MLB wants to continue to move forward with America's pastime, then it would be wise to nip this issue NOW. It would be wise to addressing revenue sharing and a salary cap, NOW. Baseball isn't already dead, but it's on it's way... and there's nothing A-Rod can do to save it.

On preview:
There don't seem to by any traditional rivalries anymore (Cowboys - Redskins, Oilers - Steelers, Raiders - Steelers, 49ers - Giants) that made the game so great back in the 70s and 80s.

I disagree. To a diehard football fan, those rivalries are very much alive and kicking. As a Redskin fan, I can deal with a 2-14 season record, as long as those wins come at the Cowpokes' expense.
posted by Witty at 7:17 AM on March 20, 2004


Good post F Mackenzie, and good discussion.

"They bring in pitchers now like a 6-year old kid changes unlucky fishing lures" - Witty
Beautiful!
posted by vito90 at 8:04 AM on March 20, 2004


meh.

i love baseball. it sure ain't dying for anyone who has been following it. i love how the other pro sports have been trotted out in this thread to dismiss baseball. apples and oranges. there's virtually no similarities with the way the NFL and MLB conducts it's business other than the fact they are professional sports. almost everything is different from the marketing, the history, the players, the season, the union....the structure of the business is way different.

while the naysayers sing the demise of baseball, i'll be at shea in a couple of weeks greeting the return of warm weather and another mets season. sure, they won't win and the new faces give some hope until august rolls around, but there still is nothing like a warm afternoon at a ballpark, beer in hand and sun on my face.

i feel bad that hardcore fans left the game after '94. since then the hardcore fan has been treated to an actual changing of the guard regarding how the game is viewed. new metrics for measuring value are starting to seep into front offices and old ways are slowly dying out. it sure is an exciting time to follow baseball....if you can get past the other 'bad' issues which relate to almost any pro sport in this day and age.
posted by oliver_crunk at 8:20 AM on March 20, 2004


It's a post in the same style as many really well-written sports articles

Yes, and I wouldn't object if it were in fact a sports article. I can actually sympathize with the poster's outrage (though I don't share it myself), and his post is well written and even includes necessary balance at the end. But it's not good for its intended purpose; MeFi posts work best when they're as impersonal as possible and don't propagandize too obviously. "US government admits falsification of statistics"—good; "Bush LIED again!!!"—bad. "Canine encephalopathy on rise"—good; "My doggy died!"—bad. We all know this. (The Odyssey is a great epic, but it would make a lousy MeFi post.)

And I have to say that the post gave rise to a good thread. No "baseball is dumb!" "no it's not!" flame wars, just good honest disagreement expressed with the kind of injured eloquence inspired by passionate interest in sports, whether disappointed or not.

Witty, not only are you right about speeding up the game (if the umps would just enforce the existing rules about pitchers and batters not wasting time, it would help tremendously), you're a fellow Redskins sufferer. You think now that Gibbs is back they've got a chance this year?
posted by languagehat at 8:22 AM on March 20, 2004


with a 2-14 season record, as long as those wins come at the Cowpokes' expense.
Hey don't poke at my Boyz...but yea, there the "cowgirls" when they lose. Go Cowboys!
posted by thomcatspike at 9:05 AM on March 20, 2004


The NFL faced the issue of steroids back in the 80's and dealt with it.
Well, not really. The ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone (the natural precursor to testosterone) in the blood of a normal (non-steroid-using) man is typically 1:1, although it can be as much as 3:1. Taking anabolic steroids increases testosterone without increasing epitestosterone (because the normal generative pathway is bypassed). The NFL's standard is 6:1, well above normal and within (albeit on the low side) of the ratios seen in steroid users. So the NFL hasn't said "don't use steroids". It has said "don't use a lot of steroids".
posted by TimeFactor at 9:18 AM on March 20, 2004


Look if you go now, you're missing the year that Pedro and Curt and Manny and Nomaaah finally bring it home for the Sox.

Damn straight.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:04 AM on March 20, 2004


Look if you go now, you're missing the year that Pedro and Curt and Manny and Nomaaah finally bring it home for the Sox.

Heh - only the names change. If I had a dollar for every time some poor sap uttered a variant of that statement...

Baseball has its share of problems, but somehow the game transcends. Parity? Maybe I'd like to see more, but if it's NFL style parity (a couple of standouts, a couple of basket cases, and the rest of league battling to finish either 7-9 or 9-7) I'll take baseball, thanks, warts and all.
posted by jalexei at 12:55 PM on March 20, 2004


Anyone that makes more money in an single afternoon than I make by working all year, and complains, can go...
posted by LowDog at 1:46 PM on March 20, 2004


Comparing the games of football and baseball may be pointless--though I am personally somewhat sensitive to the gamespeed issue, if simply because "fixing" would mean I'd get to watch more baseball and hear less baseball-announcer chatter--but I think a lot can be gained by comparing the way that the NFL functions as an institution with the way the MLB functions as an institution.

And I have to agree with those above who are saying that the NFL simply has it's shit together better when it comes to dealing with challenges and changes to "the game" (though it could be argued that they have a natural predisposition to change, as the game must have royally sucked before the forward pass). Performance-enhacing drugs are screened, and a clearly defined program of treatment and increased scrutiny is in place to deal with offenders. The NFL has a framework in place for dealing with issues that some in the MLB are essentially trying to deny. Ask Lyle Alzado if baseball's players' union is really protecting its constituents right now.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is a great example of how the NFL as a culture acknowledges its problems.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:50 PM on March 20, 2004


i love it when people say they're fed up with baseball.

less people showing up late and leaving early for me to have to put up with at dodger stadium.

good riddance.
posted by tsarfan at 5:31 PM on March 20, 2004


You think now that Gibbs is back they've got a chance this year?

Of course. I think they have a chance every year. But I certainly put more faith in the fact that Gibbs is back than I ever would in the signing of any marquee free agent. But we'll see.

So the NFL hasn't said "don't use steroids". It has said "don't use a lot of steroids".

Interesting point, as I had no idea of such statistics. But I guess my point was, and IJR touched on it a bit too, the NFL didn't try to avoid it or deny it. They didn't try to make excuses or hide behind privacy issues and the like. While the NFL will always have issues and struggles with illegal substances, most football fans feel comfortable enough that the league front office is on top of it, to some degree.
posted by Witty at 6:10 PM on March 20, 2004


This is really just a poor example. Sure, this is true, but it's not exactly reflective of parity in the NFL on a whole.

Its not poor at all for its purpose. You have no idea how many times I hear about the 'yankees buying a world series', and indeed they do try. Doen't mean it works.

And I agree with you, when the number of teams who have no chance grow, you have a problem. But your whole 'parity in the nfl' point is often seen in two ways. Parity can also mean a lower quality of play, and not everyone is as gungho on nfl parity as you are.

What does one have to do with the other? You're not making very much sense.

Witty, we obviously disagree, but just because you don't understand what I said doesn't mean it didn't make sense.

You're taking it personally because you're obviously a baseball fan.

Actually no. I couldn't care less about anyone's opinion of baseball, no matter if they've watched for the past 50 years. It just gets tedious to hear over and over again everytime baseball is brought up how its too 'slow' by people who are, as you say, obviously not baseball fans, but football fans.

Can baseball be sped up? Sure, to a point. I have no problem with fans who want to cut the overall game time. So how much could we save? 30 minutes? That would be a lot. Would fans flock back to the game? Would those who call baseball slow suddenly start attending games?

No. I don't want to see the game watered down to satisfy pseudo fans and ruin it for the real fans.

I was simply offering my conversation with my father as a piece of evidence that the game has slowed down, that's all - just facts.

The game has slowed downed. Is anyone contesting that fact? No evidence is needed. Your father use to enjoy the game, now doesn't. Doesn't mean anything except that he's no longer a fan. My father died a few years ago and still enjoyed the game. Not sure what that proves.

Most baseball fans thought last season was great because the Cubs and Boston were both in it. But doesn't that make perfect sense?

Actually, no. Sure, that was great. I was talking about the actual games. That's whats important. The game. The redsox/yankee playoff was fantastic, for those who saw it. I just wished it had lasted longer.

Baseball isn't already dead, but it's on it's way... and there's nothing A-Rod can do to save it.


Baseball isn't dead, nor will it be. Will it ever be as popular as it once was? No. Times have changed. And while the game has gotten longer, attention spans have gotten shorter. There are also more entertainment options today than there was 40 years ago.

There are a lot of reasons why baseball will never be as popular as it once was. Doesn't mean its dieing. Does the fact that the NFL is more popular make it a better sport? Nope. We have this idea in america that most popular = best. Simply not true.

So is it personal? Only to the point that I love the game and want to protect it. It's fine the way it is. Could it be better? Does it have problems? Yes, and it will have to change. There are a lot of good discussion on the state of game elsewhere. But everytime I hear a football fan talk about the game being too slow I just have to shake my head.

50 years from now baseball will still be around, hopefully not much different than it is today. And there will be those who say its too slow. Some things never change. But it will survive, not because of any player such as a rod 'saving' the game, but because its a great game. Always has been. Its not for everyone, but not much is.
posted by justgary at 8:01 PM on March 20, 2004


Evidently, some people think that baseball needs to install window dressing as effective as the NFL's. I'm baffled. Yes, the NFL can proudly say that they've never had a player test positive for steroids more than once - the league has indeed ensured that players learn how to mask their steroid use. I guess it would be good for baseball's public relations to set up a system that ensured that its players learn how to take steroids and pass drug tests, but why the lack of such a system should outrage folks.

As far as baseball dying - well, no one goes to the games anymore because it's so much harder to get a good seat.
posted by gspira at 12:13 AM on March 21, 2004


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