There’s a ‘joke’ I used to tell people, that on my birth certificate there were two spots for religion. The top line says ‘Jewish’ and the bottom line says ‘Cleveland Indians.’
Like I said, it’s a joke.
Baseball has followed me around for my entire life. I’ve loved and hated it, cried myself to sleep over it, wanted to kill for it, and as of late not cared about it. I have an Omar Visquel jersey, an Indian’s practice jersey, three hundred hats, a baseball signed by my favorite players, and I watch every single Tribe game around. Let me make this clear: I love the Cleveland Indians.
But when I see Mr. Shrub talking about how the American Public will turn it’s back on baseball, and how the players can hurt themselves more than they think, and blah blah baseball cakes, I have one reply.
Get off your high horse and open your eyes, people! This is baseball. Okay? Yes, it’ll suck if the strike for the ninth time (or whatever) since the 1970s. Yes, it makes me pissy when I hear that millionaire baseball players fear a salary cap will cause undue hardships on their lifestyles.
Let’s see … this is a game, in which certain gifted athletes (mostly men) manage to play the afore mentioned game and earn vast sums of money.
Just so we’re all clear.
Basically? This entire issue, the strike and everything, is about money and drugs. Which rather makes baseball similar to a gang. Disturbing, isn’t it?
This is how I see the problems:
1. Baseball parks are expensive.
2. Good baseball players are also expensive.
3. Keeping baseball players and fans happy is, say it with me, expensive.
So it all comes down to this: Whoever has the deepest pockets wins.
And I really hate that. I want baseball to be fair, I want every team to have an equal chance to win. But I know that by forcing people to be fair we’ve made the world unfair. Very Harrison Bergeron.
There is no quick and easy fix. Salary caps probably won’t be effective, except in limiting how many ‘star’ baseball players each team gets. By enacting a cap, we’d be unfair to the teams with lots of money.
So what can be done? The best solution I can think of is to make a limit on how much each individual player can make. By that I mean to make an industry average. Set a rule about how much a player can earn in each position, perhaps breaking it down more for the pitchers (starter vs. setup man vs. closer) and adding a bonus for people who start in 100 or more games a season.
You see, if baseball is a game, then we need to treat it like one. If it’s a bussiness, act like it. Use the union to standardize pay and make as many people as possible happy. Then start playing baseball for the one reason that makes sense.
The love of the game.