Say It Ain't So, Slugger

BASEBALL is diminished as the national pastime when the love of the game must compete with the love of money.

The prices paid for free-agent players in Major League Baseball have reached new heights, with no end in sight. Some fans may feel baseball itself is striking out. The final strike may have been the Texas Rangers' $250 million deal with shortstop Alex Rodriguez.

Baseball, after all, has a checkered recent history. Fans remember the 1994 players strike that scuttled the World Series. Skyrocketing salaries could collide with the expiration of the players' union contract next year to provoke another millionaire-versus-millionaire labor spectacle.

A longer-term problem is flagging competitiveness. Less profitable teams can't bid for stars like Mr. Rodriguez. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig recommends some profit sharing among teams. But the wealthiest owners balk at that.

Indeed, they can point to a history of dominant teams - notably the Yankees. The fans still came, didn't they? True, but people may be tiring of having only the richest teams in the race - it's too reminiscent of politics.

And what about the kids who look up to pro athletes and provide the fan base of the future? Much of the appeal of pro sports is the fun of watching other people do what we may have dreamed of doing as kids. Bloated salaries, auction-house dealings, and soaring ticket prices make it a little harder to keep those dreams in mind.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK