stick a fork in it
stick a fork in it
Just about nine hours until another baseball strike.
I'm thinking, maybe it's time for baseball to take a much needed hiatus, anyhow. I think, like any large corporation in the midst of a crisis, they need to sit back and regroup. And think about what this year has wrought.
First, there was the YES Network fiasco which, if you are not a Yankee fan, means nothing to you. But it should, because it just underscores the ruling prinicple of baseball; it's the money, stupid. Not the fans, not the game, not the love of the sport or even the entertainment value. It's the money. Sure, baseball is just a big business and dollars are the bottom line, but then the powers that be shouldn't make such a big deal out of claiming they have respect for the fans.
Then there were steroids. Who was on them, who wasn't on them, were the home runs of certain players chemically induced? Denials, accusations, admissions, more denials. Another off-field affair that overshadowed anything the players were doing on the field.
Mike Piazza with his totally unecessary "I swear I'm not gay" announcment. Bud Selig calling a halt the All-Star game.
Speaking of Piazza, I wonder if the Mets are actually hoping for a strike, putting an end to their season of misery. Maybe the Red Sox don't care about a strike either, so they don't have to watch another chance at a pennant go to hell.
The Expos, on the other hand, are staring the death of their team in the face. A strike today could mean that perhaps they have played their last game as the Montreal Expos. The same holds true for the Minnesota Twins.
Of course there will be winners and losers, even with a strike. The winners are the teams who had a rough schedule coming up this week. The winners are the teams who were just going through the motions, anyhow.
The losers, obviously, are the fans. They lose in a big way.
Witness my son, DJ, who has already cried over this. His daily schedule is set by what time the Yankees are playing. Often, we will head out to a restaurant that has the Yes Network and sit there for hours, nursing chicken fingers and buffalo wings, just so he can see part of the game. He doesn't even get out of bed in the morning until he has seen a full episode of Sportscenter. He will watch any baseball game on tv, even if it is two last place teams playing.
DJ is just one of thousands. Do you know how many kids - even adults - for whom baseball is their true joy in life? I know it's silly of me to even suggest that the players and owners should take the devotion of the fans into consideration. Or is it?
How many fans are going to stick around this time? How many of them are just going to throw their hands in the air and say the hell with it? Watch the attendance of minor league teams rise. Watch how many people do not come back when and if the season resumes. Most of us, even the insanely devoted fans, have lost their taste for what used to be a great game.
When I really think about it, I realize that I don't even enjoy baseball as much as I used to. Not like I did in the days of Bucky Dent and Thurman Munson. Not even like I did in the days of Dale Murphy and Bob Horner.
Something has tainted the game. Money, drugs, fighting, Bud Selig, selfishness, egos - they have all gone a long way towards making baseball about as appetizing as a piece of moldy bread.
I hope they do strike. And I hope that the fans are angry enough this time around to really mean it when they say they won't go back. I think fans should go to the stadiums and picket against the strikers. Not that the pampered baseball players will actually be standing out their with placards, pacing by the front office. They'll be on the golf course and on vacation, waiting for someone else to do their negotiating for them. No union rallies, no chanting strikers, no days in the hot sun carrying signs for your cause.
If you really miss baseball, watch a good baseball movie. Bad News Bears comes to mind. Play All-Star Baseball2002 for the PS2 and finish the season yourself. Gather the neighborhood kids for a pick-up game. Go to a minor league ball game.
Or you can just ignore baseball all together. Walk away. Walk away from your team, your favorite players, your pennants and banners and team jackets. Walk away and don't look back. It's not like they care about you, anyhow. I'm going to drive to Yankee Stadium, deposit all my Yankee paraphenalia in the front concourse and set them on fire.
Even if they decide not to strike, I'm walking away anyhow.