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February 13, 2005

If You Build It, I Probably Won't Come

Giving up on professional sports.

One of the more enlightened executives explained to me that baseball teams couldn't be bothered with catering to the "baseball purists" among the fan base, because their numbers were too small. Rather, he said, teams had to market to "entertainment fans," people who could care less about baseball but just want to sit in the sun listening to loud music, watching the giant Diamnondvision scoreboard, drinking beer and eating overpriced food of dubious origin and quality. Of course, this fellow also swore high and low that the Rockies would never stoop to the tackiest manifestations of ballpark "entertainment," like scoreboard dot races. Lo and behold, dot races appeared on the scene the very next year.

I'm one of those fans, despite my one season attempt to more deeply appreciate the game. Why, I read both Streak and The Iowa Baseball Confederacy. Didn't matter.

Thing is, as one of those fans, I don't really need Major League Baseball. I'm perfectly content watching the Triple-A Bulls. Hell, I was happy with the Single-A Bulls.

It makes me wonder--if the majority of fans are like myself, why should the owners spend big bucks on the name players? Field a bunch of kids with potential for a few years, then cut them loose. Don't pay anybody over a mil--or whatever league minimum is--a season. As long as you turn a profit, so what if they lose?

Posted by Bigwig at February 13, 2005 11:24 PM | TrackBack
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Comments

They're still playing ball in the major leagues? I hadn't noticed.

UVa ball is awesome, so that's where I go. Season tickets this year. Y'all can continue to kick our ass in football and basketball; I don't care. Baseball is where it's at. How's Tarheel ball?

Posted by: Jim at February 14, 2005 10:25 AM

No interest in college ball until they do away with the aluminum bat.

Regrettably, college baseball in the North has declined. It has become a southern state enterprise. Several Big 10 schools have or have proposed dropping baseball. The University of Minnesota plays in a stadium on campus that is difficult to find, no parking, bare minimum of facilities and in great disrepair. The sad thing is the Minnesota legislature will probably fund 3 new sports stadiums in Minnesota before a respectable baseball stadium will be built. The Univ of MN has a terrific baseball tradition - Dave Winfield, Paul Molitor, etc.

Posted by: kevin at February 14, 2005 05:50 PM

I can take my children to a AA game in Bowie and have a wonderful night out, including sodas for less than it would cost me for seats alone to watch the Orioles lose. Sure I follow the Orioles no matter how frustrating it is, but when it comes to going to games I'll choose Bowie as long as I'm the one paying. (And once, in Bowie, I even got a foul ball!)

Posted by: David Gerstman at February 15, 2005 12:11 AM
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