Friday Question – Beisbol Style

28 03 2008

It seems that a baseball season hasn’t been met with so much teeming anticipation since before the ’94 strike. Attendance skyrocketed last year, and teams like the Phillies have already increased their season ticket sales significantly. That said, so much was made in the War Against Juice of how steroids would mar the image of baseball, America’s virgin game.

Have steroids done a damn thing to hurt the image of baseball?




2 responses

29 03 2008

I think the steroid scandal is a case in point for the old saying that “no news is bad news.” For better or worse steroids have brought people back into baseball. More home runs = more fans. It’s not quite that simple, but as a rough estimate I believe it to be true.

Another reason for the increase in sales is the amenities of modern ball parks. Playgrounds for kids, “fan zones,” great views and picnic areas. Going to a ballgame today is an experience again, one that you can take your kids, family, friends and even mother in laws to (well stocked bars).

While many groups may whine about the influence of professional players on kids, it has been my vast experience with people outside of the media and die hard fans that they really could care less what someone does to their own body. (unless it’s an abortion)

31 03 2008
Jon Goldberg

Image is a two-sided coin. On one side, you’ve got the squeaky-clean, smiling, hospital visiting, community relations-centric mindset. On the other, you’ve got street cred: the bad-ass, dominant, agressor who wins and wins big.

Sports fans are hypocritical; we want both. If I live in Denver, I want to see Carmelo Anthony visit a children’s hospital and read to the cancer kids. Then, when I go to the Pepsi Center that night, I want to see his tattoos blazing, and I want to see him dunk on Dirk Nowitzki’s head.

Steroids have made certain baseball fans more cynical about the game, and “cheater” or “steroids” chants will now be more ubiquitous around America’s ballparks, but nobody REALLY cares except for George Mitchell and Jose Canseco.

People root for baseball teams to win, not to be nice or be roll models. I’m sure the Tampa Bay Rays do just as much warm-fuzzy stuff as the Boston Red Sox do. To point out the difference between the two clubs would be redundant.

Baseball’s image will never be hurt. Nor will the image of any sport, for that matter – not in this country. People very easily turn the other way and say “Oh, this is one guy” or “For every negative story you hear, there are dozens you don’t hear about.” It’s a safe way for them to say “I don’t give a fuck. Go [insert favorite team here]!”

As sports fans, we’re all hypocrites. My favorite athlete of all time is Marty Brodeur, the greatest goalie in the history of the National Hockey League. You know what he did? Oh, he only fucked his sister in law.

Baseball + the Mitchell Report = status effing quo.

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