Tag Archives: sports

Many of my friends misjudge it, thinking sport needs to be swift like a basketball game, or intense and concentrated like a football game. But baseball is more of an experience to have than a spectacle to see. It’s called a park for a reason: it’s a place of leisure, (hell, stretching is built into the format), and an opportunity to just be present.

Frank Chimero – I’ve been jonesing to go to a baseball game…

Let Vick Play

The best thing I’ve read all day about the possibility of Michael Vick being suspended from pro football:

And here I really get riled, because what after all is professional football?  Use your imagination a little, and it would be easy to imagine a society – perhaps more civilized than our own – that banned pro football or boxing and that put someone like Goodell or his K Street predecessor Paul Tagliabue, or the various Gucci-clad owners in jail for long stretches for trying to make a profit out of grown men being put on a field to engage in activities that are likely to result in physical harm or even death.  If cock fighting is on the third tier, pro football and boxing are certainly on the fourth.

Why not a free market for sports?

In a recent post on his blog at Think Progress Matthew Yglesias quotes Malcolm Gladwell and wonders why the professional sports industry is still run in such a closed manner.

Part of what makes this interesting is that it’s one of only a few examples that I know of where European countries have more fewer market regulations than the United States. From the time I spent in Scotland as a kid and from what I’ve read since then it seems as though most sports teams are able to have complete freedom in signing and moving players. This is what results in the massive transfer fees that have become more common.

Concerning this Yglesias writes that:

Right now, the New York City Designated media area contains 6.5 percent of households. LA has 5 percent. Chicago has 3 percent. Philadelphia has 2.6 percent. Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, and Atlanta all have about 2.1 percent. And things taper off from there. But considering that New York City has a media market three times the size of large cities like Dallas and Atlanta (and especially considering that it’s nearby to the Hartford media market with 0.9 percent of the population) why doesn’t New York have three baseball teams instead of two?…I think our sports would be a lot more interesting with more free movement of teams, more freedom to negotiate salary arrangements, more freedom to sign whichever young players you can persuade to join you, promotion and relegation of teams that can’t cut the mustard, etc.

Here’s why I don’t think American sports will move to a more free market system in which teams become largely unrestricted in terms of where they play and who they sign: we still like to think of our sports as games. Continue reading

A-Rod and Steroids

Doug Glanville has a post on the New York Times that is the best summation of the problem with focusing all of the blame and attention upon Alex Rodriguez for his recent admission of steroid use during his time with the Texas Rangers. In the article Glanville, who played with A-Rod in 2003, writes that:

In the end, it isn’t about Alex Rodriguez, though we are making it about him. He must be in quite a dark place, because he could always rely on the authenticity of his talent to overcome any criticism of his civilian self. Now that is gone, and I am sure the public will exact a price from him for years to come. Sure, all this has come about because of certain choices he made, but he was outed by forces beyond his control, in a way that was not honorable. That is not good for any of those 1,200 players who were tested. That is not good for anyone. And why focus on Alex Rodriquez and not the other 103? Why weren’t there leaks about everyone?

We should step back and think about what we really want to gain from this situation. While I was playing professionally, it was disturbing to watch players cut corners through chemical means to get to that next contract. But I don’t see the good in selling our souls while claiming we want to chase the devil from our midst.

I hope we learn how to keep our word. If the tested players had known up front that the results were going to be made public (or that there was even a chance that they might be), not a single one would have agreed to cooperate, and it has very little to do with hiding anything. It has everything to do with privacy. Being A-Rod should not change that fact.

Amen. These players agree to anonymous testing so that Major League Baseball could see if it had a major drug problem. They complied with the testing, and when the results came out they agreed upon a harsher penalty for offenders. The players lived up to their end of that bargain and ultimately it is the sports reporters and Major League Baseball that didn’t live up to the agreement by publicizing (even through leaks) the results.