Tonight’s plan: Lak­ers vs. Clip­pers on ESPN Radio and craft­ing mock­ups for a theme Daniel and I are work­ing on. It’s a good night.

I’ve been jonesing to go to a baseball game…

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.