The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Baseball is striking out

I don't normally write about sports, but Bud Selig's decision today to allow all baseball records under a cloud of suspicion to stand is a huge disappointment to me. It is indicative of the strangle hold that the player's union has around the neck of the league and the commissioner. The scourge of steroids represent the biggest threat to the credibility of the sport since the strike in 1994, yet the league's response has been tepid. The drug testing policy that was finally unveiled, after the player's union ended years of opposing any testing, is so watered down and consequence free as to be almost as bad as no testing at all. Why was this the case? Because the union agreed to end its opposition in exchange for conditions that that were as favorable to the offending player's as possible. Now, the commissioner has turned around and announced that all records, no matter how dubious, will stand. I can't help but imagine that the union had a big influence in this decision as well. Both of these decisions undermine the credibility of the game at a time when many of the demographic groups that made baseball "America's game" are being priced out of the market for professional baseball. The exploding player salaries have led to huge increases in the prices for tickets and concessions that has kept many people, particularly inter-city residents and young families, out of the parks. This has led to baseball's slide out of the mainstream of American cultural life. The sort of policies that the league is pursuing regarding steroids is another way for the game to turn off more people in an age when there are multitudes of sports, entertainment vehicles and other distractions for fans to turn to. Tell Joe Jackson and Pete Rose that it is O.K., those guys were drummed out of baseball for life on the suspicion of attempting to change the outcome of games for personal gain. The steroid users have changed the outcome of many games and the riches just keep pouring in.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normally I take offense to any anti-union talk, but on the issue of steroids, the players union (are they really workers?) has been on the wrong side. So have the owners, the big media, and the (Giant) fans.

10:01 PM  

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