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— Where BTF's Members Investigate the Grand Old Game
Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Sharing the Wealth—One Fan’s View
I’ve had this submission in my inbox for a couple of weeks. Although a strike has been averted, the sentiments expressed in the article are still relevant. Sorry for the delay, Rosemary.
First of all I want to explain that I am a baseball fan. Not a baseball fanatic. I like to watch baseball. I watch it being played on television. I go to baseball games. I enjoy it. It makes me happy. It allows me to share my excitement of the game with others. It connects people. It makes all of us one team.
I don’t know every players batting average, but I do know who has joined the 600 homerun club. I don’t know every baseball fact or fiction. I don’t make it my life’s ambition to know those things. I know a few things….I am the average fan.
I also know about the baseball strike that is lurking in the wings. I know and I believe I understand the reasons behind it.
This is how I understand the dispute. The league wants owners and players who have a lot of money and revenue, to give to those who don’t. The rich giving to the poor. Correct? Now if it only worked that way in everyday life! Frankly, I don’t know of any billionaire who is going to knock at my door and say, "Listen, I know you don’t have as much money as I do and that upsets the competitive balance, so here is a million dollars." Sorry….but its not going to happen.
However, we want baseball owners and players to do the very exact thing! Subsidize other owners and players who may not have as much money. Why? Is it only me who doesn’t get it? If Mr. Steinbrenner and the Yankees have money and hence can afford to do more with it, why should they have to pay for another team that doesn’t? How does that become the fault or the responsibility of Mr. Steinbrenner? Or any other team that has a fair amount of money…...and there are other teams besides the Yankees who do.
I have read and watched news reports where people, the average fans and the fanatics, have said that if there is a strike, they will boycott baseball. Is this to punish baseball or themselves?
I can not help to think of Hollywood celebrities. They get paid millions and millions of dollars every time their face appears on camera, yet no one seems to mind that at all. I certainly don’t see the movies being boycotted. People go to the movies and enjoy every moment, never thinking about how much money their favorite celebrities are demanding. I wonder how many of them are offering part of their earnings for competitive balance?
I believe we all realize that the average baseball player is a good guy. He is good to the people who appreciate him and good to those that don’t. He signs the balls, waves to the crowd and does his job. He has bad days just like the rest of us, and it doesn’t matter how much money we make, we all have them. Working at a fast food restaurant or standing with a bat in your hand. Some days just suck! Even when the crowd is jeering at him and calling him names, he takes it. I’m sure there are times he even thinks he deserves it. He tries to be fair. Is it fair to tell him he makes more money than another baseball player so he has to hand it over?
As I said…...I’m average. I have read very in-depth commentaries that have only confused me. I’ve read articles by people that offer solutions. Some of them very reasonable. Everyone has a point of view. An opinion. This is mine. I’m a simple person, and maybe how I see this battle is simple too. Why do people feel a need to make everything complicated?
Maybe the are things that "poor" teams can do to make money? Maybe a better and more loyal fan base would help. Maybe people could actually go to a baseball game and support their teams, if they win or lose?
I know there will be many people who disagree with me. That is why we live in a free county. So we can all voice our opinion. So we can share our thoughts and feelings. So we can work at our job, make money, and even keep some of it.
Well until that billionaire comes knocking at my door, I’m going to support baseball. The owners and the teams. Perhaps its me, but as a fan and as a human being, I don’t think its fair that a team who has earned its money, should have to hand over some of its earnings to a team who hasn’t earned any. How I see it is that some baseball teams have a lot of money….and those that don’t are jealous and want some of it. If those with money don’t want to share, then they will strike and fans will be angry and won’t support baseball. Maybe instead of going to a baseball game, they will see a movie!
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