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Jul 26

Fair Ball

 


Fair Ball

By Progressive Pete

Nothing is more American than baseball; it is one of the country’s most endearing traditions. When most people reminisce about America’s favorite past time, they recall competing on the diamond or sitting in the stands while they enjoy a nice hot dog, bag of popcorn, or box of crackerjacks on a fine sunny day. But not all is sunshine and lollipops; there is also a dark and sinister side to baseball.

The seedy underbelly of baseball is cratered with greed. Major League Baseball is a den of inequalities, where the rich abuse and take advantage of the less well to do teams. Greedy teams, like the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox, are ruining the game with their ravenous hunger for more money. These teams sully the game by throwing more money around than baseballs. They win game after game by acquiring all of the talent in the league with their large bags of cash, while other deserving teams, like Cleveland, Kansas City, and Houston, are left woefully out in the cold begging for players. For those who doubt the impropriety in the system, ask yourself is it fair that one player on the New York Yankees makes more money than the entire roster of the Houston Astros.

Baseball has turned into a sport of the haves and have nots. Those who have the cash can acquire the talent to win games. It is not fair that the top three spending teams have won 40 World Series Titles, while the three cities of woe have won three. Something must be done to even the score.

I think all fair minded people can agree that drastic steps need to be taken to level the playing field. Right now, the Cleveland Indians will never win a World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers unless interventions occur. At this time, several suggestions are under consideration to make things right. Propositions have been floating around to provide poorer teams, like the Indians, with an opportunity to earn their fair share of victories against major market teams, like the Yankees, Dodgers, and others. The Cleveland Indians, for example, are not the best hitters; therefore, it is not fair that teams that spend millions of more dollars on superior pitchers have to attain only three outs in an inning. Under the new proposed system, the Cleveland Indians’ hitters will keep batting until four outs occur. Many people have pointed out that this may still not be enough. When your team has Mark Reynolds leading the league in strike outs is it really fair to require only three strikes to attain a strikeout? I think not. The Indians will now have to earn four strikes to be out. In a similar vein, to assist their pitching, Cleveland pitchers will only need two strikes to strike out the opposition.

Despite all of these interventions, concerns remain that this might not be enough for the Cleveland Indians. If the rule changes are not enough, sources have said that an alternative “Restore Fairness” program is being discussed. Under the “Restore Fairness” program, a redistribution of wins would provide less victorious teams with a fair share of wins. If any team starts to be more than two wins ahead of second place, their next win will be credited to the last place team, which tries hard but cannot help their losses, due to the unfairness of the system. Some have hinted that the ultimate goal is to move away from the barbaric concept of a “World Series Winner” or “National Champion”. Instead, a more harmonious end to the season would be for all of the teams to end the season in a tie for first.

Some have asked; where did this enlightened view of victory redistribution come from? Apparently, college football has been at the forefront of fairer competition discussions. Over the past decade, many alumni from Michigan, including myself, have stated that it is unfair that The Ohio State University has repeatedly humiliated Michigan on the football field. Many Michigan football players have suffered from low self-esteem, academic difficulties, and hurt feelings as a result.

Already, enlightened businessmen and government officials have embraced the tenets of the “Restore Fairness” program. It is not fair that certain companies make more money than other companies. If a company is more profitable than another, it can surely share some of the money it has earned with another company that has been losing customers. It is un-American for the most successful company to make the most money. Baseball needs to become more like our income tax system. Those making the most money, the top 1%, need to have their money taken away from them and redistributed to those in the bottom 99%. The top baseball teams need to have their wins taken away from them and redistributed to those baseball teams that are in need. Some might argue that the successful are such because they work harder, but should effort or skill really be used to determine who wins a baseball game?

Hopefully the time has come when we can move away from competition in sports and hold hands as we cross the finish line together. If professional baseball refuses to adopt the “Restore Fairness” program, I am personally calling upon Occupy Wall Street to occupy the Yankees dugout.

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