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OT -- Does anyone still watch Baseball?


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Since a lot of us are keeping an eye on the Deion debacle, we all have some minor exposure to the game of Baseball. But is there really anyone out there who likes the sport? I mean, seriously, is there anyone?

Personally I can't see why you follow the game. Now let me say I respect the tradition of the sport, and realize for the more mature viewers it probably still has a place in your heart. But for those of us, say under 40, I think the sport has lost its luster.

When I was young it was the thing to do. Play in the sandbox, collect the cards... you know. Nowadays baseball memorabilia is passé, and the obnoxious players, with their obnoxious salaries, are outrageous. Players like Darryl Strawberry and Deion taint the sport. The fact that they haven't changed the game one bit (bar the wildcard) in decades is inexcusable. The pace is gut wrenching and the 160 game seasons laughable.

Well, enough rant, but I honestly believe that baseball has earned its place as one of the least entertaining and least watched of the four major sports.

Agree or disagree, I'd be interested in your take...

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I know I may sound like a hypocite for saying this, based on my criticism of the NFL financial structure, but the fact is baseball is fixed.

Because there is no revenue sharing plan that makes sense, half of the teams in major league baseball have no realistic chance of competing for more than a couple of seasons when their top players go off to play for one of three or four rich teams......Yankees, Indians, Braves, Dodgers or Diamondbacks.........

in essence those teams are MLB farm clubs for George Steinbrenner and Jerry Colangelo, et al.

I honestly don't know what to say to fans of teams like the Brewers and Pirates whose teams have no realistic chance of winning pennants as far into the future as you can see.

In the NFL, the "wealth" is spread out more evenly and even though some teams like the Skins, Cowboys, Seahawks, etc. can afford to spend more money in up front bonuses, the salary cap prevents them from getting an absolute choke-hold on the available talent in the league each and every year.

The future I see in baseball is fewer teams, some of whom must be moved to more profitable markets, LIKE DC, where there is available disposable income to support them at a championship level.

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Baseball has been in a steady decline for years now. The strike shortened season in '94 drove fans away and not even Cal Ripkin, Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa or Barry Bonds can bring enough sports fans back. Bonds is on pace to hit something like 85 home runs this season and no one cares.

Montreal, Florida, and Tampa Bay are just three teams in dire financial straights. These communities have proven they cannot support a major league team yet Baseball Czar Bud Selig refuses to act. This is what happens when an owner becomes commissioner of a league. There's no one at the top properly guiding the ship with the highest concern being the game not the other owners.

Paul Tagliabue is the best professional sports commissioner on the job. He has successfully carried on Pete Rozelle's vision for the NFL. Realignment in 2002 will create more interest in the NFL. The last thing baseball did to attract interest was interleague play which ain't so attractive to the fans.


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I love baseball and I love watching the MLB version.

And yeah, I watch it. I followed the O's for years, but since we moved to central PA, the Phillies are the team that's gets the local treatment. That's fine, because they are an NL franchise, and my son likes them, so we kinda follow both.

Bulldog has a point about the disparity between the rich and poor franchises, and how it affects competition. But there are plenty of teams in the middle, and the play good, competitive ball when they play each other.

And as we know, throwing money at a team does not equal success, just as being small market doesn't necessarily mean you can't be competitive. Toronto was a tremendous ballclub in recent memory, as were the Marlins. Yet the O's have blown a wad and have nothing to show for it.

Baseball incorporated does need to retrench a little, but baseball the game is complex, cerebral, atheletic, graceful, powerful, and everything a sport needs to capture a person's interest.

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Yeah, there is competition in that mid rung in terms of home and away series during the season but in terms of who shows up to win the Pennants and compete for a World Series there are precious few teams in the running each year.

If the NFL had been run like MLB for the past 30 years there would have been no Pittsburgh Steelers' dynasty and teams such as Denver and San Francisco probably wouldn't have been able to keep competitive teams together.

John Elway would have ended up a New York Giant or Dallas Cowboy. Joe Montana would have been traded to the Redskins or another team with an owner like Cooke that could pay the freight.

Regional TV deals for the New York teams and the Redskins, Cowboys would have ensured these teams would be among the most successful.

That does not mean to say each would always have won based on the ability to pick the right players.

But every year they would have the chance to go out and try and improve themselves by taking from other teams.

The Yankees were down for most of the 1980's and early 1990's. The Dodgers are down now. Some bad decisions were made in both organizations to get them there.

But time and again that same money to develop a farm club unrivalled in other places and continue to add veteran blue chippers has resulted in these teams rising back up to the top.

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Got to agree with Bulldog on the "money" teams. They are usually playing for the top prize, or are in the hunt after they re-tool with some high priced "rent-a-star" when they see a weakness during the year.

Jeff Bagwell,of the Astro's, made a comment in todays paper, that he feels it time for MLB to have some sort of salary cap. If i remember correctly, the owners tried to do that in the last time they bargained for a contract and the Union shot it down. I don't think Jeff made to many friends making that comment.


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When growing up, baseball was my favourite sport. However, it should be noted that I grew up a Montreal Expos fan. Take a wild guess what I think of the sport now.

The '94 lockout was the straw that broke the camel's back. Montreal, through an excellent scouting and development program had assembled one of the most awesome collections of talent in recent memory (albeit at an early stage in the player's collective careers), and sat on the bench while the New York Yankees got richer.

Baseball makes me sick in the way that it's managed.

I did hear an interesting proposal recently, however....

In order to even out the revenue streams for all of the teams, you make the Cubs, Braves and Yankees of the world pay for the rights to broadcast from the stadiums that they're visiting.... Only you make them pay like $1M per game. Evens out the revenue streams a lot, because all of a sudden, you make those rich teams realize that without the rest of the league, they do not have a product to sell. So crazy it might even work.


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I really think this is an unfair question to ask Redskins fans as a whole and not expect a majority negative response. As most of us have ties to the DC area, most of us simply have no direct ties to a major league baseball team, unless you want to count neighboring Baltimore franchise, which I growing up in DC, never attached to.

I furthur my opinion with the example of the Washington Bullets. No one should give a hoot about the Bullets or the NBA, because the big market teams have a stranglehold on the talent, you have the same overpaid premadonnas, etc. Yet avid Bullets discussion gets put up on this board as news breaks.

I for one have never cared about baseball in any manner also, popular or unpopular, does my opinion hold merit?

[edited.gif by KevinthePRF on June 24, 2001.]

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I loved baseball as a child, but since I no longer have a team to root for, I have not use for it. I have never adopted the O's, and have no reason to now. Should a major league team come back to Washington, I would support it, but until that happens. . .

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Even though DC does not have a team, I think it is still a fair question. I live in Philly and we have the first place Phillies. Nobody cares. We have the number one sports talk radio show and hardly a sole calls up regarding the team.

I think that even if you had a team in DC, you STILL wouldn't watch or care about baseball.


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I don't think that is a fair assessment. What you have to remember is first, most fans here under 40 don't remember having a team at all. It is hard to develop a love for a game when the nearest team is in a rival town 40 miles away.

The other thing is, the history of baseball in Washington has not been a good one in terms of the owners that have had teams here.

The original Senators put out a horrendous product for almost 30 years, consistently finishing at the bottom of the standings. The team was little more than a feeder for the Yankees and other contending clubs.

After the move of the first Senators club, the second version lasted here for a very short time, only 11 years.

As soon as the team had assembled decent players, Short decided to move the team for dollars to Minnesota.

Whereas the Phillies have had long stretches of losing in their history, they have also had recent successes as well, winning in 1980, going to the Series in 1983 and in 1993.

So there is some continuity for the fans. Perhaps not as much to root for as in New York or Atlanta but something to keep the fans interest in the team and the sport.

For Washingtonians, how many times do you get screwed over before you stop caring about baseball?

As I said, the original Senators were losers since reaching the Series in what? 1923??????????

That is a very long time to wait for a franchise to make a commitment to providing fans with a quality product.

You know what breeds loyalty? The memory of winning.

The Redskins were habitual losers in the 1950's and 1960's and tickets were available the day of games in local liquor stores and restaurants.

A lot of residents were from out of town and loyalties to the Giants, Eagles, Browns, Steelers, Bears, etc was still very strong.

Now, after 30+ years of having contending teams under Allen and Gibbs (the tone was really set by Lombardi in 1969 who first posed the question, "why not have a winner in Washington? In fact, I expect to have a winner here")......

you have season ticket waiting lists for some of the highest price seats in the NFL.

I think the tie between team and city has to go both ways.

Teams have to show they are willing to reward long term fans with at least the semblance of trying to field a team capable of contending for a championship.

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Until MLB gets it's head out of it's posterior and gives DC a team, I won't even bother watching the hi-lites.

Then MAYBE I'd care, but even that's not likely. Baseball is boring, plain and simple. Football is really the only sport I watch anyway. When you play an 82 or 182 game season and STILL need two months of playoffs to pick a champ, somethings really wrong with the sport. In my humble opinion.


Hail to the Redskins!

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