Friday, April 08, 2005

Baseball

"Not Listening" - Papa Roach

Peter Angelos is a turd - plain and simple. Now that I have that out of my system...

All that is wrong with baseball today can be traced back to the owners. Steroids? The owners should have adopted a strict drug use policy many years ago instead of turning the other way while their larger than life (thanks to the steroids) athletes belted home runs over the fences at a staggering rate. High salaries? The owners will continue to pay prima donnas and egomaniacs gargantuan sums of money, and have made it so that small market teams like Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and Kansas City continually struggle to keep mediocre players aboard while the Yankees and Red Sox pay through the nose for the marquis players. Baseball, like other sports, is a business - but the owners have lost control, and their greed could ultimately ruin America's pastime.

I am a Pirate fan - not fanatic, but not fair weather either. I have been a fan all my life, from the "We Are Family" 1979 World Championship, through the early 90's when Bonds, Bonilla and Van Slyke would choke for three straight NLCS series, and for the past 12 years as they have failed to reach .500 any of those years. I will root for the Nationals now as well, as they are the home town team, and the team that my boys will grow up with. The only problem is my boys may not get to see them that much. The Metropolitan Washington elite have already scooped up most of the tickets, leaving the rest of us with an opportunity to pay $10 for completely crappy seats in the nosebleed section of a crumbling RFK. If and when the new stadium is built, there will be less seats, more demand, higher ticket prices, and even less likelihood that average Jeff will get to take his boys to a game. The alternative is seeing them on TV, which we have not been able to do because of the aforementioned turd, Peter Angelos. As one of the consolations for a team being put in DC and "ruining" his ability to draw fans to Camden Yards, Angelos' TV network got the rights to broadcast the Nationals' games. The very first game (a loss during the day) was broadcast on local TV. The last two (wins, and at night when more could watch) were not broadcast. The Nationals are having to strike up special deals with Angelos to get multiple games aired. The whole Angelos saga is ridiculous, but this is what happens when you are a member of the cushy MLB owner's club - your brethren will feel for you and coddle you so you don't think you are going to lose a buck.

For me to take the family to Camden Yards to see the O's (including tickets, parking, food, beer, etc.) was a $200-300 outing. I am assuming that if we do get the opportunity to grab decent seats at a Nats game, the cost will be the same, if not more. That makes my appreciation for minor league baseball even stronger. Not only is this baseball more pure and intimate, it only cost me about $40 for the same evening - and the kids always have more fun.

Go Keys!

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