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You can’t destroy the game!

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Steroids!

I was wondering what I was going to write about this week for my non business related topic.  I was, that is, until the news about baseball slugger Mark McGwire hit the internet.

This, however, will not be a rant about steroids or Mark McGwire’s use of them.  It will be a letter in support of baseball.  Not the organized, multi-billion dollar industry that it has become but rather to my dear old friend the simple game that we all played when we were kids. 

I remember playing pick up games as a kid when we would use “ghost” runners when we only had a few kids on each side.  We played using the rule that you had to “push” the “ghost” runner over to score a run.  We also played the “pitchers hand” rule when the pitcher would serve as the first baseman when we were short handed.  I played baseball whenever I got a chance but never once played organized ball not even little league.  I never regret not playing Little League baseball.  When I played I was in the big leagues – at least in my mind. 

Baseball is a friend that is always there for me during the spring and summer months.  You can ignore your friend baseball for a few days or a week but it will be there with games on TV, night and day, every day of the week and will always welcome you back with open arms.  The long season of 162 games lends itself to a leisurely, relaxing pace rather than a hectic sprint such as the 16 game season of football.  Some people may say that the length of the season de-values the games making each game less important.  I contend that the length of the season and the failure rate is the best thing about baseball.  What do I mean when about I speak of the failure rate?  I am sure you have heard many times that a good hitter is one that fails 70% of the time, a good team may win their division by winning 56% of the time or 90 games out of 162.  Winning 56% of the time in football will get you about 9 wins – rarely good enough for a wild card spot.  

What do I like that about baseball?  Well, I suppose it is a forgiving game in a world that is not very forgiving and very results oriented.  Winning 56% of the time?  That’s good for baseball, failure in schools.  Having success 30% of the time?  That’s good for a hitter in baseball, but the pink slip in business.  Sometimes it is nice to relax and forget the competitive rat-race world and hearken back to a less complicated time. 

The BUSINESS of baseball has endured the Black Sox scandal, racism until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, the reserve clause until the Curt Flood case, labor strife, lock outs, no World Series in 1994, Pete Rose betting on baseball and now the steroids era.  The GAME of baseball has endured all these calamities and remains pure as ever.  In this day and age it is the one sport that I can watch a spectacular play, whether it is a home run or fielding effort, and not have to see some sort of victory dance or other ridiculous display of self promotion.  For now, even on the day of Mark McGwire’s shameful admission, the GAME still has class.

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Written by pacelinebiz

January 11, 2010 at 11:46 pm

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