Friday, April 15, 2011

Baseball and Diminished Thrill

Burton Mercer: "This, gentlemen, is the elegant abode of one Elwood Blues."

Officer Mount: "Thanks for your help Mr. Mercer."

Burton Mercer: "You know, I kind of like the Wrigley Field bit."

Officer Mount: "Yeah, real funny."

- from the movie The Blues Brothers, 1980

Yet another Spring has sprung, this one very much the same as other Spring seasons, and also very, very different. Hope truly does ring eternal; definitely not in politics, but certainly with baseball. That is, until the dog days of summer, every team thinks they can contend at the end of the season for the championship. By late July, however, after the All Star break, multi-game leads have been built by the powerhouses and the fans of cities with cheap owners or stupid scouting directors are left to languish the rest of the summer in the cellar. It is then when fans realize their favorite team is made up of a bunch of overpaid stiffs who care about nothing else than their fat paycheck. Eventually, most fans realize why their team is bad- that what the players lack in greed they make up for in mediocre talent and lack of heart. Ticket fare is over-priced, the stadiums corporatized and cold, and the game has been greatly watered down by corporate strangulation of imagination.

"Fuck those fuckin' fans who come out here and say that they're Cub fans that are supposed to be behind you rippin' every fuckin' thing you do. I'll tell you one fuckin' thing, I hope we get hotter than shit, just to stuff it up them 3,000 fuckin' people that show up every fuckin' day, because if they're real Chicago fuckin' fans, they can kiss my ass right fuckin' downtown and PRINT IT!"

- Lee Elia (ex-Cub Manager on losing and Cub fans) (click here for audio)

Gone are the nostalgic days of yesteryear, when fans had a real connection to the team, its players, even the team's owners (Click here for pictures of: St. Louis' Gashouse Gang, 1927 Yankees, 1975 Big Red Machine, 1982 Milwaukee Brewers, 1941 Boston Red Sox, 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, 1961 New York Yankees). Players made a regular wage, often having to work in the off-season. Fathers could afford to take their kids to the ballpark and not have to spend $100 on food, oparking, and tickets. Today's major league player has had their head explode with ludicrously extravagant salaries ad steroids. Fans have been thoroughly duped, totally swindled by the diminished thrill of the home run versus the games intrinsic beauty- pitching prowess, speed on the bases, defense and productive outs . Much like the Federal Reserve's money-printing machines that makes money literally out of nothing; baseball, too, has been bastardized by the moneyed powers, used by the evil financiers as yet another "bubble," and made massive amounts of money with every publicly-funded mega stadium (New York's metropolis has two- for the Yankees and Mets- built in the past decade).

Yet for every sin the old men that control the game commit- whether it be smaller ballparks, a livelier ball, a shorter pitching mound, or the ridiculous scheme to introduce instant replay to overrule umpires; a sucker is born ever day that sees the game through rose-colored glasses. Winning baseball teams will always have a place in the heart of men, women, and children of all ages. At least in this current paradigm.

Lately, though, attitudes have been changing all because of what Austrian economists describe as the final stage in the fleecing of an economy by financial gangsters and economist terrorists; this stage is known as the currency crisis. Wages have stagnated and the Federal Reserve has bailed out all the large corporate institutions disastrously eroding the purchasing power of the U.S. Dollar. Finally, these wayward economic policies have hit real-world exchanges on the street. Attendance is down in what used to be the hottest ticket in town- a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The disposable income that used to be available for Friday night lights has been eaten up by fuel and food inflation. Families have already changed their behavior, and as they do, values are shifting.

"The more the state 'plans,' the more difficult planning becomes for the individual."

-Friedrich Hayek (Austrian Economist, 1899-1992)

Baseball is yet another example of the power exhibited by the moneyed interests. Baseball is yet another reminder there is no free market; only an oligarchy that must agree to let others in the club with the only business goal of fleecing the people of their wealth for a sub-standard product devoid of soul and human emotion. In the Fall of 2008, Mark Cuban tried to buy the Cubs. Why was he refused by other owners? What was there to be scared of? If he possessed and offered the asking amount, what made his bid forbidden from consideration? Surely it wasn't the trumped up charge of securities fraud at a time when Congress was holding a gun to every taxpayer's head and demanding they bail out Bank of America. Major League Baseball along with the Federal Reserve were not keen on Cuban creating "cash flow" and offering a successful product and making profits. The engineered collapse could have no bright spots, no opportunity for the people to not pay attention to Washington D.C. and Federal Reserve theatrics. The lights were due to be shut off, not run in the other direction.

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