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 Why They Should Abolish the World Series

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Nov 06, 2001
 Comments:
As I write, the final match in the World Series is about to begin.

The Series is among the greatest of American traditions. It was originally designed as a contest between the American League and the National League, two baseball leagues which were very separate and different from each other. They played different schedules and had different cultures, until they were united under the great aegis of Major League Baseball and could compete in the World Series.

Unfortunately, the Series is no longer the gut-rippingly awesome competition it once was. It sucks, and it's dragging the sport of baseball along with it. Hence, it should be scrapped.

Read below for a few reasons why.

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First of all, the World Series isn't. It caps a season of competitions between a small, state-subsidized cabal of professional baseball players. In these times, the majority of these players are scouted out from the best schools and ballparks around the world and induced to travel to America.

Foreign men of professional caliber -- men who would enrich baseball in their hometowns and fatherlands -- are induced to come to the United States and spend years on a farm team making crap wages in order to fulfill their dream of competing in the World Series.

This is bad for the global development of baseball as a sport. Consider this: Even in countries where baseball is well loved, such as Cuba and Japan, players risk their careers and, in the case of some Cubans, their lives in order to play American ball. The biggest stars of the national game come to the States, drawing national fans away from their own teams and towards the U.S. game. In Japan, for example, hometown games' TV ratings have dropped, while the viewership of Seattle Mariners games, beamed across Japan via satellite, has skyrocketed. This was brought on by the 'defection' of star right-fielder Ichiro Suzuki to the Mariners.

Expanding the scope of Major League Baseball play to foreign teams (and, no, I don't mean the Montreal Expos) would remedy this problem; any player in a world-class team could stay in his own country and compete with the American teams. Unfortunately, this strategy does not reflect the true purpose of Major League Baseball, namely the sale of broadcast advertising. For example, a game against a Havana, Cuba team would be an exciting, poetic match of classic baseball. But the socialist economic model in Cuba would not likely allow the sale of stadium space or broadcast time to advertisers. Expanding America's baseball league into the Caribbean, Latin America, and Southeast Asia would present similar cultural and economic problems.

Another alternative would be to change the Series' name. Call it the National Championship and promote a biennial world competition in baseball. When considering such a competition, though, the question of money rears its head. FIFA, the international governing body for football (known as "soccer" in the U.S.), donates money to countries where football is developing in order to fulfill its mandate of improving the sport. Would an international baseball association simply include countries where baseball prospers, or would it undertake a mission similar to FIFA's?

It may be true that the aforementioned is pure globalist bullshit. That said, there are some entirely domestic problems with the World Series.

Once a year, a city gets the World Series. Lots of rich people and businesses come to town. Stadia and surrounding neighborhoods are spruced up; area restaurants are flush with high-rolling baseball fans and prominent sportscasters. Money rolls into town.

Unfortunately, the Yankees' New York has gotten this windfall too many times.

Seen from a financial perspective, the fact that you can tell what teams are going to make the playoffs 3 weeks into the season isn't just a drag, it's a crime. Major League Baseball, a private corporation subsidized by the U.S. Government, is giving a few (already rich) cities a bucks bonanza every year. By replacing the World Series with a traveling lineup of exposition games, the baseball establishment would spread this wealth around a bit.

If there must be an End of Year Game which causes millions to converge on a city, it should be decided differently, taking the social implications of the game into account. For this, the International Olympic Committee is a good model. The IOC is a global group, designed to represent the interests of all the countries that participate in the Olympics. The committee takes a lot into account when it decides where to host an Olympics. It tries to choose a city that needs the billions of development money that the Olympics will bring.

Couldn't an International Baseball Committee decide where the pennant winners would play? Utica, New York needs the influx of cash that a World Series would bring more than New York does. So does Albequerque. So does Toledo, Ohio. So does San Juan, Puerto Rico. The tired and grubby citizens of these towns would value the diversion of the game far more than the jaded, hedonistic New York.



       
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You would rather a single (none / 0) (#1)
by Mint Waltman on Tue Nov 6th, 2001 at 07:02:58 PM PST
...governing body decide where the World Series is played? I prefer the current system whereby the best teams from both leagues split the 7 potential games between their respective host cities. This is the result of free-market economics pure and simple. All team owners must work with what nature provides them. Through toil, sweat and good management they have the opportunity to build a championship caliber team, and yes, reap the financial bounty that comes with hosting the World Series. Poor team management is punished- cities like Boston or L.A. don't receive this financial windfall simply because they don't deserve it. The best option for such cities is to see that competent team management with a solid business plan replaces the current clowns in power.

A governing body similar to the International Olympic Committee is a poor alternative, as such groups have their own agenda. They'd clearly rather lend legitimacy to China's blasphemous ideology than see countries come together in the name of fair, pure competition. Never mind that China persecutes Christians, they'd prefer to kowtow to Chairman Mao. Plus, how quickly we forget the rampant corruption that brought the games the Salt Lake City.

Thanks, but I, like all true Americans, have a natural aversion to all things 'centrally planned' like your proposed IOC solution. In tune with all that is decent and good, I'd rather see the cities and teams that have earned the right to host the World Series receive the millions that go along with doing so. Toledo, Ohio sure could use all that attention and money you say? Well, I say let them pull themselves up by the bootstraps, attract a major league baseball team and build it into a championship quality ballclub like Pheonix, Arizona. Now there's a city that earned all they received. We already have enough welfare mothers in this country without adding Toledo or San Juan to the dole.

I have to say that your article runs against the grain of what America, and as a result baseball itself, stands for. Like in the game itself, a winner in America is determined by how hard they work to best the competition, not how hard they lobby some central committee for a few favors that put them ahead of everyone else. Your anti-free market stance is really quite frightening to me, and a danger to the sport of baseball. Perhaps you'd feel more comfortable watching a baseball game in Havana sitting alongside Fidel...


you're a blatant racist (none / 0) (#4)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 6th, 2001 at 09:02:16 PM PST
Never mind that China persecutes Christians, they'd prefer to kowtow to Chairman Mao.
"Kowtowing" is Japanese, not a Chinese. By conflating the two, you prove you're just another racist who lump all the culturally diverse nations of Asia into one monolithic "yellow menace".

People like you make me sick.


Wrong wrong wrong (none / 0) (#6)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 6th, 2001 at 09:16:05 PM PST
Kowtow is Chinese. There is a similar Japanese custom called 'O-rei' but the word and practice of Kowtow is from China, bucko.


 
Silly fuck (none / 0) (#8)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 6th, 2001 at 11:50:51 PM PST
From Chinese (Mandarin) ku tu, a kowtow : ku, to knock + tu, head


 
Well said (none / 0) (#9)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 12:15:16 AM PST
I read the original post repeating,"WTF, are you mad?! Toledo????" Nevermind the logistics. The biggest stadiums bring in 60k to 90k fans per a game. That revenue does not warrent the building of a stadium in Toledo to hold that many people for a single act of welfare, even if the series stretches to 7 games played only in that town.

IOC comparisions? I think you hit it right on the head. Pure political bribery. Wouldn't surprise me at all if everyone on the committee was closely tied to a construction firm. The NFL isn't exacltly handing out a favor when it puts a game in whatever city as opposed to one of the team's cities. They're in it for the money, and I can't say that's so bad.

I've been a baseball fan sinse I was about 6 years old. That was my first NY Yankees game. I'm not expert in how the League is run, but I understand it's a business, and there's plenty of evil that goes along with such. But If San Juan or Toledo wants a team and can bring in the fans, I see no reason why I, the fan, or MLB would object.

There's nobody stopping Tokyo or San Juan from being the pioneers of the the first Internation Baseball Championship. It's just a name. Let go of the socialist crap.



 
toledo, ohio (none / 0) (#2)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 6th, 2001 at 07:17:25 PM PST
While I know you're right that the aforementioned city in which I live could use the cash, I don't want your baseball crap here. Seven bajillion people rolling into town to watch the most boring sport imaginable would be a nightmare here. If you know Ohio at all, you know that in Ohio, every single road is under construction simultaneously, basically from January 1, to around December 1, when they just give up and leave lanes blocked with cones. Unless these people are walking, the entire city would be destroyed by traffic.

Also, I assume these baseball players would need some kind of facility to strut around in, and we don't have one. Unless, of course, you mean the new Mudhens Stadium, with seating of around 8,500. I gather it was built to replace the one in neighboring Maumee, because Toledo doesn't like Maumee. Or vice-versa.

The worst reason to hold the Non-World Series here in Toledo is, of course, that it only encourages people from neighboring Ohio counties, like Wood, Henry, and, my GOD HELP US, Fulton, to come over here and drive badly and slowly, in their huge dually, extended cab, extended bed, extended hood Dodge Ram trucks. Our Escorts and Sunfires and Grand Prix will prove no defense to diesel power. So please, just keep it away.

If you're dead-set on the area though, might I recommend the following towns:

Wauseon
Delta
Swanton
Haskins
Neapolis <--- (best bet)
Archibold
Texas

Thank you.
Sincerely,
A concerned Ohioan not from counties neighboring Lucas.



 
What needs to be done (none / 0) (#5)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 6th, 2001 at 09:14:02 PM PST
If Major League Baseball wants to have its own championship, that is fine, but it should be renamed "The United States Series." The World Series should be an event that is under the control of the United Nations and should include teams from all member states, even including countries that the United States doesn't like, such as Cuba.


Why must we always bend to accomodate them? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
by elenchos on Tue Nov 6th, 2001 at 09:36:33 PM PST
Why can't "the world" change what it calls itslef to reflect its (glaringly obvious) no-USness? Why should we all have to take down our signs and have new business cards printed and re-write our most popular song lyrics to accomodate the rest of this miserable planet?

Who are we accomodating anyway? Only a fraction of those supposedly offened by our "World" Series even have any sort of written alphabet or educational establishment of any kind. So what is it to them if they have to change the word "World"? It will cost them nothing! Hell, most of them haven't even heard of the world! They barely know five people outside their squalid, unsanitary villiage or smallpox-infested clan.

Look. "World" means American. Let the so-called "rest of the world" change its damn name for once, I say! Let them call themselves "The U.N." or something they really like like that, and keep their limp, musty, sticky paws off our American sporting institutions and the great original American names we ourselves make up (not steal... Canada) for them, all on our own without anyone else's help!

P.S.: England, you trouble-makers, we know you all are behind all of this!


I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill


World series? (none / 0) (#10)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 01:26:32 AM PST
It's called that because it was named after a New York newspaper that sponsored it once upon a time. That newspaper? 'The World'. Hence, the World Series.


 
Aren't you... (none / 0) (#11)
by tkatchev on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 04:10:59 AM PST
...a bit "US-centric"? Honestly, what kind of backwards, cattle-loving hick redneck actually cares about baseball? (Of all games, for the love of god...)


--
Peace and much love...




`US-centric' (5.00 / 2) (#13)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 08:31:48 AM PST
Well, isn't the US at the center of the world? You know, every world map I've ever seen puts it right in the center. The so called "Eurasian land mass" is purely mythical. Look at the map. To the left of the US there's Asia, and to the right, Europe. They're on opposite ends of the map, and don't touch anywhere. The myth of "Eurasia" is simply an old Soviet propaganda ploy to hide this weakness.


 
Basetroll (none / 0) (#17)
by FreemoreJohnson on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 04:26:59 PM PST
...a bit "US-centric"? Honestly, what kind of backwards, cattle-loving hick redneck actually cares about baseball? (Of all games, for the love of god...)

Tkatchev - Are you trolling? :) That's against the rule friend. Anyways, if you're not, you're just being a jerk... Everyone has their favorite sport, and if it happens to baseball, so be it.


 
Don't let me rain on yer birthday cake... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by noah Oneye on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 07:26:59 AM PST
but there already IS an international baseball championship. The 34th annual World Baseball Cup began today in Taiwan and includes:

the Dominican Republic
France
Italy
Korea
Nicaragua
South Africa
the U.S.
Australia
Canada
Cuba
Japan
the Netherlands
Panama
the Philippines
Russia
and of course, Taiwan.

And many of the "professional caliber" non-Americans have returned from their U.S. farm teams to play for their national team. Of course, you probably won't hear about this in the U.S (I live in Taiwan) because of the lack of advertising revenue (and therefore importance to the American media) but owell. I'll let you know who wins...



"...and in your free time you can make me sandwiches..."

 
The state of pro-baseball (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by moggums on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 08:53:23 AM PST
Honestly, I see some of your points, but my personal opinion, which is worthless (as most are), would change a whole slew of things about the game to make it more exciting and interesting. If some golden hand reached out and magically put me in charge, a lot of stuff would change.

Since I'm tired this morning, I'm gonna spare you guys my "baseball rant", which is not only mind-numbingly boring, but it's _baseball_, for god's sakes, the sport with which watching on TV most resembles watching grass grow. What a fucking boring and slow sport watch.

Uh, anyway, there's two major changes that need to take place, and until they do, things will never become better:

#1- strict, lower salary caps. these guys are spoiled idiots.

#2- LESS FUCKING GAMES. Do we really need TRIPLE-DIGIT games for a team in a season? What the hell does this do? I'll tell you what: it makes any individual game completely fucking pointless and arbitrary. I ain't livin' in the great depression, man, so "all the little pennies add up to one huge dollar!"-type thinking doesn't apply hear. Let's face it: baseball has a bazillion games where each one indiviually has very little stakes, it's very boring to watch, and is full of extremely spoiled guys. This is sad.

I will spare you the rest.

-Mike


Well (none / 0) (#16)
by FreemoreJohnson on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 04:20:49 PM PST
#1- strict, lower salary caps. these guys are spoiled idiots.
#2- LESS FUCKING GAMES.

Perhaps you sparing us some of your rant was a bit spare on the details, but I'll respond to this anyway.

On your first point. Do you work for Anheiser Busch? Why would you want to lower salary caps when all the profits go to big corporations anyways? Come on man, the side of labor is the better side in this argument. These guys are working for our entertainment, and I'd rather they had the money than Augie Busch.

On your second point - Why less games? More games=more entertainment, more revenue, true, but that should be given to the players anyway.

I think these guys risked enough to play, the rewards ought to be big anyways. Why should the fatcats get fatter while the players get leaner?!?


in addition (none / 0) (#18)
by alprazolam on Thu Nov 8th, 2001 at 12:28:56 PM PST
the point of having so many games is that it makes winning more difficult. playing a baseball game isn't exactly much of a physical challenge, buy playing 180 is. plus more games mean cheaper tickets which means it's easier for everybody who wants to make at least one or two games a year.

right on about the fatcats. visit the dismantling of the twins because their stadium doesn't have enough fucking luxury boxes and their cheapskate owner can't blackmail the city into paying for a new one.


 
the problem with sports (5.00 / 2) (#15)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 7th, 2001 at 03:59:53 PM PST
There is a simple problem with Sports in America (and Baseball is the worst offender)... profit.
Are the diamondbacks the best team in baseball? Hardly. I doubt they're the most profitable, and THAT's how sports teams in America are judged, at least by their owners. Anyone who doubts this should look at the Marlins, who couldn't make a profit the year they won the series, and whose players were promptly sold to the highest bidder.
Heck, the Twins are on the verge of being "contracted" because the state they play in refuses to be extorted into building a new stadium and giving the team all the profits from it, even though they've got great fans in Minnesota who don't deserve to be screwed.

Here's a crazy idea -- the other owners should buy out the current owner of the Twins, BUT KEEP THE TEAM INTACT. Make it a non-profit corporation, with a charter to promote baseball in Minnesota. Appoint prominent Minnesotans, maybe even Jesse the Body, to the board. Run it not to make a profit, but to field a good team. I guarantee the Twins will have such a competitive advantage on the field that EVERY team will want to do this!

But what do I know, I'm just a Commie Linux user, lost on the way to Slashdot.


 

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