Baseball...I used to love it...
I used to love baseball. I'd not say I lived and died by baseball, but it was a major part of my life growing up.
Over the past two seasons though, I have gone from avid baseball fan, to passive baseball fan, to barely caring about baseball. There are a few people to thank for this. First, I would like to thank Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees. At first I liked A-Rod because he came to the team and was humble enough to take a 3rd base position knowing he wasn't going to take short stop away from Jeter. But then he clouded over the entire team making himself the only player to be seen. And not in an "I hit 8 homers a game and use a bat as a toothpick" kind of way...but in a "more errors than anyone else in the majors and I still get paid more than god because I'm me" kind of way. He showed that the love of the game is even gone for most players. It's just about the cash.
It's important here to note I was raised a Yankees fan. They betrayed me with David Justice and I endured, but A-Rod is getting on my nerves even more now.
Next Yankee up. Roger Clemens. Either he is really honest, or he is totally full of shit. Either way, he has shown a lack of class in all that he's done recently, again erasing all the good things.
Barry Bonds. Biggest Blight on Baseball. Ever.
Now there are other small things, like the fact of pitchers throwing for 3 or 4 innings and calling it quits...benches so deep a team could play against themselves a couple time and still have relief at every position...juicing...umpires on strike...the list goes on.
So I am professional-sportless this summer. Maybe I'll look into Jai-alai...
Wrong about Bonds. It is still 'the' Strike.
That event finally broke baseball's romantic hold as 'America's' pastime.
By showing the nuts and bolts side of financing and business required to run the game. People could view it without the rose colored glasses of their youth.
It also allowed the NBA marketing juggernaut spearheaded by David Stern's savvy and Michael Jordan's popularity to re-enchant the disenchanted baseball fans with an exciting, fast paced sport; seemingly built for the sound bite / highlight media.
If that wasn't bad enough it also allowed the the NFL, which had been making gains all throughout the '80's to finally catch up by also exploiting the vacuum created in sports media by increasing its market share.
With the corporatization [don't you love important sounding fake words?] of all sports (including baseball) you have even more of those remaining fans of their pastoral game lose interest.
Add to that the rise of NASCAR, and now when people talk about sports superstars, baseball players invariably rank right above hockey players, who had their own strike issues which, in the era of media commodity, is essentially suicidal (more on that below), which is to say not near the top of media (and thus [inter]national consciousness).
How is that for a nested statement?
Quick explanation on the path to obscurity.
no content = no visibility ::
no visibility = no recognition ::
no recognition = no casual fanbase ::
smaller fanbase = less revenue ::
less revenue = impaired ability to produce content :: see step one