Volume 94, Issue 55

Wednesday, December 6, 2000


SPORTS

Cheerleaders win 16th national title

Lady swimmers heading upstream

Western badgered by Brock hockey team

The game that forgot about the game

The game that forgot about the game

By Sean Maraj
Managing Editor

Free agent shortstop Alex Gonzlez is asking for $25 million, his former team the Toronto Blue Jays has offered him $19 million, both parties are still in negotiation. In case you're wondering, the above statement is exactly what's wrong with Major League Baseball.

Alex Gonzalez is, at his very best, a decent shortstop. Reliable in everyway for the most part, but nothing that anyone would call exceptional. He could be described as mediocre at best. It's only in these over inflated times, where the players union rules the diamond, can someone like Alex Gonzalez reasonably ask for $25 million and a team offer $19 million and, for some reason, it's all okay. Right now, former Blue Jays shortstop great Tony Fernandez, who was twice the shortstop Gonzalez will ever be, is wondering how he managed to miss the train. So now, while we watch this circus unfold before us, the question must be asked, what the hell happened on the way to the ball park.

There are two reasons for this situation in baseball today. The obvious one is the lack of a salary cap. The player's union has held the reins of baseball for so long, that they more or less run the league. The owners don't want to risk another strike which will echo for years after, so they very rarely bring up the idea of a salary cap. Thus with each new signing, the money level goes up to the point that a mediocre shortstop can reasonably ask for a ridiculous sum of money.

The second reason is that there are too many teams. The player pool is so diluted, that mediocrity becomes a high commodity because high talent is rare and expensive. If you're a baseball player, things are looking pretty good. For fans the quality on the field is slowly collapsing. There are of course easy solutions to these two problems, the first being a salary cap of any kind and the second getting rid of some of the many teams that seem to flourish in every other corner of the United States.

Considering all the things that are dominating the diamond these days, I think I will formally announce my intention to try and become a major league baseball player. My hitting at its very best has always been suspect but I'm a pretty solid outfielder and a pretty good second baseman. Also I should probably note that I haven't played a real baseball game in about two years, but then again I'm sure there are a lot of guys who sit in the bench of a team who are in the same predicament. Considering the situation of baseball these days I think at 45,000 a year I'm a bargain, but I do want some more incentives so I can at least come close to the minimum.

Read the above passage carefully boys and girls and you'll finally understand what's wrong with baseball – somewhere along the way the league that produced legends like Babe Ruth and Joltin' Joe Dimaggio decided that money was more important than the game.


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Copyright The Gazette 2000