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BASEBALL & DRUGS: BIG MONEY IS THE PROBLEM

By       Message Bruce K. Gagnon       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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I love baseball. I played it endlessly while growing up, played in adult softball leagues when I got older (until my knees gave out) and now follow my childhood team the Baltimore Orioles. During my time in the military I coached Little League baseball for a of couple years and when my son Julian was growing up I helped coach his teams as well. My big dream in life was to be a baseball coach.

But it is getting harder and harder to have any respect for the "big leagues" - the so-called professional game these days. Big money has taken over the sport and the players and owners have gotten so focused on the "bottom line" that they've left the fan base cynical and broken hearted.

The latest steroid scandal in baseball is just more of the same bad news for the fans. Players that we have grown to admire are being revealed as serial drug users. (My team had 19 past and present players on the juice according to the Mitchell Report that came out yesterday.) The owners, despite their high moralism today, have known for years that players were using "stuff". They didn't care because more home runs and more high flight pitching was selling tickets and putting money in all their pockets.

It was only when the reality of drugs was getting so out of hand, and hard to hide any longer, that the owners decided on this recent witch hunt. Once some well-known players started naming names in their books the public pressure on the owners was just too much. When you had players like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons getting better as they were getting older they were defying nature. Players in the old days slowed down, hit for lower average, their pitching arms wore out as they aged. It has all become just too obvious.

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The so-called commissioner of baseball, former owner, Bud Selig is a joke. He should be fired for having allowed this whole episode to go on for so long. And we should take the profit out of professional sports by having public ownership of professional sports teams. The Green Bay Packers are owned by their community and have done just fine under the circumstances.

Baseball's most expensive player, Alex Rodriguez, just signed an obscene contract with the New York Yankees for 10 years and $275 million. As long as you allow those kinds of dollars to be floating around for a ball player there are all kinds of incentives for less skilled players to try to drug their way to the big pay day.

Kids all over America are now taking steroids in hopes it will help them earn their way to college and then to pro sports and the mega bucks.

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All of this has hurt the fan in the pocket book as well. Most fans can't afford to pay the enormous cost of going to a professional sports event anymore. Taking the whole family to the ball park is almost like spending their entire annual vacation savings on one game.

The big corporations buy alot of the tickets and then hand them out to customers. They get tax breaks for this "business expense" so once again the tax payers get screwed.

Big cable TV contracts have made the owners and the players rich beyond imagination. Then the greedy owners turn to the cities and demand the tax payers build new fancy stadiums or they threaten to move to another city.

The time has come for the fans to speak out. Take the big money out of the game. Reduce ticket prices so real fans can afford to go to the games. Take the teams away from the greedy owners. Return sports to its proper place in our society. It's only a game. Corporate control of sports is the problem. Corporate control of everything in our society these days is the problem.

Until things change I suggest a boycott of pro sports games.

 

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Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Between 1983 "1998 Bruce was the State (more...)
 

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