Are Athletes Simply A Product?

It seems to me that Major League Baseball is working against itself. All this preparation to ‘get to the majors’ goes into the first few years of a young prospect. The kids who are chosen work their tails off to be a good player and don’t complain about the conditions or the hard work they must complete.

When they start to show some promise, the team moves them up slowly and often their first game in the majors is filling in for an injured player. Does this mean that the rookie is going to stay there? No, it doesn’t, it just means that he’s a fill-in for a big guy, and as soon as the big guy takes his glove back, the rookie goes back down.

At Citi Field, we are now in the process of making money by ‘selling’ both Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez -the best slugger and best closer on the team, despite being just 6.5 games out a playoff berth with more than a third of a season left. Is the goal to make money or win games?

What does this do to the Mets players who will be playing with a significantly worsened team not due to injuries, but to maximize profits under the guise of buuilding a better tomorrow?

When did money become the goal?

We’ve lost our athletes to cash which goes for bigger stadiums which are ill-suited to baseball, and are more like shopping malls. People don’t come to see the game anymore, they come for the food and the attractions, to frequent all the shops where they buy all sorts of sports gear and sportswear with the team’s name on them. There are lots of empty seats in all the stadiums these days due to overpricing – many seats now cost hundreds of dollars – for one game, not a season.

Fortunately I came to baseball early – as a toddler in Dad’s arms, and I remember when baseball was baseball and winning was everything. Those were the days.