For over a century, fans have gathered to watch their favorite baseball team compete. Each fan may have a favorite team, and in that team they may choose their favorite player(s). These players are people that fans idolize, wishing they could be them. But, has professional baseball become more than one of America’s favorite pastimes? The MLB has become a business of trading and deals.
Baseball is a “national pastime,” as referred to by Jules Tygiel (36). Being a “national pastime” means many people watch the professional sport, get involved in it, and follow their favorite teams. Tygiel describes the immense popularity that professional baseball has developed:
No other common activity resonated so regularly and intensely in American life as [baseball] . . . Played virtually every day over a six-month span and tracked religiously in the mass media, baseball offered its partisans a steady diet of entertainment, drama, and controversy. Americans routinely interspersed their language with baseball metaphors. (36)
As you can see, Americans cling to baseball as something they can participate in by keeping track of and fixing it to their lifestyles.
As we all know, business is always followed by the money behind it. The owners of these major league teams know that good business makes them the most money. For an owner, being the best or “richest” is one of their top priorities. Owners know that it takes a lot of money to earn more money. Every business deal or transaction that a team owner makes is based on how much money or revenue that particular deal is going to make for their franchise. Some of these business deals include: trading players, buying players, recruiting/signing players, firing coaches, television deals, and contracts with sponsors. Some scouts for teams use their money to entice talent into signing for them; sometimes this comes to the disadvantage of these young prospects. Justin Barry explains in his article that scouts will wave money in front of disadvantaged college athletes, fully aware of the fact that when the young athlete signs the contract, they have no future after baseball without completing their education (Barry 21). Teams with an incredible pool of money have enough resources to buy their talent. The Yankees and Dodgers are known for having enough money to do this. According to Kyle Veltrop, the New York Yankees have won over 25% of the World Series championships, with the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics, and the Los Angeles Dodgers leading another quarter of the World Series wins since the first World Series in 1903 (28). Since Veltrop wrote his article, the New York Yankees have now claimed 27 wins in the World Series, the Cardinals 11, and the Los Angeles Dodgers claim 6. Over all, the New York Yankees rank as the highest paid team, and claim the most World Series wins out of any other Major League team. Can you see the correlation between those two facts?
Buying talent does not always work because some...