Saturday, December 15, 2007

Capitalism 101: Fuck the Yankees

Putting together dominant teams by luring in the best performing players with enormous salaries creates an incentive for players to enhance their performance through any means necessary? No shit?

I'm mystified by all the Sturm und Drang surrounding the impact, e.g., Roger Clemens' steroid use will have on "the kids," who are getting the message that it's okay to abase oneself
and risk one's physical health in pursuit of material reward. Yes, using steroids to improve your athletic performance is risky to your health and career prospects. You know what else is? Trying to make a living playing professional baseball.

In terms of eventual outcome, the aspiring pro ballplayer is probably better off washing out sometime early in college, hopefully not by an injury with a severe impact on quality of life. That way you've got your fond memories of high school stardom to look back on, you've got a couple years left to decide on something to study for real, you probably know a couple people who have a shot at the Show (valuable contacts regardless of your own personal future), and you're not staring at the prospect of toiling for years in the minors and never breaking out. True, you'll always wonder what coulda been; but realistically, it probably wouldna.

It's just another example of the US schizophrenia regarding economics and consumerism. Up to a certain point, the quest for material comforts at any cost is the very lifeblood of our nation. Past that, it's a dehumanizing corruption of all that is decent. It comes up in the eternal debates over whether rap music is a positive or negative force in our society (answer: rap music is our society).

"The kids" get the message: everyone's for sale, and your primary goal in life should be to make sure you get a good price when the time comes to sell out. Revelations like the Mitchell Report simply make explicit the tacit implications of our social order. It's no wonder they're so unsettling.

1 comment:

Peter Hamtramck said...

Is it any surprise that Baseball is our Nation's Pastime?

The people trying to protect "the kids" should learn a bit more about the history of baseball. Cheating, poor sportsmanship and turning a profit at the cost of everyone other than yourself have all been a part of the game from the beginning.

People get too caught up in the "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet" mythology and overlook what's really going on in professional baseball.