Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
1. I didn't think Bush was talking about the difference between what baseball players & players in other sports make but how much more baseball players make now than in the "old days."
2. Gene (comment 24), I can identify w/you. I grew up in DC, & we lost the Senators when I was 17. (They were moved to Arlington, TX & became the Rangers--yes, what was later Bush's team!) My issues may be different, but I did lose interest. Glad DC has the Nationals now!
Paulo, are WFAN or WBAI-lite the only two possibilites? are there intermediate points along the spectrum, or only one or the other of two poles?
Beat you to it, BORED! But you do raise a good additional point about the number of people. You can't always get a game going, and at least with basketball you can go practice on your own.
Wow Paulo you beat me to the punch. I can't understand why this point is so hard for people to understand. Its that simple.
The reason why inner city kids don't play baseball is pretty easy. To play basketball all you need is a ball. You can play by yourself or with who ever comes to the b-ball courts and wants to play. Baseball you need a lot of people, gloves, bats,and a ball. The only way to get kids to play baseball in most urban communities is the way they play football, in school.
Baseball also requires more gear than basketball. I mean, one of the reason why soccer is so popular in the rest of the world (my home country of Brazil in particular) is because all you need is a ball. Basketball requires a net, but plenty of cities have basketball courts. If inner cities had more baseball fields, the kids would still have to have their own gloves, and at least one of them would have to own a bat and probably extra balls if they wanted to play with their friends.
I stopped following baseball when I was 14--when the Dodgers moved to LA.
And I lived in LA. I hated the rottenness of the deal, the destruction of Brooklyn's neighborhood team, and the destruction of the Chavez Ravine neighborhood.
I can understand rooting for your home high school team, I can understand rooting for a team so you can see it play locally for longer.
But to have "loyalty" to these free-agent teams that just happen to be based near where you live is utterly meaningless to me.
That caller is wrong. The unreserved, no alcohol section at Shea is still cheaper than a movie.
BORED: Ah, well, that's great that they did that. I'm not really a big sports fan (although I'm getting more into it all the time), so I hadn't heard about that.
With regards to the topic of salaries: I don't think people necessarily perceive the players as greedy themselves. It seems to me that people are just more astonished that teams would pay these ridiculous salaries in the first place. I don't particularly care because I think the teams can spend their money however they want, but it does seem incredible.
So according to Brian is the revenue that is driving up the salaries of all this baseball players. Well the revenue is brought on by the fans, So are the fans to blame for accepting to pay all this ridiculous prices?
One reason for the decline of baseball among inner-city youth is the lack of access to fields. There are basketball courts everywhere, but baseball fields for little leagues aren't as readily available. Over the past years - at least in NYC - fields that had been leased to little leagues were taken over for development plans, some of which weren't ever realized... the parks department has also reduced permits. Scandals with embezzlement also led to the decline of several little league charters that I know of over the past 20 years.
Don't really understand the anecdote about Mickey Mantle's alcoholism. Why did he ask Whitey Ford why he wasn't an alcoholic like Mantle was? Are we to understand that ALL baseball players...or ALL star baseball players are alcoholics & so if we come upon one who isn't, that is a curiosity that raises the question why they aren't? I would have thought the opposite - that most baseball players are NOT alcoholics - that it is the norm to NOT be an alcoholic - and the question should be to the alcoholic why they ARE an alcoholic. Sorta like with non-baseball players.
@ Paulo the Yankees played a spring trainig game @ VT for charity.
I wasn't saying I was against the civil rights game, BORED. I was just saying I didn't really understand why they tied it to the death of MLK as opposed to something like the integration of the sport in which there's a much more clear connection between the two subjects.
Also, I don't know what you're talking about with regards to the Yankees and the Virginia Tech shooting.
SO BRIAN, ARE YOU A YANKEE FAN OR MET FAN?
from a Met fan since 1964
While I completely agree with Brian's wincing at President Bush's alleged over-encouragement of inner-city youth to pursue even an NCAA career, I also think that encouraging these youth to find structure and discipline in sports is a very positive step and programs like RBI can do just this. I may be wrong, but I believe it was an NPR program where I heard that a neuroscience study showed that the poor urban child's brain could develop differently due to stress factors in inner city environments. Perhaps programs like RBI could be the perfect outlet for stress relief for these children. Thanks for this great program!
Well, guy, this isn't WFAN. This isn't really a discussion about baseball but rather baseball's interaction with the rest of society.
Paulo honestly is it the worst thing in the world. What did the shootings at Virgina Tech have to do with the Yankees nothing but who cares it was a nice gesture.
i used to naively believe that baseball had something to do with runs scored, pitching, fielding, and so forth.
now i find out that it is exclusively about class struggle (broadly defined).
thanks for setting the record straight.
If getting a sports contract is Plan A and selling drugs is Plan B, there's a problem. Talented kids in sports have to shoot for professional sports but plan for an education in case that doesn't pan out. There are millions of inner city kids and barely thousands of available professional sports positions in all the sports combined. Saying that one sport becoming popular again in the inner city is really going to make any kind of difference in the economic lives of the kids there is absurd and somewhat shocking.
rap music & drugs?
Good point about saying that it's not good about the Prez. to say the contracts in b-ball are bigger than in other sports. I remember in Indaina, a couple of clued in teachers would say dream, but not as a professional basketball, football, and basketball player.
Yes... baseball contracts will save the inner city kids from poverty! Forget about better schools and all that other junk.
#3 I totally agree with you. It is no longer a sport for everyone to enjoy, but it is turning into events that only affluent people are able to afford. Once something turns into a money making machine, it looses any backyard spirit that it used to have.
I don't really understand the thought behind this "civil rights game". I'm not against it, but I don't really get the correlation. I mean, if they tied it to a celebration of baseball's integration, I could see a connection. But I really don't see what the assasination of Dr. King has to do with baseball.
@Michael you or usually on point but to say that Free agency has ruined the game is just wrong.
Mets fan. Go Mets!
And let's not forget the fact that baseball fields with tasteful, thoughtful names are being replaced by fields named after the corporations that have bought the naming rights.
The spirit has been almost completely leeched out of the game... and sports in general for that matter.
Free agency has destroyed the game.
Certain teams are going to be in the top ten every year with a few exceptions.
Will the Royals ever make it to the World Series with current ownership. Of course not. They are basically a farm team.
These out of control saleries make it impossible for the average person to go to the game. Not to mention to watch the Yankees on TV you have to pay. This is outrageous!
And I'm a Yankee fan.
Also because salaries on profits are so out of control the tax payer has to pay for building new stadiums and then can't afford to go to the game.
How about one game where everything is Free because the taxpayer has paid for everything.
Imagine in any city paying 3 billion for two stadiums in the same year.
I just want to put one thing out there quickly. Many people have expressed resentment about players big salaries. I don't ever remember hearing those complaints about owners making big profits, who didn't risk so much as a pinky joint. If we are to believe in Free Commerce then, players should make what they are worth. ...but they should all have peformance clauses, and these should take into account external factors not actionable by the player.
The steroids thing is sad and regrettable. My main sport is basketball, playing not watching, but I recognize baseball as truly America's game and everyone involved should conduct themselves accordingly. We look to sports to get away from our daily troubles and these are, yet again, troubling times.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
Brian Lehrer Weekend: Alec and Ira, Books That Change Minds, High-End Modesty
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.