Baseball Fever In A Tepid Economic Climate

Simon McCormack
2 min read
Members of the New York Yankees discuss the economic implications of a floundering national housing market during a recent playoff game.
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With October’s arrival comes the always over-hyped and eagerly anticipated Major League Baseball playoffs with its usual cast of millionaire ball players and soon to be crushed expectations of all but one entrant.

My favorite team, the New York Yankees, have come to stand for everything that is wrong with American society. They have a $200 million payroll, the highest of any team in professional sports, and they’ve been, rightly or wrongly, accused of buying championships (although their last one came over a half-decade ago).

As I watch with eager anticipation of every pitch during the nationally broadcast games, I can’t help but catch a glimpse of the almost entirely Caucasian fans in the packed stands at both teams’ ballparks. The endless advertisements for business owners looking to increase productivity and efficiency, however cleverly packaged, are a clear indicator of the economic standing of those watching at home.

The argument that sports figures in America make too much money, while certainly valid, doesn’t address another issue clouding professional sports: the fact that a large percentage of players come from poor economic backgrounds both here and abroad. The only chance many of these young athletes have is to excel at sports and the need for other avenues toward economic mobility is sometimes overshadowed by highly publicized efforts to reduce player salaries.

Make no mistake, these shallow and obvious sociological observations are not my primary focus when I’m staring intently at the screen, but they make it more difficult to enjoy a game I’ve always marveled at.

I’m not sure what the solution is, but I wish there was a way to enjoy the best athletes in the world, guilt free.
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