Monday, January 28, 2008

The Government Wants To Ruin The Perfection That Is MLB

This will probably piss some of you off, in that I go all Devil's Advocate-y and argue for government interaction in sports (or, at least, point out how MLB has screwed the pooch so badly that they deserve it). (And before you ask, yes, I do loves me some Hugo Chavez / Vladdy Lenin / Denny Kucinich / Any Other Freaky Leftist you'd like to list, Hate America, Eat Puppies and Burn Flags at Gay Weddings In Paganish orgies. It's a wonder I can keep up with all of the Kollektiv's activities!)

The full discussion is over at the Carnival, but here's my contribution to it, just so you can't avoid it:

"Given the current situation with Major League Baseball, do you think it's appropriate for the government to get involved in professional sports?"

DMtShooter, Five Tool Tool...
MLB as a current institution monopolizes professional baseball for the entire country. There is no free market system by which, say, an up and coming metropolis like Las Vegas or Portland could get a team without decades of legal wrangling and heartache, and another city's fans getting jobbed over in the process.

That's not a free market, and government isn't involved in that decision at all, other than to give MLB the green light to do just that with the anti-trust exemption. MLB also fails to share its revenue or cap its salaries in a way in which teams from MLB+ (i.e., Boston, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles) do not have an incredible, and eventually ruinous, competitive advantage (witness Japan, aka the supplemental farm system for the rich).

True, small market teams can have their brief windows of excitement, but why should anyone choose to be a Twins, Tribe, A's or Marlins fan, knowing that all of the good players will be shipped out as soon as you actually know their names? (Note: I am an A's fan. And bitter...)

MLB also played ostrich with performance enhancers, selling out the long-term integrity of the sport for a few years of homer-fueled attendance.

Their Hall of Fame kept Buck O'Neill out and dozens of forgettable mediocrities in. The worst commissioner in the history of the sport will have the longest tenure. And finally, the leagues don't play by the same freaking rules. DH or no DH; pick and be done with it, for heaven's sakes. It's only been 35 years.

What, exactly, could the government do that's worse than this performance? (... this is a rhetorical question. I'm very aware of Katrina, Iraq, Plamegate, Bin Laden being alive and the dozens of other litanies from the past few years. Besides, we're talking more about Congress than the Executive Branch getting involved here, or at least threatening to get involved.)

And for every knee-jerk libertarian who wants to denigrate any act of government, I'm sorry that you Hate Our Troops. I also hope that you refuse to use any of those evil government roads, electrical grids, telecommunications or plumbing systems.

It's also implicit that you let yourself be indicted by a grand jury, since government lawyers are part of the government, and therefore must not be able to do anything. It's OK if you're convicted, though, since government jails are ran by government guards, so you'll probably be able to escape just by challenging them to a game of hide and go seek (we now return you to your regularly scheduled rant that relates to sports).

Government interaction is a lot like a labor union -- if your corporation was so badly run, so abusive to its workers, or violated so many laws that you've got one, you probably freaking deserve it. Besides, you know who'd really hate Congress getting involved in MLB? Baseball owners and the baseball union. Both of which are, um, loathsome scumbags that make decent people spit. So why not wish another pox on their house?

(End of drop. Comment here, there, or anywhere, really. I'll be in the back with all of my other commie buddies, figuring out how to take away your guns.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny - you mention "free market" and "revenue sharing" in the same paragraph. Are you bipolar?

I do agree with your libertarian take - the government should only be used for infrastructure and defense. And roads, plumbing, electrical grids - all could be handled better in a for profit set up.

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