For Love Of The Game?

Zach RadcliffContributor IFebruary 5, 2009


During the off season, you hear so much about players making new negotiations for more money; through trades, arbitration, free agency, or any means necessary. Like they don't already have enough, with players like Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia, and Francisco Rodriguez recently signing new multimillion dollar contracts, you have to wonder, are they doing it just for money or for love of the great game of baseball?

With all the side operations going on, baseball has become more than just playing the game. It’s become a business based solely on money and with each game you watch, you see more and more laziness. Its like players don't even care whether their team wins or looses, as long as they get paid.

Years ago, you would have never seen any one jogging to first base after hitting a weak grounder to short stop, they always sprinted, knowing there was a still a small chance for an error or bad throw, so they could get on base.

But how many times have you seen Jason Giambi, Adam Dunn or any other major league slugger, hit a weak pop-up or ground ball to the second baseman / short stop, and never make it to first base. Its just laziness.

You may also remember Manny Ramirez’s fly ball mishap; after missing a fly ball, then sitting on it, then lazily throwing the ball back into the infield, a run scored, and the batter advanced to third with a stand up triple. And Manny's reaction was laughing it off like nothing happened. The guy can hit, but come on, show some emotion. Show you want to be there and, show you want and care to win, not just make money.

Recently you may have heard of talks about a salary cap for teams and/or individual players. It’s a good idea, and may make things fairer among teams. But will it really solve the problem of greedy lazy players? It may or may not. Either players and teams will accept it, realizing they have become too greedy, or they will reject it and players will become lazier and care even less about baseball just because they are getting paid a few million less.

All-in-all, baseball players need realize that baseball in not about money, its about playing hard, getting dirty, and having fun while playing the best game in the world.

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