Money Has Destroyed Baseball

Sean KeaneCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 05:  (L-R) General Manager Omar Minaya, Jason Bay and Jeff Wilpon pose for a photo during a press conference to announce Bay's signing to the New York Mets on January 5, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Money has destroyed baseball. I've deliberately and willfully ignored that fact for far too long. Money has destroyed baseball. I used to think I was watching grown men playing a game, not anymore. There is no game anymore because money has destroyed it. I was actually first reminded of this when I read a terrific article on tauntr.com about a particular agent. Their article deals with how agents misjudge the "market."

Once I realized how much of the "game" revolves around the almighty dollar, I was forced to recognize what I'd refused to acknowledge for so many years; Money has destroyed baseball.  Grown men are reduced to tears on national television.

Mountains of men, that 10 years ago were immortal, are reduced to weeping for all to see because of the lengths they went to in pursuit of the all-elusive payday. Someone who can naturally hit a baseball 550 feet injects themselves with illegal drugs so they can hit a baseball 560 feet, and the people around them pretend not to notice. Because everybody passes the buck, as long as everybody makes a quick buck.

A role player like Adam LaRoche turns down over $8 million a year because his agent says he can do better.  What more than that could it possibly take to play a game. But there is no game, because Money destroyed it. An agent's word means more than a teammate's or a manager's. An athlete's (notice I didn't say player) word mean's nothing without his agent's. And everyone excepts this because every profits.

Now writers are all condemning certain practices or players, when not too long ago they were making their living praising them. The writers don't care about baseball because they make money no matter what. When the home run chase picked up, they made millions selling newspapers and magazines chronicling it. 

When the steroids allegations flew, they turned on those same men they'd deified and made money that way, too. Now they even make money talking about how money is too prevalent in baseball. And these are the guys who get HOF votes?

The All-Star game gets a lot of criticism because the fans vote for their favorite players, not the best. I love it. I think the HOF should be the same way. After all, with everyone involved in baseball so willing to destroy it for the sake of money, somebody has to keep it intact, right? I like to think so. Hopefully it isn't beyond saving.