HOT STOVESVILLE, USA – Well itâ€™s cold, and snowy and the calendar is just one page long. There’s a new Lackey in Boston, a new Cliff to explore in Seattle and a Halladay made official in Philadelphia. Decorations are up, Hanukkah is at the half-way point, kids are sending their wish lists to the fat man up north, waistlines are expanding, New Yearâ€™s plans are being hashed out and the Dallas Cowboys are losing. December is in full swing. Yet this year, December not only signals the end of the year, but the end of an eventful decade in baseball.
The â€œOHsâ€ (’00-’09) are ending pretty much the same way they began; with the Yankees as World Series Champions. But a lot of things changed between those Yankee championships. Long suffering fans in Boston reached the Promised Land – twice. And even Chicago (the Black and White half, at least) experienced baseball Nirvana.
Chisox experience Nirvana.
So, with all it’s problems and shortcomings, one can’t help but wonder:
“Is Baseball broken?”
Let’s break it down… With the most recent Yankee championship, the old argument about the state of the haves and the have-nots in Baseball has been re-hashed. There has been a lot of talk about Major League Baseball needing more stringent financial regulations to restore â€œcompetitive balanceâ€ but this decade has shown that baseball is fine the way it is. Fourteen different teams (out of a possible thirty) played in the World Series this decade, and eight different teams won the Series.
Comparing Baseball to the NFL, with its model of economic egalitarianism that would make Karl Marx shed tears of joy, we see that the championship distribution between the two sports are almost identical. Fourteen different NFL teams (out of 32) played in the Super Bowl between 2000 and 2009 (For the sake of comparison Iâ€™m using the year the Super Bowl was played in, not the year the season started since this season isnâ€™t over yet). And only seven different NFL teams won the Super Bowl this decade – thatâ€™s one less than the number of baseball teams that won the Series – if youâ€™re keeping track. And while more teams made the playoffs in the NFL this decade (30 of the 32 NFL teams compared to 23 of 30 teams in baseball), this can be explained by fact that the NFL has four more playoff berths each year than Major League Baseball.
Conclusion: There has been almost no difference in championship distribution between MLBâ€™s laissez-faire Capitalism, and the NFLâ€™s Communism. Baseball and Football have taken two different financial rainbows to the same pot of gold. Both systems work, so why change now? If it ainâ€™t broke, then donâ€™t fix it. There is nothing wrong with baseball; Baseball Is Not Broken – at least from a frequenter of the Bronx. 🙂
P.s… Angry Ward, tomorrow. And check out Parts THREEhey and FOURhey from Sydney by clicking here.