Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Baseball-Free enterprise

I came across this setiment last night in a book by Attorney Henry D. Fetter called Taking on the Yankees - "Winning and Losing in the Business of Baseball." (Note: The book was written in the early 2000s, when the Yankees were on a run of World Series appearances.)

"Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, major league baseball has been, is, and likely will be what it has always been-the sporting world's last frontier of unbridled individualism on the field and off, a relic perhaps of a distant time, removed from the orchestrated mechinations of professional football and basketball with their owners marching in lockstep to a master plan of marketers and broadcasters."

Just some food for thought.



DrD said...

Do you agree with that?

It strikes me as sentimental and overly simplistic.

Does he mean to say that baseball doesn't cater to marketers and broadcasters?


Actually, I like the romance behind his notion, but I'm not so sure it's the "last frontier."

What about bowling? Talk about a loner sport. And golf. I think there's more "unbridled individualism" in those sports than baseball.

Just some food for thought...


Joe LaRocca said...

The purest individual sport, mentally, physically and athletically is USTA singles tennis.

Ralph said...

I guess he was talking about team sports. Anyhow, Golf is pretty sanitized these days with all the equipment technology making the players somewhat homoginized. (I'm not sure if it's the same with tennis because I don't follow it closely enough.) However,, Tiger Woods does add a wild card factor to golf, as he is just so much better than everybody else, despite the equipment. (Perhaps Federer is the same.) Bowling, you got me? It's kind of like poker, isn't it?

Getting back to baseball, I had an interesting conversation this summer with a couple of golf partners- one who had played football for Mercyhurst and the other baseball. The baseball guy was mocking the teamthink of football players and their policies like everybody taking their hats off when they went indoors. He was bragging about how baseball players think for themselves and aren't slaves to this team/army mentality.

I thought the baseball guy made a lot of good points about the mindset of baseball players. Look at Manny Ramirez for example, how long would he last in the NFL? Yeah, good team play in baseball will help you win championships, but essentially the pitcher vs. batter matchup has a lot of one-on-one to it. You don't have that in football. In football, you have to rely on your 10 other teammates to make blocks and stuff, before you can do almost anything.

etter's point is that individualist, maverick style that a baseball player can get away with, but which kills you in football, is reflected in the ownership and leagues that have been organized around the games.

That's all.



DrD said...

I get your point. Football definitely has more of a GroupThink mentality. It's the nature of the game: nobody can do anything in football by himself. But you can certainly hit solo home runs and pitch shutout innings in baseball.