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Old February 24th, 2007, 08:07 PM
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Default Has Major League Baseball Lost It's Appeal ??

I grew up playing baseball at all levels, peewee, little league, babe ruth, high school, town league, college and followed major league baseball and the players every day and they were my hero's. Some of my best times with my son was taking him to afternoon games in Oakland, in the glory years in the 80's during the week and sitting out in center field and just talking and teaching him the small details of the game. My greatest child hood memory was going to Shea Stadium in 1965 and meeting the great Willie Mays in his last game (my Dad's friend played with Willie in the old Negro Leagues)

Today, it does not seem that MLB holds the passion of my youth. I could not tell you for the most part who plays for what team and there are no hero's

Next year I am planning on going on a Jazz baseball train that will go to several major league and minor league parks in the US and on the train ride some of the great smooth jazz artist who love baseball will be performing, plus I love train rides across country

Is it just me or is major league baseball a dying art ?
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Old February 24th, 2007, 08:57 PM
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It's alive and well for me! I still love the game and have been a Cubbie fan for 30 years. I'm just want to see them go to the world series in my lifetime!

I do have to agree that a little something is lost in the game - but I think it is true for all major sports. Players don't seem to stay loyal to teams as much anymore and they go where the money is. You just start to like a player and start to follow them and all of a sudden they are gone and playing for another team. I think the days where a player stays with a team for their whole career are over.

BUT.... spring training starts in a few days and I am ready!

GO CUBS!!!
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Old February 24th, 2007, 08:59 PM
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I stopped watching after the last strike. Truthfully, more than the strike, the reason I stopped watching baseball is that the players do not stay with the same team like they used to.

I grew up as a big Dodger's fan. We had the same infield for nine years. In fact, most of the players, and managers, were there their entire careers. Today, the players change every year so who is there to root for?
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Old February 24th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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I got disgusted after the last strike myself, but when the home team wins some games, I was able to get excited again.

I believe that our youth is not interested in baseball because of the social structure that our country has grown. The football and basketball players (and the teams management) try to and accomplishes create a "gangster" mentality and that attracts the youth of our country now. Baseball, on the other hand, maintains its image as a clean, wholesome sport. Now we all know that not all baseball players are clean or wholesome, but, at least the team management doesn't try to create this image.

My 2 cents...
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Old February 24th, 2007, 09:42 PM
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Venice I agree with you.....My mom called me this past Valentines day 2/14/07 to tell me that Willie Mays was a guest speaker at their senior citizens dinner,and he talked about MLB Baseball then,and how it is now.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 01:55 AM
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Mehawk...I think the media 24 hour coverage (ESPN et el) of all sports has alot to do with the unmasking of the human failures in sports. The history of baseball is one of great hypocrisy but the various commissioners of baseball had such power over the media in those days, that, you are correct, the projection of a "clean sport" with each team having it's hero's was maintained. I am a native New Yorker but I never liked the Yankees because they along with the Boston Red Soxs, were one of the last teams to integrate. The off the field exploits of baseball stars were covered up in their day but would be fully exposed in today's standards. My grandfather played in the old Negro Leagues and was so proud when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier but if he were alive today, would be sadden to see the lack of African Americans in MLB.

No major league team in New Orleans but we do have a minor league team and a beautiful ball park that provides great family entertainment at very affordable prices and outside of soccer, is the only sport that a family can still afford to go to, which I think was a great part of the appeal of baseball..where have you gone Joe D and Willie M and Mickey and Bob Gibson and Tom Seaver
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Old February 25th, 2007, 03:55 AM
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Venice,

Unfortunately, too many of the greats have taken the easy way. Too many of the greats have gone the way of the needle.........

And didn't I read recently that Barry Bonds received a hero's welcome?

That's what's gone wrong with baseball..........

Dean
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Old February 25th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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Dean, I agree..and of all athletes, Bonds should understand the great responsiblity and opportunity he had been blessed with. His Dad and Godfather (Willie Mays) must be disappointed

MLB needs to work on it's image and it should start at the grass roots level with our young people. I don't know of any young athletes that want to grow up to be a professional major league ball player. It's interesting, when you visit Latin America, it's still perceived by their youth that MLB is the way out and they appear to have their ball players as hero's and role models

It's the one league where you can have an extended career and make good money and not be injured for life
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Old February 25th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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We are Reds fans, but seldom go to Cincy for games. We don't like the new stadium--and hour's drive from home, faraway&expensive parking, expensive tickets and concessions with long lines. We went with a group on a bus 4 years ago and people who left to get something to drink missed 3 innings.
We have a single A farm team here, the Dayton Dragons. We would much rather go to those games and see the big leaguers of tomorrow. The seats are close to the field, some parking is free and the tickets are not too expensive. The problem for a lot of people is the games have been sold out every season since the first, 2000. However, lawn seats are usually available and those fans can move into empty seats from the blocks of corporate season tickets that aren't being used.
After being lucky enough to get tickets from neighbors for years, we were dismayed when they moved in July of '05. But my name came up on the waiting list and we had a 17-game package last year. This year they moved our seats to behind home plate.
They have two mascots and fun, humorous activities every half-inning.
We don't expect lots of wins because the players are just starting out and some get moved up, which depletes the team. It's just fun to be there.
We do get a kick out of seeing Adam Dunn and the other current big leaguers who played here, because we know them "when".
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Old February 25th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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It's alive and well with me. I'm a long time Cardinal's fan and when they won the World Series last year it was thrilling for me. I think the image is that the sport is losing it's attraction but the attendance figures don't support that image. Attendance is up.

I believe the talent level has been diluted with the expansion in the past years. Before you had Arizona, Florida, Tampa, et. al. there were fewer teams vying for the best talent. Currently the teams are finding talent in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and other Latino hot spots where the youth there know their best opportunity to make millions lies in their ability to field and hit.

Regards,
Thomas
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Old February 25th, 2007, 03:52 PM
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Default Loss of Interest in MLB---You have to be kidding

We are members of Red Sox Nation....here in Boston... and there are members spread throughout the country.. Go to any game where the Red Sox are playing and you will find much to the dismay of the home team a preponderance of Red Sox Fans..Try getting a ticket for a Red Sox game in Boston... impossible...outrageously priced... David Wells who just left Boston loved it here, but he complained intodays paper that the fans were knowledgable and he and his family had no privacy...whereas in other cities.. it was just a game.. Baseball is not just a GAME in Boston it is "life:.. David "Papi" Ortiz is deservedly worshipped on and off the field for the things he does for children here and in the D.R., Manny, well, Manny being Manny somedays can't stand the heat he gets when he goofs off...from fans and the media.. The newest Dice-K...well, you can't see him for the Japanese media surroundign him even if he isn't doing anything... Jason Varitek..the heart of the team and wiitout hinm the team fell apart.. As for kids.playing ball here.. we have so many leagues I hate to see that there aren't anymore pick upgames in the streets the way there used to be. Oh yes, Parrot Pop played college baseball as a third baseman..
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Old February 25th, 2007, 07:51 PM
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Parrot Mom..you'll love this story..My GF and I were on the Zuiderdam during the Red Sox and Yankee playoffs..When we boarded on Sunday the Yankees were up in the series and there were alot of fans from both cities onboard..The bars were packed every night glued to the tv..When the tide turned for your team, the red sock fans went crazy and the Yankee fans were in total shock abd took alot of ribbing both in fun

By the end of the cruise the entire ship were Red Sox fans..can't escape that bitter rivalry even on a cruise ship
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Old February 25th, 2007, 08:48 PM
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We were on the Elation two years ago and we watched the Astros moving into the Series. Most everyone on the ship and especially those in the grill area were from Texas and were cheering for the Astros!
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Old February 26th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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Well, it is alive for me. I pretty much live, and breath Red Sox during the season - only 36 days I think till opening day! Praise the Lord.

I feel a little depressed once the season ends, and now when I think about how close it is to opening day my heart starts to race.
I have to be careful, I guess I'm an obssesive person (see post about magazines) but I could easily go the way of the Jimmy Fallon character in the movie Fever Pitch.

Red Sox nation is alive and well, not just in Boston, or only in Mass - but throughout New England.

My family are huge fans.

My sil waitresses in Boston (and teaches nearby) she gets to wait on some of the players. They are followed pretty closely. I love Jason Veritech and Big Papi. I'm always sad when some of my favorites get traded way. I really missed Mueller this year and Arroyo, and several others, and I will really miss Trot this year. I won't mention JD who went over to the evil Empire.

These players seem to really give back, and many of the fans in turn follow their example as well.

I might just have to wear a Red Sox shirt today, Guess I gotta go change,
cuz i feel the Fever.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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I think baseball has sunk some in public esteem. For us Philly fans hope is abloom this spring and we should have a team that will best the New York Geriatrics errrrrrr I mean Mets in the NL East. . We have last years MVP in Ryan Howard and Chase Utley has been signed long term. Our bullpen is the big question.

As far as African American players, Venice, two of our three real big stars are: Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Doug...less then 8% of all MLB players are African Americans which is a sad commentary considering that following integration of the big leagues, baseball at it's peak in the 60" had almost 45% (with the exception of Boston which was the last MLB team to integrate)..To MLB credit, they have started a program in large inter city urban centers to encourage inner city youth to play baseball (remember the little league team from Harlem a few years ago that played in the Little League World Series)..I grew up in the country which has grass and open fields and a strong (ironic) baseball connection to Boston (Jimmie Fox) and Pittsburgh (Steve Blass)

Today, Latin players dominate MLB which probably has great connotations to how sports is still a way out of poverty..

It's ironic that Curt Flood, who fought for free agency that has resulted in MLB players having huge contracts was black balled by MLB and never received the recognition for his courage.

In almost any professional sport league today, few players acknowledge the sacrifices of players that paved the way for them.

I've always told my son if he were going to pursue a professional sports career, be a pro golfer..wonder why the PGA still has only one African American player (Tiger Woods)
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Old February 26th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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I did not realize that the number had deteriorated that dramatically. I would have to say in urban areas that would be because basketball has reached near religious levels to the exclusion of almost all other sports, although a significant number of African Americans play football.

Heck Venice, not a lot of white kids can afford to become golfers. I recall only a handful of African American golfers (Lee Elder only immediately comes to mind.)

Even NASCAR is making an effort to diversify. Many NASCAR fans have heard the NASCAR Black History Month promotioal commerical honoring the handful of African American drivers past and present. They are encouraging teams to seek and train minority drivers.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 03:22 PM
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Doug, good point about NASCAR..I once read a book about the great Yankee Clipper Joe D and Mickey Mantle and how they both played baseball as a way to escape poverty and their demanding fathers

Sports has always served as the great social equailizer and in the forefront of social change. I often wonder if today's youths spend too much time on the computer(internet) compounded with public school systems cutting back on sports and music due to budget cuts, which results in a whole generation of youth being out of shape which leads to health problems in later life.

My parents used my love of playing sports as a leverage to make sure that I did my homework and kept up my grades. What baseball did was keep my dream alive because when I stopped growing in the 10th grade I knew I could not become a professional football or basketball player, but little guys could still make it in the big leagues (as long as they could hit a curve ball). I could remember my grandfather telling me stories when I was little about when he played in the old Negro Leagues and barnstormed across the country in the late 1930's

Doug, have you ever been to Cooperstown ? I went to the Hall of Fame induction when my hero Tom Seaver was inducted...What a rotation the New York Mets once had..Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gary Gentry and a young fireballer Nolan Ryan
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