Poker Update and Baseball Debate iii...

This is mostly a poker blog. And 90% of the content is about that, but taking a little break from Texas Hold em poker and some other issues I've decided to reprint this lengthy debate. If it holds any interest good, if not, I'll see you in few posts.

Then I'll be talking about poker tournaments at the IP. The fact GCP's bloggers are on a bit of heater headlined by the recent successes of Monkey, Jonathan Little, Shannon Shorr and Kai Landry.

Me: Look, I loved the Phillies in October, and it was exciting to see the Red Sox get over the hump a couple of years back but you can keep the rest of the season. I'd rather watch a meaningless NBA or NHL game--at least something happens. Live baseball can be fun... but only because you don't have to pay attention, but as sports are now a TV game, baseball will go the way of cricket, and pretty soon that's all you'll hear in a broadcast... crickets, well, also the snores of your children.

Him: Then why does baseball attendance increase year after year? Baseball's revenues are strong, much stronger than the NBA's, who is talking contraction. Baseball has the fan base, but you don't see it in New Orleans, a city that does not have ...a major league team. Even though the Patriots are the most dominant team in the last decade, the Red Sox are still the kings of the town.

Even though the Giants won a Super Bowl, it is all about the Yankees, and to a lesser extent the Mets. St. Louis and Chicago are baseball towns. Los Angeles lost their football teams, but baseball flourishes there. Even when I visit smaller market areas, like Pittsburgh where football should be king, there is talk about the Pirates and when will the get better. Baseball is strong because it has a long season. A family can still afford to go to a baseball game, whereas the other sports have priced themselves out.

Baseball will continue to be America's game because of the history of the game. I would guess more people could tell you who played in the World Series last year, 2 years ago, 40 years ago, than the Super Bowl. Why? Because more people have baseball ingrained in the mind. As a culture, it represents the American public in a greater way than football. Baseball is a melting pot. From when Jackie Robinson first played, to the Latin stars, to the Asian players that are now playing, baseball offers an opportunity for people to play.

And while I can't deny that football can be exciting, it also suffers the same maladies that you claim baseball has. Being at a football game is not as much fun as being at a baseball game. You are too far away from the field of action in most cases. For baseball, there is a chance for history to happen almost every game, with a no hitter, a perfect game, and if you want to look at hitting, there is the home run. Now one could claim the steroid era took away from some of the purity of the game. Kind of like how some people claim that when Maris broke Babe Ruth's 60 home run mark in 1961 it shouldn't count. Steroids were a part of baseball.

Balls were hit farther, but you still had to have the talent to hit the ball. Steroids make you stronger, and that in noncontroversial, but even people who took them were not always stars. In fact most were athletes who might not have made it without them. For every Bonds, I can give you a Griffey. For every McGwire, I can give you a Pujols. For every Clemens, I can give you a Pedro. You look at the negative in this argument, and forget that it is a great sport. You complain that the season is too long, and I see that as one of the great things about baseball. You talk about the steroid scandals, but that happens in football as well.


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