Right Question

Asking the right question is usually more productive than trying to prove the right answer.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Whither Baseball?

The latest “top story” on the cable news networks are now covering the Congressional hearings on steroid use in professional sports. In principle, there are all sorts of good topics here -- where to draw the line on acceptable "training" techniques; the moral responsibilities of role models; whether any of this is an appropriate topic for Congressional hearings and federal regulation at all -- but good luck finding any of that on the news channels. The main topic here is Canseco's tell-all book and the he-said/she-said denials of the other players, the bigger the celebrity the better. George Will is a notable exception. He can always be counted on to care passionately when baseball is involved: here and more recently here. The main difference, of course, is that he hasn't just discovered the issue this week, and won't forget about it in another twelve hours when there's a new revelation about Michael Jackson's pajamas.

Major League Baseball is now at a crossroads. Will major league baseball continue to be a part of our national pastime, part of a continuum with every little league program and weekend softball team in America, or will it become just another part of the entertainment industry, along with surgically enhanced supermodels and choreographed wrestling matches?


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