For Fun Or For Money This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The sport of baseball is, of course, not only a sport, but also a business. Recently the balance between the fun of the game and the revenues collected has been slanted toward the dollar. And yes, one could argue that the players are too greedy, the owners are too greedy - and they are probably right in some instances. But money can hurt baseball in worse ways than causing an underlying tendency for players to go for the green. Where money can really hurt baseball is in competition.

As the 1999 baseball season opens, the Yankees look to be an untouchable force. With a World Series victory last year, they have more than enough funds to solidify their team and acquire new players. This is quite evident with the recent purchase of Roger Clemens. To understand what money can do to eliminate competition, one must remember when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. With this acquisition the team went on to dominate baseball for that entire decade.

What money does is create a cycle that is difficult to break. A team starts winning, their ticket and promotion sales go up and they have a few extra bucks to pick up some star players. Then they win a few pennants or a World Series and receive that much more money. They keep buying big-name players which widens the gap between them and second place.

Look at the American League East this year. Most reporters have already given it to the Yankees. In a local sports program they were discussing the Red Sox's chances of winning the wild card. This must be because the Yankees are building a ball club that can't possibly be beat. But we'll have to sit back and watch how the season plays out. I just hope for baseball's sake that no one team runs away with the championship and a balance can be reached between the business and sporting aspects of the national pastime. ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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