The Book of Mike

"This is no junior college. This is the notorious University of Miami.” -- Marlins starter Dontrelle Willis, after getting knocked around for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Canes.

Friday, April 30, 2004


I don’t care anymore. I simply don’t care. David Samson can comp Joe Arriola as many front row tickets as he wants in exchange for financing for a new baseball stadium, and I won’t care. I won’t think about it; I won’t write about it. Obviously, there’s a business side to baseball; I’m just choosing not to partake in it anymore.

I don’t care if you think that ball players are paid too much money. I haven’t seen a club go out of business because of the high salaries recently. If you’re hear reading this, you’ve probably contributed to it a time or two by paying much more than you used to go to a game. I do it too – all the time, and I don’t have a problem with it. Actually, I quite enjoy it and I find it to be a pleasurable way to spend my disposable income and leisure time.

I also don’t care anymore if you think that $8 for a beer and $4 for a bag of peanuts is too much to pay for food at a ball park. If you were stupid enough to pay your hard earned money to watch me work, I would charge you at least that much for a beer and peanuts. Actually, I would probably charge you more because you’re obviously a sucker and you have plenty of money.

I do have a problem with charging exorbitant amounts of money for water at the stadium, particularly when you are not allowed to bring in your own water, since it’s necessary for people to consumer water when they’re sitting in the hot sun, but I’m letting that go now too.

Baseball is fun and it’s a leisure activity. It’s not life and death. It’s not something that should stress you out or bother you. It’s fun. And I’m going to make sure that it continues to be that for me because I’m not going to let the annoying things off the field issues bother me anymore. I’m probably going to even stop reading about them.

Think of all the benefits this will bring to me: chief amongst these benefits is that when I come upon diminutive Marlins President David Samson in the bowels of Pro Player Stadium next time, I will have much less reason to worry about him approaching me, jumping up in front of me, and punching me in the shin, because I will have eliminated my opportunities to offend him on this site. This alone is of immeasurable value to me. David Samson is one of the most annoying figures in sports that I can remember encountering in my lifetime. Luckily though, he is not the general manager and appears to have little, if any, input into the product that is put on to the field. Yes, I’m sure he plays a large role in establishing budgets, but I don’t think he has much of a say as to who will be called up from AA or AAA, or who should be taken in the first round of the draft. For this, I am grateful.

Instead of wasting my time worrying and wondering about whether the Marlins will receive financing for a new baseball stadium in Miami, or if they will have to perpetuate rumors about leaving town, or if they are able to secure financing which schools and hospitals will ultimately receive less funding because of it, I am just going to enjoy baseball. In case you missed it, there are lots of wonderful things going on this year: the World Champion Florida Marlins have the best record in baseball, Barry Bonds is redefining what it is to dominate a game, new palaces of baseball were opened in Philadelphia and San Diego, and by my estimation, competitive balance is at a relative peak.

There are lots of fun things going on in baseball right now and I’m going to enjoy them. If you want think baseball is “big business” I’ve got news for you. Yes, there’s “big” money involved, but it’s all relative. Relative to real industry, major league baseball is small potatoes. Even to the owners of major league teams, the transactions involved in their baseball organizations are often small change compared to the mega-conglomerates they run and the personal fortunes they manage. If you enjoy reading about the business and politics of baseball, there’s plenty of interesting news to keep up with that includes bigger numbers followed by dollar signs and more intriguing commentary, as these operations are generally better and more professionally run; so, instead of keeping up with business in the sports pages, check out something like this.

Oh, and by the way, in case you missed it yesterday, the Giants did pitch to Barry. Well, sort of. Bonds batted in the second inning yesterday (leading off the inning) and singled). He was also walked twice, once intentionally. During another at bat, with no one on, Bonds homered on a curveball from Brad Penny. Granted, it wasn’t a great pitch, but it wasn’t a hanger either. Penny’s pitch was over the heart of the plate, but Bonds hit it as if he knew it was coming. Hopefully the Marlins will challenge him again tonight. That should make for some exciting baseball.


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