Baseball and the Media: How Fans Lose in Today's Coverage of the Game

By George Castle | Go to book overview

Preface

Baseball is the eternal game, melding past, present, and future in a sport that never dies. In fact our oldest professional sport prospers after all the knocks it takes—labor disputes, greed, venality, management incompetence, and petty politics—through the decades.

No wonder we talk about baseball 24/7/52/365. The free-agent era brought the end of the off-season as traditionally perceived. But if truth be known, baseball fans never took a month or two off. We've always talked, debated, and argued baseball year-round, even if the news slowed to a trickle. We could always time-travel to some previous era to compare present achievers with those in the good old days, which often seem more glamorous in hindsight. Now the never-ending parade of player movement and related developments provide fresh fodder even during the traditional downtime between Christmas and New Year's. As a result, for sheer athletic entertainment value, the sport provides conversational grist and analogies for other parts of life like no other. Baseball terminology pervades so many facets of life, from politics to sex.

Measure its competitors—many say its superiors. The NFL is a white-hot focus of office-cooler talk when betting pools are set up on Fridays and settled on Mondays, sandwiched around the social event of sixteen Sunday games. In between, however, these amateur gamblers are not exactly talking up the merits of the slant play. Most who call themselves NFL fans probably could not name their favorite team's starting offensive linemen or top defensive reserves. “If gambling could somehow be outlawed, football would dry up,” sportswriter-pundit-turned-travel-writer Alan Solomon said around

-vii-

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