Is the End of Big Time Sports on the Horizon?

2020 June 24
by bc3b

When I was a boy Frank Lary was one of the Detroit Tigers starting pitchers. I lived in a lower middle class neighborhood, about a half mile north of Detroit. Back then the neighborhoods in Detroit were far nicer than the ones north of the infamous Eight Mile Road. Frank Lary and his family spent several summers in a relatively small (aprox. 1,200 sq. ft.) frame home about six blocks from me.

Back then major league athletes made approximately 50% more than the average American. Most had off-season jobs to supplement their sports incomes. As late as the 1970s Hall of Famer Cal Ripken worked as a salesman in a sporting goods store during the winters. All that has changed. In 2019 the baseball Major League minimum salary was $555,000, up from $12,000 in 1970, when the average MLB salary was $29,303.

In 2018 the cost of taking a family of four to a Chicago Cubs home game was $368, more than a full day’s pay for most Americans, The average MLB salary in 2019 was $4.3 million. Players like the Tigers Miguel Cabrera, who are well past their prime and 50 pounds overweight, can command a guaranteed long-term contract paying $30-million annually. You’d think these players would be grateful, but it’s often the farthest thing from the truth. The best recent example is Tampa Bay pitcher Blake Snell.

Now, in addition to the high cost of game attendance and lack of player appreciation, players and owners are telling fans what their political and philosophical beliefs should be. Minnesota Twins owner Jim Polhad, who got his money the old-fashioned way (by inheriting it) donated $25-million to BLM and other black causes. Does anyone in their right mind actually believe that Twins fans won’t be paying the $25-million through higher prices for tickets, hot dogs and beers? Add to that, players protesting by taking a knee or demanding that fans support Black Lives Matter or reparations. An Iowa defensive back with little playing time (5 tackles in two seasons) basically told Hawkeye fans if they don’t support BLM, he doesn’t want them at the games. An NBA player player who fathered five illegitimate children by several women talked about the players “coming together as family.” Some black Texas players are demanding the football stadium’s name be changed from legendary coach Darryl Royal to the name of the first black Texas player, who had a forgettable career. Now, NASCAR and Bubba Wallace are getting into the act with the ban on Confederate flags, taking a knee and the “noose that wasn’t.” Whatever the players want, sports management/universities rush to accommodate.

Rather than catering to fans who are paying the bills, owners and players/drivers want fans to accommodate them.

There’s only one solution – a financial one. Boycott sporting events – in person and on TV. Don’t buy logo ID merchandise.

Al Kaline - Detroit Tigers - Autograph Signing August 4th, 2019

Detroit Tigers legend Al Kaline once turned down a $100,000 contract, which was far more than his team mates would be making. He told the team he “wasn’t worth it,” and negotiated down to $90,000.

45 Responses leave one →
  1. 2020 June 24 6:11 pm
    [1]
    bc3b permalink

    I was a huge NFL fan. The only games I have watched in the last three years are the Lions games when my son comes over for Thanksgiving.

  2. 2020 June 24 6:22 pm
    [2]
    Eph permalink

    BC

    Excellent post.

    Not sure why we avoided the topic for so long.

  3. 2020 June 24 6:24 pm
    [3]
    Eph permalink

    I hope a ton of MLB players sit out this 60 game “season”

    I would.

  4. 2020 June 24 6:31 pm
    [4]
    bc3b permalink

    All Al Kaline ever wanted to do was play right field for the Tigers, with whom he spent his entire career, and throw Yankees out at the plate.

  5. 2020 June 24 6:34 pm
    [5]
    bc3b permalink

    LA County Health Commissioner says protests likely caused coronavirus spike:

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/la-county-public-health-director-highly-likely-george-floyd-protests-caused-coronavirus-spike

    How long before she walks this back and tenders her resignation?

  6. 2020 June 24 6:37 pm
    [6]
    The Ghost of Reason permalink

    I coached high school football off and in for 20 years, 3 different high schools. The NFL BARELY to a back seat to church ( I have repented), and college football and basketball were close behind that….. rewind to the kneeling event. I have not watched ANY sporting event since other than high school athletics. I don’t need to be told how to think….. the Bible is a great instruction book for that.

  7. 2020 June 24 6:38 pm
    [7]
    The Ghost of Reason permalink

    We cut the cord that same year. Saved $160 a month.

  8. 2020 June 24 6:47 pm
    [8]
    bc3b permalink

    Eph #3 –

    MLB players have a far less chance of catching coronavirus than a cashier at Kroger or Safeway or a barber/stylist.

    Even at a reduced salary, it’s too good to pass up. Plus, even the shortened season, playing brings younger players a year closer to free agency, when they can demand really big bucks.

    There are far more reasons for them to play than sit.

  9. 2020 June 24 7:13 pm
    [9]
    bc3b permalink

    Ghost –

    There are more and more alternatives to cable and satellite TV – streaming and oldies channels operated through local television station signals. I am enjoying shows from the 1990s that I didn’t get to see because my kids had a practice or game every night – Coach, Walker and Home Improvement. The 1990s was the last decade when television shows weren’t pushing social issues and politics.

    My current favorite is Magnum PI, from the 1980s. The problem is that Action TV, ME-TV, etc. only secure the rights to 30-40 episodes and show 2-3 nightly so after a few weeks you’re watching “re-runs.”

    Going back to the 1970s, there’s Charlie’s Angels. Great script writing. It’s not easy coming up with a plot that involves getting Cheryl Ladd and Jacqueline Smith into a bikini or other revealing outfit every episode,

  10. 2020 June 24 8:46 pm
    [13]
    bc3b permalink

    Consider this as NASCAR’s possible game plan: Use Bubba Wallace to attract a black audience the way Tiger Woods attracted blacks to golf. Portray Wallace as a black driver suffering race discrimination at the hands of white racists and every black kid will want Bubba Wallace tee-shirts and replica race cars. NASCAR is betting that hard core (corpse if you are lurking Barack) is so hooked that they won’t desert NASCAR. Sound like a plan?

  11. 2020 June 25 2:06 am
    [14]
    JimNorCal permalink

    13, sure it’s possible they’ll thread the needle.
    Keep traditional bitter clinger fans, plus add new next gen fans of color.
    Possible. But maybe not likely.
    I, for one, am not ready to spit on my ancestors’ graves to move forward to that world. And that appears to be part of the price of admission.

  12. 2020 June 25 5:04 am
    [15]
    mulletover permalink

    There was a devastating article in the NY Post this morning on the massive miscalculation by Steve Phelps, new prez of nascar. Bubba’s noose is going to haunt him for a long time. The fool doesn’t understand his fans.

  13. 2020 June 25 5:13 am
    [16]
    drdog09 permalink

    15,

    Yes. Some NASCAR tracks are going to have corn growing in the infields.

  14. 2020 June 25 5:31 am
    [17]
    drdog09 permalink

    As a kid I was spoiled with baseball. The Pirates winter trial season was in my hometown. The Royals in the town next door. Several teams wintered on the east coast. 50c and a free car ride got ya into any game that was running that day. It was all loose. Not uncommon to have a guy like Koufax to just sit in the stands with the fans. Or during warm ups kids pitching ball with Rose. All of them just coming up in the league.

    Way too much money in it these days. I would say the same for most other headline sports. A player should get all they can get. Its the American way I suppose. But these days all you hear about is the $$ of somebody’s contract rather than their batting average or their slider against a southpaw.

  15. 2020 June 25 6:03 am
    [18]
    justrand permalink

    The demise of professional sports may be the only good thing to come out of the Covid-19 & George Floyd “perfect Storm”

  16. 2020 June 25 6:04 am
    [19]
    justrand permalink

    The media with damn few exceptions is working overtime to ignore this

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/06/strzok-strikes-again.php

  17. 2020 June 25 6:53 am
    [20]
    Eph permalink

  18. 2020 June 25 7:16 am
    [22]
    JimNorCal permalink

    It’s never a problem when it’s in someone else’s neighborhood LOL

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/382788/
    IT WOULD TAKE A HEART OF STONE NOT TO LAUGH: A Minneapolis Neighborhood Vowed to Check Its Privilege. It’s Already Being Tested.

    After the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, Ms. Albers, who is white, and many of her progressive neighbors have vowed to avoid calling law enforcement into their community. Doing so, they believed, would add to the pain that black residents of Minneapolis were feeling and could put them in danger.

    Already, that commitment is being challenged. Two weeks ago, dozens of multicolored tents appeared in the neighborhood park. They were brought by homeless people who were displaced during the unrest that gripped the city. The multiracial group of roughly 300 new residents seems to grow larger and more entrenched every day. They do laundry, listen to music and strategize about how to find permanent housing. Some are hampered by mental illness, addiction or both.

    Their presence has drawn heavy car traffic into the neighborhood, some from drug dealers. At least two residents have overdosed in the encampment and had to be taken away in ambulances.

    The influx of outsiders has kept Ms. Albers awake at night. Though it is unlikely to happen, she has had visions of people from the tent camp forcing their way into her home. She imagines using a baseball bat to defend herself.

    Not being able to call the police, as she has done for decades, has shaken her.

    “I am afraid,” she said. “I know my neighbors are around, but I’m not feeling grounded in my city at all. Anything could happen.”

  19. 2020 June 25 8:15 am
    [23]
    drdog09 permalink

    22,

    “Welcome to the party pal!”

    I am laughing at the whole thought of her laying there in bed. Bat in one hand, half empty box wine on the night table. She staring at the bedroom door in fear. Be careful what you ask for.

  20. 2020 June 25 8:17 am
    [24]
    drdog09 permalink

    21,

    More likely DNC got wind of a BLM managed assault plan for the convention.

  21. 2020 June 25 8:56 am
    [26]
    bc3b permalink

    Mullet #15 –

    Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, but it appears that Bubba Wallace is far more outspoken and militant than Tiger Woods was. No one ever knew Tiger’s politics. I can’t see Tiger going on Don Lemon’s show especially after (what should have been) a very embarrassing moment: shouting wolf after the FBI sent 15 agents and declared there was no wolf. I can’t see Tiger wearing Black Lives Matter clothing either. Everyone cheered Tiger because he was likable. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Bubba.

  22. 2020 June 25 8:58 am
    [27]
    JimNorCal permalink

    24, It’s a stark choice this year, that’s for sure.

    I think we may be on the cusp of a Darwinian extinction event. Teh Stupid self-identifies in that MN article above and also in this story below LOL

    Mitchell Erickson’s fingers began dialing 911 last week before he had a chance to even consider alternatives, when two black teenagers who looked to be 15, at most, cornered him outside his home a block away from the park.

    One of the boys pointed a gun at Mr. Erickson’s chest, demanding his car keys.

    Flustered, Mr. Erickson handed over a set, but it turned out to be house keys. The teenagers got frustrated and ran off, then stole a different car down the street.

    Mr. Erickson said later that he would not cooperate with prosecutors in a case against the boys. After the altercation, he realized that if there was anything he wanted, it was to offer them help. But he still felt it had been right to call the authorities because there was a gun involved.

    Two days after an initial conversation, his position had evolved. “Been thinking more about it,” he wrote in a text message. “I regret calling the police. It was my instinct but I wish it hadn’t been. I put those boys in danger of death by calling the cops.”

    What about the fact that the boys had put his life in danger?

    “Yeah I know and yeah it was scary but the cops didn’t really have much to add after I called them,” he replied. “I haven’t been forced to think like this before. So I would have lost my car. So what? At least no one would have been killed.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/us/minneapolis-george-floyd-police.html

  23. 2020 June 25 9:05 am
    [28]
    bc3b permalink

    drdog09 #17 –

    My dad loved baseball and, in fact, played Minor League at a very low level Class D I believe). He took me to a lot of Tigers games. ($1.50 for general admission). We tried to take in Sunday scheduled double hitters – attend mass in a downtown church and head to the ballpark – two games for the price of one.

    Back then pitchers still batted in the American League. We attended a Saturday afternoon game in which Billy Hoeft, a left handed starter, hit two home runs. He only hit three home runs in his entire career. Old Tiger (Briggs) Stadium was very kind to left handed batters if they pulled the ball. If they hit to center field, it was Death Valley.

    Billy Hoeft’s son was an Annapolis grad and had a Navy career.

  24. 2020 June 25 10:01 am
    [29]
    The Ghost of Reason permalink

    My oldest son who is now 22 and opted out of playing football at Sac St. summed it up perfectly regarding professional and college sports and why they are dying….. “….. when you realize that it’s just a game and your replacement is only a year away and you have 60+ years left and feel 40 already…. you just quit caring because ultimately you’re just a piece of meat……”. His generation is starting to wake up and realize we are right where Rome was before it fell. They may not know the history behind it because THEY ARE NOT BEING TAUGHT HISTORY ANYMORE ON PURPOSE but it just doesn’t FEEL right. God I pray that’s the case…..

  25. 2020 June 25 10:19 am
    [30]
    JimNorCal permalink

    Why the saturation of stories about Covid cases surging?

    I’m coming around to agreeing with this explanation:
    “to continue lockdowns until such time as Dems can secure a mail-in election that they can steal.”

  26. 2020 June 25 10:22 am
    [31]
    JimNorCal permalink

    Ghost, 29: well stated.

  27. 2020 June 25 11:18 am
    [32]
    drdog09 permalink

    27,

    I wonder what Mr. Erickson would have felt if by not calling the cops his neighbor had been gun downed for his lack of inaction?? A useless fool.

  28. 2020 June 25 12:52 pm
    [33]
    drdog09 permalink

  29. 2020 June 25 1:19 pm
    [34]
    bc3b permalink

  30. 2020 June 25 1:41 pm
    [35]
    drdog09 permalink

    From a poster on another blog —

    “I’m Walter Sobchak from Kansas. I’m a mechanic by trade, blogger, freedom activist and reformed street racer. I actually have been around some big fights/small riots so I’m familiar with chaos. I discovered WRSA, actually it was probably around 2014, around the time of Ferguson riots, I think via the old hcstx blog.

    The Tulsa Trump rally was really very crazy. A recent AmPart article on the antifa organization gave me a real good primer on what to look for. I have been aware of the BLM/Revcom since Ferguson. It was shocking to see the whole antifa operation on full display at work in Tulsa.

    Everything I read in the AmPart article and DTG’s recent info graphic I saw firsthand with only minor variations. Overall there was very little actual violence in Tulsa. I believe from my observations that antifas goal in Tulsa was to suppress Trump supporters from entering the rally, to give the illusion of depressed turnout and they were successful. I’ve been following these communist vermin online for years, but to actually witness the organization and scale of the antifa operation firsthand was shocking. The Trump supporters there aren’t giving them enough credit.

    I observed the ‘medics’ the black block, the bicycle scouts, everything was there. It was a milieu of shady non state actors at our hotel, which unfortunately turned out to be in the BLM staging area. I saw a guy with a revcom banner marching with the black block. I was deliberately dressed pretty ‘gray man’ so I didn’t stand out and this was a good choice, incognito. The msm media reports on Tulsa are a total fabrication and not at all what I observed. Locals I interviewed were shocked by the antifa circus, those guys definitely weren’t from around here.

    Yes I absolutely recommend that anyone else in the freedom business do what I did, go to a Trump rally. Especially if it’s in friendly territory like Tulsa. Don’t even go in, the real show is outside. The deplorables are the nicest people to street camp with pre rally. Follow the antifa around and photograph them, they hate it.

    I see the USA in chaos in 12 months. I’ve been pondering the possibility of what comes next and there’s a lot of possible outcomes but probably the ongoing cold civil war is hot by then. Neither side is going to concede this election and D voter fraud will be massive. The chaos is and will be worldwide and will only get worse.

    My best decision in the freedom business has just been being in the freedom business. Reading everything I can get my hands on, knowledge is power.

    I really wish I could have got some SIGINT at the rally. We were basically a tiny team and were able to observe and report. I listened in/scanned on an HT on Friday 19 before the rally but I didn’t hear anything. I wasn’t monitoring on the day of but I did observe that the antifa present at this event were using Baofeng or similar HT’s, the uv5r. Getting a hotel room in the middle of BLM territory was a little sketchy, more time to scout ahead of the event would have helped.

    I will definitely vote for Trump. The deplorables I talked to believe it a battle with good and evil. They are more optimistic about Trump fixing things than I am, they see him as a last chance for peace before open conflict with the communists, people I talked to anyway. It can’t hurt and it might help. He’s the anti communist vote and triggers the left, so voting Trump can’t hurt. Everyone should vote Trump in my opinion just to hopefully offset the massive dem fraud.

    Odds of open chaos and violence in 17+ states next year is probably quite high imo, the fact that communists ran an op and marched in the streets of Tulsa is crazy to me, anything is possible at this point.

    When it comes to food, water and ammo we definitely don’t have enough, no one does. I’m trying to build community, no man is an island, we are probably not making it through what’s coming alone.

    My favorite pro freedom meme has to be the roof Koreans, love the roof Koreans. We were ready to roof Korean in Tulsa if we’d had to for sure.

    It was really important for me to write this, what I saw was crazy and shocking and the media is not reporting it at all. People need to know how big, organized and well funded this antifa operation is. They were extremely successful in inciting riots a few weeks ago and they were extremely successful suppressing rally turnout. They were outnumbered by team freedom in Tulsa, if they had gone kinetic I think they would have lost badly, but they aren’t stupid, and violence wasn’t their goal.

    Intimidation was one goal and I don’t think they were succeeding at that, but the turnout suppression operation was tremendously successful. I seriously wonder if any LE saw what I did and if they have their stuff together regarding these American Viet Cong. I would not be surprised if team freedom is way ahead of them recognizing the players. I think there’s most definitely a fight coming soon, and it’s winner take all, the stakes have never been higher.”

  31. 2020 June 25 4:25 pm
    [37]
    bc3b permalink

    Ghost #29 –

    No sport has the history of debilitating injuries football has. My son played football and lacrosse in high school. He said lacrosse was much rougher, but far less dangerous.

  32. 2020 June 25 5:30 pm
    [38]
    The Ghost of Reason permalink

    A lot more stamina involved in lacrosse. Love the sport. Our son is 6’5” and about 240 in prime “season” shape. He was a two way guy. DE and TE. Pretty fast for his size so was a matchup nightmare. Best thing I ever did was to step down when he came into high school and went to another school that was slightly bigger so he could achieve all on his own without being branded coach’s kid. He takes after his mother when it comes to the smarts though. Thank God!

  33. 2020 June 25 5:58 pm
    [39]
    Eph permalink

    https://nypost.com/2020/06/23/trump-supports-second-very-generous-coronavirus-stimulus-package/

    This might be why Trump trails in FL and TX

    Does November even matter??

  34. 2020 June 25 6:04 pm
    [40]

    5 – probably already happened. lol
    19 – Yup, of course they are.
    30 – Speaking of that I got 2 calls this weeks so far from the DCCC, and 1 random jackass from from NJ# and some dem group reminding me to vote absentee.
    34 – But of course they did!
    36 – They’re done.
    39 – Or that there is insurrection an sedition all around him for 3+years, especially now, and all he does is tweet about it instead of taking actions to stop it.

  35. 2020 June 25 6:05 pm
    [41]

    27 – Now remember, that jackass votes.

  36. 2020 June 25 6:07 pm
    [42]
    drdog09 permalink

    Try rugby. Played it in college. Lots of injuries especially in the second half. Mostly bad falls, elbows to the face, that kind of thing. Lacrosse requires a lot more stamina from observation.

  37. 2020 June 25 6:28 pm
    [43]
    bc3b permalink

    Lacrosse is pretty much non-stop. My son was fortunate as a junior to play on an incredibly talented team. It won the Catholic League Championship and beat 4-5 schools 5 times its size.

    Every year there was a fight in the Romeo game as the Romeo kids could never figure how little Bishop Foley beat them by 6-7 goals. The reason: every uncoordinated boy in Romeo High was on the lacrosse team.

    Brendan’s first varsity action as a sophomore was serving a five minute penalty for a Foley player ejected for fighting in the season opener against Romeo.

  38. 2020 June 25 7:15 pm
    [44]
    Eph permalink

    40 either way I’m not getting my hopes up

  39. 2020 June 26 12:58 am
    [45]

    44 – Our turn to weep in the streets. 🙁

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