The Commercialization of Sports

A blog article by Bonniejean Alford (Educator, Activist, World Citizen)

I love Baseball.  My husband doesn’t believe me, but I do.

Well, maybe the truth is that I once loved Baseball.

There was a time when I lived for the sport, collecting Baseball cards for the best players and watching every game.  But something has changed in the way Baseball, as well as other sports, do their business.

And in that statement lies the answer, it has become a business.

This isn’t to say that when Mr. Wrigley ran the Cubs and named Wrigley field there wasn’t a focus on making money.  There most definitely was.

But the sport was a past-time.  It was something people did because they loved it and not to make that multi-million dollar salary that is so commonly expected today.  There was a time when players joined a team and were loyal to that team for the duration of their career without jumping from team to team for the highest payout.  Trading players was a big deal back in the day and very rarely done and only at the discretion of the team and not the player.

This, of course, was before my time.

In my youth, however, I remember team loyalty.  I remember players sticking it out.  This was the time when “free agency” was still a fairly new thing.  Now, it is common practice to play only for the highest bidder.  Players don’t have team loyalty, let alone fan loyalty.  It is only about branding them for the win.  And if they don’t win, they have to find the commercial value in the battle to win.

America’s past-time is no longer fun.  How can I love a sport that puts profits above loyalty? How can I admire players that are concerned more with their paycheck then the sport and its fans?

What made it fun when I was a kid was watching people who enjoyed something do that thing for the world to see.  Now you see guys who will admit that they don’t enjoy playing Baseball at all, they just happen to be good at it so why not make millions of dollars.

I recall learning about the women’s baseball league after I saw the film “A League of Their Own” which was made to commemorate the league.  These women loved the sport so much that they wore short skirts and dealt with further sexualization of women just to be able to play in an arena that was viewed by the masses rather than merely in the small towns across America.  This is what the sport is supposed to be about.  The love for the game and the competition to be the best at the sport you play.

While Wrigley may have been one of the first to commercialize his team (Wrigley gum) it really was not about that.  It was about a man named Wrigley who loved a sport so much he put his name on their ball park.  He just happened to also sell gum.  Today’s trend of sponsorship and blatant commercialism is sickening and takes away from the joy of the sport.  I will always be a Baseball fan, and I will always have my teams of preference, to which I will always be loyal, but I don’t have to like the entity that the arena of sports has become.

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105 thoughts on “The Commercialization of Sports

  1. I am a die-hard Cubs Fan! Always was and always will be!

    You can stop laughing now!

    Sports…not a subject close to my heart, but one that is so fun to talk about.

    Being from Chicago has made it very hard to remain a fan. Our teams have had their ups and downs. The Chicago Bears and the Superbowl Shuffle! I will never forget that time. The Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan! I loved going to watch him play. The Chicago White Sox, well…okay, I was happy for their World Series win, sort of. Did I mention I am a Cubs fan?

    I agree with your feelings on the commercialization of sports. It is too bad that the love of the game is missing. It is too bad that sports legends and icons, heroes to young boys and girls, leave their team that has supported them to play for a rival team for the love of money.

    It seems as though the higher the salaries get, the more problems that follow these athletes.

    One other thing I find appalling in sports, besides their paychecks, the price of a ticket. I think it is sad when the stadium seats are mostly filled with adults. Today it is too expensive to take kids to a game. Recently, during my visit to Mall of America Stadium in Minnesota, we paid $10.00 for an order of nachos and a soft pretzel. We spent close to $100.00 in foam fingers and banners. Not to mention the price of the tickets themselves. A family of four would spend close to $1000.00 to spend three hours of fun to hopefully watch their team get a victory. You stand a 50/50 chance, unless of course you are from Chicago. I am not sure what our odds are.

    I do go to the games, I will spend the money. I love the roar of the crowd. I love the National Athem, it gives me chills every time. I love the mascots and silly games they play with the audience. Funny, I love everything except the players. Unless I am at a Cubs game! Then I just love everything!

  2. I agree to an extent with the views shared in this article. Baseball and even professional sports in general seem to come off as fake nowadays. Players simply use their god given talents as a means to get into the celebrity lifestyle. I participate in a fantasy football league and within the league, it is common for participants to second doubt a players willpower once they sign a lucrative contract with the team they’re currently with. While it is common to find the player who is simply playing the sport as a means of paying the bills, it is certainly common to also find the player who is simply playing for the love of the game. Take Brett Favre for instance. Brett Favre has made enough money through his long lived football career, as well as through other endorsements, to grant him a lifetime of comfort. Yet the press is still swamped with the cliffhanger of his alleged retirement seemingly every off-season. Favre doesn’t care what people think of him, he simply wants to go out and play the game. You can tell by his body language on the field after he scores that he is just out there having fun. Even if he didn’t get the millions that come with the job, he would still find a way to suit up on Sundays. Albeit some do play professional sports simply for the spoils and riches, it is unfair to accuse the entire athletic community of being fraudulent in their love for the game. Players may not be entirely wholehearted in their efforts on the playing field, but they still make sporting events exciting to watch.

    1. Leave it to a guy who wears packers gear to use Brett Farve as an example. But I have to agree that Farve truly represents the statement, “For the love of the game”. With that I have to let Debbie know that her money was well spent, because Brett Favre is a truly rare athlete in today’s standards. So many athletes take for granted the opportunity they have that it occasionally does make it difficult for me to enjoy the greatest entertainment known to man.

      1. Brett Favre is the definition of love for the game, no doubt about it. Professional football players take so much physical abuse and Favre had done it for twenty years in the game. His last couple years showed dedication to trying to win that last super bowl, not just for the money. He just could not stop playing. Right now, professional athletes are very young in age and what they care about is how much money they are making and not the opportunity to win or play the game they’re supposed to love.

  3. I can really see where you are coming from, and I completely agree with this blog. I’ve been watching sports, mainly soccer and football since I was a little kid, and it’s true that there’s really no loyalty to teams. It’s really just a matter of playing out your contract nowadays. I wish there was pride in your city for which you play for now – players from the city playing for their own teams and representing where they are from. But nowadays it really is about who’s willing to belt out the fatter check, and it makes sports lose some of their luster when one season you’re watching someone represent your city with pride, and then the next season wearing the jersey of another team just because they drafted you or offered the bigger check. It’s kind of sad, but that’s how sports are nowadays, at least in the United States, I couldn’t tell you about any other countries and how they do it besides soccer. For the most part there a significant difference when it comes to players playing for THEIR team, and being proud of the colors they are wearing.

    1. I agree completely for example. Dwight Howard for the Orlando Magic. He does not want to play for the Magic anymore. For the sole reason of he wants more money and he wants a better team to play on so he can win a championship, which is not for the love of the game. When you leave a team for the sole reason to win it is not for the love of the game because everyone knows that when you win a championship you also win a lot of money.

  4. I can likely say that my infatuation with baseball started young. But notice the verbage, “with baseball.” Not with the Cubs. Although I was raised a Cubs Fan, my love for the sport of baseball has always outweighed my love for any particular team. Yes, I bleed Red and Blue.. but it’s the love of the game that gets me every time. Sure, every player is in search of the team who offers the biggest paycheck, however, I can’t seem to bother myself with that. I appreciate baseball just for the sheer talent that I get to watch put to use as soon as that first pitch is thrown. Frankly, the last thing I look at is the number on the back of a players jersey. I do look eventually though. It can definitely be frustrating to lose players on a team just as they are coming together. Cubs Fans, cheer at your own risk. But instead of becoming agitated and assuming that baseball has lost its spirit altogether, cheer on those players who are truly spectacular; and cheer for the teams that have the honor of employing your favorite athlete. Derive the spirit of the game from where I think it originally began, rooting for a team that can do well and play good baseball!

    Rather than root for a team, root for baseball!

    1. I agree baseball should not be all about individual players. It should be more about the team as a whole and how they come together and play as a team. I agree it is very hard when a team loses a great player, however, sometimes it is for the best. Whether they are not playing well with the team or not. It should be more about the team as a whole not about specific players.

  5. Today’s sports have taken commercialization to a new level. What was once Comiskey Field is now US Cellular field, and the same has happened to other stadiums across the country. Every athlete in every sport including sports that do not require teams such as fishing follow the money of sponsors. I am an avid fisherman and follow the tournament results. It seems that every season some of the anglers I follow have different sponsor logos on their boat and jerseys. Even if it is not about the money on the field of what team they play for, most major athletes are also approached about endorsement deals and they willingly follow and accept the highest bidder in that forum.

    1. I agree that many athletes choose to also take endorsement opportunities. Some may think it’s wrong to “exploit” our athletes for the sole purpose of marketing a product, but isn’t this Functionalism at its best? One could say that without one, we can’t have the other. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a box of Wheaties? I know for me, it’s Michael Jordan. Wheaties cereal is just your typical corn flake type breakfast meal, that in most circumstances would easily be looked over when faced with sugary competitors like Lucky Charms. However, as soon as someone decided to stick famous athletes and other celebrities on the front of the box, Wheaties became a household phenomenon with kids, regardless of how delicious it was.

      Most products of all types these days employ a spokesperson.
      Some call them sell-outs, I just call them smart!

  6. I have absolutely no problem with athletes being paid millions of dollars. In any other profession, someone in the top one percent of their field would expect to be heavily compensated for their efforts. The best businessmen are billionaires. The top artists, whether they be writers, painters, sculptors, or musicians make millions. As do the top doctors, politicians, professors, and chefs. The cut the athletes get is a minute fraction of what the owners of the franchises they play for receive in revenues. Although those revenues may be steep due to ticket prices, food prices, merchandising and anything else they can sell, we have no one to blame but ourselves. I love sports, and consider myself a die hard cubs fan, but I never spend too much money in my support. I own one overpriced jersey, and go to games only if the tickets are gifts. Other than that, I support my team perfectly fine from the comfort of my own home, with friends, in front of an overpriced television. When the people decide to stop paying ridiculous prices to go to games, maybe the ticket prices will deplete. It is a simple rule of economics that anything, even a piece of paper, is worth whatever someone is willing to pay, and if so many people are willing to pay such ridiculous prices for tickets, then the tickets are worth those outrageous prices. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

    1. I have to agree that we are the ones to blame. I am guilty of paying high prices for tickets for my kids to see the teams they love. I still however, think it is sad that not everyone can afford to see a game because tickets are so high. Athletes can become heroes to some and imagine the excitement of watching your hero play a game in person and not on TV. I remember the excitement of my first concert, 33 years ago, and to this day it is one of my fondest memories.

      If we keep the price of tickets so high, and families cannot afford to take kids to a game, kids may lose the excitement. In a perfect world we would all give a little bit. Lower wages, lower priced tickets and families being able to afford the seats, along with purchasing some merchandise. I am sure athletes can get by on a couple million less a year.

  7. I agree with Bonniejean about the lack of team loyalty among athletes. Players more often than not opt to take the higher salary rather than stay with a team to work toward a championship. I don’t understand how a person could turn their back on millions of loyal fans just for a couple million, when they already have money in the bank. It must be because they realize the fans will be just as welcoming elsewhere, and there will probably be another endorsement deal as MaeK pointed out. I will keep spending money to go to baseball games though, because I love the game, even if they don’t.

    1. I love watching baseball. We have season tickets to the Cubs even though we are White Sox fans, solely because the White Sox have not dropped their ticket prices since they have won the World Series. I however, cannot understand, as many others have pointed out, how a player can turn their backs on such a huge group of people that love them so much for the sole reason that is to get a few more millions of dollars.

  8. Well I’m not a baseball fan because I feel the game lasts too long. I recall when I was a young girl in school baseball tickets were given to students that made As and Bs on their report card. I may have received four or five free tickets and had no one to take me. My mother would have liked to take me but she couldn’t pay for herself or my sister to attend the game. So that had a lot to do with me not appreciating the game. Over the years I’ve adapted to the love of the game after marrying a man that loved the game and every game that can be played professionally. He gave in house classes on what was going on in the game whether I wanted to hear about it or not. His take on baseball was that this started blacks to be recognized as sports men in the world’s view. All sports today deals with this money and trading of players that to me makes no sense. If I play for the bulls this year I may then the following year, one would be with the Lakers. How do they keep from knowing the plays from one another. This seems like a disadvantage for both teams so the next thing is to play for the money. Money would have to be the goal now due to the way they rotate the team members.

  9. I am a huge baseball fan and I totally agree with how it’s changing. I remember when I could go down and get a ticket to a game for 10 bucks and now since a team is winning more the prices have to go up just so they can make the money. What happened to just enjoying baseball? A lot of guys today just do it for the money and some of these contracts are completely ridiculous and many people are envious of them. I just don’t get why people demand so much money just to play a sport that isn’t even year round. Now I don’t know much about old baseball, but I know it wasn’t anything like how it is today, I will continue to love the game and watch it, just sometimes things about it now make me sick

  10. I completely agree that baseball is a completely different sport than it was years ago. I do think that there are players who don’t play into the salary as much as others do. Players like Kerry Wood who played the majority of his career in Chicago with the Cubs are loyal to their teams. There are salary hungry players that’s not a question but older guys like Jamie Moyer who is 48 years old is still pitching because he loves the game. The annoying signs and weird names of ball parks because of sponsors is annoying but that sadly is part of the game and sport today. The prices of everything goes up season by season based on how strong the franchises are and who they play. A plus to sponsorship is that it brings in more revenue and allows teams to get better players on their payroll.

  11. Baseball and sports has in fact grown to become a mash up of commercialization and drama. The players today are no longer about “playing the sport,” nowadays the more players make the more they act like brats. With the amount they pay athletes in these days, their loyalty is in fact determined by the highest bidder. I’ve seen many players look past teams they’ve claimed they’ve always wanted to play for because another team gave him an extra million on his contract. The loyalty factor is gone, players do not care about loyalty, especially the star athletes. A prime example of this is Milton Bradley. Last year Bradley had joined the Cubs 2009 season and it’s fair to say that he had one of the worst seasons in his career. He claimed it was the Cubs/Chicago’s fault he had such a bad year and he wanted out. This shows that the loyalty factor is gone, players have become so self centered that their willing to blame others for their faults instead of embracing them as a family and team. This trend also effects future players, the youth. When the youth want to pursue sports as a career they know that their is much money to be made in sports. So instead of getting an education they put all their efforts in to sports and training neglecting any form of education/future insurance. Not only the players but the schools focus most of their money and power on sports athletes and sports equipment. Colleges and high schools put so much into sports instead of focusing on their main goal which is education. Sports has allowed for educational facilities to have the mindset that the more sports stars we create the more people will come rather than the more scholarly and educated we produce the more they will come.

  12. As a diehard Sox fan, I may be slightly biased in this response. However, I believe that the Cubs are a prime example of corporate sponsorships ruining our national pastime. Being owned by WGN for years, the team was focused solely on filling seats, selling beer, and making a profit. In this sense, less emphasis was placed on winning, and more on making money. Obivously, the two go hand in hand under normal cirucmstances, but the Cubs seemed to be able to sell out year after year, without producing in the playoffs. It amazes me that WGN was able to create a mystique about the Cubs that turned out fans for a losing ballclub. Unfortunately, this is what happened. People were spending their hardearned money on seats, refreshments, and souveneirs for a team that couldn’t produce a championship. More emphasis needs to be placed on the competition of the sport, rather than just a business venture.

    1. I agree with the first part of your statement. However, I would like to bring to light another situation regarding the Cubs. Whenever one attends a Cubs game it is, from what I can observe, more about getting drunk and just getting really stupid and less about the team and supporting them all the way. It should be more about the team that the fans are going to see and less about the other fans in the arena/stadium.

      1. I don’t necessarly agree with your comment Kevin. The thing that makes Wrigley field so special is the atmosphere inside the ball park. While you are always going to have your idiot drunk fans, for the most part the cubs fan base is very passionate about their team. They haven’t won a championship in over a hundred years and you still see Wrigley sold out. The fans are there to support the team, not to drink. But the ones that do drink, well maybe they drink because the team has been so bad as of late lol.

  13. I completely agree with this. I LOVE baseball, football, and hockey, but when it comes to game times, it’s all about money. You cannot walk through the gates of a field without being pestered to buy something that just has marketing information all over it. Sports should be about the fun of the game, the intensity of whose going to win, if your team can still have a fighting chance if their losing, watching them completely demolish the other team on the score board, and so-on. Instead it’s money, money, money; even historical fields have lost parts of their history with being bought out by companies. It’s the economical problem we face- everyone fighting to be on-top – right in front of our faces, taking over something all American’s love.

    1. I agree money has definitely taken over a huge part of sports nowadays. A lot of players do care about the game and not the money but a lot are the opposite. I mean how hard could some of these players take losses if they come home to enormous houses and nice cars. Also you cant watch a game on television without seeing sponsors or ads all over the stadium or players jerseys. Just watch hockey where have the ads all around the boards, soccer where they had ads on the players jerseys, and baseball where they have ads on the outfield walls and behind home plate.

  14. I completely agree with Bonniejean, now a days there’s no loyalty for the teams in sports because of the economy we live in today. Before sports were for people who loved sports and they would be loyal to their team but everything has changed and now it’s all about money, money, and money. When it comes to sports, I love to try new things and try my best at everything. If I like the sport then I stick to it not jump from one team to another because of the money it’s because of the love of the sport. Sports should be made for fun and not for money, because of money people have become greedy and only focus on one thing and loyalty isn’t one of them anymore.

  15. I see where you are coming from and I totally agree. Baseball and sports in general have all become businesses. Within spprts today, in any sport there are only a few athletes that actually love the sport and would continue to play that sport without being paid millions. I am also a Cubs’ fan and still am. Cubs’ fans are the most loyal fans baseball has, for obvious reasons! As a Cubs’ fan and being so loyal to the cubs franchise, it is hard to see some people play for the team, knowing its really just for the money. As sports fans you love to see athletes such a Magic Johnson or Larry Bird play for your team. This is so because every time they went out on the court it was to win and win for the fans. Yes, they still made good money, but nothing close to what players make today. Athletes such as Magic Johnson would still have ran out onto that court everyday no matter what they were being paid, because they loved the sport with all their might. As a sports’ fan it’s also hard to go through lockouts, such as with the NBA last year. The fans had to miss half a season because the players and owners were arguing over who should get the greater amount of money! As a fan this takes away from your respect for the league and for the players. Problems such as that lead to fans losing interest in the sport all together. Sports’ fans love to see the loyalty the players have for the team and the fans because it makes us, the fans, feel as a member of the “clubhouse!” So as sports continue to become more of a business than a sport, fans begin to lose interest and respect for the franchises and its players. Athletes who are now stars, who just play the sport for money also impact the youth, who are the future of sports. In today’s world, young up and coming athletes now look forward to becoming a pro athlete, not for the respect or to be on a team, but for the amount of cash they can receive. This will lead to bigger egos and lose of respect for athletes by their fans. Athletes embracing this attitude and life style will lead to the people who matter most, the fans, losing interest and respect. Not just for Americas past time baseball, but for many other great sports as well!

  16. I agree and disagree with this blog. I agree because now a days athletes find themselves money hungry. They always have there hand out wanting more. Players will abandon there team and fans that they claim to love in a heartbeat just because they see a opportunity to make more money. However, I disagree with the fact that you said most players don’t love the game they just play the sport just because they are good at it. I am a huge basketball fan, the bulls is my favorite team obviously by me being from Chicago. I find it very hard to believe that those players come out and sweat and play there hearts out for a sport that don’t even love. So i highly doubt you see or hear a basketball play admit he don’t love basketball. The NBA lockout was a example that the players actually loved there sport and there fans, because even though they couldn’t play a NBA game they found away to still reach out to the fans by charity events.Every now and then you will hear a player say its not about the money its about reaching out to their fans and impacting the community. Naturally there is business involved in basketball , mainly because its a huge form of income.

    1. You make a good point about players’ love for the game. I have literally never heard of a player saying that they play it just because they are good at it. Do you know how they get good at it? They work. Every waking hour of everyday is dedicated to that sport and perfecting that sport. They have most likely played it their entire lives and love it enough to continue playing into their middle years. I think that the fan’s attitude that players are not as loyal to the game anymore is the real killer of baseball.

  17. I completely agree with this blog. I would like to bring to light that in the 2012 – 2013 NBA season the league will now allow companies to advertise on the jerseys of the players. This is ruining the game, it is not right that when watching a game to see a big Sunoco advertisement across the chest of Derrick Rose. The league, for the most part, no longer cares about the love of the game, but they care more about making money. This is not what one of America’s greatest past times should be all about. The league should care more about good sportsmanship and how the players are treating each other, instead of how much possible money they can make.

  18. Baseball, along with many other major sports, has become more of a business than a past time like you stated. While one can see how a professional athlete would want to make the most money possible to support their lifestyles, one has to draw the line somewhere. Is the difference between making 25 million compared to 20 million dollars really going to effect how you live your life? Albert Pujols recently left the St. Louis Cardinals (a team he’s played for his entire career, 11 years) this off season to take more money and signed a 10 year 240 million dollar contract with the los Angeles Angels. This is just a great example to your point on how there isn’t any loyalty anymore in the game as well. He left his hometown team just like that. Think about how hard it is for his wife and kids as well, to just up and move like that from one city to the next. I feel like players these days just think of themselves and what’s best for them. Baseball has become an “All about me” sport these days.

  19. I completely agree. In fact its not just an opinion, it is almost a fact. Baseball, as well as almost all other sports has changed. Its gone from playing for the love of the game, to playing for the big bucks. Why else would the White Sox change the name of their ball park from “Comiskey Park” to “US Cellular Field”? For money of course. But i guess its not just their fault. The White Sox, and all other teams, have to adapt society around them in order to stay competitive. Now the way baseball is run, teams need to compete with one another, try and find ways to create as much money as possible to have the ability to buy players at a ridiculous price to help them win the world series. This isn’t going to stop my love of the game though. From a spectators stand point, the way baseball is now a days makes it very exciting. So I guess it can be seen as a good and bad thing, just depends on your personal opinion on the matter.

    1. I completely agree Mike. Even though I am a Cubs fan, I agree with the fact that the whole “Comiskey to U.S Cellular” thing was just to make money. I know a ton of people today that still call it Comiskey, and that is because they like original name and could care less about making money from changing the name. There is a saying that goes, “You can’t beat the Original” and this is perfect for this situation. Baseball shouldn’t be about coming up with a new name for a stadium to make money and it also shouldn’t be about offering millions of dollars to a play so they leave a team to come to their team. Obviously winning is winning, and losing is losing. And people wanna see teams win. But the Cubs for example, they are 5th this year in attendance for home games even though they have one of the worst records in baseball. I agree Mike, everyone has there own opinion about baseball and how it’s played. But for me, regardless how good or bad the team is or how much money the stadium or team is making, I think every game is exciting to watch, especially the Chicago Cubs!

      1. The chicago cubs have a very unique situation. No matter what their record is, no matter what results they have, they have a ton of fans all over the nation! Personally i don’t understand this at all. But, since your a cubs fan, you know they haven’t won the world series since 1908. What would you say if the cubs had an opportunity to bring amazing talent to chicago, which would possibly give them the opportunity to compete for the pennant, if it meant to lose some of the chicago cubs tradition? For example if you had to lose the ivy, and maybe even completely rebuild the stadium?

      2. The Chicago Cubs do indeed have a very unique situation. The Cubs are terrible this year, but they have had good years in the past, they just didn’t end up winning the World Series. If the Cubs had the opportunity to bring in some talent and lose tradition, at this point I think it might be worth it. After all, the Cubs just did trade four people which saved about 50 millions dollars minimum. This is all building up for a big signing or two. Eventually we will have lots of cap space to buy a few good players, and we already have two great 22 year olds in Castro and Rizzo who we are going to build around. And I think the IVY should never leave because THAT is one tradition you can’t throw away!

      3. Elliott, The reason i asked is considering how the way baseball organizations are trying to get as much money as possible, and trying to buy the best players, the cubs might be making some changes soon! It’s always a possibility. The way the league is now, the teams with money, and with the best players, are the ones that win championships. I can’t really blame the players and teams willing to spend this much money. They just want to be the best, who doesn’t? Teams are willing to spend big money on players so that their fans will in turn spend money on watching them play.

      4. While I agree with you that the cubs have two players in Rizzo and Castro to build around for the future, I feel like Theo Epstein is trying to build this franchise by utilizing the Cubs minor league system. We’ve seen him trade veteran players such as Dempster, Johnson, Maholm, and Soto. In return he ended up getting young prospects that he hopes to develop through the minors. I feel like for now the cubs are rebuilding, which is why you’re not going to see them being very active in free agent signings for the next few years. Instead you will begin to hear about the up and coming players that are going through the minor league system. There is no place like Wrigley field though. You just cant beat the atmosphere there.

      5. I think it is hilarious how the Yankees have 26 World Series titles in past 100 years and the Cubs have NONE… But other than that, yes the teams with the most money tend to be the ones who win the most games. Doesn’t surprised me at all. Perfect example, the Yankees. The Yankees have a ton of good players on top of a TON of money! They can sign and trade no problem at will if they wanted to! The Cubs don’t exactly have to worry about fans not spending money on the them because they are one of the most well liked teams in all of baseball! Partly because Chicago has a ton of people, and also because lots of people across the country feel bad for them!
        The next three or four good players Chicago will hear about are going to be players that come from the minors. I’m going to say this right now, it will be four to five years MAX before the Cubs are playing fantastic baseball. I just hope Theo can create that team that will be playing in October year after year.

      6. While there are big market teams like the Yankees and Red Sox that have huge pay roles, I think it is more impressive to look at the smaller market teams, such as the Tampa Bay Rays. They use there minor league system to develop players and are able to compete with the Yankees in that division. The Yankees have a current payroll of 198 million dollars compared to the Rays payroll of 64 million. Its just amazing how they can still compete in that division even with that big of a difference in spending. It goes to show you how important player development is. I feel like Theo and the cubs are trying to go in a direction more like the Rays. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’ll make a splash in free agency when the time is right, but like you said, it’ll probably be around four years till they are ready to be put into championship contention talks.

    2. Although I am a Sox fan, I do agree that Wrigley Field does have a great atmosphere. It seems to me that the Cubs have done a great job trying to preserve that old fashion baseball tradition. Ivy still on the wall, one of the only ballparks left with a mechanical scoreboard, it’s tough to beat it. Developing young players instead of buying ones that are already great is an interesting move, and it seems like that’s how it used to be.

      1. Teams that develope their players are going to get along a lot better with each other because then most of the team has been together for a while. I am glad that even though you are a Sox fan, you still admit that the Wrigley Field is a great atmosphere. I do agree myself that they have done a great job keeping the Ivy in tip top shape throughout all these years! And their scoreboard may be all fashioned, but it is still a very simple scoreboard to understand and read! The scoreboard and the ivy are two things that you cannot replace in my opinion. That is exactly what Theo Esptein is trying to do now, get enough money for pay some youngsters, but also still have enough to possibly buy a fantastic player here and there. Every team at some point buys a great player instead of developes them. I hope one day the Cubs can win a world series! I would love to see that happen in my lifetime. And as of right now, I believe the Cubs are doing the right thing for the long run.

      2. The Cubs not winning a World Series in over 100 years has nothing to do with keeping traditions or spending money to get great players. We’ve tried many approaches and nothing has worked. It all comes down to getting it done in crunch time. The Cubs are a large market team and have been spending their money as such. We had the third highest payroll in 2010 and we ended up 12 games under .500. The Cubs finally made a good business decision and got rid of Jim Hendry and brought in Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. These two got rid of all the old over-paid “has-beens” and started from scratch. Of course there is still Soriano who nobody wants to pay, but we’re getting there. Sometimes you have to start from scratch to get to your final goal. And as smart fans, we appreciate that.

    3. This conversation is phenomenal. I love the Cubs talk right now it’s really making me happy. Staying on point, but getting back to the topic, how many players from the Cubs have gone to another team because of money? Not many, players get traded by upper management. It’s not always the player’s decision to leave a team, but trading is something that is necessary for the game to survive. True fans continue their loyalty through thick and thin. Even when business is slow, like it has been for the Cubs for about 100 years now, fans rally around their team with hope for the future.

      1. That is a good statement. When players are traded from one team to another for what seems to be a large amount of money, there might be more to it than what meets the eye. Upper management does play apart in it. Yeah the players wan’t more money, but who doesn’t right? But people in upper management positions make the trades go through. Staying on topic but switching to a different sport, basketball is almost completely opposite. In the last few years it seems as though top tier players can go wherever they want, whenever they want. The greatest example of this was when Lebron James decided to “take his talents to south beach”.

      2. You’re right about how fans rally around their team. The Cubs are the perfect example of a loyal fan base as well who continue to support their team even in the worst of times. Many fans could have jumped ship and decided to root for another team because of the struggles the Cubs have endured the past 100 years. Instead you see them filling the seats of Wrigley every game for the most part. Its too bad some of the players in today’s game aren’t as loyal to their teams as the Cubs fans are with their beloved Cubbies.

  20. Frankly, I mostly disagree with this blog, although I would agree that since the reserve clause was disestablished in 1968, free agency has definitely made a large impact on the game. Players are definitely more viable to choose their team. Before free agency, players were stuck on the team they were put on and their fate was completely up to the owners. Now players have a little more free will. But what is wrong with that? Players do not just automatically love the team they are put on and expected to stay in one spot their entire career. A career could last up to 20 years if not longer. Rarely will you see a player of any day and age be on a team for that long. If I were an up and coming athlete I’d like to be on a team that has a chance of winning a world series; same goes for if I were an aged veteran. Baseball has always been a business. Owners only care about one thing and that is to make money. The Yankees have been an all-star studded team for over 100 years, players have flocked to that team all the while. Before free agency became the thing, the Yankees would just buy their players, like Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig, Mays and others. A-Rod was payed much more in Texas than he was in New York, but he knew a championship might be in his future in New York. You can’t blame player disloyalty for that, players want to win championships, end of story. And you can’t say that back in the old days players were super loyal to their teams: 1919 world series. Any true baseball fan will know what I am talking about.

    1. While I agree with where you are coming from, I feel like players these days do care more about the money these days then in years past. While I know it is their career and they must think of their family, they should also try and think of the fans as well. Look how things turned out for Lebron James after he spurned Cleveland and left for Miami. The whole city of Cleveland turned against him just like that. If you’re that good of a player you shouldn’t have to team up with two other all stars like he did to win a championship.

      1. Don’t get me started on LeBron James. Obviously he is the face to this article, he promised Cleveland a championship and left 6 years later. So yes I will agree that there has been an increase in player disloyalty over the past years, but that is definitely not always the case. Players get traded all the time and only rarely is it up to them. Peyton Manning has been a Colt his entire career, but one injury later he’s dumped off to Denver. Fans of Indianapolis actually chose Andrew Luck, a player that has never seen an NFL game, over him. Luck jerseys starting going through the roof. Fan disloyalty is the same, if not worse, than player disloyalty.

      2. Great point about Peyton Manning. I never really thought about it till now about how disloyal the fans and the owners are towards there players. In todays world of sports, its all about what have you done for me lately. Look at Josh Hamilton’s season this year. He was on a tear early on in the season. He was putting up numbers that were on pace to win him the triple crown. He was a fan favorite. Then he has a rough June and July and you hear about the owner calling him out, and the fans even stooped so low to boo him during a game about a week or two ago. The guys your best player and you’re going to boo him?

      3. There have been many instances where star players have been booed in their own stadiums from minor mistakes, or bad streaks. It must be hard to have team loyalty as a player when your fans can’t even stand by you. I’m going to stick by my statement that fan disloyalty is as bad, if not worse than player disloyalty. Fan’s will find any little thing to throw their players under the bus. I know this is a stretch, but take Sammy Sosa for instance. He was the heart and soul of the Chicago Cubs. Everybody owned his jersey and everybody loved him. Then one cracked bat later and he is laughing stock of the entire nation. Cubs fans disowned him as their own and refused to admit that he was at one time part of their team. With all this disloyalty it is no wonder that players do not stick with one team for too long. As Harvey Dent puts it, “you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

      4. This is all evidence of professional sports being a business and no longer just about playing the sport you love. Fans are as guilty of recognizing professional sports as a business as a teams General Manager is. Whenever we see a weakness in our team, we discuss with fellow fans possible trades or free agents we can pick up to improve our team. As a Cubs fan, I just watched one of the most historically awful seasons a team could possibly have, but I understood why. The Cubs dumped a lot of overpaid veterans this last year in order to start rebuilding the team from scratch. All off-season, I’ve been talking with fellow fans about who we could pick up, who we should trade for, and who has to go. It seems to me that fans have become so numb to the business aspect, that we don’t hold any loyalty to individual players anymore, just to the team.

      5. I think that you are right. If a player thinks he is the best the he/she could win anything just my playing their hearts out. As for Lebron, I think the only reason he left was to win games. I do not think it was a bout the money for him. Sure, he gets paid more now but I believe he really wanted to win a championship and he made the choice to leave the team he was on because he would not be able to win one with that team.

  21. I am follow the chicago sports pretty closely and have my whole life so its easy for me to be kinda of bias towards any other towns.

    I do agree with the statement about thinking that your team is the best and thinking that no matter what your team will always win. A lot of people think that their team will always win. The people that play for the love of the game will ultimately try harder and want it more than people who are just good at the sport and want to get paid the big bucks. The Chicago Cubs especially are an organization that rely’s on the fan base because throughout the last 100 years or so they’ve only made it to the world series a few times but havent won one since 1908. The Wrigley name is well known and after them selling the cubs to the wicket family they havent done much in terms of making a playoff push. So maybe its not about the ownership or managers or even the money its got to be about the amount of heart one has for the game.

    1. Well I think many players have heart and love for the game. Don’t get me wrong many are out there going for the money but that’s the nature of the game. However that is not the case for all athletes who want to win a championship. I do agree with you that it takes heart to win and not just talent alone. When it comes to the Cubs I believe they have had players that have had heart so that’s where I will have to disagree with you and go back to the front office. The Cubs have spent the money and have gotten themselves tied up in bad contacts. Year after year they don’t live up to expectations so I just think that the front office dose not know how to find good talent. Maybe with all there new changes they will be able to turn it around.

  22. I would say that this post had many points that I agree and disagree with starting with I do agree that the game has changed over the years. Not just baseball but all sports have changed into big business and always being about the money. This to me is truly a sad thing because when millions of people are starving everyday and then you see how players and owner who are millionaires and billionaires fighting for more. The one problem is that this is how are society has changed in American and we put to much value into are sports. The one thing that amazes me is that we have men and women fighting over sea and can barely get enough money to their family to live.

    However on the other side of this I would say it is us the fans who are to blame as I stated earlier we put to much value in sport me include. I myself am a huge sports fan and I support the White Sox and besides the cubs all my other Chicago teams. This why I cant get extremely mad about this situation because I know if I were in the shoes of the players and owners I would be doing the same thing and trying to take advantage of every opportunity I got. We as fan are the ones who are paying there salaries by going to games and buying there products so how can we get upset about this topic if we are the ones also to blame. Until we stop going to games and paying for it nothing going to change.

    To be honest I don’t want it to change because I love sports and I love my teams and I know in this post it said the loyalty and love of the game has gone down with players. Well could you image if they were making less money to barely make end meet the level of talent would go down and the game would not be the same. This is the case because even know players make a lot of money playing a sport is a grind and is hard on the mind and body with all the training and traveling. If they were making less money what is there motivation to keep going and not just get a normal job and be able to raise a family that they will see everyday.

    1. I am a sports fanatic. Love and support many teams within the city of Chicago, as well as an out of state NFL team. BUT I cannot agree with you more that we do in deed place too much value on athletes and sports in general. The amount of money athletes are paid to go out and play a sport that they have been passionate about since childhood is absolutely ridiculous. The only moment that someone begins thinking about money and sports, is when the option is presented to them, and I am sorry but can you blame them? It amazes me how within our society police officers, teachers, firemen, and those that serve within the military, struggle to survive on a day to day basis to provide for their families. These careers which impact the safety, security, and future of those within our NATION are among the working and lower class…. But as you said, we the consumers, the fans, the spectators are to blame for placing these athletes so high within our societal values.
      Do not get me wrong, all athletes were given some kind of gift that made them excel more than the rest but they should be praised for this not paid. Honestly many of them should not even be praised. It is a joke to say that athletes should be looked upon as role models within our society based the history and recent news within sports. Players among team cannot follow a standard drug policy and there have been multiple suspensions and documented instances. There have been sexual assault cases, sexual abuse, murder’s that have worn those uniforms that we praise every game day. Yeah..this is exactly who I would want my child to grow up to be like!! NOT.

      1. You bring up a solid point about the role models because we are finding out more and more that star athletes who we thought we could trust are more often then not guilty of some type of act. Look at Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Brett Favre, and Kobe Bryant just those four guys alone who are some of the best players in the game have been caught in some type of sexual assault or abuse case. Also many of these players are also using performance enhancing drugs and tainting the recorded books such as players like Barry bonds and Mark Mcgwire these aren’t people who we should look up too. However we should not just let a couple of bad seeds take the fault of all athletes. Let’s remember many of these same guys use there big checks to set up charities and help the people in need. It is very easy to group all these people as monsters but that is just not the case. When I look at things I always try to look at the big picture and not be so quick to judge.

    2. I do have to admit that you are right, when saying that I should not be so quick to judge. Throughout the history of sports, you are right that we have had many “greats” stay away from the drugs and well as run-ins with the law, but my points and opinions are based upon recent events. It is partially our fault for how much we do worship them but athletes have become to think of themselves as very powerful human beings, “godlike”. They truly believe that they can get away with anything thing because of their status within society and if they throw a little money “your” way. Now I am a huge huge huge Kobe fan, but going back to your comments on Big Ben, Brett Favre, and Bryant they were all tried for a sexual charge, which has been forgotten about because what they can do on the field/court. If any one of those men were a regular citizen today, they would be facing jail time as well as criticism as they rightfully should for committing those crimes. Whether it’s a speeding ticket, drug charge, or felony you cannot deny the fact that an athlete would be given a “slap on the wrist”, why a regular citizen would have to accept the full penalty of justice.

      1. Well the only thing with me is I am not just like any other sports fan and I know there is other out there like myself who don’t forget about the actions of those players. To my point earlier I was saying that there are players who are good people and probably don’t look at themselves as “godlike”. I know many of your points are based on recent events and same with my points I am not just talking about the “greats” I am talking about all players. I just don’t think all of them should be grouped together. However when it come down to it we basically share the same views. We think player make too much money but we don’t blame them for it. We think drugs and other illegal acts are wrong among athletes. We also both share love for sports and the games they play

    3. As I said earlier, I might need to stop jumping to conclusions right away. It just amazing me that with everything going on within our nation today, that more money would be the first thing on these athletes minds as people are struggling to survive and care for their families with the economy still in a recession. I do agree that I should not group all athletes together based on the deviant acts of a few. Throughout the years all of the leagues have produce many greats that have stayed “pure” while they have been active for a team, many have also set up charities helping both medical advancements, as well being an active member within their community. I do have the at most respect for every individual within professional sports, as they have been blessed with a talent that many of us could not even hope to obtain. But I do also believe that these players are making way too much money to be playing only a couple times a week.
      And could not of said it any better, I absolutely do not approve of the drug violators within all of professional sports as in the end, you truly did not achieve anything as all you have shown is your better than the other guy when you use performance enhancements. Also the sexual offenders with the league should be held accountable as every citizen would, even despite how well they might play on that court/field. I will say that I HATE talking bad about the “sports world” as sports has always been a passion of mine, and I will always show and strong interest towards these topics.

  23. I am a true blue Cubs fan and will be until the day I die. Cubs fans don’t run into many situations like players who just want a big paycheck. I say this because we haven’t won a championship in 100+ years and the people who come to the Cubs, want to be the ones to break the curse. That’s not to say that we don’t fall victim to players who want the big contract. Other teams who are willing to dish out the big bucks to stack their team get in our way of a championship. Players like Alex Rodriguez disgust me, started his career with a small market team. When a team with a bigger wallet called to him, his loyalties shifted. Until he wound up on the richest and most evil of teams, the Yankees. While I do understand the game is now a business, it’s hard for small market teams to compete when teams like the Yankees spend boatloads of money on the best players. I played baseball through four years of college and it is my first love. I love the game and the competition that comes with it, and I don’t want to give it up. I plan to make a career out of it and don’t care for a HUGE paycheck. Most athletes, like me, love the game and just want to be surrounded by it. They only sign these huge contacts simply because they can. Professional sports are a business and not only is the money from the contract going to the player but to many people working for him.

    1. I agree with your point about teams with smaller markets have a harder time competing then other teams with a bigger markets however the Cubs are in that category of a big market team. The Cubs just don’t spend there money as smart as other teams. As a White Sox fan I am not one for Cubs bashing but they tend to tie their money up in many bad contracts and hopefully with their new GM Theo Epstein he can put them on the right track.

      I cant get mad as teams like the Yankees because they have a big payroll that is just the business of the game. Being a White Sox fan I appreciate the game more when my team can win at a high level. I would say the White Sox fall in the middle to high market when it comes to teams. I also think its great to see small markets team have successful years. But can I get mad at someone like an Alex Rodriguez taking advantage of a huge opportunity? NO….But I do believe that it has gotten out of hand? YES

      1. I think that even though a team spends their money on good choices, it does not mean it will get them the result. I think that for a team to really be good, they all need to respect each other and play as a team. If a team spends lots of money on new players and they do not function. Then there is no way the can win anything. I think money has a lot to do with the success of a team but it does not all rely on money.

  24. It is really rare to find any type of professional sports teams’ members that display any type of dedication or love for the game they play. As kids, our parents encouraged us children to play little league ball to make friends and try out something fun. I used to play 4 sports at a time, but I found softball to be my favorite sport. I played travel and high school ball which lead me to a scholarship for my abilities to play at a Division II college. But even in college i noticed that there were girls like these professionals on T.V. They only played for the money and not the love of the sport like I was raised to. Sure the money helped out tremendously, but it didn’t seem right. When I stopped playing and transferred to a different school, I felt a relief from a corrupt world of money. And it is always about the money… Is there anything that has a true meaning to adults today like little league when we were kids?

  25. Not only does this go for baseball but also all sports! Look what happened in the NBA a few years ago. Lebron James, was with the Cleavland Cavaliers since he got drafted straight from high school to the city where hes from. After his contract expired he immediately left to Miami for a lower pay. People from Cleavland asked themselves why? Cleavland offered him the most out of all teams but Lebron James wanted to go to a winning potential team. Wheres the loyalty for the Cleavland fans? Seems like every year the players in professional sports lose interest in loyalty and just want more money and to win to obviously be worth more money. Its sad to see this kind of stuff in sports but it exists. This is a reason why I dislike any teams. No one cares about the city they play for or the fans they say they do it for. Its all bull shit, pardon my language, but its the truth.

    1. Not to stop your rant, but I do disagree with a few things that you have commented on. I do understand frustration that with recent events within the sporting world especially within the NBA. You are exactly right to say that the way Lebron James left Cleveland was not right. He promised that city a championship but could not SINGLE handedly get it done. And yes I did mean to emphasize the single part, as this is also the truth. Lebron James was the only hope for the city of Cleveland as they had NOONE that could physically compete with the rest of the talent throughout the league. After continuous seasons of carrying his team to the playoffs, and then losing within the first few rounds not due to your performance, but your rest of your teams. This was a continuous let down to James. What is the main goal of any athlete competing in any sport? To win a Championship!! So were going to get mad at someone for pursuing a goal that is within reach??? Sadly James could not bring that Championship home to Cleveland where he in fact started his NBA career, but we should not discredit what he has accomplished and is going to accomplish. Honestly Cleveland should be ashamed for their actions toward James after the trade had been completed. Lebron James was an active member with the community of Cleveland and just because he does not wear the “red and gold” anymore this does not make him an evil person.
      Also I want you to think about the names of Michael Jordan, Ron Santo, Magic Johnson, and Warrick Dunn, Walter Payton and how many wonderful things that each brought to the town or community in which they played in.

  26. Well I am a Cubs fan but only when I go to their games. It’s bad to say but I don’t care. I prefer Cubs over the White Sox anyday but to say I’m a fan isn’t a true statement. I enjoy going to the actual baseball game. Sitting down with my family eating your typical Chicago hotdog. Who wouldn’t love that? I think to watch the game on tv is absolutely boring. It lasts too long and unlike football, there’s not much going on. But I agree with the article. Most baseball players only play the game for the paycheck and the fame that also comes along with it; they don’t necessarily care what their fans think and what they have to say. Although, they should. Besides playing the game, fans are what make them their money. If you don’t have fans, you’re a nobody, and a business doesn’t want to pay somebody millions of dollars for someone the society doesn’t care about. I think baseball players as well as any other sports teams need to step back and look at reality.

    1. I like that you admit that you prefer the Cubs but then say you are not a true fan. I can repeat someone that is honest when it comes to sports. Now for me I am a huge Sox fan and I also love going to the games but I disagree with you when it comes to watching them on TV I could do that all day if I wanted to. However I could understand where people are coming from. I am just a big sports fan in general so I don’t mind really watching any of them on TV. I do have to disagree with you about players only playing for paychecks because that not always the case. There have been times that players will take less money to play for the same team and also if they think they will have the best chance to win a championship. However I do agree that the players should remember who is paying their salaries and that is us as fans.

  27. I am a huge sports fan, and always have been my whole life. When I was younger I didn’t pay any attention to how much they players were getting paid. As i got older i started to realize that the sports that I have loved my whole life, were turning into more of a business. But I don’t think that is all a bad thing. Do I think that players are getting paid to much? yes. But I don’t think that sports being also a business is a bad thing. For example it creates for jobs for people. back in the day baseball and football were just the team and its owners. Now when you look at it you have advertisers, multiple accountants, and much more. Even the restaurant business is thriving from sports. The bars around Wrigley field survive only because of baseball season. I think that as the times keep changing the world of sports is going to have to change with it.

    1. I could not agree more with your post, I also think that players are getting paid to much money however can we blame them. Most huge sports fans would do the same thing is the opportunity was there.(I know I would) I also like the point that you bring up about how sports teams created job. Some people just don’t realize how many people a sports team employes its in the thousands. That’s also why I get so upset when leagues go in lockouts or strikes because they don’t always think of the people that work for the teams or the business that depend on the teams to play. Sometimes we have to look at the bigger picture before we judge and who knows it may change over time.

  28. Sports is just such a great way for people to connect with each other. Sports bring a sense of unity and family. You begin to cheer and talk with people that you don’t even know. you do so because you guys share one thing in common, the passion for a certain team. Sports are such a great way to defeat the barriers of race, color, sex, gender and etc. sports allow us to connect with people. Sports inspire us because they are filled with People with inspiring stories. But let’s face it, sports teach us patience and the importance of bring faithful to a team.

  29. You are very right in the fact that baseball is a business and a huge and every growing one at that. Thats why i have never been that into baseball because teams with a lot of money in the big markets like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox’s, Las Angles Dodgers all have massive salary caps while teams like the Florida Marlins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Oakland Athletics are trying to put a team tougher that can beat a team that can sign players that are far superior because they have more money. Thats why i have always liked the NFL more i feel like even though they are making the sport softer they are still looking out for all the players and all the teams. They have fair ways teams can sign players. its not something like 10 years 330 million dollars or whatever A-rod got. To some teams in the MLB they could sign him and then not have money for the rest of the team! Its sad that it has gotten this way but one thing that will always remain for fans who love to see people play for the love of the game is college sports. That is why i like some college sports more than I like the professional sports. They are always giving 100 percent and most of them know that they will never make it to the pros thats why you see so many of them cry after they get eliminated from NCAA’s March madness because many of them are seniors and this might be there last game ever. Another phenomenal thing to watch for baseball fans who love watching all types of baseball is the little league world seres because you know many of those kids dream of being a baseball player not for the money but for the love of the game.

  30. I do agree how within the game of baseball, as well as many other sports that the love and loyalty shown by the players towards their organizations is no more. The only motivation that many players seem to have to today is the number of figures that will be on the next check that they will receive on game day. Athletes within a specific town have the one key purpose to go out every game day a put out a wonderful athletic performance for the members of that town who adore and support them. Having millions of raving fans, and to be looked up too simply just doesn’t compete with the importance of a paycheck to some athletes anymore. The lack of effort and determination due to a losing streak or not getting a contract extension is sickening to witness as a spectator while knowing how much money these men and women truly make. The worse thing that happened within the professional sports organizations was the amount of money that was decided for each individual athlete to make. Athletes when they were younger used their talent for good and were thankful for what they could accomplish on the court or field on game day. They participated in sports for the joy and love of the game. In today’s society since athletes are held in such “high” regard, they expect to treated differently and expect this to show within their salary amount.

  31. Professional athletes are all held to a certain standard. They all have to keep some sort of image that represents their professionalism. After reading the sentence about athletes admitting that they don’t enjoy the sports they play and that they only do it for money, I felt as though every ounce of respect that I have for that athlete gets thrown right out the window. Fans expect the absolute best out of their team, which might mean that they don’t mind continuous trading, as long as it enhances the teams performance. For others, love for the game is all that matters. That is the only thing that should matter.

  32. I agree that sports have become too commercialize on the professional level. It’s even starting to affect the collegate level as well. Last year the University of Kentucky had an all-star team when they took on several kids who had no intention of staying with the university. At the end of the season, they all moved on to the NBA and this year their team did not even make it to the NCAA tournament. The school picked these players for a quick win even though they knew they would not stay. Other students who actually wanted a college education were passed over for a winning streak. Some teams care so much about winning that they forget why they started playing the game in the first place.

  33. I agree that times have changed in many sports. How we advertise everything I believe is a huge impact on how sports get more money. I remember hearing stories from my dad and grandpa saying that when there little if they were able to walk under the cross bar with hitting there head they could get into the ball park for free!! They don’t even have that anymore!! Now you have to pay by seat! They sell tickets roughly between $40 – $120 and up! Back then my dad told me it would cost about $10 to get in. We pay this high amount so the players can get a great check. Like you said it should be something a person enjoys not just the money. We pay this ridiculous amount of money to pay the overpaid athletes that say that love what they do.. Do you think are athletes over paid?

  34. I dont know if I completely agree with this. I do agree that a player should play for the love of the game and be less concerned about money and also be loyal to their team but a team should also be loyal to their players. Professional sports like everything else exist to make money and if the owners are making a lot of money then they should pay their players more because thats who the fan is coming to see and thats the reason why the owners make money.

  35. I agree that sports has become to much of a social and commercialized game. But i beileve it has also happened to sports in general. i played baseball for 15 years, i love the sport, playing it and watching my favorite team(whitesoxs) but i dont enjoy watching it on tv. it to much advertsiement and who is the best player, who got what, who gets payed the most. going to a baseball game is my favorite past time, get a hot dog and a cold drink watch some baseball. i also choose not to play high school baseball, the political aspect of the schools team, was just to win. i wanted to be on a team that i could call my team and we worked together as a team. but now players at a professional level bitch and moan if they dont get a good pay check aka Yankee’s. look at derrick rose lets behonest yes he got injured but iv seen worse injuries and seen people come back way faster than he has. in my opinion i agree sports in general has become to commercialzed and just being used to make good money.

  36. I AM DISGUSTED BY SPORTS RIVALRY from a third person point of view. But I will say that it is one of the most contagious and entertaining things I have ever been exposed to. Sports fans are overtly biased to favoring their team that all the other significant factors that a rival team may have that poses as a threat to their team is undermined acting as a defense mechanism to justify the value of their team.I am a Bulls fan, and I will say that they have the most pathetic all-star in the league by the name of Derrick Rose. But I know once that man steps on the court again and does some justice to my team, I will forget all about the bad things that I could have written on my fantasy draft resume of him. I plead guilty to ethnocentrism in sports and I LOVE IT!

  37. And in response to Tyler D, It is agreed that sports has used money as a more significant pitch to recruiting athletes and pampering them as well. Whereas, the motive in sports used to be fueled by the players’ desire for their sport. Nowadays, the competition isn’t always whose team is the best, but more of whose contract or paycheck look fatter. Although, I somewhat disagree in part of Derrick Rose’s case. Granted, the man comes off as a coward to the media because of his restraint in playing despite having been cleared since February. His game revolves around muscle memory and although he is physically able to play, it does not mean he has recovered the some of the skillsets he has lost from his being stagnant since his injury.

  38. I definitely agree that the game has been commercialized not just baseball, but every major sport has turned into this money machine for every owner, player, agent, and etc. to take a part of and most case capitalize on. As far as being loyal to a team and things I’m on the fence about especially when it comes to baseball, in the past time you had your greats that played for the love of the game Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and etc. The game then transitioned to the steroid era with Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and etc. the game now has moved to a lot of Latino decent players David Ortiz, Robinson Cano, Pedro Martinez, and etc. whom have opportunities to make a name for themselves more importantly to make a lot of money for their families. So in most cases they are following the money which in that situation the loyalty lies within their families, and are solely focused on not going back into poverty.

    1. I like the point you brought up about them caring bout their families. every one wants what is best for their families. But I think with professional sports, the people just want to play. I think that is the most important thing getting to do what you love. I think that getting paid to do what you love is great but if you start asking for more money or being all about money, then, to me, that is not what sports is about.

  39. I agree that sports is becoming a business. I do not really watch lots of baseball but I do watch lots of soccer. The wealthiest team in world, in soccer, is a team from Spain named Real Madrid. Just this summer they payed 100 million euros to transfer a player. This is not including his salary. That is a lot of money and the guy is barley getting any playing time. He seems like a player that really enjoys he game but now that he barley gets to play, I ask myself if it was worth it for him to go. I do not think so because he is not doing what he loves anymore. This team has so much money and they pay for the best. Yet they cannot seem to win. I think that all this money is getting to them. They are care more about money then winning and being a team.

  40. I can see your angle on how sports has become very much so about making money. I also believe that some people still play the sport simply because they love it. There could be players that play because they want to make money but they also love the game. I watch baseball as well and am also a die hard Cubs fan. I love the team and marvel at how much the teams lineup has changed since I was younger. I remeber watching Dereck Lee and Carlos Zimmbrano and I can even remember Sammy Sossa somewhat. My point is that I do believe that the game has gone into commercialization and the love for just playing has dimesnished some, but I do believe that at this day in age with technology and things are being sold and commercialized I do believe that baseball players do derserve a good pay.

  41. I agree sports has become more commercialized, but that doesn’t mean most players don’t have fun playing. I believe from what I hear of baseball players most of them love their job as they aren’t afraid to say it. Sure there’s players that don’t enjoy it but remember it’s still a job. When you get to the point where you’re in the MLB it takes constant hard work and effort to stay there and thrive. Getting the most money for your hard work is what any normal person does in the job world. There actually is some loyal players that love a certain team and ask not to be traded, or they ask to be traded to a specific team. Kerry Wood is an example, he wanted to come back to the Cubs so much he turned down $10 million dollars more from at least two other teams to join the STELLAR Chicago Cubs.

  42. I agree with the author, that baseball has lost its love of the game. First of all it starts with the players, because most of them are only in it for the money. A good example is Albert Pujols because he was with the cardinals for many years and was the fan favorite and the star player of the team. When is contact ran up after a very good year for him he left the team for a higher bid. This is a good example because he left strictly for the most money because the cardinals offered him a good deal. This is why baseball is not the same because it does not care for the fans it is all about the money.

  43. I strongly agree with the author. I believe that sports have become so focused on paychecks that it is sickening. When you see numbers on television that a player was offered a 100 million dollar 3 year deal, it makes you gasp. The amount of focus on money in sports is only getting worse in my opinion. Regardless of what sport, this is happening. I honestly cannot think of a major sport that is televised, where a player doesn’t make millions per year. I used to be a huge baseball fan myself, but after our WS champion White Sox fell apart due to the vast amount of better offers for individual players, I’ve lost my interest in such a cash cow “past-time.”

    1. I am in strong agreement with you. I woke up this morning and came here to Starbucks like usual. Before I sat here and opened up this blog, the newspaper article at Starbucks caught my eye. I saw Dexter Fowler’s huge picture on the front cover, saying that “Dex Shuffles Cards: After helping Cubs win it all, Fowler says Cardinals can claim 2017 World Series.” I quickly scurried to the little newspaper stand and felt this complete feeling of disappointment. Even though I already knew it was coming, now that it became official, my heart couldn’t take it. I thought to myself: Dexter, you just won the World Series for the Cubs, you just put your heart and soul into that team, and all the fans have put their heart and soul into you. And now, just like that, you betray us and say that the Cardinals can win the World Series. I don’t understand how players can just go from team to team. To me it’s like a stab in the back. Imagine how awkward it becomes when playing against your teammates, the people you once ride or died for, and now you have to do whatever possible to beat them. And to us fans, it hurts. It’s painful. I cannot even pretend that it doesn’t break my heart when I constantly see players that I love switching teams. When do players know where to draw the line between money and actual passion towards the sport? Or is there even a line?

  44. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case for almost everything that includes the media or sports. Now, mostly everything is done for the business and the money. People no longer do the things they love because they love it. I agree, now they do it because they gain the most wealth out of it. And that is sad. It’s sad to see what sports and other things have become. It’s sad to see that now everything is becoming a business and no longer is something people enjoy to do. That is why the world is becoming more and socially economically base rather than accepting world where people do the things they do because they love to do them.

  45. I totally agree will your views on baseball and professional sports. When I was young I loved watching my favorite sports players/teams play but now it seems like money has taken over the game. Players rarely stay with one team during their professional career because they go where the money is. I do understand that a professional sport isn’t a lifelong career and they should make the best of it but it’s still disappointing to fans when every year there is a new roster in place. I would like to think that some players still play for the love of the game. Players also need to realize that without fans they wouldn’t have an amazing job playing a game.

    1. I am in agreement with you! It is frustrating to me, being a huge sports fan, that I constantly have to worry about my favorite player leaving my favorite team because he may end up getting a better offer, or not have any choice to stay. We, the fans, put our heart and souls into following the players, the team, and the game… as well as our money when we buy merchandise and tickets, yet we still have to worry about the roster constantly changing due to the lack of loyalty and the dominance of commercialization of sports. Just like you mentioned, I would also like to think that some players still play for the love of the game, which there are some that do, but not as many as there should be!

  46. I am in agreement with your view on baseball and sports in general today. Although I agree with sports being completely commercialized and for profit, it doesn’t make me love them any less. I am a huge lover of sports. There’s nothing I love more than the adrenaline I feel when my favorite team is playing, whether they win or lose. What can I say, the sports industry has sucked me in completely! When you mentioned the fact that players these days care more about the money than the actual team, I agree that most players are like that today. But luckily, not all of them. The first example that popped up into my head was one of my soccer idols from my favorite soccer team, AS Roma. AS Roma is a famous Italian soccer team, and the player that I am speaking of is Francesco Totti. When you say Totti’s name to anyone that watches soccer, it is equivalent as saying the word “loyalty.” Francesco Totti is referred to “IL CAPITANO” which means “THE CAPTAIN” of Rome. He has played with the soccer team AS Roma his entire life and is still currently playing there… he is 40 years old. That is old for soccer. He is the most loyal soccer player there is. He had offers from huge successful teams like Real Madrid, yet he never took the offer, because he never wanted to leave his one true love: Roma. He is the reason that so many are so in love with AS Roma. He is an idol to many and in my opinion is the epitome of what every athlete should be like. At the end of the day, it should be about the sport and the passion for one’s team and sport. Francesco Totti is loyalty. Hopefully there will be more athletes like Francesco Totti in the near future.

    “Because I grew up playing for Roma and I want to die playing for Roma, because I have always been a Roma fan.” -Francesco Totti

  47. To begin, I would adopt a dog that was trained by an inmate. I believe these dogs are just as well trained, as one that was raised by a non-prisoned citizen. I do believe that animals help heal and keep humans stable. I have 5 dogs myself and have had other pets though out my life. They have always been loving and supporting to me and my family. Prisoners are in jail for a reason, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn from their mistakes and become a better person. Letting them have a companion is great because they get lonely, but a pet is always by your side. I agree that it will help them learn how to care for another and teach them skills so they will be more prepared for civilian life when released. Not only does it help the prisoners, but it will save some animal’s lives as well.

  48. People in sports nowadays aren’t loyal. The players just want more money. They rarely stay loyal to the team that drafted them. For example, Derrick Rose and Kevin Durant both went to different teams and didn’t stay loyal to their original team. Durant went to the Golden State Warriors. If you don’t know much about basketball they are now an overpowered team. He didn’t stay loyal to his old team OKC. Not only does this happen in basketball but, in all sports. Does this make the sport more interesting to watch? And if so, why is that? The league and players are hungry for more and more money, so loyalty isn’t their concern.

    1. I agree that unfortunately most of today’s athletes worry about the money more than the actual game and the team. It is so irritating to me when I constantly have to say farewell to players that I love because they leave my favorite teams for other teams that offer them a better contract. I can’t and I won’t constantly switch my favorite teams for the players because then I’d be switching teams every day. Recently. Chapman and Fowler left the Chicago Cubs. I’m pretty upset but there’s nothing us fans can do about it. because they are out for the better paying team. It does bother me, but it doesn’t make me love sports any less. We’re just forced to accept the fact that sports are very commercialized and the players lack loyalty to one team.

  49. I feel like athletes still play for the love of the game, they just happen to make money now when they are playing. Some of these athletes played their sport because that was all they had to keep them from getting in trouble. The sport so happened to take them to new levels, and they are getting paid to be a professional. As far as team loyalty, some players do leave for the highest bidder, but players still stick it out until the end. Kobe Bryant played for the Lakers his entire career. Some players don’t have the choice to stay around, and get traded to another team. I feel like players still play for the love of the game, and loyalty is a trait that is not found in everybody.

    1. Yea, people play sports for the love of the game. I agree with that. It’s the passion that a person puts forward with the game that matters the most. Society always have their outlook on certain people and certain things but it’s all about what the person puts forth on the inside that counts.

    2. I am in total agreement with you, they don’t have a choice many times when they are being traded. There are players that play for the passion of the sport, my favorite athletes do. It is just disappointing because there are certain athletes that care more about the fame and the money once they become big and great. If there weren’t players that played with passion and had loyalty, then I wouldn’t respect the sports industry as much as I do, but at the same time, there’s no doubt that there is sports are commercialized.

  50. Sports are a form of entertainment, but at the end of the day it’s ultimately a business.  Therefore, the employer and employee both need to look out for their best interest.  Hence, the reason why you see athletes focusing on building their own brand opposed to looking out for the best interest of their team.  Meanwhile franchise owners look to increase profits by any means necessary.  Ever since sports became commercialized the integrity of the game has greatly diminished.  Huge corporations and sponsors has overall hurt basically every sport.

  51. I think that there are still baseball players that play the game because they love it. I also think that there are baseball players and athletes in all sports that play the sports they do because they can make a lot of money off it. I agree that baseball and most other sports have shifted to be a business rather than being a game these days. The NFL has strict rules on celebrations after a touchdown, which takes away from players having fun playing the game. The NFL then fines players and makes a profit if players break these celebration rules. The NFL makes a profit while keeping the players from expressing themselves in a harmless way.

    1. I agree that there are players in professional sports that play the game because they love the game, and get to make a good paycheck doing what they love. I also agree that the the game has become less of a game and more of a business. I do find it surprising that the NFL make a profit from their players just for enjoying an accomplishment.

  52. By no means do I disagree that the quality of competition has downgraded due to players wanting bigger paychecks. I recently saw that baseball phenom Bryce Harper wanted a 400 million dollar contract. 400 million! That amount of money is absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary. I do however believe that these ball players do deserve to be paid respectively. They represent an entertainment business, and one of the most profitable in the world. Where I can find my peace are the ballplayers that come out of poverty stricken areas like the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. These players come with the love of the game and a competitive fire underneath them. Cubs second baseman Javier Baez is the perfect example of this. The money they earn goes towards their families, and getting their loved ones out of bad situations. While I do believe baseball as well as other sports have lost some heart, I believe there is still enough love for the game in the league.

  53. I love baseball, always have always will, I grew up playing my whole life and unfortunately gave it up because of school and work. I still watch it and although it wasn’t part of my time I notice that it is getting worse and worse throughout the years with players staying with a team. You hardly see players who stay on the same time the entire duration of their career and it is sad. It makes it almost a waste of money to buy a jersey because you never know if that player will be there the next year. A lot of these players pay outs are ridiculous money and although it would be nice I would be happy to just be playing the game as a career even if I was making the minimum. You see a lot of players not wanting anything to do with baseball ever again after they retire and that is because it has turned into a pay out and it is all about the money. To them it is more of a job than anything and they don’t realize how good they have it because they only care about being paid the most. The game of baseball has become sad and it is hard to keep track of your favorite team because they are always changing.

  54. Bonniejean I have to agree with you strongly in this article. The world of sports has unfortunately become a business, and I envy that you got to enjoy a time when these games weren’t about money or involved the “What-have-you-done-for-me-lately?” mentality. I’ve always loved sports, baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, hockey, track, you name it I’ve played it, and continue to watch it. But it’s always disheartening when you see a player that means so much a particular franchise uproot themselves to a new team for the purpose of money and championships. Every player wants to win a title. but it seems that every player wants a fat check even more. Their loyalty is to their bank account, and as I’ve gotten older and realized this, it’s really taken away from trying to enjoy the sport. However, even though as a loyal fan I may feel slighted, I’ve learned that you can’t blame a player for taking the money. I mean if someone offers you a $117.3 million dollar check to teach sociology at Aurora University instead of COD, wouldn’t you take it? It’s sad to think that the love for money has come to outweigh the love of the sport or the love of your team, fans, and city. At the end of the day I understand that it’s a job, they are an employee and they’re going to take the largest amount of money they can find, who wouldn’t nowadays, but it doesn’t give me any comfort in watching my favorite teams knowing that at the end of every season someone that I grew to love will be packed up and shipped out to the highest bidder.

  55. I agree that baseball isn’t what it was probably used to be when it first started. But I don’t completely agree that all the players just play for the money. Like in all sports there are people that just play for the money, but their are always going to be the people that love the game and they get payed doing something that they love. I think this time in age, people obsess over the championship game or games in some sports then the actual overall season. I feel like the championships just turn into one big marketing thing and the whole event is one big advertisement.

  56. I absolutely love this post, because it not only speaks volumes to the sport of baseball (which has the largest contracts in professional sports), but to sports in general. This is definitely not a feeling only you felt, as I, along with millions of other people are feeling sort of “betrayed”. When you see a guy take his talents somewhere else, along with getting hundreds of millions of dollars, it only makes you question his work ethic and his loyalty. Growing up, we are all taught to follow the game you love, and if you do truly love it, to stick with it. What is sad is that when kids are taught this, and then immediately after turn on the TV to watch some guy at the top tier of his sport not even care about the game, it is definitely discouraging to the youth. This is also an apparent issue because of the use of agents. Why have agents?! Sport is about the love of the game, not commercial value or branding, so focusing on that is imperative. I wholeheartedly agree with your stance.

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