Easy money will eat your heart

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By Joshua Duran

By Joshua Duran

Remember the old days of baseball, when the greats of the game ran the bases out of pure passion, regardless of their paychecks?

Neither do I, and that’s the problem.

It seems like financial injustice is a part of American culture these days. There’s apple pie, baseball, I Love Lucy, and financial injustice. Unfortunately, they are usually not in that order (man, I love apple pie.)

Major League Baseball entered a new era of extravagant spending in early November when the Boston Red Sox offered Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka approximately $40 million just to negotiate with the East Coast team.

Just let me point out that I will talk about literally anything with anyone for half that amount.

The fact that Matsuzaka is becoming a multimillionaire for negotiating is pretty disgusting, but there’s something even worse in the wide world of baseball.

After preliminary negotiations, Boston offered Matsuzaka $51.1 million to play for the team.

Let me make that perfectly clear: One pitcher has been offered more money than five other teams’ entire payrolls last season (none of the payrolls even broke $50 million).

I don’t understand this whole mess called “professional sports.”

Professional athletes are being paid more money than they should ever need. Is it really necessary?

No, dear readers, it’s not necessary at all.

It’s possible that the amount of talent involved in the game would justify paying men and women millions of dollars.

One anonymous talent scout that observed Matsuzaka’s performance made note of the pitcher’s skills.

“Matsuzaka has great makeup, a great feel for pitching,” he said. “I’ve seen him throw six pitches that are above average at one time or another. It’s unbelievable.”

This brings about ideas of a truly Darwinian society where the biggest, the fastest, and the overall best displays of physical competition are rewarded. This can’t be completely true, however; Terrell Owens is still making money.

Speaking of horrifyingly obnoxious personalities, Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, or his ego, depending on how you feel about him, is making about $10 million every year.

What we really have to wonder is who is to blame for such injustice? Do we blame the leagues for allowing such high salary caps, or do we blame the players for constantly negotiating their pay into the stratosphere?

Yes. We should blame both the leagues and the players. They have taken iconic sports and heroic figures and synthesized them into a cold and manipulative science of money and ego.

Don’t get me wrong, I love money, and I love my ego, but that’s for the simple pleasure of being able to afford Riverside City College’s chili-cheese fries and annoying my friends by constantly noting my own brilliance.

What ever happened to the spirit of sportsmanship? What happened to Lou Gehrig? Well, he died…of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Gehrig took with him the last ounce of class in professional sports.

If there is a sports god (and it’s not John Madden), grotesque displays of corporate wealth such as the case of Matsuzaka, and players like Owens and Favre will soon be a thing of the past.

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