MLB scandal: That hundred-twenty-year ethical problem

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 23: Carlos Beltran
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 23: Carlos Beltran /
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Houston Astros
Houston Astros /

And Then, There Is All That Money

However, money – the second reason for literally every MLB scandal – has certainly made things worse. Simply put, there is so much more of it for everybody now, and no one wants to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Why, what would happen if the greatest talent in the game’s history – maybe the all-time home run king – were a cheater?

Oh, right…. Nothing happened.

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Moreover, for all of the discussion of MLB’s attendance problem, tickets sales remain in the ballpark of 70 million a year. Yes, there has been a steady year-over-year decline for a while, and while people don’t always pay good attention to the game itself, they’re likely in the team shop shelling out $70 minimum for replica team jerseys or $25 for a ballcap that in many cities can be bought outside the park for $5.

All of which brings us back to one of the truly curious passages in Boswell’s article: “Automation of ball-strike calls can’t come too soon. Why? If you think fans mutter about the eyes, and motives, of umpires now, just wait until prop bets are available at your seat on whether the next hitter walks or strikes out.”

It’s not entirely clear if what he means is that the MLB teams will offer that service with special devices or in special seats, or if he means that such bets would be made with phone apps. However, we’re very close to that day as most people who have ever used a smartphone can see.

It’s a moneymaker! Everybody takes too many pitches now anyway; way too many hitters either walk, strike out, or hit high flyballs. It’ll juice the interest!

What the scandal that is baseball ethics will likely remain for quite a while is a snipers’ war. Team A or Player B will figure out a new way to cut a corner. Bang. MLB will fire back with measures like banning TV monitoring in the dugout and clubhouse.


The MLBPA shouldn't take postseason expansion. dark. Next

On this and any other MLB scandal you can think of, then, Boswell writes, “What does baseball need to do? Everything it can think of.”

In reality, that will just be more snipers.