News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion Columns

October 29, 2013

LIZ CIANCONE: Baseball’s cool days equal cold hard cash

TERRE HAUTE — I was driving to the grocery the other day and was startled when a few ice crystals rattled against the windshield. This was followed by a spate of snow flurries and my wish that I’d worn a warmer jacket. Still, this had been forecast. It reminded me of my childhood when an early frost or freeze was followed by some chilly weather.

Then, I went home and that evening tuned into the second game of the World Series.

I bring this up because in my memory of the early chill, I also recall that the World Series once was over and a champion had been crowned by mid-September. Here it is, late October and there are more games to be played — all in open-air stadiums. Only heaven can tell if they might have to bring in a snow plow to clear home plate.

I mentioned this to my Best Friend who said, “It’s about money.”

I’m sure that’s right, but I’m a humanist. I’d like to see some consideration for the player whose muscles could cramp and make him (no women allowed in baseball) more susceptible to injury. Or maybe a thought for the fan would be appreciated. Sitting out in the cold is no day at the beach.

I long for the days when the baseball season was over about the time football season began, then football was winding down before basketball went into overdrive. Colleges can’t even allow the football team to have a holiday at home. After all, there are bowl games to be played and those games are more than an honor, they bring mega bucks into the college coffers.

Baseball has become prolonged because instead of picking the two best teams, one from each league, to duke it out for the championship, we now have division champions and a few wild-card games for the almost-made-it teams. All of this, of course, sells a lot more beer and hot dogs as well as tickets and pads the purses of the owners who have to be multi-millionaires to own a team in the first place.

An English friend once said, “I don’t know how you can call it a World Series if only you Yanks can play.” That’s easy, as other nations develop teams and outstanding players, we offer the best of their stars a contract, give them a work permit and a fat contract and make them, in effect, honorary Americans.

So, the “boys of summer” are going to be playing well into the fall. It should all be over for Thanksgiving.

Maybe if the Cubs were playing I’d be more interested.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send email to opinion@tribstar.com.

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