Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sometimes Baseball Hits a Homerun!

For the past few years stories about Major League Baseball have cynical tales of a corrupt institution that has outlived its welcome in the journalistic community. For years writers like Michael Bradley have been paying their mortgages with articles covering the steroid scandal in the MLB. A problem that, regardless of my feelings about the schadenfreude journalists express in their articles, Major League Baseball has failed to deal with in a matter even the most generous critic would call "duly diligent." Add to the discussion of steroids Bud Selig's failed attempt to force cities to fund new baseball stadiums by threatening Minnesota with contraction. If you know anything about baseball, you know that closing down the Minnesota Twins, instead of...say...the Tampa Bay Devil Rays makes no sense at all. Well, unless you are trying to coerce the Twin Cities to replace the Metrodome. All of this bad news is what makes recent news coming from Cleveland all the more pleasant.

It appears that Cleveland, like many cities was facing a financial crisis in its schools. To deal with the financial problems, the city cut funding to its High School baseball programs. The Cleveland Indians are helping Cleveland continue to fund High School baseball by the addition of a $250,000 donation. Unlike the author of the Yahoo! news story, I won't wax poetic and Pollyanna-ish about how the funding to the baseball program will stop drug use, end gang violence, and get kids to college. This is baseball, a game, we are talking about. It is my favorite game, and sure there are social benefits, but I don't have the sociological evidence in front of me showing Cleveland with vs. Cleveland without baseball statistics. I am just here to say that the Indians are doing the "sport" and "community" good by putting money directly into the community to promote the sport. That's what professional teams claim to do all the time, benefit the community, and here is a case where they are doing it.

Good for you Cleveland Indians...I am going to go home, watch Major League and root, root, root for the home team.

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