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September 27, 2009


Otis Jefferson Brown

One cannot have lived through the last forty years and be surprised at the noise that passes for music in today's ballparks. The race to the bottom in popular culture, especially pop music, began two generations ago. Another reason baseball crowds must be artificially, and noisily, induced to "make noise" is that real emotional attachment between fans and players has been lost. Remember when Gil Hodges went 0-for-the-World Series in 1952 and then began the 1953 season in a horrendous slump? Remember how the Brooklyn crowds kept giving him a standing ovation with every at-bat until he broke out of the slump and went on to have one of his best seasons? That could never happen today. Now the fans' attitude would be: You're making big money, you've got that huge contract - why aren't you producing?

The club owners, Bud Selig, and the players union have conspired to achieve what I once would have thought an impossible feat. They've taken a lifelong baseball nut - namely, me - and managed to make him indifferent to major league baseball. Between the foul lines it's still the best game ever devised; but the "noise" surrounding the game - not just the music but the financial bullshit, the contracts, the steroids, the nonfeasance, the bad decisions, the lack of team continuity from one year to the next, making emotional involvement nearly impossible - has made me care more about my computer-simulation team (Out of the Park Baseball is the name of the game) than about my real-life hometown MLB team.


Hear Hear.

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