McCague: Baseball’s crisis of faith

From Allison McCague at The Hardball Times on January 21, 2020:

As baseball reflects back on the 2010s, a particular phenomenon stands out among all else: The 24-hour news cycle has taken hold, seeping into the very fabric of the sport. While the burn has been slow—players finding out about trades on Twitter before they’ve even been informed by their teams and other such happenings—never have the embers blazed so acutely hot as in 2019. For many fans, baseball is meant as an escape from the constant bludgeoning that is the political news cycle and endless cable punditry. But in the past year especially, it has become a parallel of that cycle rather than an antidote. “What new scandal will I wake up to this morning?” As we long on, we think, “What fresh hell awaits us?” 

Of course, this is a situation of Major League Baseball’s own making. In seemingly all of the dizzying array of scandals and tensions now plaguing the sport, baseball has either come up with insufficient solutions or simply no solution at all, turning the other cheek to a lot of the more ugly moral failings of the sport’s dealings, such as human trafficking and the exploitation of children.

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Originally published: January 23, 2020. Last Updated: January 23, 2020.