Joe Mathews on Zócalo Public Square wrote an interesting article about optimism in baseball, and also in America.
It speaks to the doe-eyed optimism we usually experience on Opening Day, the time when all teams are still tied for first and anything is possible. And then it tears it down as a sort of “ignorance is bliss” fairy tale. Mathews suggests we stop holding the game up on a pedestal and instead embrace it and all it’s flaws. In a way, I think this view has been forced upon us lately, with all the cheating and steroids and looking the other way. You see some stick their head in the sand and try to forget Andy Pettitte, Barry Bonds, or Alex Rodriguez were, or are, cheating and you see others desperately cling to their innocence and claim their favorite player, whether Piazza or Jeter or someone else, was clean the whole time. Perhaps it’s better to accept the flaws and the corruption and stop pretending it’s a game played between gentleman and instead a battle of players doing anything they can, against the rules or not, to win.
A point he makes about the Mets that a lot of people don’t seem to be bringing up is that a lot of the Mets actions over the past couple of decades have been funded via Madoff profits. This is perhaps a simplistic look, as the Mets certainly would’ve invested elsewhere and still signed players and make moves, but it’s not a stretch to say that Tom Glavine’s acquisition was funded by Bernie Madoff.
Anyway, it’s an interesting read and it’s not that long. Check it out.