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I sort of went on an OffBeat rant last Friday, writing about the way the NY Mets celebrated Tom Glavine’s 300th career victory – by giving him inscribed golf balls, a pair of jet skis, and even a car:

And all I could think of was how preposterous it is to give these kinds of gifts to someone who already makes more than seven million dollars a year, who certainly can afford to buy a car or jet skis or golf balls if he needs them. It was the curious spectacle of rich people giving presents to rich people.

Baseball, unfortunately, increasingly is seen as a sport for rich spectators. Ticket prices are astronomical (especially in the newer ballparks, which tend to have fewer seats and therefore higher demand), player autographs actually cost money, and playoff games are played so late at night that little kids – especially on the east coast – can’t stay up to see them. As much as I love the sport, these trends are awful for baseball … and perhaps are as bad in their own way as some players’ use of steroids.

It would have been nice if, during the Glavine festivities, someone had stood up and said that the team was endowing a golf scholarship for inner city kids, sending poor kids to camp where they could learn to water ski, and donating the car to some charity that actually could use it.

Some people don’t like it when I write about things other than retailing, but I actually got a ton of email responding to these comments.

One MNB user wrote:

Yep. I had the same reaction to the Yankees giving Roger and Debbie Clemens a Hummer and a diamond ring the first time he retired from baseball.

The italics for first time are mine, by the way. Because the statement is just so ironic.

Another MNB user wrote:

Couldn't agree more regarding baseball becoming a rich man's sport. As fan it irks me to see the ballgirls/guys distribute foul balls to kids in $150.00+ box seats. I'd love to see them give at least some of those balls to kids in the bleachers or "cheaper" seats. That would be a nice touch and great marketing.


And MNB user Guy P. DiCenzo wrote:

Baseball is truly the greatest game and a great game is about love of the game first and money second. Rant all you want. We're behind you.


I also went off on another baseball-related tirade on Friday, this one about former Mets star Tom Seaver, who appeared on the broadcast during the Glavine celebration:

I hate him. I’ve always hated him. And I wish nobody would ever put him on the air again.

There is nothing that Tom Seaver likes to do more than talk about Tom Seaver. Even when talking about Glavine and the Mets, it always was about Seaver’s career and achievements. He is unctuous in the extreme, and from everything I hear, he isn’t even supposed to be that nice a guy when encountered in real life.

It is heresy for a Mets fan to hate Tom Seaver. But I do. I can’t help it. And I just wish he’d shut up and go away. Forever.

MNB user Mark P. O'Brien chimed in:

I love it when you write about other 'stuff'! Tell us how you really feel about Seaver! I have not heard him enough to form any opinion but it’s interesting to learn your feelings. If the guy is a jerk more power to you for outing him.

I'm a GB Packer fan and in my limited exposure to him at the FMI and other Packer events, I think Paul Hornung is a pompous individual. On the flip side, Bart Starr is the class of the NFL alumni. What a gentleman!

Agree with the Glavine gifts comments. Hopefully he will donate the stuff himself.

And MNB user Scott Svarrer referred to Seaver’s new career as a vintner:

Let me guess... you won't be buying Tom Seaver's wine that's due to be released in 2008.

No way.

It’ll probably come with a, one sip and I won’t be able to shut up about myself. (I have enough trouble with that…I don’t need any help!)

We’ll get back to business-related emails tomorrow…

KC's View: