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"It's All For The Fans!" - I'mGivingYouARant

"No no, that's okay. I only built the most successful team in, oh I don't know, ONE HUNDRED GODDAMN YEARS!" -Theo kindly responds to questions regarding his "sudden" invitation to the Fenway Festival.
"No no, that's okay. I only built the most successful team in, oh I don't know, ONE HUNDRED GODDAMN YEARS!" -Theo kindly responds to questions regarding his "sudden" invitation to the Fenway Festival.

I haven't had a good ol' fashioned rant in quite a while, so I guess it's appropriate that I start with one about our most hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox. I mean, where do I begin? Their team is a joke, their fans are now quite possibly considering more obnoxious and front running than even Yankees fans (don't fool yourself, that's impossible), and now they are celebrating 100 years of playing in that moronic dump of a stadium. To quote the Joker from the animated movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, "It'd be funny if it weren't so pathetic. Ah, what the hey. I'll laugh anyway!" followed by perfect Mark Hamill voice acted Joker laughter.

Okay, now that I've rid myself of that silly little bit of fun and douchebaggish Yankee fan poking, this rant is not really about the Red Sox, or even their fans, or even Fenway Park. This rant is more about how I am really just starting to feel about baseball as a whole lately and just what I feel it's turning into. Fenway Park's historic 100 Year Anniversary is upon us today and as a baseball fan, not a Yankees fan, I feel "some" sort of joy that even Boston fans have something historic like this to celebrate, and I'm sure a lot of their fans will indeed come away happy. However, due to my cynical dislike of the money making side of baseball, I just have this dreaded feeling that they've exploited this historic day for absolutely everything that it's worth. As a baseball fan, I feel that I'm just going to find the whole thing tasteless.

More after the jump...

I've pretty much done nothing but dump on, critique, and pretty much outright hate just about everything that Commissioner Bud Selig has done to baseball, but I've always said that there is one thing he has actually succeeded in doing for the sport; making it money. Despite how I feel it has slowly poisoned my favorite sport, there is a chance it has increased the number of fans. There's also the possibility that it has only increased the number of fans at certain, select ballparks and that winning and success are what actually bring a fanbase back to the stadium. Or it could just be that with all the new stadiums popping up and cutting the number of seats, adding more season ticket packages, and adding more luxury suites, it just seems like more fans are showing up because stadiums seem more packed. Regarding luxury suites, some might not even be fans. To be honest, I don't know as I have no legitimate proof. I usually never do for my rants. What I do remember is that my Mom's job use to get box seats at Shea Stadium and I could get them for free until they realized they were giving out expensive tickets for free when there was a market for the team finally. And before you judge me as you rightfully should, two of my best friends are Mets fans and I have nothing against them, so of course I would take them to the games. Especially with really nice box seats four boxes back from the field right along 3rd base.

With what I just said, I'd like to bring up the title for this little (lets be silly, my rants are never little) rant of mine, "It's All For The Fans!" One would think baseball making more money would be good for the fans of the sport, as the sport could feasible grow and expand, providing viewers access to the sport from around the world. Actually, it has done that. However, is that what has brought more fans back to the stadiums? With our two opponents this afternoon, the Yankees and Red Sox, I really don't feel it has. Oh yeah, I remember empty seats in Yankee Stadium in the 80's and early 90's quite vividly. Then the Yankees did something quite incredible and became one of the best teams in baseball, winning an unprecedented four World Series Championships in five years, and coming extremely close to winning another the following year. Amazingly, this new wave of victory and success brought fans back to the game. I won't get into the quality of fan that started going to those games, as you've heard me rant about that before, but still it helped fuel the formula that the Yankees organization still follow to this day. The Red Sox organization have pretty much used this formula as well after their success in 2004 and 2007.

Success = Fans = Money = Continued Success and repeat

Continued Success is in bold because I'mUsingItProfanely it's the key aspect to when I feel just making money is no longer enough and instead we get into sheer exploitation mode. This 100 Year Anniversary of Fenway Park should be about the Red Sox fans. This is their celebration of their ballpark. This is their day, their weekend. Did it really matter who they were playing at the time? Did it HAVE to be the Yankees? Some would say, of course it did, because who better for the Red Sox to defeat on the 100th Anniversary of our stadium than the Yankees? Who better to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Fenway than with its long time rival. Personally, I would find it kind of insulting if I were a Red Sox fan. As someone who thinks the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry has been exploited so much as this new Wild Card system now gives both teams a greater statistical chance to face each other in the playoffs somehow, I find this insulting. This event should be about Fenway Park's Birthday and NOT the already highly touted, always FOX'd Saturday Game of the Week, always ESPN'd Sunday Night Baseball rivalry that I just feel has been exploited to the point of not being even that fun anymore. I'll always root for the Red Sox to lose just like I'll always root for the Yankees to win, as these feelings have been ingrained in me since IWasGivingYouAnOreo when I was much younger. However it has just been exploited for everything it's worth with unbalanced scheduling and the new desire to see the Yankees & Red Sox face each other in the playoffs all the time.

Perhaps I just feel different about this as both a baseball and Yankees fan, or perhaps I just let my hatred of the exploitative, money making aspect of the game cloud my judgment. I just don't see the need or purpose to have the Red Sox & Yankees rivalry ONCE AGAIN "renewed" somehow by having us be the team they face during the birthday of their coveted and pretty beloved (except for Luke Scott) stadium. This is about Fenway Park and what it has meant to Boston Red Sox fans over the years. They have no problem getting fans to Fenway now and odds are it was a guaranteed sellout crowd at this, the day of their stadium's birth. It still could have been a fantastic celebration, with or without the Yankees as their guests. However, here we are with the typical coverage this weekend of FOX on Saturday and ESPN on Sunday, covering this whole thing. Mind you, it could have been covered with or without the Yankees. But then, would anyone watch? Personally, I would. I know Red Sox fans definitely will. It's other baseball fans that might not have tuned in, although I don't even know if they truly care about the rivalry anymore than I currently do. One thing this does do though is make attending the event that much more expensive. I don't know if this is true for Fenway Park like it is for Yankee Stadium, but I know that tickets here jump in price when the Red Sox, or Mets (no no, IGYAR. Must not rant about Interleague), come to town. I assume the same is true for Fenway though, because I cannot see why they wouldn't do it. Again, this celebration of Fenway should be about the fans and it just seems everything has been done to make this into a super expensive, exploitative extravaganza that's less about the fans and more about what I feel is baseball only purpose anymore, which is to make as much money as possible no matter what.

Look, I understand fully that baseball is a business and that all businesses should try their best to make as much money as possible. In that same regard though, there comes a time, as a customer, when you just start to feel like you're totally being exploited by the business you thought cared about you, instead of all the money you were putting into it supporting this team by going and watching at the stadium, by spending on an account, and so on. It's probably childish but it's nothing new since businesses lose customers for what they consider poor customer service all the time. Before Bud Selig implemented his moronic push for the 2nd Wild Card team this year, I was beginning to believe that this year was the last year of baseball that I would enjoy, despite my dislike of the original Wild Card many years ago, despite the unbalanced scheduling, interleague, idiotic All Star Game, and the exploitation. I don't really feel that way anymore now with the further exploitation this year, including this "renewed" rivalry hogwash they keep shoving in my face. With the original 2013 2nd Wild Card bullshit, along with the Astros coming to the AL next year which will force year long interleague, I was just looking forward to this year before the exploitation continued and got worse, like I truly feel it will with year long interleague. Here I am though, already slightly detesting this year due to all the further exploitation.

I don't think I can stop rooting for the Yankees ever and I'll always want them to win no matter how much I think they are poisoning the sport with what they are doing. However, I'm just starting to feel more of an emptiness inside when it comes to my favorite sport. I'll be honest and say that this blog and my job help me continue to care and to hope, but it's wearing thin. Heh, maybe I'm just still depressed about Brett Gardner being on the DL. Maybe it is all for the fans and maybe everything Selig is doing will eventually make the sport better.

I just feel like it's absolutely not for me.