Been awhile. I realize this. It’s unfortunate. I absolutely love writing about sports, especially baseball, doubly more if it regards the Bronx Bombers. But, the deadly combo of writing a third screenplay and shouldering a vicious semester of work has left me precious little time for the gloriously trivial pursuit of sports writing. This is a real shame.
But I come forth today with an idea. MLB, listen up!
If one actually considers the idea of an athlete, he may come to the conclusion that these guys, at their core, are expressive performance artists. Sure, there’s competition involved, but it’s really the unique style of each and every individual player that hooks us. The nuance.
If it were ALL about ideals vain as winning and losing, well ****, baseball would be no fun. It isn’t so much the success and failure that sticks with us, but indelible images, the juxtaposition of Ken Griffey’s electricity and grace, Alex Rodriguez’s strength and fluidity, Manny Ramirez’s sleepy intensity.
Style. This is where baseball has it ALL OVER the other sports. The fan can truly know the individual player.
In this vein, I’m of the opinion that baseball should exploit this connection for profit.
Basic capitalism, isn’t it?
So, this is my idea:
Market DVD anthologies of marquee player’s greatest hits. This would especially work for pitchers, but could also apply to position players.
To wit, I’ll use my favorite pitcher, Mike Mussina, as an example.
Dub the DVD set “The very best of Mike Mussina”, or something similar.
Include his most memorable performances over a long and distinguished career spanning nearly two decades.
Inform Moose of this idea, and invite him down to MLB studios for some audio commentary.
Take it a step further. For Mussina’s forgotten masterpiece against the Indians in Game 3 of the ’97 ALCS, track down Chris Hoiles, and have catcher and hurler reminisce about pitch selection and strategy. Do the same with Jorge Posada for Game 3 of 2001 ALDS.
Sure, this inside baseball conversation might be boring to most people, but fans are totally out of their minds. We love this stuff.
How could this idea not work? I’d buy this in a second, ****, I’d overpay.
And, if you, the reader, aren’t a Mussina fan, just extrapolate the idea elsewhere, replace Mike with Pedro, or Randy Johnson, or whoever you want.
MLB could even put together old school compilations, like “The Best of Reggie Jackson”.
Met fans can relieve the thrill of watching Tom Terrific methodically carve his way through a lineup.
And the games can even be delightfully random!
For Mussina, throw in his complete game shutout against the Pirates in 2005. Who wouldn’t want to take a trip down memory lane with the flying Redman brothers, Tike and Mark?
So, there you go. I’m just throwing this idea out there, because honestly, what am I going to do with it?