Red Sox (Almost) Do It Right

The Futures at Fenway

There was some good old-fashioned baseball played at Fenway Park on Saturday. Not only was there a two-for-the–price-of-one doubleheader (remember those?) and fan-friendly ticket prices (remember those?), there were even a pair of walk-offs. The Red Sox weren’t involved — they were in Baltimore, playing the Orioles in Camden Yards. The combatants were a pair of Boston minor league affiliates, the short-season Lowell Spinners and the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs, going up against the Hudson Valley Renegades (Tampa Bay) and Harrisburg Senators (Washington).

This is a great idea. The Phillies have had the Reading Phillies play at Citizen’s Bank Park on occasion, but this idea is even better. It’s a real-live doubleheader, with both games coming with the price of one ticket. (Unlike most doubleheaders in the majors nowadays where the stadium is emptied out between games, and you need two separate tickets to see both games.) This gives the fans who can’t afford the very expensive tickets a chance to see a major league stadium, while taking their kids as well, without having to take out a second mortgage.

Baseball, perhaps more than any other major sport, is much better in person than on TV. On TV, it can seem slow and dull, but in person, there’s nothing like it. (I was just listening to an interview with an author who remarked that he took his son to a baseball game, and it was the first trip for both. The author, who was not previously a baseball fan, was amazed how interesting and exciting it was viewed in person.) There is simply too much occurring on the baseball diamond for TV to catch it all, so you miss a huge part of the game if you’re not watching it in person. Major League Baseball needs to figure out how to get families into the park to watch games, or they risk losing the younger generation, even more than they already have.

The Red Sox deserve a lot of credit for making this possible, but it would be even better to allow families to see a major league game as inexpensively as they did a minor league game.

Quote-a-palooza

“Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.” – Samuel Adams

“Today’s young people have the ability to experience excitement more than any generation in history. Outside of school, excitement is available almost 24/7. MTV is exciting (MTV has done far more damage to this generation than has the tobacco industry); video games are exciting… The list of exciting things many children experience is as long as there are hours in the day. But all this excitement is actually inhibiting our children’s ability to enjoy life and therefore be happy. All this excitement renders young people jaded, not happy… All this excitement in their lives bodes poorly for the future happiness of millions of American children. Real life, let alone daily life, will seem so boring to them that they will not be able to enjoy it. And more than a few of them will opt for lives of constant excitement, often in ways destructive to themselves and others. The solutions are as simple to offer as they may be difficult to enforce. Limit the amount of excitement in your children’s lives: the amount of video games, the amount of non-serious television, the amount of music whose only aim is to excite. If they are bored, they will have to remedy that boredom by playing with friends, finding a hobby, talking to a family member, walking the dog, doing chores, reading a book or magazine, learning a musical instrument or foreign language, memorizing state capitals, writing a story or just their thoughts, exercising or playing a sport, or just thinking. The younger the age from which children are deprived of superficial excitement, the longer they will remain innocent- i.e., not jaded- and capable of real happiness.” – Dennis Prager

“To live in the presence of great truths and eternal laws, to be led by permanent ideals- that is what keeps a man patient when the world ignores him, and calm and unspoiled when the world praises him.” – Honore De Balzac

“A substantial number of Americans, perhaps a majority, believe that government should dictate where people live, what their housing structures should look like, and how they should be constructed. They believe it is right for government to dictate what curriculum children should study in school. They believe it is right for government to dictate which land should be cultivated, and which land should not be touched by humans. They believe it is right for government to dictate the kind of automobiles that are available for people to purchase. Simply put, a substantial number of Americans believe it is right for government to dictate how people should live. They believe that government should ‘engineer’ society. How different is this modern attitude from the belief system that led Americans into war to defeat the Nazis’ efforts to engineer society. How different is this modern attitude from the belief system that led our founders to declare that the Creator, not government, endowed people with equal rights to ‘…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ How different is this modern attitude from the notion that legitimate government is empowered only by the consent of the governed. Society has been successfully engineered to believe that the goal is no longer freedom, but the control of government, which means the control of society, to fit the agenda of the controlling party. The idea of entering public service as an elected official in order to limit the power of government, and maximize the freedom of individual citizens, is an obsolete concept.” – Henry Lamb

“Maintenance is necessary but boring, and since government is made up of human beings who abhor boredom, few elected officials or high-level managers are all that interested in this mundane task. Instead, they want to do big, exciting, bold new things- things they can claim for their own… No longer does government exist for the purposes of maintenance and upkeep. Instead, it is seen as a means- perhaps the only significant means- of healing social flaws and reweaving the social fabric. In the process, as the social scientist Nathan Glazer once said, we have become more interested in having government do the sorts of things nobody knows how to do (cure poverty) and less interested in ensuring that government master the sorts of technical tasks it used to do pretty well.” – John Podhoretz

“We should always remember that our strength still lies in our faith in the good sense of the American people. And that the climate in Washington is still opposed to those enduring values, those ‘permanent things’ that we’ve always believed in… Washington is a place of fads and one-week stories. It’s also a company town, and the company’s name is government, big government… In the discussion of federal spending, the time has come to put to rest the sob sister attempts to portray our desire to get government spending under control as a hard-hearted attack on the poor people of America.” – Ronald Reagan