Global Ethics Corner: Baseball and Global Sports Development

March 20, 2009

What are the ethics of global sports development?

The banking crisis has hit the baseball world hard. Joe Favorito notes, "In the short term, everything is affected. Teams have to find other means to attract revenue…."

Developing foreign players is one way. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed two young Indians—one a cricket bowler, the other a javelin thrower—to minor league pitching contracts….

The organizers of March's World Baseball Classic hope the tournament will introduce new fans and players to the game.

John Genzale suggests, "…it could be huge. It could do wonders for baseball's popularity in Italy."

Fearing their highest-paid stars would get hurt, MLB resisted the tournament, but relented in 2005 when baseball was voted out of the Olympics.

America's pastime is now global. "What we see in baseball is an acknowledgement that with satellite TV and online video, the fan has changed," said Favorito.

Regarding global growth, is baseball watched and played "for the love of the game"? Or, is it "just business"? Perhaps it's an opportunity to teach character? Don't these perspectives usually conflict?

What do you think?

Adapted by a blog posting by Matthew Hennessey on Fairer Globalization 

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