Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Final out made for now in stadium game

One thing about sports is that when the final out is made or the clock runs out, the game is over. Really over.

Of course, sometimes it isn’t. See, for example, the 1972 Olympics when the U.S. and Russian basketball teams played.

Almost all of the time, though, it’s over, over, over.

So when I read that Lee County had made a deal with the Boston Red Sox for a new spring training complex, it was almost a relief. See the Sarasota Herald-Tribune for details.

Basically, Lee County officials rolled over and let the Sox have their way with them. That’s the way it normally works in the stadium game, with public officials desperate to keep or gain a team no matter the cost and team officials bleating about how eager they are for a deal, and the government has to foot the bill.

There were vocal advocates on both sides of the debate, and those who favored bringing the Sox to Sarasota are now grousing, while opponents are cheering. We lost, they say, and in so doing we won.

City and county commissioners often pay lip service to the idea of doing what the citizens want, unless it conflicts with what local officials want. Hurling money at a team and hoping some of it bounces off and hits needy locals is a time-honored practice that usually enriches the team and leaves the government holding the bill.

So it’s over, right? Well, there are still the Orioles, who are eyeing Vero Beach’s once-famous Dodgertown but are, of course, looking out for the best deal for themselves.

As I mentioned before, some in Sarasota saw the prospect of the Orioles coming for spring training to be kind of a booby prize, like getting sugarless gum or vegetables when going trick-or-treating, but they may be moved to go overboard to bring a team – any team – to the area.

For right now, though, citizens’ wallets are safe. The game is over, for now.

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November 2, 2008 - Posted by | The business of sports | , , , , , , , , ,

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