Alan Jacobs is a good thinker. In this post he's describing the decline of baseball's enjoyment as the game becomes much more efficient and business like. This is Moneyball, pure and simple. Jacobs isn't demanding that Major League Baseball go backward, and he doesn't use this word, but I bet he'd be okay with a lot less business and a return to romance.
I was reminded of this New York Times piece by Tim Wu, "The Tyranny Of Convenience" in which he questions the notion that convenience is even a good thing. I like that he uses the word tyranny in that title. Again, we sacrifice romance for convenience, profit, and efficiency. In the process, more often than we might like to admit, we lose.
Romance? Really? That's what we're after?
I know, I know. It sounds hokey, but consider for a moment the best things in our lives and they will all have to do with romance and romantic notions. All our higher order ideals are romantic, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality. Jacobs is admitting that players, owners, and the league itself are all within their rights to want more money, but there's nothing romantic about that idea. Wu understands the desire and need for convenience, but the romantic idea it would free us from drudgery and lead to utopia is belied by the convenience of email, texting, and Slack. No romance there and certainly no utopia.
Yesterday I wrote about my desire to be a writer. Not a teacher who writes or an anything else that also rights, but a writer. There might not be money in it and the process will be inconvenient as hell for my family. But I'll tell you one thing: it's romantic as all get out and I'm in love with that.