Monday, July 14, 2008


I caught a bit of the ol' All-Star Home Run Derby on ESPN tonight. Baseball seems to lend itself most easily to an All-Star format, and I typically enjoy the festivities.

However, I was a bit taken aback by how ESPN annotated the players' stats. When each player comes up to the plate, a few stats are thrown up, including his time in the majors. And it's called "service", as in "MLB service: 5 years". Now, I like baseball, but I can't figure out how making millions of dollars to play a game and sell products is "service". Let's not devalue the word, hm?

1 comment:

noternie said...

The phrasing comes from the baseball collective bargaining agreement. A player's eligibility for free agency is based on his major league "service time."

It used to be that no matter how long they played in the major leagues, players were essentially owned by their teams. No free agency, no negotiating. They either signed the deal the team offered or they didn't play. That was known as the "reserve clause."

And they didn't make a ton of money back then. So the term was appropriate when it was established.

Quite a show by Hamilton, though, huh?