Major League Baseball 2008

Specialized Body

Position Papers are due 11:59pm Thursday, March 1st to

Major League Baseball is the premier baseball league in the world, and is America’s national pastime. While the sport has had a very complex history, Major League Baseball was founded in 1903. The league has often been at the forefront of American discussion and politics, from the discussion of the color barrier, to its inclusion of international players, to the synonymous relationship between major franchises and the politics of the area. In 2008, however, the league faces a set of challenges that will shape the future of the sport forever. The first major topic of discussion is the dissection of the issue of steroids. In the lead-up to this time, reports have placed the percentage of players on steroids as 25 to 40 percent by pitcher David Wells, to as high as 80 percent by Jose Canseco. However, even with increased testing, the amount of players caught by the league has been much less than the numbers reported. Yet, many of those reported to be “juiced” have been pillars in the baseball community, including Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, and Barry Bonds. It will be a major issue of this committee to address the threat steroids pose to the league and its integrity. Another major issue that will be debated is the inclusion of international players. With the US’s contentious relation with Cuba, along with the rise of foreign leagues, especially in Japan, the onus of navigating a rocky political climate and ever-globalizing world is on this committee, and the committee must take the political climate of the nation, along with their own business and personal priorities into account. The third major issue that will be debated and discussed is the declining viewership of Major League Baseball. The 2006 World Series saw the lowest viewership in the history of baseball TV broadcasting, and attendance continues to decline in ballparks around the country. It is up to the committee to decide how best to address this issue, whether it be addressing concerns of a slow pace of play, more aggressive marketing, or any other approach the committee deems fit for this major concern. Other topics that will be discussed are the use of pine tar, expansion of international viewership, and MLB as a force in the community. Regarding the semantics of this committee, it will be run as a specialized body, however, in order to create a dynamic committee, crisis updates should be anticipated. I encourage all delegates to thoroughly research the purview of the Owner’s meeting, along with the own personal priorities of their character. While this is the Owner’s meeting, there will be many outside members of the Baseball community in the meeting, so anticipate what impact that may have on debate. I look forward to a fantastic committee!