Hard Ball: The Abuse of Power in Pro Team Sports / Edition 1

Hard Ball: The Abuse of Power in Pro Team Sports / Edition 1

ISBN-10:
0691058172
ISBN-13:
9780691058177
Pub. Date:
03/01/1999
Publisher:
Princeton University Press

Hardcover

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Overview

Hard Ball: The Abuse of Power in Pro Team Sports / Edition 1

What can possibly account for the strange state of affairs in professional sports today? There are billionaire owners and millionaire players, but both groups are constantly squabbling over money. Many pro teams appear to be virtual "cash machines," generating astronomical annual revenues, but their owners seem willing to uproot them and move to any city willing to promise increased profits. At the same time, mayors continue to cook up "sweetheart deals" that lavish benefits on wealthy teams while imposing crushing financial hardships on cities that are already strapped with debt. To fans today, professional sports teams often look more like professional extortionists.

In Hard Ball, James Quirk and Rodney Fort take on a daunting challenge: explaining exactly how things have gotten to this point and proposing a way out. Both authors are professional economists who specialize in the economics of sports. Their previous book, Pay Dirt: The Business of Professional Team Sports, is widely acknowledged as the Bible of sports economics. Here, however, they are writing for sports fans who are trying to make sense out of the perplexing world of pro team sports. It is not money, in itself, that is the cause of today's problems, they assert. In fact, the real problem stems from one simple fact: pro sports are monopolies that are fully sanctioned by the U.S. government. Eliminate the monopolies, say Quirk and Fort, and all problems can be solved. If the monopolies are allowed to persist, so will today's woes.

The authors discuss all four major pro team sports: baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. Hard Ball is filled with anecdotes, case studies, and factual information that are brought together here for the first time. Quirk and Fort devote chapters to the main protagonists in the pro sports saga—media, unions, players, owners, politicians, and leagues—before they offer their own prescription for correcting the ills that afflict sports today. The result is an engaging and persuasive book that is sure to be widely read, cited, and debated. It is essential reading for every fan.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691058177
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 03/01/1999
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 246
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

James Quirk, until his retirement, was Professor of Economics at the California Institute of Technology. Rodney Fort is Professor of Economics at Washington State University. Together, Quirk and Fort wrote Pay Dirt: The Business of Professional Team Sports (Princeton).

Table of Contents

Preface

1. The Scene of the Crime 3

2. The Media 27

3. Unions 49

4. Players 75

5. Owners 93

6. Leagues 117

7. State and Local Politics 139

8. Breaking up that Old Gang of Mine 171

Tables 187

Bibliography 227

Index 229

What People are Saying About This

Johnson

Hard Ball is attractive because it is a clearly and compellingly written book about a topic near and dear to the hearts of millions of Americans. It explains the fundamental economic causes of the nasty problems afflicting pro sports leagues in the waning days of the twentieth century. The audience is the smart fan who wants help in understanding why off-the-field problems so often overshadow the competition on the field.
Bruce K. Johnson, Centre College

Hamilton

Hard Ball is a very fun read and delivers good economics in a remarkably painless way.
Bruce W. Hamilton, Johns Hopkins University

Bruce K. Johnson, Centre College

Hard Ball is attractive because it is a clearly and compellingly written book about a topic near and dear to the hearts of millions of Americans. It explains the fundamental economic causes of the nasty problems afflicting pro sports leagues in the waning days of the twentieth century. The audience is the smart fan who wants help in understanding why off-the-field problems so often overshadow the competition on the field.

Bruce K. Johnson

Hard Ball is attractive because it is a clearly and compellingly written book about a topic near and dear to the hearts of millions of Americans. It explains the fundamental economic causes of the nasty problems afflicting pro sports leagues in the waning days of the twentieth century. The audience is the smart fan who wants help in understanding why off-the-field problems so often overshadow the competition on the field.

Recipe

"Hard Ball is attractive because it is a clearly and compellingly written book about a topic near and dear to the hearts of millions of Americans. It explains the fundamental economic causes of the nasty problems afflicting pro sports leagues in the waning days of the twentieth century. The audience is the smart fan who wants help in understanding why off-the-field problems so often overshadow the competition on the field."—Bruce K. Johnson, Centre College

"Hard Ball is a very fun read and delivers good economics in a remarkably painless way."—Bruce W. Hamilton, Johns Hopkins University

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