One of my all time favorite movies is Gladiator which is a film rich in action, Shakespearean plot, skilled actors with impeccable timing/chemistry, and above all else memorable quotes.
Three of my favorite quotes are :
- Roman senator Gracchus who said "Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them, and they'll be distracted. Take away their freedom, and still they'll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate. It's the sand of the Colosseum. Bring them death … and they will love you for it. "
- Slave Owner Proximo who said "Listen to me. Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom. "
- General/Slave Maximus who said "I will win the crowd. I will give them something they have never seen before."
Very cool movie nerd stuff that relates to baseball and softball.
In baseball the fans are the mob. They are the patrons and the beating heart of any organization. You can over charge them for tickets and food, give them limited seating views, put all the games on cable, make them pay mafia like PSL's (personal seats licenses), make them watch games at lousy times and in terrible weather conditions, abuse them all you want as long as you WIN they will come. If you don't win you better give them what they want and that is BLOOD. Fire a GM (Minaya), Fire a Manager (Manual), dump/eat bad contracts (Castillo/Perez), and trade players (Reyes). Easy sucker mark as long as you keep them happy.
Softball is no different. Fans, players, and managers idolize goon players as long as they win and perform. The softball mob loves dominating pitchers, home runs hitters, trash talking, unsportsmanlike conduct, bullies, assholes, etc as long as you give them a show/entertainment. The Softball Mob wants blood, victories, tension, and drama.
However, that doesn't mean the mob is always right. It takes strong leadership to ignore the mob (and maybe security on the walk back to your car). Regardless, the Mob's need for immediate gratification is always a pressure factor in sports, politics, and life in general