Part of the reason some fans are frustrated about the state of sports is because the competitive ferocity of yesteryear doesn't really exist anymore. Or, at least, it can sometimes feel that way. Look at the New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox rivalry and how that's softened, with players even commenting on the matter. You could say Dodgers-Giants doesn't have the same feel as it once did, either.
Why? Because the industry is becoming more and more of a business -- on both sides of the aisle (owners vs players) -- by the day. There's load management in the NBA to protect a team's best assets from wear and tear. Roughing the passer/personal foul penalties in the NFL have reached threat level midnight. Starting pitching in MLB? Don't get your uncle started on how that's played a role in deteriorating modern American society.
Some of this, undoubtedly, has taken away from the luster on the field. Sometimes the game isn't as heated as the fans hoped it would be. Sometimes it's genuinely unenjoyable for fans to witness rivals being buddy-buddy. Do you think Yankees and Red Sox fans like seeing David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter on the same broadcast?
In today's game, this is as common as ever, though, especially with players serving as on-air personalities or correspondents for the postseason if they'd been eliminated.
Dodgers star Mookie Betts is doing just that right now and was spotted talking to Arizona Diamondbacks enemy Corbin Carroll on the field before Game 3 of the World Series Monday night.
Dodgers fans react to Mookie Betts talking to Corbin Carroll at World Series
The responses? All very much unpleasant, taking jabs at Betts for his postseason struggles and the Dodgers' overall disappointment. But does Twitter ever know what its talking about? Is Twitter ever nice? Does Twitter ever represent a shred of rationality?
Betts is a World Series champion! He's an MVP. Gold Glover. Silver Slugger. All-Star. Bowling champion. Standup citizen. He doesn't need anybody's take on why he should or shouldn't be at the World Series and interacting with players/rivals/peers etc.
Blame the evolution of the game, if anything. Blame Rob Manfred, who's probably throwing more money at the players to do this! Same goes for all the networks! While it's not the best feeling seeing one of your favorite players interact with a division rival who eliminated you from the postseason this year, this is the way it is. And it's probably time you accept that rather than lose years on your life because of it.
Some of these negative outbursts in particular situations may have validity to them, like if we saw Max Muncy pal-ing it up with Madison Bumgarner in a similar situation. That would have our world come crashing down. Never.
But they mostly stem from fans being unable to process one's team's recent playoff failures (or failures in general). Because do you think for a second D-backs fans are livid with Carroll talking to Betts? No! Carroll eliminated him. He's in the World Series. He can talk to anybody and it won't be viewed unfavorably.
The sport has changed. The Dodgers have frustrated their fanbase. Players are now media personalities. Rivalries aren't as hate-filled as they once were. There's plenty more to express discontent about.
Just enjoy the World Series. You owe it to yourself.