Parity is a double-edged sword for Major League Baseball

Parity has a price, and for Major League Baseball, it comes in the form of declining television ratings and a lower profile in October.

Even as one of the most entertaining and competitive post-seasons in some time continues, baseball is aware of the problem.

When the Boston Red Sox failed to make the post-season and both the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies were knocked out in first-round upsets, baseball could rightly claim that it had achieved total competitive balance.

If the three biggest-spending teams in the game could not win a play-offs round while budget-conscious teams such as Tampa Bay could qualify for the post-season and some modest-spending clubs could reach the two League Championship Series, then surely parity has arrived.

In fact, parity has been here for a while, with six different franchises - the White Sox, Cardinals, Red Sox, Phillies, Yankees and Giants - winning the six World Series beginning in 2005.

Fans often say that they like parity and complain when the "same old teams" dominate in October. But the truth is that they are less likely to watch when lower-profile clubs go deep in the play-offs.

It is poor timing for baseball, too, as many of its national TV deals are winding down and negotiations for new contracts loom on the horizon.

Baseball can say that competitive balance is a good thing for the game, and it is, but the same cannot always be said for its effect on the bottom line.

Fast X

Director: Louis Leterrier

Stars: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jason Momoa, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Brie Larson, Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron

Rating: 3/5


Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Power: 261hp at 5,500rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 1,750-4,000rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 10.5L/100km
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh129,999 (VX Luxury); from Dh149,999 (VX Black Gold)


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5


Director: Atlee

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi

Rating: 4/5