Finally, I can stop listening to my dad tell me stories about, "when baseball ruled the world". The golden era of baseball has is a twinkle in his eye and just a Starting Lineup Figurine in mine. We have reached a new time in America. Never in our history as a country has there been so much division in American opinion over a two presidential candidates, divided by partisan beliefs about how to fight a war properly that we have never had to fight before. Only after 9/11 did baseball reach its level of popularity that it once had, and somehow edge its way into what I am going to call the Platinum Era. I mean why not? Bling, Bling baby.
Somehow between Sammy and Mark reuniting our hearts and souls as they chased Maris, and The Yankees-Diamondbacks World Series, our hearts grew caloused and hard. We are spoiled I guess, but for whatever reason the Maris chase wasn't enough. Perhaps it was Balco shattering the record the next year so easily. But to no evail, baseball is here to stay. The strike plague has found Hockey and destroyed whatever was left of it (was there anythign left of it?). High School and foreign players have demolished the NBA with a vengeance. And the NFL? America take heed, this is what happens to a league when it is set up to have every team at .500. Who wants to watch the 7-6 Eagles play the 8-5 Vikings at season end? No ONE!!! These 'beefs' set aside lets talk about what is right in sports. Baseball has done so many things right while everyone else has gotten so many things wrong.
MLB has recently said Instant Replay is not an option. We saw the most exciting post season in baseball history and 4 calls were questionable when they happened. Upon the end of each play the entire crews met together and got the calls right. America was so proud. It was like all the blunders we have made with Social Security and Welfare programs were forgotten, an establishment that is truly American in form, had actually worked.
The Washington Senators are back, and despite whether you think they should have moved the team to Vegas (bad idea) or New Orleans (Excellent idea) the move is a great thing. Selig botched the greatest season in Expos history during the strike season so he had to do something and bringing back the Senators, well for some reason, make me feel connected to some baseball past and lore.
Baseball has Marquee players, and lots of them. Name an offensive lineman for the Bengals. Name 3 NHL players from America. Name 4 of the 5 Atlanta Hawks players. Thank you, and as if my point is not clear enough....
America has Joe Dimaggio again. Every American can tell you their favorite baseball player. The loveable Red Sox gave us Curt, pitching thru a bloody ankle: Damon, wooly mammoth hot guy: Pappy, fun loving chubby kid. America saw the Yankees lose, which told us that us that sometimes Big Corporate America doesnt put the "mom and pop" out of business. Randy Johnson's perfect game, Clemens Cy Young, Jeter's hitting slump, the Cards choking, and yes those 8 games of glory that we shall never forget. So, Paul Simon get off baseball's ass, and tell me where have you gone Wayne Gretzky? Michael Jordan? Joe Montana? Hell even Jerry Rice is bitching like Keyshawn...what have you guys done with your sports? Baseball is Back! Bling, Bling!
Next week: Russ Ortiz a symbol of intimidation and strength on the hill...I wouldn't bat against Russ Ortiz if you told me you would buy me the new Brittney Spears "greatest hits" album....and by the way since when do 22 yr olds get "greatest hits" albums?
"What doesnt kill me, only makes me want another dip of snuff"