The first time I saw a Major League Baseball game was in 1961 when the Yankees defeated the Washington Senators. I was all of six years old and was enchanted by Yankee Stadium. My Dad, however, was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in mourning and becoming a Yankees’ fan in our home was not acceptable. In 1962 I had the chance to see the New York Mets play in the Polo Grounds and I became a life long Mets fan.
I’m not sure I’m interested in Major League baseball this year. I might stick just to the Bats and AAA Ball.
I’m rapidly losing interest in Major League baseball. The thought is coming to mind for several reasons.
First, the great records of the game are no longer great records of the game. The single season home run champion is Barry Bonds who most probably cheated his way to the record. He, of course, passed Mark Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa who both cheated on their way to the records. Roger Maris and Hank Aaron, who learned their records honestly, are no longer the record holders.
Additionally, when Aaron the Maris broke their records, it was a pitcher’s game. They played against truly great pitching on higher mounds than now. And they didn’t use steroids.
Secondly, a baseball game was, at its best, a game of strategy and attrition. Starting pitchers often pitched the entire game or the vast majority of it. You’ll rarely see a starter pitch past six innings and now it’s all set up men and closers. Lost is the attrition in the game. The usage of the DH, well, is sinful. Managers no longer have to plan around the ‘weak’ hitting pitcher. Blah.
Thirdly, the money. It now costs a fortune to go to the ball game. There is no bargain in going to a baseball game.
Lastly, it’s not about the kids any more. It used to be that kids had heroes and you could watch your heroes. Growing up it was common on a summer’s afternoon to get out of the sun and hang out with your friends and watch the ball game on TV. We’d all watch our favorite players and go outside and emulate them. We all learned to pitch with the great high kick of Juan Marichal, we could mimic the strange stance of Willie Mays, do the practice swings of Mickey Mantle, and drop the ball like Marvelous Marvin Throneberry. And we could all spit and chew 12 piece of gum at one time.
Now the games are in ‘prime time.’ Kids are asleep. Beside, there are no more pick up games of baseball any more.
I’m not sure how much I’m going to follow baseball this year.
Oh, and before you comment that the same could be said for the NFL. Please don’t. I’m still watching my Giants this year!!!