People forget what sorry shape baseball was in not so long ago. It was a slow dull sports forum dominated by pitching and plagued by a bunch of high paid whiners with a strong union always willing to stand up to management. The strike just about put a nail in the coffin.
Baseball was in need of a shot in the arm or in the ass if you will. That’s exactly what happened. Individuals and teams went about the process of creating a few monsters to save the national pastime.
No one was going to show up or buy season tickets to watch Cal Ripken spray singles around the field every day. The fans always will pay to see the long ball.
Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds were skinny and fast with a good eye for the ball. Mark McGwire was an out of shape blubber basket. Canseco, Palmiero and others were nothing. They took the drugs, they took the risk to health and credibility. They didn’t do it for any altruistic reasons, they did it to get big, they did it so they could crunch the ball. No matter how big you get you can’t hit a baseball unless you have the instinct and talent to do it. No one has ever hit a ball like Barry Bonds, not fat ass Babe Ruth, drunk Mickey or maudlin Maris.
Ted Williams, the greatest eye in baseball would have been the first to bend to the needle. If the ‘splendid splinter’ could have added some bulk he would have hit 70 big ones in the fifties.
Baseballers have been cheating since the inception of the game. Ty Cobb, the biggest asshole in the game, would do anything to get on base. Doctored balls, spit, pine tar, cork, intimidation, uppers, downers, booze anything to get an edge. The truth is the opposing team always knew who they were facing and what they were up to. Counter measures were employed; it was part of the charm and strategy of the game.
I agree that enough is enough. The game should be played as straight as it can be. The rotten lying politicians in congress should mind their own fetid beds and worry about when the nation will call them on to the carpet.
I fall in love every spring. Play ball!