Friday, December 14, 2007

A Major League Debacle. . .

The report on Major League Baseball made public yesterday by Senator George Mitchell offers an equal opportunity indictment of everyone involved in baseball; players, team management, the players' union, and MLB itself. Personally, I was surprised at some of the names "mentioned" in the report. I remember a colleague of mine some 40 years ago who, although speaking in a different context, said that, "It is really tough when you discover that your gods have clay feet." Regardless of any future action, or inaction, too many baseball heroes have been forever tainted, even if they used performance enhancers before they were banned.

How could this happen? Is it the added pressure that is placed on players who used to just enjoy the game? Is it the millions of dollars per year offered to the highest achievers as long as they maintain their "numbers?" I, for one, have never understood why people need to earn such outrageous sums of money that they could quit today and never have to work again. [In fairness, I feel the same way about upper management in corporations; I am not just blaming athletes or high powered agents.] What has happened to our sense of what is important in life? Both of the daily newspapers I read (Los Angeles Times and Daily Breeze) had front pages today filled with Mitchell's report and local reactions but nothing about the war in Iraq, or gasoline prices, or the impact of the housing market on the economy. Maybe I should be happy; nothing of real importance was there to upset my morning reading today.

Yes, I know that Major League Baseball will survive. Yes, I know that just because names have been mentioned, that is not the same as proven fact. Yet, in the wake of what our national pastime has become, I am afraid that like Mighty Casey, baseball has struck out.

Let's see now. It's only a bit over 2 months until spring training begins. Then I will be able to begin to see how my beloved teams (Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers) were improved by their off-season acquisitions. And I too will truly believe what is written on one of my favorite T-shirts:

Batter up!


Eric Valentine said...

Yes it's a pity Leon.

Seems no sport is safe though from drug allegations ~ it certainly takes away the glitter. :(

Leon said...

Yes, it does Eric. But I still love the game and have so many memories of sitting in the centerfield bleachers at Briggs Stadium (later Tiger Stadium) when I was a kid.

I left Detroit 46 years ago and still follow the Tigers closely, And, for some reason, all 3 of my kids (now aged 40, 26 and 24)have also been good Tiger fans even though they were raised far away from the motor city.

Good to hear from you so often my friend. :-)