Friday, August 10, 2007

America's Pastime

I was a big baseball fan growing up. I played it and had the baseball cards and learned to read box scores in the paper and followed the pennant races and watched it on TV. I didn't grow up in a major league city, so I only went to one game as a kid. Braves, Cardinals on a visit to Atlanta. I saw Hank Aaron and Joe Torre hit home runs. The game went into extra innings, I think 13, and we were out till midnight. It was great.

I followed Aaron's home run record chase intently. I remember him coming up just short at the end of the season and having to wait an entire off-season to see him hit 714 and 715. It was an exciting time for a baseball loving kid.

Then I went off to college in Dallas, and I was in a major league city. We would go see the Rangers on a whim, as bleacher seats were cheap enough that even on a college budget we had enough for a stop in one of the local Arlington strip clubs on the way home. ("Seriously, dude, I think she likes me.")

But through a combination of all the strikes and lockouts and crap that baseball went through, I completely lost interest. And I can't get it back. I moved to South Florida the year the Marlins first won the World Series. I thought I might be able to get it back then, but Huizenga went and sold off the entire team and they went in the crapper. I got tickets to a game a couple of years later, and there were just over 5,000 people there. It was pathetic in a stadium that holds 60,000 for Dolphin games. That didn't rekindle my interest. In fact, I think we left around the fifth inning.

I do remember the "summer that saved baseball" with McGuire and Sosa hitting ridiculous amounts of home runs. I didn't follow it because they were so obviously juiced up on steroids. And now, when people say, "we didn't know at the time that they were on steroids," I just have to laugh. Anyone who has spent any time in a gym knows what guys using steroids look like. It's like the skinny chick with the huge, perfectly round tits up under her chin with the three inch gap between them that is stretched so tight you can see her sternum. We know they're fake, she knows there fake, there's nothing more to see here, just keep moving. It is impossible to get the body that McGuire or Sosa had without help. We (my friends and I) knew those guys were on steroids. I don't remember any of us being outraged, it was just a fact. For people to say they didn't know at the time is a joke.

So Bonds broke Hank's record sometime this week. I don't care. I have noticed some people trying to play the race card against the white establishment sports writers. These are the same sports writers who have raked the white McGuire over the coals and who think Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali and Tiger Woods can actually walk on water. I watched Aaron break the white man's record, and he did it in the South. There was some racial tension there. Bonds? Give me a break.


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