As long as I can remember I have always loved baseball. I care about the sport. I think sometimes more than some of the people involved because part of me still recognizes the game within the business.
When it is right, it is beautiful.
There is passion, such as I saw last autumn during the Mets’ playoff run. There is joy, as I saw in David Wright’s smile the night they swept the Dodgers. There is untold disappointment as I saw in his eyes the night the season ended.
I am sad for the sport tonight.
I channel surfed when I came back from dinner and saw Barry Bonds hit a baseball over the fence in San Diego. I knew the game was on, but refused to watch. Doing so, I thought, would be a form of support.
I am glad the game was on TV late on a Saturday night when the ratings would be down.
I will always believe the owners turned their backs on steroids so they could fill the seats of their stadiums with fans to watch the “home run” hitters.
Their greed gave tacit approval first to Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, and then to Bonds. And, let’s not give any kudos to the Players Association because its priority should be the health of its members.
I know some of you will blame the media, saying why didn’t we do something? Well, some in the. print media tried to get word out. Those in TV did not because they are in bed with MLB. The reason the issue is in the forefront now is because of newspapers.
In my heart I am convinced Bonds cheated. I also believe MLB wasn’t willing to go through the ugliness of a legal clash with Bonds. I believe Bud Selig thinks Bonds used steroids, but didn’t have the stomach to go after him the way the sport went after Pete Rose.
Bonds has hit 755 baseballs over the walls of major league stadiums. But, I refuse to call them home runs, and I know you know what I mean.
As far as I am concerned, Hank Aaron is the all-time leader. Bonds will always have an asterisk by his name and will not get my Hall of Fame vote.
I still feel passion for the game itself, but tonight I feel disappointment, sadness and anger for the sport that is major league baseball.
A record wasn’t tied tonight, it was just tainted.
And, tonight baseball isn’t right. Tonight it isn’t beautiful.