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There was a time when half the allure of following a baseball game was the voice coming out of the radio (and later the TV). Announcers - and before the days of radio, writers - have painted the visions of the games, transmitted the glorious rage of victory to the masses and cast bronze statues with their immortalizing words.
It was these words and sounds that formed the illusory greatness in our collective American minds which in turn created our legends. In reality, these guys were merely playing a game; performing at the highest levels on the biggest stages. But they were humans, under the circumstances, doing their best.
Yet, here we are in 2009... nearly the end of the 'Naughty Augties'... with more media outlets and contributors than ever and - in my opinion - the game could never be in better hands.
Yup, I'm about to defend the media, praise ESPN and even tell you why the recent deaths of absolute legends and retirements of the finest voices to ever disseminate a game (so far) is a GOOD thing!
Baseball, like it always has; is about to come out of the mess for the better!
Change the Page: Learn from History and you can see the future
Here we are at the end of an era.
The "steroid era" is about to define it's final chapters - one way or another. The lake is full and the dam is busted. Bud Selig has all his fingers in the holes and it's about to teach him a lesson in gravity/fluid dynamics.
There's no more Barry Bonds, there's no more Cal Ripken anymore. We don't have the same flat tires to kick around just as we no longer have inflated legends to float us away from reasonable consciousness anymore.
We are smarter, wiser, worn for the long haul.
Baseball has been here before
Go back fifty years before the Black Sox. There was "Hulbert's reform" which eventually led to the construction of the National League. Fifty years AFTER the Black Sox, performance enhancing drugs became prevalent in professional sports. Yes, 1969.
"Greenies" or amphetemines were rife throughout the big leagues as early as the late 40's. Amphetemines give you energy unlike caffeine of even ephedra ( a simple plant substance now regulated and no longer legal in the U.S. since former fat-assed Orioles' pitcher Steve Bechler's death.) Greenies were not banned from baseball until 2004 (as was ephedra, a naturally occurring and biologically SAFE, yet fearfully misunderstood plant product)! No one bitched about them as "cheating", yet today's players get hung from the Upper Tank for being positive for unknown enhancers!
The point is... even Cy Young ate sheep's testicles in hopes that the extra nutrients would assist his performance and career. Competitive players are always going to look for "the edge", whether physically, mentally or hypothetically. Baseball players always have been and always will be superstitious. Superstitions lead to some peculiar behavior.
Cheating has always been there and since humans are involved... always will.
How it is better!
In truth, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
But look around you. There's no more Jack Buck. There's no more Harry Kalas. There's no more Ernie Harwell. There's soon to be no more Vin Scully. Yet we have more baseball coverage - media, internet, tickets sold ... than ever before!
MLB Network is chock full of fine baseball entertainment and analysis. 24 hours of baseball to feed the seamheads! It's my TV favorite channel by far and it's only 8 months old!
In my opinion, ESPN's baseball coverage has NEVER been better. Peter Gammons is a Hall of Famer for a reason. Buster Olney and Tim Kurjurkian are baseball geeks to the hilt - and I love 'em! Jayson Stark is perhaps my favorite baseball writer that's still alive - anyone who became addicted to his Philly Inquire columns knows exactly what I mean. Their ring of former players is smart and helpfully - not critically - well-spoken and analytical.
The past is behind us, but the best days are yet to come!
Don't be a fool, the past is gone! We can't change the past, all we can do is change the way we feel about it. Ted Williams is not the same guy he was 20 years ago... 20 years after his career ended!!!
Time is a bitch, but time is the great equallizer. All the greats were merely "greats" in their time.
If you think Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player of all time, I ask you - What kind of baseball player would the Babe be today?
Here's your answer: He'd be a lefty reliever, stuck in the bullpen... IF THAT!
The guy lived to hit but he was SUCH a good pitcher that today, he'd never get the opportunity to step in the cage... he'd be running pitcher's drills on field #3.
Here is now. Then is long gone. But some day, here will be long gone, too.
The legends of tomorrow are here right now!
Look around you. The world you live in today is hardly that different than the "days of yesteryear".
Legends and History are occuring as you read this. It's all around us... but if anything, the legends of yesteryear are here for us to leap over as if we are Dick Fosbury or Mark Spitz. As if we are man goingto the moon or man getting a new surgically replaced elbow tendon.
The Best is "now". It always has been. The "Golden Age" is the present. There's no use pretending "times were better" when everything around us now has its advantages.
We have it better than we think.
It will always be better than we realize. There's no better place than here, no better time than now.
- "Babe Ruth did it without penicillin"
- -Manny Stiles
So what is the point of this?
I was writing this article as I was harassed by an administrattor on the site in my public messages. I responded: "Maybe you should stay off site scout" and I was banned!!!!
WHY WAS I BANNED??? Yes, I was banned AGAIN.
For things I did not do! Bullshit.
The bullshit starts and ends with very few users and I'm NOT one of them. people antagonize me. And I respond because .... get this... THAT'S WHAT I DO!!!!
People message me and expect me NOT to respond??? What is this site about anymore????
SSR NEEDS TO GO.
THIS SITE IS CLUSTED WITH BULLSHIT performed by the Admins - SSReporters, to be specific, NOT the USERS!
When the admins can't control themselves, THIS SITE is in SERIOUS trouble!!!
I was banned (AGAIN) for NO REASON, no right and no ratioanl explanation OTHER than SSR and JuT cannot control their fragile emotions. I make comments about sports and THEY make comments that are personal.
That's right, i'm posting this with an open IP... Let me see the Admins who have it out to "get me" show this kind of open-ness!!! SSR - We don't even know your real name - MOOKIE - and we're being administrated by you??? BULLSHIT!!!
BULLSHIT!!! I'm CALLING BULLSHIT!!!