MLB. (My Last Ballgame?)

Busch Stadium St Louis Mo

Busch Stadium St Louis Mo

There has been a strange realization and metamorphosis occurring within my soul over the last 24 hours.

Like a man discovering his wife has been lying and cheating. Such are my emotions about my first true love  Major League Baseball.

I have had the absolute pleasure of being a Cardinal fan and student of the game for half a century. Baseball has been a constant in my life and our affair has survived longer than my two marriages.

I am not contemplating a divorce from baseball mind you, but I have  come to the conclusion we need counseling.

Yesterday I went to a  “businessman’s special” or weekday, day game. the tickets were a gift for my birthday and the overcast sky gave way to a spectacular day. I enjoyed the company my cousin Jeff and 2 of my nephews, a “guys day at the Ball yard” what the hell could be better?

The Cards won 5-2 and are in first place!  We have an exciting young team and the future is as bright as the sky over the stadium yesterday.Yet something was nagging at me, and just felt wrong?

Maybe I just reached my level of tolerance for ” Acceptance” you know how we are forced to simply accept that things are just that way? Like prices at an Airport or certainly at a major league ballpark near you. But this is not about money.

I think plenty has been written and said about  the financial story of Baseball. My discontent  emanated from a conversation with my 7 year old nephew an aspiring ballplayer.

When I picked him up to leave for the game he had been awake since 6 am and ready to go to the game since 7 am according to his mom. a wonderful thing to be so excited about baseball? ( truth be told my schedule and excitement’s closely mirrored Logan’s.)  He stood in the door way in his Troy Glaus Cardinal red T-shirt, with his officially licensed MLB 2009 all star game Hat, and his glove at the ready for a stray foul ball. I didn’t have the heart to tell him the astronomical odds of the occurrence.

Big Kids play the lottery, little ones take a glove to the ballgame. As life should be.

After Jeff and I had sufficiently lubricated our wallets, and softened the potential damage by a spin through the Drive Thru at McDonald’s for a pair of Happy Meals. We navigated the roads and made our way to the stadium. Talk in the car was as it should be Baseball ! The nephews were saddened to learn neither Jeff or I actually saw Babe Ruth play.

After we were seated and the pregame festivities of over weight local dignitaries and business leaders bouncing first pitches 5 feet in front of home plate were underway, the starting lineups were posted.

If I were to have to pin point a moment when my disgust with baseball bubbled to the surface this were it. After the long winter, endless reporting of muti million dollar contracts, Steroids ,and lying had further tainted the game. I held the belief A fan  could find the pure beauty of the game ” between the white lines”.

That is until you sit and discuss lineups with a 7 year old. the following is my best recollection of the conversation. A sad modern day testament to Abbot & Costello’s  ” Who’s on First”.

Announcer…..”Today’s starting lineup for your St. Louis Cardinals.”

Announcer… “Leading off playing second base… Skip Schumaker”.

Logan.. (7 year old nephew) ” I thought Skip played in the outfield”?

Me ….. ” well he used to, but when Felipe Lopez and Aaron Miles left as free agents, and Adam Kennedy was released, well he now plays second base. and Miles plays for the Cubs now”.

Announcer…. “playing center field batting second, Colby Rasmus”

Logan…….. ” Hey I thought Rick Ankiel played center feild”?

Me……. ” Well he does, but he is hurt and on the disabled list”. you will like Colby Rasmus he is good”.

Logan….. ” whats the disabled list”?

Me….. Explanation of Above.

Announcer…..” Batting third and Playing first base Albert Pujols”.

Logan…..” Yea” !

Me……” Best Player in Baseball”. Enough said.

Announcer….. Batting fourth playing right field…. Ryan Ludwick.

Logan….” Yea”!

Me..” Yea”!

Announcer.. ” playing left field and batting fifth  Chris Duncan”.

Logan……” Skip plays left field” ?

Me…. ” last year he did when Duncan was on the disabled list”. Remember Skip is playing second base”.

Logan….” why”?

Announcer… “playing shortstop and batting sixth.  Kahlil Greene”

Logan…… ” wait what happend to Izturus” ? didn’t he play shortstop”?

Me…. “He did, but he was also a free agent and signed with Baltimore” . Did you have to practice learning to say Izturus Logan”?

Logan… ” Can I get some peanuts”?

Me.. “Sure”.

Announcer….Batting seventh and playing third base Joe Thurston”.

Logan…. ” Wait.. wheres Troy Glaus”? (pointing to his t-shirt)

Me…. Troy is hurt and on the disabled list”.

Logan…. “Oh”. That list”.

Announcer…..Batting eighth and Catching  Jason LaRue”.

Logan.” what about Molina”?

Me…. “He is resting today, he played last night”.

Logan…..( Gives me a look says nothing)

Announcer…. Batting ninth and pitching  Todd Wellemeyer”

Logan….” Where is Chris Carpenter”?

Me..” well he is hurt and on the disabled list”.

Logan…” but he was just practicing I saw him”.

Me…” Well he is just practicing, he cant play”.

Announcer…. “Ladies and Gentlemen your 2009 St. Louis Cardinals” !

Logan….” Who are these guys”?


Arriving home last night I turned on the news and yet Another ” Star” Manny Ramierez is suspended for 50 games , for ” Violating MLB’s Drug policy”.

Meanwhile Baseballs all time leader in hits and hustle, Pete Rose is banned for life for betting on baseball ?

The modern Player is betting with their body not their mind. Rose likely Bet to Win ! What say you Manny Ramierez? Mark McGwire? Barry Bonds? A-Rod?

But mostly Shame on you MLB and it’s owners and executives for  not policing your own sport! you need to make changes and fast!

Kids today have few role models, the advent of free agency has driven up ticket prices and made following or having a favorite player a Joke with few exceptions.

I would advise every MLB owner and executive to take $100.00 and a 7 year old to a game. the changes that need to be made become very clear.

Until I see evidence that something is changing, well Baseball were not divorced, but we sure are separated.


~ by onthedarkside on May 8, 2009.

4 Responses to “MLB. (My Last Ballgame?)”

  1. Great story Kev. Could not be said any better. I’m looking at link on this page relating to Mark Fidrych. Man, what happended to guys like him that kids could look up to ? Very sad that he passed away underneath his dump truck while working on it. Most athletes today don’t know what the hell a wrench is never mind crawling underneath a vehicle. Unless of course it’s a guy from the NBA or NFL and they are running from the law.

  2. Gary your so right in your comments. amazed that we are now the moral majority of the sports world ? Pathetic.

  3. Hopefully MLB will get its act together. The state of baseball right now is shambles. And besides the fact; Bud Selig is a useless piece of @#$%. The real culprit behind the demise of the beautiful game is the Players Union. They have MLB by the short ones. Here’s an example; say a big star commits some stupid illegal act tonight. First his $10,000.00 an hour lawyer’s gonna get him sprung. Second: MLB will suspend him, then the Player’s Union appeals the suspension, thus allowing him to play for another x amount of weeks, before MLB and the law decides his fate. Bottom line: Hopefully game will return to sanity before little guys like Logan become disenchanted with the whole mess.
    “Where Have You Gone Joe Dimaggio…”

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