Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sands of Time in Sandlots Everywhere

This Thursday the first wave of major league baseball pitchers and catchers report to spring training camp. Two weeks from today the very first spring training 2016 baseball games will take place. Like every spring training game in the history of baseball, it will make no difference to the regular season who has a good or bad exhibition record. We who follow baseball will worry and fret anyway.

I keep telling myself that the grey skies, snow and ice here in Connecticut will also disappear the same day pitchers and catcher report and if not, no later than those first spring training games. Not everything we want to be true comes to pass, I know, so I'm readying myself for disappointment. Again.

I wrote what follows eight years ago. Some of the current events mentioned in the account are no longer such and that's fine. I'd like to think, much like baseball itself, the fundamental truths which propel the narrative are both immutable and forever. In the event, they are not, don't tell me. I like things the way they are, and that includes NO designated hitter, ever.

You do know I'm a Yankees' fan, right? However, being a Yankees' fan, or a member of Red Sox Nation, or rooting for any particular baseball team is a subset of a bigger whole.I am a fan of baseball. Period. 

Treating all of the above as 'read', instead of being happy that pitchers and catchers are reporting for spring training this Thursday, I'm watching baseball implode as Roger Clemens, Andy Petitte and others, testify before a House Investigative Sub-Committee. 

Lemme get this straight, we have right now: war in Iraq; economy heading into the abyss; almost a million more medically uninsured being added to the rolls every month and Congress is holding hearings on steroids in baseball? What next? A special prosecutor to find out why Diet Dr. Pepper tastes more like original Dr. Pepper?

Do I think all the allegations of 'juicing' are true? No
Do I think any of them are true? Yes
Do I fear we may be engaged in a Vietnam-like 'we had to destroy the village to save it' situation when it comes to 'getting to the bottom' of this morass? Sadly, that's what I see happening and when it does, what will we want to pretend the point was? 

Thanks to my wife's parenting, my children, who are actually adults themselves, know the difference between right and wrong and understand the futility and inherent risks to destructive behaviour. 

Congress isn't protecting my children, or yours, from the evils of steroids or human growth hormones--that is our job as parents and if we can't pull that off, it may be time to cash in our belly-buttons and leave this orb to others.

From what I saw the other day, perhaps because this is a presidential election year, we've injected partisan politics into this mess. So we have, the Mitchell Report which listed 83 names, closer to 100 major league baseball players who are only accused, but already convicted in the court of public opinion, of illegal and unlawful substance abuse--simply put, they cheated and got caught. 

The hero of this Through the Looking Glass tale is shaping up to be none other than Jose Canseco-proving that God not only does have a sense of humor but that S/He no longer follows baseball. 

So instead of reading about Joba Chamberlin's first pitches, I'm watching Roger Clemens' last moments as a public figure. So much for the presumption of innocence. He must've done something; there are TV cameras here so let's watch. 

That we continue Slouching Toward Bethlehem is no longer important. Here's Johnny to tell you what today's contestants will receive. -bill kenny  

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