In the last few weeks I've gotten a chance to see a lot in the sports scene. The NBA playoffs are up and running and the Bulls look poised to repeat, again. Baseball is clacking along with Atlanta setting a new consecutive home run record and Yankee Stadium falling like a bad angel food cake. Hockey, well, hockey is just hockey.
To tell the truth, with all that is happening in sports these days, why does it seem like there is a void in excitement? Why with all the talk about this being Jordan's last year, the year McGuire might actually beat Maris's record and Holmes and Forman getting ready to fight from their nursing home, why am I so freakin' bored with sports?
To watch the sports highlights shows in the evening you get the idea that we are living in a grand age of sports, and we just might well be. But, I think our society has gotten to a point where the action on the field is of secondary importance. For example, the new baseball stadium in Phoenix, AZ has, of all things, a swimming pool just beyond the outfield fence. This to me looks like a disaster waiting to happen. You're diving in, doing your best cannonball to splash the school kids and what happens, you're hit in the head by a Tony Gwynn grand slam in mid air knocking you unconscious as you splash into the blue-green water and you drown under the weight of your own stupidity. Take me out to the ball game, indeed.
How many new ball parks in the country have restaurants, apparell stores and freakin' side shows where the ball game becomes about as important as the house band at your local bar, except not nearly as exciting. You can't throw beer at the first baseman like you can the band's bass player and nobody's passing around a joint. (For the record, I have never smoked pot -"like you care.")
I know what a lot of you are thinking, "baseball is about as exciting as watching someone filet a fish." However, these seem to be the people owners want desparately to attract to the ballpark. I say stay home and watch Dawson's Creek.
Please America, give us back our ball parks where the only food you can get are a hotdog and a pretzel, not caviar and champagne. Give us back sunshine, dirt and rain delays, not fields that need to be vacuumed, plastic roofs and those inflatable moon-walk things they put in the parking lots of Wal-Mart grand openings.
Please, America, give us back our baseball.
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