Three strikes you’re out baseball

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Sports Editor

Let ’em, I say.

Let ’em strike, I say.

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Who cares, really? I mean, what’s baseball done for you and me lately?

Remember last season’s World Series? One of the best in the history of the game. New York and Arizona taking it seven games and thrilling the masses with late-inning homers and midnight thrillers.

Then the boys of summer had to go and ruin it.

Sammy, Barry and the weight maniacs started cracking home runs with the ease of super heroes. Then, that "steroid" word arose, something that shouldn’t have even been an issue here in the new millennium. Other sports have gone the way of the cleaned-up crack fiend, choosing to test for drug use among its athletes. Why not baseball?

A former National League MVP admitted to juicing. He said Major League Baseball was thick as thieves when it came to drug use.

Sammy Sosa boasted that he’d be the first in line if testing became mandatory. Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reiley called the Dominican’s bluff and Sosa went nuts.

Strike one.

Then, the All-Star game. Nobody was out there playing to win. It ended in a tie, for Babe’s sake. And why? The owners wanted to save the pitching. Heaven forbid a pitcher actually get out on the mound and do what he’s paid to do; pitch.

It used to be that being named to an All-Star team was an honor, something to look forward to. It was a chance to represent your league and your club. To prove you were the best you had to beat the best on the other team.

Commissioner Bud Selig, throwing up his arms in disgust during a late inning meeting with the two All-Star teams’ managers, may be the image that stands out the most should baseball fall by the wayside.

Strike two.

And now they’re actually considering taking away America’s Pastime for the second time this decade.

Just the fact that they’re even considering it leads to…strike three.

So who’ll save baseball this go around? Will there be anymore Cal Ripken’s to run the bases and pull the fans back into the stadiums?

If there is, who cares?

Personally, I think the magical era of baseball has long since past.

Long live the Golden Age.