I love the game of baseball. I've played it all my life. Played organized until my sophomore year in High School, then switched to Track for talent reasons. I organized sandlot games in college. I've been kicked off many fields for jumping fences on locked fields just to play a little ball.
When I was younger, I was a pretty good player. I was a bit undersized, sometimes I got stuck in right field, just me and the dandilions, getting smacked in the head by horseflies in southern Louisiana. But I always gave my best, and i could lay down a mean bunt.
I played in coach pitch league, and I wasn't bad. Then I had to make the transition from coach pitch to kid pitch. I was terrified. I refused to play. I decided to sit it out. My father would have nothing of it. He wouldn't have a quitter for a son, so he forced me, against all my efforts, to get out there and play. I did, i ended up making the all star team with i think 5 hits the entire season. I hustled and was a team player. I could steal bases. (cept for that time i got picked off for looking at the girls in the stands.) But I thank God my pop made me play, because i wouldn't be the same person today.
A lot of you know about my love for baseball, and i'm sure you're all wondering how i'm taking this whole steroid controversy. Well, let me start out by saying that I have my own glove, my own ball, and my own bat. Theres a zillion softball leagues here in chicago, which i plan on joining. I've got friends to go play catch with. Theres hundreds of minor league games to go watch. I think i'll be fine.
I don't believe everyone is juiced. I believe A LOT are. I also believe baseball isn't the only sport that has players taking steroids. I also believe that steroids can't help you hit a ball. Case in point, Jeremy Giambi, admitting that he's taken steroids, is a lifetime .263 hitter, 52 HRs in 7 years, and is currently looking for work.
Sometimes controversy and scandal is necessary for change. Its called precedents. We live and we learn. Its a big reason why we learn History in school. The Civil War, even though it was not started over slavery (ok, i want no comments regarding this comment. later post), became a big controversy and we're better off because of it. Its a natural progression. The betterment of the human race. We screw up, we fix the problem, and we move on.
Baseball is trying to fix it, and we've got a little ways to go, but we're trying. Theres no reason to have a 5 strike policy. Its ludicris. Ok so i can cheat and get caught 5 times before i'm REALLY punished for it. That was made abundantly clear during the hearings.
I also believe Jose Canseco is a bum and a sell-out, looking for only 1 thing...money. Ken Caminiti is the man. He admitted he had made a mistake, shed light on the problem, yet never mentioned names. He never profited from ratting on his own players. He never broke the code of teammates, yet Baseball is changing for the better because of him.
Baseball is a game for the common man. Thats the way it began. Even the undersized kid in right field whos playing with the dandilions gets a chance at the plate. Its something that doesn't happen in football and basketball. EVERYONE gets a shot. EVERYONE has a role. You don't have to be a spectacular athlete to play. I mean for cryin out loud, 70% of major league players are out of shape. They're just like you and me. But thats just it. Just like you and me. We all make mistakes. We all screw up. We all have become the victim of greediness and selfishness. And sometimes it takes the embarrassment of these mistakes becoming public. But in the end we all pick up the pieces, put our lives back together, learn from our mistakes, and move on.