Volume 93, Issue 17

Tuesday, September 28, 1999


Mustangs run over Yeomen

National champs beat Badgers

Western turning season around?

'Stangs smoke Waterloo

Whatever! That was sooo last year

Let the lacrosse games begin

Whatever! That was sooo last year

Major League Baseball has turned into an endless barrage of round trippers. It's at the point where nothing else really seems to matter in the sport.

If you haven't been following America's favourite pastime this summer, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are once again making every major league ballpark in North America their bitches. This proves Nike's commercial once and for all that chicks, and the world for that matter, dig the long ball.

At last count, the two sluggers were on a torrid pace, with Sosa leading McGuire in the slugfest 61-60. While fans, young and old, watch in awe as these immortals crush spheres of leather, twine and cork, one has to wonder if it is really good for the game?

Last week, when Chicago played St. Louis, media coverage reached a frenzied pace trying to give fans their fix of "new era" baseball. The final meeting of McGwire and Sosa proved once and for all where baseball is heading in the new millennium.

We have entered an era when two teams, well below the .500 mark, featuring two players, with batting averages in the .200s and among the leaders in strike outs, can capture every sports fan's imagination. When the game was said and done, the only score any sportscast showed was the respective home run totals. This is baseball in 1999.

It's true that offence sells tickets and after the effects of the 1994 strike, selling tickets is exactly what baseball needs to do. It is also true that more offence makes for a more exciting game, something the summer past–time constantly needs an injection of during a typical nine inning snore fest.

However, it has gotten to the point where every highlight reel on The Sports Network is dinger after dinger after dinger. How many times do I have to see a ball end up in the bleachers before I don't find it eventful anymore?

To top it all off, this is a carbon copy of last season's record pursuit, minus the aura, prestige and drama associated with the Roger Maris race of 1998. The shattered record, previously lasting for 37 years, will be lucky to last 365 days let alone almost four decades. Just like every sequel is never close to the original, the 1999 chapter of the home run race is definitely the "Godfather II" of bad part two's.

And yet baseball has never been so popular. Attendance is up at almost every stadium and the major networks are fighting for coverage. It's almost like McGwire and Sosa have made singles, doubles and even triples passť by today's standards.

Whether you agree or not you have to wonder – would chicks dig the long ball if they knew it was juiced?

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