Volume 96, Issue 9
Thursday September 12, 2002

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No balls in baseball

Them's the breaks
Ben Mills
Sports Editor


Thank God for football.

With many agonizing months of baseball behind us and still more to come, I am absolutely overjoyed by the beginning of the National Football League season. Many people like baseball – for reasons that mystify me much like how bands such as Journey, Whitesnake and Def Leppard became famous – there is simply no good explanation for it.

Now back in the days of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and "Joltin'" Joe DiMaggio, baseball was an interesting sport, not the greedy, steroid infested and corrupt organization it is today. Baseball was pure back then. Players weren't concerned about signing bonuses and astronomical salaries. All they wanted to do was win games and play baseball.

Back then, stadiums were bigger and believe it or not, players weren't all juiced up on 'roids like the Jose Cansenco's and Ken Caminiti's of this generation of Major League Baseball players. Players got strong the old fashioned way – through hard work and determination. Maybe Mikey Mantle never hit a ball 600 feet, but that's because none of his statistics were steroid-assisted.

It is not my intention to bash all baseball – only the professional brand of baseball. I have nothing against people who play any sport out of pure fun and the thrill of competition. It's the greed and money aspect of baseball, and of any sport for that matter, that sickens me.

No baseball player is worth $25 million a season – I don't care what your slugging percentage is (whatever the hell that means anyway). That's another thing, why are there so many statistics in baseball? They probably have statistics on how many times the team manager scratches his ass in a game.

I think I'm ranting now.

Only two professional sports, in my opinion, deserve anything near the ridiculous salaries that their players receive: football and hockey. In what other major sport will you find athletes playing with broken hands, arms, ankles and even legs. Two years ago, New York Giants running back Tiki Barber played in the Super Bowl with a broken arm. That same year, Detroit Red Wings forward Brendan Shanahan played in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a broken ankle.

Let's see Alex Rodriguez do that.

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2002 THE GAZETTE