I love baseball. I’ve loved it since I was an 8 year-old kid growing up on Long Island and watching the “Miracle Mets” of 1969. I can remember every player on that team---and I wasn’t even a Mets fan. Swaboda, Charles, Jones, Agee, Kranepool, Seaver, McAndrew---seriously, I could still name every one of them right this second. My favorite player on that team was the back-up catcher behind Jerry Grote, #9 J.C. Martin. Truthfully—I have no idea why J.C. was my favorite, as a matter of fact---he stunk---but, I still loved the guy for whatever reason.
Going back 45 years, I can still remember my first game that my father brought me to at Shea Stadium. It was 1970, and the Giants were playing the Mets. The Giants were my favorite team, because my dad grew up an AVID New York Giants fan when they played at the Polo Grounds. He remained loyal when they made the move to SF in the late fifties, and passed his love for the black-n-orange down to me since I first started understanding the game. My father bought us box seats for that game—the best---at $4.00 a piece-I’ll never forget that. And, I’ll never forget that game—0-0 going into the bottom of the 10th inning with Tom Seaver and Juan Marichal going ALL THE WAY for their respected teams. In the bottom of the 10th inning, Tommy Agee lead off by hitting a bomb off Marichal that reached the bullpen in left field---and that was the ball game.
Can you imagine? 0-0 in the TENTH INNING and both starters were still in the game. You will never see that again. Why? BECAUSE BASEBALL HAS BECOME A PANSEY GAME, THAT’S WHY!!! No starting pitcher can go more than seven innings. There’s a guy who pitches the 8th, and a guy who pitches the 9th. The same guy can’t get all SIX OUTS---IMPOSSIBLE!!! Then there’s the righty-lefty BS—bring in a left hander to face the left handed batter and visa-versa. It’s become a joke. Then we wonder why games take so long. The managers change pitchers more times in one game, then the proud parents of a THREE-DAY old change diapers in a day!!! I heard a stat today that I had to go check because even I couldn’t believe it. There is a former Giants, and current Hall of Famer named Gaylord Perry. Perry went to the HOF with 314 victories under his belt. THREE-HUNDRED AND THREE OF THEM WERE COMPLETE GAMES!!!
It was never like this---not BACK IN MY DAY!
But here’s what’s worse---the injuries. Today a Major League Ballplayer gets a freakin’ HANG-NAIL, and he immediately hits the 15-Day Disabled List---no questions asked---A HANG-NAIL. An INGROWN TOENAIL and he’s out for a FREAKIN’ MONTH. Back in the 70’s, guys had to BREAK BONES in order to take their names off the line-up card. If they “pulled” this, or “strained” that, THEY PLAYED THROUGH IT LIKE MEN!!! Willie Mays never sat a day because he had a “sore shoulder”. Are you kidding me? The Say-Hey Kid would have told them to saw the damn thing off so he could get back out on the field!!! So many guys sidelined with mamby-pamby injuries---give me a freakin’ break. And, you know what’s at the crux of that? The owner wants to make sure he protects his investment so his 50 Million Dollar baby doesn’t prolong the injury. Hey---here’s an idea for you—DON’T OBVERPAY HIM TO BEGIN WITH AND YOU WON’T HAVE TO WORRY!!!
What happened to baseball? Who decided that pitchers can’t throw more than 100 pitches? Who? There wasn’t even a pitch count “back in the day”. Nolan Ryan would throw fastballs until his arm fell off before he would be taken out of a game. When,how and why did these guys become so soft? Could you imagine Pete Rose missing a week because of a pulled groin? The guy would slap a handful of Ben-Gay on his boys, but his uniy on, and PLAY BALL!!! And, what about this? What happened to the chewin’ tabacca? NOBODY chews tabacca any more. That big wad in your check, spittin’ all over you spikes---it was a thing of beauty. Yeah, I understand the whole cancer thing, but can’t we allow it say for double-headers? Oh---I forgot---there are NO MORE double-headers. Too hard on the knees to play 18 innings in one day.
What would the “Bambino” have said? Or Gehrig, Musial, Williams? Shoot---REGGIE for that matter! In 2015, baseball has somehow taken the BALLS out of the game. Juan Marichal once hit an opposing pitcher with a BAT for cryin’ out loud!!! Today that pitcher would have immediately gone on the 60-day DL for “psychological trauma”! Bring back the good old days of baseball---I’m beggin’ ya! And if nothing else, can catchers at least go-back to looking like catchers again, rather than the GOALTENDER FOR THE HARTFORD WHALERS!!!
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