A Good Day for Baseball

Jeff HammondContributor IFebruary 10, 2009

OK, so perhaps I've lost you at "Hello", but I have to say that I am not nearly as sad, mad, bitter, or duped as many are expressing today about the current state of the game of baseball. 

Today, I am rejoicing in the career of my own baseball hero Michael Jack Schmidt, who on the day he retired in 1990 was seventh on the all-time HR list with 548.

As of today, Schmidt sits upon that list in the 13th position having watched the likes of Bonds, Sosa, McGuire, Palmeiro, and now A-Rod (all clouded in steroid controversy) pass by him like a stranger in a crowd.  I omit Griffey (611HR) from this list because he has not been linked with insinuations or allegations of illegal drug enhanced performance—yet. 

Listen, if we learned anything from A-Rod's comment's today it's this: EVERYONE is under suspicion of illegally enhancing their performance between the years of 1995 to 2007—EVERYONE.

All statistics, accomplishments, and milestones are to be met with scrutiny and skepticism. The numbers are staggering. Home runs left ball parks faster than Bonds' hat size increased, and we the fans ate it up by the spoonful—one government funded ball-park-sized spoonful at a time. 

Is this a problem for me? Evidently not. I AM the problem. I am just as guilty as the rest of you people who scream "how dare you!" today. Hypocrites, all of us. We point the finger with indignation and contempt, yet I stand here before you having contributed to the problem by purchasing the tickets, ordering the MLB package, playing in fantasy baseball leagues, and fanning my sons flame for this game like a camper in a rainstorm.

That's great Jeff, but how in the hell does all of this make today a great day for baseball?  Well, today, Michael Jack Schmidt is once again seventh or eighth on MY home run list (pending any announcement of Griffey, Jr within the next 24hrs...), and that also means that my sons will be provided that amended list. 

We the fans have the ability to take back the sanctity of this game by appreciating and celebrating the significance of those who played the game the "right way" for so many years before the first needle penetrated the first butt cheek.  

And there is hope baseball fans. Last year, Miguel Cabrera led the American League with 37HR. The first time since 1994 that the home run leader had less than 43HR in a single season.

Today is a good day for baseball because in less than two weeks pitchers and catchers report, and we as fans can be more hopeful that the game is being played the "right way" again.