Admit it, baseball fans. We loved the long ball.
We turned out for games in record numbers, packing the baseball cathedrals built on bad credit, strong-arm tactics, and our hard-earned tax dollars.
We bought satellite dishes so that games from all across the country could be beamed into our living rooms in full HD.
We watched as games got longer, payrolls got higher, and earned run averages went through the roof.
McGwire. Sosa. Bonds. Rodriguez. These were our heroes, our villains, our mythology.
We were drunk on offense, and we loved every minute of it.
But as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
The party is over. The Steroid Era must end. The Live Ball era must be pushed aside.
The Dead Ball era must be brought back to life.
OK, maybe an exact replication of the Dead Ball error would not be such a good idea, what with the spitballs and fixed games. But we can all learn to live with fewer homeruns and less scoring.
If you really think about it, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. All across the country, Americans are feeling the effects of the recession. We are all looking for ways to cut back, trim the fat, and make due with less.
If we can learn to live with less money, we can learn to live with fewer runs.
Just think of all the life lessons a new Dead Ball Era will grant us. We will learn to appreciate the little things and the benefits of delayed gratification.
Sure, a home run gives us a quick jolt of excitement. But what’s the hurry? Why not let the drama play out over the course of an inning. A well placed single, a stolen base, a sacrifice bunt, a run scoring fly ball. Not brute power, but speed and strategy will once again get those precious crooked numbers on the board
Ah, if only it were so easy. Speed on the bath paths will be matched by speed in the field. Nimble defenders and strong armed outfielder will blanket the diamond like never before, leaving hitters convinced that the starting nine snuck out an extra defender or two.
And the pitching, oh the pitching. The post-modern gunslingers; tall, lanky, and filthy; ready to retake the inside part of the plate and reclaim their place as the true lords of the game. Give him the a higher mound and a bigger strike zone. Let him pitch a full nine innings. And for the love of Cy Young, let him hit like every other ballplayer.
The bulked up players of today will become the dinosaurs of tomorrow. The game will be restored. And the Steroid Era will be history.
Let the healing begin.