A Year without (the Juice)...I Can Dream, Can't I ?

Steven J. WardContributor IMarch 26, 2009

ATLANTA - AUGUST 16: Fans Ray Kruse (L) and Andrew Fitzgerald (R) have a playful moment with blow-up syringes during the game between the Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants on August 16, 2007 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

As March prepares its wares and packs the last of it's unsettled offerings away I find myself amid the grueling temptation of a longtime, often, painful addiction. It has been some five months since my last indulge which once exercised from demons and distress I found freedom, ah yes, release!

Lately though I seem prone to relapse, too near falling into the powerful grasp of that steely promise posed to not merely gather me into it's euphoric nature but resounding, homegrown effects.

Since my birth, all those years ago when summers meant family cookouts and Pumpsy Green stumbling around second base (who?) I remember the serenade of those siren summons to which I seemed destined to follow. It wasn't long before I was hooked and spent every waking moment in all out chase of that elusive dream.


The American Pastime (dominated by countries everywhere but here), and something that seems to engulf every man woman and child within it's whirlwind affair while offering nothing more than the opportunity to join together, city by city, state by state and "Nation to Red Sox Nation" in a frenzied celebration—together being the operative word.

Something happened, though, on the way to our favorite ballpark; we, fans, and loyalists alike were duped-lied to-sold out-BETRAYED! Most marveled at the way our game evolved reflecting the commitment and training of the modern day hero as long standing records fell helplessly wayside.

Who really wanted to accept the fact that all the well honed skill and commitment was test tubed born and bred?

Now, as the Spring returns and the grasses real and relic alike submerge into deeper hues of green I find myself nearer to falling into that same old comfort zone, waiting the first official pitch of this 2009 season.

But as I squirm somewhat in my recliner I watch, wait and listen for yet another Superstar to be extinguished, almost expecting the worst. In the meantime I'll rest assured in the stars past and present who continue to excel in our game.

I will however be eternally grateful to those who played the game without "the juice" justifying their existence and fall into the hypnotic splendor of Major League Baseball.