Thursday, June 18, 2009

Josh's Corner: The Death of Baseball

Friend, former "CortSide" co-host and Los Angeles correspondent Josh Garcia shares his thoughts on the steroid controversy surrounding baseball and the newest "discovery," Sammy Sosa.

15 years ago to the day, the sporting world came to a halt with the high speed televised chase of O.J. Simpson in the iconic Ford Bronco. Well this Wednesday to me signified the death of baseball as I know it. I can only compare it to when I found out that pro wrestling was fake and the winners predetermined.

Sammy Sosa was the newest name leaked like a rain drop from the dark cloud that has been hanging over baseball since that congressional hearing in 2005. Sosa joins Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez and the finger wiggling Rafael Palmeiro. The staggering list of ex sure to be Hall-of-Famers is enough for me to shout, “Enough is enough!”

Think back to the summer of '98 which many consider the resurrection of baseball coming back from the 1994 strike shortened season. The superhero “Big Mac” and the lovable finger kissing, chest patting Sammy were the faces of baseball. Meanwhile playing in the same division on rival teams. The fans ate it up, and we watched every Cubs and Cardinals game because we wanted to witness history. Two players were passing Roger Maris into the history books and baseball glory. So now we know that it was all tainted. What are we to think of these accomplishments that happened more than 10 years ago? I don’t look back with the same nostalgia, that’s for sure.

How can this be fixed? I want to get back together with baseball, I miss the way baseball and I used to spend afternoons together. I miss baseball’s smile and the way baseball smelled.

As baseball fans we deserve to know the other 102 names on that anonymous list. Not only to clear players that we’re suspicious of but, to be honest, the list isn’t so anonymous is it? Who is it going to hurt? You can’t punish those players on the list, most of them probably aren’t even playing anymore. A-Rod didn’t get punished for being on the list so I don’t get what the hold up is. Just get it over with and we’ll move on.

I may be heartbroken if certain players get called out like Derek Jeter or Ken Griffey Jr. but honestly, at this point, until those names are released everyone is guilty. Baseball needs to be trustworthy again and it’s a simple conclusion. Give us the other 102 players that were on that list.

Because more than anything I want to spend my afternoons, and nights with baseball. I miss what it used to be and I want that back.

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