Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

March 28, 2009

Bring on the sun: Much-anticipated baseball season has begun


I’d love to still play, but I settle for watching it and covering it. There are simple little pleasures in life that we all enjoy. For me it’s a simple walk (with my cat), a chocolate ice cream cone, my girlfriend’s smile, and keeping score at a baseball game.

Whatever happened to my favorite game? Oh, how it has changed, and not for the better. There was a time when baseball was so important in this country that Theodore Roosevelt told baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis that baseball should continue on during World War II.

Today, I’m not sure if the majority of Americans would care if it continued or not.

Baseball has simply lost its appeal in America. Maybe not in New York and Boston or Chicago or St. Louis or Philadelphia where they live for the game, but in many places, baseball is far behind football, basketball, NASCAR and even golf, thanks to Tiger Woods.

All the evidence you need is the World Baseball Classic. What is that, you are probably saying? It came to end early last week with Japan defeating Korea in extra innings to claim a second straight WBC title.

Would it have been any different if the USA Team had made it to the finals. Who knows, but the American team — comprised of major leaguers — did reach the semifinals. Yet ask most Americans and they not only didn’t seem to care, but most didn’t even know it was going on.

Kevin Youkilis, the first baseman for the Red Sox, even made the comment that it seemed strange to be the visiting team in their own country.

Too often, the venues in Miami and San Diego and Toronto were far short of capacity, and the fans that were there were supporting their own country, and it wasn’t the good old USA.

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