Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

March 28, 2009

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


The Major League baseball season opens in a week. It might be the area that we live in which is largely apathetic about anything other than football, but does anyone out there even care?

Baseball began this backward slide in 1994, the same year that the World Series was canceled. The Fall Classic survived the 1919 Black Sox, the Great Depression, several wars, the dominance of the Yankees and earthquakes, but the final straw came when billionaires and millionaires couldn’t decide how to divide up millions more.

They ignored the fans and the game, and simply thought about filling their wallets. Since then, led by Bud Selig — who is no friend of baseball or the fans — we’ve seen numerous changes, from interleague play to wild card playoffs and realignment, but he chose to ignore the biggest problems.

There are too many to list, but it starts with steroids. No records in any sports are more cherished than those in baseball. Yet, many have been cheaters.

Who knows what is real any more? What is real is the lack of interest among younger fans. Who can blame them? On the game’s grandest stage, baseball has allowed TV to dictate late starting times that mean much of today’s youth never actually see a World Series game.

If the Super Bowl can be started during the day and end by 10, why can’t the World Series do the same at least with a few of its games?

I grew to love baseball for many reasons, partly because I had an opportunity to see the Big Red Machine win the 1975 World Series when I was 11, or watching Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in a game to beat the Dodgers only two years later.

Too often today, our youth never see a World Series game. They’re in bed since they’ve got school the next day. Right there, baseball has lost a fan.

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