Ah, yes. The Cincinnati Reds - I knew them well. I lived in Ohio during the late seventies-early eighties, and followed the Reds like crazy. The Big Red Machine was basically over and done by the time I came on board, but I still lapped up each and every game.
I don't blog much on yesteryear's sports on Retrospace; I guess that because I've sort of found my niche and expanding on that might just make the scope too big. Or maybe it's because baseball lost its mojo for me, and I can't conjure up enough enthusiasm to write about it. But let me wax nostalgia on baseball and other sports if I may, just this once...
I've proclaimed my deep and abiding respect for Charlie Hustle on Retrospace before - so, let's just get that out of the way. The fact that he's not in the Hall of Fame means nothing to me, it simply invalidates the Hall of Fame. So, Pete was a bettin' man? He lived life like he ran bases - at full speed regardless of the consequences. A lot of lesser players in the Hall of Fame have done much, much worse.
Back then, you didn't have ESPN and forty other networks carrying baseball games at all hours. You had your local networks (which usually meant just your local MLB teams) and I was fortunate enough to have cable early on. Keep in mind, it was nothing like today - it simply meant I could watch the Cubs on WGN and the shitty-good-for-nothing Braves on WTBS.
|Mr. Carey. Ladies' Man|
The Braves on WTBS were nearly unwatchable. The Mormon (Dale Murphy) was good, but the rest of the team was criminally bad (the hefty Bob Horner wasn't too shabby). But I watched it nonetheless... and continued to watch the Braves all the way up to the World Series victory in the early nineties. But then something happened to baseball shortly thereafter...
I think it was a perfect storm of sorts. You had the steroid situation which put a bruise on a stat oriented sport, and caused a lot of folks to lose faith in the Great American Pastime. Then, you had players like A-Rod raking in incomprehensible sums of cash. Where once Yogi Berra had to operate a dry cleaning business during the off season to make ends meet, now the players are living like Louie XVI.
And, finally, players lost their loyalty to their teams... and subsequently the fans lost the loyalty to their players. Thus, baseball viewership is way down. Combine that fact with expensive tickets, and it's no wonder you hear the "TING" of a ball hitting an empty aluminum seat.
When one player on the Yankees makes as much as the entire Pirates roster, there's a problem. This is why the NFL has laid waste to MLB, because there's at least an attempt at parity, and they've been much more diligent in drug testing. Personally, nowhere is the "true sports mojo" still alive more than in football - especially college football.
Sure, there's similar issues to the ones that plagued baseball - nothing is perfect. Some college teams have more money to spend on coaches and facilities; but overall, it's still a great sport despite its flaws. I graduated from Auburn - so War Damn Eagle!
Not a big fan of The Crimson Tide (majorettes not included); but rivalry is part of the joy.
There's not as many blogs on the subject of sports. Indeed, there's probably more blogs devoted to Star Wars than all the MLB blogs combined. I think that's mainly due to the fact that it's a subject analyzed ad nauseum on 15,000 sports channels every day all day. What use is a blog?
Which brings me to my final point on sports - a subject that almost ruins sports for me: the incessant talking. I want to watch a game, not listen to half-baked theories and gossip. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk..... you almost can't escape it. I don't mind a sports column in the paper, but for chrissakes do we need to hear 45 different talking heads discuss the same damn topic all day long?
|Retrospace is not above squeezing in eye cand at every opportunity. Don't judge.|
But now I'm doing exactly what I'm complaining about. So, it looks like this is a good place to wrap things up.