With one exception, I've stopped watching baseball.
The exception being, when I'm bored, I like to watch Florida Marlins games. But really, that's because I was there for the birth of the team and will probably be there when they leave Florida for a place that will help fund a retractable roof stadium. But that's a different issue.
But, other than that, I don't watch baseball.
The reason is, I just don't see a need anymore.
Like so many other people, I was attracted back to the sport after the strike by the home run contest between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Then, I wanted to know if Barry Bonds would shatter that record by hitting 73 home runs in a season.
I admit it. It was exciting.
Until I realized that it was all bullshit.
When the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, hit 60, he wasn't visiting Balco. When Roger Maris, every man's slugger, hit 61, he wasn't on the cream and the clear. When Hammerin' Hank Aaron slugged 755 home runs over 22 glorious seasons, he wasn't injecting himself with Human Growth Hormone.
But that's what baseball is now.
It's not about seeing how the players of today match up with the achievements of the past. It's not about history meeting present. It's not about love of the game.
It's about cheating.
Sure, we've all seen Exhibit A: Watching Barry Bonds blow up like a Goodyear blimp with muscle from his 20's to his 40's. But take a look at Exhibit B: Kenny Rogers.
Kenny Rogers was the starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers in last night's Game 2 of the World Series. After players complained of the "abnormal" flight of the balls he was pitching, Kenny was discovered to have a "substance"---a likely illegal substance---on his hand, he wasn't disqualified. He was asked by an umpire to "do [the umpire] a favor" and "wash it off." Later, Rogers said it was "dirt."
So instead of being thrown out on his keaster, he went right back to pitching.
ESPN then began searching old game film from the playoffs. Apparently, Mr. Rogers's neighborhood is close to an oil rig, because that same substance appeared in not one, not two, but at least FOUR different game films.
So, in the face of this probable cause, in the face of yet another embarassing scandel, in the face of another player who is shaming the game loved by our parents and grandparents, what did Major League Baseball do?
That's right. Nothing.
They put on their blinders and let yet another player cheat.
They told all the kids who were watching this game, "It's ok to cheat. It's even ok to get caught. Just lie about it and everyone will cover it if it's important enough."
I've come to expect it from Congress and corporate America, but now is it so bad that the American game can just be a home of rampant cheaters?
Well, now that I think about it, maybe that's where Congress and corporate America learned the tricks of the trade.
Either way, that's why I don't watch baseball.