Meet Joe, holding yet another stick that he will pretend is yet another baseball bat, as he swats another lame (and imaginary) fastball out of another (equally imaginary) park. He may be skinny, but the kid’s got game!
Two years ago, Joe fell in love with baseball completely, passionately and truly. Which I thought was great. I’ve loved baseball since I was seven years old, and I grew up following everyone from Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt to Reg-gie, Gar-vey, Fernand-doh and all the rest of them. I LOVED it that Joe loved baseball.
And then the Mitchell Report came out, just about two years ago now, and Joe began asking questions that I couldn’t answer. And in fact, no father in the history of baseball has had to answer. “Isn’t it cheating to take steroids?” “Why did Bonds (and all the rest of them…McGwire, Sosa, A-Rod, Manny) take steroids when they were already so good?” “Aren’t they going to be punished?”
So for the last two years, Joe and I have been exploring the game and talking to people about steroids and baseball. And always, in the back of my mind, lingers the question, “Is baseball worth it?”
Should I encourage my kid to love this game as I did, or should I gently turn his attention towards…I don’t know…golf, manga, Rachael Ray?
What do you think, Dads (and Moms)? How do you feel about the state of baseball right now?
Come along with me and Joe on this journey.