SHOHOLA, PA – For as long as memory serves, and my long term recollection is tons more accurate than details from very recent happenings, I don’t recall my Dad ever being schooled by my Gramps about how much tougher athletes were during his era. I’m using baseball as the example for this post’s argument. There wasn’t the chasm in grit between Ty Cobb and say, Ted Williams, that exists in today’s overly-spoiled player from those during my childhood in the 1970’s. It has made me downright cranky after watching the second game of the Mets-Brewers doubleheader this past week which Short Matt touched upon yesterday.
My gripe starts with the new twin-bill seven inning standard, for which there is no logical explanation or defense. Blame Commissioner Manfred or the Player’s Union or whomever. I’m not listening to their spin. Baseball is closing in on its 150th birthday and those dog days of summer doubleheaders were once played in woolen effing uniforms – in a bygone day! Day games eventually gave way to night games but Sunday and holiday NINE INNING pay-one-price double dips (like Astroland Park) were the norm. The lineup didn’t vary much in the second game from the opener outside of the battery who are the only position players breaking a sweat on every play while the others are catching a tan in between fielding a sporadic ball hit their way. So all of a sudden a minimum of fourteen innings spread between two games is too much for these million dollar babies to work? Puh-leez! Grab your glove and take the field you pansy asses for BOTH games. Pony Leaguers with the idea of elevating their growth from Little League were the only division to play seven frames so you guys can suck it up and play nine multiplied by two once in a while.
In the early part of the 70’s decade if players weren’t involved in winter ball guys had off season employment to supplement their baseball incomes. Fast forward to today where people are paid more not to work and the byproduct of employers scraping the bottom of the candidate barrel WITH incentive$ in the wake of the pandemic. I truly believe the implementation of participation trophies a generation ago are starting to rear it’s ugly head in a coddled society which includes sports heroes.
Game Two of Mets-Brewers
Admittedly, I did enjoy Milwaukee’s throwback uniforms, which helped trigger was indicative of the coddling I’m getting at. The Brewers starting pitcher was lifted for a pinch-hitter after four innings of a forty-four pitch shutout effort. Huh? His “relief” was a name reminding me of Dewey Oxburger from the movie Stripes—Brad Boxberger. This pitcher really did put the BB in oxburger by walking the bases full in facing the first three Mets batters. To his credit he closed out the thirty-six pitch inning striking out the next three, including Lindor and Alonso. Can somebody out there explain to me 44 cruising tosses through four and an arduous 36 in one? The Mets also yanked their journeyman starter just shy of five innings as well. The two starters didn’t go the required five for a W but being fair, in a seven inning game a pitcher should only be asked to go one more than half the game which is four frames just like a hurler is asked for the mandatory five innings in a non-doubleheader.
I’m getting close to done with baseball. These alterations of the game are bound to alienate older fans rather than gain younger fans, which is the doomed intention. They don’t give a rat’s ass about much other than asking for more of mom’s meatloaf to be sent to their room.