Reclaiming America’s pastime
Say what you will about these guys, and I could say a lot, but it boils down to one thing that defined them and ballplayers of previous generations – respect for the game.
The sad, sad stories of pathetic non-heroes like retired “stars” Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and active miscreants like Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez almost makes me want to walk away from this game as a fan.
But I cling to hope – and I cling to the new breed. Ryan Braun, Tim Lincecum, and Ryan Zimmerman are some of the leaders of this new school. And we should all hope that they have learned the lessons of their elders the hard way.
Respect the game and your place in history will forever be reliant solely on your positive contributions rather than the unseemly blemishes striking down so many players whose careers (and biceps) exploded in the steroids era.
My favorite of all of the new breed might just be Evan Longoria.
In just 13 months since his Tampa Bay Rays’ debut, he has established himself as perhaps the first player that might be chosen in a redraft of all the players in the majors. And he carries himself with the requisite poise of a superstar.
Read Buster Olney’s piece and I guarantee that you will get a greater sense of what an impressive ballplayer Longoria is and why the future of the game might just be more secure than ever.
It’s going to take years for MLB to shake the effects of what the aging class of ballplayers did to this great game. I can’t wait to see how Longoria, Braun, Lincecum, Zimmerman and others are going to restore it by claiming it as their own.