It’s Time to Bury the Hatchet

February 11, 2009

Come Friday morning, media and baseball fans alike will be asked to put aside their differences and let the athletes take center stage. It’s time for that group of unemployed fanatics who have been congregating outside the SNY studios, screaming and chanting, to just let the Manny Ramirez love fest die. I think we have had enough headlines that read, “A-roid” or “A-hole.” I mean, really, aren’t we getting a little tired of local columnists and sports editors trying to outdo each other with clever ways to use the letter A. A-nough.

I understand the events of the last few days may have led you to suspect that a player on your past Little League baseball team could have been experimenting with performance-enhancing drugs. It’s hard not to questions athletes’ morals when a photo of eight-time Gold medalist, Michael Phelps, is shown pulling a bong hit. But baseball is no stranger to humiliation. Back in the early part of the twentieth century, there was the infamous Black Sox scandal which left a permanent stain on the city of Chicago and the game itself. Or the long road in crossing racial barriers, led by one lone player.

Fans of the game have experienced plenty of setbacks along the way. They have seen their share of corked bats and scuffed balls. They have felt the emptiness of a cancelled post-season, the uncertainty of a tied All-Star Game, and the endless waiting for instant replay. They have watched their favorite baseball players involuntarily shipped overseas to fight a war and witnessed their heroes as they became victims of their own vices.

The events that have led up to this weekend should not be seen as a “black eye on the sport” but as another chance for baseball to prove to its audiences that it will return stronger and more resilient than ever. With that, I ask all who plop down in front of their television sets 162 days out of the year and follow a round white ball with red stitching to simply bury the hatchet and let the professionals do their job.

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