For many years I would attend the traditional Reds opener in Cincinnati, sometimes sitting in the Press Box, others, drinking beer in the stands at Riverfront. I stopped doing that about a dozen or so years ago, basically I was sick of what has become Major League Baseball...traditions be damned.
The Cincinnati Reds, the oldest professional baseball team used to have the opening day National League game to themselves, with the Washington Senators having the AL game, so the President could toss out the first pitch. MLB in all is wisdom has sent the freaking teams off to Japan, a country that tried to destroy us in WW2 for the first game, and a few years back tossed the Reds over so they no longer even have the regular season opener...that game now is on ESPN on Sunday night. The Reds still get their first game at home with all the pomp and ceremony, but it is no longer the same. MLB is just so much bullshit these days, from steroids, the Yankees, and the corrupt players union.
The Reds open with Arizona this afternoon.....and I won't be watching, either on TV or in the stands....the final insult to true Reds fans was the hiring of the most incompetent manager in many years, Dusty Baker to run the show.....this guy is a cancer to young players, especially young pitchers, I don't believe anybody has ruined as many arms as this guy.
Sam and I also are scheduled to have our opener this afternoon at Delphos, a JV game(one of my few this season) that has Delphos Jefferson against Kalida. The rain has made most fields wet, so with more possible today and tomorrow, the first couple of games are in doubt.
Growing up in Venice, Florida, we really didn't have a team to root for that was close by, back in the 1950s.....so I grabbed on to the New York Yankees, for obvious reasons, they were the best, and had the most glamorous lineup, including my childhood hero, Mickey Mantle!
I remained a Yankee fan until the family moved back to Ohio in 1963....I eventually gave up the Yanks, when "The Mick" retired and started rooting for the Cincinnati Reds, a team I covered as a broadcaster and followed in the stands as well. I feel bad for the kids today, baseball just isn't the same, MLB is basically a joke, players that have no relation except money with their current teams, and owners that toss hometown heroes over like yesterday's garbage. It's a sad state of affairs...I'd rather take in a college or minor league game any day, rather than waste my money to support Major League Baseball.....of course I'd rather be out on a warm sunny day umpiring a high school or American Legion game than being anywhere near one of the modern day major parks......
OK enough of that rant....baseball starts today for the Reds, maybe for Sam and me(tomorrow he has a varsity game in Fort Recovery and me at Rockford Parkway, Parkway varsity vs Spencerville)as well, but the weather, like it always does, will factor in the early high school season...here is hoping the rains don't happen too often, and the back holds out.....
PLAY BALL! PLAY BALL! PLAY BALL!
photo-top, left to right---me and the late Reds owner Marge Schott in 1994...always liked Marge, because liberals and the press hated her. Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle on a Mick special baseball card from 1962. Brother Mike and me getting ready for the Venice Elks little league season in 1957...he was on the varsity at 11, I was 9 and on the JV team. 1991 me with Reds Manager(now Cubs) sweet Lou Pinella, the winter after he led the Reds to their last World Series Championship. The late great Joe Nuxhall, the youngest player in MLB history at 15, and long time Reds announcer, who passed away this winter, and finally a video clip shot of me interviewing Pete Rose, the season after he broke Ty Cobb's hit record....don't necessarily like Rose as a person, but he sure the Hell should be in the Hall of Fame as a player....if the druggies and steroid freaks get in, this guy should be there as well, and far ahead of the likes of "melon head" Barry Bonds.