Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day 2008

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 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 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 is hoping the rains don't happen too often, and the back holds out.....

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.


Cookie..... said...

One of things I noticed in one of yur photygraffs was that the Little League" uniform was a complete uniform...even the sox...I know..I also wore one back then.

I can't help but notice that our Little Leaguers today only wear the shirt and a least that's how it is locally. I can remember taking real pride when I put on that uniform....

pat houseworth said...

Coached for many years from Little League to Pony, then High School summer league....most summer leagues now days you have to supply your own socks and pants, the shirts the Recreation Department supplies....times have changed for sure.

Shrinky said...

Ah Pat, any popular sport thesedays is propelled more by profit than by enthusiasm. I'm from your generation, football (soccer) used to be a family game, supported by local residents who cheered on their home-grown lads. Nowadays, high priced players are imported from around the world, the rights to the game are sold to the highest televised bidder, and the matches are scheduled in the wee small hours to please the largest audience. Tickets to these venues are way out of the pocket of the ordinary families (if you don't fork out up front for a season ticket, it is unlikely you can buy one on the day). So much for progress, eh?

GUYK said...

Yep, Mantle is was an Okie and I was reared in Oklahoma and because of Mantle I was a Yankee fan for years.

I quit Major league baseball years ago when it quit me by deciding that the argument between the players and owners was more important than the World Series and fans..have not watched a full game since although at times when I am bored I might tune in to a few innings of the Rays just to remind me that players are overpaid prima donnas who forgot it was the fans who paid their way.

BRUNO said...

I agree with ya', too, on the Minor league teams being the last remaining source of REAL entertainment. And like everyone else, it's a shame that sports success today is measured in DOLLAR signs, instead of AUTOGRAPH "signs"...!

Mushy said...

Good memories my man!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Yea, cool memories. It's cool that yo8u had a job that put you in proximity to some cool folks. And yea, baseball has given way to bro ball. You can't have a diamond in the big city any more, but you can put a hoop anywere. And sports is as screwed up as everything else. No heart anymore.

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