Baseball91's Weblog

August 3, 2009

Damn Yankees

Filed under: Boston Red Sox,Larry Luchiano,Theo Epstein — baseball91 @ 4:08 AM
Tags: , ,
    Seeing kids, who you grew up with, smoke marijuana for the first time. Maybe knowing that a girl you liked had slept with someone last night. That was college life. Or that an athlete used steroids.

    I did not grow up in the age of relativism. Where kids asked not to be judged. Where teachers seemed to accept that there was no absolute moral authority at institutions of higher learning. Or anywhere.

    Dr. Faust. Joe Hardy. Or “Saturday Night at the Movies” …..with the professor turned pitcher with the one good season, thanks to a chemical spill in his lab, caused by a baseball coming into to his lab through a shattered window. Success, until he ran out of juice. In one season.

    The universal story, generation after generation: “Damn Yankees.” Dr. Faust. Joe Hardy or David Ortiz. About cheating. It seemed to me that 90% of college kids smoked marijuana at least once. And some regularly. That was in he 1970s. Until we had reached a point in the 1990s, which I finally believe, that 80% of players were steroid users.

    It was the focus of the Major League Players Association to protect these guys, without drug tests. So that salaries could rise. Until there were very few left with any reverence for the game.

    It was all about money. It was only about money, for the managers, for the general managers,for the umpires. For Agents. For scouts turned agent. For agents turned owners. The leadership from above also lost the reverence for the game somewhere along the way.

    The Boston Globe had this piece today: “Emeritus professor at Pennsylvania State University, Charles Yesalis, a specialist on performance-enhancing drugs, said, “It doesn’t have to be thorough, it just has to show activity. ‘We asked these guys, and we fired them.’ Charles Yesalis believes that professional sports executives today are generally concerned about doping only so far as it brings them bad publicity. You have to show a reasonable amount of activity,’’ Yesalis said. He said that the manner in which Major League Baseball and the Red Sox handled Cyr and Remy suggested a desire to appear to be taking the matter seriously, rather than a sincere interest in a thorough investigation. And Dominguez never sought to question Marquez himself about possible involvement with steroids, according to Kerner, Marquez’s lawyer.

    The comments made by managers throughout the league, wishing for the release of the other 100 names, support Charles Yesalis’s theory. That theory was, “Let’s shoot the messenger.” These guys were asking if they could not just keep playing like always? A 50 game suspension without pay, and Manny was back on the payroll. Life goes on. There was no death penalty to a career. Especially when David Ortiz seemed like a nice guy. Nice guys could cheat? I think Fred Wilpon could address whether Bernie Madoff was also a nice guy. If only he had belonged to the Players’ Association, he would not have to spend 150 years in jail.

    What about the affect on the teams that tried to carry on the tradition with honor, actually without steroid use? The politics of the game after 1976, with the inception of free agency, was all about spending money. Spin doctors eventually came up with the excuses for bad years, bad franchises, calling the campaign that of small markets against the big markets. Beat writers, more and more, carried the ball with the excuses.

    No writer ever focused on the affect of the ticket-paying public on these salaries. Even the concept of a beat writer has died in Los Angeles with the economic damage done to newspapers. No one had yet provided the affect on the teams that tried to carry on the tradition with honor, actually without steroid use? Against those world championship trophies in New York and Boston.

    In the age of relativism, children distantly removed from Great Depression and Great Wars might never understand those lyrics of Damn Yankees:

    You’ve gotta have heart!
    Miles and miles and miles of heart!
    Oh, it’s fine to be a genius of corse!
    But keep that ol’ horse
    before the cart!
    First you’ve got to have heart!

    Smokey:
    A great pitcher, we haven’t got!

    Rocky:
    A great slugger, we haven’t got!

    Sohovic:
    A great pitcher, we haven’t got!

    All:
    What’ve we got?
    We’ve got heart!
    All you really need is heart!
    When the odds are sayin’, You’ll never win,
    that’s when the grin should start!
    We’ve got hope! We don’t sit around and mope!
    Not a solitary sob do we heave, mister
    ’cause we’ve got hope.

    Rocky:
    We’re so happy, that we’re hummin’.

    All:
    Hmm, Hmm, Hmm

    Coach:
    That’s the heart-y thing to do.

    Smokey:
    ‘Cause we know our ship will come in!

    All:
    Hmm, hmm, hmm

    Sohovic:
    So it’s ten years over due!

    All:
    Hoo, hoo, hoo.
    We’ve got heart!Miles and miles and miles of heart! Oh it’s
    fine to be a genius of coarse, but keep that old horse before the cart!

    Smokey:
    So what the heck’s the use of cryin’?

    Coach:
    Why should we curse?

    Sohovic:
    We’ve got to get better……

    Rocky:
    ….’cause we can’t get worse!

    All:
    And to add to it; we’ve got heart!
    We’ve got heart!
    We’ve got Heart!

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1 Comment »

  1. Comment by baseball91 — October 26, 2016 @ 2:12 AM | Reply


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