Well, it's the home opener. In the golden days of yore, baseball acted as a reassuring and beautiful rite of spring, taking the country's mind off the various challenges facing it. The baseball of WWII had some truly amazing stories, including the one armed outfielder who hit a home run in one game. And baseball through the years has continued as the one dependable thing. Wild cards, free agency, and domed stadiums have changed the business, but not the game. The man still chucks the leather and the other man hits it with a stick. Baseball's functioned as a nice piece of certainty in an often confusing world. But unfortunately, a snake has snuck into what has served as a reasonably passable American Eden. And the snake has brought a needle. Sordid tales of "juicing" have been springing up fairly regularly. And in the middle of the speculation in Barry Bonds, a base stealer who morphed into a large-headed (both from arrogance and the steroids) ball-thumper, terrifying pitchers, and reporters, with a man-size chip on a superman-size shoulder. To wrap up before I get caught up in a vicious screed about how baseball has deserted its history, here's
a story on the subject by a great ESPN writer. Read it, and don't be afraid to weep. I did. (but only because of the difference in writing skill between Chuck Klosterman and I).