Baseball never has been better. If you don’t agree, that’s because you are so old your prostate is now bigger than your brain.
To believe that baseball was once better than it is today is to believe that music was once better than it is today because the only band you can remember is the Beatles. You have forgotten about the thousands of bands who weren’t the Beatles.
The current baseball world features almost uniformly beautiful, state-of-the-art ballparks with excellent sight lines, well-prepared food in infinite variety, microbrews and comfortable seats.
The players are bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, better coached, better trained and better conditioned than ever, and they are able, because of their riches, to devote more of their lives to excelling at baseball rather than working in a warehouse all winter to pay the bills.
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Front offices are better educated and capable of scouring the globe for talent.
The game is more accessible to the average human than ever before. More games are televised than ever, and tech-savvy fans can follow games and teams all day on a variety of formats.
Compare the current wonders of the game to …
» The dead-ball era, or as I call it, “Fat white guys bunting.”
The players of this era weren’t big, strong, fast, well trained or any color other than white, but say this for them: At least they knew how to throw World Series games.
» The New York years. East Coast media elites (always wanted to use that phrase in a sentence) gush about the era when the New York Yankees, New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers dominated baseball.
Why should the rest of the country care? At least the Dodgers finally employed baseball’s first black player. Every baseball record set before black players were fully integrated into the game is bogus, as was this entire era.
» The ’50s and ’60s.
Pitching dominated, and bunting and stealing were all the rage. Yawn.
» The ’70s.
Baseball players worked in garish polyester uniforms, on plastic grass, in cookie-cutter multipurpose stadiums, while consuming amphetamines and cocaine. I’m surprised they didn’t play games beneath a giant, rotating disco ball.
» The ’80s and ’90s.
This era was a bad ’70s hangover, with the bonus of work stoppages and the advent of unscrutinized steroid use.
Let’s be honest about modern baseball: Even the drug abuse is state of the art.
If players are going to ingest something, shouldn’t we prefer steroids (a drug that makes them bigger and better) to all of the other substances they used to consume before, during and after games (booze, greenies, cocaine, heroin, bad coffee)?
All those old photos and newsreels of baseball in the “good ol’ days” might look quaint, but if you were able to travel through time, you’d wind up in a cramped seat in a decrepit ballpark eating a half-cooked hot dog … or, if you couldn’t get a ticket, you’d have to wait until the next morning to find out who won the game.
Today, baseball is better and more accessible than ever. If you don’t agree, it’s because age has whittled your memory bank to the size of a blueberry. So you keep muttering to yourself about the good ol’ days, and I’ll help you find your teeth, then your car.