With Mark’s recent Christmas wishlist from the readers in the books, I’d like to ask you “What ever happened to…?” This is by no means an exhaustive list. It is just six random things I was thinking about.
1. Sportsmanship – All we see now in all sports is showboating or trashing your opponent. In the movie Coach Carter, Samuel L. Jackson gets angry at his players for this and asks them why it’s not enough to win anymore? Winning is not enough. Now, players need to win AND humiliate their opponent while doing so. It’s terrible.
2. Doubleheaders – One of the coolest things is buying a baseball ticket and being able to see two games for the price of one. Now, teams are so concerned about revenue and losing paid attendance and concessions, that they often times clear the stadium after the first game and bring in the new crowd.
3. Tall Socks – Why are there so few ballplayers wearing them? And why are the ones who do wear them considered throwbacks?
4. The Stolen Base – I long for the days where guys like Vince Coleman steal 100 bases in the season. It used to be that if your leadoff hitter got on with a single, there was a threat of him turning it into a triple with his speed and running instincts. Now, we play Dusty ball and have every player fill their shoes with cement before every game. Gotta make sure they don’t get any ideas about running.
5. The Scorecard – Does no one keep score anymore? I go to games these days and feel a little weird with my Bob Carpenter scorebook. It got old going to games and being forced to buy a program for $8 just to keep score. What happened to the days when EVERYONE kept score?
6. Pickup Games – When was the last time you drove by a park or baseball field at a school and see it being used for a game of RF is closed 5 on 5 baseball? It just doesn’t happen anymore. Now, we have MLB 2006 for the XBOX 360 to teach us all about the baseball fundamentals. So our kids can now hit buttons at the right time, but can’t hit a baseball to save their lives. They can turn a double play with the best of them on the PS2, but can’t even remember to turn their glove the right way to catch the ball in real life. It’s a shame.