By: Jason Marrero
Edited By: Julia Giammona
Before I get into the nitty-gritty, allow me to NOT apologize. I do not apologize to the number-loving baseball purists. I do not apologize to the old-school fan that refuses to welcome forward-thinking. I do not apologize to the fanatics who will roll their eyes and suck their teeth upon reading this article because this article is not aimed at you. I am not trying to sway your feelings one way or another toward the game you love.
The views in this article do not reflect those of the Sports Hit List, Carl Coulanges, Carl Winslow, Ziggy Gregory or Ziggy Azalea for that matter. These are my views (sorry, Drake), and my opinions. This is my farewell to the sport of baseball. I bid you adieu.
I was once in love with baseball. I grew up around a gang of crazy Met fans. One of my earliest memories is watching the Mets win the 1986 World Series with my brother Eddie on our 9” black and white television in our tiny railroad apartment in Spanish Harlem. I was mesmerized by the game. If we weren’t glued to a TV with our grandfather and uncles watching a Met game, we were out playing intense one-on-one games of baseball (in case you’re wondering – yes, one-on-one baseball is possible. Just be prepared to do a lot of running after the ball. It’s great for the stamina, but bad for the self-esteem when your brother is constantly tagging your 40mph fastballs for doubles and triples). Baseball was life. I loved watching those Oakland A’s teams of the late 80s.
On those rare occasions where I’d muster up enough power to hit a homerun during wiffle-ball games in elementary school, I’d find a buddy after crossing home-plate and mash forearms with them just like Canseco and McGwire (mind you, this was prior to puberty, so just imagine 2 puny forearms crashing into each-other at full force).
Sometime around the early 90s I became a Yankee fan. I liked the New York Yankees because it was the unpopular thing to be at the time and I’ve always liked rooting for the team that was flying under the radar (hence my current infatuation with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but that’s an article for another day). My newly found fandom nearly paid off in 1994 when the Yankees and Expos were ahead of their respective leagues. Lord knows what would have happened if the Expos and Yankees squared off that year (older, wiser Jason says the Expos would have probably swept the Yankees if they met in the WS).
1995 the Seattle Mariners decided to break my heart, but then 1996 came along and the rest is history. Four championships in five years and the New York Yankees (and their fans) were sitting on top of the world.
Sprinkled in during the late 90s was the great homerun chase between McGwire and Sosa. Who can forget that? Before Twitter existed, big time topics trended at water-coolers. Everyone was talking about McGwire and Sosa. The sport of baseball felt like the biggest thing on the planet. Again, baseball was life!
As we headed into the 2000s, there was a classic World Series played between the Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks (just weeks removed from 9/11). That same year saw a 36 year old by the name of Barry Bonds blast 73 (you read that right) homeruns. There was Aaron f’n Boone in 2003, an incredible comeback (or colossal collapse if you’re a Yankee fan) by the Redsox in 2004 and of course the steroid congressional hearing in 2005.
Damn! It turns out most of our “heroes” in the game of baseball were running around flaunting tainted muscle. Who knew? Canseco knew but we laughed off his snitching attempts. Now it became real. The rules of training for 162 games were about to change the game. It was around this time when I began to lose love for the game of baseball, but not for the reasons you may think. I wasn’t hurt and I didn’t feel lied to. I just got bored, and so I’ve decided to break up with the MLB.
Hey boo. Long time no speak. How are you? I figured I owe you an explanation for why I’ve been so distant lately. Quite frankly – you bore me now. I’m just being honest.
Things are not as fun and exciting anymore. Where’d the spark go? You used to be so spontaneous, but now you’re unwatchable. We used to stay up late together, but now I can’t make it past the 3rd inning without cheating on you with another channel. To be fair, you cheated on me first.
I thought I could get past the whole steroid thing, but I can’t.
It hurts that you think I’ll be satisfied watching a bunch of .250 hitters. Do you really think that’s acceptable? 2-1 games, 3-0 games? When’d you become so cheap with your runs? And don’t let me start on your stubbornness. How many hitters are you going to run out there who refuse to lay down a bunt against the shift? Don’t tell me that it’s the only way a hitter knows how to hit, because if you truly cared you’d change your ways.
You’re hard-headed beyond belief. Speaking of changing ways, this idea that players shouldn’t celebrate a homerun or big hit is ludicrous. This old fogey mentality is the reason why so many kids are turned off by the game. It’s turned me off at least and so I’ve turned you off…many times…in favor of literally anything.
Sure you got a few good things going for you like the Met pitching staff, Miguel Cabrera and the Kansas City Royals, but what else are you bringing to the table aside from supplying the white noise for my Sunday afternoon naps?
And what happened to pitchers? Now it’s “unnatural” for a person to throw a ball too hard and that’s why we’re seeing so many injuries. Who are you?
I see you running around throwing all this money around but you’re giving me nothing. You make me pay ridiculous prices to come to your place but all I ever leave with is an empty bank account and sunburn.
I’d love to say that you will change and that we will once again find love for each other but it’s apparent that you are stuck in your mind-numbingly boring ways. You used to be the bell of the ball but now the new kids on the block like UFC and soccer have overtaken you. Thank God for the NHL or else you’d be on the bottom of the professional sports totem pole in my eyes. Do you not care what they’re saying about you? Things like: Your boringness makes Tim Duncan look like Dennis Rodman.
Anyway, I hope you find yourself. In the meantime I’ll be over there with someone better; someone who gets me; someone not afraid to change.
In the words of Grammy-award-winning artist James Blunt, “Goodbye my lover”. I’m taking a page out of Chris Brown’s playbook and chucking my deuces up.
Written by Jason Marrero