September 1996 - Can This Marriage Be Saved?

Dearest Baseball:

You and I have had a very close and passionate relationship for most of my life. We've shared a lot of laughs, and a lot of tears, too. We've had some serious fun. You were my first game, and I've loved you since I was a squirt. Oh, sure, I may have flirted with the others, but honestly, it didn't mean anything. It never came close to what we had.

Lately, I've notice we've drifted. It's not any one thing, but a lot of things. Maybe it's me. As I've grown, I've changed. Experiences that were exciting the first time have lost some of their glimmer after years of repetition. I guess maybe my expectations have changed, too.

But you may have done irreparable damage to this great relationship. The passion that I've had for you for oh so long feels like it's starting to fade. I never thought I'd say these words, and it pains me deeply, but you're losing me.

It didn't happen overnight. As I look back, I can see the slide started when Bart Giamatti died. He had a vision and a passion that I so admired and respected. He knew you as a game, but he also knew you as a business. His strong leadership was just what we needed, and his untimely demise deeply hurt us both. We've gone so long now without a Commissioner, I hardly remember what it feels like. Your rudderless ship is on the wrong course, but you're too caught up in yourself to notice. You were given a trust, and you've betrayed it.

You couldn't leave well enough alone. You had to go messing with the playoff system. We had something very special, not like the other sports. Baseball teams actually had to win to qualify for their post-season trysts. Now, you try to get me excited about the best second-place team. The Mild Card. You've really lowered your standards. I hope you're proud of yourself.

Sure, I'm a purist. But that only means I care deeply about your past and your traditions. Even you'll admit that you are far more sentimental than any other sport. Lately, I'm beginning to feel that you no longer appreciate or understand my undefiled feelings. Only you could take my purist intentions and turn them into something dirty.

And speaking of dirty. Interleague play -- the ultimate sin! How could you? How could you take something so sacred and special, and make it so cheap? Will you just let anybody play with anybody? Since 1871, when professional baseball leagues began with the National Association, your teams have played only within their leagues during the regular season. Doesn't that mean anything to you? Call me a hopeless romantic, but I revel in your mystique. Don't you understand that's why the World Series so special.

I know you're touchy about this, but I must bring up the matter of your expansion. Having a Major League franchise used to be something special. Now, every Tom, Dick, and Tampa Bay to come along manages to steal your charms. Have you no self-respect?

Maybe a guy like me needs a more youthful companion. It's not quite the same, but those Minor Leagues seem to be more carefree, and yes, more fun, than you are. They still have that innocence that you have lost forever.

I never thought this would happen to us. I hope it's not too late to patch things up, but I wonder if you still care. I get the feeling that you're more interested in corporate types who will buy your luxury boxes and lavish you with TV contracts. I never thought money would come between us. Fair or not, our future is up to you. The ball is in your park.

Please know I'll always love you. I just may not be able to live with you.

With all my heart, D.

©1996 - 2007 Douglas T. Dinsmoor


Post a Comment

<< Home