I rewatched Ken Burns Baseball on Netflix, all nine innings.   Then I watched the tenth inning, which is newer than the rest of the series, and something I never saw before.

It started in 1992 with Sid Bream scoring at home and breaking my heart and moved on to the strike, the fans staying away after the strike, Cal, Maddux and Glavine, Junior, Jeter, Torre, the re-dominance of the Yankees, Pedro, the influx of Latino players, McGwire and Sammy, Barry, Ichiro, 9-11, the fabulous 2001 WS, (I had forgotten about Byung Hyun Kim and Randy in relief in Game 7), how MLB did nothing to stop steroids since the turnstiles were humming and fans loved it and the union thinking the players were above accountability until Congress forced them to do something, Barry not winning the WS, Bartman, Schilling’s bloody sock, BALCO, and Juiced.

During their talks about steroids, they had Chris Rock on who said if you could take a pill that would make you do your job better and get you paid a whole lot more, would you do it? Sure, he said. Everyone would.

He’s probably right, but it’s the wrong question to ask. The right question to ask is if you could take a pill that would make you do your job better and get you paid a whole lot more, would you do it, knowing it was illegal in your company? That it was cheating?

Not everyone puts money over integrity.

The numbers of Yesses would drop drastically.

This show started with baseball in the 1830’s and the best thing about the tenth inning was a dramatic decrease in the number of times people waxed poetic about the game. I was about done with the “baseball is a metaphor for…” comparisons.  My favorite improvement in baseball was the teams stopping fans from running on the field. That went on well into the 80’s. Keep the fans in the stands where they belong and let the players have the moment to themselves.

Barry*, you still suck.

 75 days until Opening Day!


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