Tonawanda News —
Baseball used to mean something to me. I grew up a New York Yankees fan that lived and died with every Derek Jeter at-bat or Andy Pettitte curveball.
Baseball was a part of my childhood. My grandfather and my father bled Yankee blue, and every October was like a sports vacation for me. It was nice to experience the feeling that came with winning. The sport was fun.
Baseball died the moment the steroid confessions started to flood out of the cesspool that the sport had become. I felt betrayed, like the last 10 or so years were a lie.
The Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa homerun era was the height of my baseball love affair. I was one of millions hanging on every pitch late in that historic season. Now, looking back, I view that era in baseball like an ex-girlfriend who stepped out on me. I can't forget it and no matter how hard I try I can't let the game fully back into my life. I mean, I am a sports writer so I guess discarding our country's favorite sport, historically speaking, wouldn't be the best idea, but it just isn't the same post-cheating.
Melky Cabrera is the latest slugger to get caught using performance-enhancing drugs. He's the latest example of cheating in baseball. It probably wasn't too hard to see, either. His highest batting average through his first five seasons was .280, and surprise, surprise, he's hit over .300 the past two years.
This season, Cabrera was putting up MVP-like numbers on a San Francisco Giants team that is in the thick of a pennant race, only a game out of first place in the National League West. How can anybody say with any kind of certainty that they trust anybody playing baseball. These cheaters have ruined it for everybody in the game, players and fans.
The reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun got caught taking 'roids just this past offseason - the sport is an absolute sham.
On a night when Felix Martinez of the Seattle Mariners threw a perfect game, illustrating what made a once-great sport a part of the American fabric, all I'll remember is Cabrera's suspension.
Major League Baseball should replace the baseball bat in its logo with a needle because the sport has no identity and faces an impossible situation: getting us to trust again.Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117