"Remember when the crack of a bat and the pop of a fastball into a catcher's mitt were among the purest sounds you could hope to hear on a warm spring day?"
"Truth resided in their resonance: You heard them and knew, without thinking or seeing, that those producing such a glorious melody had done so through honest honing of their craft."
"While fans are still flocking to baseball in record numbers, the game's credibility is gone. Whether it's as dire as Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's home run record or as benign as former Yankees pitcher Jason Grimsley adding a couple miles per hour to his fastball, the prism through which we judge the game has been distorted beyond recognition."
For the record, Jason Grimsley is a former Phillie, Indian, Angel, Royal, Diamondback, and Yankee.
I actually agree that the game has been distorted beyond recognition. I was just thinking that Royce Clayton benefited from steroids, too, even if he never took them. If you played on a team with a bunch of steroid users, you might have scored 20 - 30 more runs per year. This increased your value and you got paid more money.
Selig for damn sure made a lot of money from steroids. He pockets $17.5M this year while condemning the impurity of the Steroid-Induced HR.
But, here's the thing: The sentence started with, "fans are flocking to the game in record numbers." I believe many of Selig's decisions are foolish, but the game has grown and thrived under Selig's administration.
Therefore, Phil Bondy's five-point-plan to fix the game is rather moot. He's not really trying to fix the game. He's just trying to make it more agreeable to himself.
If you are truly enamored with the innocence of a ball snapping against leather, go watch Little League games. I encourage it. It's fun.