Editorial: Richter, Pujols should be household names
Published 11:43 p.m. Wednesday 21 September 2022
Sometimes it is difficult to decide what to write in this space. Sometimes my head is blank – or about anything in my life but writing and an editorial or a column. You know the difference: an editorial is a commentary on true events; A column is a commentary on life. Both are fictional.
just so you know
Regular readers know that my mind wanders from here to there and back again most of the time, much like a squirrel on the freeway.
This week’s topic of discussion began with the last thing I heard on the radio before I went into the office at the very last second to write that rambling diatribe. The morning radio idiots I listen to (I won’t name the station or the name of the show, the word will do) talk about how football crazy Americans have become.
You’re right. And as they pointed out, baseball falls by the wayside.
I like a good game of football, especially these college boys, and we’ve had some chumps this year. Being an Appalachian fan is like taking a heart test every week.
But baseball has always been my favorite sport as a fan. I love college basketball, especially when the games are close, but I don’t schedule my day to watch a game like I do with baseball. Thing is, I’m a one-man baseball fan.
Which brings me to what those radio idiots were saying. Baseball and baseball players don’t get the recognition they deserve.
I, too, hate watching a baseball game on TV that doesn’t involve my team. A close game in any other sport can get my attention. I’m a baseball fan, but only a fan of one team. I really don’t have any favorite teams in other sports, including college, although I do enjoy cheering for a specific team on a specific day.
So what’s the problem with baseball? It’s too slow for TV. Exciting and funny in person, but too slow for TV. And while Major League Baseball is taking steps to speed up the game and make it more exciting for TV, it’s not going to work. An inning can still last an hour (For those who don’t know, a baseball game is 9 innings, pack a pillow.)
Baseball should be the top news in sports magazines and sports television right now, but it isn’t. Pennant and playoff races are in full swing. The New York Yankees’ (Wait a few seconds while I get a bad taste out of my mouth.) Aaron Judge is on the verge of beating one of the all-time greatest records – Roger Maris’ 61 home runs in a single season ( Excluding performance-enhancing substances as far as we know.). That’s quite a lot, but I bet there aren’t many people who aren’t baseball fans who even know who Aaron Judge is, let alone what he’s going to achieve.
The name LeBron James, on the other hand, is recognized everywhere. I read earlier this year that LeBron James has more Twitter followers than all Major League Baseball players combined. That says it all.
Albert Pujols, who most thought retired years ago, is in tears. He is hot. Most of you probably didn’t know, but he’s a baseball player — well past his prime but still hitting home runs — and is nearing 700 of them in his career — most of them for the St. Louis Cardinals. That’s a lot of home runs.
Remember that Babe Ruth (of course not, but you know who he is and what he did) hit 714 home runs. This is an achievement that will never be repeated. It’s the biggest baseball statistic of all time because Babe Ruth hits his home runs while he’s gorging on beer, hot dogs, and cigars. That’s an achievement. Maybe they should put an asterisk next to his name in the Hall of Fame to let the world know about it. Imagine what he would have achieved if he had had the luxuries enjoyed by today’s players. I suspect he would have failed. He did what made him happy, what’s wrong with that?
Is it the media’s fault that baseball and baseball players aren’t getting the recognition they deserve? Maybe it is, maybe not. (You fans of all 3 million sports that also don’t get the recognition they deserve, please keep calm, I’m only writing about these 3.).
But I know I’ll be looking for the best college football games on TV on Saturday.
– Mike Barnhardt
PS This is a column. Or at least I think so.