It seems the older I get, the more I dislike change – especially in sports!
I liked it when players were dedicated to their home towns and the team they played for, not to the almighty dollar. I am sick and tired of hearing this is a global game, especially when they are talking baseball.
I liked it when a player went through a team’s system, came up to the majors ready to play and stayed in that city his entire career where fans loved him. Now it is all about the big bucks, which leads me to the upcoming so-called All Star Game next Tuesday at Citi Field in Queens, New York.
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At one time, when real All Stars played in this game, it really meant something, not only for the player but the team he was representing. Not now. The only thing the player is representing is himself and the incentives he gained for making the team.
These players now have incentives put in their contracts saying if they go to the All Star game they get extra cash. Most players don’t care a hoot if they spend time playing in this game unless they get paid for it.
In the past, it was such a privilege to make the team and get a chance to meet some of the real stars from the other league. Now, with the inception of interleague play this is not the case.
As for myself, I really dislike interleague play as it takes away from the excitement that not only the fans but players had meeting the players in the other league. That was then and this is now.
Things, the world and people change – mostly not for the good. We live in a me-me-me world, especially in sports with all the greed.
Yes, I liked it the way it was with the real All Stars – The Babe, Mickey, Willie, Roberto, and the list goes on. These players loved their teams and their communities. They reached out to their fans and loved them, too.
When I would go to games at Forbes Field when just a pup, we would catch the train at the Steubenville Station and take the short 39-mile ride to Pittsburgh. It was usually “Broadway Mary,” my mother, my brother, Tom, and me; we would meet Aunt Ann and head to the game for batting practice.
I loved to hear the sound of the bat hitting the ball, and after batting practice the players would be happy to come over and sign your program or year book. In fact, in 1960 I had the Pirates year book signed by all the players. Sadly, in my many moves somehow it got lost in the shuffle.
The bottom line is I liked it the way it was: simple and not complicated with real people and real All Stars. You ask will I watch the game? NO!
I cannot handle the ads and the talking heads! Will I bet on the game? YES! I could bet on the winner – you never know.
HORSE BET UPDATE: It’s amazing how many horse bettors have gotten back to me about how I felt as far as us always getting the short end of the straw and, in fact, no straw at all. Well, I did have a little get together with some big wigs who let me list my grievances and they were very cordial.
In agreement, I will keep all of my readers and horse bettors informed about what will happen – anything or nothing. I will not give up trying to get us equality with the rest of the casino.
Each and every day we make our bets, the race books have no risk. They get their automatic cut of every dollar we bet. The more we win, the more we bet and the more they make. So we just want the same things the rest of the casino players get. Is that too much to ask?
UPCOMING: Make sure you tune in next week as I will be doing a special article on the legendary Lem Banker, who I recently had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with at his beautiful home. It was one of the most interesting conversations ever, and I will relate it all.
Remember, don’t give up the ship!
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].