By Anthony Rhoads
The Major League Baseball season is here.
When I was growing up, I used to get so excited at the start of the baseball season and even into the early 1990s, it was fun following the Braves but now I could care less.
My disillusionment with baseball pretty much started in 1994 when the players went on strike. Regardless of the reasons pro athletes give for going on strike, it's hard for me to feel sorry for any guy who, at the very least, makes a six-figure living and then doesn't appreciate it. When they whine and complain about how difficult their lives are why don't they talk to someone who has real problems.
I got back into baseball somewhat in 1995 when the Braves won the World Series but I never was into baseball like I was before the 1994 strike.
A couple of years ago, baseball players again were on the verge of striking and one of the reasons was pensions. Again, I don't have sympathy for them. These guys are making ungodly amounts of money and if they can't set aside a chunk for their retirements, it's their own fault. With the way baseball players are paid today, there's no excuse for them to not be set up for life.
Now the main issue is steroids.
I am not going to say that steroids takes away from the purity of the game because you can't take away from the purity of the game if none exists. Baseball has had problems going back to when the first professional leagues were started.
The issue of steroids is another in a long list of problems baseball has had to deal with and it's another reason why I am not a Major League Baseball fan anymore.
Goodbye to 'The Big Cat:' I had the chance to cover some Atlanta Braves games in 2000 and one of my favorite guys to deal with was Andres Galarraga. Every time I saw him in the clubhouse or on the field, he was always smiling and seemed like a genuinely good guy. Most of the players were nice but they came across as fake nice but Galarraga came across as the real deal.
Recently, baseball lost a class act when Galarraga announced his retirement.
"Great, great career. Great man. Great person," New York Mets manager Willie Randolph said to The Associated Press. "He's one of the classiest guys in the game."
An unbelievable game: While I am not much of a pro baseball fan anymore, I still enjoy seeing good high school games. Even though it's obvious the players aren't on the same skill level as the pros, I don't think the pros can match the excitement of the high school kids.
Recently I had the chance to see an incredible game when Luella beat rival Eagle's Landing 6-5 in 11 innings. It might have been the best high school games I have ever seen.
Even though there were several kids who stepped up in that game, I was especially impressed with the way Luella's Matt Kralick played. Kralick, at catcher, made a key error late in the game that helped give Eagle's Landing the lead. Rather than sulk and let it get the best of him, he came up and smacked a home run to tie the game, putting his team into position to win.
Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appear on Wednesdays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .