Friday, March 25, 2011

Taking issue with Colin Cowherd of ESPN

The other day I happen to be clicking the channels on the cable and I came across "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" on ESPN.

I was clicking around between commercials of "Mike and Mike", also on ESPN, and "The Dan Patrick Show", a syndicated show.

As usual, it didn't take long for Mr. Cowherd to say something idiotic, this time in reference to the game of baseball.

In discussing the different sports, he ripped baseball "purists" for having the audacity to call Babe Ruth the greatest ball player of All-Time, saying he couldn't play in today's game.

Cowherd, as do many fans today, stated that Ruth was, para-phrasing, "barely six foot tall, and never had to face black and Latin players."

Cowherd continued with the usual steroid era "bigger, faster, stronger" argument that younger, modern fans use to down play the accomplishments of men who set the standards of big league ball players, players whom they never saw on TV.

There is no arguing that players today didn't face African-American or Latin players, and that today's players are physically superior.

However, if you study baseball, and have followed it for any amount of time, then you also know that those arguments are moot.

Today's players never had to travel cross country on trains, play on gravel infields, use equipment in it's rudimentary evolutions, or face pitchers throwing spit balls, or anything else pitchers were allowed to put on the baseball.

Many times during the "dead ball era," before the 1920's, the same baseball was used for the entire game, making the ball almost impossible to hit because the ball would often become mis-shapen.

Players of the early 1900's, and into the 1960's were paid not what they were worth, but what the owners told them they were going to be paid.

Meals and for that, nutrition, were hardly the concerns of players, or the owners. 

Players wore heavy wool uniforms, hitters were knocked down by pitchers in every at bat...something today's hitters simply know pitchers will not do.

There are great ball players today, and there will be great players in the future. 

To say that anything accomplished in the past isn't up to par with the present is silly, un-true, and an un-educated response that fits his or her particular theory.

I'm a Tiger fan, I have been for over 40 years, and at no time have I ever had the thought that Miguel Cabrera is better than Hank Greenberg, or that Magglio Ordonez is better than Ty Cobb.

Yes, Allan Trammell was a better shortstop than Billy Rogell, and yes, Curtis Granderson probably runs faster than Harry Heilmann did.

But that's what proves that baseball, more than any other sport, is the same game, weather it's 1911, or 2011.
Baseball is the greatest sport, and the records that Cobb, Ruth, Mays, and Gehrig set back in the day are as meaningful today as they were back then.

Albert Pujols, the great 1st baseman of the St. Louis Cardinals is as great a player that has ever graced the team, and he may very well go down as the best Cardinals player ever, but he isn't taking the place of Keith Hernandez, or Joe Torre, or Vince Coleman.

No, the greatest Cardinal of All-Time is still, as I right this, Stan Musial, and Pujols will have do do quite a bit more before baseball fans, even the hardest of die hards, proclaim him better than "The Man."

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