I’ve been a Pirates fan since the pre-TV era when we’d excitedly encircle the radio with our dad, listening to the colorful play-by-play of Rosey Rowswell and Bob Prince.
Although I’ve been aboard the fan wagon from “Raise the window, Aunt Minnie” to “Raise the Jolly Roger,” my interest spiked about a decade ago when I began to play catch with my grandson who, at age 8, gave me the best gift ever — a Wilson glove. (Dominic hoped it would improve my catching — and it actually did!)
Despite my lifelong love of the game, I somehow just learned a few years ago that retaliation was cavalierly expected — and accepted — whenever a pitcher struck a player. I was appalled by this unwritten rule and, even more so, by my grandson’s acceptance of it as “not a big deal.”
Well, I deem it a big deal — a very big deal — when the concept of retaliation is blithely built into America’s favorite pastime, a view reinforced by Clint Hurdle when, in the wake of Andrew McCutchen’s payback injury, he commented, “The game takes care of itself” (“Hot Harrison Sparks Another Late Rally, But McCutchen Hit in Back by Pitch in 9th,” Aug. 3).
Well, maybe so, Clint, but baseball is not taking good enough care of its young fans, many of whom are in the formative stages of building their characters and looking to sports heroes as role models.
Our war-torn world is permeated by vengeance. Can’t we somehow manage to keep our all-American baseball diamonds sparkling, revenge-free zones?