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As a kid growing up, like many of you I loved baseball.  I can remember my Dad playing catch with me in the backyard, tossing me his challenging knuckleball and pop up after pop up.  Mom worried that he might hurt me but as soon as she’d duck back into the house, Dad was back at it until his arm couldn’t take it any more.
In the summer we would ride our bikes and almost always there was a bat and a glove attached to the bike.  Summer days were like that back then.  From sun up to sun down baseball captured our imaginations.
Today a child’s imagination is no longer challenged.  These days, kids would rather pick up and play some PS3 version of baseball than pick up a glove and play on some vacant ball field just begging to be used.  The smell of fresh cut grass; cardboard boxes torn in squares and used as bases; the infield dirt mixed in with those small flaky mica chips that seemed to stick to your leg after a slide and glisten from the sunlight.
Those old lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
Last night, the boys of summer beckoned our collective call on ESPN2 as the Cardinals hosted the Mets.  I must admit, that to my surprise I was drawn in.  Perhaps it was the hope that accompanies a new season that captured me.  Maybe this year can be different than the past nine for the Orioles.  But even so, it won’t ever be the same.
Today’s game is so specialized and different than the one I knew as a kid.  Our Orioles then were the same guys year in and year out.   We could imitate the batting stances of the entire team or the windups of the pitching staff.  Now, I wouldn’t know half the team if I walked by them on the street. 
The generation of kids today who play aren’t as good as we were nor are they as interested.  Perhaps that goes hand in hand.  As a result, major league baseball has become the land of opportunity for international players whose names we sometimes can’t pronounce.  That’s not a knock on them by any stretch.  It’s simply and indictment on Americana.
That’s just the way it is…
Tonight I’ll be watching as the Orioles go to Minnesota to take on the Twins.  They won’t be playing in old Metropolitan Stadium.  Harmon Killebrew won’t be making his way from that Twins’ batting circle along that old walking path to the batters’ box tonight.  Instead it will be Luis Castillo or Jeff Cirillo or Luis Rodriquez taking a stroll towards home plate across the carpet with hopes that he’ll soon deliver the next pitch from Eric Bedard into the big baggie that protects the fold away seating in this big Minneapolis bubble.
Then somewhere around the seventh inning, I’m sure I’ll be jumping over to the NCAA Basketball Championship game and then when I’m tired of watching Joaquin Noah pound his chest as his Jody Whatley hairdo bounces upon his head, I’ll likely reach for the remote again hoping to find the Ravens on NFL Replay.
That’s just the way it is…
Play ball!

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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