I’ve never understood why, exactly, but baseball has always had a stronger appeal for writers. One reason may be that baseball is a sentimental game, living in the past and most writers are sentimental slobs. No other sport involves so much standing around to watching the grass grow or spitting. The downgrading of baseball began with the decline and fall of first base. There used to be dazzlers: Joe Torre; Keith Hernandez; Jack Clark; Mark McGwire; Albert Pujols and Bill White. Now, when a manager doesn’t know what to do with some aging rummy, he puts him on first base. I’ve even seen pitchers playing first. True, baseball is slow.
Phil Wrigley was the last to succumb to the nonsense of playing the National Anthem before every game, a brutish idea conceived during World War II to delude the public into regarding a ballgame as “patriotic.”
There’s a mad rush to remodel Scottrade, the Armory and Edward Jones Dome with financial assistance. When will Busch Stadium be in need of updating? For nostalgia, it has replaced dozens of little buildings where mom and pop had a grocery, Jim Mertikas had Grecian Gardens, Shumacher’s Restaurant, Grand Burlesque, the Garrick, a flower shop, Chinatown, the York Hotel and Little Bohemia. Gone, all of them, to where?