"There are no shortcuts," says Hank Aaron.

There's a small element of crotchety in what 76-year old Hank Aaron recently told the Associated Press, but there is also core truth in his concerns about baseball in 2010. He expresses impatience about the following:

  •  Hitters are obsessed with the long ball and at-bats take too long
  • Players don't have the discipline not to get themselves into the celebrity-obsessed culture
  • Hitters glare at pitchers if the baseball is "even a baseball card's width inside"
  • There are few dominating pitchers and pitchers rarely finish what they start (i.e., managers rely too much on the bullpen)
  • Catchers go out to the mound more than they should
  • Stepping out of the batter's box frequently also adds to inning length
  • There are not enough day games so parents can take kids and grandparents can take grandkids
  • Designated hitter should expand to NL--"It ought to be uniform"
  • Too much disunity between union and owners

He doesn't even mention steroids. Of course, we all find joy in baseball even though many elements have become corporatized. The baseball card joy link is especially evident to us right now, what with, for starters dayf's Blaster League, Night Owl's reveling in the free preview, White Sox Cards' ongoing happiness, and Oriole Cards O' the Day's compelling card narratives.

So the joy is there, but it's intriguing to hear the views of one of the great players of all time as he contemplates how much the game has changed.


The Wax Wombat said...

I have to agree with him on every point, and a lot of it could be expanded upon for many sports. The sport should be something to enjoy again, far too often do I find myself upset with how players react (or don't react).

tastelikedirt said...

I agree with all that stuff. I also read his autobiography. He seems like an alright guy to me. Plus when I was a little kid and didn't know much of anything, I knew that Hank Aaron was the Home Run King!