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Things Change
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Do things ever change for the better? Is it simply a condition of life that the older you get, the more you learn about the world, the more you notice the shortcomings? Or is it really the times? Have there been eras when life got better? Or is it just me?

Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroids this week. If you don't follow baseball you've probably never heard the name but he was on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame until a random drug test revealed that all his achievements were a fraud.

I've been a baseball fan since I was a kid. Box scores are my breakfast. But it's getting tough. The race between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire to catch Roger Maris enthralled me. Now I feel kind of cheated and used. Not to mention stupid. You look at those guys' physiques and you ought to realize they were onto something Roger Maris and Babe Ruth didn't know about. Nautilus machines...sure...

My love for baseball developed around 1961 when Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris chased Babe Ruth, with Maris winning by an asterisk. (Awarded to the record by the Baseball Commissioner because Roger had played more games, in a longer season, than the Babe)

I never played organized ball but my friends and I would pitch to each other in the backyard. We'd run through the Yankee lineup from Richardson to Boyer. Batting as singles hitting Bobby Richardson we'd try to dink the ball on the ground but as Mantle or Maris we'd swing for the fences, which is to say the trees at the back of the yard. Johnny Blanchard always came up to pinch hit. He was a reserve catcher and outfielder, backing up the likes of Hall of Famer Yogi Berra and All Star Elston Howard but he hit a lot of home runs in few at bats, which caught our fancy. Heck, Blanchard probably would've hit 50 homeruns these days.

I still follow baseball. I have no intention of giving it up. But now it is a bit different, not quite what it used to be. Like so many things.

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