May 26, 2000
Randy Johnson pitching at home and Miller Lite Beach Party Night. This is probably the oddest combination of events that I have ever seen. On one hand you have the most intense and psycho pitcher in the game today. On the other hand, you have a night that celebrates the laid back surfing culture of southern California. The only thing more bizarre would be to see Randy sporting a Hawaiian shirt and thongs on the pitching mound. This is one of those sights that can offer no explanation other than the end of the world is near. With each Diamondbacks batter, the public address had replaced the players usual music with some type of beach blanket bingo music. As the Big Unit would strike out a Brewer batter, the public address announcer would declare it a wipe out in his best California lingo. So there I sat, my scorebook in my hand, a Hawaiian print shirt and a plastic lei around my neck wondering how in the world I could have swerved so far away from the integrity of baseball. Lou Gerig would roll over in his grave if he saw what had become of the game. It has gone from the national pastime to where the game is almost an afterthought. The fans now come to the game to be entertained and in most cases, the game on the field is the least of interest. With player salaries spiraling out of control and ticket prices rising nearly every year, people expect to be entertained and in many cases, they expect to become part of the entertainment. Whatever happened to the time when you could go to the game and see a game without having to worry about what you were wearing or if you were one of the first 4,000 people in the door and came away feeling you got your money’s worth for a nine inning game? I’m afraid I am getting old. I am beginning to sound like my grandfather.