Sorry baseball fans, your sport will never be the same

Lance Lysowski

Baseball season has officially started, and this country could not be less interested.

Please, don’t hold back your excitement at once.

It’s safe to say that Major League Baseball has lost its luster.

The “glory days” of the game are over.

Ask your dad, and he’ll probably rant and rave about Pete Rose and Hank Aaron.

But in my opinion, nothing beats the excitement that Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds brought to the game in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Any time the “supposedly” steroid-induced sluggers stepped up to the plate, it was a good bet they would hit the ball 500 feet.

Yes, steroids are bad for you. Yes, they arguably tainted the game.

But God, was it fun to watch.

Players were knocking the cover off the ball at an alarming rate, and who complained?

The analysts on ESPN loved every second of it. The storylines were great for the game. It made the team owners billions of dollars.

Bonds was the face of baseball.

Then Congress changed everything with “The Trial of the Century.”

I remember being glued to the television, watching players who looked like body builders plead to the grand jury that they never even thought of using steroids.

Former Texas Rangers slugger Rafael Palmeiro is famous for pointing his finger at the congressman and said, “I have never used steroids. Period.”

Well, it didn’t take long for the truth to come out.

Every fan across the country was astonished. “How could they do such a thing?”

People acted like they had no idea why Bonds’ biceps were bigger than his head, and how McGwire’s veins of his arms looked like a garden hose.

Fans, as well as the MLB, turned the other cheek.

Why fix something that isn’t broken? Ratings were through the roof and baseball was America’s top sport.

Well, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig was forced to reshape the game that made him a millionaire.

The result was not to Selig’s liking.

Ratings have plummeted and the World Series features small-market teams that attract a handful of viewers.

The game does not have a “poster boy” like Bonds. Fans are no longer flocking to the stadiums to watch scrawny shortstops like Jose Reyes hit bloop singles.

Can you blame them?

I remember watching McGwire hit the ball off the scoreboard at Jacob’s Field.

Now that was baseball.

In no way am I condoning steroids, but I am telling the truth as a baseball fan. The game was more exciting with that clear liquid pumping through the players’ bodies.

Now, the game has three no-hitters and a perfect game each season.

Selig can act like the game is the same, but without Bonds and his “meat head” buddies, baseball is worse than golf.

Contact Lance Lysowski at [email protected]