Baseball’s “Old School” is Finally Refreshing

Although I usually discuss basketball topics, a few things happened in sports this week that deserve special notice.

First, the Major League Baseball players union, which is notorious for backing its players, did not protest the Ryan Braun steroid suspension. The lack of support for Braun reiterates that really for the first time the players who weren’t using steroids are being listened to more than the one who were using.

This is really a stunning paradigm shift for a union that was so anti-drug testing (just 10  years ago), for it to be doing what is best for the image of the game and not just the players.

Even more remarkable is the mutual admiration that seems to have built up between Yankee and Red Sox fans recently.

The “love fest” all started when the Yankees sang “Sweet Caroline” in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings in April.

This weekend marked the first time that the Yankees returned to Boston since belting out Neil Diamond’s classic.

Well, Sox fans returned the favor by singing Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” this past Friday as a thank you to the city of New York for their support during the Marathon tragedy.

These were great gestures by both Yankees and Red Sox fans alike.

More improbable than either of these acts was the standing ovation that the Sox fans gave Mariano Rivera as he made his way to the bullpen on Saturday on his way to another save against the Sox. Even in a loss, Sox fans gave Rivera a well deserved applause for his career achievements and dominance against the Red Sox.

If anyone were to predict these kind gestures years ago, they would have been admitted to psych ward.

Amazingly, it happened and I am sure Derek Jeter will get the same respect when he returns to Fenway after he gets off the disabled list.

Even more amazing is that this happened in baseball. You know, baseball. Yes the sport that won’t fully use instant replay or that takes up to a minute between pitches. You know, baseball. Yeah them. Well kudos to MLB for getting this one right.

It just goes to show you that in sports, just like in life, anything is possible.

In an era of instant gratification and a “what have you done for me lately” attitude, it is nice that the MLB players union and Yankee/Red Sox fans honored the game this way.

Refreshing to see the “Greater Good” being carried out in MLB.

I think that’s an “old school” train of thought, a school of thought that baseball is usually criticized for.

However, in this case, “old school” was the right school of thought.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo


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