Ryan Dempster threw the pitch we all wanted to see Sunday night: the one that plunked the disgraced cheater in the ribcage. I think we all wanted Alex Rodriguez bruised because we’re sick of this story — not just the story of A-Rod or Biogenesis’, but the slowly-unfolding train-wreck of a story that is the Post-Steroid Era.
Maybe A-Rod’s fall from grace — emblemized by a 3-0 fastball in the ribs — is about catharsis. But if this is a cathartic moment for baseball, why does it feel so much like schadenfreude? It feels more like a violent detox as all the crap left behind by PEDs flushes out MLB’s veins after a decade-and-a-half. All baseball has to show for coming clean is national television audiences that barely trump hockey (hockey!) and a legion of listless fans desperate for good storylines.
You want to know why baseball ratings are in the dumps? Because nobody knows what they’re rooting for anymore. All they know is which guy they want hit by the first fastball they see.