But while I'll admit I'm having trouble relating to the guy, I wish him well all the same. What's more, if this guy insists on trying to reacquaint himself with the game after being away so long, it's the least I can do to provide him with a general overview of how the game has changed in the past 37 years that will help him ease back into things:
- Since you've been gone, the Yankees have gone from bad to good to OK to bad to good to obnoxiously good to overrated yet annoyingly still good;
- When last you cared about baseball, the Pirates and Orioles were the class of the game. That has changed somewhat;
- Two state of the art stadiums opened up in 1970; Three Rivers and Riverfront. The state of the art was in a pretty sorry state in those days;
- While it wouldn't be known until later, the PED story of the year in 1970 involved something way cooler than steroids and HGH;
- In 1970, the All Star Game didn't really matter, yet guys slammed into each other as if their life depended on it. Today, it theoretically counts for a lot, yet the people who should care about the outcome the most can't be bothered to try;
- In 1970 the Major League umpires union was able to actually do something positive for its members, staging a one-game strike during the NLCS which led to a pay increase and recognition of the union. In 2007 it will be a major victory if the umpires aren't forced to submit to lie detector tests, loyalty oaths, and semi-annual body cavity searches;
- As is the case today, the average Major League baseball player in 1970 made multiple times the salary of hard working everyday Americans. The difference is that in 1970 that multiple was around four while today that multiple is around forty-seven;
Not that there aren't some things that are still exactly the same as they were in 1970. Vin Scully's still around. No one likes Pete Rose. Jim Edmonds was fragile and Royce Clayton couldn't hit, although in 1970 that was because they were infants. Julio Franco is contemplating retirement. It's really the same game.
With that, I wish the author good luck. Perhaps we can even kick off his return to the game with a friendly wager: I'll give him 100-1 odds on a Senators-Expos World Series.