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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024

A real learning experience

So kids, just what exactly did this year's Major League Baseball regular season teach us? 




Barry Bonds is the best left fielder in the history of baseball, even if you wouldn't want to invite him to your dinner party. 




How can a team that lost Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. be any good? Just ask Brett Boone, Freddy Garcia, Edgar Martinez, Ichiro Suzuki, Carlos Guillen, Aaron Sele, Mike Cameron and the rest of the Seattle Mariners. 




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Sammy Sosa was the best player in the National League this year. Without Sosa on the team, the Chicago Cubs wouldn't have even had a chance to blow an opportunity for a playoff spot this year. 




The American League rookie of the year will be Ichiro, who won the league's batting title with a .350 average.  




That gives Ichiro eight batting titles in his career, if you count the seven he won during his years playing in Japan. For those of you counting at home, that's eight more batting titles than Bonds, Griffey Jr. and Juan Gonzalez have combined. 




Not counting Ichiro (which I don't because he's 27-years-old), the best rookie in the major leagues is Albert Pujols, a 21-year-old phenom who was playing Class-A ball at the beginning of last season. If Bonds and Sosa weren't in the same league, Pujols would be a favorite for the NL MVP. 




Moving to Colorado made Mike Hampton a better hitter than he was in New York. Unfortunately for Hampton, he's still a pitcher. 




By beating Ty Cobb's all-time runs scored record and carding his 3,000th hit on the final day of the season, Rickey Henderson had the kind of year players like to end their careers on. 




A quarter of a billion dollars is way too much to pay anyone to play baseball, but if A-Rod continues to play like he's playing, he just might prove to be worth it. 




Baseball lost a couple of good guys this past weekend, when Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn hung up their spikes. While the farewell tour may have been a little overdone (who retires a locker in the visiting teams' locker room anyway?), it's the least that baseball fans could do for the contributions these two have brought to the majors. 




Everybody knew Roger Clemens was a great pitcher. With his 20-1 start this year, he became a legendary one. 




Speaking of Yankees pitchers, it's going to be impossible for Mike Mussina to get any closer to pitching a no-hitter without actually pitching one. 




The Expos couldn't draw fans to their games if they gave the tickets away. That's why Montreal won't have a team next season. 




Unfortunately for former Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Rod Carew, Richie Sexson, Jeromy Burnitz and Geoff Jenkins proved they don't learn by example. 




But most importantly, we learned that baseball is just a game, same as it always was, same as it always will be. You can attach a deep meaning to it if you want, but baseball is really nothing when you look at the big picture. Sure, baseball is part of the American fabric, but there are more important things in life, like friends and family. 




I think that was baseball's most important lesson this season. 

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