And despite how seriously we all stood by our convictions on issues like steroids, the spitball, the AL MVP race or deserving Hall of Famers, it was, after all, just baseball.
In the wake of the mindbogglingly tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, how utterly insignificant things like baseball seem. Yet, just six days since that horrifying Friday morning in Newtown, CT, sports is back in the lead in some newspapers again. Of course, there's still outrage and the most lively assault weapons debate just getting kicked off. But you can almost sense it waning a little bit already.
I can't help but think, How can that be?
I guess the best thing that can be said about sports like baseball is its escape from reality. Football went on this weekend, just as it did after the JFK assassination. Baseball went on, a little more than a week after 9/11. And as time passed, these sports brought back a sense of normalcy.
While my own personal belief is that what happened at Sandy Hook will turn out to be a turning point in getting assault weapons banned altogether (besides mass murdering, what are they good for exactly?), next month the dialogue in baseball will turn to whether known steroid users will be shut out of Cooperstown. Then February will bring talk about pitchers-and-catchers in places like Florida and Arizona and which veterans will be able to hang on for one more year. March may bring about last minute trades before the start of the season and whether any team will be able to stop an all-Southern California World Series from taking place.
And I suppose those debates will eventually be acceptably normal again, because while remembering those lost, losing faith in the beauty and glory of this world will not give honor to the suffering the victims endured.
The world has changed since last Friday, just as its been said the innocence of the 1950s ended in 1963 with the assassination of JFK; the turbulent 1960s ended in 1974 with Richard Nixon's resignation; and how the great bull market decadence of the late 1990s ended in 2001 with 9/11. The world in which an elementary school was the safest place in the world for children, in some cases safer than their own home, is now no longer.
We will never forget, but must go on.