OK. After about a month of baseball season, I'm already sick of it. Early World Series pick Detroit has imploded, the usually solid Padres and Rockies have slipped to the league cellar, and the young and full-of-promise Orioles have not yet bucked the time-honored tradition of sucking. Meanwhile, the big-money Cubs, D-Backs, and Red Sox are, as usual, making everyone else look bad. Why has America's pasttime come to this?
I'll tell you why. It's no longer America's game. The death knell for the All-American hometown boys sounded when El Duque came to town, Ichiro crossed the pond, and, most recently, Japanese All-Stars Kosuke Fukudome and Daisuke Matsuzaka went to the big-money Cubs and Red Sox.
As the league gets more diverse, the fun goes away. You don't have players from your hometown shagging flies. Heck, not even your home nation. Even in the J-League, people are losing the thread as their stars are wooed by American teams with more money. In return, they get guys who can't hack it in MLB. Ever hear of Hiram Bocachicca? He was a Padres reserve last year who went to the Orix Blue Wave, Ichiro's former team. Now, he's a decent outfielder, but he sure as hell isn't Ichiro.
That's why baseball is the new hockey. You may find some who turn out to cheer for the boys, but by and large, nobody cares.