Saturday, June 20, 2009

Some more random thoughts

I thought once the campaign season was over I would have more time to write my thoughts. That has not been the case. Therefore, I have to compartmentalize my thoughts and hope I can remember them when I have the time.

There is one thing that is on my mind to start off. The saga of Sammy Sosa. Sosa was one of my favorite Chicago athletes when he played for the Cubs and the White Sox. He was a speed guy with the Pale Hose with some power, but when he came across town to the Cubs, he became an icon of power. His ability to blast baseballs onto Waveland Avenue was a sight to behold and it was almost predictable. When Sosa hit the ball good, he would take this giant hop out of the batter's box, and we fans started tracking the flight of the ball to see how far it went.

In 1998, Sosa and Mark McGuire's chase of Roger Maris' single season record for home runs sparked an interest in baseball that was desperately needed after the strike of 1994. Fans and the national spotlight returned to the game, and Sosa and McGuire were hailed as heroes. Now ten years later, they are look upon as cheaters. This past week, Sosa's name came up as one of the 104 MLB players who tested positive for steroids in 2003, the same list that Alex Rodriguez showed up on.

What a disappointment. Although there was suspicion about Sosa before the news this past week, I hoped against hope that he did not cheat. Now for the record, taking steroids cannot improve hand-eye coordination, so he did have to exhibit above-ability ability. But arming that extraordinary ability with steroids made him more lethal when he made contact with the ball. The ball went a lot further because more power was in that swing.

In other words, a genuine moment of joy in a sport that I love has been tainted forever. I can't say that I am mad at Sosa, especially in the climate he played in, but I am very disappointed. Nevertheless, I will remember the moments of joy, like when a friend or a loved one dies, you remember the joy they brought to life instead of the death.

Meanwhile the world is moving on, with threats from North Korea, discussions about Israel-Palestinian relations, debates about health care reform and questionable elections in Iran. I had a fraternity brother die at the age of 46, one of my stepsons is going into the Air Force, and I am working at a job that pays little, but provides the benefits my son needs to have quality health insurance.

Although I have achieved much in my life, my son's recent birthday and the upcoming Father's Day celebration remind me of my greatest achievement and my greatest responsibility. Sometimes it seems daunting, trying to balance the demands of my work and passion with the duties of fatherhood. It is even harder since I do not live with him everyday. I am doing the best that I can and I hope that in the end, when he has made it to adulthood, that he will appreciate what I tried to do for him, even if that meant I could not hang out with him all the time.

My lack of finances compromises me in many things, but I know it does not compromise my love for him. I just hope he will figure it out someday. I guess I am writing my Father's Day piece a day early, but in truth all I have to say is that I pray that God gives me the strength and the resources to be the father I need to be. Now if you excuse me, my son has requested my presence in a game of baseball.