Until 1978 Kool-Aid was synonymous with children and summer. No matter what chemically produced flavor it came in, the refreshing blend of water, sugar and artificial colors and flavors was sure to quench any thirst. Then, along came Jonestown and ruined it forever. Now Kool-Aid brings to mind cyanide laced beverages or the willing ingesting of something one knows or perceives to be wrong.
Sounds kind of like baseball.
Baseball used to mean transistor radios in the summer and guys hitting one out of the park for some sick kid. But then came the ’81 strike, the ’94 strike and the steroid scandals. Instead of cheering on their team, fans started to wonder what the players would ask for next, what the owners would do to screw the fans and players over and when the other shoe would drop and you’d find out that you’re favorite player had been getting ahead by using a little something extra.
Maybe that’s all behind us now, though. We seem to have hit a point where the Mitchell Report has played itself out. We know about the transgressions of A-Rod and all the other juicers and the fans seem to have moved on. The fans still get gouged but the stadiums are full. And even if teams like the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies buy up all the available talent, there are still surprises every other year or so.
Yep, maybe baseball really has turned the corner. Or maybe I just drank the Kool-Aid.
Image from Skull Swap