Tonawanda News


August 7, 2013

DUVALL: A-Rod's fall was a long time coming

Tonawanda News — It is impossible for any baseball fan to escape being a kid. The game, in its majestic simplicity, has a way of drawing everyone who loves it back to the day, the moment, when you first really found it.

For me, it was sitting in my childhood living room watching Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run, a decidedly unimpressive shot down the left field line that barely cleared the wall at the St. Louis Cardinals’ old Busch Stadium, on a muggy early September night in 1998.

I was 15 and that night I must have known I would watch and love this game — and that team — for the rest of my life.

I had already for years played Little League, watched Cardinals games, collected TOPS baseball cards — all the things boys do in the dog days of summer when there isn’t all that much more interesting to think about.

Now, 15 years later, I look back with equal parts nostalgia, sadness and embarrassment at the fabrication that night actually was.

McGwire was on the juice. So was Sammy Sosa, who darted in from his outfield position to congratulate McGwire (the Cardinals were playing the Cubs that night) on winning their historic race to overwrite Roger Maris in baseball’s annals as owner of the greatest home run hitting season of all time.

Like all baseball fans my age, steroids have provided the cynical and superficial backdrop to an adult’s intellectual interaction with the smartest game ever invented.

The dewy eyes of youthful admiration were long ago opened to the reality of baseball’s steroids era; almost all of the great players of my youth were cheating.

That’s what I was left thinking about when Major League Baseball handed down its shocking but hardly unexpected round of suspensions, its biggest effort to date to repair the game’s image and cast away the cheaters.

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  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014