I cannot even imagine if baseball could really contract midseason.

I remember just a few years ago how I could hardly stand baseball. Watch a few hundred hockey games, and you'll see how hockey is infinitely superior to any other game on this planet. Then watch a baseball game and tell me you don't find it just a bit boring.

But a funny thing happened last year: The Chicago Cubs caught my attention. The CUBS! The "We haven't won a chamionship since 1908" Cubs!

The people of this city, the greatest baseball staduim on Earth and the team that plays in it turned me around. All of a sudden, I'm a Dodger fan again. I'm hoping the Red Sox will stick it to the Yankees this year. I hope that Paul Konerko will win the triple crown some day soon and that some one a helluva lot more affable than Barry Bonds will soon hold the "most home runs in a season" honor.

What happened with the All Star Game Tuesday night was disgraceful. I don't care if the teams ran out of players. Bring back Willie Randolph, set up the cage and have another home run derby to determine the winner. The fans would have loved it. And considering how much money some of them paid for tickets, they sure as hell deserved it.

At the end of the day, baseball is still just a game. But it's a game that underlies so much of who we are as a nation and a culture, and for as much contempt the game brings (I'll never like the Yankess. You hear me? Never!), in the end, it brings us together. Remember how we reacted to the return of baseball last September, and how last year's World Series was the most therapeutic event of all of last year? I do. And I remember finding a little bit of joy in baseball again.

Less than a year later, the forecast is gloomy. The steroid-popping players might strike.

I don't think all of this will destroy baseball. But it will alienate a lot of low and middle class people who enjoy the release the game gives them, and would jump at the opportunity to just play baseball for the small sum of $100,000 a year or probably a lot less than that.

I need to be more positive in my blog. I must take a break.