Regarding Ben Hochman’s column “Cardinals Paul Goldschmidt’s disappointing decision, Nolan Arenado could affect the playoffs” (July 25): I grew up loving sports: Cardinals, Hawks, Big Reds, Rams, the Blues, Billikens and Missouri Tigers. I identified with the teams. When they won, we thought all of St. Louis won.
Back then, we could dine at Dierdorf and Hart or Musial and Biggies and rub shoulders with them. These sports stars were our neighbors and they helped the community. We didn’t look for helmets or uniforms, we rooted for our city, for our team and, of course, for the players.
Not today. Players earn a lot more in a year than we do in a lifetime. They can withdraw from contracts. Sometimes they are here today and gone tomorrow. There are now transfer portals, salary caps and “name, image and likeness” money for college athletes.
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That’s all well and good, but let’s realize what we’re looking at. We are not fans, we are an audience. We are not watching a match, we are watching a performance. I mean, who are we supporting for? A team made up of players who can retire and who probably don’t live here.
I like going to Busch Stadium. I am amazed at the talent of the players. But I also like going to Muny, Fox and Stages. These are all representations. Choose your pleasure, but know what you are witnessing.
Richard Schenk • Ballwin