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Baseball's Opening Day: Scandal-free at last
On the first day of the new Major League season, Howard Bryant at ESPN rejoices that the national pastime is, finally, largely free of conflict and controversy
The New York Yankees, including Alex Rodriguez (right), celebrate their 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers in the season opener Thursday.
The New York Yankees, including Alex Rodriguez (right), celebrate their 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers in the season opener Thursday.
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or the first time in a long, long time, Major League Baseball kicks off a season gloriously free from both labor strife and off-the field distractions, writes Howard Bryant at ESPN. The league has a well-chronicled history of labor unrest, but right now, it's in good shape compared to the NFL, which is in the midst of a lockout. Sure, the ongoing Barry Bonds trial is a reminder of baseball's embarrassing steroid era, but a new generation of talented young players is also cleansing the sport of its drug-plagued past. Here, an excerpt:

As improbable as it sounds, baseball — with its eight work stoppages and enough deep, historical grievances to be worthy of a college course on labor relations in the 20th century — opens the season in the ironic position as an oasis of stability in the otherwise unsettled world of professional sports...

At a time of the year when the sports fan can choose from a bounty of alternatives — the Final Four is this weekend, The Masters is next week and the NBA and NHL seasons are finally gearing up for the playoffs — baseball might be the most appealing option.

Read the entire piece at ESPN.

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