Won’t somebody please think of the children…who might grow up to be just like dad?!
Freelance writer Jim Gullo loves baseball and he wanted his son Joe to love it too.
So, in the spring of 2007, he bought seven year old Joe a glove, a bat and a ball, and got him started collecting cards where they lived on Bainbridge Island near Seattle.
It worked. Before long Joe couldn’t stop peppering his dad with questions: “Who was better? George Bell, Albert Bell, or Rico Carty?” And, “Should Albert Pujols be in the Hall of Fame?” Or, “Can the Mariners trade for Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez?”
Then in December, the Mitchell report named 89 players likely to have used steroids and other performance enhancing drug sand Joe’s questions changed:”It says that baseball players took drugs to make them better?” And, “Isn’t it cheating?”
Joe also wanted to know if the players who took drugs would be punished. But his dad didn’t have any answers — so the two went looking for them.
The result is a physical and emotional journey that Jim chronicles in his new book, “Trading Manny: How a Father and Son Learned to Love Baseball Again.”
THREE WEEKS LATER, the Mitchell Report came out, delivering the news of baseball’s dark secret of drug use. Suddenly, in about the amount of time it took a Bonds homer to leave the building and land with a plop into San Francisco Bay, everything changed for me and Joe. Our father-son fandom nearly ended before it even began.