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Paul Baioni
Okay guys, I thought the stone throwing was left behind. A few points to clarify if I may. The MSBL is. People in a free society can do, within the law, anything they want. The HDL has not and will not in the future hold a grudge against the MSBL, nor anyone that decides that they want to play in the MSBL. Many have, many others have played competitive ball in addition to or as a subsititute to playing in the HDL. Play wherever, whenever, with whomever you want. Just play, that is what we all like to do, just play. Unfortunately, it never seems to be that simple. People are who they are. Ballplayers are usually passionate people, which is why we enjoy playing so much. It often drives competitiveness, which fuels emotions and every so often a spark will ignite into some level of emotional explosion. We are human. No one hates anyone, a few feelings have been damaged, but all will survive. I am glad that more people are going to be able to play ball this year, unfortunately not with us. People like Scheno and Lawson who had problems with Sunday morning. I wish everyone the best, I have always wanted to go and kick some MSBL a.., but I must leave that up to those that will try. I am going to be extremely disappointed if you guys let us down, I feel that the other teams will be looking at you as a representation of what this league has to offer. Who knows, maybe you will flush a few players out to come play with us at some point in the future.

Where was I going with this anyway.............Oh yeah, I never considered there to be a conspiracy or planned demise of the HDL. If that was or is the case, then it has or will fail. No one is worried about the future of the HDL. Like has been mentioned, it has, is and will be around longer than any of us. It offers a wonderful venue for enjoyment of the game. It is a game. Played by passionate people. Who care about the quality of play & friendship along with a level of competition suitable for the players in the league. I believe that any baseball player that wants to play in the HDL is welcome, provided they meet the requirements of age, obey the rules and pay their dues. Those are basically the only 3 rules. That is way it has been and will continue in the future.

Here's the rub. Rules. Always the rules. No one likes them. Some people try to slide between the rules. Rub. How do you handle the rub. Another rule. Not the best choice, but what are the options. Everyone doesn't play fair. So what's fair, you ask? You tell me. That is a very personal issue. Haaaa, personal issue, well that sure gets subjective. So lets discuss it. Great idea. Got an opinion. Probably, everyone has one. What if I don't agree with your opinion? What do we do now? Got a suggestion? Ooooooh, there's a novel idea. Suggestion???? Haven't heard too many of those lately. Well i guess if I need to make a suggestion, I guess I should get some facts. Facts. I don't have a fax machine. No I didn't say fax, FACTS. Who has the facts? Well, that's a good question indeed. I am sure someone has the facts. What do they look like, you ask? Well lets see, I think facts are those items of information that are held to be the truth. I think I have it now. The truth lies with the facts. Let's find them, quick. Who do we ask about the facts. Well let me see, maybe we can start with people who might know something about it. About what? I don't know specifically, you know, about IT. Ooooooh IIIIIIT. Yeah IT. Well let's see, I think I've asked about 10 different people in search of the facts about IT. Guess what, everyone had different facts about IT. Now what do we do? I know let's TALK about the facts and determine which facts are straight facts and which ones are bent facts, and which ones are purely fabricated facts. But remember, they are ALL facts about IT, so they must be weighed evenly. Don't they. Well I'm not so sure about that. I know that HE wouldn't lie to me, so I think I weigh his facts more that theirs. But wait a minute, can I really do that and still be fair and impartial. I mean to REALLY find the truth in the facts about IT, we must remain impartial. Don't we. Maybe we need more facts about which facts are REAL facts about IT. Okay now I'm really confused. I'm having difficulty keeping up here. I think I need a break. My head is beginning to hurt...................

Okay, now I've had my smoke break. Where were we anyway. Oh yeah. In search of the truth. The truth about what you ask? The question at hand, remember IT. How soon they forget. Keep up with me here. I hope you're not having difficulty keeping up? Are you? I thought not. So exactly what might IT be, you ask? You tell me. What are we trying to do here? From what I see its not very constructive. For anyone or anything. Some of you have hinted around the constructive side of it. I don't know, I may have missed a few things dodging all the blows. What I do know is that, Negative energies lead to negative results. Write that one down because it will always be a universal truth. Has anyone gotten the point here yet. Okay, here is another hint. Why do we come out to play baseball on Sunday mornings. Any takers. Despite all the c..p being tossed about, why do we come out to put on our uniforms and play the game. Anyone getting close yet. How many of you can honestly say that taking into account everything that has transpired, you just can't force yourself to show up on Sunday in gear, join the others that have gathered and play baseball. Why. Because despite everything, we love the game, the people and the break from everything else. Put it all aside for a while. That passion. What are you going to do with it. Its the best and the worst part of life. Love and hate. Has ruined many a good man. We want it. We need it. I have to agree with Johnny. the HDL has become in many ways an extended family. Most of my best friends were met playing in the HDL. How many of you can say any family is always a perfect relationship? Squabbles, disagreements, even a near fight or two, but in the end what do you still have. Passion. No way to avoid it.

Back to those pesky rules. Always the root of every problem. Some rule somewhere made someone mad and then problems occur. Just like laws, unfortunately you have to have rules. They have to be made, they must be interpreted, they must be executed, and they must be enforced. Most importantly, everyone must live by them. Their intent is to ensure that the primary goals of the league are met. I think every rule has the capability of being for the good of the league. Unfortunately, their interpretation and enforcement have at times been poor at best. I am the first to agree that their have been problems in the past. There have been issues in almost each of the 15+ years I have been in the league. There will be issues to be dealt with long after I have quit playing in the league. But the league endures. Why I ask you? Hey wakeup.. (for those of you that have gone to sleep). Why? We long for Sunday morning.

Have we found the truth yet? Any attempts? Any suggestions? Don't forget those troublesome suggestions. Think about this for a minute while I still have your attention. What if the league officers didn't make any decisions, no rules, heck why do we even limit the playing age to 30. A few of you probably have some young studs that want to play. We might have enough players for 6 teams. Will they be any good? How do you divide the talent? Remember no rules to guide you. Will you have any control over who plays for what teams? What if I want to bring in my own team to play? Remember, there are no rules to restrict that. Pitching, won't even go there without some rules. Hey you think the competition level would increase. Wow I think I would love to get my a.. smoked every week by a bunch of hot shots. How about any of you guys? Well forget the cookouts, all my friends have been run off. Maybe we could just become another city league or maybe another MSBL league. Does that sound like what we have in mind for our "Love of the Sunday Morning"? Okay I thought not. I know that was a little extreme, but sometimes you have to prove a point.

Okay, anybody there yet? Anybody left reading this? I thought not. Try this out. Do we agree that we must have some rules? Okay, I thought so. I think we agree that the intent is an attempt to provide the best playing venue for the players. Rub. Who makes, interprets, executes and enforces the rules. How about everyone? Wow what a novel idea. Everyone makes, interprets, executes and enforces the rules. That was easy. I could easily spend another ten minutes of reading time convincing you why that might not work. I think my head would really expode if I had to lead you down that path. Lets suffice it to say that is probably not the answer. Okay. Since this is the HDL, they exist outside of any of us, and they actually have a rule for this. Elected officials. I know, we have had issues with this too. Agreed. That will change. A new organizational structure.....Wait a minute, you are distracting me. This is not important at this time anyway. Lets move on.

Rules. Never liked them, never will. Some people like rules. SOme people like some rules, other people like other rules. No people like all the rules. So which rules do you use? Does it really matter? Are we getting close? We know we have rules, and play by those rules. We know that there are people who want to play baseball. We know that everyone who plays baseball can't play together, for whatever reason. We know that people will do what they want for their own reasons. Not our concern. So what is our concern? Providing a venue for those people who qualify, and who have the desire to play Sunday morning baseball. So what has made this so difficult? Passion. Emotions. We will never all agree on every decision that is made in the league. In fact, we never have complete agreement on any issue. But does that really matter. What really matters? Who is playing for who in what league against who who got their players from where because they were mad at them because they didn't agree with them on something that wasn't as important as they thought when they could have actually done what they wanted to do when they decided to do something else because someone thought that it was what someone wanted when they thought that it was good for something that someone thought was important at one point in time. Or something like that. the whole thing matters about that much. Who cares. I still show up every Sunday morning to play baseball.

Bottom line. People have the right to play baseball anyway they want. If they want to play baseball in the HDL, they must follow the rules. The league has a duty to make the experience as enjoyable as possible, but not a guarantee. Good years and bad years, we all have them, but the majority of us don't let it upset the enjoyment of Sunday mornings. Sure it would be great to win every Sunday, but nobody does. Few take it as hard as I do, but I get over it like most people and return again the following Sunday. Heck, if I only played golf when I do well, I'd never play it either. Good times, bad times, we're all going to have them. Enjoy yourself. Follow the rules, old, new, and yet to be determined rules, pay your dues, and continue the Sunday tradition if you can. If you can't, we'll miss you. Honestly. I still see many friends around town that for whatever reason have left the HDL. Help the league be a better place. Put the petty crap aside, It means about as much as this essay of nothingness.

The only thing I can ask of those who intend on playing in the HDL this year, and I believe this was Larry's intent, please let us know as soon as possible of your intentions, we think it is only fair that we know and get some commitment. It is not required, but it would be greatly appreciated and respectful of those that try to make this league work.

Let me leave you with one last one for the book.
Positive energies bring positive results.
Apathy gets you nothing. Get involved.
Enjoy your short life.

Paul Baioni