(Bradenton, Fla.)—Today is March 11, 2013 my 60th birthday or as former President of the United States the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt would say, “a day in infamy.”  Just the day before I, arrived in Tampa Bay and spent the day with my cousin Dr. Ramon Bruce, freshly retired from the Veterans Administration. “Doc” Bruce is a gentleman and a scholar who received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Auburn; I offered him my condolences with a smile. The genealogy of Dr. Bruce springs from the Bruce Tuskegee lineage; but you know what? Baseball and sports are like families in many ways, the more things change, the more things stay the same.
Many things have changed since I began to cover MLB many years ago. I won’t say what year it was because it would be telling my age. Oops my bad, I already told my age.  However I continue to feel sorta, kinda lonely “upstairs” because  on this particular afternoon there is not one, not one speck of color in the press box besides me, oh except for the janitor. Sometimes it gets lonesome here at the top and believe me “being at the top” does not mean anything arrogant, insolent or egotistical; I am just stating the obvious. I am at the bottom rung of those who sit up top.
Don’t try to blame this “continuing phenomenon” on anyone or anything because this is not the fault of MLB; but please answer this one question for me. Where in the hell are all of the professional baseball writers?  I know when teams from “chocolate cities” compete there are writers with more than ample amounts of “melanin” sprinkled throughout the “box.”  When I awoke at the crack of dawn semi-lamenting my charge into my sixties, I realize the more things change, the more they remain the same.  At this point the boys of summer are now the boys of semi-spring. They are ugly caterpillars ready to emerge from the cocoon of the losing. Pirates’ pitcher Jeff Locke who came over from the Atlanta Braves entered the game with a 2-1 record and a 3.60 ERA starting 3 games so far in the Pirates “grapefruit league” season. Even though his location wasn’t as sharp as he would have liked it to be he remained optimistic.
“Since I have come over [from the Braves] everything has been better, from my routine, to my work ethic.” he said.
“Maybe I was younger over there, now I’m maturing.”  

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