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Growing up watching baseball in the 70's & 80's, I think being a fan was a lot easier than it is today. As a kid, I used to follow the Milwaukee Brewers. But even more than that, I was rooting for the guys that were there year in and year out. Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas, Sal Bando to name just a few. It got to where you could watch those guys, know the lineup, see them at various autograph signings or personal appearances each season. Definitely not the way it is today.

As I mentioned yesterday, the Marlins let Cody Ross go to the Giants. For my kids, this was a huge bummer and sort of hard for them to understand. They've watched him over the last couple years. They've also had a few opportunities to meet him and every time he has been a great example of generosity and kindness. Just the kind of player you want representing your team in the community. So when you try to explain to the kids that the Marlins decided to let him go in an effort to save a few bucks they didn't quite get it. This came just a month after they let another great guy in Jorge Cantu, who had been one of the top players all season long, go for a minor league pitcher.

"It's a business, guys. Nothing personal." Except that to the young fans out there, it is personal. Sad to see a guy like Cody get away. We only wish the best for him and his family on this new chapter in his baseball career. We appreciate what he did for the Marlins, and for the example he set for my boys on how to behave even when you are a big-time baseball player. Thanks, Cody.

Watching the Florida Marlins these days has given our family some opportunities to discuss things that don't necessarily happen on the field. A chance to talk about some of the things good (and not so good) that goes on in professional baseball.

As we were headed out of town on Friday, we got word about Ronnie Paulino failing a drug test and getting suspended for 50 games. This means he will miss the rest of this season as well as the first 11 games of next season. We have discussed steroids in our house before, most recently when A-Rod hit that magic number of 600 career home runs.  It wasn't much of a celebration of this accomplishment as it was just another tainted mark on the game by an admitted steroid user. But with Paulino it was a little different. He didn't go through years of denial, or flat-out lies about what he did. He explained that in order to keep his weight in check, he used a diet pill that ended up containing a banned substance. 

Well, here's the thing boys, when you get paid thousands upon thousands of dollars to play baseball at the professional level, you need to know exactly what you are taking when it comes to supplements so this sort of thing doesn't happen. Not to mention the fact that when you are a professional athlete, if you see know you are having a hard time controlling your weight, you get your butt into the gym. You talk to the trainers that the team provides to help set up a proper diet. You work that much harder. You DON'T just look for a magic pill! This is your job! People dream about becoming professional baseball players. Do whatever you need to do to be in the best shape possible so you can make the most of the talent God gave you.

A couple of days later, the Marlins announced that they had let Cody Ross go to the Giants. Yes, at this level is a business. We'll talk more about that tomorrow. Now go eat your vegetables.