I'm glad to see that some parents get it.
The Gullos can still share some fun moments when Joe plays his video game, but they had stopped going to Seattle Mariners games before moving from Seattle to Oregon last August. Gullo says that as much as it pains him, he is pulling away from baseball.
"Frankly, I am reluctant as a parent to really push baseball as a passion right now," he says, "because I don't know what's going to come out next, or how this is all going to shake out, or who else is going to be named."
Parents everywhere should learn from--and applaud--what Mr. Gullo is doing for his son. Unfortunately, the parents of our generation never knew about the steroid use taking place around the majors when we were tykes oiling up our new Jose Canseco-signed baseball glove. I don't blame them for their ignorance, but I hope to learn from it.
We may be hopelessly entrapped for life by our interest in baseball and the moral dilemma it presents to us, but our own children need not be. I, myself, am not a father yet, but should I become one someday, I hope to shelter little Vinnie Rasheed from the ills of the sport I cherish. Sure, I'll let him stay in the room with me while I take in a Cubs or Sox game on a weekend afternoon, but never without tethering his forehead to a Kindle filled with nature books and 1950s children's adventure novels first.
I am, myself, the product of this type of attentive parenting, and I thank God every day that I am.
Though my own parents were victimized by the duplicitous ways of 1980s and '90s baseball stars, I have to give them credit for having the wisdom and discipline to shelter me from the evils of their generation. You see, my mother adored the Rolling Stones as a youth, but she realized early in my life that her love of the band and her denunciation of their insidious messages of promiscuity and drug abuse might engender a sense of moral ambiguity in my frail young mind.
Of course, mom couldn't just stop loving the band, so she continued to listen to their records while she raised me, but she was careful. Mom would always tweak the speaker balance just enough that the lyrics were unintelligible. And just to be safe, she changed the name on the LP covers to things like "Johnny and the Tumbleweeds" and "Mr. Joe's Dolphin Show." If my ears made out a bad word that I didn't recognize, mom always did the right thing and lied about it.
Thanks to mom's diligent parenting, I refuse, to this day, to listen to music by anyone accused of taking illicit drugs, having sex out of wedlock, or speaking to Jews. I have also never seen a naked female body, hash pipe, Quentin Tarantino movie, or homeless person. And most importantly, I have little to nothing in common with my mom or with my peers, all of whom are depraved idol-worshipers.
I know it can't be easy for parents like Mr. Gullo trying to protect their children from the shame game they were raised on, but I applaud him for doing his best. I hope I can do the same someday. Unfortunately, the attachment is strong, and the allure is always there.
It's as Johnny and the Tumbleweeds said, "Love--it's a pitch."