Too often baseball players are reduced to statistics, hollow numbers that resonate with the fetishist who drifts off to sleep counting home runs and career batting averages. Baseball demands such precision: It's a team sport, yes, but ultimately it's man against man, record against record, history against history. Look no further than 1998's home-run race that pitted Mark McGwire against Sammy Sosa as they cat-and-moused it toward Roger Maris' 61-homer record. Never in the history of any sport had so much hoopla surrounded so little action -- a slow, triumphant jog around the base paths. By the likes of sports journalists and casual fans, McGwire will forever be celebrated as an American hero, at least until the next slugger comes along to hit 71 homers. And for doing what, exactly? Hitting a round ball with a round bat out of play 70 times. Thrilling? Yes. Heroic? Look, you've... More >>>