Softball is dying because society's interests are changing. Believe me, with four kids of my own I see up close and personal what I feel is the negative impacts of technology. Hell I was driving to work today and can't count how many people were walking across crosswalks with their nose in a phone not even looking if cars stopped.
There is a large segment of society today that does not want to put in the work to get to the next level, especially when they can just move a finger and be an all star instead on an ipad.
Tim...here is one for you...you yourself took how many countless rounds of bp because that is what you had to do to get to the highest level. My dad still talks about from time to time, if nobody was available to hit with you, you just went and hit off a tee and worked on your craft. How many people today in this instant gratification society are willing to put in that work? There are for sure conference level players that take some sort of performance enhancer, who and how many I have no idea. A NEEDLE IS NOT A GUARANTEE YOU STILL HAVE TO DO THE WORK. Please go to Manteca one of these weekends when they have an E, D, Open tournament...I hate to break it to you but there are guys on PEDS playing E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You can try your phony REAL SOFTBALL MEN line all you want, nobody is going to put a gun to someone's head and force them to play recreational slow pitch softball. National and local directors are doing everything they can to maximize the game at all levels. Go out and watch it one of these days. In our backyard alone there are some weekends with 3-4 lower level tournaments.
You can hang your hat on the PED argument all you want. Barry Bonds is still the greatest hitter I have ever personally witnessed in my entire life and in my opinion the second greatest hitter behind Ted Williams. You, society, whoever can scream PEDs all they want about Bonds but the man put up those numbers seeing typically only 1 pitch to hit an at bat if he was lucky. In 2004 Bonds hit .362 with 45 home runs in 373 at-bats, and struck out only 41 times...Fun fact HE WAS WALKED 232 TIMES that season (120 were intentional). Yes PEDs probably got him a couple extra home runs or hits but those numbers are absurd.
With regards to DS5 I'm not raising him for video game tournaments, softball, baseball, football, whatever. He's going to be raised with the hopeful outcome being a well rounded individual that can be a benefit rather than a drag on society. But with him being my son and a Smith one thing I can guarantee is that he will learn that it doesn't matter what he decides to do in life, it could be sports, hunting, music, art, or even video games who cares, but whatever it is he better go at it with every ounce of effort in every fiber in his existence on this planet that way when he puts his head on that pillow at night he'll have the satisfaction of knowing that on that day he gave everything he could and if he is blessed with a chance to do it again the next day then attack life with that same effort again and that just because he puts that effort into everything doesn't mean he is going to win but the big secret of life is that's okay.