Tag Archives: Major League Baseball

MLB’s Fetish

I’ll get this out of the way because too many people will overreact and not read my whole piece.

Jackie Robinson seems like a nice guy, a genuinely good person, a solid, above-average player and I’m glad he got his opportunity to play in Major League Baseball. Baseball is the better for it.

Having said that, baseball would also be better to drop its bizarre obsession with Jackie Robinson; an obsession that gets worse each year.

This weekend “Jackie” has been the center of the MLB world (and for much of the preceding week as well). It’s the 70th anniversary of superhero Jackie Robinson “crossing the color barrier” and evicting the Klan or somebody or bad thoughts from baseball. Witnessing at the voluminous hagiography, this is now considered the single most important event in baseball history.

I was trying to watch the Atlanta-San Diego game on Fox Sports’ FS1 Saturday night but after a couple of innings the announcers turned away from covering the game to discuss Robinson and his “legacy.”

It’s slightly comedic for the announcer to ask various people how “Jackie personally affected them”? Asking people who weren’t even alive then and have no experience with actual racial discrimination rather than the whiff of an essence of a shadow of a reflection of an imputation of racism that exists in our world of “microggressions” is pure virtue signaling.

For those keeping score “micro” in the numerical sense means one-millionth. Pray, tell, libtards, how much of an aggression is one-millionth of an aggression?

But back to the game.

White media folks and an ex-baseball player (black) gushed about how they couldn’t be people today if Robinson hadn’t surmounted the “color barrier.” You see the same behavior at certain religious meetings, where people confess that they couldn’t get out of bed or function daily without help from their “Lord, Jesus Christ” or Mohammed.

I have yet to hear of any miracle cures attributed to him but give it another couple of years…

Eventually reliably white liberal Ken Rosenthal was brought in to officiate a discussion about how the number of black players was shockingly low and falling — from 9-10% a decade ago to 7-8% today.

How can this be when “Jackie” did so much?????!!!!! Don’t people appreciate what “Jackie” did for them?????!!!!! They are insulting “Jackie”!!!!!

Of course the liberal asserted that this was not the result of “choices” made by young black athletes, choosing to play other sports like basketball and football. No, there had to be a darker explanation. Something that could be used as a club to batter someone, something. There was a force unnamed yet existing and pulling strings causing this precipitous fall.

You see, “urban” kids were poor so therefore they turned away from baseball. That these very same kids somehow manage to play football or basketball and walk around with $100+ Air Jordan shoes, expensive clothes and smartphones didn’t come up. “Poverty” was the all-purpose answer and we should be ever-so-concerned and put a stop to it.

That actually poor kids in the Caribbean or Latin America somehow manage to get pretty good at baseball without special MLB-funded programs and U.S. taxpayer-supported facilities programs wasn’t explored. No, all agreed, the obvious solution was to spend more money on “urban” facilities and efforts to recruit young black players. That’s what Jackie would have wanted (though I doubt he had access to such facilities or efforts).

Interestingly, the discussion touched on Title IX’s effect upon college baseball. Title IX is the nefarious government regulation used by the Dept. of Education to drive down men’s sports programs at the college level while increasing the number women given sports-based scholarships. Even if they can’t find enough women, schools have to remove men to equalize the numbers. Many schools have shut down men’s teams in tennis, wrestling, track and field, etc., to placate their DOE bureaucratic masters. Some smaller college and less-successful college baseball teams have folded over the decades of Title IX’s existence. My undergrad alma mater SMU folded its team in the early 1980s in this manner.

Rosenthal insisted that somehow Title IX had only affected young “urban” players, preventing them from getting into college baseball programs, though it somehow had not affected others in, say, rural or suburban areas. Nor was it brought up that many players, especially very good ones, go straight from high school into the minor leagues, bypassing the college baseball chokepoint. They also managed to avoid the point that college baseball overall is seemingly more popular than ever before and awash in money.

The obvious solution would be to banish Title IX back to the Mordor from whence it came but none of those in the discussion dared go there. They knew Twitterstorm that would come forth and might find themselves sent to reeducation camps or even fired.

After entering the third inning of this sidebar I turned away and went elsewhere.

Jackie made numerous guest appearances in the several other games I caught over the weekend — some of which included mentioning other politically correct efforts for young girls, the “Trailblazer” program. Apparently there are not enough girls playing baseball or softball or something. At that point they might introduce some young girl or a female sideline reporter who’d assure us of the goodness of said program.

As part of the Robinson idolatry, every team in Major League Baseball has been forced to “retire” Jackie Robinson’s number 42 — even if Robinson didn’t play for them (he played for the Dodgers at the MLB level) or they weren’t in existence at the time. Compounding this, every player on every team in every game played on Saturday had to wear the number, 42. It was a bit confusing.

None of this is done for, say, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Nap Lajoie, Honus Wagner, Cy Young, Ted Williams, famed and far more accomplished players.

This reflects the liberal obsession with putting “racism” or skin color above all else. Such a side issue drives baseball rather than the playing of baseball itself.

That’s not right for baseball. It turns the sport into yet another political football. Liberals will politicize everything.

As some have wisely said, the way to put racism behind us is to no longer practice it; even if it is thought to be well-meant.

People living today are not part of the segregation era. Beyond serving as a warning of weakness and a history lesson, contemporaries should not burdened with carrying the guilt and sinful burdens of the past. People of today must be judge by what they do, today and in their lives not what others departed did in the past.

Jackie Robinson’s greatest accomplishment will be realized when he fades and is mostly remembered for his on the field performance: the winner of the first Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, being the 1949 National League MVP, having a stellar .311 career batting average, being at that time maybe the best base stealer since Ty Cobb (maybe better), a top-flight and underrated fielder and being one of the leading overall players in the late 1940s and early 1950s. That would be true equality.

That’s a fine and deserving place in history.

Adam, I’m So Disappointed in You

The biggest mistake I made with my fantasy baseball team this year was letting Adam Jones go. I’m a big Jones fan but he started the year with the dreaded “oblique” injury and was batting around .200 for the first month or so of the season. It was looking like a “lost” year and I’ve long had a habit of loyally holding onto players too long.

So I cut him loose and the next day he started on the tear that he is still on. Oy!

And that’s why I’m so disappointed in him playing the race card.

Baseball is a white man’s game,” says the baseball-playing black multimillionaire.

Why is it a “white man’s game”? Apparently because the black participation level of the MLB is 8% and the overall black population of the U.S. measures around 13% percent.

Wow! Sounds like the KKK is hard at work in baseball!

So is that really a bad thing, Adam? The NBA and NFL are over 2/3 black. Does that make basketball and football “black men’s” sports? They are far more “racially” disproportionate than MLB and yet the only complaints there are that there are not enough black skins in all aspects of those two sports.

One gets the feeling that the complainers won’t be happy until the sports, perhaps all sports, are 100% (or more!) “black.”

The writer of an article quoting Jones, the dependably moronic liberal Tim Brown, begins it with the obligatory roping in of Jackie Robinson, in the form of his daughter, Sharon. She laments that there aren’t enough “brown faces” on the baseball field. A mighty racist statement but Robinson and Brown see it as a plea to right a grievous wrong. As if the sport’s participation level has to magically align with the population (if not exceed it) so that some kind of racial nirvana is reached.

Brown, a white liberal, then begins the slow implication that, somehow, pro baseball must be racist because not enough blacks, by liberals’ accounts, are playing the game. In his eyes it is guilty and has to prove itself innocent. The typical liberal accusation.

One of the damning stats he brings in is that baseball is “27% Latin American,” with the implication that the Hispanics are taking jobs from urban (‘Compton’) blacks.

Now when Donald Trump says something like that people like Tim Brown go nuclear and want Trump banished from society yet Brown keeps that in his back pocket and whips it out to comb his liberal pompadour.

Hypocrite.

He then goes into the typical, decades-, now generations-old, demand for affirmative action, outreach programs, hand-holding, special treatment by skin color, etc. All to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

Why must liberals reflexively view everything through a racial prism? Why must sports be seen as “racial”? Why must liberals politicize everything?

 

Harper: Make Baseball Fun Again

This was a topical story a few weeks ago and then faded. Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper said in an interview that baseball was pretty boring and he wanted it to get a bit more flashier. By that he was referring to more personal expression and over the top emotion. Needless to say that set off a debate between the traditionalists and, well, other folks (i.e. Hipsters, a lot of media, etc.).

After the Nats’ opening day victory over the Atlanta Braves, however, in the locker room Harper put on a hat that said, “Make Baseball Fun Again.”

I’m curious as to when this Golden Age when “baseball was fun” was going on? When exactly did it lose its way?

One of baseball’s main selling points is its relationship with its lengthy, fairly well-documented history. The game has not evolved a lot. In the past 120 years it has evolved less than its sisters — NFL and NBA — have over the last 50 years. That’s one of the things that makes baseball so fascinating. Some people find fascinating to be fun.

Harper’s a kid, barely in his 20s. Like most kids he finds anything older than him to be boring. (Often because they simply don’t understand it and can’t be bothered to learn about it.)

Now there are some cultural implications here, as well. Various MLB bigwigs, along with sportswriters, political activists and others, worry endlessly that baseball just doesn’t have enough black players or black fans. They do not have the same concern about the NFL or NBA, however. The thinking among many of them is that if baseball would just ramp up the funk, allow some showing off and trash talk because, you know, black people like that stuff, they reason (even the black critics back that stereotype — though no one will publicly express it).

Then there’s the worry that the modern tech-savvy kids — the ones with shorter and shorter attention spans — can’t follow baseball. It requires concentration, possibly some knowledge and even cold reason and control of emotions. All of those things are anathemas to the modern liberal type.

But let me stand back here and throw some water on this idiotic idea.

The last thing baseball needs is showboating — the type of silliness that infects the NFL to a great deal and the NBA to some extent.

Think about it.

Do you want players flipping their bats with every hit? Strutting around like roosters after a home run? Doing a dance after ever single or any other hit? Pitchers doing their “Strike Out Dance” after every strike out?

Think I’m exaggerating? The NFL is filled with peacocks preening after every tackle, every reception they make. Watch a player return an interception for a touchdown and he’ll often strut like a marching band leader the last 10-20 yards. Guys on teams behind by three touchdowns flex their muscles to the crowd after they tackle a runner who just gained six yards. They either aren’t paying attention or have become utterly narcissistic and no longer care. “Hey, look at me! Maybe I’ll be on Sports Center!”

The NBA is only slightly better but has even more recognizable inflated egos — the playing area is smaller and you can see the players’ faces. The trash talking in both leagues is X-rated.

Both might be “team” sports but they often generate into individual stages more like pro wrestling with it’s over-the-top narcissistic behavior.

One of baseball’s blessings is that it doesn’t stoop to that. It is a team sport. A lot of us like that. Does everything have to be glitzy and superficial?

I realize all the high-priced MBA/marketing experts don’t like that and are obsessed with the fans they don’t have rather than pleasing the fans they do. I know they see white and old and think that’s wrong. (Did you see all they older people that filled the Spring Training games? Amazing!) They bellow that the game needs to attract more women and blacks. Why? It attracts a large audience already (with a lot of women and blacks in the crowds). Hispanics/Latin Americans love it and are overrepresented in the game (I see nothing wrong with that at all). The same can be said of the Caribbean. The game is also huge in Pacific Asia (e.g. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) and growing in Australia.

One place where baseball does show some actual “emotion” is “beaning.” Harper should think about that. All you need is one minor league call-up fireballer to decide he’ll get even with Harper for that “Home Run Strut” two innings earlier and Harper’s career could be over. And then the Nats send out their goon to nail Mike Trout in retaliation.

But, “Hey!” it’s exciting stuff! Lots of genuine emotions on display there — and that’s what counts, right? Screw history, respect, self-control, teamwork, humility, unselfishness, sportsmanship — those are old, fuddy-duddy things from, like, the 1950s. You know what else was big in the ’50s? Segregation!

That’s how things are reasoned these days by far too many.

It’s easy for a player as gifted as Bryce Harper to want to be more of a prima donna. He’s the one that will be dishing out much of the humiliation… er… “fun.” It will be his teammates that suffer most of the returning “fun” slings and arrows.