Into the Off Day…

So, it’s been a while. I’m under a fair amount of stress right now, so let’s use some soothing bullet points to put me at ease…

  • Let me tell you, finishing off a law school career is pretty hard work. I only have about 40 more pages to write before next Monday (May 3rd) so that I can graduate, so I can almost guarantee that this will be the final post of a decent length until then. I’m working on three papers: one is a really simple and easy reflection memo on my internship in DC Superior Court; the second involves suggestions on how to implement the Omnibus DC Voting Bill for the 2010 elections; and the third is the beast, a 20-page paper on standing requirements, which are what must be met before one can sue. Overall, not too bad (considering I ended up writing a somewhat controversial 68-pager on the teaching of evolution over creationism in schools last year), but the time frame will make it very difficult. Wish me luck! If I succeed, I’ll graduate. If not, well, I’ll hope for an extension!
  • Friday’s game was an interesting one for me. I had missed the two prior days’ games due to work and going to the Nationals games. Both, by the way were terrible to watch. Livan Hernandez was pretty impressive Thursday, but still pulled off the loss against Cy Jimenez. He was exactly the guy he was in 2008, which still makes me cringe, but I’m happy he’s still finding success. However, Friday’s game got nasty on Twitter. When David DeJesus (I think) hit a home run that just barely went over the fence (as was apparent on replay but not on first viewing), Michael Cuddyer did not seem to hustle at all to return the ball to the infield. The problem? The ump called the ball in play, which led to DeJesus getting an inside-the-park home run as Cuddyer meandered back to the ball, which was resting at the base of the fence. Now, I know Cuddyer likely saw the ball go over his head, and the ump’s call would have been overturned on instant replay, but the slow walk Cuddyer took incensed many of those on Twitter that day. Our reward for being critical of Cuddyer for (apparently) not hustling (as is the Minnesota Twins way, of course)? This Tweet, by a respected and widely-followed Twins blogger (name removed because I have not spoken with him directly):

    This Tweet was quickly followed up by:

    Really?

    Now, as everyone who reads my writing or tweets knows, I am all about the snark and the sarcasm, but there is a line that stops short of accusing someone of “not being a fan” or “not being a true fan.” The first tweet crossed that line, and the second Tweet was just a reminder. As of now, I find myself an “alleged” Twins fan in the eyes of at least one (for those not familiar with the legal term of art “alleged,” it means roughly “something that has been declared true, but that certainly hasn’t been proven.”) influential blogger. Frankly, it pissed me off, and I sure hope it pissed off others. I really have one sports rule, and that rule is to NEVER accuse someone of not being a fan. Here’s where I shout out to my fellow blogger Fanatic Jack, who tends to have a negative outlook on the team, and frequently gets accused of all sorts of nasty things because of it. Jack, we rarely agree, but I know you are a true fan, and I urge everyone else to read his work at Fanatic Jack Talks Twins, as he does have a lot of good analysis to go along with is (often merited) pessimism.

  • So, that dour note behind us, it appears that Joe Mauer hasn’t shaved in a while, which is leading to a resurgent case of Joe Mauer’s Beard! I unfortunately don’t have a very good capture of it, but here is what I got. It is still a long way from the luscious specimen that we had at the beginning of ST, but it’s a start. Now if only Denard Span would follow Joe’s lead and grow back HIS Man-Beard. I promise he’ll stop it with the suckage as soon as he does.
  • The Twins have now won six straight series without managing to sweep a single one. Color me unconcerned. So long as the Twins are winning 2/3+ of their games, I won’t start to fret. Eventually, the Twins will discover their missing clutchiness and they’ll start scoring about three more runs per game than they are now.
  • I want to marry the Twins offense, but A) my wife would not approve, and B) it’s not legal to marry groups of sports players in Virginia (or Minnesota). So, I guess I’ll just have to deal with pining from a distance.
  • Topper Anton was nice enough to offer me a place in his “Twins Bloggers: Get to Know ‘Em” series, and commences to say nice things about me that I really don’t deserve, as I recently discovered that I have a horrible pottymouth while watching baseball: at the Thursday Nats game, there was a whole family, including little kids sitting right in front of me. The Nats are a horrible team, and I really don’t love them that much, but I found myself biting my lip far too much. Sorry, Mom! :S Anyway, go check out my Get-to-Know-‘Em if you want to know more about me (or if you are looking for good blackmail fodder).
  • Because of the back-up of games, I’ll give a Stud/Dud for today’s game only.
  • The Stud: Justin Morneau. Justin absolutely destroyed a pitch in the second inning for a two-run homer, and he has really been flashing the leather recently at second base. Mark Texeira he is not, but he’s still impressive.
  • The Dud: clearly, today’s dud was Kevin Slowey. This is not to say that he pitched poorly (which he did: he couldn’t locate around the corners of the plate, and when that goes, so goes Slowey’s whole game), but the main reason is that he couldn’t make it far into the Sixth Inning on the day after every pitcher but Alex Burnett was used. It turned out not to matter, as Ron Mahay and Burny (starting to like that kid a lot) easily cleaned up the final 2 2/3 innings, but it was something the Twins really needed that Slowey failed to provide.
  • Courtesy Wikipedia (click to visit page). The Hip Flexors.

    Nick Punto‘s groin is apparently just fine (which is more info than I needed to know today), but because he is still experiencing pain in that oh-so-sensitive area, the docs are looking into a possible hip flexor injury. If you didn’t know, and I didn’t, the hip flexors are any of about ten moving parts that make your hip joint work properly. I put the Wikipedia diagram on the right (credit goes to Wiki user Beth Ohara). Click on the image to go to the Wikipedia page for more info. If, as LaVelle seemed to fear in his tweet, hip flexor surgery is required, Punto could be done for the year, as Royals utility player Josh “Booger” Fields (nickname bestowed by WhiteSoxBlog) decided to do today. Ironically, as I tweeted earlier, if Punto has surgery and misses the rest of the season, the odds of him being with the Twins next year go up significantly: the hip injury will reduce his defensive value, which means all his value. The Twins were going to decline his $5 million option for next year (or so I certainly hope), and this makes it much more likely he’d accept a cheap “make-g00d” deal back with the Twins as a utility infielder. Luke Hughes got his roster spot, and I would really like to see him get a couple starts.

  • In other injury news, Clay Condrey had a setback, and there is no timetable for when he resumes throwing.
  • Tomorrow is an off day. Hallelujah.
  • Tuesday, the Twins will pitch the rearmed F-Bomb against Justin Verlander. In terms of my hopes for the Twins, I certainly hope Francisco Liriano is as good as he’s been. In the interest of my fantasy team, however, I want Verlander to strike out 10 Twins through five innings and leave a game tied 0-0, so the Twins can come back and destroy the Tiger bullpen. Life is much more complicated when my fantasy players face the Twins.

I feel better after all those bullets. Cheers!

Notes from All Over: Mets, Mauer, and Boras

I am hoping this will become a semi-regular feature. Time to look at some of the baseball news from the rest of MLB. Trust me, it’s worth the read.

****************

Intent on destroying any hope that Mets fans might have had coming into the season with the good news in past days about Johan Santana and Jose Reyes (both of whom appear to be healthy), Omar Minaya has declared that the starting first base job will be an “open competition” — between Daniel Murphy and Mike Jacobs. Both have some power, but have shown less of it recently. Both have been terrible liabilities on the field (though Jacobs posted a not-terrible UZR last year), and, the best thing, as Rob Neyer points out:

When you see the names “Daniel Murphy” and “Mike Jacobs,” you might say to yourself, “Self, neither of those guys are good enough to play every day, but what about a platoon? After all, the Mets are set with every-day players for every other position, so they should have the roster space to carry two first basemen.”

Ah, that’s what I thought, too. But then, a nagging little suspicion: Aren’t Murphy and Jacobs both left-handed hitters?

They are.

That’s right, friends. Even though he already had Murphy, Minaya chose — from among all the sluggardly sluggers looking for an invitation to spring training — another left-handed hitter to compete with Murphy.

[...]

[U]ntil something else happens, we’ll have to go with this as the No. 1 early contender for 2010’s Worst Plan of Spring Training Award.

Needless to say, both are terrible against left-handed pitching. Sort of makes our question about third base (PLEASE don’t hand the job to Punto without a fight) seem moot, eh?

****************

Jon Marthaler, over at TwinkieTown, thinks that Joe Mauer will sign this week, if only to eliminate the media swarms and drama that will result if he reports without his signature drying on a new contract. I tend to agree, but have to link for what may be my favorite Minnesota analogy of all time:

Have you ever tried to compliment a Minnesotan? It’s like trying to bathe a cat. “I liked your ravioli hotdish at the potluck,” you might say, to which the receiver of the compliment will say, “Oh, that? That’s not much, really, just some ground beef and noodles and tomato sauce, I guess. I’m just lucky anybody ate any of it, we’d have leftovers for a week.”

Do not make the mistake of arguing with this Minnesotan. You will enter into a vicious cycle of compliments and denials, one that will end with you offering to tattoo the recipe on your forearm, it was THAT GOOD, while the complimentee offers to cut out his or her tongue as a gesture of unworthiness.

Beautiful work.

****************

If there is one person in the baseball world that I hate, it is Manny Ramirez. If I had to pick a second, however, it would be Scott Boras. As an aspiring lawyer, I am constantly horrified by the constant conflicts of interest that Boras, a 1982 graduate of the McGeorge School of Law, manages to get himself into. Represent five players that play the same position in the same off-season? Sure, why not. Focus on the player that will receive the highest paycheck to the (seeming) exclusion of all others? The business of baseball. Boras has a near-sterling reputation for getting the most money possible for his clients, and with that in mind, it’s no surprise that few players fire him and even fewer complain. I would wager that Boras forces all his clients to sign waivers of ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, and 1.10 (which govern conflicts of interest), though there is a hazy area where he could have problems under rule 1.3, which governs the diligence with which a lawyer must represent one’s client.

I dislike Boras so much that even though I loved Carlos Gomez (and trust me, I really loved me some Carlos Gomez), I fully expected him to be traded after last season, due to upcoming arbitration (which, by the way, he settled for 1.15 million) and free agency. And I can’t say that I am happy he’s gone, if only because it frees me from considering whether Minnesota would have even attempted to re-sign him after he hit free agency, due to Boras being his agent. However, it’s practically impossible for teams to avoid Boras, as he represents dozens of players.

Of course, this didn’t stop our favorite Bert Blyleven from writing a fawning piece about Boras last December. And most other agents defend him, since they do the same thing. Agents work on commission, like trial attorneys and furniture salesmen. When Boras convinces a team to sign one of his clients, he gets a certain percentage of the  agreed-upon amount, say 4%** . This has led to many, prominently Craig Calcaterra of HardBall Talk, to speculate that the reason Johnny Damon is out of a job is that Boras had a great financial interest in getting a job for Damon’s fellow client Matt Holliday first, as Holliday was almost guaranteed more money that Damon. This worked out to be true: I expect that Damon will sign a 1-year, $7 million deal with the Tigers sometime this week, while Holliday signed a 7-year, $120 million deal (with a ton of perks not included in the dollar amount, including guaranteed road suites, full no-trade, and incentives) with the Cardinals on January 5. Since then, the free agent market has cratered, leading to the one-year Damon deal. At our 4% rate, Boras stands to make $4.8 million off the Holliday deal and $280,000 off the Damon deal. Which one would you (or any self-aware lawyer) focus on first?

**Pardon the Posnanski italics here, but I wanted to stress that I have no idea what Boras actually earns. I have heard that MLB has a maximum of 4% of contracts (with no confirmation), but I know from law classes that sports agents typically make $15-25% of endorsement deals and 10% on any media. Either way, when you think about it, Boras stands to gain a ton more money than the 4% of the contract, as Holliday will likely be in a ton of commercials and do a ton of media around St. Louis, now that he’ll be there for the longer-than-near future.

Think about it this way: if you were a good player, not the best, but good, would you want your agent trying to arrange deals for the max amount of money possible for both you and the best player on the market at your position in the same off-season? I’m thinking not. Anyway, the reason I mention all this is that Felipe Lopez has fired Scott Boras as his agent.

Boras said: “We know how frustrating it is when a player can’t get a starting job from any one of the 30 teams,” Boras says. “We wish Felipe well. He’s a very talented player.”  He’s also had an agent that has represented other players that were far more lucrative all off-season. The quote has a repulsive “oh, no, it’s not my fault” quality that seems to quite aptly sum up the situation.

Lopez is now likely to get much less than the $5 million that the Twins signed Orlando Hudson for, despite better numbers last season. Lopez has scared off some teams with his .360 BABIP, which is overly high, and others are simply not interested or not in need of a second baseman. Joe Pawlikowski over at the indispensible FanGraphs thinks that some teams, including the Cubs or Cardinals (at third base), might still ahve some interest, though it seems unlikely. Lopez is looking at a 1-year deal worth a max of $2.5-3 million, if that. There’s a possibility

MLB needs to reform its rules regarding player representation. That, or the ABA (American Bar Association) needs to enforce its conflict-of-interest and diligence rules on sports agents, something it does not regularly do now.

****************

And, by the way, vomit.

Missed Week Edition

Man, what a busy two weeks, no?! Spring training games started (well, a little more than a week ago), we saw Joe Crede in the field (I use “we” in a figurative sense, since none of the games he as played in have been on TV), we lost Boooof indefinitely, we didn’t sign Juan Cruz, someone else did, and much, much more. Let’s go through some of the action.

  • Juan Cruz ended up falling through the cracks, as the Twins apparently offered him something (typically) ridiculous. What do I mean by ridiculous? I mean they offered him a 1-year, 2 million dollar deal (sorry, can’t find the link for that, but I clearly remember reading it). In all honesty, that’s just rubbing his nose in the fact that he, a Type A free agent, had yet to be signed. That said, I guess the Twins might have been hedging their bets, since it likely would have cost them a bit to trade for him in the “trade” portion of the “sign-and-trade” portion of the deal.
  • The NEXT day, the Royals signed Juan Cruz. This wasn’t a sign and trade, just a sign. However, the Royals had their first round pick protected because it was #12, and the top 15 are protected. They lose their second round pick to the D-Backs. Ummm… sorry, but I don’t know where the Royals get off thinking they are planning to compete this year. They are just the cellar-dwe– Oh, they might be better this year? Oh. My bad. In all honesty, the rather intense back end of the bullpen that the Royals have (Farnsworth, Cruz, and Soria) is the best in the division, possibly the best in baseball. Now all they have to do is get a lead occasionally to get to those guys.
  • This brings the D-Backs to SEVEN (!!) picks in the first two rounds and the sandwich supplemental round this year. Had they offered arbitration to Adam Dunn, it would have been NINE. Note to D-Backs: he didn’t want to sign. He thought he was going to get rich. Poor planning on your part.
  • Manny signed… really don’t care.
  • A-Rod is out for the first month (at least) of the season. Longer, if he has the torn labrum repaired. Didn’t Mike Lowell have a torn hib labrum last year? Maybe someone reading this will know. (Or was it J.D. Drew? I thought he had a back issue, but…). Due to his general ickiness, I don’t really feel sorry for him, despite the fact that I don’t care about any potential steroid usage. This likely doesn’t affect the Twins in the slightest, as they don’t play the Yanks until May 15, and A-Rod should be over the shoulder by then.
  • Speaking of A-Rod, I lived in Oregon, which is Mariners country, when he debuted with the M’s. The announcers gushed about how awesome he was and how great his future career would be. Nice that people are right occasionally. A-Rod will be in the Hall someday, and I can think back to that debut.
  • So… how ’bout Perk? I have to say, the best story coming out of ST for me so far is the dominance of Perkins, who everyone seemed to think was the weak link in the rotation (minus a couple people that thought Blackburn would be the weakest). So far, Perk has thrown nine innings, and has not allowed a run, for a 2-0 record, with 5 Ks and a 0.88 WHIP. Since he has generally pitched the beginning of games, he has been facing the starters of the other teams, and has been nothing short of impressive. Today, he threw his first three innings in 31 pitches. It was beautiful. Or, it sounded beautiful on the radio.
  • Baker and Liriano both started out badly, but rebounded in their last start. Slowey has not yet given up a hit or a walk in five innings with 3 Ks. Blackburn also looked good in his first start, but then was skipped due to soreness in his surgically-repaired knee.
  • I think the only thing I can say about Nathan pulling out of the WBC is that is sore shoulder seems to have been a convenient excuse. While every blogger and fan threw up a little in their mouth upon hearing he had shoulder soreness, but it turned out he was laughing up his sleeve the whole time; as a bullpen session the next day yielded a non-sore shoulder.
  • Ditto Johan.
  • Corey Koskie got picked up by the Cubs on a minor league contract. They hope he can back up Third, First, and the outfield if necessary. I read that there were Cubs scouts at Hammond Stadium, and got excited for a trade, but then this happened, and I was pleased for Koskie, but sad for us. But then again, is there anything the Cubs have that we would be willing to go get?
  • Humber has been wretched. Jason Jones has been hit-or-miss. These are the two guys that needed to prove themselves the most, and they haven’t stepped up. If Humber doesn’t make the team out of spring break, he will be claimed off waivers. I don’t think there is room for him on the Twins, especially if he keeps Mijares or Dickey of the Major League club, but I hope he can stick with another team. I imagine Jones will be a starter at Rochester, after the Twins offer him back to the Yankees and the Yankees take some kind of marginal prospect in exchange for allowing us to keep Jones.
  • Where does this leave the opening day ‘pen, at least to me? I see something like this: Nathan (closer), Crain (set-up), Ayala, Guerrier (middle/mop-up), Breslow (LOOGY), Mijares (LOOGY/set-up). That is for an 11-man staff, something I view as a dim possibility, though I would like to see it. When the Twins abandon that good idea, they will add either Humber or Dickey to be the long-reliever; I am pushing for Dickey, myself. I love the idea of going from a power pitcher (well, sort of) like Liriano for six innings, then to Dickey for two innings, and then to Nathan for the ninth. Call it a pipe dream. I also just really like Knuckleballers.

I am planning on starting a new project over the weekend: a review of the most important games of 2008. Here’s the plan: I’ll watch a game every few days, and then I’ll recap it and give it’s importance in the Twins’ overall season. I am starting with what I view as the tenth most important game (as I see it): Sunday June 8. That was the second to last game of that devastating 4-game series against the White Sox. Final Score – 12-2.

I also hope to have thoughts on the WBC up soon. I’ll do my best on that one.

Also, I wanted to thank everybody for their good wishes during my paper weeks the last 2-3 weeks. I finished the paper; 32 pages on the theories of social obligation that underlie the law. It almost killed me, but now I’m pretty darn proud of it. Thanks again.

edo

On Steroids, Sex, Gambling, and Drugs… Can we just get over it?

Seriously.

Seth wrote a great post a few days ago about how, well, stupid and unfair it was of SI to publish reports of A-Rod testing positive for steroids in ’03 at the exact moment where it would get the maximum airplay. I have never been a fan of SI. I find its articles stilted and hard to read. But I understand the demands of the journalism business, and have to respectfully disagree with Seth. I know that if you have four (FOUR!) sources for a bit of “secret” information, that means that there are likely other publications that have the same or equally good sources. The sheer number of independent sources also makes it more likely that the editors aren’t putting their necks into a noose by publishing. I don’t know SI’s timeline for publication of this information, but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. By and large, I find that newspapers and magazines, while they have their problems, do have strong journalistic ethics.

So I disagree that SI should be condemned for publishing the A-Rod rumors. But then again, I really couldn’t care less about what players do to get to where they are, unless they are breaking an established rule that has consequences. Let’s face it, MLB’s steroids policy from 1993 to 2003 was a joke. It essentially says, “Okay, don’t do steroids, but if you do, there aren’t any consequences, since we can’t blacklist you or punish you because the union would own our nice new offices and stadiums in court if we did.” I’ll be honest. If I was either a young up-and-comer looking to make a name for myself or a slightly over-the-hill player looking to keep the magic going for a couple more years,* I might have been willing to try steroids to get to the top of the league. It is the same as the stimulents and amphetamines that people used in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s to get ahead. How many of those people are now in the Hall of Fame? What about the athletes now? Michael Cuddyer uses a weird orthodontic appliance which supposedly helps him concentrate on hitting. What if people find that to be “performance-enhancing” down the road? What about LASIK (who on the Twins hasn’t had LASIK these days)?

*Yes, I am ripping off Posnanski’s asterisk-driven interjection system. Consider it imitation-as-flattery. I love MLB network. I “watch” it for hours whilst I am doing Civil Rights or Corporations homework. Last night it was a marathon of high-strikeout games (it was essentially the Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson show). In one of the games, they showed Mark McGuire hit a 104-mph fastball from the Unit 534 feet into the upper upper deck of the Kingdome. Let me repeat that. Mark McGuire. Hit a pitch. That was going 104 miles per hour. Not kilometers. Miles. That’s faster than most people will ever drive a car in their lives. It is faster than the takeoff speeds of some airplanes.Literally, if you blink, you missed it. McGuire hit it very nearly the length of two football fields. In a pitcher’s park. Against arguably the best strikeout pitcher and the most imposing pitcher of that generation. Dear LORD. I can’t run that far without having to stop and gasp for air.

There’s a level of “be-all-that-you-can-be” that fans should EXPECT of players. Should Mark McGuire have given up on his extraordinary career and softly into the night rather than becoming a sublime player? I can’t honestly say that he should have. Should Barry Bonds have given up his chase to pass the all-time home run record? No, I can’t say he should have. Should he have allegedly lied about it under oath about it?* Hell no. Whatever comes of this indictment, its his own damn fault. Does he deserve an asterisk on his record? I would say no. We don’t know exactly how long he had been using steroids. There is just too much unknown about his case.

*Fun and true story. One of my good friends in undergraduate worked as an intern for an area newspaper. He deeply enjoyed his internship, but it really opened his eyes to how little freedom of the press there actually is. Sure, the government can’t stop the newspaper from publishing something. That would be prior restraint and is high on the list of no-nos. However, whenever there is a criminal case in the newspaper, all bets are off. A newspaper can cause a mistrial or be subject to suit for libel if they say that a defendant committed a crime. When “Zack” worked for the newspaper, one of the reporters wrote a story about an ongoing rape trial; a really grisly crime. There were four places in the article (not an editorial) where the reporter stated the facts of the case, using the defendant’s name, without using a disclaimer like “allegedly.” Example: “Mr. “Smith” entered the victims room at 3 a.m. and…” I don’t want to get into the details. Well, the accused was acquitted in less than an hour, and he turned and sued the newspaper for libel and won (there were other articles involved as well). Be careful what you write, fellow bloggers/reporters/writers. I don’t think a blogger has ever been held responsible for libel of this nature, but times are a-changin’.

The same theories apply to other things that people frown upon sports figures to do. Maybe it is because the average sports fan is a generally more conservative and more nostalgic person than the average citizen, I don’t know. Michael Phelps was recently caught smoking pot at a house party sometime last fall.* I don’t know too many of the details, because I have been avoiding the story like the plague. So, he was smoking pot (was he smoking it in a cigarette? or was he using a water bong? These seem like important details to people who actually care). I don’t care to engage in a non-sports-related discussion of drug laws, but meh. So, Phelps was mature enough to come out and apologize and admit his mistake. I commend him for that. But a major wag of the finger to Kelloggs, who canceled their endorsement deal. It’s not like their other cartoon spokespeople/covermodels aren’t cracked out enough (Dig’em the Frog? Tony the Tiger? Seriously, would Phelps have driven down the respect we have vested in that group?).

*Yeah, I know. Seems a little strange that this photo only came out now, isn’t it? BTW, I don’t have any real respect for the tabloids’ methods, but they do have an equal right to publish the scum they manage to scrape from the bottom of the barrel of society.

Ditto for gambling… I’m talking about Pete Rose here. He bet on baseball… in favor of his team, when he bet on his team. I can see him getting banned forever, if he had thrown games. But the guy is a freaking legend. He should be just inside the front door of the HoF. Instead, he is forced to write books and make public apologies. There are other players that are banned for the same thing, which are more understandable. Shoeless Joe Jackson bet against the White Sox, who he played for. I’m okay with his ban, because it affected MORE than himself… it effectively deprived his team (along with the other Black Sox) of a chance at a World Series title. However, even Shoeless Joe’s involvement is disputed at this late date. Without any kind of certainty here, the default should be to NOT ban, rather than ban.

I guess what I am saying here is that I really couldn’t care less about what athletes do off the field. If an athlete beats his wife or kills someone drunk driving, they should answer for it in court. However, I really couldn’t care less what sports star is doing after dark with what female celebrity (or not doing with a female celebrity, if you  catch my drift). Remember in 1999, when the world was shocked (shocked, I tell you) when former major leaguer Billy Bean came out of the closet with is book, Going the Other Way.* Why should it even matter who players are seeing after the lights go down on the field? Bean is blunt about how strong that barrier remains — he doesn’t foresee any professional baseball player coming out and continuing to play in the near future, a view that has caused some critics to question his commitment to encouraging people to come out. (link)  But, for some it does matter who is seeing who and what they are doing.

*The only other baseball player to have come out of the closet after retirement is the now-deceased Glenn Burke. Burke was unique because he was “out” while he was playing, albeit only to his manager and teammates. He didn’t have many at-bats; there were only five hundred and some in his career. Let’s be honest for a minute. Leaving aside the debate about homosexuality’s origins for a second, does anyone really think that in the history of baseball there have been only two gay players? Is the stigma so much that it has kept that many players from coming “out?”A quote from Bean  about his book: “This book is not a sad story about a victim of homophobia, or baseball mistreating me. It’s about what it’s like to have to live in the closet and to try to realize a dream under those restrictions.”

If a player did take steroids, good for them. They were willing to put the game before their body. That’s devotion (note the sarcasm). I don’t agree with steroid use, but I detest the righteous indignation so many people feel toward those who used them. Mark McGuire should have been a first-ballot HoFer. Instead, he is just barely above not being on the ballot the next year. Everyone knew he was on steroids, yet everyone was shocked when Canseco accused him. Shocked. Seriously. It was only a real surprise to Congress and casual/fair weather fans. Come on people. Grow up and give credit where credit is due.
These people are amazing ballplayers. What you (or you, or you, or I) view as a bad decision shouldn’t keep them out of the Hall… or cause us to publicly or privately condemn them.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.