The Emotion of Baseball

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So if you weren’t sitting with two boxes of Kleenex last night during the Say Good-Bye to Mariano Rivera segment of Yankees-Rays, you’re a heartless bastard with no feelings or emotions.  At least that was the consensus on social media last night.

No doubt it was a special moment at Yankee Stadium last night when Rivera came in to pitch for the last time at home (or anywhere) and I watched and thought it was great but did it punch my emotional buttons? No. Did I get misty eyed with Andy Pettite and Derek Jeter came out to remove Rivera from the game? Nope, sorry. Did I think it was a nice moment? Sure.

Mariano Rivera is without a doubt the greatest closer in baseball history. He is a sure first ballot Hall of Famer –he won’t be a unanimous first ballot honoree because we all know some shithead from the BBWAA will leave him off their ballot in “a look at me moment”-but  since he was not a New York Met, then my emotions stayed in check.

Sorry if that pisses off the ultra-sensitive types but I save my baseball tears for the New York Mets, both happy and sad occasions.

I don’t get why the baseball writing eggheads get so bent out of shape over events on the field that fall under the “unwritten rules” of baseball. Seriously, what is it about this code of conduct that baseball players have amongst themselves that pisses you off? Is it that it doesn’t fall under your view of baseball through the eyes of statistical analysis? This is no way a knock at the analytic work done by many of these folks, if you are a MLB organization that doesn’t have a fully staff analytic department, then you’re in the working in the dark ages. I love how  baseball execs have so much data to look at and study to make help make important decision in player personnel to help achieve the ultimate goal of winning the World Series.  You still have to take the human side into account as well.    

When Brain McCann waited at home plate for Carlos Gomez to arrive after putting on an embarrassing display of being an ass hat when he hit a home run of Paul Maholm, I thought it was one of the best on field statements I’ve seen in baseball in a long long time. McCann just standing there explaining to Gomez just what an asshole he was and daring him to go through him to touch home plate showed me that McCann was standing up for his pitcher, his teammates and his organization. He should be applauded. Sadly some folks didn’t see it the same way I did and to tell you the truth I was a bit surprised by some of the reaction.

As I said, it was mostly the people who seem to be the baseball intellectual types that thought McCann was a jerk.  None of the McCann bashers mentioned that Gomez was still holding a grudge from being hit by a pitch from Malhom (who throws about 85 mph tops and that’s with a running start) earlier in the year. The first pitch of the at bat, Gomez nearly swung himself out of his uniform as he wanted to hit the pitch to Buckhead . He damn near succeeded on the next pitch which he hit a towering home run. Gomez stood and admired the shot then glared at Maholm to which Freddie Freeman screamed at him and he yelled back at Freeman while he leisurely strolled the base paths like he was out for a constitutional on the deck of the Queen Mary. As Gomez went down the 3rd base line, staring into the Braves dugout, he was startled by McCann standing in his way of touching home plate, a destination Gomez never arrived at. At that point the benches emptied and the Braves went after Gomez and any Brewer that stood in their way.     

Now why anyone who watches, covers or has played baseball was surprised at McCann’s actions baffles me. It’s the same way I can’t understand people getting upset when Tiger Woods curses after he hits a bad shot.  Those people have obviously never been on a golf course, same with the folks who are appalled by baseball player’s behavior on the field.  

What do they think happens on the field and in the dugout and clubhouse? This may come as a shock to some of the finger sandwich and high tea crowd but baseball players use very bad language at times, in fact they use the bad language a lot on the umpires. Ball players (I hope I don’t offend anyone here) also spit nasty tobacco juice and sunflower seed shells and (hold on to your pearls Francis) blow their nose without a tissue. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. The floor of a dugout is as nasty as a subway platform.

As much as baseball has to go forward using statistical analysis in decision making it also cannot forget the on field emotion of the game as well. I don’t know about you but my love of baseball didn’t come from a calculator it came from first watching it, then playing it , then embracing the camaraderie of being on a team. There’s no better feeling than being on a team that has each other’s back. There’s no better feeling than playing on a team that wins. There is no better compliment in baseball than “he plays the game the right way”.  If you can’t understand that, then I have pity on you, you’re missing a great game.

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WIN SOME, LOSE SOME YOUR 2009 NY METS

Pitching a one hitter against the Mets right now is like going bass fishing and catching a minnow. Sure you caught a fish but how much skill did it take to reel in that little fellow? Same with pitching to the Mets just don’t pitch to David Wright and throw fastballs down the middle to the est of the lineup and you should be fine. End of scouting report.

No problem here with Mark DeRosa going to the Cardinals for pitcher Chris Perez and a PTBNL. Then Mets equivalent to Perez is Bobby Parnell and I wouldn’t trade Parnell for a 34 year old rental player. The Mets problems are beyond adding DeRosa.

With all due respect to some of my Highlander buddies (Ben Kabak, Alex Bleth, Rebecca Glass) just observing Highlander fans most of the young ones are clueless when it comes to not only the rules of baseball or the strategy of the game but have no idea at all about their teams history. The older ones have a Pavlovian way about them as soon as you mention the name of the team they all bark out “26 Championships” I guess what I’m saying they’re a sad bunch. Our team may not win much but we’re a better class of fan.

A little bit of Tim Redding is good a lot of Tim Redding…..ahh…not so good. If there is one pitcher on the Mets that is the picture of a mop up guy in the pen, it’s Tim Redding.

Ol’ Cholly Manuel laced into his team after a another loss on Friday night and his club responded with a 10-0 win over the Blue Jays. After losing two straight to the Highlanders, Jerry Manuel took his team to the Lemon Ice King of Corona and told them it’s not their fault we have a lot of injuries and “You’re all winners YEAH!!!!!” Maybe that’s why Ol’Cholly has a ring and J-Man doesn’t. I’d love to see J-Man lace into his team and remind them this is the big leagues and they need to compte like big leaguers even if he doesn’t believe half of his roster belongs here.

I hate to bring up this Michael Jackson is dead thing again but there are a few things bothering about this whole Jacko worship that’s on going. As I stated the other day I was not a big fan of Jackson the man or the music. Pop music is not what I listen to I’m a Garage/Punk kinda of guy plus all the folks who think that Jackson was the greatest showman alive obviously had never seen a Stones concert, a Queen concert or a Plasmatics concert but that is neither here nor there

My biggest trouble with Jackson is the fact he slept with little boys, and that is fucking sick. My feeling for this does not just lie with Jackson but with the Catholic church as well and it’s the reason why I have no respect for the clergy any more.

Now if you bring up this part of Jackson’s life to a fan of his you get called al kind of names from a racist (which is funny as the guy went above and beyond to be white) or a heartless fuck. And that is because the truth hurts. But his fans and the media have given him a pass on his past crimes and have treated him like an American hero in his passing.

Michael Vick didn’t sleep with little boys (as far as we know) but he did maim, torture and kill animals which is still despicable and I would love to see Vick tortured the same way he did to those dogs. I’m not some crazy PETA zealot but I do own pets and I’ve been around dogs and just the thought that this scumbag gained the trust of the dogs then made them fight and the ones who weren’t fighters he killed makes my blood boil. Again if you are anti Vick you’re a racist, and a heartless reactionary and the man severed his time and deserves another chance. Not to me as Michael Vick is nothing but a fucking coward and also he wasn’t a very good QB either but he will get a chance some place and his past history of cruelty and murder of dogs will be replaced with cheering fans and enablers

What I’m getting to in my long winded way is Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds are just some of the biggest stars in baseball who have been found to use performance drugs to enhance their play on the field and to recover from injury to stay on the field. Of course their actions were wrong as taking PED’s they way they did were unlawful but for the most part not against the laws of baseball well not until the jig was up and the Used Car Salesman acted with shock and horror that players were using PED’s, a performance worthy of an Oscar.

In no way do I condone the actions of the players involved in what is now the Steroid Scandal Era (especially since I’m reading American Icon which will become the essential reading when people look back on this time in baseball) but what I don’t get is how these players are treated worse than a guy who slept with little boys and a guy who killed dogs?

I just wish there was the outcry for the actions of Michael Jackson and Roger Vick like there is for Manny Ramirez who of the three committed the lesser crime.

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