Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ingrates

  • How dare you?!?

The unthinkable audacity and rampant ingratitude shown by fan bases to loyal soldiers is bad enough in and of itself; but to take the leader of a championship team who's done nothing but do honor to himself and his uniform is beyond unthinkable; it's beyond ungrateful; it's offensive.

Similar to the Phillies fans booing of Mike Schmidt in the 70s and 80s, the Yankee fans have taken to referring to Derek Jeter as "Captain DP" or some other negative term, twisting the honor of being Yankees captain into a way to ridicule him for grounding into double plays.

Getting booed by the fans in Philly isn't a remote experience because they boo everyone based on the last 3 seconds of their existence on this planet----they not only booed Schmidt, they booed Santa Claus!!

The Yankees should be different. Despite the way they've been spoiled in the past 15 years, one would think Yankee fans would have enough awareness to realize that there are certain players for whom booing and specious criticism are not an option.

There's a difference between saying, "Derek, you shouldn't have done that" as was appropriate when he bunted with two strikes in game 2 of the World Series last year; and calling him "Captain DP".

Considering everything he's done for the franchise, Jeter should be absolved of any and all long term abuse. A prime example of the dichotomy in the growth and development of a prospect as a player and a human being is the comparison of Jeter and the Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies. Gillies was arrested and charged with cocaine possession in Florida on Friday----Story.

For every young player who is thrust into the spotlight; has a load of money, accolades and fame, the world is a minefield. Jeter, who became a star at age 22 as a rookie leader on a championship team, has deftly navigated his way through the pitfalls that accompany such an existence. Amid all the tabloid stories, the relationships with high-profile starlets and stars; and on-field success, there's never been one slip; not one foible; not one instance where Jeter's image has been sullied by behaviors that would embarrass him or the team.

At age 22, the guy was dating Mariah Carey!!

But still he maintained. He maintained that classy aura of playing the game the right way and behaving appropriately off the field. He's not a faux angel, exhibiting private behaviors that would detonate the crafted public persona a la Steve Garvey, but as a normal human being who had his fun, walked in upper echelon circles and managed to not do anything stupid in an atmosphere where you can guarantee the opportunities to be stupid were plentiful.

No drugs (recreations or performance enhancing); no sex scandals; no DUIs; no interference in player/fan/management disputes; nothing embarrassing ever befell Jeter.

On the field, he led; he produced; he played every single day; and he won. Repeatedly.

Now, as he's reaching the final phase of his career at age 36, he's slowed down a bit and is declining----as is a natural progression for one who's played clean----the fans have lost sight of what he's done for them; they've forgotten what it's like to have a player who's more style than substance; who was more interested in his own image than in doing what's best for the team. It was the loser mercenaries that led to the Yankees annual disappointment in the 1980s; and partially to their failure to win a championship between 2001 and 2009.

Captain DP?

Yankee fans who indulge in this style of attack need a wake-up call. They're taking him for granted; whether that's the natural arrogance from winning or pure ignorance is unimportant. What is important is that they'll learn one day when he's gone; when they have someone at the plate in a tight spot and sees him fail repeatedly because he doesn't have the stomach to handle the pressure; or that he misbehaves off the field and uses his fame to wriggle out of trouble.

Then they'll understand.

Or maybe they won't.

Anyone who has the nerve to criticize Derek Jeter is more than likely too idiotic to understand anything and their fate is a just reward.

Captain DP?

I think not.

As I mentioned earlier, Phillies outfield prospect Tyson Gillies was arrested for cocaine possession. Gillies was one of the players acquired in the trade of Cliff Lee to the Mariners.

I haven't seen it anywhere yet (haven't really looked), but anyone who uses this incident as a hammer to bash Phillies' GM Ruben Amaro Jr. for trading Lee for Gillies is a fool, plain and simple.

I hated the Lee trade, but it never had anything to do with the prospects the Phillies received; it was because the entire strategy was flawed. They've played brilliantly since the acquisition of Roy Oswalt and now they're getting their injured stars back, so they'll be in playoff contention all the way to the end----you can never count out a team that's veteran-laden and has shown the courage the Phillies have in recent years.

Time will tell whether they were right in doing what they did. The confluence of events----Oswalt wanting out of Houston; the Astros being willing to pay a chunk of Oswalt's salary; the pitcher waiving his no-trade clause to go to Philadelphia without his 2012 option being exercised----have all benefited the club and eased the sting of losing Lee.

They'd have been better off keeping Lee and would still have J.A. Happ as well.

That's neither here nor there.

Much like the absurdity of attacking the Mets for Francisco Rodriguez beating up his father-in-law in the Citi Field family room, what were the Phillies supposed to do about this? Gillies is 21-years-old. They can't babysit grown men 24-hours a day. Sometimes young people are going to do things like this. The only option for a club is to support their player, try to help him with the problem and do their best to develop his talent. There's no connection between the club, the trade and the incident unless they knew about drug use and ignored it----something I find hard to believe. To concoct a connection is cheap, pathetic and indicative of a lack of both baseball knowledge and an understanding of human beings.

There are a couple of interesting ancillary factors to this deal.

First, Lee is an upstanding man; a good player; and will benefit the Braves for the stretch run. What I don't understand is his reluctance to leave the Cubs. The team had a deal in place to send Lee to the Angels a month ago and he invoked his no-trade clause to kill it.

The Cubs weren't in contention then, but it was a bit more understandable that he didn't want to uproot his whole life and go to Anaheim and join the Angels, whose playoff hopes were on life-support as well; but he even hesitated before accepting the trade to the Braves as the Cubs have quit on the season and fallen 20 games under .500; the Braves are a team with a relatively harmonious clubhouse and a legitimate World Series shot----why the pause?

Another aspect of the trade is the Braves decision to disable Troy Glaus (injured and unable to move has become his template) and give him some work at third base when he begins his rehab assignment.

This is not going to work. Glaus's range at first base was limited to how far to the left and right his 6'5" 240 lbs were able to fall like a tree, but at third base? Forget it.

Overall, it's a good move for the Braves even if the prospects they sent to the Cubs----RHPs Robinson Lopez and Tyrelle Harris and LHP Jeffrey Lorick----work out and produce in Chicago; the Braves are loaded with pitching and their time to win is now. Lee can help them with that more than Glaus could've at first base.

  • Viewer Mail 8.21.2010:

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte:


What worries me as a Yankee fan is Pettitte having to testify at the trial, whenever it is. He escaped having to sit across the room from Clemens last time, but I'm sure he'll be called for this round. It's bound to be tough for him.


One would assume that Pettitte will do what needs to be done. I'd hope that Clemens does the smart thing and accepts a plea deal to end this mess, but we all know he won't.


The Brooklyn Trolley Blogger (Brooklyn Capo) writes RE Pettitte and Clemens:


I would think it will be easier for Andy this time. Clemens said the two don't even speak to each other anymore. His wife will probably be the one to do him in. It's just a matter of asking the right questions. He refused a plea to avert jail time so I guess he's committed to the process. The Gov't already called him a liar. The damage is done. Someone tell Suzyn Waldman she can start crying now.


I'd love to know what's going through Clemens's head as this is all coming down. Will he be glaring at Pettitte as he's "betrayed" by his friend; or will he finally realize that fawning sycophants are not his friends and that Andy Pettitte is his friend?

Since you mentioned Suzyn, I'm brought back to a passage in Jane's book when she was granted an audience with the Suzyn and Suzyn made the authoritative statement regarding Alex Rodriguez's alleged PED use (I'm paraphrasing from memory), "Alex has never done steroids."

Yah. Suzyn would know.


Yankee Master writes RE PEDs and Roger Clemens:


I hate to say it, but I don't think Congress has any business involving itself in this matter anyway. The problem for ol' Roger is that he willingly and freely spoke to them and answered their questions. While I do think that there is a huge double standard when it comes to politicians and honesty, I also think that The Rocket has blown his last fuse on this one. Personally, I don't care if players used "PEDs" (which we now know can include even legal, over the counter supplements and protein powder) or not. The game of baseball was dying in popularity and the players during this era did what every one of them, (yes, I believe Cal Ripken used some stuff that is considered "PED" to get over nagging injuries during his Ironman streak) did. I don't think we should disregard 25 years of baseball and statistics, I think we should take it for what it was- a period of time in which advances in nutritional supplementation and the bodybuilding culture led some athletes to do what they had to do in order to compete. No one has ever shown evidence (that I know of) that someone using HGH or anything else had a higher success rate hitting the curveball than someone who didn't.


Excellent comment. The Prince is impressed.

I dunno about Ripken and can't say anything about that one way or the other----anything's possible; but with Clemens it appeared to be the bravado and uncompromising nature he brought with him to the mound and was a giant part of his image that forced him to want to confront his accusers when one would assume that everyone from his lawyers to his wife were telling him to keep his mouth shut.

He's going out the way he came in. In a weird way, it's admirable.


Max Stevens writes RE Bobby Parnell:


Parnell throws very hard. He's been uncorking some gas the last few times. I would love to see him seize this opportunity and become a great closer for the Mets. He looked very poised tonight. I know it's the Pirates, but I was still pretty impressed.


The thing that's made me scratch my head is how he's suddenly blasting it at 102 now that K-Rod's gone. Is it that he wants the closer's job and his natural competitiveness is pumping up his fastball? Was K-Rod a problem in the bullpen?

Either way, it's a good sign. That fastball is a sight to behold.

I was a guest on Thursday with Sal at SportsFan Buzz. You can click the link to Sal's site to download the Podcast or listen directly here. Also, check Sal's Facebook page here.

My book is still available on Amazon, I-Universe and Barnes and Noble.com. It's available for download as an E-book here. You can also now get it for less that five bucks on BN via download here.

4 comments:

She-Fan said...

Funny you mention the Suzyn reference in my book. I'm listening to her now during the game and was wondering what she's thinking about Clemens. Does she wish she could take back her overheated celebration when he rejoined the team? Probably not.

Brooklyn Trolley Blogger said...

YankeeMaster ~ Here's the problem, Congress affords Baseball anti-trust exemption. Therefore Baseball enjoys the benefit of being an insulated entity. When Gov't (probably prodded by Jim Bunning and a few others) decides to check in on the NATIONAL Pastime from time to time, they are justified. They aren't going after Rocket because he did steroids. He like Martha Stewart lied to Congress. Congress has always gone after those who lied to them; from all walks of life. Outside of that little detail, I don't like a meddlesome government either and what you say speaks loud and clear to me. But excuse Congress for doing what Fay Vincent wanted to do over 20 years ago but whom the owners stopped cold in his tracks. The instituting of Selig as C'mish was all part of a greater plan by the owners to alleviate themselves of Good C'mishes who really did have the best interests of Baseball foremost on their mind. Selig, or whomever was going to be made Commissioner then, would surely be a person who had the OWNERS best interest foremost on their mind. Selig; of the owners; by the owners; for the owners. He could have done what Vincent wanted to do which was get on the soapbox, raise the concerns of PED usage and putting the pressure squarely on the PA to respond in the court of public opinion. Maybe then Donald Fehr could have been broken. But Selig didn't try. And (Fehr is equally to blame but his mandate is to protect the membership). For TWENTY-plus years Selig stayed mute. If Congress wants to step in from time to time because they allow Baseball (the only ones) to exists with anti-trust exemption, be happy because SELIG blew it and that's why we are where we are. When the owners said HomeRuns are good, Selig listened. Now look at our game and our records...and our attitudes. I submit to you we are more apathetic to the game now than we were in 1995 after the strike. Baseball did not need McGwire and Sosa to save it. That is BULL$hit right there! because Baseball, since 1846 has survived every vice man has tried to sully the game with. So to all that buy that crap they saved the game...You have no idea what you're talking about. Read your history people. Steroids, though harmful to our record books and our pockets in the price we pay for tickets, appears as a mere pimple on baseball's ass compared to the things players and owners and direct competition from rivals hath wrought. Baseball is the megalith it is because of vices! Think about it.

I did it again didn't I?
Whew!
I think this is going to blast your page with another 5 copies.

Brooklyn Trolley Blogger said...

YankeeMaster ~ Here's the problem, Congress affords Baseball anti-trust exemption. Therefore Baseball enjoys the benefit of being an insulated entity. When Gov't (probably prodded by Jim Bunning and a few others) decides to check in on the NATIONAL Pastime from time to time, they are justified. They aren't going after Rocket because he did steroids. He like Martha Stewart lied to Congress. Congress has always gone after those who lied to them; from all walks of life. Outside of that little detail, I don't like a meddlesome government either and what you say speaks loud and clear to me. But excuse Congress for doing what Fay Vincent wanted to do over 20 years ago but whom the owners stopped cold in his tracks. The instituting of Selig as C'mish was all part of a greater plan by the owners to alleviate themselves of Good C'mishes who really did have the best interests of Baseball foremost on their mind. Selig, or whomever was going to be made Commissioner then, would surely be a person who had the OWNERS best interest foremost on their mind. Selig; of the owners; by the owners; for the owners. He could have done what Vincent wanted to do which was get on the soapbox, raise the concerns of PED usage and putting the pressure squarely on the PA to respond in the court of public opinion. Maybe then Donald Fehr could have been broken. But Selig didn't try. And (Fehr is equally to blame but his mandate is to protect the membership). For TWENTY-plus years Selig stayed mute. If Congress wants to step in from time to time because they allow Baseball (the only ones) to exists with anti-trust exemption, be happy because SELIG blew it and that's why we are where we are. When the owners said HomeRuns are good, Selig listened. Now look at our game and our records...and our attitudes. I submit to you we are more apathetic to the game now than we were in 1995 after the strike. Baseball did not need McGwire and Sosa to save it. That is BULL$hit right there! because Baseball, since 1846 has survived every vice man has tried to sully the game with. So to all that buy that crap they saved the game...You have no idea what you're talking about. Read your history people. Steroids, though harmful to our record books and our pockets in the price we pay for tickets, appears as a mere pimple on baseball's ass compared to the things players and owners and direct competition from rivals hath wrought. Baseball is the megalith it is because of vices! Think about it.

I did it again didn't I?
Whew!
I think this is going to blast your page with another 5 copies.

Brooklyn Trolley Blogger said...

...LOL furthermore I say > Americans are more empathetic to labor issues (even if we're talking about Millionaires versus Billionaires) than they are to a cheater. That should define my "apathetic line" a little more clearly.