A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ted Williams

The snow has finished falling and minds turn to things that seem to matter in the moment - shoveling snow, which I'm procrastinating. For many people, after this will be useless entertainment news, but then again, isn't baseball meaningless entertainment news? It sure beats giving oneself an ulcer and a dose of extra hate thinking about breaking Randy Johnson to throw a 95 mile per hour fastball at Fred Phelps and his family (as if they were some bird just cruising through). But now that Arizona has decided that it needs to continue to be the forward thinking state and protect funerals from schizophrenic hate rants filled with anti-gay sentiment and death to America rhetoric, we can hopefully bring this funeral protesting nonsense to an end - even if it will take arresting the Phelps family and bringing the decision to the Supreme Court. As William Howard Taft once said, there are limits to freedom of speech, and with all forms of speech, academic, political, or blogging random thoughts, there are consequences. If it takes the biker gangs protecting the family of Christina Taylor Green from having to deal with the same thing that families of dead military members, Amish children, space shuttle victims, and various other "heathens" have had to endure, the time is coming to stop pretending this is about free speech. But alas, it's easy to support unpopular causes when it's politically correct to wrap our bodies in the Constitution like it was some kind of all purpose Teflon shield. When some would choose to care about everything and in effect care about nothing in their causes, we instead wonder how any sane minded person could condone this continued horror for the families of any tragedy, we instead look for the a "something good" to take us away from this need for hatred and misinterpretation of holy books to find something good, something that we can get behind.
And for the media, that's Ted Williams.
No, not the Ted Williams who hit .406 in 1941 and .388 in 1957. It's not the Ted Williams who gave up parts of 5 seasons to military service in Korea and World War 2. It's not the dedicated Marine who crashed his plane, but survived to come back and hit 521 home runs over his career (and only strike out 709 times - since 2007, Whiff King Mark Reynolds has failed in that way 767 times). While this Ted might not have a head attached to his corpse anymore and he only has 2,654 hits, he did give up 5 prime seasons to World War 2. If you add in 900 hits (conservatively), where does that put him on the list?
And if you brought that Ted back today, you know he would be swearing up a blue streak thinking that Ted Williams, the homeless voice is currently more searched on Google than the real Ted Williams. Ted would be even angrier at his namesake for usurping his rightful place in fame as the greatest hitter ever than he was at the press and some of his teammates who painted him negatively.
But alas, the world is a strange place and fame is fleeting. That's why the lesser Ted Williams has already been detained for fighting with his daughter (1 of 9 kids - mind you only 5 are willing to reunite with him in his time of macaroni and cheese voice-overs and Dr. Phil appearances). Will he get the full 15 minutes? Will he stay sober? Will he return to a life of petty crime?
All I know is that I've never watched the You Tube video - even when it first came out and it went viral (and all I could think of was some kind of exploitation - worse than the REAL Ted Williams' son exploited his father for autographs on memorabilia and hat wearing episodes at the 1999 All Star Game at Fenway).
It's a sad, sad world, but yeah... it's still early in the year, and we still need our diversions.
The real world is just too scary and it's nice that we can all feel good about someone getting his / her life together again.

No comments:

Post a Comment