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.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Albert Belle

In honor of Donny Tobolski, it's time to announce all of the baseball people that qualify as "a fat ass who should stop eating fast food, and is a douche bag." See, it's my Constitutional right to let them know how much they suck, and if they disagree, I'll just get my mom to defend me because I don't deserve to have consequences like suspension marring my future because I'm just an id driven kid that can't be held accountable for what I do.
I'd probably start with Cap Anson since he was responsible for the gentleman's agreement. However, he's not a fat ass. He has 3,435 hit and over 2,000 RBIs, so he's an accomplished athlete, it's just that he has some serious racist issues with including all people. If Dale Carnegie sat down with him and told him how to win friends and influence people, he might be OK, but we'll never know since he's dead.
Now, there are a lot of people that dislike George Steinbrenner as well, but see, here's the things: 1) he made for good humor on Seinfeld as George Costanza's boss, and 2) he may have tried to get the Yankees to win at all costs (ask Dave Winfield and ask those who benefited from Yankee revenue sharing), but he did bring Roger Maris back to the game. To a lot of Boston Red Sox fans, he might be the Evil Empire, but he rescued Maris from Baseball Purgatory, so that's not a fat ass douche bag action.
Albert Belle really was a jerk, but he was a self-admitted "angry black man." Does this sound like an apology, a realization, or a call to be instated in Cooperstown? Steroids accusations, stalking his ex-girlfriend after placing a tracking device on her car and threatening her, chasing kids that were egging his house off his property in an SUV, corked bats, almost ending Fernando Vina with a hard slide, and just being an all purpose thug. In short, he was the talented version of the Devil Rays and Nationals' Elijah Dukes. With that said, are they and guys like Gary Sheffield really jerks or just a product of their environment? That said, if we're name calling, should we stick with fat ass douche bags or is there a more proper name to use? After all, it should be the responsibility of the person doing the name calling to at least accurately describe said person.
For Tolbolski, fat ass douche bag was simply a tag for someone who gave too much homework. Was that really accurate or fair? Just because his teacher could have a weight problem, is that reason enough to hone in on his obesity? Shouldn't we be focusing on people first language?
Sure, we hammer Ryan Howard and King Whiff Mark Reynolds for their frequent strikeouts, but that is addressing a problem with their job performance, something that is objective and something that they get paid a lot of money not to do. We may feel that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are soon going to be getting their prostates examined in the pokey, but was that their doing or ours? In some respects, we blame this as much on a reckless federal government that chooses to prosecute for former players for steroids instead of going after terrorists. And on the subject of terrorists, we may find a picture of Osama Bin Laden wearing a Yankee symbol on his turban as fun (thus equating that many unsavory characters like the Yankees), but let's be honest... it's a proven fact that people should run if they see a person in Yankees attire coming up to them in the dark, but don't believe me... believe the New York Times article!
Nevertheless, it's easy in Blog Land to get caught up in dishing hate on specific people by name. We have that privilege as bloggers, and we have a responsibility to make sure that we're objective and not ranting on real life things that can hurt our lives because we stopped being the professionals we are supposed to be in our real lives. In the end, that's what it's really about - even if athletes, entertainers, and politicians give us such fodder to attack them for (and New York Times v. Sullivan gives us the right), there is still a feeling that there are lines we should be able to protect ourselves from if people cross them. Just ask Tony Larussa. Whether it would have won in a court of law before Twitter made nice, one wonders, but alas... it's a brave new world of hatred and vile comments we can make.
In this, let's hope that we can always stay as professional as we need to.

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