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, May 3, 2011

Shin Soo Choo

So OK, you're Manny Acta and your Indians are literally kicking everyone's butt in the American League (the League of Champions). You're gunning for the former manager of your team's new team in the World Series because you've literally pulled a red hot start of the season out of nowhere and surprised the entire baseball world (if you don't know, you're obviously not following the standings). You're off to the best start in baseball (20-8), and you have to deal with one of your stars / idiots getting a DUI (over 2x the legal limit) in the midst of your best season since Ricky Vaughn, Jake Taylor, Willie Mays Hayes, Roger Dorn, and Pedro Cerrano.
This isn't some schlub that decided to put the key in the ignition after having a few too many - this was a star on the South Korean team when they won the gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games, which got the whole team dismissed from having to serve in compulsory military service (taking up a gun for the country in Korea is pretty much a necessity with Kim Jong-Il being their neighbor to the north). This is a guy that the team counts on for offensive production while ensuring that their fans (the few who show up for games) can have his likeness on a bobblehead.
So what do they do to make ammends? First, there is the "heartfelt" apology to all of his team:
"I am hopeful that this incident will not be a distraction to the Indians organization while we remain focused on continuing to play winning baseball."
But is this enough? We have to face the fact that he's the 6th Major Leaguer since January 1st to have a DUI (the Braves already have one of those to deal with from Derek Lowe, who just compounds that team's off the field problems), and that's saying something.
We have to wonder what it takes for athletes to realize that they're our idols, sure, but we're not bending over backwards to please them.
But alas, the world just isn't that smart right now. Take the case of the Texas cheerleader that the Supreme Court wouldn't hear (how it got past the school's problem solving capabilities is beyond me, but alas...). The cheerleader in question was 16 years old and had been assaulted by Rakheem Bolton, a basketball player who took a misdemeanor for his rape of her (I'm sure the anger management classes helped), and she was now being asked to cheer him by name as he stood on the foul line. She made a moral case of not cheering him because of the things that he had done to her, and the school told her to cheer or that she was finished with participating on the squad. In the end, she was kicked off the team and filed a lawsuit against the school, which she lost in federal court on the grounds that she was a mouthpiece for the school as a cheerleader and was cheering him for the school - not herself.
Were there ways to deal with this? Yes. Tell her to go to the bathroom if she wants to "sit the play out." Create a level of solidarity with the gals on the team. After all, this should be women defending women's sexual dignity (even as a man, I know what this dignity SHOULD mean). But no... everything's dumber in Texas (and Colorado - gotta love what passes for terms of endearment from former CU President Elizabeth Hoffman).
And was there ways to make Shin act like a responsible adult? This would have meant that Bud Selig took action on Miguel Cabrera, Adam Kennedy, Derek Lowe, Austin Kearns, or Coco Crisp. If there's no precedent, there can't be future punishment.
With management like Bud, do you ever wonder how there was a steroids era in baseball?

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