Perhaps it’s time for a significant third political party, the Surprise Party. It would represent the most vastly underrepresented U.S. citizens, those who value and even practice common sense.
MLB’s All-Star Game this season has been removed from the Atlanta area, a city with six black mayors among its past seven, because, at least in significant part, Georgia’s newly passed voting rules have been deemed by some as racist.
“Why are they racist?”
“Because we said they are.”
“OK, that’s good enough for us!”
The claim of racism is now so prevalent throughout the United States that it remains astonishing that hundreds of thousands will do anything — anything — to live in this horribly racist, fascist country via illegal entry across our southern borders.
OK, so, so as a matter of protest, this All-Star Game is lost to Atlanta, which doubtless would have paid homage to the recently deceased Henry Aaron.
Now whom does this decision hurt? Racists, real, suspected or imagined? Or airport workers, hotel workers, restaurant workers, cab drivers, ushers, vendors and on and on? Those punished will be most in need of an economic kick-start, provided COVID-19 restrictions are eased or lifted. Brilliant strategy!
China is plenty good for our Olympic teams and Nike baseball uniforms, but Atlanta will not be suffered by big league baseball.
But sports now capitulates to any group screaming “Racism!” to try to avoid being labeled “racist.” And the good folks in my life are sick of the endless media, commercial and sports-delivered presupposition that they’re all racists in need of an immediate overhaul.
The Surprise Party would never advocate or yield to such senseless political extortion and a further detachment from our sports based on selective claims of racism, as per their blind pandering to the insidiously and erroneously named, radical organization Black Lives Matter.
The Surprise Party would focus on ending the most significant but intentionally ignored racism — the thousands of blacks and Hispanics of all ages annually murdered by blacks and Hispanics in our cities. Crazy, I know.
But it’s all a con. The retirement of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams last week inspired a salute from his longtime Duke rival, Mike Krzyzewski — who celebrated Williams as a man who not only cared about the game, “but more importantly, the people who played it.”
So then why did Williams plead total ignorance when it came to light that his UNC career and successes were in part predicated on systemic academic fraud in maintaining player eligibility through high marks in no-show, no-work classes?
How is it possible he cared most “about the people” who played for him when he didn’t know or perhaps even care if his recruits would leave UNC with a functional education, starting with the ability to read and write?
How did his star guard Rashad McCants make the academic Dean’s List — four A’s in his four classes — when, by his own admission, he didn’t attend a single class? Or was that for perfect attendance at practice?
As the college’s highest paid employee, didn’t that matter to Williams or UNC?
Save it, Coach K. You’re full of it, and I suspect you know it.
New Mets owner Steve Cohen is another who is either detached from reality or doesn’t yet know the business of baseball.
He recently said he’d like to see a restoration of Mets Saturday afternoon games: “Why not? I don’t see why we can’t do that. It’s better for the kids, right? We want our next generation to enjoy being at the ballpark and enjoy their affiliation with the Mets, so I think we should do that.”
Why not? I don’t think I have to explain to a multi-billionaire hedge-funder that the answer is money. MLB — and Rob Manfred already made the hollow claim that kids are his top priority, while allowing the Mets to eliminate all Saturday afternoon home games — sells its soul and authority to network TV, which, for the sake of ratings and maximum payments to MLB, insists that its flagship Saturday games, east of the Mississippi, begin no earlier than 4:05 p.m.
That goes double for large TV market teams such as the Mets. The early Saturday afternoon games that served us as entry-level catnip for lifelong baseball fans have been auctioned to the highest bidder. If Cohen can reverse that reality — and he can’t — at least show us the courage of that conviction.
Cohen also said that naming former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to the Mets’ board of directors was because Christie is a devoted Mets fan, thus “this is not about politics.”
Exactly. Christie, a Republican, won the office then watched his approval ratings among all constituents plummet as he showed himself to be an arrogant, trash-talking bully so self-entitled he ordered Jersey beaches closed on the same day he took his family to the beach.
He was elected as a matter of politics, but grew disfavored as a matter of taste. He kicked sand in every voter’s face.
Then there’s Hedy Weinberg of the American Civil Liberties Union, who claimed that the common sense move by several states to limit girls’ sports to biological females — hard to believe this has even become a legitimate issue — is a “shameful” attempt to legalize bias.
To ensure fair play is now shameful? Perhaps Weinberg would be pleased to watch the girls in her life crushed in competitive sports against naturally stronger, faster and larger biological males. But even those who otherwise fully support transgender rights recognize that stacking the deck is antithetical to sports.
So support the Surprise Party.
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Season striking out early
Saw something on ESPN on Opening Day that was mind-blowing: Against the Dodgers, the Rockies tied the game with a squeeze play, the kind of baseball long ago lost to home run, strikeout and into-the-shift redundancies. It even helped Colorado win the game!
Other than that, more of the same. Lots more. Games dead on arrival with 20 or more strikeouts. In 10 innings, the Twins struck out 17 times. In eight innings at bat — 24 outs — the Tigers struck out 14 times. The Cubs struck out 13 times in nine innings.
On YES’s Yankees telecast, after the 10th inning began with a Blue Jays runner on second — he went on to score the winning run — David Cone lamented that this ridiculous rule was approved, but a more sensible both-leagues DH wasn’t. Yet designated hitters have become designated swingers, immersed in the home run-or-strikeout malaise. All-or-nothing DH Giancarlo Stanton whiffed three times.
Finally, even if it was Opening Day for the national pastime, YES had no time, need or inclination to air the national anthem from Yankee Stadium. These preposterous days, one is left to wonder if the anthem was deemed inappropriate and offensive.