Okay, Mr. Krause. You said your answer was simple, but in fact, it wasn’t. Spoken like a true politickin’ politician, you pulled the ‘ole ‘leave the answer up to the reader’ move. Nice job. Passing the buck has never appeared so graceful.
The right answer is: Shawn Chacon is replaceable. Blackball the guy, turn your back on him, punch him in the nuts, whatever — anyone who behaves like that doesn’t deserve the opportunity to play baseball at the Major League level and doesn’t deserve to make Major League dollar$. If I physically attacked my boss at work tomorrow I’m pretty sure word would get around (after I’m fired) to those in the Asian art world that I was bad news. No way I’d get a job in the industry again and I wouldn’t deserve it if I did.
If someone like Alex Rodriguez or Albert Pujols attacks his GM (neither ever would), I could entertain the idea of giving him a second chance based only on the idea that there is no replacing an Alex Rodriguez or an Albert Pujols. But Shawn Chacon? A paragon of mediocrity? No way. I can’t wait to pull into a Texas service station and have him rotate my tires.
But who cares anyway? Much more exciting things in the news today…
Like Kyle Lohse’s outstanding ESPN primetime performance against the now below-.500 Manuel-era Mets. Lohse has been an absolute stud this season. Everyone credits Dave Duncan — as they should — but Lohse must get props for putting the plan into action. Speaking of Dunc, I’m pretty sure Orel Hershiser was getting mad wood every time he brought up Dave Duncan during the ESPN telecast, which seemed to be every home inning. It’s okay. I was getting the same reaction.
And there was a lot of reaction from the sore-losing Northsiders in the Loop today. Hey, all you loser sCrUB fans who gave me hell last weekend — who refused to answer my phone calls, emails, text messages during the Southside whoopin’ ya’ll took this weekend, I got two words for you: EAT IT!
I feel better now.
And so does Nick Swisher… and Jim Thome, obviously. Don’t look now, but these two streaky hitters are getting hot and there’s no limit to the damage they can do in tandem alongside Quentin and Dye. Look out world, look out.
Now that the Windy City (Crosstown) Classic is over, and we’re all even, I think it’s time to pay homage to the absolute worst commercial in the history of Chicago. Leave it to Chevrolet to think it’d be really awesome for an old Italian and an aging Latino to perform a rap song about baseball in the Second City. Not since Puff Daddy and Mase destroyed the legendary memory of Biggie has the music world seen such an abomination of a duo.
In case you missed it, or in case you don’t live in Chicago, here it is. I’m just warning you: Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right:
Earlier this week, Shawn Chacon physically attacked Astros’ GM Ed Wade, which ultimately led to his dismissal from the team. Does Chacon, or any other player guilty of similar actions, deserve a second chance?
This whole past week has been rife with comparisons to Latrell Sprewell and his antics of yesteryear. At this point, the general consensus seems to be that Chacon is a second-rate pitcher who got what he deserved. However, I’m not so sure.
Let me begin by saying that what Chacon did was barbaric and unforgivable. However, the same people who are decrying his actions have no problem with teammates beating on each other in the dugout or generally being buffoons. When Carlos Zambrano and Michael Barrett went at it in the Cubs dugout last summer, there was no real outcry. People were upset but the Cubs merely put Barrett on the trading block and managed to get rid of him. Problem solved.
The real problem here is not out of control baseball players (or for that matter, football or basketball players). The problem is that we have created a modern day gladiator class in professional sports but then we’re upset when they act like barbarians. Listen, what do you think is going to happen when you’re looking the other way while these guys are pumping steroids and HGH? Do you think that does good things to their bodies or their brains? If anything, we’re lucky no one has died (although I’m still not convinced that Barry Bonds’ head won’t full on explode one of these days). These athletes are expected to perform at a ridiculously high level of competition on a continuous basis so some sort of additive is necessary if they want to stay healthy. If you want them to perform so you can be entertained and so the owners can make money, you also accept the consequences.
And here’s where the events with Chacon come into play. He had not been performing as well as expected. He was being demoted to the bullpen. That meant that some action had to be taken. But when you’re dealing with someone’s livelihood at that level, you need to have some tact. So, when the GM presents the decision in a nasty way to a guy who already knows that things haven’t been going well, what does he expect is going to happen? Here’s my take on it: If you can’t relate to the player, leave the news to someone who can. It will probably result in a lot less bruises.
But this takes us to your actual question, does a player so indicted deserve a second chance. My answer is simple. Sports are entertainment, athletes are entertainers. If they can still entertain and you are comfortable with the possible consequences, bring ’em back. You’re going to run a risk and if you don’t think you can keep the person in line, don’t do it. But the owners and managers are just as at fault as the players and even the fans in creating this situation so it ultimately comes down to the economic question (as does everything in entertainment). So, do the math. If you thought a gladiator had a chance at killing the emperor, you left him out of the ring. If you think an athlete might kill his manager, leave him off the team. It’s as simple as that.