Stop it. Stop looking at me like that. If you want a Bobby Valentine/Red Sox dramaschlobfest post then go check out the worldwide leader in sports smut.
This is Red State Blue State.
And today we’re talking about THE MAYOR.
That’s right. While Larry Lucchino was busy going behind Red Sox GM Ben Cherington’s back to hire a sexy manager (note: it only took them TWO FRIGGIN MONTHS TO DO THE DAMN THANG), the Cincinnati Reds announced that Sean Casey — The Mayor — would be enshrined in the Reds Hall of Fame.
Hot diggity dang!
Nevermind that Casey got in the Reds Hall of Fame by way of a fan vote. Dude hit .305 lifetime for Cincinnati, not to mention the millions of smiles he instigated, just for being a big goofy loon armed with a sweet, sweeping lefty swing. The Mayor is one of baseball’s good guys — the kind you wish you could trade for the likes of Milton Bradley, Kevin Brown and John Rocker — and it’s about time the good guy got some love, even if it is in Cincinnati, where sports have gone to die (just kidding, Andy Dalton).
If you watch the MLB Network, you know The Mayor’s comedic timing and all-around fun fella persona aren’t just the stuff of clubhouse lore. He really is an unfettered goofball. And his laugh is contagious, especially after 6 beers.
And if this Mayor induction leaves you feeling nothing else, at the very least you should feel good that the guy who brought you the only 5-7-3 ground-out in baseball history (vid here, tentatively, until the MLBAM nazis take it down) will be memorialized along with this guy:
Hate me, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
As soon as I heard about the Mel Gibson stuff I automatically thought of
John Rocker. Thoughts?
I think, “How is it possible that Mel Gibson still has a career and Tom Cruise is considered the crazy one?” I mean, I get it. Jumping on couches on national TV, praying to aliens, dumping Nicole Kidman for Katie Holmes. That’s all pretty crazy. Even if I personally think Katie is a step up over Nicole. But punching out your girlfriend’s teeth, telling her you hope she gets gang raped, dropping the n-bomb like it’s going out of style? Dude, that is all kinds of crazy.
The comparison to Rocker makes sense to a limited extent because both men are racist pigs. But there’s a very important difference between the two men and their body of work. Rocker is straight up ignorant. For better or for worse, he has no idea what he’s saying. Think of him as a real life version of Kenny Powers. Gibson subscribes to a more insidious style. He slings around slurs with a practiced abandon. I’m not saying that ignorance is an excuse but it is something I can understand. Gibson is a vile person who actively represents the lowest common denominator. Think of him as an Australian version of Joerg Haider.
And there’s another important distinction between the two. Rocker launches verbal tirades but that’s where it ends. Gibson likes to use his fists and, if the reports end up being true, also likes using them on women half his size. Maybe it’s different down under but my parents didn’t raise me that way. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if my mom ever heard about me hitting a woman, she’d take the next flight to whatever town I’m living in at the time and beat the living snot out of me. You just don’t do that.
Rocker’s racism, while still dangerous, comes across as kind of cartoonish. But Gibson’s record of racist rants intimates a more fundamental level of psychosis that apparently manifests itself violently. It’s viral and I find it hard to forgive and also much more scary. I guess my point is this, Mark. On the surface the two men seem to have
quite a bit in common. But when you dig into it a little bit, the
comparison falls apart. If I had to make a choice, I’d much rather be dealing with Rocker than Gibson.
Ty Cobb could not play baseball today. Oh, maybe he had the skills and the guts to succeed but you wouldn’t find him in the majors. There’s one simple reason for this. Bigtime sports depend on marketing and it’s really hard to market a racist ^sshole. Just look at John Rocker. Say the wrong thing to the wrong person and soon enough you’re signing baseball cards at convention centers instead of trotting in from the bullpen.
Now, it hasn’t always been this way and the fact that a guy like Ty Cobb is in the Hall of Fame shows that sometimes those lesser angels of our nature don’t disqualify you from everything in life. But in the last few years, as baseball and other sports have become more dependent on the revenue generated by the family friendly aspects of the game, it has become rarer and rarer to see someone go off and really call it like they see it. That’s why I want to remind us all of some of the more glaring instances in a segment I like to call: Holy Sh!t! Did he really just say that?
I begin with my hometown Tigers and an homage to our recently departed designated hitter. Now, Sheff has been a fount of inspired insanity over the years and everyone knows about his comments regarding Latino players. He also famously said that Derek Jeter wasn’t “All the way black.” But the genius of Sheff can only truly be summed up in his response to a question about fathering two children before he was old enough to vote: “That was part of my plan. I didn’t want to be the typical athlete who’s single all his career.” Sheff shows that racism comes in a rainbow of colors.
Quite possibly the biggest homophobe and xenophobe to emerge from baseball since Ty Cobb, Rocker once remarked, “The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the
foreigners … You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not
hear anybody speaking English.” Even his annual apologies provided nonstop fun. Only Rocker could manage to understate the severity of a situation by starting out “My comments concerning persons afflicted with AIDS as
well as various minority groups have left people wondering if I am a
racist.” However, he also manages to retain the power to confound his critics and proved it once again by taking up with the beautiful Alicia. You stay classy, John Rocker!
However, nothing quite tops this video of Norm Coleman hosting the Espy’s a decade ago. Do yourself a favor. Even if you can’t quite sit through the entire eight and a half minutes, fast forward to the 7:53 minute mark and prepare to be amazed by the absolute sadistic ruthlessness with which he builds up Charles Woodson and then cuts him off at the ankles. It ain’t pretty but it gets him a spot on RSBS: