When people mention the Pittsburgh Pirates, you assume that nothing good can follow. But there are exceptions to that rule, at least if you believe Time magazine. Two weeks ago Time not only said the Pirates are doing something right, they also said the organization is an example to be followed.
It’s no secret that MLB spends a lot of money looking for fresh talent overseas. Many of the greatest players in the game today and in the past are products of that search. MLB has harvested the fertile fields of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Curacao (just to name a few) to give us players like Big Papi, Johan Santana and Andruw Jones. That is not going to stop.
But Time raises the alarmist cry, decrying the conditions in the DR and castigating teams for not providing the same level of living standards the writer claims exist for young players in the US. At the same time, the article gets a little schizophrenic, insinuating that the DR will go the way of PR if baseball decides to treat them the same way it now deals with the territory. The article claims, “After the U.S. commonwealth became subject to the draft in the (sic) 1989, the
number of Puerto Rican signees remained flat, while those in the D.R.
What I read in that, though, is that despite Puerto Rican players now going through the draft, the number entering MLB each year stayed constant. If anything, that seems to imply that the system worked. Puerto Ricans still made it to the majors, they just followed a route that ensured they got their fair share. And if you can play, you’re going to get paid.
Look, it’s no secret that many kids see sports as a way out of a bad situation. That’s just as true in the US as it is in the DR. But do we crucify Nike for running basketball tournaments in the inner city where they can then get their hooks into promising young talent? Do you think Coach K runs a basketball camp each year out of the kindness of his heart? Both Nike and Krzyzewski realize that most of those kids are never going to make it, even at the collegiate level. And it’s not like they’re taking care of them when the inevitable happens and the dream of an NBA career shatters.
This is how sports operate. They offer the hope of a better future but that future is only available to a very select group. What happens in the DR is sad and most of these kids will never end up making it. But it’s even more sad that the government of the DR can’t provide basic services to its citizens and MLB is supposed to step in and fill the gap. At least baseball offers them a dream. That’s a lot more than the Pirates offer their fans.
Special thanks to L for the article
Though I cannot necessarily prove this theory in conventional form, as an honest human being with an affinity for disclosure, I assure you that I have good reason to believe both Republican juggernauts Ann “She-Devil” Coulter and Rush “Just Call Me Jabba” Limbaugh were hunched over their television sets last night vehemently rooting against Team USA, praying to their hypocritical conservative god that Team Puerto Rico would find a way to quell the dreams and aspirations of US Americans worldwide.
It didn’t work.
Jimmy Rollins and David Wright became the baseball versions of Barack Obama and Joe Biden — once bitter rivals who put aside their differences, bridged the gap and brought home a win when it mattered the most.
Get over it.
That goes for my colleague, Mr. Allen Krause as well. Because we all know that Mr. Krause would rather see Rollins and Wright duke out that “choke-fest” moniker on the field — the last man standing to be crowned the argument’s winner; but if we US Americans are really about anything, we are about coming together in times of need, when it matters most.
Unless you are a Republican, of course.
And though Obama has done a fine job of staying the course early on in his presidency, it appears he finally gave in and enlightened the snickering skeptics and delinquent ditto-heads by unintentionally posing as a Tusken Raider for the cameras:
This unfortunate photographic gaffe comes on the heels of an equally embarrassing egregious error regarding the double-talk surrounding those suspiciously infuriating AIG bonuses paid out to the very individuals responsible for schmucking the company’s total worth in the first place.
Are the Dems backpedaling on their original outcries?
Does this reflect poorly on the majority administration?
More harm than good, I would say.
Should we blindly follow the GOP sideshow leaders and trust that malcontent dissension is the social bonding agent of the future?
Rollins and Wright. Braun and Lilly. Jeter and Youk.
There is a time and place to battle it out, folks. But when enemy minds come through together in the clutch? That, my friends, is what makes the United States of America the greatest country on earth.
Ah… If only politics would mirror baseball.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
There is no Irish in baseball. Well, unless you include Jeff Samardzija, formerly of the Fightin’ Irish from Notre Dame. But today is a good day so I don’t want to talk about that. No, today is a day when we celebrate the completely fabricated story of St. Patrick ridding the Emerald Isle of snakes. However, apparently there are snakes aplenty within the comfy confines of the World Baseball Classic.
Much attention has been focused over the past few days on the Venezuelan fans booing of Magglio Ordonez. Now, when you seem to have become the lapdog of old friend of RSBS, Hugo Chavez and you are playing in front of a bunch of people who left Venezuela because of Hugo Chavez, well, it makes sense that something has to give. And so far that something has been any residual love for Maggs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about booing hated players. My brothers have made a sport of riling opposing outfielders from the cheap seats in left field and I’ve been known to throw a few choice words the way of batters during tight softball games. But the thing those people have in common is that they play for the opposing team. When you have become a pariah to even your own fans, it might be time to rethink your actions.
I’ll admit, I hated Maggs, too, but only when he was on the White Sox. Once he joined the Tigers and especially after that killer blast against the A’s that sent the Tigers to the 2006 World Series, he could do no wrong. But supporting the man who has managed to turn his capital city into the murder capital of the world? That might not have been the best choice.
Against Puerto Rico, some of the hatred seemed to subside and in a tight game, the Venezuelan fans were cheering every hit their team could muster. But pity the man if he pulls a Buckner or manages to strike out at an inopportune moment. Maggs, you’re on notice.