Remember Marge Schott? Despite owning a team that won the World Series and being one of the first women to own a baseball team without inheriting it, she’s still best known for her racist slurs and comments on Hitler’s domestic policies. MLB eventually pushed her into selling the team in an effort to end what had become a huge embarrassment to the game.
Now, Mitt Romney hasn’t yet come out in favor of Hitler’s domestic policies and, although his church has some interesting views on minorities (as do most religions), he hasn’t yet had a George Allen moment. However, he illustrated this week why he isn’t ready to be President.
It’s interesting that Romney’s snafu took place on September 11. The thing that still stands out in my mind about that day in 2001 was the sense of unity afterward. Sure, it didn’t last, but for a few weeks we truly were all “just Americans.” We rallied around our country in its time of need and banded together to support each other.
Compare this with Romney’s response to the killing of US Ambassador Chris Stevens this past week. Instead of rallying behind the President, the country and the diplomats standing in harm’s way, Romney offered the following statement:
It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.
Now, aside from being patently untrue and misleading, a fact which Romney was made aware of and still refused to recant, it was also hardly the time or place to make such a statement, while the attacks were still ongoing and it was unclear how many people had died. It’s also telling that the statement was made without having all the facts and contained blatant lies. Granted, unapologetic lies have become a mainstay of the Romney-Ryan campaign but when it comes to Americans serving and dying for their country overseas, there’s simply no excuse for slandering them and their Commander-in-Chief.
It’s still possible that Romney could win the election. It’s also likely that he will continue this line of attack. But it’s essential that American voters see Romney for who he really is, just like MLB eventually had to do with Marge Schott.
For me, the tragedy of 9/11 cannot be separated from the baseball that eventually helped ease the grief. The few moments of distraction it provided during a time when nothing else really made sense cannot be overstated. For a bonafide baseball nerd like myself, the game is always the best medicine.
In the fall of 2001, the prescription was Mike Piazza, Derek Jeter and one of the most dramatic World Series ever played.
Last night, during my first visit to New York’s gorgeous and amenity laden Citi Field, I was surrounded by people who felt exactly the same as me. And that, my friends, is a very powerful thing.
September 11th has become a big day for America and baseball is a big part of it. Any thoughts?
Over the past few days I’ve talked to a lot of non-American friends and we’ve shared stories about where we were when we heard the news on September 11, 2001. Everyone can recall exactly where they were, exactly what they were doing. In fact, I’ve heard more than a few times that 9/11 is the one day when the entire world remembers where they were when they heard about the attack.
The thing about September 11th is that although it happened in New York, it wasn’t just an American event. The people in the World Trade Center came from all over the world to work in New York. 9/11 wasn’t an attack on America. It was an attack on an open, liberal way of life enjoyed in many parts of the world and epitomized by the US that happened to take place in the New York.
That’s why I have a problem with what MLB has done in remembrance of 9/11. I still remember the first time I heard “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch instead of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” I sat there wondering what was going on. First off, what place does religion have at the ballpark? And secondly, in remembrance of an event that affected the entire world and redefined that world in the blink of an eye, why a song that disregards the rest of the world?
“While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that’s free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. “
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
Let’s face it, a healthy percentage of the major leagues is made up of people who aren’t necessarily US citizens. Baseball has also actively sought to increase its allure outside of the US. So why would they replace “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” a song that celebrates the sport, with a nationalistic song that borders on jingoism? Yes, I know that baseball is America’s pastime. And I know that “God Bless America” is no longer sung during every game at every stadium. But that’s not the point.
September 11th profoundly affected the American national psyche. It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed because the wound still hasn’t healed and sometimes feels as fresh as it did that day. We should never forget what happened but we should also realize that the whole world felt that pain and continues to feel its effects. MLB needs to realize that, too, and if they can’t find a song more inclusive than “God Bless America,” maybe it’s time they went back to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster? Want to find out which bone really is the most patriotic one in Jeff’s body? Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by commenting below.
And despite the acidic aftertaste of all-things ESPN, I do have to admit that Sunday Night Baseball has been refreshingly awesome in 2011. Thank you, Dan. Thank you, Orel. Thank you, Bobby.
Tomorrow night, however, will be an extra special affair: Sunday Night Baseball on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, live from New York’s Citi Field.
And I will be there.
My healthy ears are eager to pair up with my attentive eyes, to take it all in, to remember with humility, to join in the communitas and the powerful emotional connection we all share with this truly remarkable pastime.
It’s gonna be a special night.
1. Reinstate the All-Star Game as an exhibition game with no World Series home field implications
2. Get Charlie Sheen to go away
3. Figure out what the hell Brian Wilson’s beard is actually made of.
If we can do all of the above, then I would really be impressed.
And the world will thank us.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
In a year as dynamic as US American voters are shortsighted, finding just the right words to succinctly summarize all the goings on of MMX isn’t really as hard as I thought it might be. Sure, ‘Merican culture still clings to the absurd Canadian import or two and the global economy continues its tailspin while our government continues its fight in two unwinnable wars, but not all is gloom and doom, my friends.
In fact, personally speaking, 2010 was quite fantastic! I quit smoking, I got in the best shape of my life thus far, and I got to hang with my fanciful and oft repugnant colleague (and subsequent dear friend), Mr. Allen Krause, not once, but TWICE! First was the June baseball rendezvous in DC where we participated in a very special Strasmas celebration, then came an equally exciting Michigan Christmas, where I spent the holiday weekend with Mr. Krause and his family.
All told, it was the best of times, it was the… no. It was just the best of times.
Hell, we even got treated to a non-powerhouse World Series, where the Giants defeat over the Rangers inspired small markets all over North America to think about one thing and one thing only: pitching, pitching, pitching. And, of course, no RSBS review of 2010 could go without mentioning the inception of our very own Podcast, one that continues to kick butt on a sometimes semi-weekly basis.
That’s right. Red State Blue State knows no bounds… and neither do the following top five Allen Krause penned gems of 2010:
2nd Honorable Mention:
We All Lose
Now and forever, September 11 will never be the same. I know that. You know that. Mr. Krause knows that. But through his strong dislike for all things pink in baseball and, of course, bigotry, Mr. Krause was able to both enlighten and entertain on this hallowed day. His message? Simple: “Hate kills.”
RSBS Presents: Chili
Personal note: If you want to coax Mr. Krause into doing… well, anything… tempt him with chili. Just know that it better be good chili if you want to be successful. Mr. Krause ain’t no slacker when it comes to this US American staple, which he proves with this eloquent presentation full of chili flavor. Plus, whenever a writer is able to use “scatalogy”, “concoction” and “awe-inspiring” in the same paragraph, he deserves a reward of some kind.
2nd Runner Up:
Understated to the End
Losing our heroes is never easy. And when Sparky Anderson died, my thoughts immediately went out to Tiger nation, and more specifically, Mr. Krause. Of course, I knew it was only a matter of time before a bit of literary magic would grace the pages of RSBS, and with his ode to ole Sparky finely tuned to an equally understated former president, Mr. Krause did not disappoint.
1st Runner Up:
Catastrophe in Multiple Forms
While compassionate might not be the first adjective (or the five hundred and first) adjective that comes to mind when I think of Mr. Krause, I can say that if he shows any, it is definitely genuine. Such is the case here, where his sentient empathy crosses paths with lots of bloody nipples and Austin Collie’s head.
And the Winner is…:
RSBS Presents: A Baseball Fan’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
There are two types of people in this world: those who are ready for the baseball zombies, and those who ain’t. Read this and you will be more than ready. Skip it and your brains are as good as gone by the chomp-slathering undead jaws of Pete Incaviglia and Todd Van Poppel. ‘Cuz the zombies are real. They are coming. And they all fear Mr. Allen Krause.
Another year down, another horizon to chase. Big things are happening, and we’re glad that YOU, dear reader, are a part of it.
Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow. Until then, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right!
Special days historically fall prey to those who use them for their own gain. Like when god decided to send Jesus to earth on Christmas and then have him die on Easter. Seriously, you’re god and that’s the best you could do?
It’s no different now. From simple and relatively justified things like MLB putting players in pink for Breast Cancer awareness or having everyone wear number 42 to commemorate Jackie Robinson to things that don’t quite feel right like Glenn Beck marching on the National Mall and claiming the mantle of MLK on the anniversary of the “I have a Dream” speech, these days give both demagogues and dissenters context for their issues.
Sadly, most of the time it’s the demagogues who get the coverage. I have spent a bit of time in Muslim countries and most of the people I have met are nice people who want to make a living and provide for their families. Yes, they’re serious about their religion but they don’t use it as an excuse for violence.
So what’s the point in getting them riled up by staging a Quran burning? I know the event has been canceled and I know that the pastor of a small church in Florida does not deserve as much coverage as he has been given. But when David Petraeus, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama and the Southern Baptist convention all agree that what you’re doing is a bad idea, maybe it’s time to stop and rethink.
As odious as the planned act may be, even worse is the day on which it falls. Sometimes a Saturday
is more than just a Saturday. Like when it’s September 11th. Using a day like today that should be reserved for contemplation and mourning as a vehicle for the same kind of bilious beliefs that fueled the hijackers nine years ago means we all lose.
I preferred it when September 11th had no meaning, when it wasn’t a special day. But that is no longer possible. So maybe it’s time that people stop grandstanding and allow this day to have one simple message. Hate kills. That goes for Terry Jones, Glenn Beck and Michael Moore just as much as it does for Bin Laden.