This one has been knocking around in my head for a week or so, but I didn’t write it because no one cares about my sports posts. It’s still there, so it will be written. I thought today was a good day since no one really reads weekend posts either.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been a fan of the Atlanta Braves since I was a kid. When I was a kid they were one of the worst teams in baseball. When I was in college they became one of the best teams in baseball and made the playoffs every year for a while. With success came the bandwagon fans. The people who only cheer for a team when they are good. Recently, the Braves had gone through the rebuilding process. They traded away veteran players and their contracts for prospects. The plan was to rebuild with young players coming up from their farm system. This season the team was supposed to still be one year away from being competitive. Instead, in late August, they are in first place with a three game lead. You would think all of the fans would be happy. You would think wrong. Since I live in the DC area, I don’t get to watch most of the games(I miss TBS showing all of the games) so I look at scores on my phone and if I want more detail I look at Twitter. Twitter is where you find the dumb fans. The fans who probably started being fans when the Braves started winning. The following are some dumb things the dumb fans say:
The Braves should fire their manager – the team is in first place a year before they were supposed to be good. Everything I read says that the manager is well liked and respected by the team. Twitter fans want to fire him because they don’t like the way he handles the bullpen and sometimes they disagree with the batting order. They should ask the Nationals how firing a manager who was liked and respected worked out for them.
The Braves should have traded away most of the prospects in the minors to get a veteran and win now – This season is a bonus. The team was not supposed to be in first place. Many of the better prospects are still a year away from the majors. As good as the team is now, they could be better next year if these players are as good as advertised. These will be players under contract for several years. You want to throw that away for a rent a player to guarantee a playoff spot for one year? Dumb.
Most of the pitchers on the team suck – The team is in first place. I doubt they would be there is the pitching staff was as bad as the Twitter fans think. Pitchers have bad games. Pitchers have mediocre games. Most pitchers are not going to shut out the other team every time out. Demanding they cut a pitcher when he has a bad game is really dumb. Who do you think will replace him?
I’m sure there are more. It must be miserable to be this sort of fan. Your team is in first place. Your team has some exciting young players with more to come next year. Your team is fun to watch. All of this in a year when the experts said they shouldn’t be competitive. Why can’t you just relax and enjoy this?
I am an Atlanta Braves fan living in the DC area. The only good thing about the Washington Nationals is that I have a chance to see the Braves play live each year. Tis year we looked at the schedule and decided to buy tickets to a Saturday night game. It was perfect. It was my weekend off from the library. My daughter got off work 2 hours before the game started. A night game meant less time sitting in the sun. A night game meant there was no place anyone had to be, so the length of the game didn’t matter. As an added bonus for my wife, it was going to be 80’s night. Everything seemed A-OK and then it started raining. And it rained. And rained. And rained. It rained so much and so earlier they postponed the game 5 hours before it was supposed to start. I appreciated that. It was nice to know before we headed in to the city. Now we had to wait to see when the game ould be played.
Normally, they probably would have just played a doubleheader the next day, but this was the beginning of the constant rain. They didn’t want to reschedule the game for the next day because of the chance of rain. It was a good move. It rained and delayed the one game they were supposed to play the next day. There was one series left with Atlanta in DC. It was a Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday series. Both teams had a common day of on the Monday before, so I was hoping they would schedule a game that night so we could avoid a day game in the sun and the heat and not worry about work schedules. Unfortunately, they rescheduled the game for Tuesday afternoon at 1pm. We could have traded our ticket for one of the night games, but at least one of us works every night of the series. So, Tuesday afternoon game it is. Today is that Tuesday. Here is what that means for us:
I am taking a day of vacation in order to go to the game.
My wife is going to work in DC, leaving to go to the game, and then going back to the office.
My daughter has to be at work at 6, so we will likely have to leave before the game ends for her to be there on time.
Instead of driving down together, we are taking multiple forms of mass transit and hoping for no delays that will result in missing part of the game or my daughter being late for work.
We will be at the game in the heat of a very hot and sunny day.
There is a slight chance a thunderstorm could delay the game, further complicating our day.
I hate rain.
Last night during the MLB All Star game, someone found some old tweets from Brewers pitcher Josh Hader. These tweets included the n-word, white power and a statement that he hated gay people. Terrible stuff. They were tweeted 7 years ago when Hader was a 17-year-old high school kid here in Maryland. There are a lot of thoughts out there on this, so I thought I would add mine to the mix.
It doesn’t surprise me that a 17-year-old kid from this area would tweet some terrible stuff like this. I’ve seen posts like this from 17 year old kids in this area. I’ve seen recent tweets from 17 year old kids in this area that are hateful. Being from a diverse area does not automatically make you more accepting of others.
17 years old is way old enough to know that this is wrong. You can’t excuse hate because the hater is 17. Being young is not an excuse for hate. You can probably blame being dumb enough to post it publicly on being young.
This was 7 years ago, Hader was 17 at the time. He is now 24. I don’t know Hader. It’s possible that he is still the same asshole he was at 17, but at least one teammate, Lorenzo Cain, has said that the Hader he knows is not this person. That he is a kind-hearted person and a great teammate. He also says “At the end of the day you’ve got to give people a second chance…you’ve got to forgive people.” I agree with Cain. We’ve got to get better at forgiveness. We have become a society that doesn’t believe in second chances. We want to bury people for past mistakes and never give them a second chance. Yet, I’m sure we want forgiveness when we mess up. Also, how Cain feels means more than what random twitter users and bloggers think as he is someone who knows and works with Hader now.
I know that I was a completely different person at 24 than I was at 17. I would bet that I said and did some terrible things when I was 17. I probably said and did terrbile things when I was 18 and 19. I matured a lot from 19-24. I’m glad here were no old records of terrbile 17-year-old me that could be held against 24-year-old me. People grow. People evolve. Stop demanding people continue to pay for past mistakes. If we can’t move on, we might as well all give up now.
I was out early on my Friday off to run some errands and to take my phone in to the Apple store because it was having issues charging. All of my other errands went smoothly, but the Apple store did not. I got there a little before 10 and they had someone outside the store checking people in. I was one of the first to be checked in, but no one called my name while others from the line received help. When I went up to inquire about my spot in line they tried the whole “all those people had appointments” line but stopped when I told them I knew that was not true. They finally admitted that they screwed up and didn’t have me in the queue at all. Even with that, they still didn’t put me at the top of the list when they added me back in. I lost almost an hour at the store for a 10 minute fix and the worst part was I didn’t have a book. That was a rookie mistake.
Crime and Punishment: I saw a post on Facebook recently about the fact that Tex Watson has a parole hearing coming soon. In case you don’t know, Watson was a member of the Manson family and has been in prison for over 40 years. There were comments from people who just couldn’t believe that he would possibly get parole and mention of the fact that Leslie Van Houten was granted parole, but “thankfully” the governor reversed the decision. This follows all of the recent had wringing over John Hinckley being released from the hospital 35 years after shooting Ronald Reagan. Now. I don’t know any of these people personally so I can’t say for sure that they would not be a danger to society. I do know that any inmate with Van Houten’s crime and record after incarceration, but without Manson’s name attached, would be out of prison already. The same might be true for Tex Watson. Van Houten was 19 when she committed the crime and under the influence of Manson. Since she was incarcerated she has received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Tex Watson has been ordained as a minister. I’ve written hereabout redemption for Michael Vick and here https://theycallmetater.com/2015/04/23/redemption-isnt-just-for-coupons/ and now we can add the Manson people to the list. Is it fair to deny them parole just because their cases are famous? Is it fair to decide that prison is not for rehabilitation, but just a place to lock bad people away and never let them out? I don’t think so.
Crime and Punishment, School Edition: There were several fights at a local high school this week. When reported, people were in the comments(I know I should never read the comments) saying they hoped the people involved were arrested and charged with assault. I’m amazed at this attitude. How many of you who are my age remember the fights at school that didn’t result in arrest and criminal charges? How many people out there were involved in a fight at OCHS and are glad they didn’t result in a criminal record? There does need to be punishment, but why the rush to add criminal charges to a kid for getting in to a fight? Why can’t we just do suspension, detention, Saturday school, etc and hope to help them mature and reform instead of just branding them as criminals and giving up?
Randomness: The Orioles lost the wild card game because their manager was too stupid to use their best relief pitcher. I am now moving on to cheering for the Cubs and for the Nationals to be humiliated. Hopefully, we can make it through the rest of the playoffs without a moron throwing a beer can at a player. Watched another new show last night. Timeless was an interesting take on time travel and how changing events can have unintended consequences.
That’s all folks.
I was listening to the Norris and Davis Show this morning and they were discussing the possibility of Cal Ripken returning to baseball as a manager. They asked a couple of questions: Should the Nationals consider hiring Ripken? and Would how would Oriole fans feel if he took the job in Washington. Would they consider him a traitor?
My answer to the first question is no, the Nationals should not hire Ripken. Ripken might turn out to be a very good manager, but he has no experience. If you are a team that thinks you have the talent to go to the playoffs next year you don’t hire someone who has never managed before. You hire someone with experience and a proven record of success. If you are a team like the Houston Astros or the Milwaukee Brewers you can take a chance on a guy like Ripken. What do you have to lose? I would like to see Ripken back in the game. I hope he finds a spot and is successful.
I’m not a long time Orioles fan, so I can’t speak for them, but I can speak for how I would feel in a similar situation. If a beloved Braves player wanted to manage a team I would be all for it, regardless of where they landed. I would prefer they not be with a division rival because then I would have to hope they are unsuccessful, but I wouldn’t begrudge them taking any job. If the Braves aren’t going to hire them, they should take whatever job they can get. This is not being disloyal. The same should go for Ripken(unless he went to the Yankees. You are free to hate all Yankees). The Orioles are a team that first of all have a good manager and second, are too close to playoff contention to hire someone like Ripken. If they aren’t a possibility, you can’t expect him to just not manage if that is what he wants. Also would you want Ripken to manage the O’s and suck? Wouldn’t that be worse than him managing the Nationals?
I think we take this team loyalty thing a little too far. It’s a business and people need to what is best for their career. Would people hate me if I left my job and then returned at another local library(this is pretending that they don’t already hate me)? Why is it different for athletes?