selective focus grayscale photography of baseball
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Every day I see more reaction to the Houston Astros heating to win the World Series. I’m in agreement with those who think more should have been done. At the very least, the win should be vacated and the record books should show no champion for that year. I disagree with the commissioner’s assessment that it is just a piece of metal. I also think that if he feels this way he should probably not be in charge of the league. It’s depressing to me that the start of the baseball season is marred by another cheating scandal. Depressing but not surprising. It seems that cheating is the norm these days.

We’ve had the Patriots deflating footballs and filming opponents illegally.

We have an FBI investigation into shoe companies paying players to go to certain schools and basketball coaches colluding with them to do so.

We have wealthy parents bribing their kids into the top schools(See my GIF summary of that here)

We have a long tradition of politicians cheating their way to power.

We have a long tradition of athletes using drugs to enhance performance.

We have an epidemic of flopping in soccer and basketball. Not really cheating, but deception to gain an advantage, so, in my eyes, cheating.

People cheat on their significant others.

People cheat on their taxes.

People cheat on tests in school.

Is it really a surprise that the news is full of stories about cheating?

Baseball is not our national pastime, cheating is.

Cheating is to the point that it is hard for an honest person to succeed. It’s hard to explain to kids why cheating is bad Cheating has become the norm and as long as the people in charge let people get away with it with a slap on the wrist it will stay the norm.

It’s time to get tough on cheating. People need to see there are consequences for their actions. Let’s make America honest again.

Some Baseball Stuff

I’ve been watching the Braves playoff series against the Cardinals. I would love to also watch the Braves play in the next round of the playoffs, but I have a bad feeling about today’s game. I don’t see it going our way. During the series, there were complaints about the play of Ronald Acuna, Jr. The Braves people were upset that he didn’t hustle out of the box and a possible double became a single. The Cardinals people were mad about his reaction to his two-run home run later in the game. I have some thoughts:

On the hustle – yes, he would have had a double if he had not assumed it was a home run and watched it for a second. Yes, he has had a couple of hustle issues during the season. He needs to work on that. But, he’s also hitting .500 in the series and in the last loss he had a double and a triple and the “play the right way” guys behind him kept striking out and he didn’t score. I would love to have had a couple more Acunas at bat in the inning and then we wouldn’t be playing another game.

I also think the Cardinals should just shut up. I’m tired of “the Cardinal way” and the unwritten rules of baseball. We should be OK with players celebrating big hits, flipping the bat and just enjoying playing the game of baseball. Why do we hate fun?

I also have problems with other “unwritten rules” like not stealing when you are up big late in the game. In the days of the home run, no lead is safe. You should always be playing hard and if stealing a base will help hold even a big lead go for it. You should also steal bases when down big for the same reason. Why is it OK to stop playing hard because you are losing?

I also disagree with the no bunting to break up a no-hitter. As the batter, it is your job to get on base, not help the opposing pitcher feel good. If you can get a hit with a bunt, bunt. Getting on base is your job. Do your job.

I’m generally tire of old guys clutching their pearls over young guys who are different than them. Just let them play the game their way. It’s more fun that way.

Some Random Tater Ramblings

I still have nothing in my brain for a full post. Part of it is a change of schedule for my wife where she is working from home most Mondays. It’s hard for me to write with others around. Also, she doesn’t get why I bother. Part of it is my frame of mind of late and I worry that will not get better now that my day to day’s main negative force has returned. Let’s see what random thoughts pop up as I go with this post.

  • I think if you are an almost 80-year-old man and you just had a heart attack you should probably stop trying to be president.  Running for president is tiring, Being president should be even harder. Why keep going?
  • I can’t believe the Supreme Court is going to hear a case to decide if it is legal to fire LGBTQIA+ people. How is it 2019 and it is not already settled that this should be illegal? I know why, actually. Too much mixing religion with government. That’s why.
  • I don’t understand why anyone would want to micromanage people. My life is hard enough without looking over the shoulder of others while they do their work. I would rather trust that my employees are doing their jobs unless there is a reason to think otherwise. If you can’t do that you probably shouldn’t have employees.
  • One of the signs of me being in a bad place mentally is not being able to find music I want to listen to while driving. I love music. All kinds of music. If I flip through the music on my phone and am dissatisfied and then can’t find anything on Sirius either I know there is a problem. I’ve had a few days like that recently.
  • These Braves/Cardinals games are stressing me out. Why can’t we have one easy Braves win? Is that too much to ask?
  • I’m happy to have Braves baseball at least through tomorrow and then Kentucky basketball starts Friday with Madness, It’s a great time to be a sports fan.

I will stop there. Who knows what tomorrow might bring. My wife will be home again tomorrow and I work my first real full day at work for three weeks as not the boss anymore. That won’t be fun.

Tater Talks Dumb Braves Fans

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 if 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?

Baseball Day Due to Rain

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.

Some Thoughts on Josh Hader

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.

Tater’s Friday Off Thoughts on Crime and Punishment and Other Random Things

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 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.


Cal Ripken, Manager?

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?