Baseball may be the thinking person’s sport, but it still seems often enough that it’s populated by people for whom thinking is only slightly less dangerous than trying to sneak one past Mike Trout or taking Felix Hernandez over the fence. Especially when it comes to injuries, their proper recuperation and rehabilitation time, and possibly their very presence.
No, I didn’t think the 25th anniversary of Pete Rose’s banishment from baseball could possibly go unnoticed, unremarked, and unanalysed, either. The notices, remarks, and analyses seem infinite even a day after the actual anniversary.
Some of them are interesting, some of them are boilerplate, and now and then you bump into one that scores the way Rose once scored runs: unequivocal, a shade on the merciless side, a shade on the side of straining to understand, but unapologetic about the proper conclusion that, for all the time that’s passed, Rose hasn’t exactly earned reinstatement to baseball.
Baseball has a commissioner-elect, whose incumbent job is as Bud Selig’s second-in-command (chief operating officer), and whose ascension to the top job has seemed all but assured since he was promoted to his current position in hand with Selig’s retirement-to-be announcement almost a year ago. Sports Illustrated‘s Cliff Corcoran, writing of the election itself, said Manfred’s ascension “represents an unprecedented continuity in leadership for MLB.” This is not entirely a consummation devoutly to be wished.
When Robin Williams was found dead by his own hand, it seemed at once that just everyone got it and nobody got it. He was a lifelong battler against clinical depression, which may account for a lot of his seemingly lifelong battles with assorted substance abuses. It seemed difficult to impossible for those (lucky they) who don’t have to battle the condition to believe someone so virtuosic at provoking laughter at the slightest provocation could be in such straits as to send himself out of this surrealistic world at last.
Nobody can say we weren’t warned that the Arizona Diamondbacks’ policy of an eye for an eye was going to get worse and more surreal before the team got better. Now this struggling team, whose season is lost, whose general manager made ostentatious off-season pronouncements that it would be an eye for an eye from now on no matter what, may be in the paradoxical position of manning up into a reputation for cowardice.