Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sheffield's Mouth, Hanging Sliders and other tidbits

Welcome to my inaugural blog!

Several of you have mentioned that I should create my own blog and after getting over some initial trepidation about the process and realizing that sending some of the stuff that I write from my work email probably isn't the wisest thing...I decided to create my place vent about the Yankees, Yankee-haters and anything else that I might float into my demented psyche. It's also a place anything that you want me to bring up and comment on can be ballyed around as well. Hopefully everyone will realize that it's all in fun and shouldn't be taken seriously (well, most of it at least). Anything goes on this site, so if you're faint of heart, stop reading right now. I don't want anyone complaining about how mean I was to so and so and this and that. I created this blog so I could vent without repercussions, so if you don't like what's floating around my noggin...nice knowing ya.

Fuck nice, this is the Evil Empire blog, not Nice Politically Correct Empire Blog.

So here we go.

One of our old interns wrote an interesting article the other day for the Mizzou paper about the Sheffield rant. He tied it into Curt Flood reserve clause that basically created free agency in MLB. He wrote this....

Flood, in a 1970 Supreme Court case, challenged baseball's dictum that players are forever bound to their teams. He lost that case, but the public outcry surrounding his position essentially forced major league sports to accept the idea of free agency. It forced the nation to accept the idea that athletes are not the property of their teams. It also set the stage for every me-first, glitz-and-glam showboat in recent memory, allowing for contract hold-outs, ludicrous signing bonuses, and "superagent" Scott Boras.

Sheffield incited a storm of controversy (run date) when he said that he will flat-out not play for anyone but New York's Yankees. He rejected even the suggestion of going across town to the Mets, much less leaving The City. By working his mouth, he also exercised a de facto "no trade" clause, making himself an unattractive prospect to nearly any GM.

We've seen what Sheffield has done when he's unhappy. Playing a cantankerous third base with the Padres, one of the game's best hitters admitted to tanking it, not running out singles and refusing to dive for ground balls. It is a shame to America's purest sport, but it also sets a dangerous precedent.

What will we see next? Players intentionally canning a season to make a statement? Guys not playing to their ability because they're upset with their manager or city or teammates? Isn't that a breach of contract?

Now let me go on the record by saying I do not approve of any ballplayer intentionally tanking a season because he's unhappy with his contract. That being said anyone who knows about contract negotiations knows that it can be a very contentious process. A very personal process as well. And when you've lived up to your part of the bargain, when you've made concessions to work somewhere when you could have made more working somewhere else...I can see how someone might take a little personally.

I like Sheffield. Always have. I respect the fact that he plays hurt and speaks his mind even when it's unpopular. I thought it was a stroke of brilliance, his vent to the media. He put the Yankees and the Mets on the defensive. Did it make him incredibly unpopular with some people. Absolutely. But newsflash, the people who were pissed at him were people that hate him and the Yankees anyway. His teammates certainly weren't pissed and neither were Yankee fans. He means way too much to that lineup to give him up for Mike Cameron and some minor leaguers. As good as A-Rod, Matsui and Jeter are, the most feared hitter in that lineup is Sheffield, by far. He is a stone cold beast at the plate. He may not remind anyone of Clemente or even O'Neill in the field, but neither did Reggie. And Sheffield is a much better hitter than Reggie Jackson ever was.

As for the whole Curt Flood legacy thing....I think that it's playing exactly the way that it should. Free agency just like Civil Rights has always been about one thing; choice. You may not like the choices some people make with their lives. But it's their choice not yours. To paraphrase James Baldwin, "I may not want to date your sister. But if I did, nothing should prevent me from doing so". Now granted, Baldwin was so gay that he made the guys from Queer Eye look like Clint Eastwood and Denzel Washington. But he has a point.

Do I like the TO's of the world? Absolutely not. But as long as owners are stupid enough to pay them the ridiculous amount they're paid, I can't do a damn thing about it. That being said if you're that offended by what you're seeing or hearing, turn off the tv and protest with your wallet. If enough of you do it, maybe they'll get the message. You see, choice goes both ways.

Now onto last night's latest Randy Johnson debacle.

I was watching the game at Blondies' last night. I was so disgusted by what I saw last night, that I didn't even stick around and get sloppy drunk. And if you know me, that's saying something. I'm starting to see Randy Johnson's hanging slider in my sleep, and that's not a good thing. Detroit's Comerica Park is one of the more difficult place to jack a homer, yet these guys were crushing them like it was Camden Yards or Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. Jeremy Bonderman has nasty stuff, so I don't put the blame on the offense. This loss falls squarely Randy's broad shoulders. And no more of this switching catchers nonsense. The pitcher throws the pitch, he should take the responsibility if it's crushed. You can't blame Jorge for a hanging slider in the zone.


Blogger Metstradamus said...

Congratulations and welcome to the blogosphere.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Thanks infidel....

4:25 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hooray for The Dark Side coming to Blogland!!

2:04 PM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Thanks, darlin...

I'm glad the infidels from Fenway didn't get the best of you...

2:39 AM  
Blogger Get Me Out Of Here said...

In rebuttal,

I understand that the complexities of contract negotiations far exceed the give-and-take between players and the media. However, it was Sheffield's stance that he not only controls his own destiny as a player, but that his ability to play badly when he wants to gives him mobility as an independent agent.
The sad reality is, I believe many players would admire what Sheffield is doing, and that is dangerous. It's not that he is acting this way, it is the possibility of other players doing the same thing that worries me.

Fire back,

9:23 AM  

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