Friday, October 13, 2006

Time To Take A Deep Breath...The Return Of The King

One of the most overused cliche-phrases in the English language has to "Things like this help you put things in perspective." I throw up in my mouth whenever I hear an athlete say that. That annoys me as much as when I hear someone say, "I never thought like this could happen in neighborhood," .

I understand why people say it. Usually, we're so caught up into the minutiae of our lives that we forget the big picture. The things that at the end of the day that really matter.

But to quote Michael Corleone, "What's the point of a confession, if I don't repent?" And quite frankly, why should I? Acknowledging fully that someone's death is a bit more relevant than if the Yankees lost or not...I'm not going to be guilt tripped into feeling worse about a Yankee loss than the death of someone I don't know. Or if I had harsh words about someone before they passed away. Unless it was a family member or a loved one, I'm not going to feel a stitch of guilt because they died before we got a chance to hash things out. Just because someone dies doesn't absolve them from being a jerkoff.

Should I harbor a grudge against that person? No, because that would be unhealthy and time-consuming. But I'm not going to be guilt-tripped and start waxing poetic over someone I didn't like either. In times like this, it's better to make yourself scarce and not say anything at all.

When I heard the news that Corey Lidle died in that high rise plane crash in New York yesterday, I was as shocked as the next man. He's a few months younger than me so that definitely hit close home. He was a solid major leaguer who seemed like a decent guy. I'm glad to hear that the union will provide a pension and full benefits for his family even though he wasn't a member (he was considered a scab for crossing the picket line in 1995).

But all of this he's a great man stuff I'm hearing from Jeter and others sounds so disingenuous and programmed. Lidle could be a piece of work. He threw the Phillies under the bus after he came here and all but threw Torre under the bus with some of his comments on Saturday. He's been taken to task by some members of the media and not one of them should be made to feel guilty for doing so. How did they know he was going to die?

I had heard that some folks wanted to cancel Wednesday night's games because of his death. Why? As tragic as that accident was, it wasn't 9/11 and it wasn't the president getting shot. National tragedies are the reason games should be cancelled. And once we found that this crash wasn't terrorist-related, I'm sorry, but this didn't qualify.

Sporting events weren't cancelled because of what happened in Amish country last week. Or for Columbine. Professionals learn to deal, no matter how close to home it hits.

It's like this urge to retire the number of some player, no matter how average, who dies before his time. I thought it was a bad mistake for the Celtics to retire Reggie Lewis's number when he passed. And to be fair, I thought it was a mistake for the Yankees to retire Thurman Munson and Billy Martin's number when they died. Munson, I can at least understand somewhat, he was the captain and former AL MVP. But all Martin was, was an average player who had great post-seasons. As a manager, he could have been one of the all-greats if he wasn't a drunken maniac. In my mind, that doesn't warrant getting your number retired. Neither one of them is ever going to sniff Cooperstown.

Just so you don't think I'm going over the deep end...I think most of what has been said and written about Lidle has been respectfully tempered. That's good. It's nice to see that we can mourn someone's loss without turning them into a superhero.

Torre's Return

Let me start off by stating unequivocably that I'm glad that Joe Torre's back. He's the best man for the job and the man who can right the ship. I never wanted Torre fired. I just said that if he got fired, that he made enough questionable move during the Detroit series and the last couple of playoff debacles that George would be within his right to do it.

It was probably a bit harsh of me to write that I would not be sad to see him go. He was and is my favorite coach in any sport.

But I'm tired of fans being taken to task because they have the audacity to criticize Torre or (God forbid)don't think that George would have been out of line if he fired him after this latest playoff debacle.

Booing your own team is one thing. I don't think you should boo your own team. But honest and sometimes blunt criticism is the right and responsibility of every serious fan.

Yes, it's their livelihood we're talking about. But when you spend as much as Yankees fans do on tickets and merchandise every year; shouldn't you have the right to say that I think that the manager is doing a bad job? Particularly after losing three straight playoff series they should have won? We criticize the players. Why not the manager?

The bigger story that people seemed to have totally missed is not Torre's return. It's the emergence of Brian Cashman and Steinbrenner's Son-In-Law Steve Swindal as the powers behind the throne of King George III.

Five years ago, Torre would have been gone. But Cashman and Swindal were able to talk George off the ledge long enough to a)reconsider replacing Torre with Lou Piniella and b)get Joe a chance to fight for his job. Piniella might have done a great job, but you could also had a civil war in the clubhouse. Besides, Torre has a year left on his previous deal and he deserves a chance to right the ship. The last couple of years, he's managed like a man who has a lot to lose. Hopefully, he'll stop managing scared in the last year of his deal. His legacy assured and it's not like he'll get a new deal if he loses again.

The King is dead....Hail to the King...


Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

I agree with you on Lidle. Granted, a lot of guys on the 4 remaining teams played with him, but his death (and that of Tyler Stanger) was not enough cause to cancel the game.
I also agree that the people bashing Mike and the Mad Dog for their treatment of him Monday are being silly. How could they know what was going to happen 2 days later. I do think Mike was a tadd silly when he said "I've not thought a lot about you" considering the time he and Dog spent talking about him after the trade and after Saturday.

What happened was a tragedy, like any death. Two families have lost someone. Children have no father. Wives have no husband. One child will never know his or her father (Stanger's wife is 6 months pregnant). The fact Lidle was a public figure brings it more to the forefront, but does not make it any more tragic than any other death that might have had the same impact on families.

I am glad to see the union is going to pay the benefits to his family. Good move. Time to move beyond the "scab" stuff guys. Many of them were faced with being out of baseball if they did not play, like Lidle.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Agreed. I understand honoring a picket line. But if it's a choice of your dream and livelihood versus a picket line...then there's really no choice at all.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Metstradamus said...

What exactly is a "Deep Beath"?

12:42 PM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Happy now, Spellcheck boy?

1:26 PM  
Blogger Metstradamus said...

Maybe it was a "Deep Bath", I don't know.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Darth - Going to a Cardinals site? That is lame even for you.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Looks like the Mets bounced back eh?
Unlike the Yanks, who went down like sniveling little bitches.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Anthony Reyes? Hardly Bob Gibson...but since NL is just a touch better than Fast Pitch softball, you take what you can get I suppose....

It's not over yet, Dear Ed....there's plenty of time for you to fold my dear friend....Plenty of time.

Darth is all about building bridges.

5:33 PM  

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