The L.A. Times really wants you to hate Manny Ramirez

Leave a comment

You may not have noticed this given how little coverage it has gotten, but Manny Ramirez is coming back tonight. If you think that means that the media’s hand-wringing and sanctimony about all of this is about to end, well, you’re just not familiar with the media’s work:

I’ve never asked Dodger fans for a favor before, but I have one
request now: When that first home game comes on July 16, for one night,
one at-bat or at least one swing, boo Manny. I’m not asking you to burn
your coveted Man-wig, hide the name on the back of your No. 99 T-shirt
under duct tape or torture yourself by watching Angels games. All I ask
is that if you attend Manny’s first home game, you boo. Once, at least
. . . Dodgers fans should boo Manny for one at-bat to make sure he
knows his actions were unacceptable . . . They need to say to Manny,
“We’re the ones who pay to watch you, and we demand better.”

There are a lot of reasons why newspapers like the Los Angles Times are
dying. Most of them are financial. Let us not discount the notion,
however, that their insistence of treating both their readers and the
subjects they cover like children who are incapable of forming opinions
on their own has a little to do with it too.

Has it not yet, at this late date, after all that has happened,
occurred to the L.A. Times that people like Manny Ramirez and are
willing, no, eager, to overlook his steroid suspension to watch him
play baseball?

UPDATE: It’s important to note that not everyone at
the L.A. Times feels this way. Jon Weisman of the wonderful Dodger
Thoughts blog has consistently delivered the win when it comes to Manny
Ramirez coverage, and his latest entry is no exception.
Note to whoever runs the Times’ sports section: Lead with Weisman and
relegate everyone else to sidebar links with six-point fonts.

The umps have dropped their Ian Kinsler protest

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Over the weekend the World Umpires Association — the umpire’s union —  launched a protest in response to what it feels is Major League Baseball’s failure to adequately address the “escalating attacks” on the men in blue. They were specifically upset that Ian Kinsler didn’t get suspended for his remarks in which he said that Angel Hernandez should get out of the umpiring business because he’s terrible. Apparently to umpires truth is no defense. In any event, they wore white wristbands Saturday night as a sign of solidarity or whatever.

Now that’s over, it seems. At least for the time being. The Association released this statement yesterday afternoon:

“Today, WUA members agreed to the Commissioner’s proposal to meet with the Union’s Governing Board to discuss the concerns on which our white wristband protest is based. We appreciate the Commissioner’s willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed. To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wristbands pending the requested meeting.”

As many noted over the weekend — most notably Emma Span of Sports Illustrated — this protest was, at best, tone deaf. While officials are, obviously, due proper respect, a player jawing at an umpire is neither unprecedented nor very serious compared to, well, almost anything that goes on in the game or in society. At a time when people are literally taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, Neo-Nazis and the KKK, asking folks to spare thoughts for some people who sometimes have to take guff over ball and strike calls is not exactly a cause that is going to draw a ton of sympathy. And that’s before you address the fact that the umpires are not innocent when it comes to stoking the animosity between themselves and the players.

I wouldn’t expect to hear too much more out of this other than, perhaps, a relatively non-committal statement from Major League Baseball and a relatively detail-free declaration of victory by the umpires after their meeting.

 

Minor league teams prepare for a “total eclipse of the park”

Salem Volcanoes
2 Comments

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are a class-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Today, the path of totality of the big solar eclipse we’re not supposed to look at will pass right through the ballpark in which they play. What’s better: the Volcanoes are playing a game against the Hillsboro Hops as it happens.

This was by design: the team’s owner requested this home game when the schedule was made up two years ago specifically to market the heck out of the eclipse. They’re starting the game at 9:30 this morning, Pacific time, in order to maximize the fun. Spectators will receive commemorative eclipse safety glasses to wear. The game will be delayed when the eclipse hits and a NASA scientist named Noah Petro, who is from the area, will talk to the crowd about what is going on.

Salem-Keizer isn’t the only minor league game affected, by the way. There are six games in all which will feature a “total eclipse of the park.” Turn around, bright eyes.

There are no home MLB games going on in the path of totality, but MLB has put together a helpful guide in order to maximize your baseball and eclipse pleasure. If you line up some good beer with that you’l have your very own national pastime syzygy.