I missed this when I put up the earlier Pete Rose post, but apparently Charlie Hustle sat for an extended interview with with Yahoo!’s Graham Bensinger. In it he discusses baseball stuff and gambling stuff, particularly the idea that he had a gambling addiction:
“I needed something extra. I lost the edge in getting those at-bats and
being competitive. So, you know, I was wrong but the best way to be
competitive to me was to bet on my own team to win every night . . . I don’t think I was an addict. I think I could control what I was
doing. I just was wrong and I got caught … I actually went to some
Gamblers Anonymous classes and I sat there for three or four of them and
I’m trying to figure out what I have in similarities with these other
people and I could never find anything.”
I’m highly skeptical of our society’s habit of calling everything an addiction. Sometimes people drink a bit too much. Doesn’t make them an alcoholic. Sometimes people fool around with people who aren’t their spouses. Doesn’t make them a sex addict. Sometimes people bet hundreds of times a year and structure their whole lives around gambling in order to somehow — any way they can — achieve that oh-so-satisfying rush they had when they were younger but just can’t get no matter how hard they try to, and THANK YOU THANK YOU gambling for giving me what I need to get through the day, ahhhhhhhhhhh . . . .
OK, you know what? I still think Rose was a gambling addict.
(link via Big League Stew)
A brutal couple of updates on the night of Jose Fernandez’s death from Jeff Passan of Yahoo and from Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald.
Passan reports on the leadup to the fateful boat trip. About how a friend of one of the other men killed on the boat had pleaded with him not to go out in the dark. Then there’s this:
After Saturday’s game, Fernandez had asked a number of teammates to join him on the boat. One by one, they declined.
Marcell Ozuna was one of them. Andre Fernandez of the Miami Herald reports:
Following Monday’s game, Ozuna said he turned down an invitation from Fernandez after Saturday night’s game to go out with him and join him for a spin on his boat . . . “That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,’” Ozuna said. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.
Losing a friend and teammate under such circumstances is brutal enough. Adding on survivor’s guilt would be close to impossible to bear.
David Ortiz has used Derek Jeter’s Player’s Tribune as his personal podium all year as he says goodbye to the Major Leagues. He continues that today, on the eve of his final series against the Yankees.
In it Ortiz talks about what playing the Yankees meant to him over the course of his career. About how the fan hate was real but something he embraced. About how the series back in the days of Jeter and Pettitte and Mariano and Mussina were “wars.” He also talks about how the Yankees were basically everything when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. The only caps and shirts you saw were Yankees shirts and how they were about the only team you could see on TV there. As such, coming to Boston and then playing against the Yankees was a big, big deal.
Ortiz says “[s]ome players are born to be Yankees, you know what I’m saying? I was born to play against the Yankees.”
And he’ll get to do it only three more times.