Major League Baseball is going to have an “All-Star Charity Dance-a-Thon.”

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What’s the matter, Othello, jealous?

Well, did you know there’s a swimming pool under this floor?

And did you know that button behind you causes this floor to open up?

And did you further know that George Bailey is dancing right over that crack?

And I’ve got the key?

Stand back, everybody! Stand back!

They’re cheering us! We must be good!

Major League Baseball today announced the creation of a new All-Star Summer event, the All-Star Charity Dance-A-Thon, which will take place on Saturday, July 9, 2011 at the Phoenix Convention Center. All event-related net proceeds will be donated equally to three charities supporting cancer research and education — the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Glee’s very own acclaimed choreographer, Zach Woodlee, will lead the crowd in coordinated and spontaneous dance moves. He and other VIP guests will also serve as judges for a soon-to-be announced contest that will be open to Dance-A-Thon attendees. The grand prize winner of the contest will win an exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity on the set of Glee.

The last two All-Star Games had 5K charity races which, I assume, was considered a non-starter in Phoenix in July.  The Dance-a-Thon gives them another charity vehicle to tie into the All-Star Game in which averages Joe’s like you and me can participate if we wish, this time with air conditioning. Assuming Average Joe’s like you and me would be interested in a meet-and-greet opportunity on the set of Glee, which is by no means a given.

Buffalo gals, can’t you come out tonight …

Tommy La Stella talks about his refusal to report to the minors in 2016

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In late July of 2016, Cubs infielder Tommy La Stella was demoted to Triple-A. It wasn’t personal. It was a roster crunch situation and La Stella had options left so, despite the fact that he had been an effective player to that point of the season, it made sense to send him down.

La Stella didn’t take the demotion well. In fact he refused to report to Iowa and went home to New Jersey instead. It was not until August 17 that he finally reported and then only after prolonged discussions with the Cubs and the assurance that he’d be back in the majors once rosters opened up. Which he was, after spending just over a week down on the farm.

Such a move by a player would, normally speaking, make him persona non-grata. His teammates would shun him and the organization would, eventually, cut bait, with the press characterizing him as a me-first player as he walked out the door. That did not happen with La Stella, however, who remains with the Cubs two years later and, by all accounts, is a popular and important guy in the Cubs’ clubhouse, even if he’s not one of the team’s big stars.

Today Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has an in-depth story about La Stella, what went down in 2016 and how he and the Cubs have proceeded since then. The story is subscription only, but the short version is that there was a lot of understanding and empathy on the part of the Cubs organization and their players about what was going on in La Stella’s head at the time and how everyone allowed everyone else the space to work through it.

I’m happy to read this story, because all too often we only hear about such incidents as they occur, with little followup. To the extent the story is told, most of the time its completely one-sided, with the player who acts out being treated like a bad seed with little if any explanation of his side of things. And, yes, there are always two sides to the story. Sometimes even more.

Kudos to Rosenthal for telling this story. Here’s hoping the next time a player is involved in a controversy that, in the moment, makes him appear to be a bad seed or have a bad attitude, we hear more about it then too.