May 25, 2013
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Friday, March 13, 2009
King Kaufman interviews Tracy Ringolsby -- late of the Rocky Mountain News -- about the death of his paper and the notion that he's turning into a blogger of some kind with his new Rockies web site:
Kaufman: You say you don't know that much about the Internet and I wonder how you feel about being a blogger now. There's this trumped-up difference between we trained journalists -- professionals -- and bloggers. I wonder if you buy into any of that or care about it or how you feel about it now that you're writing for a blog.
And with that, King Kaufman has authored the line of the year so far.
(thanks to reader Chris S. for the heads up)
In addition to some spirited discussion in the comments thread, Wednesday's post about Chief Wahoo brought about an email from the folks at the Cleveland Frowns blog thanking me for raising the issue. Given their singular devotion to Cleveland sports, the Cleveland Frowns guys have spent a lot more time thinking about this than I have and, not surprisingly, have a much more thoughtful take on the subject. From their signature post on Wahoo last summer, some words worth remembering:
Those who want to bury Wahoo have to acknowledge why he has lasted so long -- that in doing so they would be burying more than a racist caricature; they would be burying a part of our childhood and our culture. They must acknowledge that our collective attachment to Wahoo has little to nothing to do with an intent to disparage a race of people. So much of the resistance to attempts to get rid of Wahoo is a natural reaction by Tribe fans who feel that those who protest Wahoo are accusing them of racism, and telling them that there is something fundamentally wrong with those magical trips to the ballgame. This would offend anyone’s sense of justice. These activists must acknowledge the innocent aspects of our attachment to Wahoo before their appeals to his harmful effect will ever be well-received.
The Frowns' have couched their anti-Wahoo campaign in a curse they believe his visiage has brought down upon Cleveland sports. I don't believe in curses (or Buddha, Manta, Gita, Yoga, kings, Elvis, Zimmerman or Beatles) but one need not believe in them in order to want to relegate Chief Wahoo to the dustbin of history. Likewise, one need not demonize as racist the Indians' fans who grew up with Wahoo and take issue with folks who think like I do on the subject.
Either way, I highly recommend that you read the Cleveland Frowns' post because it is devoid of the kneejerk p.c. sentiment so many people accuse the anti-Wahoo camp of harboring. And if their arguments convince you, sign their petition to retire Chief Wahoo.
Last week The New York Times ran an article about how the Republican Party is trying to derail Jim Bunning's potential 2010 reelection campaign. Seems Bunning has become a cranky loose cannon, and even in the presumably safe state of Kentucky, his record, behavior, and temperament have folks worried that he'll lose.
As all hacky armchair psychologists know -- and I'm one of the hackiest armchair psychologists around -- you have to look to one's formative years to get to the root of their neurosis. Someone at the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat has done that with Bunning:
Republican movers and shakers are pressuring Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning of Kentucky not to run for a third term in the U.S. Senate. It's been reported that his "cranky" and "cantankerous" moods are alienating party bigwigs. But it's his baseball career that's made Bunning a grouch.
I suppose we have no choice but to blame Gene Mauch for all of this.
Mark McGwire emerges from his undisclosed location and speaks to a New York Times reporter:
In this instance, McGwire agreed to an interview with the understanding that it would focus on his work as a hitting tutor, and not on other issues. But at one point, McGwire did address the criticism he has received for being linked to performance-enhancing drugs.
I have been critical of McGwire's testimony before Congress in 2005 and believe that he, as a retired player when everything went crazy, was in a unique position to defuse the steroid hysteria with information and candor and missed that opportunity completely. I don't believe in a death penalty in baseball for PEDs, however, so I would hope that the game would welcome Mark McGwire back to it if he truly wishes to return and try to add something positive, be it coaching hitters or otherwise.
Writer Bruce Weber went to umpire school and has a new book out about it. Sounds good:
The conundrum of umpiring is neatly posed by the peculiar rule of the knee-to-shoulder strike zone, which Mr. Weber calls the sole instance of a playing area that is demarcated only in the minds of officials. “The strike zone isn’t, nor has it ever been, set in stone, or even sand,” he writes. “It’s set in air, a concept, not a thing. It can’t be transported from one ballpark to another, but like the memory of a secret code it has to be formulated by each umpire each time he squats behind the catcher, every game, every pitch.”
Papelbon is incapable of messing with Manny's flow state.
Things to read while you realize that, sadly, nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate:
Apologies if there is any weirdness around here today. See, I watched "Being John Malkovich" last night for the first time in several years, and I truly had forgotten how trippy it is. On the bright side, my dormant crush on Catherine Keener has been revived, so that's nice.