Want to play the "Baseball Ethics" game? Two randomly selected actual ethical incidents from baseball's storied history are listed below. Please tell us which one you consider to be "worse." In other words, select the one you think is less ethical than the other. This exercise originally ran in August, 2008. After 35,000 votes, we compiled the results in this article.
Here are your first two choices. Select the less ethical one and you'll be given the opportunity to make even more choices. Thanks for helping.
|1. Schott's mouth|
|Throughout most of baseball's history, nasty name-calling and offensive ethnic slurs were daily occurrences. There were effectively no limits on the scope of derogatory comments which bench jockeys hurled at Jews, Italians, Irish, dark-complexioned players or other groups. Even every-day nicknames, printed in the newspapers, could be mean-spirited. A deaf player was called "Dummy." A fat player went by "Blimp." A fellow with a large nose was called "Schnozz." And so on. |
To be sure, vicious name-calling was far more commonplace in the U.S. in the early days of baseball, and has been greatly tamped down in the current politically correct era. Still, consider that Reds owner Marge Schott once called Eric Davis, an all-star outfielder on her payroll, a "million-dollar nig#*@r." Schott's offensive comments took place in 1993. (Zumsteg, p. 88; Scheinin, p. 371; James, pp. 157-158)
|2. Lift foot|
|First basemen will "cheat" by lifting their foot off the bag just before receiving the ball on a close play at first. In these bang-bang plays, the first basemen hopes to both avoid being spiked and to convince the ump that the ball beat the batter by a split-second. This play is technically illegal; the umpire should call the batter safe at first. As a practical matter, this play is prevalent in baseball. Seldom do umpires enforce this written rule. (Wulf)|