Dead heat. No hero, no villain, no rooting interest. Just a clash of established morons.
Josh Donaldson, a provocateur who likes to get under the skin of players no matter his color, versus Tim Anderson, a self-inflated, attention-hungry showboat – see the season’s Yanks-White Sox “Field of Dreams” game last – who has already been sanctioned by MLB for making bad situations worse.
If only the Rob Manfred Regime of Rotten Decisions had been able to clearly read this hassle between reprobates and pass it off as a no-brainer argument between repeat offender fools.
Instead, MLB appeared to determine that ties should be broken by race, inviting derision from impartial minds who saw evil versus good becoming a matter of black or white.
Donaldson has been a good riddance teammate wherever he has played. He annoys both teams simultaneously. He seems to enjoy making enemies and does well to satisfy his particular quest for happiness.
Anderson, fined $10,000 last season and suspended two games for shoving a referee while exacerbating a bench clearance problem with the Tigers, is eager to push beyond the limits of bearability.
He was fined and suspended for one game in 2019 when, during a problem on the White Sox-Royals field, he called KC pitcher Brad Keller, who is white, a “weak ass f— ing n—a!” Charming boy, that Anderson.
But MLB chose this week to make something even uglier than it could have handled quietly, soberly and logically.
So now, with the help of the otherwise rushed MLB, Donaldson is the latest sociopolitical victim punished for exercising his right to free speech by calling Anderson “Jackie,” a reference to the forgotten, historically ignorant, even Anderson’s reluctance to be a last-day Jackie Robinson.
But that Donaldson persists in pushing Anderson about it is telling.
This does not establish Anderson as another victim, real or pious, of racist white America, but MLB has drawn unwanted, unnecessary and unjustified racial lines.
Lost by MLB, perhaps intentionally, is that the two men are equal — equally stupid, equally responsible for repeat fouls.
MLB does not learn. He can’t handle baseball, but he claims to know what’s best for the country.
His decision to move last season’s All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver in support of unspecified political claims that Georgia’s new election law is racist, disproportionately targeting black voters, was a mistake. thoughtless and wasteful led by Manfred.
For starters, 50% black Atlanta was deprived of the revenue fruits that such play brings. MLB moved the game to predominantly white Denver. Pure genius.
Second, nothing in this legislation even suggested that it was discriminatory. On the contrary, it seemed to make voting in Georgia easier for everyone. This week, Georgia’s primary vote among Democrats and Republicans showed huge turnout gains over pre-pandemic numbers.
After robbing Atlanta of last year’s All-Star Game, we have yet to hear from Manfred about it. MLB’s social and political demagoguery, complacency and empty-headedness from its poor business decision have been relegated to the Remember to Forget record.
Back to Anderson vs. Donaldson: Manfred had an option of his own, one that makes just as much curative sense: just have every player start the 10th inning as an autorunner at second base. That’s how MLB rules things now.
Tierney made the right choice in refusing O’Neill’s ‘interview’
This Brandon Tierney-Paul O’Neill WFAN interview storm — O’Neill wanted to sell his new book, not answer any questions about the Josh Donaldson-Tim Anderson affair — reminds me of those famous career reporters on “60 Minutes.” from CBS and their capitulation to the Tiger Woods team.
In 2006, just before the Masters on CBS and coinciding with the release of Tiger Woods’ father’s book by CBS’ publishing arm, “60 Minutes” promoted an exclusive two-part interview that the late Ed Bradley conducted. with Tiger Woods. Billed as “Tiger, Like You’ve Never Seen Him Before”, the talks were exactly as we’ve always seen and heard him.
They were flattering, smiley, candy-coated sessions. Besides Masters and selling books, this all reeked of tank work, and that’s exactly what I wrote.
Word then came to me from attendees of an ESPN symposium at which the famous “60 Minutes” chief inquisitor, the late Mike Wallace, had, for a fee, spoken. Asked specifically about this Woods exclusive, Wallace admitted that CBS dove in to land him. I wrote that too.
Furious and swearing, Wallace called me, furious that a “little beep like you” would write such a lie about him. But I had the transcript of his ESPN session. Wallace told his audience “There was an understanding between” that some of Woods’ questions were off limits. Oh.
Wallace had to leave. He hung up at this little beep.
Tierney did the right thing. Imagine having O’Neill right after that “Jackie” episode and not asking him about it. As for O’Neill, the best way to sell a book is to buy advertising.
ESPN’s graphic desecration of the NHL
I know, it’s ESPN, where anything worth doing is worth doing too much. But for the love of Gump Worsley, has common sense ever been applied to game telecasts?
Hurricanes-Rangers Game 4, Tuesday, close game, live, intense play. Yet ESPN consistently displayed unnecessary and distracting graphics at the top.
Why would ESPN want us to divert our attention to reading something – anything – rather than watching live action in close Stanley Cup playoff games? At 0-0 and the puck in play, why would we choose to read Jordan Staal’s “Canes” faceoff stats?
Whatever, it’s ESPN. He would have been in split screen when the Hindenburg exploded.
Good show-and-tell insert on Saturday’s Mets-Rockies. SNY rover Steve Gelbs noticed Mets pitcher Adam Ottavino practicing in the outfield before the game barefoot, adding that Ottavino told him he had been doing it for a long time.
Keith Hernandez, a proud practitioner of the good life, went on to say that the only place anyone would find him barefoot is on a beach “in the Turks and Caicos Islands”.
Brooklyn big league catcher Joe Pignatano, who found fame and fertilizer as Mets coach in the 1960s, died this week at age 92. I suspect many of us had an uncle like him.
Unintentional Replay Madness, sequel: Monday’s Panthers-Lightning was stopped, cold, for nearly 10 minutes trying to determine if a puck went out of play. Action sport unnecessarily unplugged. What else is lit?
Question for CBS’ Dottie Pepper and Ian Baker-Finch: Who on the PGA Tour isn’t “a good golf ball hitter”?
Reader/author Doug Branch suggests there’s no player more aptly named than Giants catcher Joey Bart. In San Francisco, Bay Area Rapid Transit is known as BART.
I still prefer John Flaherty’s alert but easy-going, no-word tricks, easy-on-stats approach to the 75 other Yankee broadcasters now heard on YES. Flaherty wears well over three hours. But given YES’s hires, that probably makes him expendable.
I still can’t believe Tiger Woods gave up after three rounds of a major. He said he wouldn’t be here “if I didn’t think I could win”. Heck, by the time he got away, CBS had him ranked first among those final 21!