Saturday, December 2, 2017

Baseball taught me about differences between people’s skills, character

We’re at the point now where it seems we get nearly a daily addition to the list of people in prominent posts who think that women are supposed to swoon over the very thought of their sexuality.
Ultimate gap between skills, character?

Personally, I’ve lost track of who’s actually on the list – and tend to notice many people go out of their way to highlight those individuals whose politically partisan leanings are counter to their own.

AS THOUGH PEOPLE who agree with them on other issues can get caught up in what some have dubbed “perv-gate” and be forgiven.

But for those whom their real hang-up is something unrelated – a professional death to them, and perhaps a fantasy vision of castration as well.

We’re at the point where I’m giving up on trying to keep track as to who got a little too handsy with a female colleague, or who felt it absolutely essential to expose their genitalia out of some delusion that the lady would think of the sight as the highlight of her life.

And, in fact, I’m starting to think that it’s a good thing I’m a big fan of professional baseball.

BECAUSE IT HAS exposed me to the reality that these ballplayers who use their physical skills to play a boy’s game often have mental hang-ups that make it seem as though their emotional development was arrested at about age 13.

Still some humor in old Franken bits
I remember the way I behaved back when I was that age, and in retrospect I wonder how those fellow-13-year-old females managed to put up with us overly-horny (but mostly incapable of doing anything about it) slobs.

Although it’s not necessarily limited to sexual thought.

My point is that I realized a long time ago that the guys who were more than capable of making a diving stop of a hard-hit ground ball to prevent it from getting through the infield for a base hit often were equally unskilled at the subtleties of life itself.

PERHAPS THE ULTIMATE example of this is Pete Rose, the one-time Cincinnati Reds star from their championship days of the 1970s who was an addicted gambler and whose habit got to the point where he was taking in so much money; while not reporting the extent of his winnings to the Internal Revenue Service.
Perhaps a Curry/Lauer confrontation justified?

He’s a convicted tax cheat, so to speak, who did a few months in prison. He continues to be denied admission to Baseball’s Hall of Fame – usually the ultimate recognition of athletic greatness. And for that matter, I remember the stories from when he was a ballplayer about the adulterous behavior on his part.

Then again, a lot of ballplayers I have heard of play around on “the road.” As in they’re young men traveling about from city to city, and fill the void of loneliness with whichever young lady happens to be available (and often willing).

The ability to hit .333 or smack 40 or so home runs on a regular basis doesn’t automatically make one a quality human being. Keep that in mind, and it makes it possible to keep following baseball.

IT MAKES ME wonder if a similar attitude ought to be applied to other people. Comedian-turned-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has his humorous moments (although I’ll admit to always finding his “Stuart Smiley” character annoying). I can’t really think less of his performing because he gets handsy with women.

Judicial robes add layer of creepiness to Moore instances
I actually think it is an issue where the women who were offended by someone else’s character toward them ought to deal with the issue themselves. I semi-seriously say they would have been justified in administering a knee-to-the-groin at the time of the incident.

I’d say that also applies to the work of now-former Today Show host Matt Lauer, or even that of Lake Wobegon creator Garrison Keillor. Why should we have ever thought of them as superior at anything – other than their work? And as for our president’s boorish behavior with women throughout the years, we all know he’s deficient as a human being. It didn’t stop him from winning an election!

We’ve all got our strengths and all got our flaws. Unless we cross over the line into criminality (which is potentially what U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama did with those underage girls all those decades ago). But that’s a different issue.


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