Saturday, April 20, 2019

Do racial slurs, profanity have place in baseball? How about a brushback pitch?

The outburst that occurred Wednesday between the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals wound up having consequences that has some people convinced baseball has gone too far.
Tim Anderson, the White Sox shortstop who actually got hit by a pitch, wound up getting a one-game suspension – one that he voluntarily accepted by sitting out Friday’s ballgame at Detroit against the Tigers.

SOME ARE SAYING it is absurd that the guy who got hit (in the buttocks) by a pitched ball is somehow being penalized. Major League Baseball officials justified the action Friday, saying it was because Anderson responded to being hit by using inappropriate language.

Based on various news reports, it seems that in addition to the brawling that occurred between the White Sox and Royals (that we all saw on television), Anderson shouted out to Royals pitcher Brad Keller – telling him that he was a …

Well, let’s just say that Anderson managed to combine an insult, a profanity and a racial slur in saying just what he thought of Keller for hitting him deliberately with a pitch.

What makes the incident particularly odd is that Anderson is a black man, while Keller is a white guy. Anderson is alleged to have used one of the most elemental racial slurs meant to offend the sensibilities of black people and turned it around by using it on a white guy!
Both Anderson and Keller (below) … 

WHICH I’M SURE has many people confused. Although it seems that baseball officials are taking the simplistic attitude that n----- (the Chicago Defender stylebook way of downplaying use of THAT word) is always inappropriate – regardless of the circumstances.

Now for what it’s worth, Keller also got a suspension (five ballgames, but because pitchers traditionally only pitch every few days on a set rotation, it means Keller will lose one ballgame).

Some may argue that punishing both guys with a one-game suspension seems fair. While others are trying to claim Anderson is being singled-out for abuse.

Although personally, I think Anderson behaved like a “dink” on Wednesday, and some of his conduct since then has offended my own baseball sensibilities. So I can’t get too upset over him losing a single ballgame. He’ll be back Saturday.
… lost 1 ballgame as discipline for incident

THIS INCIDENT ACTUALLY became significant because of the circumstances. Anderson managed to hit a home run that briefly gave the White Sox a lead, and he reacted by doing what some are calling a bat flip (although White Sox broadcasters described the moment as him throwing his bat aside “like a javelin”).

Two innings later, Anderson came to bat again, and wound up having a Keller pitch bounce off his behind – which caused the Anderson outburst that led to both ballclubs charging the field and throwing punches.

For the record, White Sox manager Rick Renteria and Royals coach Dale Sveum (both former Chicago Cubs managers, for what it’s worth) also got suspensions, with Renteria also sitting out Friday night’s game.

Anderson has consistently claimed to be the victim in all of this, and claims there is nothing wrong with the way he reacted to hitting a home run. “Our fans pay to see a show,” is how he tries to justify it.

AS THOUGH CLOWNISH antics are what some people think baseball ought to become about. Certainly not something I need to see a lot of when I pay the ridiculous prices that get charged for tickets these days to a ball game.
Although what really bothers me about such logic is the notion that batters can engage in egotistical behavior, but pitchers who might try to do similar things are somehow acting inappropriately.

Maybe it’s because I’m old enough to have baseball memories of pitchers such as Bob Gibson or Juan Marichal – both ballplayers who used the threat of intimidation or retaliation in order to try to keep a batter off-balance enough. Just as batters are always looking for an advantage to throw a pitcher off his rhythm.

So if this issue wasn’t already absurd enough over the issue of when a brushback pitch is appropriate, now we have to determine just when a white guy can be dissed as a “n-----?” Groan!!!


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