Friday, May 06, 2005

I Call As My Next Witness

Mister Ray Ratto, from San Francisco. (Thanks to WFY for the link)

He writes a hagiography of the esteemed Frank Robinson. And, like I said yesterday, it's stunningly devoid of content relating to how he actually is.

Sample graf:
But then you look at manager Frank Robinson, face of the franchise, and the kind of guy who does the Hall of Fame honor by letting himself be included, and with all that, you come to the realization that rooting for the Nationals might not be such a bad idea after all.

Even Tom Boswell would be ashamed to write that.

I'm not saying you have to punch the guy in the face or rip him a new sphincter when writing about him. But, the only sort of coverage you get of him is references to his dignity. That's well and good if he's in the front office as an ambassador for the team. But how does that help the team on the field, which is what his true job is?

It's sorta like the orgy of coverage that always surrounded Cal Ripken. Living in Baltimore a few years, I learned to hate him. He was covered as a spiritual being rising above all else. Just the sheer force of his will caused animals to flock to him and lepers to be healed. (Too bad he couldn't do anything about Mobtown's VD rate!)

What irked me so much about all that was the the beatification overlooked something important: Cal Ripken was a pretty freakin' good baseball player. And that had NOTHING to do with the streak. Instead of focusing on the amazing things he was doing with the bat AND glove, everyone focused on the intangible aspects creating THE IRON MAN. But, that's missing the bigger picture -- a true example of missing the forest for the trees.

And, the glowing coverage of Frank, who I'm sure IS a good person and given what he's been through deserves respect, ignores the same important aspects: Is he a good manager and is he the right fit for the team?


  • Amen, brother, on Cal Ripken. I held Orioles season tickets from 1991 to 1998 and came to the same conclusion. Plus he was looked to as a leader, and did absolutely no leading, on or off the field. The turning point: 1996, when Robbie Alomar spits in a ump's face. Where was Cal to say that such behavior was not the "Oriole Way"? Nowhere. My view is the Cal worship kept that team from achieving anything worthwhile for about a decade.

    By Blogger DM, at 5/06/2005 10:25 AM  

  • Ready for the T-Bos chat?

    By Blogger Brian, at 5/06/2005 10:44 AM  

  • Basil, fair points, and I don't deny that Ripken was a great player and a justified HOFer, nor do I say he was not worthy of respect and admiration for those skills.

    The problem, as I saw it, was that the Orioles and Baltimore placed way too high a value on him, happy to remain a under-achieving club with "Cal in town", especially in the later years.

    By Blogger DM, at 5/09/2005 4:36 PM  

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