Thursday, May 5, 2011

Random baseball thoughts

The accusations flying back and forth between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball are starting to get nasty. Frank McCourt might not be able to pay his players in the second half of May, which he is blaming on Bud Selig's refusal to allow him to accept a loan from Fox. In response, MLB is blaming years of mismanagement by McCourt for the Dodgers' precarious financial condition. Selig is probably right, but I don't know how he plans to keep the Dodgers going long enough to force McCourt out the door and find a new owner that can straighten out this financial mess.

Bravo to baseball for planning to seek more power to discipline players for off-the-field incidents. The news comes after yet another player, Shin-Soo Choo of the Cleveland Indians, was arrested for driving while intoxicated, the 6th baseball player to face such charges this year. If I was Selig & Co., I would insist on a provision that allows MLB to suspend a player for drinking and driving and similar incidents. Maybe then these players will finally get the message that DUIs are dangerous, not just for themselves, but for everyone who has the misfortunate to cross their paths while they are under the influence. The union will fight this, but in truth it’s better for their players’ health and might keep them from accidently killing someone

Glad to see MLB moved quickly to suspend Roger McDowell for two weeks following his despicable comments and conduct at a recent game. Baseball was right to recognize that this was a major public relations disaster and this type of behavior, if unpunished, could alienate some fans and keep them away from the ballpark. Let’s face it, with baseball in a tight competition for the limited attention of the nation’s (and the world’s) sports fans, that type of homophobic behavior cannot be tolerated. I thought the two-week suspension was just the right length although I do also think the Atlanta Braves would be right to fire him if that’s what they decide to do. Hopefully, that sensitivity training will take, but for a guy McDowell’s age, I doubt it.

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