This is going to be a chose your own adventure blog. Do I really need some lame opening about how messed up life is right now or can I just jump in? If you would prefer some foreplay before I fuck you with 4 inches of truth just keep reading. If you're a "just finish already" type of person, scroll until it's no longer italicized.
Life is so crazy, amirite??!?
It's wild how during an election year we've had a pandemic and the beginning of a revolution; really makes you wonder like Maroon 5. Much like September 11th, 2001; life will never be the same as it was before (the pandemic).
Throughout pandemic life there has been so much information spreading. #vagueaf. It's important to make sure the stats and data you use are accurate. In the death of civil discourse and bipartisanship it's important to try and stay somewhat level. People can manipulate numbers to tell different stories.
When I was in college, all we talked about in history class was reliable vs unreliable sources. Although I firmly disagree with the status of Wikipedia as an illegitimate source, when dealing with anything that has a sense of seriousness I try to make sure my stuff is legit.
Now it's not easy in all situations; I'll agree there are some arguments that are simply right vs. wrong (For fun, I'll let you think of an example). However! We are never going to get anywhere as a society if we just surround ourselves with like minded people are don't have difficult conversations. Give a little, like Maggie Rogers OR Supertramp. Don't pull an Elle Duncan and be afraid to go on the Kirk Minihane show.
I have mentioned this IRL, but I may have glossed over it on DOL, so here I go....My friends and I used to be much more of ass holes to each other, but at least we were real. I'm glad we've matured, but I miss when would call each other out for our bullshit. That's how you know deep down someone cares. Now as we've gotten older, people are less confrontational...it's good most of the time, but sometimes you need to be real and talk a little shit to your friend for their benefit.
For some reason saying that Black Lives Matter and that police brutality should stop are radical political statements. How tf is that political? Sorry I believe in equality. Mad at me! Yes, all lives matter, but that isn't true with the way the game is currently played.
You may hear things like "what about black on black crime?", "well actually, cops kill more white people a year" (like that somehow is supposed to make everybody feel better?) or "if he/she didn't put themselves in that situation, it wouldn't have happened".
The simple fact is this; black and Hispanic people are killed by police at much higher rate than white people and I have data to prove that.
When you simply break down the percentages of different racial backgrounds of the U.S. population vs. percentages of different racial backgrounds of people killed by police officers; both black and Hispanic people are killed at significantly higher rates than white people...even if more total white people are killed by the cops.
Cops shouldn't be killing anybody unless it's an absolute last resort. Unfortunately some Minnesota cops don't know what "suffocating, no breathing" means, but I digress. The whole debate on lethal force is where things get incredibly gray. I understand cops have a dangerous job and sometimes they are acting in self defense, but I think stats and social media have shown us there are countless instances where it's just bad ole fashion racism. Having on a hoodie or being intoxicated shouldn't be grounds for murder. We need a complete reform.
I think the idea of defunding the police is a good one. They should have to worry about budgets just like everybody else. To paraphrase Chris Rock, "if bullets cost $5,000 each people would really think twice before shooting someone". As someone with experience in education, I've had to buy my own fucking paper to print at schools before. How many cops had to buy their own bullets?
The problem is the chant/hashtag "#defundthepolice". People are fucking stupid, especially rac..I mean southern people. When you have some blanket statement like that of course people are going to think you mean abolish the police. Nuance no longer exists and hasn't for some time. I may lean left, but not that left. I think the idea of abolishing the police is straight lunacy and never going to happen. It's like a middle schooler asking their parents for a 4:00 AM curfew.
We need law and order, but it needs to be more just for all people. Racist cops need to be exposed and removed. I am pro good cop, most cops I personally know are good people. We need more cops with compassion. The way cops are trained needs to be altered.
We probably should focus more on mental health, education and interventions to stop people from becoming criminals at young age instead of spending far more money/resources on imprisoning people for petty crimes and creating poor relationships between all involved parties. (side note; If you have HBO and haven't seen BlacKkKlansman I cannot recommend it enough)
Now that we've gotten the heaviest lifting out of the way let's focus on America's Pastime; baseball.
I have blogged about the sport hundreds of times on DOL. Ironically, today is the 10 year anniversary of my first game at Fenway Park.
My scorn towards the organization I spent nearly 20 years supporting has made it much less difficult to shed a tear for MLB. Labor "negotiations" between the owners and players have been a disgrace. These owners care more about profits than the product on the field.
When John Henry decided trading Mookie Betts was a better decision than paying him what he's worth that was the straw that broke Ole Dozo's tinfoil back. I've blogged it before, but I could put up with the bullshit that came with being a Red Sox fan, as long as they kept the payroll high and prioritized winning. Trading away the 2nd best player in baseball for scumbag Alex Verdugo does not prioritize winning IMO.
Any who, the Mookie situation makes it much easier for me to sit back and watch greed destroy the game I loved.
Corona has taught me that while I love sports, I certainly can find other stuff to keep me entertained. Baseball was awesome for the last 20 years, but you know what? I once was excited by a VHS tape being orange instead of black. Pokemon was awesome too. I once spent hours in line for a Beanie Baby. People's taste change overtime. I used to like Big Bang Theory when it first came out. (if you never read another DOL blog, I will understand)
Baseball is alienating both its fans on the fringe and diehards that had just had enough of the complete lack of foresight for innovation and disregarding young fans.
If you know anything about the state of American sports prior to the NFL-AFL merger in 1966 then you know there's tons of stories/evidence about how the big three sports in the U.S. used to be baseball, horse racing and boxing for like 50 years.
Let's fast forward to 2020. Two of the three are basically already dead and baseball is on its deathbed. Corona may be strong male nurse with a pillow that puts her out of her misery. The average baseball fan is almost 60. The only people who care about horse racing are degenerate gamblers and 4 foot tall Hispanic dudes who are really more concerned with staying alive than the race itself. Outside of Tony Padilla how many boxers can you name?
Baseball fans will talk about how Mike Trout can walk down the street without getting recognized like that's a good thing. Look at this chart and tell me that it's a good thing the best baseball players of arguably the last 30 years is less famous than Andy Dick.
Baseball had the chance to be the first sport back during C (a fantastic opportunity to grow the game) and now the entire 2020 season is up in the air.
Sure, the timing of baseball's suicide mixed with my Red Sox renouncing makes me feel like a freshly divorced wife watching her ex husband absolutely implode, but not that long ago there was a time I would have done ANYTHING to protect the game I love. I would defend this boring ass game til I was blue in the face. Now I'm burning pictures like Taylor Swift.
I grew up in Rhode Island during a time period where the Red Sox won FOUR World Series. You would think that all of New England would have Red Sox fever? Not even a little bit. I know in my circle, most people just don't care about baseball. When I was in college and the Red Sox won the World Series bars weren't super busy. As a baseball fan, I hated it.
Some may read this blog and think did this guy really compare police brutality/the disproportionate numbers of deaths of minorities and white people via the police to the slow death of baseball as a relevant American sport? You bet your likely-much-lighter-than-the-rest-of-your-skin-ass I did.
Of course the lives of human beings are more important than a game, I shouldn't even have to waste my time saying that, but the point is both ugly stats that I shared are going to continue if things stay the same. This isn't like global warming, we aren't too late. Things can keep getting better like the Queer Eye theme song. We need police reform, NOT a complete abolishment of the police. We need to keep the tough discussions alive and hold the MURDERERS of Breonna Taylor and countless other innocent people accountable.
Baseball will die if it keeps neglecting young fans and the ones they already have. Get a deal done, OWNERS. Baseball is at a cross roads (like America). I don't remember what went down in '94, but between baseball's history of neglecting the players who built up the game, the Astros cheating scandal, and labor disputes because scumbag billionaires are trying to fuck over the players.....with twitch, a million different streaming services, basketball and football being more entertaining, live music, sex if you're lucky, instagram, going for a hike, baking and many other more entertaining options, baseball cannot afford to fuck this up. To go completely full circle, if the United States of America truly wants to be the greatest country in the world then neither can they.
MLB followed suit and made a #BlackLivesMatter video very similar to the one NFL players released last week.
Seeing Mookie's face here breaks my heart. I try to avoid him at all costs. Legitimately just seeing him or thinking about him gets me infuriated and depressed at the same time. Trading him away will be the biggest mistake the Red Sox ever made (after Babe Ruth) unless, like I've said previously...this was a long con to pull a Chapman/Yankees situation.