A Major League Baseball Airing of Grievances

I got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re gonna hear about it! You may as well call me Kris Bryant, because I need to air some grievances. And what better time to do it than on this joyous day of celebration known as Festivus? Let’s just get right to it then, shall we?

Not voting in anyone from the PED Era

Lazy journalism takes many forms, be it baseless narratives, failure to acknowledge the changing media market, or co-opting a pop-culture phenomenon to provide the basis for an article (please tell me, what can economists learn from Star Wars!). But one of the worst is when “writers” pick up the torches and pitchforks of false righteousness and self-importance and decide to crusade for the sanctity of baseball. Rabble, rabble…steroids…rabble…not voting…rabble…please pay attention to us again.

Enforcing the unwritten rules

Speaking of sanctity and self-importance, is there anything more eye-roll-inducing than these self-appointed enforcers of baseball’s unwritten rules? Nothing says misplaced machismo like a pitcher getting butthurt and plunking a guy for admiring his dinger in the previous at-bat. I mean, if a man can’t appreciate the appreciation of a good dong, perhaps he’s better off finding another line of work that will afford him a wage commensurate to that which he earns to play a stick-and-ball game.

Seriously though, the game is fundamentally different now from what it was and standing on an amorphous moral code is tantamount to jackassery. I know we all love to see baseball as this sort of time warp, an anachronism among the major sports, unchanged by the passage of time, but that’s just not the case. As the game becomes ever more influenced by international players, it’s naturally going to take on more of the flair, flavor, and — you’re kidding yourself if you don’t see this — fun of those various iterations of the game.

If Joey Bats wants to pimp the hell out of a homer and huck his stick all the way back to the dugout, I’m all for it. And he and others should be free to do so without fear of a mid-90’s heater to the lumbago or the tookus.

Fans taking themselves too seriously

Yeah, I’m talking to you, BFIB. I know the Best Fans in Baseball moniker has sort of taken on a life of its own, but there’s nothing to lampoon if there isn’t at least a kernel of truth to start with. And in this case, it’s more than a kernel. When you find yourself aghast at the fact that a man who played for your team would actually leave in free agency, you might need to reconsider how seriously you take yourself. When you take the time to make a sign proclaiming Derek Jeter “Classy enough to be a Cardinal,” you have become a caricature.

Calling players out on Twitter

If you take to social media to verbally assail an athlete, or anyone for that matter, you are an awful person. Anyone who lacks the self-awareness to consider what they’re doing and not think, “Wow, hurling invective at Player X is something only a total douchebag would do” probably isn’t contributing much to society. Here is your final reminder. Benedict Arnold was a “traitor.” People who work on Wall Street are “traders.” Jason Heyward is neither.

Whining from “real” journalists

Whether it’s Rick Telander or Michael Wilbon or Jason Whitlock, I’m just so fed up with journalists bellyaching about the diminution of their craft as the result of the proliferation of blogs and other alternative media. Sure, those of us without major brand-name backing don’t have the same accountability. Sure, I’m writing this from my mom’s basement (thanks for the sandwich, mom!). But just because I’m not there or because I’m not rubbing elbows with athletes on the daily doesn’t mean I’m less capable of telling stories.

I’d rather be loved than feared, but it’s clearly the latter emotion driving the drivel some of these journos are putting out. Not that we blogger-types are perfect by any stretch — clickbait and hot take pieces abound in this world too. But to summarily dismiss the obvious and necessary shift in the way fans consume information about their respective teams is petty and asinine.

Writers who use 1,500 words when 750 would have done just fine

I’m looking in the mirror on this one.

The comments

While certainly not as vile as those who call out celebs in 140 characters or less, I’ve got a beef with the folks who take to the comments sections to call writers names. And I’m not just pointing a finger and tsk-tsking you because I’ve been called an idiot and a liar more than once. I used to be one of those guys who would piss and moan about what I was reading on blogs. But when I reflected on what I was doing, I quickly realized what a hypocritical punk I was.

If you’re not willing to offer a solution, you’d do well to keep your name-calling to yourself. That’s why, rather than shaming the author(s) of various blogs, which really only shamed me, I took to the keyboard myself. I’d venture to guess that a lot of keyboard commandos might think twice about throwing stones when they’re living in their own glass houses. Then again, it’s a lot easier to stand behind a pseudonym and an avatar than to be willing to put your own cogent thoughts into a few hundred words and attach your real name to them.

“Don’t read the comments” is an axiom that’s easier for some to follow than others. More often than not, it just leads to me getting mad online at the airing of my readers’ grievances, which leads to me airing grievances over their grievances. And the snake eats its tail.

Whew, that feels better. It’s a Festivus miracle! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to set up my unadorned aluminum pole. As for the feats of strength, I’m planning on doing a few 12-ounce curls later this evening. Happy Festivus, everyone.

5 Responses

  1. David_N_Wilson

    Lol…. nice rant. I’m tempted to use some quotes and say I like this… but I don’t love it … but I don’t want any “real” journalists getting touchy…

  2. Andrew Brilliance

    Nice article, but I disagree with the section on the enforcement of unofficial rules. If a player pimps a homerun, no matter what his defense is, the result is a feeling of disrespect towards the opposing team and especially the pitcher. That being said, the pitcher has the right to show him who’s boss the next time the hitter comes to the plate. That’s just baseball, and I love it.

    • David_N_Wilson

      Sorry… much as it’s a “thing” and probably not going away, a pitcher has only so much control, and a batter hit by a pitch can be put out for a season, or even a career. No excuse for it… though I understand when it’s in retaliation for another bean ball… to a point. It’s dangerous and a bad practice.

      • Andrew Brilliance

        I respect your viewpoint from a safety standpoint, but that’s the risk that a hitter is taking if he wants to show up a pitcher. Don’t be the douche that pimps a homerun if you don’t want to run the risk of being hit, simple as that.

      • David_N_Wilson

        I suppose, but still. Who wants to be that pitcher who accidentally broke a guy’s arm, or hit him in the head. Better way to show the batter up? Strike him out. Last year, the best I saw was (I think it was Frasier) and Strop. Strop over-celebrated a strike-out. Frasier got a hit next time up and pointed at Strop with a big grin. I prefer that sort of challenge.

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