Can We Just STOP? Please!

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This story is, or was, pretty much dead and buried already.  But only because one party was unjustly suspended, and forced to apologize, for engaging in a little friendly trash talk during a baseball game!

I think that most of you know me by now, as a very liberal individual, who supports voting rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and most of all civil rights.  I’m a firm believer in the Black Lives Matter movement, and I truly believe that our police systems should be reformed.  And, some of you may know – but for those of you who don’t, I’ll tell you – I hate the New York Yankees.  I can’t even get behind those who say you have to root for the home team!  Nonsense!  When you’re a New York baseball fan you have to make a choice.  Mine was, and is, the New York Mets.  The cross town rivals are my nemesis, and I always take great pleasure when they lose.  But when it comes to their individual players I’m generally pretty ambivalent.  The only one that I would ever really say I actually “hated” would be Roger Clemons, because he was a psycho-bitch.  But he has long retired – thankfully – and I have actually mellowed in my old age.

With that being said, I’ve always been ambivalent about Josh Donaldson.  He never played for my Mets.  This is his first year as a Yankee, but he has had an admirable career.  He’s been in the big leagues since 2010.  He’s a three time All Star, a two time Silver Slugger Award winner, and he won the AL MVP in 2015.  He’s now on his sixth team, and everywhere he’s gone he’s been considered a “team player”, and the antithesis of a trouble maker.

A couple of weeks ago the Yankees were playing the Chicago White Sox, and Josh Donaldson teasingly called White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson “Jackie”, because in a 2019 interview with Sports Illustrated Mr. Anderson made the statement:  “I kinda feel like today’s Jackie Robinson.”  He has been in the bigs about half the time Donaldson has.  He’s been in one All Star game, and won one Silver Slugger Award, and he was the AL Batting Champ in 2019 – the year he made the statement – so I guess you could say he’s an up and coming star.  Truth is I’d never heard of him before this happened, as I don’t pay too much attention to the American League, being a Mets fan.  So, I didn’t have ANY opinion of him . . . until now.  The Yankees had recently taken 3 – 4 games in Chicago, and then the White Sox were losing the game on Saturday, in New York, so I think Anderson was mainly frustrated with their efforts.  He went back to his bench and started complaining that Donaldson was “disrespecting” him.  Donaldson considered the calling him “Jackie” an “inside joke”, as he had also done so back in 2019, after Anderson had made his statement to SI.

In my mind, if you make a statement comparing yourself with one of the game’s greatest players you have to expect a good amount of blow-back.  I think that is why most rational people do not make these kind of statements, because it just opens you up to criticism . . . especially when you don’t live up to that comparison.  Jackie Robinson was in the MLB for only 9 seasons, and during that time he was the MLB Rookie of the Year – 1947, the NL MVP – 1949, a 2X NL stolen base leader – ’47 & ’49, and he was SIX time All-Star, with a batting average of .313!   You definitely have a ways to go, young man!

Josh Donaldson did not call Tim Anderson:  Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Willie Stargell, Ozzie Smith, or any of the other African American baseball players of renown.  Why?  Because Tim Anderson never made any statement comparing himself to any of them.  Only to Jackie Robinson.  And, Josh Donaldson has never called Josh Bell, Mookie Betts, Dee Gordon, Dom Smith, Michael Brantley, or any other current African American baseball player “Jackie”, because they never compared themselves to Jackie Robinson.  He very likely has called Jackie Bradley Jr. “Jackie” . . . but of course that IS his name.

Taking offense to someone calling you a name – that isn’t yours – is the furthest thing from being racist.  In this case it was just a well-deserved dig.  It’s playful trash talk, that he has set yourself up for with his own words.  To whine to your manager (Tony La Russa) about it, and then agree with him – publicly – that it’s disrespectful AND “racist” is just deplorable.  There is more than enough actual racism and hatred in this world, and besmirching a fellow ballplayer’s reputation with this kind of allegation helps no one whatsoever.

And, the fact that everyone seems to have fallen in line with the all too eager to condemn PC police is just as disgusting.  All the players that Josh Donaldson has played with, and against, over the years know that he is not a racist.  The fact that none of his current teammates have come to his support is just plain sad, and that MLB had the temerity to suspend him for a game is just a cowardly act of weakness and injustice.  And, to think that Tim Anderson got a pass for calling Brad Keller a “weak-ass f—— n—–“, after getting hit by a pitch, is the irony that takes the cake.  He can call a fellow player the “N-word”, but someone teasingly calling him “Jackie” is racist?

I have no affection for either of these players, as they’ve never really affected my Mets.  But this is a gross injustice!  Josh Donaldson does not deserve this kind of treatment/character assassination.  And, Tim Anderson has made a mockery of a very serious subject.  Maybe worst of all?  MLB, our media, and all who remain silent – or agree with this utter nonsense – have allowed this to happen!  Shame on us all.

   YUR

6 Responses to “Can We Just STOP? Please!”


  1. 1 lwc June 3, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    Inre: “Can We Just STOP? Please!”

    I hadn’t heard about this since I don’t follow a lot of sports news, but your rendition of events sounds descriptive enough to understand what happened.

    What’s not clear is if Tim Anderson’s comment was him quietly musing to himself but was over-heard by those nearby; or was he making an announcement to the crowd ?

    It’s one thing to muse to ourselves about things we have, or haven’t, done. Others can laugh about it and let it go. But, if he was making some grand announcement like some bigtime grand champion, a little hazing is in order.
    But, from what I gather, non of this this should have gone beyond a few teammates razzing each other for a day.

    We all know what our bygone champions have accomplished and done. The guys on the make now will have to wait their turns, prove themselves, and let someone else estolll their virtues.

  2. 2 unclerave June 4, 2022 at 11:24 am

    I agree, lwc. But he said this in a sit-down interview with Sports Illustrated. Not exactly the same as Muhammad Ali screaming out “I am The Greatest!”, but far from quietly musing to himself. And, in my opinion, Ali completely backed up his bravado!

    I don’t think that Anderson was trying to come off as arrogant, but everyone – especially when you’re in the public eye – needs to know that their words have consequences. And, being called “Jackie”, in this context is far from insulting, and not even close to racist. Robinson WAS one of the game’s all-time greats!

    — YUR

  3. 3 Anonymous June 5, 2022 at 6:17 am

    Perhaps we’ve reached a tipping point in which progressive movements are being, at least partially, politically retrofitted by ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ Syndrome. Even more so among the right.

    Other recent cases in point: sixteen teammates of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas’ presented a letter to the University of Pennsylvania stating Thomas has “an unfair advantage” over the competition. (The letter was given to the school unsigned, out of fear of retribution.)

    The social movement Black Lives Matter, which some of us can agree was made necessary to promote racial equality, doled out tens of millions to BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors’ family and friends, including $8 million to BLM Canada to help purchase a mansion in Toronto. After federal tax returns exposed the payments, Ms.Cullors called the IRS 501(c)(3) charity form “racist.”

    As someone who leans toward the left, though perhaps not to your degree, I’m reminded of an old saying: a conservative is a liberal who got mugged!

    All the best UR,
    Jamie

  4. 4 unclerave June 5, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    I certainly don’t buy into EVERY claim of “cancel culture” that – predominantly – the right brings up, but there ARE just too many examples of things going TOO far! Banning words, and changing words and acronyms every few months, so we’re more “sensitive” to a – take your pick – minority’s feelings is just ridiculous. Saying that every white person is inherently racist is crap, just as saying that every male is inherently misogynistic! It just isn’t so.

    I think a lot of it is because the country has bought into too many “zero tolerance” policies. People are no longer allowing for shades of gray. I think it is sad, and these kind of things can lead to some ugly backlash.

    For the record, Jamie, I was mugged TWICE, when I was a young man living in Manhattan. I wasn’t hurt, but thankfully it didn’t leave me jaded.

    — YUR

  5. 5 lwc June 6, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    Unc,

    “…a conservative is a liberal who got mugged…”

    I’m still trying to parse that.
    give me a few minutes ! 🙂

  6. 6 unclerave June 7, 2022 at 10:26 am

    It’s just a bit of a joke, lwc, saying that liberals are idealistic . . . and a little naive. After you get mugged you come down to earth and become “conservative”. — YUR


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