Jan 302008
 

Suppose an official type approached a friend or neighbor of yours and asked these questions about you:

  • Is he a member of the Ku Klux Klan?
  • Does he grow marijuana?
  • Does he beat his wife?
  • Have you seen the police at his house?

These are questions that Major League Baseball is asking its umpires’ friends and neighbors.  This is as a matter of course for all umpires, not for those under investigation for misbehavior or anything like that.

Would that upset you, if your employer started asking your closest associates questions like that?

Baseball lost me with the ’94 strike, and I’ve paid nearly no attention since then.  But between this and the gargantuan steroid clusterfuck, it’s becoming clear even to a casual observer that something is far beyond rotten.  It’s testimony to the inherent excellence of the game itself that it has survived, and even thrived, with such horrible mismanagement.

So what’s on the way?  More of the same.  Bud Selig’s commissioner contract was just extended through 2012.  It’s heartening to know we can expect four more years of such fastidious and effective oversight, isn’t it?

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 Posted by at 10:29 pm

  14 Responses to “Oh, and does he wear white after Labor Day?”

  1. Ask me about, um, a process I had to go through, to, um, work for the gubment. It rhymes with pecurity smearance…

  2. LOL the more I think about it, the more it sounds like what I went through. They are looking for things these guys can be blackmailed with. So that they can be coerced into helping throw a game.

    And something is up with your comment form. When I submit, I get a blank screen. They are getting through,but something. Did you upgrade recently?

  3. Baseball? There’s no crying in baseball!

    Actually, I am very fond of baseball. I don’t sleep well most nights, so a daily afternoon nap is a blessing. Sometimes, during the right season, if I can’t seem to doze off for my siesta, I put a baseball game on TV. Works like a charm. Soccer will do, too.

    I’m over the athletes/drugs thingy. I just don’t give a damn if they take them or not. I don’t care about stats, halls of fame, or any of that other stuff (hmmm, didn’t Mr. Clemens say he didn’t give a “rat’s ass” about the hall of fame?).

    As for security clearances and invasion of privacy, I see little hope for a more innocent time.

  4. I’m with Gerry here – pretty soon, ALL of us are going to have to be cleared for SOMETHING or other – bank accounts, passports, you name it. The pendulum has a lot farther to swing, I’m afraid, and I’m REALLY frightened to find out just how far it will go before a preponderance of people stands up to say “Enough.”

  5. My clearance was voluntary. If I wanted to work on the system, it was confidential. I have no qualms with that. The interview was interesting, since I had things to “chat” about in my past!

  6. ‘seester, I noticed some weirdness last night, but it’s resolved now. It wasn’t me; it was Hostmonster, or Akamai, or possibly the Illuminati.

    I just keep expecting Them to announce the inaugural Two Minutes’ Hate just any time now…

  7. This isn’t much different than what is going on in other industries. Bo and I have had many conversations about this type thing. I’ll repeat my stance here. People who claim to have stopped paying attention to baseball since the 1994 strike just don’t really like baseball anymore. No big deal. Baseball is stil my favorite sport. It’s about the game, not anything else. There will be a steroid clusterfuck coming to your favorite sport real soon. Actually there probably already is and people are clamoring to sweep, duck, and cover. Also, your employer is already asking similar questions. This type of behavoir is societal and wasn’t invented by Bud Selig. I would imagine that with the carousel of college football coaches, there are similar questions being asked of new hires. I don’t know what scares me more, them asking the questions or not asking. Or asking and not caring about the answers. All I know is that pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks and I’m ready.

  8. Yay! Spring training! Charles, I am such a baseball addict that I get excited before the start of little league. Lord, help me.

  9. I’m with ya saintseester. Anytime one of those e-mail question and answer things go around and the question comes up, “What is the geekiest thing about you?”. My response is that I have a fantasy baseball team. That in alone is pretty geeky, but what puts me over the top is the amount of thought I put into it.

    BTW..my two year old daughter could recognize an Atlanta Braves and Huntsville Stars logo before a Disney logo. She makes me so damn proud!!

  10. It’s a great game (note that I spoke to its excellence in my original post), and I still enjoy it. I like watching it when it’s on somewhere, whether it’s Charles’s house, a sports bar, or whatever. But clearly my affection for it was just never as deep as a heavy-duty fan’s, because it was relatively easy for me to walk away from it.

    College football, of course, has all its own shit with it, much of it wearing thin with me. But one thing it doesn’t carry with it is the characteristic that it just won’t happen one day it’s scheduled to. (I suppose 9/11 is an exception, but even that was just a one-week suspension of activity.) I felt betrayed when MLB struck; similar betrayal with college football is practically impossible.

    The suits may substantially ruin it one day, but that day is far off for me, just as such a day is far off for a die-hard baseball fan.

    Depth of affection.

    Of course, I became an IndyCar fan last year, and I’m looking forward to the start of that season next month. I frankly don’t know whether the labor arrangement is such that it’s possible for it to just not happen one weekend, so perhaps I’m set up for it to happen again.

  11. DIdn’t mean to “dis” Bo on his own blog. All I wanted to do was point out that if I don’t care for “X”. I don’t spend much time pointing out the depth of problem of “X”. I like “Y”. I have to be intellectually honest enough to know my limtations with “Y”. I know that Bo does. Maybe it’s a sensitive topic for me, but I’m growing tired of the, “Hey, look how screwed up our beloved used to be national pastime is going down the drain” stories, when there is currently an NFL video scandal, an apparent NBA gambling referee scandal, and a hockey went on strike for a whole freakin year scandal. It is not beyond the realm of possiblity that sportwriters are enjoying exposing the problems with “X” right now because they know it will shock and sell to “pile on” with a good story from some bitter umpire types. Kind of like a good, juicy Britney Spears story. It gets attention. Believe what you read online with that grain of salt that you ignore from whatever hobby makes you happy.

    Much love to my friend and confidant of more than 20 years.

  12. Hey man, I don’t feel dissed. I’m pleased to have the discussion.

    Much love to you as well. I’ve come to appreciate that what we have is not at all common, and I’m most thankful for its depth, consistency, and longevity. Here’s to the next 20 years and beyond.

  13. We should meet up at a Stars Game. Now, THAT’S baseball. I swear I could walk into any double A venue and have a fantastic time. It ain’t all about the bigs.

  14. I’ll go to a Stars game. Let’s do it.

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