I’d surrender but I don’t know where to report.
Years ago, government tried to cure us of the habit of referencing the disabled as “handicapped,” as in handicapped parking and handicapped entrances. Fine. “Handicapped” seemed cold, insensitive. So the new word for the disabled became “disabled.” Reasonable, functional, clear.
Now, MLB, so people-sensitive as to approve an ESPN Sunday night game in Colorado this April 7, has determined that disabled, as in “disabled list,” will be replaced with “injured.”
Thus, those unable to play are not disabled. Two different things. Nurse!
But to again quote Maynard G. Krebs — the G stood for Walter — “What an age we live in.”
We spend more time, thought and energy working on the silly and relatively insignificant to the neglect of the things that leave us conspicuously lower.
This MLB “injured list” decree brought to mind a local radio show I was invited on, not knowing that the host planned to jump me, not that it mattered. His position was that I’m an alarmist about the “changes” in sports that seem designed to desensitize the young, encourage them to act like remorseless creeps.
He claimed that kids are no different now than when we were kids or when our fathers were kids, thus I should find better things to whine about.
So if things are no different, I asked, did the NYC public middle and high schools when he was a kid have security guards and electronic scanners for weapons at the entrances? He said, “No.”
“Well, they do now.”
Having just shamelessly quoted myself, we arrive at that incomplete sentence or thought that serves to rationalize diminished standards: “Well, the game has changed.”
Last week, following the death of Frank Robinson, the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy transcribed a story told him by Robinson’s Orioles’ teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Jim Palmer:
“One night in Fenway, he hit a shot off the wall that he thought was going out. He jogged out of the box. But the ball didn’t go out. Yaz [Carl Yastrzemski] played it for a single. We won the game, so it didn’t really matter, but it mattered to Frank.
“When [manager] Earl Weaver got to his office after the game, there was a note and a couple of $100 bills. The note read, ‘I embarrassed the ballclub. I embarrassed myself. It will never happen again.’ ”
Running to first base is now optional, even rationalized as acceptable. And with commissioner Rob Manfred’s full public approval, MLB last year launched a campaign to encourage kids to have “fun” playing baseball by performing acts of obnoxious and risky immodesty, including bat-flipping prior to expectant home runs.
Last week, Bob Friend, a great pitcher on mostly bad Pirates’ teams, died. Curt Block, a longtime media specialist who worked for NBC, sent this:
“I never met Bob Friend. Only spoke to him. Once.
“In 1964 I was a rookie sportswriter at UPI. I was assigned to write the late ‘National League Roundup.’ It was supposed to include quotes from a star of the games.
“Friend threw an outstanding game. He was the guy I needed. I called the Pirates’ clubhouse and was told that he’d return my call. It was probably 10-10:30 p.m. Then it was midnight. Then 1 a.m.
“Around 1:30 somebody yelled from across the room: ‘Call on three!’
“It was Bob Friend. He’d forgotten. He remembered when he was driving home. He pulled over to call from a pay phone.
“He was embarrassed. I was grateful. I never forgot Bob Friend.”
A lot has changed a lot.
Suddenly, Tirico is Mr. Hockey?
Everywhere TV networks remain eager to reinvent the flat tire.
NBC has announced that Mike Tirico will call an NHL game “For the First Time In His 30-Year Career.” He’ll do play-by-play on NBCSN’s Feb 20 Chicago-Detroit game.
How nice. But why? NBC has competent hockey play-by-players. No offense to Tirico, buy why risk the telecast to someone who has never called a game? Bucket list? How many extra viewers will such an idea draw? Why draw attention from the game for a network novelty act?
If it’s designed to promote Tirico as the new No. 1 face and voice of NBC Sports, why not have him enter attached to a hang glider? That way he has a chance of crashing before rather the game than during it.
The last thing NBC should do for or to Tirico is push him on us so ceaselessly that the scheme becomes a see-through boomerang.
But that’s what TV does.
Hockey isn’t always easy to watch on TV, given the small size of the puck and its rascally temperament to suddenly vanish, yet NBC tries to do whatever it can to further limit that view. It has returned to wasting screen space and distracting viewers by adding a digital clock timing the shifts of individual players — another worthless application of technology.
But come to think of it, in my 46-year career, I’ve never played third base for the San Diego Padres.
The @backaftathis Twitter site continues to serve a fresh smorgasbord of Mike Francesa delights.
This week, again, so many to choose from. But we’ll go with this one from the world’s most eminent expert on football in applying his expertise to a dissenting, thus interrupted, caller:
“Tom Brady took over a team that was already winning.”
In 2001, when Brady became New England’s starting QB, the Pats were 0-2. The previous year, his rookie season, the Pats were 5-11.
But Sitting Bull just fabricates facts to fit his falsehoods. He’s paid a lot to lie. Good work if you can get it.
It’s time to call (over)charging foul on Dolan & Co.
Aren’t the Jim Dolan Knicks, again, committing consumer fraud?
Can The Garden successfully argue that, in charging millions of dollars for season tickets and cable TV fees, it has done its best to produce a commensurate product in the form of even a somewhat competitive team?
Exhibit A for the prosecution: The systemic devaluation of Enes Kanter, a valuable player.
Even those who buy sour milk are entitled to their money back.
There are times when police parlance sounds like Mike Mayock explaining a 2-yard plunge. For example, “Suspect traveling at a high rate of speed” sure sounds like “speeding” to me. Then there’s, “Drug deal gone bad.”
This week’s arrest of Notre Dame WR Javon McKinley for allegedly punching two campus policemen concluded with this official assessment:
McKinley allegedly punched both officers, “in a rude, insolent or angry manner.”
Seems he was arrested for an IA — impolite assault.
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