Last week, my colleague, and, as George Harrison once said of Bob Dylan, "a friend of us all," Doug Pappas passed away. For those readers of the Pinstriped Bible who have not heard of Mr. Pappas, he was our preeminent writer on the business of baseball. His deconstructions of baseball's often nefarious financial practices brought new transparency to the game. That he accomplished this from the outside, in the face of opposition from the game's management speaks to his intelligence, perceptivity, and diligence.Goldman has since published a book on Casey Stengel, Forging Genius, and he's edited a couple more for Baseball Prospectus. He's the hardest-working writer I know (so hard that I even forgive his email lapses) as well as the standard-bearer for a generation of Internet-groomed baseball writers, and a genuine inspiration on both a personal and professional level. No matter what endeavor you choose, his words should be taken to heart.
Doug made himself available to most anyone who wanted to tap his tremendous reservoir of knowledge, and his work was one of the direct inspirations for Michael Lewis' Moneyball, one of the most important baseball books of the last twenty years. For those who try to understand baseball in all of its compelling facets, not just the athletic and the strategic but also the economic and the political, the loss of Doug is an irreparable blow.
Doug Pappas was just 43. Lou Gehrig was not quite 38. Thurman Munson was 32. Addie Joss, the four-time 20-game winner for the Cleveland Indians, was 31. Ross Youngs, the great Giants outfielder, was 30. I am 33 and am a cancer survivor. The thing about being a cancer survivor is that it's not necessarily a permanent distinction. I hope to be able to wear that badge for a long, long time, but you never know. Sometimes the doctors say encouraging things about that, sometimes not.
We make our long-term plans and we hope for the best, not really knowing whether we'll be able to follow through. Doug thought he was going on vacation. Gehrig suited up for that last game on May 2, 1939, but he didn't get to play. In the end, not even he could count on that.
Work while you can, gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and never turn down a time at bat, for the night comes, and in this game, they don't play night games.
Brett Myers is arrested for beating his wife, but he can't beat the Boston Red Sox lineup he faces a day later. In putting the team's interest ahead of other concerns by allowing Myers to pitch, the Phils send a disgraceful message that trivializes a problem all too common among professional athletes, one that does far more harm to society than performance-enhancing drugs. Seriously, here's hoping the fine fans of Philadelphia shower Myers and the organization with the scorn and abuse they deserve, and that both Major League Baseball and the criminal justice system bring down the hammer on this thug.The last line of what I wrote for this entry was understandably left on the cutting room floor: "Until they do that, the Phillies can phucking rot." Sorry to enter yet another soapbox derby, but this is an issue I feel very strongly about. More than any other transgression involving athletes -- steroids, hard drugs, even drunk driving --domestic violence gets short shrift; the police blotters are dotted with wife- and girlfriend-beatings on an annual basis, yet justice is rarely served because often these incidents take place without witnesses. Critics of my bitter obituary of Kirby Puckett liked to point out that Puckett was never convicted of a crime, but it's clear from his rap sheet that the man displayed a pattern of behavior in his private life that contradicted -- and to me, completely devalued -- his cuddly public image.
It's now four days since the arrest of Brett Myers after one of the most public, most witnessed and -- if all those witness accounts are accurate -- most reprehensible examples of spousal abuse I can ever remember an athlete being accused of.Myers finally agreed to take a leave of absence through the All-Star break to deal with his situation, but the damage has been done. The Phils took four days to reach a conclusion that the rest of us reached in four seconds, reacting only when they were being all but burned in effigy. They get no points here.
But I'm still waiting (as is the rest of the planet) for some evidence that it has dawned on Myers, or anyone on the Phillies, exactly what a horrendous job he and the team have done of handling everything -- everything -- related to this incident since.
It seems clear now that Myers, who already has made one start since his arrest, is going to make his second Thursday in Baltimore. Bad idea. Really, really bad idea.
Yes, Brett Myers has legal rights, as a citizen and as a baseball player. Yes, his team and his sport have an obligation to let the legal system play out before they discipline this man.
But somebody needs to take charge of this situation. Somebody needs to sit down with Myers and make him understand the gravity of this mess.
Somebody needs to make him comprehend the irreparable damage he has a chance to do to his career if he really thinks the only thing he needs to say to the public is: "I gave it my all."
And once that sinks in (if it ever does), somebody needs to make him understand that he needs to miss a start -- or five -- to get his life together and to work on what really matters:
Demonstrating that he's a civilized human being who believes in treating the female half of the species with proper respect and decency.
June 2001 July 2001 August 2001 September 2001 October 2001 November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]