Those clinging to this mindless and misguided old-school, “back in my day,” yesteryear drivel that Major League Baseball was driven by tough, hard-nosed guys who made the game so much better than it is today, and those clinging to this mindless and misguided hero-worship of an athlete, albeit at one time great, stuck in the same stone age of stupidity.
Forget skill or sportsmanship. If a guy grits his teeth, sports a scowl, wears a dirty uniform and pushes the limits of the law between the lines, or even crosses it from time to time, oh, yeah, hell, yeah, he is the essence of what we want to see and what we want our kids to be.
If he can somewhat coherently beer-muscle out an expletive or two, causing those who genuflect in his aura to forever pee in their pants with glee at such super-cool edginess, for everyone to hear during a celebratory parade, hey, all the better.
Chase Utley, and his ilk, your cup must runneth over.
Pardon me whilst those of us with brainpower, or at least usable brain mass, puke.
As the uproar mounts as Game 3 of the NLDS between the ex-Phillies second baseman/brooding cult leader's new team, the Dodgers, and the Mets at the injustice done to that Beloved Boy of Summer now well into the winter of his career, the insanity of it all defies logic.
Put bluntly, since when has barreling into a defenseless player, such as Utley did to Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada on Saturday night, an act which led to the former’s suspension and all the endless commotion in support of him since, been viewed as tough or hard-nosed? Forget the reality that it was an illegal slide, probably unleashed because Utley no longer has the athletic skill to actually pull off a legit, take-out one with his ravaged, 36-year-old legs, but if that’s what the pro-Utley masses view as a manly move, wow, then the Jonathan Papelbon School of Douchebaggery, where convoluted, fake-tough logic reigns, has graduated some Penn State-sized classes of late.
This absolutely silly, yet insistent, chant by the backers of Utley that this sport is only for the most macho and manliest of men is comical. Umm, sorry to burst that bubble, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more pampered, coddled lot in the universe than those who reside in MLB locker rooms.
These are individuals, not to mention those who enable them, who pontificate endlessly about the preciseness and delicate genius so adamantly required to play professional baseball that it absolutely prohibits their entry onto the field unless physical capacities are at an absolute maximum.
Even Utley, yeah, super tough guy that he is, has pulled that lame-ass crap.
With this current case, which sees the fallen “hero” having been handed down such dubious punishment as a two-game suspension, it never ceases to amaze that the perp is viewed by his peeps as the victim, and, if things were right in tough-guy universe, the real victim should just have to deal with the surgery-requiring circumstances, with no one, least of all MLB, acting as his protector.
There is one saving grace emerging, though – Utley’s appeal. With it, fake-tough can prevail and proceed for at least one more day as the league office delays its review.
Meanwhile, a nation of nitwits stuck in the past can remain there. Forever blinded by bias and BS, puffing out its chest with the block-head rationale that plunking Utley with a pitch his next trip to the plate evens the score.
What Utley did was cheap and dirty and lame. There is no “evening up” that score.
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com