Sports In The Ethics News!

Gynnastics and Football! Mary Bono, yes, Sonny’s widow, resigned as the interim CEO of the USA Gymnastics Federation after a tweet in which she dared to express disapproval of Nike, presumably because of its decision to elevate renegade NFL kneeler Colin Kaepernick to role model status.  The tweet pre-dated her agreement to serve as an interim head while the embattled organization tries to dig out from a sexual molestation scandal. Nike is being sought as a major sponsor of women’s gymnastics, as several fled after the Federation was disgraced in the Larry Nasser scandal. Simone Biles and other gymnasts used social media to questioned whether Bono was fit to lead the organization and whether it was wise to alienate a potential sponsor. Chalk this one up to another set of timid bureaucrats being more terrified of social media than they are interested in running their organization competently. Nike now politicizes everything it touches, and has taken up permanent residence on the Left, because it thinks that where the market and the money is. Surely there are potential corporate sponsors that aren’t fond of using divisive messages to sell merchandise.

Is the new cultural standard going to be that impulsive tweets from the past, recent or distant, are legitimate reasons to can qualified people from jobs in which they have done nothing wrong? Bono’s fatal tweet just said that she had crossed out the “swoosh” on her own shoes.

Boy, when President Trump’s tweets come out, he’s going to be in BIG trouble…

On the other hand, Bono is an idiot. Her post resignation tweet suggested that both the kneeling NFL players and her swoosh censorship were protected free speech. She was a member of Congress, and she doesn’t understand the First Amendment. Worse, every time a presumed authority repeats that dead wrong “the players have a right to protest on the field” canard, America gets a little dumber.

Fire her for THAT.

Baseball! (Of course…):

  • After an incident of loafing on the field (which he explained in an interview as just him following the beat of his own drum, or something) Dodger free-agent to be and alleged superstar shortstop Manny Machado authored two dangerous slides into second-base during the National League Championship Series against Milwaukee, and in the next game, just to make sure the world knows what a toxic jerk he is, intentionally kicked at the leg of the Brewers’ first baseman while running past the base.

Major League Baseball fined him a pathetic $10,000 for this, which would be like fining me 5 bucks. I can’t wait to see which value-free, venal, asshole-extolling team signs Manny this off=season. Based on team history and culture, I predict the Yankees his current employers, the Dodgers.

Here’s the play at first…

  • Last night’s astounding Red Sox-Astros game (the Sox won 8-6) featured one of those anomalous occurrences that show the flaw of a rule. The video leads off this post. Baseball’s rules hold that if a spectator “reaches into the field of play” to stop a player from catching a batted ball, that’s fan interference, and the batter is out (the spectator is also usually tossed out of the game.) However, if the player crossed a barrier—a fence, wall or seating section to catch a ball, that is the domain of the crowd, and while he can catch the ball, the fans can also try to catch the ball, protect themselves, or otherwise get in his way.

In the first inning, Boston’s Mookie Betts, the best right-fielder in the game, appeared to be about to make a miraculous catch of a home-run bid by Houston’s Jose Altuve. As he leaped for the ball, however, an Astros fan’s hand closed Betts’ glove, causing the ball to bounce off the glove, spectators, and back on the field. Umpire crew chief Joe West ruled interference, and a video review left the call intact. Instead of a tw0-run homer, Altuve was out.

Most observers feel the call was wrong. Though the video isn’t 100% conclusive, it looks as if Mookie’s glove was over the wall when the fans disrupted his catch. The play demonstrates, however, what’s wrong with the rule. If outfielders are allowed to catch balls after they have crossed the barrier on the way into the stands, then that space is sill “the field of play.” The rule could be, after all, that once a ball crossed that plane, it’s a home run whether the fielder catches it or not. THEN the distinction between interference (on the field) and non-interference (in the stands) makes sense. Player can’t catch balls in the stands, and spectators can’t touch balls in play. Altuve’s ball was still in play, because if Betts had caught it, he would have been out.

West’s call was probably wrong, but the rule needs to be changed.

4 thoughts on “Sports In The Ethics News!

  1. The Machado video doesn’t actually show the play, it just shows various players talking about it.

    I somehow missed it, but once I was able to locate the video that sure doesn’t seem like a normal play to me. I’ve seen thousands of players run through first base on plays with varying degrees of closeness (this wasn’t that close). I don’t ever recall the runner tripping the fielder — at least not unless the runner was already falling down, which he wasn’t.

  2. I was in a restaurant when watched the Machado video, so I had the sound off. I haven’t followed baseball for years, so I know nothing about Machado. But just seeing his dismissive gestures, his deliberately hooded eyes and the smirk on his face made me want to choke him out.

  3. Machado is an entitled little punk who likely has never faced discipline, or consequences that mattered to HIM for his bad actions. Johnny Manziel is a good example of the type: silver spoon whose daddy paid off any of his trouble, who could not discipline himself enough to make it in the majors.

    Fun story: my local football team was headed to the playoffs for the first time in years (decades?) and played Johnny’s team (Kerrville). Johnny was arrested the day of the game shoplifting at WalMart (he was rich, so no real need: just teen stupidity) and was not charged due to being the local high school football hero (and daddy’s pocket book). He alone destroyed our team that night when he should not have been allowed to play.

    Where are the gods of Baseball in all this? If anyone deserved a torn ACL or inexplicable vertigo on the eve of free agency it is this Machado twerp.

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