Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up After The Red Sox Complete An Unprecedented Late Inning Comeback In The World Series HAHAHAHAHA!, 10/28/18: Obama’s “Norms”, Goodbye Apu, #MeToo Hypocrisy, And “Roshomon,” Chicago-Style

Focus, Jack, focus!

1. Not the World Series, ETHICS! And speaking of ethics…

  • What kind of lie is this? Rich Hill, the Dodgers starting pitcher last night who almost unhittable, said in an interview that he “liked” his team’s chances of winning the Series despite being behind 3 games to 1. World Series history and basic math says that the chances are “slim.” He likes the slim chances? Does he really like them? Does he believe liking them means they are more likely to break his way?

Is he just lying to buck up his team and its fans, when he really doesn’t “like” the chances at all, not being, you know, an idiot? Does that make it a “good lie”?

  • The Fox World Series broadcast team of Joe Buck and John Smoltz is incompetent. In a potentially game-changing play in which the Boston catcher’s throw attempting to complete a home-to-first double-play sailed past first, allowing the game’s first run to score, the two alleged experts said that there was no interference. Wrong. There was interference, and it was obvious: Bellinger, the Dodgers runner, was on the infield grass rather than the yard-wide running lane to the right of the baseline, which exists precisely for plays like that, when the catcher needs a lane to throw unimpeded to first base to get the out.  It should have been called runner’s interference, completing a double-play and ending the inning without a run scoring. Instead, the run scored on the errant throw from Boston catcher Vasquez, and the next batter, Yasiel Puig, hit a three-run homer to give L.A. a 4-0 lead. There was no discussion of the rules and issues involved.

But after the game, over at the MLB cable channel, former Yankees manager Joe Girardi and baseball analyst Harold Reynolds graphically illustrated that the interference should have been called. This is what the Fox broadcasters are paid for: to explain the nuances of the rules and the game to the average World Series viewer, whose baseball acumen is rudimentary. The umpires missed the play, even though as Reynold pointed out, it was called many times during the season. Umpires are reluctant to call interference of any kind during the post-season, because it’s messy, and guarantees controversy and an on-field arguments.

  • For an unusual first ball ceremony, former Red Sox-Oakland Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley (Now an ace Boston TV color man, known New England-wide as “Eck”) threw a pitch to ex-Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager as Kirk Gibson stood in the batters box. Gibson, you should recall, hit the famous “The Natural” home run off Eckersley to win Game #1 of the 1988 World Series, after limping to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 9th inning. How many ex-players would voluntarily re-enact their worst moment on the field on national TV? Imagine Ralph Branca throwing a ceremonial first pitch to Bobby Thompson.

Eck personifies humility and exemplary sportsmanship.

  • Trump Tweets, Baseball Division. This made me laugh out loud, I have to admit. During the game, the President criticized Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decision to replace Hill with his first baseball tweet:

“It is amazing how a manager takes out a pitcher who is loose & dominating through almost 7 innings, Rich Hill of Dodgers, and brings in nervous reliever(s) who get shellacked. 4 run lead gone. Managers do it all the time, big mistake!”

I wish the President would confine all of his tweeting to second-guessing managers and coaches. It’s obnoxious, but harmless. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, presented with the tweet during his post-game press conference, handed it ethically and well. Steely-faced, he asked, “The President said that?” and responded, sufficiently respectfully, “I’m happy he was tuning in and watching the game. I don’t know how many Dodgers games he’s watched. I don’t think he was privy to the conversation. That’s one man’s opinion.”  Roberts was referring to the fact that Hill told him that he might be getting fatigued. Nonetheless, lots of people other than the President questioned Robert’s decision.

It is pure hindsight bias, of course, as well as consequentialism. If the Dodger bullpen had held a late-inning  4-run lead as every previous World Series bullpen had, nobody would be criticizing Roberts.

2. The confiscated handicapped van. [Pointer: Michael Ejercito] Andrea Santiago’s $15,000 van with a customized wheelchair lift was confiscated  by the City of Chicago as an abandoned vehicle. She has polio and multiple sclerosis, and the family claims the vehicle was parked legally and obviously not abandoned. This is a Roshomon situation, for the accounts of the city and the family are irreconcilable. Chicago’s Department of Streets & Sanitation sent this statement:

“The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) removes abandoned vehicles to promote safety and improve the quality of life in Chicago communities. DSS strictly follows the procedures outlined in the City’s municipal code when responding to complaints from residents about abandoned vehicles. DSS places a seven-day notice directly on the vehicle requesting the vehicle be moved and sends a second pre tow notice via certified mail to residents with valid vehicle registration. Owners receive another notice via certified mail after the vehicle is impounded. In each case, vehicle owners can also dispute the validity of the tow and impoundment by requesting a post tow hearing or by filing a claim through the City Clerk’s office. Residents can find more information about abandoned vehicles at www.cityofchicago.org/dss.”

Andrea’s family says that when it saw the city “abandoned vehicle” warning sticker,  they “scraped everything off the windows,” put a sign up that said the vehicle was  not abandoned,” and  left a phone number for my wife so they could call and we moved the van up one spot.”

Well, somebody missed a connection somewhere. The story makes no sense.

Unfortunately, Santiago’s daughter fell into a yawning ethics trap, telling the news media, “It’s just very infuriating. The city to do that, with no regards to who that vehicle belonged to, is sickening. It’s absolutely sickening.”

Wrong. The laws can’t be enforced selectively according to who the law-breaker is. If the vehicle was abandoned under the legal standards, who it belonged to, and how much she needed it, and how hard her life had been, has to be irrelevant.

3. Bingo! From a post titled, “#MeToo movement, we need to talk. Sincerely, a survivor,” by Rhyan Doxey:

I am breaking up with you. Now don’t take this as me not supporting the take down of rapist or that I don’t care about survivors, I just can’t back a movement that has been taken over by partisan politics. Recently, I’ve seen you get behind the overzealous Democrat leadership, desperate to regain a majority in November, by choosing to bring forward a person with an accusation that was based entirely on uncorroborated hearsay and would not even hold up in a court of law. This is in in the same breath of blatantly ignoring other women’s stories that have legitimate evidence but happen to be about a high profile Democrat. The problem is, true #metoo attackers do not discriminate and victims’ rights are not forwarded by ignoring victims because their story doesn’t meet an agenda at that point in time… When I saw the movement get behind this “believe all women” fallacy it only told me that you have now been wielded as a tool for someone to get what they want politically. We no longer look at facts and evidence. We now asking society to blindly believe all women, simply because they are women….You are hurting the movement and survivors as a whole. Not all women tell the truth just as frequently as  men. This movement is now living in a glass house. You have now damaged the way the public views sexual assault and those who have the bravery to come forward by using the movement to ruin a man’s reputation and life with no evidence. All for political gain. Democrats have officially exploited the #metoo movement that was started to forward survivor empowerment and ruined a powerful platform that had the potential to truly be used for good.

4. Speaking of those “vital democratic norms”...Barack Obama has become the first ex-President in over a century to repeatedly and publicly attack his successor, something his predecessor, George W. Bush, pointedly avoided as a matter of tradition, fairness and national unity.

5. Mission accomplished! WaitIt is being reported that “The Simpsons” will eliminate Indian-American and Quik-E-Mart owner Apu from its cast of thousands because the political correctness assault on the character as a “stereotype” is more trouble than Mr. Nahasapeemapetilon is worth. So now “The Simpsons” will have no Indian-American characters at all, like most sitcoms. The comedian/activist who initially attacked Apu, Hari Kondabolu tweeted that the rumor of Apu’s apparent demise actually isn’t good news to him: “There are so many ways to make Apu work without getting rid of him. If true, this sucks.”

Good job Hari! Apu in fact DID “work, you just didn’t like him, and now because you didn’t like him, there will be no Indian-American character on “The Simpsons” at all. A better example of allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good would be hard to find.

15 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up After The Red Sox Complete An Unprecedented Late Inning Comeback In The World Series HAHAHAHAHA!, 10/28/18: Obama’s “Norms”, Goodbye Apu, #MeToo Hypocrisy, And “Roshomon,” Chicago-Style

  1. Re: Apu. How well would his character worked if he had been recast as a statistician, economist, or college professor within the Simpsons frame of sociological reference.

    • Good question. Nobody has bitched about Dr. Hibbard or even Dr. Nick, who is some kind of generic Middle-Easterner.

      Our local 7-11 is owned and managed by an Indian American. Wonderful guy.

  2. Jack, if the van was moved up one spot or 1 inch it was moved and thus the owner complied with the warning. I am assuming without any facts to the contrary, the only act required was to move the van. If they got a pre tow warning someone should have called the city. Nothing in the response from the city suggested that all warnings were unheeded and nothing suggests the family took any steps upon getting a certified pre tow letter.

    You are absolutely correct that laws must be observed by all and selective enforcement based on some mitigating factor is unethical but I cannot side with the city if the vehicle was moved even a fraction of an inch at the first warning. My vehicles park in roughly the same spot every day on public streets and unless the tires are chalked no law enforcement agency can determine if the vehicle was moved or not. More info on this matter is needed to determine who acted incorrectly.

      • I understand your point. What I dont understand is when the handicap card was played. Then again, does it matter? If the city did not follow its own process then it does not matter if the person was handicapped or not. If they did, the same should apply. However, I am less likely to condemn the people playing the handicap card if they complied with the warnings and still got towed.

        • Also agreed. But they are not entitled to avoid procedures that others are required to follow because of their misfortunes. I suspect that a) it was a bureaucratic screw-up and b) the victim never answered the duly sent warnings on the always fatal assumption that if the government was wrong, nothing bad would happen, ESPECIALLY to a disabled person.For example, if a citizen is arrested based on an officer’s error, the citizen can still not resist, and if said citizen is shot in the act of, say, threatening the officer, the fact that the original arrest attempt was erroneous is no longer germane. The citizen’s assessemnt of the legitimacy of an enforcement action doesn’t change the obligation to obey the authority. There are procedures for a challenge.

          • Agreed, but nothing in the reported facts suggest they failed to act. By moving the van “up one space” they honored the request for it to be moved. The signage stating it is not abandoned with a phone number is irrelevant and does not vitiate the request to move the vheicle – unless the vehice had also been moved as requested which the citizen claimed had been done.

            I suppose what troubles me is the standard bureacratic response that lays out the procedures they must follow but fails provide the specific facts of the case at hand, leaving the reader to assume the city had done everything correctly and the citizen failed to comply properly. If the city requests that I move the vehicle but does not tell me where or how far it must be moved and I move it “up a space” I have complied with the legal requirements.
            It stands to reason that an owner will remove the warning sticker before or after moving the vehicle if they believed they had complied.

    • I am shocked that the van was crushed. Normally, a wrecker yard has to keep a vehicle at least 90 days before they get a title to the vehicle. That means the family did not pursue getting the van back for 3 months. It looked like a pretty good van. Normally, impound yards auction such vehicles off or have an auto dealer’s license to sell them once they gain the title. They would have received much more money by selling or auctioning this functioning vehicle than by scrapping it. Does Illinois require them to scrap such vehicles, or was something horribly wrong with it?

  3. Jack:
    Thank God a voice of baseball reason. I was screaming at the TV and Fox’s team about Bellinger being out due interference. The box on the foul side of the box on the first baseline is for the runner for just this reason. I was livid and astonished at this incompetence. He was out and the four runs never should have counted.

    More incompetence was the lack of critical thought by Buck or Smoltz when Muncy is at the plate and does not bunt to move the runner to second. They lucked out and Turner doubled, but it was another lifelong baseball yell fest at Dave Roberts for letting Muncy swing away in a 0-0 tie at the time. All without expert comment.

    And don’t get me started on the bullpen mismanagement. Ugh.

    As for Barack Obama, he was, is, and will ever be a political hack, intellectual lightweight, and opportunistic jerk. Can’t we send him back to wherever he told Columbia he was from in order to be admitted? (It’s a working hypothesis.)

  4. Congrats on your Red Sox winning the World Series. I actually fell asleep during this game when it was 4-0 and Hill was still pitching a one hitter. When I found out what happened, I knew the Series was over. Teams just don’t come back from a game like that.

    Anyways, enjoy the title for the next year — the Red Sox absolutely earned it.

  5. I wouldn’t say Hill was lying…exactly. He was spitting (or otherwise casting liquid) into the wind. Good luck, Jack. Nothing like winning a world series to glue one’s head back on.

    • That feeling when your team is the last one standing, like your feet will never touch the ground, is something very few people ever experience.

      Perhaps it should it be designated as a Human Right…or redistributed…

  6. Saw this joke and could not resist…

    While down there the Devil notices that the Houstonian is not suffering like the rest. He checks the gauges and sees
    that it’s 90 degrees and about 80% humidity. So he goes over to the Houstonian and asks why he’s so happy. The
    Houstonian says, “I like it here. The temperature is just like Houston in June.
    The Devil isn’t happy with the Houstonian’s answer and decides to get him, so he goes over and turns up the
    temperature to 100 degrees and the humidity to 90%. After turning everything up he goes looking for the
    Houstonian. He finds him standing around unbuttoning his shirt, just as happy as can be.
    The Devil quizzes the Houstonian again as to why he’s so happy. The Houstonian says, “This is even better. It’s like
    Houston in July.”
    The Devil, now upset, decides to really make the Houstonian really suffer. He goes over to the controls and turns
    the heat up to 120 degrees and the humidity to 100%. “Now lets see what the Houstonian is up to,” he says. So he
    goes looking for the Houstonian. He finds him taking his shirt off, even happier then before.
    The Devil can’t figure it out. He asks the Houstonian why he’s happy now.
    The Houstonian replies, “This is great, it’s just like Houston in August.”
    The Devil says, “That’s it, I’ll get this guy.” He goes over and turns the temperature down to a freezing 25 degrees.
    “Let’s see what the Houstonian has to say about this.” The Devil looks around and finds the Houstonian jumping up
    and down for joy and yelling………….

    THE ASTROS HAVE FINALLY WON THE WORLD SERIES!”

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