Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/9/2020: Whining, Lying, Slipping, Faking, Scaring….

Good morning.

I detest that sappy Ray Stevens song, and have since the first time I heard it. But I have to try something…

1. There’s no whining in baseball! Note to MLB players: heroes and role models don’t whine.  Players have been making excuses for their flaccid play—of course, only the players who aren’t playing well are complaining—that the lack of a crowd makes it difficult to  bear down during games. The Red Sox broadcasters, including two former players, keep talking about this over and over again. Two games ago, Red Sox newcomer Alex Verdugo, in his second season, made a great catch to take away a home run, and the only cheering to be heard (I’m not including the fake crowd noises) was coming from Verdugo himself.  “In a normal game, he’d be getting  a standing ovation! A curtain call out of the dugout!” said Dennis Eckersley.

Oh, cry me a river. These guys are supposed to be professionals, and they get millions of dollars to play a game for living, one they supposedly love. I don’t believe they need crowds screaming to “get up” for big moments, and if they do, something’s wrong with them. Every kid who played sandlot baseball manged to perform at his or her best because that’s what competitors in any game do.

Then there’s Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez, who is off to a miserable start. His excuse? Part of the MLB protocols during the pandemic prohibits players from in-game use of video equipment. Martinez is used to looking at videos of his at bats during games to pick up on any flaws in his swing, so he has complained that not being able to have access to the usual devices  is contributing to his slump.

Not surprisingly, the former players in the booth have not been particularly sympathetic to his plight, having played in those dark ages when baseball players just played baseball during the games.

2. Telling us all we need to know about “Defund police,” the current Democratic Party, Minnesota,  the former co-chair of the Democratic National Committee, and the mainstream media…MN Attorney General Keith Ellison recommended last month that women not call police to report when they’ve been raped. Ellison, who coincidentally has been accused of rape himself, said,

“If you’re a woman who’s been a victim of a sexual assault, and the assailant ran away, wouldn’t you rather talk to somebody who is trained in helping you deal with what you’re dealing with, as opposed to somebody whose main training is that they know how to use a firearm? Right?”

That’s the kind of  statement I would expect from a teenage social justice warrior like David Hogg. Ellison is the top law enforcement official in the state, and his definition of a police officers is that that their main skill is using a gun?

I just found out about Ellison’s month-old idiocy [Pointer: Victory Girls] because it was ignored by the mainstream news media. Funny, I’d say that while leftist crowds are chanting “Defund police” and Democrats are denying that the demand should be taken literally, the former co-chair of the Democratic Party saying something like this would be newsworthy, no?

3. Tales of the Slippery Slope! If you allow your employees to make political statements in the workplace, how can you stop them from doing this? WNBA players wore”Vote Warnock” shirts during warm-ups this week, showing their opposition to Atlanta Dream co-owner and U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler because she has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement.

Loeffler, who was appointed this year to replace  retired GOP  Sen. Johnny Isakson, is running against Democrat Raphael Warnock in her bid to stay in the Senate. The players’ actions nicely prove the wisdom of Loeffler’s argument that the WNBA’s efforts to support Black Lives Matter is inappropriate.

In how many businesses could an employee insult an employer publicly and in the workplace with impunity?

4. Today’s fake news headline: In the  Sunday Times, headlining the Anti-Trump column on the far right that almost always contains the worst spin the Times can put on an issue ,above the fold of course, we see “Long Legal Fight May Follow Vote On Election Day.” Gee, ya think?

This is fake news because “future news” isn’t news. Such a story is opinion, and belongs in the op-ed section; the Times has a section called “Sunday Review” for such articles. It’s also fake news because its so obvious. At this point, it’s like a front page headline that says “The sun may come up tomorrow.”

Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi correctly stated the necessary and essential conduct required of losing Presidential candidates in 2016, when they chided candidate Trump for hinting that he might not accept the results of the election. It si the tradition of our democracy for the loser to graciously accept the election results, they solemnly intoned, to unify the nation and ensure the peaceful transfer of power. Unfortunately, they didn’t mean it, since as soon as Trump won, they and their party began the most destructive actions in denial of a Presidential election result since 1876. Now the Democrats have challenged the results in the election of the last two Republican Presidents. Who doesn’t know that the GOP will follow that new—and dangerous tradition if they lose in 2020?

5. Want to see something really scary?  Here are  the results so far of the Ethics Alarms poll asking which of the horrible options left to Joe Biden to be his black, female running mate:

Now the buzz is that Susan Rice has emerged as the front-runner. She has never won elected office. She has  only foreign affairs experience, none on domestic ior economic matters. She has never managed an organization. Her record as a liar is beyond challenge: check the Ethics Alarms Rice File.

Now read this, an interview with Rice in the Atlantic. Regarding that fateful Sunday in 2012 when Rice went on every network new show to deny that the attack on the Benghazi outpost was a terrorist attack after U.S. intelligence had concluded it was, Rice simultaneously excuses herself by saying she was just following orders and  “took one for the team,” and then claims that she was telling the truth, when everyone, including her, knows she wasn’t. As I have noted before, like when she said that deserter Bowe Bergdahl “served with distinction,”  she’s not even a good liar, despite having so much practice.

13 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/9/2020: Whining, Lying, Slipping, Faking, Scaring….

  1. Actually I think that Susan Rice would be the perfect choice for Biden. Two more untrustworthy politicians would be difficult to find.

    • She may be the one making it through Joe’s vaunted Republican Guard, er, his campaign advisors who are “vetting” possible running mates. Susan Rice has never done anything of any consequence. Never proposed or voted on legislation, never sent anyone to jail, never employed a police officer, never obtained a conviction. She’s hardly even said much of anything in public. She has no record. So she lied to the media once. Big deal. She’s “of color” and doesn’t look, you know, super black. She’s much like Obama (as Joe himself made clear). She cleans up nicely for a black person. And, as was Obama very craftily and effectively during his first campaign, she’s a blank canvas onto which any voter can project whatever they want to see in or believe about her. The media will furiously gloss over and mask any deficiencies she has. Plus, she’s a D.C. insider. The Dem power brokers will be comfortable with her. She’s one of them. I think she’ll be the choice. Is she an awful choice? Of course.

  2. #2. Oh sure Keith, after a rape a woman should call a counselor, not the police. I mean, why even try to catch the rapist? It’s FAR better to just focus on the mental health of the victim. After all, counslers will stay plenty busy while the rapists are running amuck with no fear of being caught. Who even needs medical attention, and those pesky rape kits completed? The voters got exactly what they deserve for electing him.

  3. Not directly related to this post, but I know it’s one of your pet ethics peeves.

    Hartford disabled the walk buttons, and labeled them accordingly:

  4. Jack,

    I agree that there is excessive whining going on in MLB right now.

    But I disagree with you about the likelihood that many players’ performances are unaffected by the lack of live audiences. When I was a player, you could bet your entire estate that I benefitted from, and welcomed, family and friends to come when I knew they were there to watch me play. Dad was always watching; he was an all-around athlete in his youth, so I paid attention to his critiques and advice. No doubt in my mind that I would not have played as well, had he not shown up. Plus, the knowledge of fans in the crowd lifted my spirits and incentivized me to focus on performing. It would have hurt my performance a lot, I believe, if for any reason, my support system could not go to games to watch me – especially if they had been plainly forbidden to go.

    Professional players of course can be reasonably expected to adjust to the missing electricity and contagious excitement that live crowds can add – MAYBE. That, though, is an adjustment that is a completely separate skill from the physical baseball skills. I believe the players when they say they miss the crowds and fans and smells of beer and hot dogs, so much that it’s a mental “downer” that possibly degrades the quality of their play.

    Martinez has a point that may be valid. No one can be sure. I know that if I was in his place, and the video review was available, I would at least be tempted to use it. Who knows? For some hitters, review of a previous at bat could be a personal “best practice” for doing better the next time up. It would be a more matter-of-fact and less whiny statement, if Martinez was to say something like: “With the virus protocols, there is one thing I am not doing now that I was used to doing, and I am convinced that doing it helped me perform better as a hitter – namely, reviewing video of my previous time or times at bat.”

    • The only sports I’ve watched of late is English Premier League soccer, Mrs. OB’s favorite. She has a long-standing crush on Jurgen Klopp, the very handsome and intelligent coach of the Liverpool squad, the best in the EPL.

      Anyway, the games played in empty stadiums and only for television or dopey. They are simply scrimmages. I played JV and some varsity high school basketball as a kid. I know the difference between a scrimmage in front of coaches and a game in front of a gym full of strangers and friends. I just don’t think there’s any way to replicate a game in front of a crowd. I can’t imagine the MLB games played in empty stadiums are even as intense as spring games. Ridiculous. I will not watch any of these made for TV exhibitions. Sure they’re pros, but it’s still a kids game and with no one watching, who cares?

      • That’s because ALL soccer looks like a scrimmage.

        I see no difference in the on-field product in baseball. I miss the fans, but the camera almost never shows the Black Lives Matter signs…I suspect under orders, and the games have been interesting–well, not Red Sox games, but elsewhere.

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