1. For the first time since I was 12, I’m glad to see the regular baseball season come to an end.
Not only was the 60-game make-shift schedule played before empty stadiums, with fake crowd noises and cardboard cut-outs a farce, but it looks like some of the accommodations made to adjust to Life Under Lockdown will stick, cheapening the game forever. The worst is the expanded play-off system, which, like the National Hockey League version, basically makes the regular season irrelevant. Maybe the habitually wrong-headed owners will reject it for future seasons, but I’m not sanguine. The extra-innings gimmick of starting each half-inning with a player on second is an abomination, and only slightly less offensive are the seven inning games in double-headers.
Meanwhile, I haven’t watched or followed a Boston Red Sox game since the team joined the one-day wildcat strike to protest the racist, brutal shooting of Jacob Blake, which was neither racist in motive nor an example of police brutality. I’ll be writing a long letter to the team this week: if it alienated me, it’s not only in trouble, it doesn’t know its fan base. And if I get anything approaching the “you’re just a racist not to believe that black lives matter” response that I got from idiot Boston sportswriter Pete Abraham, I’m burning all my Red Sox memorabilia, and burying the stuff that doesn’t burn.
Meanwhile, the club showed its ethics deficits in other ways. Before today’s merciful finale, the team announced that manager Ron Roenicke would not be returning in 2021, a move that was inevitable but that certainly didn’t have to be made now, before the season was even over. Roenicke did nothing to distinguish himself in the lost 2020 season, but he was a good soldier, doing his best—which appears to be mediocrity personified—to guide a snake-bitten team that began by losing its popular manager, Alex Cora because he’s a cheater, then traded its best player, superstar Mookie Betts, then lost its star pitcher to arm surgery and its second best pitcher to the complications from Wuhan virus. The Boston team began a 60 game season by quickly falling ten games under .500, guaranteeing no post season slot, and several of the veteran players started going through the motions. Roenicke, in short, never had wisp of a chance, and the team would have crashed if he were a combination of Casey Stengel, Earl Weaver, John McGraw and Connie Mack
Boston fans, even those that are not disgusted with the team for slapping huge racist, Marxist, lie-based slogans inside and outside Fenway Park, will not want to be reminded of this season, so Roenicke’s demise was mandatory, but he deserved to be treated with some respect. Not even waiting until the season to dump him was over has a “this guy is so bad we can’t stand having him around another second” stench to it, and he did not deserve that.
Well, there’s always the Yankees...
2. Forced political conformity at Kroger…and also that religious intolerance thingy…is going to be determined based on whether a company logo is a gay pride statement or not.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing the Kroger Company for discrimination after two employees at an Arkansas store were fired for not wearing a rainbow symbol representing LGBTQ support. The EEOC alleges that a store in Conway, Arkansas., infringed on the religious beliefs of two employees by firing them for refusing to wear an apron with a multi-colored heart symbol.
The suit seeks seeking back pay, compensatory damages, and a halt to any future discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Here is the symbol:
When the Conway Kroger introduced a new dress code in April, 2019, it asked employees to wear an apron with that emblem on the bib. Various versions of the rainbow have long been used as pro-LGBTQ symbolism; the question is whether the heart qualifies. Many advocates for the cause deny it, and corporate marketing materials for other Kroger venues explain that the four-colored heart means “Everyone Friendly and Caring, Everything Fresh, Uplift Every Way, Improve Everyday.”
Sure. It seems clear to me that Kroger was trying to appeal to the rainbow market without explicitly making an unambiguous statement. If both employees had a “good faith belief” that the multicolored heart represented the LGBTQ cause and forced them to reject tenets of their religion, should they have to wear the emblem?
Like so many of these clashes involving the gay community and religion, this controversy could have been avoided and should have been. It wouldn’t be enough to allow the employees to eschew wearing the emblem, because that would be viewed as an anti-LGBTQ statement, and no employee should be placed in that position. Political and social statements in the workplace should be strictly prohibited, be they flag pins, MAGA hats, pink ribbons, or whatever this heart is. They should definitely never be mandatory.
Kroger is at fault here, whether it was trying to suck up to a demographic without being open about it, or whether it blundered into this mess through incompetence.