Comment Of The Day: “Oh, Look! More Baseball Ethics Dunces! This Time, It’s the Baseball Writers’ Association of America”

I have been remiss in getting up “Comments of the Day,” another consequence of my frustration adapting to the new WordPress “block” system, damn it.  I usually hand le COTD posts from my laptop, and posts requiring my concentration and composition rather than the imported wisdom of others from the Fortress of Ethics Solitude, my office.

I’m posting this follow-up comment from Here’s Johnny regarding the baseball writers’ gratuitous smear on the original commissioner of baseball based on nothing but rumor, a desire to practice “anti-racism,” without actually doing anything, and the smug assumption that History Doesn’t Matter, Gratitude Doesn’t Matter, and Honors Don’t Matter.

And the dog is licking my toes

UPDATE: Well, that was a failed experiment. When I tried to move the text from Word to WordPress, I couldn’t make the format work from the laptop, so I’m back at my PC. That was 20 more minutes of my increasingly scarce time on Earth robbed by WordPress. I’m thinking of sending them an invoice...

Here’s Here’s Johnny’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Oh, Look! More Baseball Ethics Dunces! This Time, It’s the Baseball Writers’ Association of America”:

No, someone named Kennesaw Mountain would not be presumed to be from Maine. But, it can’t be that the name is so off-putting, can it? After all, Landis’s father fought in the 1864 Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (Georgia), against the Confederacy, and that’s how the commissioner got his name.
And, it couldn’t be the action by Landis when he suspended Yankees’ outfielder Jake Powell, who said that in an off-season job as a policeman, he used his nightstick on “niggers.” Landis suspended Powell for 10 days.

And, it couldn’t be that the press of the time was all against him, either, could it? In 1941, The Chicago Defender, a Black newspaper, printed a letter suggesting that the Negro Leagues could use a strong commissioner like Landis.His crime, essentially, was that he, in the first half of the 20th century, did not possess 21st century views and insights. A view that has currency now, thanks in part to Ibram X. Kendi’s best-selling book, “How to Be an Anti-Racist,” is that, in the moment, everyone is either a racist or an anti-racist. There is no neutral or middle ground. If the ‘moment’ is tenure as commissioner, then on that basis it could be said that Landis was not anti-racist, that he did not actively promote policies for equity, and that therefore he was a racist.

A counter point comes from an article in the summer 2009 edition of The Baseball Research Journal, in which Norman L. Macht wrote: “A historian who judges a man in the context of today’s time and standards and not the standards and conditions of the time in which the subject lived commits a scholarly sin. The attempt to understand people in their context and on their terms requires that we temporarily suspend judgment. Understanding the America of the 1920s and ’30s and ’40s obliges us to make the effort of not judging it by the standards and values of today.”

9 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Oh, Look! More Baseball Ethics Dunces! This Time, It’s the Baseball Writers’ Association of America”

  1. I know everyone is sick of me complaining about this, but here’s another example of the new system’s “improvement.” Quotes come in pale gray unless you change the default color. In the old system, I just highlighted the entire quote, including an entire COTD, clicked on black, and there it was. Now, however, every paragraph comes in a separate “block,” and you can only change the text color of one block at a time. The other solution is to combine all the paragraphs, making it one “block,” then fixing the color, then going back and dividing the paragraphs again.

    Oh, I’m sure there is some brilliant, easy way to change the whole document’s color in fewer steps, but the would require more time searching for a WordPress Rosetta Stone.

  2. I wonder if the utter dud of a commissioner we have now has undermined respect for the office. Once likened to arguing with God, we have a bozo who floats ideas like abolishing the two leagues (and putting the Yankees and Mets in the same division of the new “Major League”, no less), putting a ringer on second in extra innings, and other assorted foolishness. He also bends to entitled millionaires who want to say something about social justice on field, when the fields only purpose is for balls to be into (or out of) it.

    The office was meant to preserve the dignity of baseball. With everything about the game seemingly up in the air, rejecting the ultimate patron of the game only seems logical.

  3. Thanks Johnny. Great, informative comment.

    So, in order to not be a racist, I have to believe in critical race theory. Why are people going to colleges and universities to learn about more things that happened in the past to be upset about and debilitate themselves?

    • I have tried twice to read Kendi’s book, and I gave up in disgust the second time, after his racist comment implying the Barretts adopted kids from Haiti solely to establish that they aren’t racist. Some, like Kendi, just cannot accept that conservatives, most anyway, are good-hearted people who actually care about all kids, not just those in the womb.
      But, yeah, in his view, you have to accept some of these beliefs or you are a racist.
      I can see and accept “in the moment” as being a specific, right-now, event. For example (from real life), suppose a golfer in the foursome yelled at his ball (yes, they do that) to make it go farther, “Run like a nigger who stole something.” In the moment, a racist would shrug and go on, while an anti-racist would confront the individual. Suppose it was more simply, “Run like you stole something”? The racist would shrug this off, too, while the anti-racist would recognize the underlying racism and counter it.
      But, I think Kendi takes “in the moment” as being more widely applicable, as in, if you do not show active support of BLM or critical race theory, then you are a racist.

      • And if you’re at a NASCAR race and shout, “Drive it like you stole it!” you’re a racist because only black felons steal cars. These critical race people are exhausting.

  4. Johnny’s comment gave me knowledge that I had not known was available, thanks to the modern biases of undeservedly trusted media. My memory of Commissioner Landis now is completely reformed. Thanks again, Johnny.

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