I missed this story; luckily a reader, whom I am not certain whether he wants his name posted, didn’t. He sent it to me, writing in part, “So the catcher [Yes, it’s a baseball story] clapped and the word hang was heard. Both could be explained by the way teams talk to each other to cheer the team on. But it’s presented as if a MAJOR racial incident occurred. A half page article in a major news publication designed to stir animosity.”
That’s exactly what happened, though it wasn’t just the news media, it was all triggered by a mixed-race high school baseball player’s mother who has been conditioned to see racism whether it is in evidence or not. This is another success of the progressive racial outrage project.
Here is what happened, courtesy of the Des Moines Register yesterday. I’m going to interject my analysis as we go along to save time:
“Norwalk Warriors baseball player Ryan Wood was up to bat with three balls and two strikes in a doubleheader against Dallas Center-Grimes on Friday as his mother, Lisa Wood, watched from a seat in the stands. Wood said the DCG pitcher threw a ball into the opposite batter box, “practically in the dirt,” and Ryan, who recently graduated from Norwalk, went to walk to first base. He was halfway there when the umpire called a strike.”
Comment: Typical parent: Ryan’s mom was well up the third base line, but she was certain that she saw the pitch better than the umpire, who was behind the plate and inches away. Baseball players are coached to sometime try to steal a ball four call by starting to walk to first base. Once in a blue moon, it works.
“While Ryan, who is of mixed race, walked back to the plate, Lisa Wood said that DCG’s catcher clapped in her son’s face. “My son strikes out and the catcher yells at him ‘Go sit down,’ …And then somebody — whether it was the catcher or another in the dugout … somebody said, ‘Let him hang.’” Wood said the racial jeer was so loud that all of the parents near the outfield heard it, adding that she was “so shocked” that she turned to her 14-yearold daughter, who was sitting next to her in the stands to confirm what she’d heard.”
Comment: The catcher, someone in the dugout, or someone in the stands? If it was as loud as Wood claims, I would bet on a spectator….but also: So what?
“Wood said Ryan was frustrated and embarrassed, feelings that were compounded when the game’s umpire and DCG’s coaches did little to nothing to address the incident. He teared up in the team’s dugout out of frustration with the entire situation.”
Comment: Well, poor Ryan’s obviously been ruined. He tears up in the dugout because of one shouted comment from the other team or from a spectator? In baseball, this is called “rabbit ears,” and is a well-recognized handicap players are expected to overcome. Or was he “tearing up” because he struck out? There’s no crying in baseball!
“That was it. The game continued on. The umpire didn’t take any action; the DCG coach didn’t take any action; the DCG parents didn’t take any action. Those kids continued to play,” Wood said.
Comment: Yes, Lisa wants baseball umpires to police civility on the field, in the dugout and in the stands. They can’t even reliably call balls and strikes, according to her, and they’re supposed to be language cops. What exactly did she want the umpire to do? Or the coach? Of course the game continued.
DCG’s Activities Director Brent Buttjer said in an email Tuesday that he was aware that a “common expression used in baseball when a person strikes out” was uttered during Friday’s game and received negatively by one of Norwalk’s baseball players. “We have high expectations for appropriate behavior by our students and staff. We will not dismiss the feelings of the young man, his family or the Norwalk community,” Buttjer added.He added the school district would “continue to have proactive conversations with our students and staff that center around comments that may have a negative impact on individuals and groups. We continue to value the relationship we have with Norwalk and our Little Hawkeye Conference.” Lisa Wood said she didn’t know what to say to Buttjer’s response, but said she’s never heard that saying used before — including during Friday’s game, during which DCG’s pitchers “struck out a number of kids all night.” The word “ hang” is sometimes used in baseball slang to refer to a breaking ball or a curveball.
Comment: Well, Buttjer is lying, whatever that tells us. “Let him hang” is not a “common expression” in baseball, and it is definitely not a common response to a strikeout. The term “hanging curve” or hanging slider” is sometimes used to describe a breaking pitch that doesn’t move like it’s supposed to and just “hangs” over the plate, making an inviting target for the batter’s bat.
Gee, thanks Des Moines Register, for that completely irrelevant nugget of baseball lexicon that adds nothing to the story.
However, there is a completely innocent (if nasty) and, in my view, a far more likely interpretation of “Let him hang!” that has no racial implications whatever. A player looks foolish when he walks to first base and is told that he was called out on strikes. He stops, turns around, and is “hanging out there” for all to see. “Let him hang!” directly relates to what was happening on the field. Interpreting it as a lynching reference is either paranoid or a deliberate stretch. But we are supposed to presume racism in all matter and at all times.
“Norwalk Superintendent D.T. Magee said Tuesday that district staff are providing support to the Wood family but declined to comment further, pending the outcome of DCG’s investigation into the incident.”
Comment: The family needs “support” because of an ambiguous taunt from an unidentified person during a high school baseball game. A Nation of Weenies.
“In 2020, Charles City baseball player Jeremiah Chapman, who is Black, was heckled with racial jeers from fans at a game vs. Waverly-Shell Rock. He told the Register multiple people in the crowd shouted “go back to the fields,” “ Trump 2020” and, later, that he should have been George Floyd, the Black man killed at the hands of Minneapolis police in May that year. At that game, the umpire threatened to kick fans out of the game, and Charles City later requested a one-year break from games against the Go-Hawks and even sought to leave the Northeast Iowa Conference and start its own new conference.“
Comment: Now THOSE are racist comments (except “Trump 2020”), and they were from many spectators and ongoing, meaning that the incident was nothing like the one being discussed. In that case, since the abuse was continuing and potentially escalating, the umpire was correct in being proactive. Threatening to eject fans–threatening to forfeit the game to the visitors would have also been appropriate—was the right move. When fans are throwing objects at players, the same response is routine.
“Lisa Wood said she is confident that it was a DCG player who said “Let him hang.” “Immediate action should have been taken. That kid should have been sent home,” Wood said. “I get name- calling and bickering — it’s baseball and it’s a sport; they’re high school boys — but that’s over the top, to want to threaten someone’s life because of the color of their skin.’…she and her son want the player who made the comment to be held accountable and suspended for multiple games or for the rest of the season….She also wants to see the umpire of the game held responsible for not taking action.”
Comment: “Immediate action” before there was any investigation, because the player’s mother is certain what happened, and has convinced herself that “Let him hang” was a threat to lynch her mixed race son.
The depressing episode demonstrates how the relentless propaganda of recent years, greatly intensified during the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck started rolling,has destroyed common sense, proportion, and rational thinking, creating the presumption of racism, a “gotcha!” mentality, a mania for punishment without due process, and racial paranoia. This is what Critical Race Theory and The 1619 Project seeds and cultivates, and are designed to seed and cultivate. Lisa and her son are victims, and now they are also agents.
Journalists. meanwhile, cheer the contrived racial outrage on, because racial conflict makes good copy, and because the vast majority of them are knee-jerk social justice warriors themselves who lack professionalism, fairness, and responsibility.