Breaking In Baseball Ethics: A New Asshole Of The Year Candidate!

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The new contender is a New York Yankees baseball player. A really big one.

I find this unbelievable, but apparently it is true. Tonight’s game between the Red Sox and Yankees was postponed after three Yankee players, Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, and Kyle Higashioka tested positive for the Wuhan virus in the Yankee clubhouse. Judge was on the American League All-Star team that played (and won) two days ago, and wasn’t vaccinated. Now they are testing all of the All-Star team players who came into contact with him, and that means that every team in the league was potentially placed in peril. Indeed, the whole season could be in peril.

I don’t understand how MLB allowed a non-vaccinated player to play in the game, or be in the dugout. I don’t understand how anyone in Judge’s position could be so foolish and irresponsible as not to be vaccinated at this point. And Judge is supposed to be one of the nicest, most admirable professional athletes in captivity.

Except that he is apparently an asshole.

Well, as many a Fenway Park crowd has said over the decades, as uncivil as it may be, “Yankees suck.”

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/27/18: Welcome Nausea, Disillusionment, Guilt, And Apathy…

Well, it’s morning.

1. Nausea. This is a real headline from this morning’s New York Times:

Truce on Trade Follows Route Obama Paved; Trump Claims Victory in Crisis He Started

Gee, the Times morphed into Media Matters so slowly that I hadn’t noticed!* In fact I had noticed, but that headline is a virtual declaration that the Times is now a fully committed partisan organ of the Democratic Party, and is no longer even pretending to be practicing ethical or objective journalism. Not only does the headline represent opinion rather than reporting, the Times was so desperate to color the story of the European Union tentatively reaching a new trade agreement with the U.S. that it felt it had to project its bias before anyone could read the story.

*With a nod to blogger Glenn Reynolds, who uses this as a regular jibe

2. Disillusionment. Netflix has finally concluded “The Staircase,” the now 13 episode documentary following the bizarre case of novelist Michael Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen in 2001. Directed by French filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, the first eight episodes aired on the Sundance Channel in 2005 and were an immediate sensation. It would be unethical to spoil the story or the documentary for you if you haven’t seen it, but a couple of spoilers lie ahead.

Anyone who continues to argue that it is ridiculous and “treasonous” for anyone to challenge the competence, objectivity, motives and trustworthiness of law enforcement, including the FBI, and prosecutors after watching this horror show has astounding powers of selective outrage.

The series also made me want to throw heavy objects at the TV screen as a result of the lazy, passive, indefensible conduct of the prosecutors and the North Carolina judge, who resided over every iteration of the case for 15 years. Since there was no way a rational jury could find Peterson guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based on the evidence, ethical prosecutors would never have charged and tried Peterson. (A jury finding a defendant guilty on inadequate evidence doesn’t necessarily mean that the case was a just one.) It is especially infuriating for the viewer (so imagine what Peterson thinks) to hear the judge today blandly concede that two controversial pieces of evidence he allowed into the trial were, upon reflection,  unjustly prejudicial, and that he believes that there was ample reasonable doubt for the jury to acquit. Then he tries to make the argument that the “system works” based on a mess of a case and an investigation that still hasn’t explained how Kathleen Peterson died.

It does explain, however, why so many Americans don’t trust the justice system or the alleged professionals who run it. Continue reading