baseball free agents
Ethics Dunce And Revealed Jerk: Former Houston Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole
I’ve never seen anything like it.
Gerrit Cole’s team, the Houston Astros, had just suffered a shocking defeat in the 2019 World Series at the hands of the underdog ( and significantly inferior) Washington Nationals. Cole had won the last Astros victory in Game 5 in impressive fashion, but his team returned home to Houston—where they had the best home record in baseball— to lose their third and fourth consecutive games in their own stadium (they had never lost more than three straight all year) and become the only team in World Series history to lose in seven games without winning a single home game.
The script for players on losing World Series teams is old and well-established. They say that they are proud of their team and team mates. They say that they wish the team could have won a championship for its fans, the best fans in the world. They say they are heartbroken, but that they salute the victors. This isn’t hard.
But Gerrit Cole, after the final game of the 2019 World Series, appeared on TV wearing the cap of his agent’s company, and said, “I’m not an employee of the team.” Continue reading
Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/31/18: To Be Honest, This Is Yesterday’s Warm-Up That I Was Too Sick To Write…
Today I feel like one of those guys I used to see nodding of in a heroin haze when I lived on Capital Hill…
1. Governor Ralph Northam endorses infanticide. Said Virginia’s Democratic Governor this week, explaining a bill that barely failed to pass in the Virginia legislature, “[Third trimester abortions are] done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s nonviable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” Northam, who is a pediatric neurosurgeon, told Washington radio station WTOP. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” How can this possibly be interpreted as anything but post birth euthanasia? Marco Rubio tweeted, “I never thought I would see the day America had government officials who openly support legal infanticide.”
Really? I did. The pro-abortion movement has been moving relentlessly to this point for decades. (New York just legalized late term abortions.)If progressives and feminists want to see Roe v.Wade substantially weakened by the Supreme Court, this is the way to guarantee it. Of course, Northam gives all sorts of indications that he might be an idiot. His response to the predictable criticism of his statement was this tweet:
“I have devoted my life to caring for children and any insinuation otherwise is shameful and disgusting.“
Yeah! Why would anyone question my devotion to children just I advocate killing the ugly ones right after they are born? After all, they’ll be made “comfortable” until they die. (I have to admit, the “comfortable” bit really annoys me, as if that mitigates what is being done.) Continue reading
Presenting Two (Terrific) Baseball Ethics Comments Of The Day By Slickwilly
I apologize for combining these two deserving comments into a single post, but the baseball season is over, and as much as I try to make the case that readers who are tragically immune to baseball’s charms should still read and ponder the ethics posts this most ethically complex of sports inspires, most don’t, and I also have a backlog of Comments of the Day that feels like a 400 lb monkey on my back.
First is Slickwilly’s Comment of the Day on the Halloween post, Unfinished World Series Ethics Business. He is discussing this iconic moment, when a crippled Kirk Gibson limped to the plate as a pinch-hitter against the best closer in the game at teh time, Dennis Eckersley:
Used a clip from one of your posts to teach my kids last night: Game 1 of 1988 World Series last at bat.
The mental aspect of Baseball was NEVER more apparent than in that at bat. The names and teams are irrelevant. Dangerous runner at first as the tying run, two outs, bottom of the ninth inning. Crippled power hitter is substituted to bat for the bottom of the lineout, in hopes of a base hit.
Pitcher, a professional at the top of his game, has not allowed a home run since late August: a powerful matchup indeed!
First two pitches are fouled away. Pitcher starts messing with the batter by throwing to first (where there was no chance of an out.) Two more foul balls and the count is still 0-2. Pitcher continues to throw to first, where the runner is taking progressively larger leads.
Batter hits almost a bunt down the first base line: foul. However, we see how badly the batter is hurt: he is almost limping and could never reach first base on an infield hit. Indeed, he is so banged up he did not take the field during the warm ups: a sign that the manager never expected to play him. (One suspects that a pinch runner would be used, should a base hit occur.)
The mental game continues with the pitcher, way ahead in the count, throwing hard-to-hit pitches in an attempt to make the batter strike out. The batter gets a hold of a pitch: foul ball. Pitcher throws outside again. Now the count is 2-2. More throws to first, and the runner is a legitimate threat to steal second as the count evens up.
The pitcher throws way outside, and the runner steals second, getting into scoring position. Now the count is 3-2, and the advantage goes to the batter: a base hit can tie the game!
The batter hands some of the crap back to the pitcher: calls time out just as the pitcher has his mental focus for the deciding pitch. The batter takes his stance, and HIS focus is unshaken: you can see it in his stance, how he holds his head, how he holds his bat, everything. This man suddenly exudes confidence, and the pitcher can see it. Everyone in the ballpark can see it!
Sometimes, in Baseball, a thing is meant to be. I cannot explain it, but there are moments where you know you are about to see greatness, where all of the little factors are lining up to produce a great play. There is a feeling in the air at such times, and it is palatable even on video and across decades of time. For those who worship at the altar of Baseball, these are the moments that make the game great.
Pitcher throws a low slider (betting on a junk pitch!) and as a result, hangs out what Baseball fans affectionately call ‘red meat’ for the batter, who gets EVERY BIT OF THAT PITCH AND SENDS IT ON A TOUR OF THE RIGHT FIELD BLEACHERS!
The second of Slickwilly’s CsOTD came in response to Question: You Are Offered 300 Million Dollars To Do What You Want To Do Where You Say You Want To Do It For The Next Ten Years. Why Would You Say, “No”? Continue reading
Question: You Are Offered 300 Million Dollars To Do What You Want To Do Where You Say You Want To Do It For The Next Ten Years. Why Would You Say, “No”?
This, we recently learned, is exactly what Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, 25, did when his team, the Washington Nationals, made him such an offer at the end of the 2018 season.
Harper has frequently stated that he loves playing in Washington, and would like to continue his career there. He is also regarded as the most valuable baseball free agent since Alex Rodriguez entered free agency almost 20 years ago and received a record contract. (You know what happened to him, right?) His agent, Scott Boras, has said in the past that a realistic target for Harper on the open market is $400,000,000, and most experts thinks Boras is nuts.
I see only three possible explanations for Harper turning down the Nationals offer: 1) He’s an idiot, 2) he is getting irresponsible and conflicted advice from his agent, or 3) he was lying when he said he wanted to play in D.C.
If your answer is “4) He’s greedy,” I submit that this is indistinguishable from #1. I defy anyone to explain how their life is enhanced in any way by making 40 million a year rather than 30 million. Harper has no children, but since “I’m doing this for my kids” is the default rationalization used by players when they accept the highest bid, I also defy anyone to explain how his theoretical children would have significantly better or different lives if Daddy makes an extra 100 million over the next 10 years—especially since another mega-million dollar contract will probably come into play after that. Continue reading
For non-fans with the imagination to explore them, the Ethics Alarms baseball posts usually involve interesting ethics issues that are relevant to other fields. Perhaps no such post exemplifies this more than the recent essay reacting to a controversy after the 2019 World Series. The favored Houston Astros had lost in shocking fashion to the underdog Washington Nationals in a dramatic seventh game, and its ace pitcher, Gerrit Cole, apparently couldn’t wait to shed his Astros jersey and announce his free agency, which is widely expected to provide him with more than a third of a billion dollars. While the rest of his team was consoling each other and licking their wounds, Cole donned the cap of his super-agent’s company, and proclaimed that he was no longer on the team.
Ethics Alarms veteran commentator Glenn Logan was previously a distinguished sports blogger—though concentrating on college basketball, not baseball—and he authored the following Comment of the Day on the post, “Ethics Dunce And Revealed Jerk: Former Houston Astros Pitcher Gerrit Cole”: