Usually It Is Unethical To Take Satisfaction From The Misfortune of Another, But In The Case Of The Villains In Baseball’s All-Star Game Debacle, An Exception Is Warranted.

Aw, isn’t that too bad? Major League Baseball’s offensive, incompetent and unjustified decision to pull its mid-summer All-Star Game out of Atlanta in order to signal it’s virtue to the Left, capitulate to its various sponsors under their own pressure from activists, and, as usual, to grovel to its race-baiting players union, has made the Commissioner, the game, and the unscrupulous politicians whose lead they followed look terrible…and there is no way out.

Ah, if only they read Ethics Alarms. This was an easy ethics call, just as the obnoxious efforts of the NFL and the NBA to drag politics into their games were an easy call: wrong, an abuse of trust, and stupid, stupid, stupid.

Let’s look at the current position of the architects of this mess, beginning with…

I. President Biden

A week ago, Biden told ESPN he “strongly supported” the MLB’s boycott of Georgia.

“I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They’re leaders.Look what’s happened with the NBA, as well. Look what’s happened across the board. The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports, and it’s just not right.”

Wow, what an idiotic statement, even for Biden. No “leaders” in the various sports are “victims” of anything: they are elite, fortunate athlete celebrities, and millionaires all. People who look to athletes for guidance in matters not relating to sports are gullible fools. Most of them couldn’t tell you how many amendments are in the Bill of Rights, or quote the dates of the Civil War. They are role models because they are paid heroes, but heroes are not “leaders.”

Biden, of course, lied repeatedly about the law he was calling on athletes to protest, and his calling the Georgia voting law “Jim Crow on steroids” was naked race-baiting. The President was getting hammered even by allies in the news media, because it was publicized that MLB moving the All-Star Game would cost the Atlanta area—heavily Democratic and black—$100 million in lost business revenue. Good job, Joe! That’s “acting responsibly,” you leader you!

So Joe, Biden-like, didn’t have the integrity to stick to his alleged principles. Yesterday, he refused to say that Masters Tournament should also boycott Georgia, saying, “I think that’s up to the Masters.“

Well of course it’s “up to the Masters,” but why is baseball boycotting Georgia something Joe supports, and whether the PGA doing the same is a coin flip?

“It’s reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws are just antithetical to who we are,” he huminahumina-ed, but…“There’s another side to it too When they in fact move out of Georgia, the people who need the help the most — people who are making hourly wages —sometimes get hurt the most. I think it’s a very tough decision for a corporation to make, or group to make.”

Wait—why did Biden say he supported baseball hurting “the people who need help the most?”

He then said he “supports whatever judgment they make.” Then White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, already nearing peak dishonesty in a job that swims in it, claimed that Biden never encouraged Major League Baseball to abandon Georgia. Facts don’t matter, words don’t matter.

Nobody’s fooled. Biden looks feckless, dishonest, silly, reckless and weak after all of this.

Good.

Then we have…

2. Stacy Abrams

Continue reading

Ethics Observations On Major League Baseball Boycotting Georgia

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Here I am, trying to be loyal, understanding, broad-minded and forgiving, and baseball kicks me in the metaphorical snarglies on Day #1 of the Red Sox season. The Sox managed to lose yesterday to the pathetic Orioles in perhaps the most boring Opening Day I have ever watched, getting just two hits off of an assortment of bargain basement pitchers, scoring no runs, allowing only 4,000 fans into Fenway, and giving up the deciding run because its new free agent hot-shot fielder botched a sure double-play ball at second base—but I’m not even talking about that.

On April 1, I wrote,

Let’s see just how stupid Major League Baseball is. Democrats want MLB to remove the All-Star Game from Atlanta because Georgia passed a voting regulations bill that the party is lying about. If the sport allows itself to be used this way—I’m sure many players will boycott the game without having a clue about the law—many of them look for ways to opt out of it anyway—there will be no end to such manipulation., and baseball, of all sports, cannot effort to be seen as partisan. I’ll write a full post on this mess later.

This is that post. Indeed MLB did capitulate to Democrats and pull the game, though I am not certain that “stupid” was the correct word. The right words are “cowardly,” “cynical,” and “being a weenie.” Also greedy. And completely predictable.

Continue reading

Wuhan Virus Ethics: The Conflicted Pitcher

Mike Clevinger: star pitcher, loyal team mate, jerk.

It’s baseball meets the Wuhan virus in today’s ethics showdown. Not surprisingly, since baseball players have the approximate ethics acumen of a typical member of Congress, the virus wins.

Essential background: Major League Baseball is desperately trying to complete some semblance of a season, with the key word being “semblance.” There are no fans in the stands; double headers games are only seven innings, and teams have NFL-style “taxi squads” instsead on minor league teams. Baseball has also installed strict protocols involving masks, social distancing, and players avoiding physical contact. One team, the Florida Marlins, has already had a virus breakout that took almost half the active roster out of circulation. This resulted in lots of canceled games and the reworking of other teams’ schedules. (Ironically, the Marlins taxi squad players have done almost nothing but win since they took over. That’s baseball, Ray!). Now a second team, the S, Louis Cardinals, has had multiple players test positive because a player came in contact with an infected non-team member, than joined the other Cardinals on a plane. St. Louis has missed two weeks of games. MLB knows that much more of this will make continuing the season, weird as it may be, impossible. Teams have been warned of dire consequences if they don’t  keep their players—you, know, millionaire morons with the emotional maturity of Adam Sandler—in line.

Now, the rest of the story. Continue reading

Play Ball! Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is a Mega-Ethics Dunce, And I Hope Fans Make Them Regret It.

Only slightly more disgusting than this truncated season’s use of the abortion of an extra-inning rule that will put a runner on second base to begin extra innings in tie games are MLB’s “social justice promoting” regulations for players.

It makes me physically ill just having to post them.

Baseball announced guidelines today allowing players “to support social justice and diversity and inclusion” on the field—also on their own, but I don’t case waht players choose to do a private citizens, as long as they don’t abuse their postions as baseball palyers. “MLB supports the players’ need to express themselves,” we are told.

Yes, the NFL and NBA have poisoned baseball.

Players have no need to express themselves politically on the field, and should not be allowed to do so. But Major League Baseball, as it has been most of its existence, is run by venal fools, and they are terrified by the players union. The announcement of the green light for players to be overtly political while the game allows promotion of the racist organization sparking violent riots and vandalism across the country just happened to be announced almost simultaneously with an expanded play-offs format. Continue reading

The Pandemic, Medical Ethics, And Baseball: What Exactly ARE “Essential Surgery And Medical Procedures”?

One of the policy and medical ethics issues that is looming larger as the pandemic continues is the requirement that hospitals not be burdened by  “non-essential surgery and medical procedures.”

I agree: it would have been better if  Ethics Alarms has more precisely defined “essential surgery and medical procedures”  in the previous post on the issue, when I examined the question of whether abortion can be ethically put in that category as Texas and Ohio have decreed. Abortion, as that post noted, is a particularly poor  choice for such analysis, given that our society cannot agree on what it is, other than the Supreme Court’s ruling that whatever it is, a woman has a Constitutionally right to do it.

Incidentally: can we agree that there is also a constitutional right to have any surgery or medical procedure? It hasn’t been specifically stated by the Court, but I assume that the abortion precedent applies to everything else as well, from having a kidney transplant to getting a wart removed to acquiring breast implants. These would all fall under the right of privacy and inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Forbidding any surgery, non-essential or otherwise, is a big deal, and my guess is that a judicial challenge to the whole concept would stand a substantial chance of success. What is essential surgery to me might not be such to you, but frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn, and unlike an abortion, my procedure isn’t killing anyone. Continue reading

High Noon Ethics Warm-Up, 3/19/2020: O.J. Being O.J., Honestly Unethical Journalists, A Zealous Defense Lawyer, And Pandemic Jerks

Y-y-yup!

Started this one at precisely 12:00. Finished at exactly 1:30 pm.

An administrative note: I don’t censor comments by the regulars, but I’m going to be more aggressive in sending off-site notes of displeasure when homophobic, sexist and gratuitous ad hominem insults turn up. (Note: it is always acceptable to refer to someone as an idiot who has written something idiotic, if you explain why it’s idiotic.) We’ve never had a problem here with racist language (in part because I keep spamming comments from the Chimpmania mob), and I will continue to allow wide latitude regarding comments that are self-indicting (making fun of Hillary’s legs, for example, is a jerk move). But while no forum where intelligent participants exercise sharp critical judgment on lazy assertions and knee-jerk positions will ever be “safe,” no one who comes here should ever feel personally attacked or denigrated. I need to do a better job making sure of that. All assistance will be appreciated.

1. Wuhan Virus jerk update:

  • This (Pointer: valkygrrl):

I assume everyone now knows that O.J. is a stone-cold sociopath, but it’s considerate of him to keep reminding us. At least he didn’t say that he was furious that the Wuhan Virus restrictions on travel were impeding his search for Nicole and Ron’s killer.

  • “You know: morons!” Jennifer Rubin, the completely Trump Deranged NeverTrump conservative whose constant eruptions of hate and anger regularly embarrass the Washington Post, recently wrote that more Republicans than Democrats would die in the pandemic because the former slavishly follow Fox News. Uh, no.  If she’s right, it will be pure demographics. The Millennials  appears to be, like all of its predecessors at a similar age, dumb as bricks. CBS reports that the kids are flocking to Florida for Spring Break, while posting and saying things like this from Brady Sluder, spring breaker from Ohio and moron: ,”If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying. We’re just out here having a good time. Whatever happens, happens.”

This does explain the intellectual basis for Bernie Sanders’ support, however. Continue reading

Saturday Ethics Pitch, 10/26/2019: Calvin Coolidge Was Right, Baseball is Wrong, And Other Revelations

Here it comes!

1. Oh-oh...I was worried about this. Early in the baseball post-season there were rumors flying that MLB had deadened its baseballs after a 2019 season that saw records shattered for homer frequency. I wrote (somewhere this month: I can’t find it) that if the sport really did mess with the balls at this point it would be a massive breach of ethics, changing the conditions of the game when the games mattered most.

So far, the conspiracy theorists have been bolstered by the statistics.

 Baseball researcher Rob Arthur revealed in a Baseball Prospectus report on October10 that after nearly 20 postseason games, home runs were occurring at at half the rate the 2019 season’s homer frequency would predict. Arthur allowed for the fact that better pitchers and hitters  made up  playoff teams, and still  concluded that the ball was not flying as far as it did during the regular season. “The probability that a random selection of games from the rest of the regular season would feature as much air resistance as we’ve seen so far in the postseason,” he wrote, “is about one in one thousand.” A follow-up report by Arthur again found significant variation in the flight of the ball this postseason.

This isn’t good.

2. It’s not even 2020, and the New York Times isn’t even pretending  to be objective. Two examples from today’s Times:

  • In a story about Tulsi Gabbard announcing that she would not run for re-election to the House, the Times spun for Hillary Clinton, writing, “Last Friday, Hillary Clinton suggested that Republicans were “grooming” her for “a third party run”, though Ms. Gabbard has denied any such plans.” What was notable about Clinton’s smear was that she said that Gabbard was “a favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”  This is a variety of “fake news” that the Times excels at, telling only part of the story to manipulate public perception.
  • Headline (Print edition) : “Speaking at Black College, Trump Ridicules Obama For Effort on Racial Equity.”  Wow, what a racist! Attacking efforts at racial equity! In fact, the President criticized the paltry results of Obama’s efforts to advance racial equity. He in no way ridiculed Obama for making those efforts.  Again, the Times is now a master at playing to its anti-Trump readers confirmation bias.

Continue reading

Baseball Ethics: Integrity, Records, And The “Juiced Ball”

 

The Boston Red Sox didn’t make the play-offs (and made me physically ill in the process), but that doesn’t mean I won’t find some baseball ethics to write about during October, which will cover the play-offs and World Series involving  five teams from each league. Some weeks ago commenter JutGory asked about the ethics implications of the so-called juiced baseball. and I was not in a mood to think that seriously about baseball, since the Red Sox were engaged in the final throes of an epic, inexplicable, season-long choke that, among other bad things, soured my wife on the game, undoing years of careful nurturing by me. I’m OK now, and Jut was right, the juiced ball does raise ethics issues.

Early on in the 2019 season, it was obvious that the ball was different somehow. The very first month had more home runs than is normal in the spring, and the phenomenon only got more extreme as the weather got warmer. Pitchers like Houston Astros ace (and likely Cy Young winner as the AL’s best pitcher) Justin Verlander and former Cy Young winner David Price called out MLB management directly, accusing them of messing with the ball to help the hitters. Baseball’s brass denied it initially, but eventually they had to admit that something was weird about the balls.

Researchers  confirmed  that the 2019 ball was traveling farther when hit with the same amount of force than the balls in seasons past. The change was determined to be that the balls’ seams were flatter, less raised, than they had been before. This reduced the drag when they were flying through the air, resulting in longer distances.

How and why this happened is  a mystery. Major League Baseball swears it was an accident,  but nonetheless the sport is completely in in control of the manufacturing of baseballs. It owns the company that makes them. The current theory is that this was a quality control issue or, perhaps, a quirk in which eliminating a flaw in the balls made them too uniform, too exact.

Among the ball’s many specifications, the degree to  which the stitches were raised had never been included. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 4/14/2019: Climate Change, Cuba, Con-Artists And More

Good Morning!

Why can I almost never can find a lot of encouraging ethics stories on a Sunday?

1. Climate change thought. I just watched a PBS round table consisting of non-stop doom-sayng and Trump-bashing on climate change policy. I don’t know if these scientists/pundits/activists are using climate change as a ploy to eliminate democracy and install a Leftist totalitarian (benign, of course) world government, or if they really believe that such a system is the only way to save the Earth. Either way, however, it is impossible to listen to them objectively and not think, “Huh. The only way the draconian [that’s a word named after a despot, you know] solutions that you claim are our sole chance at survival can be implemented is with a massive dictatorship. And after the solution has “worked,” if it works, that totalitarian government will of course dissolve itself and go back to supporting liberty and democracy.  Sure it will. How stupid do you think we are?”

If the only way to save the Earth is to forfeit liberty, I, for one, stand with Patrick Henry. The climate change radicals are good matches to the anti-war and anti-nuke activists in the late Fifties and early Sixties who chanted, “Better Red than dead!”, and who thought “Eve of Destruction” was profound prophesy.

2.  Cuba, Obama, Trump and Baseball. I don’t know what to make of this one.: it’s a fascinating utilitarian question.

President Trump cancelled an agreement negotiated by the Obama administration that allowed Major League Baseball teams to pay the Cuban Baseball Federation for Cuban players who would then join MLB teams. Under the previous system, only players who defected to the United States, often at great peril and sometimes using human traffickers, could ply their baseball talents in the U.S. and be paid accordingly.

The Trump administration saysthat the deal constitutes a violation of trade laws because the Cuban federation is part of the Cuban government. In other words, the Obama deal allowed the Cuban government to sell human beings to U.S. companies—baseball teams. “The U.S. does not support actions that would institutionalize a system by which a Cuban government entity garnishes the wages of hard-working athletes who simply seek to live and compete in a free society,” said Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the National Security Council. “The administration looks forward to working with M.L.B. to identify ways for Cuban players to have the individual freedom to benefit from their talents, and not as property of the Cuban state.”

The cancelled deal was always suspect as one of several concessions President Obama gave to Cuba without Cuba instituting any human rights reforms in exchange.  And why were baseball players the only Cuban citizens allowed to escape to freedom this way? Why not doctors, scholars, and scientists? Continue reading

Ethics Hero: Former Cleveland Indians Star Kenny Lofton

[My apologies to Kenny: This is a month late.]

Lofton, a great baseball player for many years, had the guts to articulate nicely my nausea every time I am forced to watch the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team of Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Mendoza, and Matt Vasgersian. It’s a horrible trio, even if you don’t know that Rodriguez is such a loathsome individual and a blight on the game he played. For much of each  broadcast, they sit around joking and blathering while barely paying attention to what’s happening on the field. This would be annoying if they were members of the Algonquin Roundtable, but none of the three are especially clever, insightful or witty. It is obvious that the producers hand them the game’s alleged “narrative,” and they flog it for three hours, as if anyone who understands baseball watches a typical game that way.

But I digress. The issue at hand, flagged by Lofton, is Rodriquez, soon to be Mr. Jennifer Lopez, and there goes another performer I will never watch again. Lofton  told the New York Post last month, beginning with the issue of known and suspected steroid and PED cheats being eligible for election to the Hall of Fame:

“I just don’t like it. It pisses me off when they still talk about the guys who did PEDs still have the opportunity to get in. You cheated the game. Look at somebody like Pete Rose not in the Hall of Fame. I’m not saying what Pete Rose did was right, but his numbers that he put up were real numbers. If it’s all about numbers, guys who cheated the game shouldn’t be in. PED guys piss me off. I just get irked every time I hear people talk about it. You’ve got… a guy [Rodriguez] who got caught with PEDs doing the World Series. I can’t even watch the World Series now. That’s sad, you have a game that I love, I played 17 years in it, and you have Major League Baseball allowing a guy that knowingly cheated the game twice, and he’s the face of baseball, doing the World Series. That is not cool. To see somebody who cheated the game blatantly is doing the World Series? Come on, people. You’re basically telling kids nowadays that it’s OK to cheat the game of baseball. It’s OK to cheat. You will still get a job being a commentator, being the face of baseball. I don’t see how that flies with anyone.”

Neither do I.