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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

OTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game

As Time magazine recently reported, Republicans, frustrated by their 22-0 loss in last year’s game, sought a new coach to shake things up on the field this year. Some members even appealed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to fire the coach, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas). But Boehner said he wasn’t powerful enough to control the baseball diamond, and Barton refused to walk away after spending 28 years with the game. Instead, he brought on Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), a former professional baseball player and coach at Texas Christian University, to coach while he stayed on as the team’s manager.

In the face of Wednesday’s loss, according to The Washington Post, Republicans are once again asking Boehner to remove Barton from the game. But with multiple pitchers giving up walk after walk, it seems that what the Republicans really need is a pitcher who can better match Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who previously pitched on Morehouse College’s varsity baseball team.

Bitter Mouse Posted: July 01, 2014 at 07:53 AM | 4025 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics, winning is fun

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   2801. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4756392)
I think it's the "muckraking" tradition embedded in modern journalism. Journalists aspire to expose wrong doing and get someone to "do something about it". That naturally predisposes them to more Gov't action b/c it is "doing something" (at least superficially) about the problems.


I'm sure that's part of it for a certain class of journalist, but I'm pretty sure I for one harbored no grand illusions when I went into the business. "This happened, & it's interesting, so I'll write about it" was pretty much the totality of my philosophy toward covering the news, & when I became an editor five years or so down the line it was "this happened, & it's interesting, so our reporter wrote about it, & now I'll try to make it more accessible to our readers." Then again, I never took any journalism classes.
   2802. The Good Face Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4756393)
I'll answer the question you've posed Face. Nobody's agenda is being advanced by the Sam coverage.


So even though the media is seeking out any critics of Sam, no matter how mild, and subjecting them to 2 Minute Hates, they're taking a completely neutral line of the subject? Unless you're arguing that through their hysterical witch hunting they're hurting the liberal agenda, that's an insane perspective. Care to elaborate?

Now how about you and Snapper addressing that while journalists themselves skew liberal, management/ownership skews conservative.


Assumes facts not in evidence.
   2803. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4756397)
management/ownership skews conservative.

If you have stats to support it, I will happily admit it.

Beyond Rupert Murdoch, I'm not sure who all the conservative media magnates are.
   2804. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4756400)
I don't think I'm sure who all the media magnates are, period, but offhand I certainly don't think of them as socialists ... especially knowing what I do about how their companies are run.
   2805. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4756403)
I don't think I'm sure who all the media magnates are, period, but offhand I certainly don't think of them as socialists ... especially knowing what I do about how their companies are run.

Sure. But there are plenty of liberals who don't let their liberalism prevent them from being rapacious capitalists. Silicon valley is full of them.
   2806. Greg K Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4756405)
#2798 It just amuses the hell out of me. And I know the saga is weirdly fascinating to a lot of people. Not least because he's so contrary to the Canadian stereotype. My mayor is a typical earnest, boring Canadian.

The sad thing is he actually is my mayor. Though I am moving out west at pretty much the same time as the election. I almost hope he wins for amusement's sake.
   2807. The Good Face Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4756410)
Sure. But there are plenty of liberals who don't let their liberalism prevent them from being rapacious capitalists. Silicon valley is full of them.


Yep. George Soros is as ruthless a capitalist as ever walked the earth, but he's plenty liberal. Makes perfect sense; big centralized government with a large robust welfare state offers plenty of opportunities for crony capitalism, which is WAY easier to make money with than competing in a marketplace.
   2808. Greg K Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4756416)
As for Sam, I think the media's priority is controversy. In 2014 "Media personality celebrates homosexual player being drafted" isn't controversial stuff. It drew clicks in the moment and for a day or two, maybe week after the draft. But that doesn't really have legs. "Media personality wonders whether homosexual player will be too much of a distraction" gets the mindless consumers flapping their gums at each on message boards and linking to articles, with the added bonus of spin-off "other media personality attacks first media personality for saying that stuff" stories.
   2809. Howie Menckel Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4756418)

I was interested as a kid in being a lawyer, but I didn't like how attorneys in a criminal case, for instance, would spin info to their own advantage. I mean, that's the whole point, but that didn't appeal to me.

The judge thing would be cool, what with the robe and all. But mostly those are just recovering attorneys, so that didn't seem realistic.

I like finding out about complicated stuff, then explaining all phases of it. I've covered controversial billion-dollar projects for years and never spent a minute giving a crap about whether the thing ever gets built. I understand the pros and cons inside and out, but don't see a need to 'pick one.' Let someone else do that.

That pisses some people off, on the internet at least. oh well.

   2810. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 23, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4756422)
#2798 It just amuses the hell out of me. And I know the saga is weirdly fascinating to a lot of people. Not least because he's so contrary to the Canadian stereotype. My mayor is a typical earnest, boring Canadian.


My mayor is now a convicted criminal.

If we had a more advanced voting system in Canada, Rob Ford would finish in a very distant third place in Toronto.
   2811. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4756423)
In my case, I'm not sure I have any marketable skills beyond writing &/or editing. Mowing yards isn't a year-round gig in the South.
   2812. Greg K Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4756425)
I was interested as a kid in being a lawyer, but I didn't like how attorneys in a criminal case, for instance, would spin info to their own advantage. I mean, that's the whole point, but that didn't appeal to me.

The judge thing would be cool, what with the robe and all. But mostly those are just recovering attorneys, so that didn't seem realistic.

I like finding out about complicated stuff, then explaining all phases of it. I've covered controversial billion-dollar projects for years and never spent a minute giving a crap about whether the thing ever gets built. I understand the pros and cons inside and out, but don't see a need to 'pick one.' Let someone else do that.

This is a better summation of my interest in history than I've been able to articulate so far.
   2813. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4756433)
So even though the media is seeking out any critics of Sam, no matter how mild, and subjecting them to 2 Minute Hates, they're taking a completely neutral line of the subject? Unless you're arguing that through their hysterical witch hunting they're hurting the liberal agenda, that's an insane perspective. Care to elaborate?

I hope I'm not violating your copyright on "2 Minute Hate" by leaving off the ©, but it'd be nice if you'd provide a few examples of that "hate" that don't focus on those few people who object to Sam's even being given a chance to prove his worth on the field.

And "hysterical witch hunting"? Please. As if the best example of that isn't the reaction of a handful of bigots to the very idea of a gay player in the locker room.
   2814. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4756434)
Assumes facts not in evidence.


As does your entire jeremiad about the "Liberal" media.

However you really want to know why the Media favors the liberal side on Gay Rights? I am talking in general, not just your fantasy about what is happening regarding Sams. It is obvious, and Ray knows the answer.

It is because the issue is basically decided, history has already spoken regarding that issue. There are still plenty of battles to be fought - like most wars the issue had been essentially decided long before the war is truly over. but still it is obvious to anyone paying attention that equality for LGBTQ folks is coming. In fits and starts, but like interracial marriage was, it is inevitable, unstoppable.

And so the issue provides media with a clear cut opportunity to be on the right side of history while reporting on the controversy. It is not really serving Liberal interests to do that - as stated the liberals have basically already won, the only questions now are when and how thoroughly. It is - as I stated long ago and others stated as well - serving the interests of media.
   2815. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4756436)
As for Sam, I think the media's priority is controversy.


It irks me to no end when, say, Mike & Mike spend time on a stupid controversy, then defend it by saying "well, it's a topic everyone's talking about, we have to cover it." Everyone's talking about it _because_ people like you are covering it!
   2816. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4756437)
As for Sam, I think the media's priority is controversy. In 2014 "Media personality celebrates homosexual player being drafted" isn't controversial stuff. It drew clicks in the moment and for a day or two, maybe week after the draft. But that doesn't really have legs. "Media personality wonders whether homosexual player will be too much of a distraction" gets the mindless consumers flapping their gums at each on message boards and linking to articles, with the added bonus of spin-off "other media personality attacks first media personality for saying that stuff" stories.

This.

It irks me to no end when, say, Mike & Mike spend time on a stupid controversy, then defend it by saying "well, it's a topic everyone's talking about, we have to cover it." Everyone's talking about it _because_ people like you are covering it!

And this.
   2817. Greg K Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4756452)
Not to mention the fact (well, I'm not sure it's a fact, I haven't been following football too closely maybe I'm wrong) that Dungy is himself more media guy than coach at this point. He's been a TV analyst and out of football for a few years now right?
   2818. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4756453)
If we had a more advanced voting system in Canada, Rob Ford would finish in a very distant third place in Toronto.


Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have Instant Runoff voting! Sadly I don't vote in either, so I have never used it. Hazards of living in the LWS I guess.

Of course according to Arrow's impossibility theorem there isn't a perfect voting method.
   2819. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4756457)
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have Instant Runoff voting! Sadly I don't vote in either,

... because there's too much, ahem, diversity in those places.
   2820. The Good Face Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4756459)
I hope I'm not violating your copyright on "2 Minute Hate" by leaving off the ©, but it'd be nice if you'd provide a few examples of that "hate" that don't focus on those few people who object to Sam's even being given a chance to prove his worth on the field.


And who's done that? Dungy was pilloried for simply stating that he personally wouldn't want to deal with the media circus; he never said Sam didn't deserve a chance to prove his worth on the field.

And "hysterical witch hunting"? Please. As if the best example of that isn't the reaction of a handful of bigots to the very idea of a gay player in the locker room.


What bigots might those be?

As does your entire jeremiad about the "Liberal" media.


You lose points for using "jeremiad" incorrectly. Anyway, the liberal inclinations of the vast majority of the media is well documented and has been posted here ad nauseam. Also, if you were reading carefully, you'd realize that I never referred to the Liberal Media as an entity. Only that the media coverage of Sam has come from a liberal perspective, assuming and advancing liberal values and preferences.

However you really want to know why the Media favors the liberal side on Gay Rights?


It's nice to see the admission even if you never did answer the question.

It is because the issue is basically decided, history has already spoken regarding that issue. There are still plenty of battles to be fought - like most wars the issue had been essentially decided long before the war is truly over. but still it is obvious to anyone paying attention that equality for LGBTQ folks is coming. In fits and starts, but like interracial marriage was, it is inevitable, unstoppable.


Except they've been doing that long before we reached this point. And they're still doing it on a number of points where the public has clearly and definitively spoken against the liberal side over the years. (Death penalty, affirmative action, etc.)

And so the issue provides media with a clear cut opportunity to be on the right side of history while reporting on the controversy. It is not really serving Liberal interests to do that - as stated the liberals have basically already won, the only questions now are when and how thoroughly. It is - as I stated long ago and others stated as well - serving the interests of media.


Nonsense. The media plays a significant role in shaping public opinion. It's coverage here contributes to the formalization and crystallization of recent liberal gains.
   2821. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:37 PM (#4756460)
I hope I'm not violating your copyright on "2 Minute Hate" by leaving off the ©, but it'd be nice if you'd provide a few examples of that "hate" that don't focus on those few people who object to Sam's even being given a chance to prove his worth on the field.


That isn't what Dungy said; in fact he said exactly the opposite -- that Sam should get a shot and that he's rooting for him. He also said that if he was coaching a team he wouldn't spend one of his franchise's finite draft picks, given the distractions that would come along with it.

That's a perfectly valid opinion; in fact, I probably wouldn't spend one either. If we're talking about an elite talent, yeah (*), but a sixth or seventh round draft pick? Not worth the effort.

The differences between the teams in the NFL is very small as compared to, say, baseball. Football isn't an individual sport wherein talent usually wins out at the end, and the Rams are in the toughest division in football looking at the first and second best teams in football. I'm not going to risk even a smidgen of my players' focus on a 24/7 non-football related media sh!tstorm and have my players being harangued for their opinion on the relative standing in the organization of a seventh-round talent.

(*) And you'll note the way Johnny Manziel fell to 22, almost certainly because of the distractions and non-football related media attention he brings to an organization.
   2822. Ron J2 Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:38 PM (#4756462)
To Face and Snapper, fair enough question which led me to a wonderful resource -- opensecret.org

Political donations are an imperfect proxy of political beliefs, but here's their summary of Printing and Publishing

(which has many of the major players). This list skews Republican -- 59% of the money going to Republicans so far in 2014. (and I checked 1996. 62% to Republicans. IOW pretty consistent). Totals are low so far, but you can see it's pretty consistent,

Some of the other major media players (also from opensecrets)
Viacom, slightly Republican,
Disney, strongly Democrat
McGraw Hill, Very strongly Republican
Hearst, Very strongly Republican
Clear Channel, dead even -- to the dollar
Advance Publications -- Very strongly Democrat

EDIT: I had been relying on a source ~2 decades old in the past. Glad I found opensecrets
   2823. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4756464)
To Face and Snapper, fair enough question which led me to a wonderful resource -- opensecret.org

Political donations are an imperfect proxy of political beliefs, but here's their summary of Printing and Publishing

(which has many of the major players). This list skews Republican -- 59% of the money going to Republicans so far in 2014. (and I checked 1996. 62% to Republicans. IOW pretty consistent). Totals are low so far, but you can see it's pretty consistent,


I'm not seeing what you're seeing.

The summary pie chart shows the following '14 68% Dem, '12 69% Dem, '08 77% Dem

What am I missing?

Edit: Books, Magazines and Newspapers is also consistently 70% Dem.
   2824. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4756465)
You lose points for using "jeremiad" incorrectly.


jeremiad: a long, mournful complaint or lamentation; a list of woes.


Well it sure sounded like a long, mournful complaint, but it is the internet so maybe I misinterpreted your post, because it was really about the joy that is the Cathedral.

Criticism fail.
   2825. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4756467)
I hope I'm not violating your copyright on "2 Minute Hate" by leaving off the ©, but it'd be nice if you'd provide a few examples of that "hate" that don't focus on those few people who object to Sam's even being given a chance to prove his worth on the field.

That isn't what Dungy said; in fact he said exactly the opposite -- that Sam should get a shot and that he's rooting for him. He also said that if he was coaching a team he wouldn't spend one of his franchise's finite draft picks, given the distractions that would come along with it.


IOW he thinks that Sam should "get a shot", but he wouldn't want to give it to him. Nice move, Tony.

If Dungy thinks that Sam's talent isn't worth a 7th round choice under any circumstances, that's one thing. But that's not what Dungy's saying. He's deducting points for "distractions" that are greatly within a team's power to minimize, but apparently he wouldn't want to make that sort of effort. Thus leaving Sam in a situation that he has no power to rectify.

And I've heard the Manzel comparison used right from the start, but while the point about talent differentiation between the two may be justified, the other fact is that Manzel has brought on his distractions completely by himself, whereas the only "distractions" brought about by Sam have been brought about by good old fashioned bigotry, not by anything Sam did himself. Big difference there.
   2826. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4756469)
He's deducting points for "distractions" that are greatly within a team's power to minimize, but apparently he wouldn't want to make that sort of effort. Thus leaving Sam in a situation that he has no power to rectify.

They aren't within a team's power to minimize, much less "greatly" within that power. There are eight gazillion media outlets and voices out there, none of which has the least bit of interest in obeying your proposed "no questions about orientation" edict. In fact, that edict itself would unleash a media sh!tstorm.

As a citizen, I'm rooting for Sam and it'd be cool to see him make the team and do well. As a football coach/GM, the only way I'm buying a media sh!tstorm for a seventh-round talent is if I think he's really a third or fourth round talent -- i.e., if I'm getting a steal with the pick. Otherwise, one of my competitors can deal with the modern liberal interest groups and loudmouths.

And I've heard the Manzel comparison used right from the start, but while the point about talent differentiation between the two may be justified, the other fact is that Manzel has brought on his distractions completely by himself, whereas the only "distractions" brought about by Sam have been brought about by good old fashioned bigotry, not by anything Sam did himself. Big difference there.

The blameworthiness of the person involved for the distractions is irrelevant. The point is elminating the distractions, whatever their source.


   2827. Joe Kehoskie Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4756472)
whereas the only "distractions" brought about by Sam have been brought about by good old fashioned bigotry, not by anything Sam did himself. Big difference there.

Of the attention heaped on Sam, I'd guess 97 percent has been positive and the other 3 percent might meet a loose definition of bigotry.
   2828. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4756476)
Yeah, I should have said that -- and that's the difference between now and the 1947 to which Andy insists on hearkening back. The majority of distractions now are distractions of positivity ... but they're still distractions.
   2829. The Good Face Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4756477)
IOW he thinks that Sam should "get a shot", but he wouldn't want to give it to him. Nice move, Tony.

If Dungy thinks that Sam's talent isn't worth a 7th round choice under any circumstances, that's one thing. But that's not what Dungy's saying. He's deducting points for "distractions" that are greatly within a team's power to minimize, but apparently he wouldn't want to make that sort of effort. Thus leaving Sam in a situation that he has no power to rectify.


Yeah, what does Tony Dungy know about successfully coaching a football team anyway? I'm sure you and your outraged sensibilities have a much clearer picture on what is and isn't a distraction for an NFL team.

jeremiad: a long, mournful complaint or lamentation; a list of woes.

Well it sure sounded like a long, mournful complaint, but it is the internet so maybe I misinterpreted your post, because it was really about the joy that is the Cathedral.


Well, considering my post wasn't long, wasn't a list, and wasn't particularly mournful, it sure sounds like you're kind of a dullard who stumbled across a new word that he wanted to use, but wasn't bright enough to use it properly.

Criticism fail.


You used the word wrong. Probably because you're barely literate. It's not the end of the world; in fact I'm sure you'll top yourself soon enough.
   2830. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4756480)
So Bitter Mouse's preferred form of argument is to keep shouting "the Cathedral."

I know I wasn't convinced until I saw him put the period (".") at the end of it.
   2831. Lassus Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4756481)
Well, considering my post wasn't long, wasn't a list, and wasn't particularly mournful,

Inasmuch as you don't have the emotional capacity to feel something as complex as mournfulness, I agree the word was not really used 100% correctly; but if you think your complaints aren't part of the same repetitive, long list over the course of the last two (five, ten?) years of posting, you need help.
   2832. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4756486)
It irks me to no end when, say, Mike & Mike spend time on a stupid controversy, then defend it by saying "well, it's a topic everyone's talking about, we have to cover it." Everyone's talking about it _because_ people like you are covering it!


Those two are horrid to listen to. They spend 70% of their time on sheer gossip and nonsense, 10% on the NFL, 10% on the NBA, 5% on golf, and 5% on everything else including MLB.

Probably because they are simply incapable of actually analyzing the sports they are covering, particularly MLB.

At least someone like Francesa actually spends most of his time talking about the games on the field.
   2833. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4756489)
Just a quick drive-by before I disappear into APAC for a week or so, but David Perdue beat Jack Kingston in the GA GOP Senate primary yesterday (by like, 2 points) and barring any screaming and shouting from Camp Kingston will run against Michelle Nunn in November. RCP's averages for Dunn/Perdue is tied as of today. Nunn and the Dems will paint Perdue as "Mitt Romney Lite" in an effort to agitate Dem voters to get out the vote while irritating Kingston/Teaper voters to stay home.

(In follow on news, the guy that will almost certainly replace Paul Broun, who also opted out of the House to lose to Kingston/Perdue in the Senate race, is actually crazier than Paul Broun.)
   2834. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4756495)
Those two are horrid to listen to. They spend 70% of their time on sheer gossip and nonsense, 10% on the NFL, 10% on the NBA, 5% on golf, and 5% on everything else including MLB.

Probably because they are simply incapable of actually analyzing the sports they are covering, particularly MLB.

At least someone like Francesa actually spends most of his time talking about the games on the field.


ESPN is a clownish joke.
   2835. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4756497)
IOW he thinks that Sam should "get a shot", but he wouldn't want to give it to him. Nice move, Tony.


WTF is wrong with that opinion? What if Brian Cashman thought Barry Bonds deserved a shot in 2008, but didn't want to deal with the distraction? Would that be something you would criticize Cashman over?

If Dungy thinks that Sam's talent isn't worth a 7th round choice under any circumstances, that's one thing. But that's not what Dungy's saying. He's deducting points for "distractions" that are greatly within a team's power to minimize, but apparently he wouldn't want to make that sort of effort. Thus leaving Sam in a situation that he has no power to rectify.


Nothing wrong with this at all. Head coaches are there to win NFL football games, not to turn their teams into bastions of liberal orthodoxy and not to right the wrongs and unfairness in the world.

And I've heard the Manzel comparison used right from the start, but while the point about talent differentiation between the two may be justified, the other fact is that Manzel has brought on his distractions completely by himself, whereas the only "distractions" brought about by Sam have been brought about by good old fashioned bigotry, not by anything Sam did himself. Big difference there.


Sam loudly announced to the world that he is gay, as if anyone this side of liberals cared. He invited the distraction. It seems rather bizarre to blame Dungy for not wanting to deal with it.

It could be that he felt he had little chance of being drafted unless he made a spectacle out of himself. In a way he's guaranteed himself a measure of job security because if they go to cut him they'll be criticized.
   2836. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4756503)
Sam told the Missouri football team he was gay at the start of last year's season and there were no distractions.
   2837. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4756505)
I also note that his college teammates were so unable to deal with Sam's sexuality that after he announced it to them in a team meeting in August of 2013 they... apparently went on as normal, didn't bother him (he said they were supportive), didn't announce it to the world. Didn't go behind his back to make sure his sexuality got out into the public domain. It took until Sam opted to do the Outside The Lines piece in February 2014 for the world to learn this earth-shattering-and-everyone-should-care-about-it news.

Everyone who knew in August 2013 cared so much that they showed absolutely no interest in it.

EDIT: Or, what 2836 said.
   2838. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4756507)
Everyone who knew in August 2013 cared so much that they showed absolutely no interest in it.

And his team, picked to finish near the bottom of the impregnable SEC, won the SEC East.
   2839. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4756510)
... so all that needs to happen for gay players not to be distractions is for modern liberals to stop making them distractions. And how do they do that? By treating them equally and as men in full, rather than as their adopted mascots who need and are worthy by virtue of their gayness of cake and balloons and gold stars every Friday at 3 sharp.
   2840. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4756518)
Sam was unknown to most of the country before this. Now, he is a Teflon hero, all of his actions and decisions above criticism, and he has an army of media persons beating the bushes in search for someone to make a negative comment about him or about the circumstances surrounding him, and if such a negative comment is made, the media jackals will attack (cite: Tony Dungy).

What Courage it took for him to come out.

Sam is Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton, famous for being famous, famous for doing nothing in particular that scads of people haven't done before them. In Kardashian and Hilton's case they had famous parents and then made a sex tape; in Sam's case he had football skills no better and a lot worse than scads of players who came before him, but he announced that he's gay, so he's a hero.

Famous for being gay. That's basically the point at which we've arrived here. If only all the other gay people in the world could be so lucky to enjoy fame from this and a battalion of protectors.
   2841. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4756534)
IOW he thinks that Sam should "get a shot", but he wouldn't want to give it to him. Nice move, Tony.

WTF is wrong with that opinion? What if Brian Cashman thought Barry Bonds deserved a shot in 2008, but didn't want to deal with the distraction? Would that be something you would criticize Cashman over?


If Cashman had thought that Bonds deserved a shot, as a Yankee fan I would've respected his decision. My only point about Bonds that year was that there wasn't any conspiracy to keep him out of the game. I've never said that he should have been blackballed out of anything but the Hall of Fame.

If Dungy thinks that Sam's talent isn't worth a 7th round choice under any circumstances, that's one thing. But that's not what Dungy's saying. He's deducting points for "distractions" that are greatly within a team's power to minimize, but apparently he wouldn't want to make that sort of effort. Thus leaving Sam in a situation that he has no power to rectify.

Nothing wrong with this at all. Head coaches are there to win NFL football games, not to turn their teams into bastions of liberal orthodoxy and not to right the wrongs and unfairness in the world.


A complete non sequitur. If Sam's talent is worthy of being drafted, then refusing to draft him in whatever his normal sequence might have been is a cowardly concession to bigotry, a concession that's also detrimental to his team's interest. You think that there's nothing that teams can do to squelch this sort of "distraction", and I think you're completely mistaken.

And I've heard the Manzel comparison used right from the start, but while the point about talent differentiation between the two may be justified, the other fact is that Manzel has brought on his distractions completely by himself, whereas the only "distractions" brought about by Sam have been brought about by good old fashioned bigotry, not by anything Sam did himself. Big difference there.

Sam loudly announced to the world that he is gay, as if anyone this side of liberals cared. He invited the distraction. It seems rather bizarre to blame Dungy for not wanting to deal with it.


In this day and age of the social media, how long do you think it would have taken for Sam's orientation to come out involuntarily? First you'd have the team wondering when the last shoe was going to drop, and then you'd have charges of a "coverup". By coming out as he did, he shifted the story from gossip and rumor to reality, which is hardly an unhealthy move.

It could be that he felt he had little chance of being drafted unless he made a spectacle out of himself. In a way he's guaranteed himself a measure of job security because if they go to cut him they'll be criticized.

I'll write this off as just one more assertion of the sort you love to make without any evidence whatever to back it up. Just consider the difference in the reaction of most people if they thought that Sam had been given the complete backing of his team, as opposed to a scenario where the team were sending out conflicting signals. You're acting as if a SEC defensive player of the year is some sort of a charity case, which is absurd. He may or may not be able to make it in the NFL due to the jump in the competition level, but he's hardly the world's greatest long shot.
   2842. villageidiom Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4756538)
Is Michael Sam a distraction?
Is Johnny Manziel?
Aaron Hernandez?
Tim Tebow?
Rex Ryan's wife's feet?
Donald Sterling?
Latrell Sprewell?
Ben Roethlisberger?
Nick Adenhart?
Tiger Woods?
Kobe Bryant?
Alex Rodriguez?
Manny Ramirez?
Jerry Jones?
Bobby Valentine?
Brett Favre?

I look at the above and see an apolitical, but lazy, line of questioning from the media. As Drew Magary
wrote,
It's particularly funny when journalists talk about distractions. They're the instruments of distraction, after all. It's like a fart asking, "How will you deal with the smell?"


TGF, your earlier comment on this was that liberals "have the media constantly kicking the bushes looking for somebody to voice such a lack of enthusiasm, so they can launch a 2 Minute Hate against that person." (Emphasis mine.) That suggests liberals have conspired to control media questioning on this subject. In all later comments you aren't saying liberals "have the media" doing their bidding; rather, simply that what the media is doing furthers the interest of liberals. I now take your earlier, more conspiratorial comment as not truly reflecting what you were trying to say - especially given that you took all comments addressing the alleged conspiracy as "non-responsive". If what you meant was that the Sam "distraction" questions are furthering interests of liberals, then that's what you should have said to begin with.

To answer your question...

1. Exposing and decrying bigotry is in everyone's interest.

2. To the extent that the right-wingers have ceded to liberals any interest in exposing and decrying bigotry toward homosexuals, then yes, it furthers liberal interests to do so in the case of Sam. I posit, however, that if right-wingers had not ceded this to liberals the same questions would be asked, and the same attention would be given, in this particular case.

3. Given the long history of questions to teams and players about supposed "distractions" that have nothing to do with homosexuality or the liberal agenda, I have no reason to believe that there is any conscious, or unconscious but biased, action aimed at furthering the liberal agenda represented in most of the questions being asked in this specific case.

4. Dungy's statements - which when combined basically say "given he was drafted he should be treated the same as anyone else, but I wouldn't have drafted him because I feared having a gay guy on the team" - were ham-fisted at best. He has invited controversy, either by expressing bigotry or by not being more careful in expressing his non-bigoted thoughts. This happens all the time, in apolitical ways, in sports. Hell, Bobby Valentine got a lot more than 2 Minute Hate™ for merely suggesting in 2012 that Kevin Youkilis might not be as physically or emotionally into baseball as he used to be. Say something in a questionable way, and the questions will come.

5. As an aside... I think the most optimistic (to Dungy) way for him to have stated things would have been along these lines: "The team that drafts Michael Sam needs someone at the helm who is strong enough to handle the inevitable controversy the media will bring. I am not that strong, and for that I'm sorry. In all honesty I would not have drafted Sam - not because I am bigoted, but because I know I am too weak to deal with those who are. I am not strong in the way that Sam and the NFL would need me to be. I'm glad the Rams feel they are strong enough, and I hope that Sam will be treated fairly by them, whether he makes the team or not."
   2843. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4756539)
A complete non sequitur. If Sam's talent is worthy of being drafted, then refusing to draft him in whatever his normal sequence might have been is a cowardly concession to bigotry, a concession that's also detrimental to his team's interest. You think that there's nothing that teams can do to squelch this sort of "distraction", and I think you're completely mistaken.

It has literally nothing to do with bigotry. The distractions don't come from bigots and the team wouldn't be not drafting him because of bigotry, but because of the desire to avoid distractions and media sh!tstorms.

In this day and age of the social media, how long do you think it would have taken for Sam's orientation to come out involuntarily? First you'd have the team wondering when the last shoe was going to drop, and then you'd have charges of a "coverup". By coming out as he did, he shifted the story from gossip and rumor to reality, which is hardly an unhealthy move.

Earth to Andy: He told the Missouri football team last August that he was gay and there was nary a hint of a public leak. Missouri plays in a league of massive media coverage and fan interest -- arguably the most rabid and informed and starved for information and gossip fans of any league in North America.

You're simply inventing bigots and leaks where none exist, thereby fitting it into the imaginary template that exists only in your head.
   2844. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4756541)
... so all that needs to happen for gay players not to be distractions is for modern liberals to stop making them distractions. And how do they do that? By treating them equally and as men in full,

Which is exactly what would have happened if Sam had been born a skirtchaser. Even Dungy might have deigned to draft him if all he'd done had been to knock up a few campus women and get wasted before games like a Good Ole Boy.

rather than as their adopted mascots who need and are worthy by virtue of their gayness of cake and balloons and gold stars every Friday at 3 sharp.

I don't know what sort of tormented inner world you must inhabit, but I'm glad that there's only one of you to share it with the rest of us. You are one creepy dude.
   2845. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4756542)
That suggests liberals have conspired to control media questioning on this subject.

Modern liberals have conspired to turn Sam's announcement into a Celebration that Everyone Must Celebrate, and a Celebration in which Non-Enthusiastic Celebrators Must Be Ridiculed and Called Bigots.
   2846. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4756548)
Even Dungy might have deigned to draft him if all he'd done had been to knock up a few campus women and get wasted before games like a Good Ole Boy.

Yep -- because he wouldn't have been a distraction, because modern liberals wouldn't have made him one.


I don't know what sort of tormented inner world you must inhabit, but I'm glad that there's only one of you to share it with the rest of us. You are one creepy dude.

Torment is inconsistent with the spot-on deconstruction of the modern liberal expressed by the allegedly tormented. And identifying and illumninating creepiness is pretty much the polar opposite of creepy.



   2847. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:28 PM (#4756549)
AFAIC villageidiom in #2842 can have the last word on this subject. Ray and GF and Boner Boy can all just swill in their own self-created cesspool and congratulate themselves on their self-described objectivity.
   2848. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4756552)
Dungy's statements - which when combined basically say "given he was drafted he should be treated the same as anyone else, but I wouldn't have drafted him because I feared having a gay guy on the team" - were ham-fisted at best.

That's not what he said. He didn't say or remotely imply anything like "fear."

AFAIC villageidiom in #2842 can have the last word on this subject. Ray and GF and Boner Boy can all just swill in their own self-created cesspool and congratulate themselves on their self-described objectivity.

Concession accepted.
   2849. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 23, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4756558)
Inasmuch as you don't have the emotional capacity to feel something as complex as mournfulness, I agree the word was not really used 100% correctly; but if you think your complaints aren't part of the same repetitive, long list over the course of the last two (five, ten?) years of posting, you need help.


Heh. His post is Exhibit A as an example of overcompensation. Oh well.

AFAIC villageidiom in #2842 can have the last word on this subject. Ray and GF and Boner Boy can all just swill in their own self-created cesspool and congratulate themselves on their self-described objectivity.


Seconded.

   2850. villageidiom Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:08 PM (#4756566)
Modern liberals have conspired to turn Sam's announcement into a Celebration that Everyone Must Celebrate, and a Celebration in which Non-Enthusiastic Celebrators Must Be Ridiculed and Called Bigots.
So everyone who didn't get the memo is therefore not a modern liberal. Anyone here not let in on the conspiracy? Congrats, TGF thinks you're not a modern liberal.
That's not what he said. He didn't say or remotely imply anything like "fear."
He did not know what the distraction would do to the team. Yet he would have avoided letting it happen. That's fear.

One might rather say that it's risk aversion. But risk aversion is motivated by fear.
Famous for being gay. That's basically the point at which we've arrived here.
Ray [Edited], 1940's: "Jackie Robinson is famous for being black. That's basically the point at which we've arrived here. Before Robinson, there were countless blacks. Hell, there were countless blacks playing baseball, many better than he. Scads of people have done what he did. Famous for being famous."

Sam is famous for being the first gay NFL draftee with the fortitude to admit it. We're at a point where a gay man doesn't feel the need to hide part of his identity prior to the NFL draft. We have arrived at that rather significant point.

Now, it's not significant to me in any meaningful sense. I think it is significant to the NFL, and to gays. He's not the first gay man, nor the first one to come out, nor the first remotely prominent one to come out, nor the first to come out who was in a role that was seen as overtly masculine, nor the first gay NFL player. Despite that, it is significant that he came out before the draft, rather than after the draft, or after his playing days were over. It is significant because we're one step closer to homosexuality being something a person is, rather than something a person must announce lest others think they have been somehow tricked.

Again, that's not a significant thing to me, as I'm (a) not gay and (b) accepting that "homosexual" is something that some people are and that their sexuality affects me nil. And maybe it's not significant to you. Good for us. It is significant for the NFL, for Sam, and for future draftees. Given the number of people actually interested in the story, it appears to be significant to a lot of people. Good for them.

I think it is a mistake to assume that if it is not significant to you that it must equate to something else that is not significant to you, like the Kardashians. Or more specifically, I think it's a mistake to expect anyone to equate the two the same way you do.

(EDITed slightly for clarity.)
   2851. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4756583)
Ray [Edited], 1940's: "Jackie Robinson is famous for being black. That's basically the point at which we've arrived here. Before Robinson, there were countless blacks. Hell, there were countless blacks playing baseball, many better than he. Scads of people have done what he did. Famous for being famous."

Jackie Robinson was a superstar. You put up with the distractions for superstars.
   2852. bobm Posted: July 23, 2014 at 07:50 PM (#4756591)
Thesis by Montana Democrat Presented Others’ Work as Own

Democrats were thrilled when John Walsh of Montana was appointed to the United States Senate in February. A decorated veteran of the Iraq war and former adjutant general of his state’s National Guard, Mr. Walsh offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.

On the campaign trail this year, Mr. Walsh, 53, has made his military service a main selling point. Still wearing his hair close-cropped, he notes he was targeted for killing by Iraqi militants and says his time in uniform informs his views on a range of issues.

But one of the highest-profile credentials of Mr. Walsh’s 33-year military career appears to have been improperly attained. An examination of the final paper required for Mr. Walsh’s master’s degree from the United States Army War College indicates the senator appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution.
   2853. formerly dp Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:05 PM (#4756602)
Again, that's not a significant thing to me, as I'm (a) not gay and (b) accepting that "homosexual" is something that some people are and that their sexuality affects me nil. And maybe it's not significant to you. Good for us. It is significant for the NFL, for Sam, and for future draftees. Given the number of people actually interested in the story, it appears to be significant to a lot of people. Good for them.
But if he took such a reasoned and level-headed stance on the subject, RayBot would have to find something else to yell and scream about on the internet.
   2854. BDC Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:29 PM (#4756616)
Jackie Robinson was a superstar. You put up with the distractions for superstars

Robinson was not a superstar yet in 1946 or even 1947, certainly not in baseball. By the time he was a superstar he was no longer a distraction.
   2855. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:36 PM (#4756623)
Robinson was not a superstar yet in 1946 or even 1947, certainly not in baseball.

Bit of a definition quibble. I'm putting up with distractions for an MVP-5 in his rookie year.

I'll leave the question of whether he was perceived to have superstar potential in 1946-47 to the experts. Suffice it to say, no one's projecting Michael Sam to be a superstar.
   2856. Howie Menckel Posted: July 23, 2014 at 08:55 PM (#4756632)
Robinson was a superstar athlete already in track and field, and he hit a league-leading .349 with a league-leading .468 OBP, 40 SB (2nd in league) and a .929 OPS (5th) at Montreal in AAA ball in 1946.

He wasn't the only African-American ready to play in the bigs in 1947, by a longshot, but there weren't the doubts about talent that there is about Sam today.

Aside from the obvious differing degrees of welcoming the player, there's also little comparison in expectations. Robinson had a great year that matched the level of future expected success, and Sam had a great year that in no way matched any scout's level of future expected success.

That's what I found odd about my initial post on this topic. Why should we expect Sam to "shock the world" in terms of performance?

If he does, I'll enjoy that story as much as anyone. But why would I expect that?

   2857. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 09:37 PM (#4756650)
Was Jackie a superstar in track? His brother was but was Jackie?
   2858. Howie Menckel Posted: July 23, 2014 at 09:53 PM (#4756660)
well, wiki says fwiw

After graduating from PJC in spring 1939, Robinson transferred to UCLA, where he became the school's first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, and track.

In track and field, Robinson won the 1940 NCAA Men's Track and Field Championships in the Long Jump, jumping 24 ft 10 1/4 in (7.58 m).

Robinson returned to California in December 1941 to pursue a career as running back for the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the Pacific Coast Football League. By that time, however, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had taken place, drawing the United States into World War II and ending Robinson's nascent football career.
   2859. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 10:10 PM (#4756665)
He wasn't the only African-American ready to play in the bigs in 1947, by a longshot, but there weren't the doubts about talent that there is about Sam today.

By 1947 the doubts about Robinson's talent had largely been erased by his year in Montreal, but if you think that in October of 1945 there weren't more doubts than expectations from baseball's establishment and media spokesmen, you're crazy. Read The Sporting News' editorials on the subject for an idea of the sort of cynicism that Robinson's signing was greeted with. Much of it sounded exactly like Ray's commments in #s 2835 and 2840, dismissing Robinson as a AA player if he was lucky, who was only signed because he was black.
   2860. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4756669)
Ray [Edited], 1940's: "Jackie Robinson is famous for being black. That's basically the point at which we've arrived here. Before Robinson, there were countless blacks. Hell, there were countless blacks playing baseball, many better than he. Scads of people have done what he did. Famous for being famous."


Jackie Robinson was a superstar. You put up with the distractions for superstars.

Again, "superstar" was definitely NOT the view of Robinson at the time of his signing in October of 1945, when Rickey was accused of cynically pandering to blacks by signing an overaged (26 year old) prospect with no track record in baseball that could possibly hold up against "real" (i.e. white) competition. The point of comparison between Robinson and Sam isn't 1947; it's 1945.
   2861. Howie Menckel Posted: July 23, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4756679)

"The point of comparison between Robinson and Sam isn't 1947; it's 1945."

agreed, if Sam is going to spend a year in the Canadian Football League with an option to join the Rams in 2016. Otherwise, I don't get it.
   2862. McCoy Posted: July 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4756680)
Like I said, does that make him a superstar of track? I don't think that would be enough nowadays but, hey, you never know.
   2863. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 23, 2014 at 10:42 PM (#4756684)
Thesis by Montana Democrat Presented Others’ Work as Own

The chances of Montana Democrats holding that seat were already pretty slim, but probably close to non-existent now.
   2864. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 23, 2014 at 10:58 PM (#4756690)
"The point of comparison between Robinson and Sam isn't 1947; it's 1945."

agreed, if Sam is going to spend a year in the Canadian Football League with an option to join the Rams in 2016. Otherwise, I don't get it.


If you really don't get the comparison, read the reactions to Robinson's initial signing, and note the similarity to the kvetching we've seen on this thread. In terms of a track record against players he's likely to face should he survive the cut, Sam is much more of a known quantity than Robinson was in 1945. Robinson's record with the Monarchs was even more dismissed as irrelevant than Sam's collegiate honors, and Rickey's critics were parroting the "he only signed him because he was black" meme even more than Ray's acting as if Sam's signing is some sort of a stunt to appease the liberal media.

By 1947, it was relatively easy to project Robinson as a likely Major Leaguer, but Rickey didn't sign him as a known quantity. What Rickey did in 1945 was to face down the same sort of smallminded and timid people that Dungy represents today. People who aren't necessarily bigots, but who often seem to be afraid of their own shadows.
   2865. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:01 PM (#4756692)
Yep -- because (Sam) wouldn't have been a distraction, because modern liberals wouldn't have made him one.


The south wouldn't have had a negro problem if those ######-loving Yankees hadn't come carpetbagging where they didn't belong, stirring up trouble.
   2866. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:13 PM (#4756697)
The south wouldn't have had a negro problem if those ######-loving Yankees hadn't come carpetbagging where they didn't belong, stirring up trouble.


Sounds like it is time for another War of Northern Aggression.
   2867. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM (#4756698)
WTF is wrong with that opinion? What if Brian Cashman thought Barry Bonds deserved a shot in 2008, but didn't want to deal with the distraction? Would that be something you would criticize Cashman over?

If Cashman had thought that Bonds deserved a shot, as a Yankee fan I would've respected his decision. My only point about Bonds that year was that there wasn't any conspiracy to keep him out of the game. I've never said that he should have been blackballed out of anything but the Hall of Fame.


Way to miss the point.

Nothing wrong with this at all. Head coaches are there to win NFL football games, not to turn their teams into bastions of liberal orthodoxy and not to right the wrongs and unfairness in the world.

A complete non sequitur. If Sam's talent is worthy of being drafted, then refusing to draft him in whatever his normal sequence might have been is a cowardly concession to bigotry, a concession that's also detrimental to his team's interest. You think that there's nothing that teams can do to squelch this sort of "distraction", and I think you're completely mistaken.


It has nothing to do with bigotry. It has to do with distraction. And 7th round picks are basically interchangeable lottery tickets, so a coach may decide that it's not worth the hassle.

Sam loudly announced to the world that he is gay, as if anyone this side of liberals cared. He invited the distraction. It seems rather bizarre to blame Dungy for not wanting to deal with it.

In this day and age of the social media, how long do you think it would have taken for Sam's orientation to come out involuntarily?


How can you ask this question with a straight face? We have a perfectly good example: Sam himself, who told his college teammates in August, and by February the world still didn't know.

More generally, is it your claim that there aren't currently gay players in the NFL? Because "in this day and age of the social media," we still don't know who they are.
   2868. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4756700)
AFAIC villageidiom in #2842 can have the last word on this subject. Ray and GF and Boner Boy can all just swill in their own self-created cesspool and congratulate themselves on their self-described objectivity.


Well, I guess that's as close as we'll ever get to you admitting that your viewpoint on this didn't stand up to scrutiny.
   2869. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:21 PM (#4756702)
By 1947 the doubts about Robinson's talent had largely been erased by his year in Montreal, but if you think that in October of 1945 there weren't more doubts than expectations from baseball's establishment and media spokesmen, you're crazy. Read The Sporting News' editorials on the subject for an idea of the sort of cynicism that Robinson's signing was greeted with. Much of it sounded exactly like Ray's commments in #s 2835 and 2840, dismissing Robinson as a AA player if he was lucky, who was only signed because he was black.


Well, I guess you came back for more even after loudly pronouncing you had said your "last word on the subject."

Is there any "NFL expert" who thinks that Sam is a superstar in waiting?
   2870. Howie Menckel Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:23 PM (#4756703)

"Sam is much more of a known quantity than Robinson was in 1945."

How is that relevant? Who cares, relevant to Sam being drafted in 2014 and trying to make the team in 2014?

Robinson preseason 1947 v Sam preseason 2014, that's what's of relevance

why not tell me what Sam 2012 was supposed to do? I mean, it's not relevant, either, but...

seems like a weird tangent

   2871. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 11:24 PM (#4756704)
even more than Ray's acting as if Sam's signing is some sort of a stunt to appease the liberal media.


I'm acting as if he is a fringe draft pick that teams may have gone either way on - drafting him or not - had there been no issue surrounding him.

   2872. BrianBrianson Posted: July 24, 2014 at 05:11 AM (#4756751)

The chances of Montana Democrats holding that seat were already pretty slim, but probably close to non-existent now.


Indeed, once the Republican base finds out their Senator has an ivory-tower Master's degree, he'll be out on his haunches.
   2873. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 24, 2014 at 06:43 AM (#4756753)
Michael Sam's story is going to involve overcoming bigotry and bigots to whom the modern liberal is superior and can denounce. If that bigotry and those bigots don't exist, the modern liberal is going to invent them.
   2874. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 24, 2014 at 06:52 AM (#4756755)
"Sam is much more of a known quantity than Robinson was in 1945."

How is that relevant? Who cares, relevant to Sam being drafted in 2014 and trying to make the team in 2014?

Robinson preseason 1947 v Sam preseason 2014, that's what's of relevance


Under the logic you and others are advancing here, Robinson wouldn't have been signed to begin with in 1945, because he wouldn't have been worth the "distractions". NOBODY in 1945 thought that Robinson was any sort of a prospective "superstar", not even Rickey.

----------------------------------------------------

Michael Sam's story is going to involve overcoming bigotry and bigots to whom the modern liberal is superior. If that bigotry and those bigots don't exist, the modern liberal is going to invent them.

I hope you slept well, because those voices in your head seem as strong as ever.
   2875. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 24, 2014 at 07:51 AM (#4756760)
If that bigotry and those bigots don't exist


Unfortunately they do. Fortunately they are a (slowly) disappearing group.
   2876. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 24, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4756771)
A reasonably interesting article on discrimination.

Yet height discrimination is legal almost everywhere and in almost all contexts (even when there’s no reason other than the discriminator’s or others’ preference for it), and it’s rarely socially condemned. (One might think that someone who discriminates based on height is shallow or is acting in an unfair way, but such people are rarely faulted more harshly than that.) Note also that, to the best of my knowledge, height discrimination against short men is indeed pervasive, both in business and in social life, and quite substantial in magnitude.


I am truly oppressed. Feel sorry for me. Weep for me. Give me money. :)
   2877. Howie Menckel Posted: July 24, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4756772)

"Robinson wouldn't have been signed to begin with in 1945, because he wouldn't have been worth the "distractions"."

Uh, Robinson wasn't a distraction to the BROOKLYN Dodgers in 1946 because he played in MONTREAL.
Sam is or isn't a distraction to the ST. LOUIS Rams because if he makes the team, he will play in - wait for it, wait for it - ST. LOUIS.

Hence my 'CFL for a year' reference.

   2878. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4756785)
Yet height discrimination is legal almost everywhere and in almost all contexts (even when there’s no reason other than the discriminator’s or others’ preference for it), and it’s rarely socially condemned. (One might think that someone who discriminates based on height is shallow or is acting in an unfair way, but such people are rarely faulted more harshly than that.) Note also that, to the best of my knowledge, height discrimination against short men is indeed pervasive, both in business and in social life, and quite substantial in magnitude.


I am truly oppressed. Feel sorry for me. Weep for me. Give me money. :)

When the 6'8" John Kenneth Galbraith was our Ambassador to India, he attended an international conference where the 6'5" Charles de Gaulle was also present. At one point they were seen conferring together in a corner, nodding in apparent agreement. When a reporter later asked Galbraith what the topic of conversation had been, Galbraith said "We were agreeing that we should never show any mercy towards those who are small." Of course he said it in his usual deadpan manner.

Just thought you'd like that. (smile)

-------------------------------------------------------------

"Robinson wouldn't have been signed to begin with in 1945, because he wouldn't have been worth the "distractions"."

Uh, Robinson wasn't a distraction to the BROOKLYN Dodgers in 1946 because he played in MONTREAL.
Sam is or isn't a distraction to the ST. LOUIS Rams because if he makes the team, he will play in - wait for it, wait for it - ST. LOUIS.

Hence my 'CFL for a year' reference.


Jesus, Howie, read the papers at the time of Robinson's signing. The same excuses that Dungy and Ray/SBB are making today were being made by the many opponents of Robinson's signing: "If he were white/straight, he never would have been signed"; "This is all just a publicity stunt to appease blacks/modern liberals".

If Rickey had paid attention to the Dungys and Rays of 1945, Robinson would be a footnote in UCLA football history today, and little more. I fully understood your attempted CFL comparison, but it's meaningless.

   2879. BDC Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:19 AM (#4756786)
Interesting piece by Eugene Volokh linked in #2876, Mouse.

Even if one thinks that sexual orientation discrimination is generally similar enough to some of the prohibited grounds for discrimination, there needs to be an argument as to why, for instance, it’s closer to race discrimination than to sex discrimination or religious discrimination (or vice versa).


The problem arising because sex discrimination and religious discrimination are socially and/or legally OK in certain circumstances.

I don't think this is as much of a quandary as Volokh makes it. It's OK for barbershop choirs to exclude women or Baptist colleges not to hire rabbis. But under what circumstances is it relevant to the choir to exclude gay men, or the Baptist college to exclude gay faculty? Being gay, practically speaking, just means having a partner at home, or a date lined up for the weekend, or certain romantic ideas. It's apparently OK for straight people to do the very same things. So the burden is "why discriminate?" What purpose could it serve – and "I don't like that" is not an acceptable purpose :) As I'm sure you'll agree, Mouse, I am just bouncing ideas off Volokh's.
   2880. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4756788)
   2881. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4756789)
Even if one thinks that sexual orientation discrimination is generally similar enough to some of the prohibited grounds for discrimination, there needs to be an argument as to why, for instance, it’s closer to race discrimination than to sex discrimination or religious discrimination (or vice versa).

A person can avoid religious discrimination by changing his religion. Religion is not immutable. You can't change your race or sexual orientation, you can only try to "pass" (if your race is observationally ambiguous) or stay in the closet, neither of which should be required to placate the sensibility of bigots.
   2882. BDC Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4756791)
you can only try to "pass" (if your race is observationally ambiguous) or stay in the closet, neither of which should be required to placate the sensibility of bigots

Sure, but as you'd obviously agree, one shouldn't have to convert or be a crypto-believer to placate such sensibilities, either.
   2883. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4756795)
you can only try to "pass" (if your race is observationally ambiguous) or stay in the closet, neither of which should be required to placate the sensibility of bigots

Sure, but as you'd obviously agree, one shouldn't have to convert or be a crypto-believer to placate such sensibilities, either.


Right, and I think you made the real point when you wrote "So the burden is "why discriminate?" What purpose could it serve – and "I don't like that" is not an acceptable purpose :)".
   2884. villageidiom Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:50 AM (#4756800)
Jackie Robinson was a superstar. You put up with the distractions for superstars.
One should not abandon principles on the basis of a player's ability. We're not all NBA referees.
   2885. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 24, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4756802)
Right, and I think you made the real point when you wrote "So the burden is "why discriminate?" What purpose could it serve – and "I don't like that" is not an acceptable purpose :)".


This is one of those questions that seems so blindingly obvious that it begs the question of why anyone would put rhetorical or emotional energy in denying it. (Yes, I realize this means it's a core assumption, but again, why on earth would a diverse, liberal democracy not default to a standard of "why discriminate" rather than "why not discriminate?" "Because the majority thinks the sex is gross" isn't a valid argument for any semi-functional frontal cortex, and "because my God says it's wrong" obviously fails constitutional muster.) If the best argument you have is nativist "but the baby makings!!" then your argument is clearly and obviously wrong.
   2886. The Good Face Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4756812)
Inasmuch as you don't have the emotional capacity to feel something as complex as mournfulness, I agree the word was not really used 100% correctly


I totally get mournfulness. It's a synonym for murderous rage, right? Just like pensive, rueful or exuberant. Emotions are easy!

TGF, your earlier comment on this was that liberals "have the media constantly kicking the bushes looking for somebody to voice such a lack of enthusiasm, so they can launch a 2 Minute Hate against that person." (Emphasis mine.) That suggests liberals have conspired to control media questioning on this subject. In all later comments you aren't saying liberals "have the media" doing their bidding; rather, simply that what the media is doing furthers the interest of liberals. I now take your earlier, more conspiratorial comment as not truly reflecting what you were trying to say - especially given that you took all comments addressing the alleged conspiracy as "non-responsive". If what you meant was that the Sam "distraction" questions are furthering interests of liberals, then that's what you should have said to begin with.


Your assumptions are incorrect. Probably because you don't understand the definition of "conspiracy". There's no question that the media is engaging in the described behavior. The next step is to ask, "Cui bono?" That's an easy one, liberals. So then it's reasonable to wonder, "At whose behest?" If not liberals, then whom? Even if it's simply self-directed behavior by the liberals who comprise the media, it's still done by and for liberals.

1. Exposing and decrying bigotry is in everyone's interest.


An unsupported assertion, a mere statement of faith. I'm not interested in faith based arguments with religious believers.

2. To the extent that the right-wingers have ceded to liberals any interest in exposing and decrying bigotry toward homosexuals, then yes, it furthers liberal interests to do so in the case of Sam. I posit, however, that if right-wingers had not ceded this to liberals the same questions would be asked, and the same attention would be given, in this particular case.


Based on what? Your gut feelings? Again, take the faith based crap elsewhere.

3. Given the long history of questions to teams and players about supposed "distractions" that have nothing to do with homosexuality or the liberal agenda, I have no reason to believe that there is any conscious, or unconscious but biased, action aimed at furthering the liberal agenda represented in most of the questions being asked in this specific case.


The liberal agenda comes in the promotion of gay "rights" and the two minute hates directed at people who don't offer sufficiently enthusiastic support of said rights. The treatment of Dungy makes that abundantly clear.

4. Dungy's statements - which when combined basically say "given he was drafted he should be treated the same as anyone else, but I wouldn't have drafted him because I feared having a gay guy on the team" - were ham-fisted at best. He has invited controversy, either by expressing bigotry or by not being more careful in expressing his non-bigoted thoughts.


So would you say he was asking for it? Stupid Tony Dungy, why does he keep making you hit him? I mean, he knows you love him, right? He just needs to stop doing things to make you mad!

5. As an aside... I think the most optimistic (to Dungy) way for him to have stated things would have been along these lines: "The team that drafts Michael Sam needs someone at the helm who is strong enough to handle the inevitable controversy the media will bring. I am not that strong, and for that I'm sorry. In all honesty I would not have drafted Sam - not because I am bigoted, but because I know I am too weak to deal with those who are. I am not strong in the way that Sam and the NFL would need me to be. I'm glad the Rams feel they are strong enough, and I hope that Sam will be treated fairly by them, whether he makes the team or not."


I'd say Tony Dungy, with his two Super Bowl rings and record setting coaching career knows a lot more about what is and isn't a distraction in the NFL than you or some fat media hack.
   2887. Shredder Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4756819)
Just scanning this page, it get's really confusing trying to determine who is talking about who, considering we have Branch Rickey, Michael Sam, and Sam/Rickey all involved in the discussion.
   2888. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4756824)
I'd say Tony Dungy, with his two Super Bowl rings and record setting coaching career knows a lot more about what is and isn't a distraction in the NFL than you or some fat media hack.

Please remember this line of reasoning the next time you feel like criticizing Joe Morgan.
   2889. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4756826)
Jesus, Howie, read the papers at the time of Robinson's signing. The same excuses that Dungy and Ray/SBB are making today were being made by the many opponents of Robinson's signing: "If he were white/straight, he never would have been signed"; "This is all just a publicity stunt to appease blacks/modern liberals".


Andy, please stop lying. I never called it a stunt, and I corrected you above, in 2871.

He was a 7th round draft pick. There are only 7 rounds. He was picked 249 out of 256. I called him a fringe pick, and he is -- it could have gone either way. Even had there been no issue re his sexuality he may have been picked or may not have been.

A "stunt" is when the player is entirely undeserving but is picked or acquired anyway. Eddie Gaedel. Minnie Minoso, in his later years. Sam, on the other hand, is certainly deserving of a late round pick. You get upset when I accuse you of being dishonest, and then you go right on being dishonest. This is but one of many examples.

   2890. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4756827)
Just scanning this page, it get's really confusing trying to determine who is talking about who, considering we have Branch Rickey, Michael Sam, and Sam/Rickey all involved in the discussion.

Some people apparently think that Jackie Robinson was a known superstar in the making at the point that Rickey signed him in 1945, as opposed to a certified political opportunist like Sam, who's merely famous for being famous.
   2891. The Good Face Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4756832)
Please remember this line of reasoning the next time you feel like criticizing Joe Morgan.


What an odd statement. I'd say Joe Morgan knows a lot more about, say, hitting a slider or the dynamics of a MLB clubhouse than anybody in this thread. I've never been a particularly vocal Joe Morgan critic. When he was a broadcaster, he'd say some dumb stuff sometimes, but pretty much every broadcaster does that.
   2892. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4756833)
Please remember this line of reasoning the next time you feel like criticizing Joe Morgan.


Tell us again how "in this day and age of social media" we'd all know about Sam's sexuality by now if he hadn't disclosed it to us, given that there are literally zero examples of NFL players or draftees who have been outed during their careers for being gay.
   2893. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4756837)
Jesus, Howie, read the papers at the time of Robinson's signing. The same excuses that Dungy and Ray/SBB are making today were being made by the many opponents of Robinson's signing: "If he were white/straight, he never would have been signed"; "This is all just a publicity stunt to appease blacks/modern liberals".

Andy, please stop lying. I never called it a stunt, and I corrected you above, in 2871.


Here's what you also said about him in #2835:

Sam loudly announced to the world that he is gay, as if anyone this side of liberals cared. He invited the distraction. It seems rather bizarre to blame Dungy for not wanting to deal with it.

It could be that he felt he had little chance of being drafted unless he made a spectacle out of himself. In a way he's guaranteed himself a measure of job security because if they go to cut him they'll be criticized.


So it's not a stunt, it's just that Sam is a clever con man who's trying to Mau-Mau his way into an NFL career. How generous of you.
   2894. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4756839)
So it's not a stunt, it's just that Sam is a clever con man who's trying to Mau-Mau his way into an NFL career. How generous of you.


None of that says that it was a stunt, which would mean that he was undeserving of being drafted. But of course I never said that. I said it could have gone either way, which it could have.
   2895. bobm Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4756845)
LIFE Magazine on Jackie Robinson, November 26 1945 p 133

Robinson, who was born in Georgia, is one of the best Negro athletes in the U.S. At the University of California at Los Angeles in 1939-40 he was an all-American halfback, the Coast's high scorer in basketball and UCLA's best broad-jumper. After leaving the Army last year as a lieutenant, he played for Kansas City, a top-ranking Negro club, [and] batted .340.

If Robinson makes good, the major-league teams may sign up other Negro players, many of whom are of big-league caliber. Although some ballplayers and club owners have expressed disapproval, most of baseball seemed willing to give Robinson a fair change.

Robinson's hands are exceptionally large and very strong. [...] He bats well, is an excellent fielder, can run 100 yards in ten seconds flat.
   2896. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 24, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4756847)
I'm still waiting to hear whether Andy thinks there are no gay players currently in the NFL other than Sam, seeing as "in this day and age of social media" they'd surely have been outed by now, just as Sam would have been outed had he not come forward.

Even when an argument of Andy's is shown to be utterly absurd he never walks it back.
   2897. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4756851)
The liberal agenda comes in the promotion of gay "rights" and the two minute hates directed at people who don't offer sufficiently enthusiastic support of said rights. The treatment of Dungy makes that abundantly clear.


The "liberal agenda" such as there is one, really doesn't get to be defined by people who are opposed to liberals, but in any event the vast majority of liberals just want a lack of discrimination. And it is working.

Racism continues to be a problem, but its much less than it was before. Anti-gay bigotry is also receding. You may hate liberals, but while correlation is not causation, most rational people would agree that liberal support of gays and minorities has moved at least somewhat in step with a reduction in racism and bigotry.

An unsupported assertion, a mere statement of faith. I'm not interested in faith based arguments with religious believers.


Unlike your feelings, of course. Still the US was founded (imperfectly everyone will admit) with some ideas that while they may be a matter of faith are still fundamental to our nation and as such deserve strong consideration. And those ideas seem to me to argue strongly against discrimination, racism and bigotry.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


So you call it just a matter of faith, but I think it is more than that. It is a pillar of the US, and one that we - liberals at least, but all are welcome - are trying to continue to perfect, to make better, in order to live up to the very high ideals expressed by the founders.
   2898. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4756852)
There was a guy in San Fran a few years ago who was semi-outed after he got cut, I think. There are clearly closeted players in the NFL.

Dungy is simply stating for the record that he's too much of a go-along, get-along type to stand up for what's right in the face of what has always been done before. While his coaching acumen with the status quo of the NFL is obviously well credentialed, there's no reason anyone should be defending his cowardice on the issue of moving the league into the 21st century when it comes cultural norms and civil rights. The fact that he's a black man repeating the same tired "but it will be a distraction, it will cause strife in the clubhouse" arguments used by color line proponents for decades just makes his personal cowardice more noticable.
   2899. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4756855)
Even when an argument of Andy's is shown to be utterly absurd he never walks it back.


It is not an argument I am making, but you are really overstating your side (shocking for all of us who have been interacting with you for years I know).

Sam outed himself to his college teammates. Once he did that it was likely to come out eventually. It didn't during the college season likely for a couple reasons, including the fact that college age kids are much less bigoted about these sorts of things than pretty much every other demographic and college football (even in the SEC) is less visible than NFL football. I admit I am surprised it did not come out though. Still even if Sam did not come out before the draft it is pretty likely I think that it would have come out at some point, because he had already told a bunch of people. Which makes it completely unlike an NFL athlete who is gay and closeted, making your analogy weak.

That said I doubt his coming out dropped Sam more than a a couple three rounds and it did probably make him harder to just up and cut. Since those work in opposite ways (one to Sam's benefit the other not) I don't know if in net it helped or hurt him. I have no idea how Sam calculated it, no idea if he did it selfishly to help his career or otherwise, but neither do you and neither does Andy.

As for Dungy, he is a pretty good man, good coach (who back in the day I wanted to take over as the Vikings head coach and was annoyed when they let him leave rather than promote him), but who has a fairly long history of vocal opposition to Gay marriage and other gay rights issues. Why he said what he said and so on is also unknown to me. Personally I don't think less of him or more of him.
   2900. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 24, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4756856)
This situation simply doesn't fit into the 1964/1947 civil rights template. Virtually everything about it is different. Only a poor if not biased cultural analyst would insist on shoehorning it into that template.
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