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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ajc: Bisher: Sayonara, baseball tradition (RR)

I understand that Mr. Bisher was at the Louisville Colonels 1896 home opener eating American-made cotten candy…but cripes all-mighty!

Well, not any longer. Money can change any habit. Eight springs ago the Mets and Cubs opened the season, not in Cincinnati. Guess where? Tokyo. That Tokyo, the guys who gave us Pearl Harbor. Some people don’t like you to bring that up, trade with Japan is so hot. But I’ve got a long memory. I saw what a few bombs can do to our property.

Oh, well, ‘scuse me. It’s just tough to get away from it when you turn on your TV in the morning there are the Boston Red Sox playing the Oakland A’s in the Tokyo Dome. Not only that, but the Red Sox pitcher is Daisuke Matsuzaka, who didn’t grow up in Wampole.

...So that’s where major-league baseball stands today, geographically. Not here in the USA, not in Cincinnati, not even in Kauai, but on the other side of the International Dateline. Heaven only knows where it’s headed next. They tell me they’re building a state of the Soviet stadium in Vladivostok, complete with a video screen as high as the sky, and beer sales. Oh, I forgot tell you this about Cincinnati’s sin. The Red Stockings were expelled from the league in 1880 for selling beer at the park. Think of that!

 

Repoz Posted: March 26, 2008 at 12:35 PM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: international, japan

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   1. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:08 PM (#2720631)
That Tokyo, the guys who gave us Pearl Harbor. Some people don’t like you to bring that up, trade with Japan is so hot. But I’ve got a long memory.

Wow.
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:12 PM (#2720634)
I'm the staunchest supporter of free speech you'll find, so if he wants to publish this with his name on it, that's his choice. But it's a damned stupid choice.
   3. CFiJ Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:14 PM (#2720638)
...the hell? I don't even know where to begin. Does this guy have some incriminating video of the editor-in-chief or something?
   4. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:15 PM (#2720640)
Is this a spoof, or is this guy for real?
   5. The District Attorney Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:19 PM (#2720641)
The other article posted here about how baseball had "sold its soul" by having Opening Day in Japan, was from this same exact paper. What the heck is going on down there in Atlanta???
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:19 PM (#2720642)
Money can change any habit. This spring the Mets and Expos will open the season, not in New York. Guess where? Canada. That Canada, the guys who tried to steal the Oregon Territory from us. Some people don't like you to bring that up, trade with Canada is so hot. But I've got a long memory.
-Furman Bisher, March 26, 1969
   7. rfloh Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:21 PM (#2720645)
My sarcasm detector is likely broken, but I don't get the sense that Bisher is adopting the same position that Schultz et al are.

Trey Hillman, who managed five seasons in Japan, is now managing the Kansas City Royals, which, on the surface, appears to be a demotion.


They tell me they’re building a state of the Soviet stadium in Vladivostok, complete with a video screen as high as the sky, and beer sales. Oh, I forgot tell you this about Cincinnati’s sin. The Red Stockings were expelled from the league in 1880 for selling beer at the park. Think of that!
   8. rfloh Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:22 PM (#2720646)
#4

I dunno, but it reads to me like a spoof.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:23 PM (#2720647)
Or how about this:

Money can change any habit. This spring the Pirates and Braves will open the season, not in Milwaukee. Guess where? Atlanta. That Atlanta, the guys who tried to keep slavery and tear this country apart. Some people don't like you to bring that up, trade with the south is so hot. But I've got a long memory.
-March 25, 1966
   10. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:25 PM (#2720649)
I dunno, but it reads to me like a spoof.

I read it a couple of times and then I read the comments waiting for his longtime readers to laugh at the joke or say "Good spoof you old coot" but they only reinforced that this was serious. So...wow.
   11. Repoz Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:29 PM (#2720653)
Furman Bisher will be 90-years old come Nov. and I've never known him to write spoofs.

Well...his last 25 years have been sorta like spoofs.
   12. rfloh Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:32 PM (#2720655)
#10

Yeah, I read the comments too, but it is possible that they have misread him.

That line about Matsuzaka and Wampole, surely Bisher, is, and Bisher's readers, are, well aware that Andruw Jones was not exactly from Wampole either; that line about Kauai, Kurt is from Hawaii; and that final paragraph about beer and Cincinnati being banned especially, just seem too much like snark.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:38 PM (#2720661)
I think its funny in the comments section "Fukudome" was censored.
   14. hscs Posted: March 26, 2008 at 01:57 PM (#2720674)
From what I can tell, as someone totally ignorant of sports writers not in the Chicago region, Bisher is highly regarded, award winning, a WWII vet, wrote an Aaron bio, has said a lot of intelligent stuff, but might have a problem with the variety of fine people from the other side of the Pacific.

March 14, 2006 AJC
Baseball hasn't exactly been living on starvation rations around the world. This tournament includes teams from 16 countries. A man named Fred Hunter and Babe Ruth made a goodwill mission to Japan in the 1930s. Next thing you knew, we were in a deadlier game with that country. I thought another might break out Sunday night when the U.S. and Japanese teams played in Anaheim. The Japanese scored the go-ahead run on a tag-up play in the 8th inning, but an American umpire overruled the call. It was universally concluded that the Japanese got robbed, and I agree. Got rather tense there for a while, but after stalling a bit, the Japanese continued the game, and later lost.
...
Obviously, some countries are not ready for such competition. Italy filled out a team with any American whose name might rhyme with spaghetti. In Korea, anyone named Kim was eligible, to go with Chan Ho Park and Hee Seop Choi, established major leaguers. But China was hard-pressed to match its progress in golf, and had to settle for a manager with a French name, Jim Lefebvre.
   15. Eric in Madison Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#2720680)
You know, I've thought for the last decade or so that Sid Hartman (Mpls. Star-Tribune) was the #1 "Get off my lawn" old guy sportswriter, but this takes the cake. Unless it's a spoof, but I don't think so.

We ought to have a tournament of cranky old sportswriters like the NCAAs--bring your best clips and face-off for highest Grampa Simpson quotient.
   16. flournoy Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:16 PM (#2720689)
This is not a spoof, this is Furman Bisher in all his glory. He is older than all of us combined, so he just writes what he damn well pleases. I have never read a Bisher article (granted, I avoid them when possible) where he didn't come off as a crotchety old man pining for the good old days. I'm told that he was once a good writer, but he's well past his prime. Presumably he's still popular among folks who are also well past their primes.
   17. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:20 PM (#2720694)
Eight springs ago the Mets and Cubs opened the season, not using robots. Guess what they used? Humans. That species, the guys who gave us the Holocaust, jazz music, and gay marriage. Some people don’t like you to bring that up, trade with humans is so hot.
   18. rfloh Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:26 PM (#2720699)
Looks like the AJC has some editorial policy about this.

Terence Moore has joined in too.
   19. hscs Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:28 PM (#2720703)
One more gem from the Furman Bisher archives.

July 9, 2001 AJC
In latter years, the fan base has changed, and I've read that an avalanche of ballots flowed in from Japan, all naturally heavily Mariner-flavored. Why? Obvious. With Suzuki and Sasaki -- reads like a motorcycle dealership -- Mariners games are televised into their homeland.
   20. Lujack Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:33 PM (#2720706)
Eight springs ago the Mets and Cubs opened the season, not in Cincinnati. Guess where? Tokyo.


Why would the Mets and Cubs play in Cincinnati?
   21. Craig Calcaterra Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:38 PM (#2720712)
Was it Bill Simmons who proposed giving guys over 80 some sort of amnesty for this kind of garbage? I don't agree or condone a single letter Bisher wrote in this piece, but I'm more inclined to role my eyes and wait for the actuarial tables to do their work than get outraged.
   22. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:42 PM (#2720715)
Was it Bill Simmons who proposed giving guys over 80 some sort of amnesty for this kind of garbage? I don't agree or condone a single letter Bisher wrote in this piece, but I'm more inclined to role my eyes and wait for the actuarial tables to do their work than get outraged.

Me, too. I'm just shocked it got by the editor.
   23. catomi01 Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:43 PM (#2720718)
I understand the reference to Cincy....but wouldn't it be pretty odd to have a Mets/Cubs or A's/Red Sox game there?
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 26, 2008 at 02:45 PM (#2720720)
With Suzuki and Sasaki -- reads like a motorcycle dealership -- Mariners games are televised into their homeland.

His humor reminds me of the editorial cartoonist for "The Onion."
   25. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: March 26, 2008 at 03:04 PM (#2720743)
Was it Bill Simmons who proposed giving guys over 80 some sort of amnesty for this kind of garbage?

I think it was Bill von Hippel.
   26. terry312 Posted: March 26, 2008 at 03:21 PM (#2720753)
His humor reminds me of the editorial cartoonist for "The Onion."


It took me literally months to realize that the Onion cartoonist was parody, and even then I had to be told. I always love the cranky soapbox version of the cartoonist in the corner.
   27. The Interdimensional Council of Rickey!'s Posted: March 26, 2008 at 03:33 PM (#2720764)
Furman Bisher will be 90-years old come Nov. and I've never known him to write spoofs.

We can state with high degree of security that Furman Bisher is not writing a spoof here. For better or for worse, he means what he says. And he doesn't really like the Japanese. Why? Maybe because he was a 22 year old when they bombed Pearl Harbor. Maybe because he then spent the next four years of his life fighting in the war. I can't find reference to where he was stationed, but it would be no shock if he fought in the south Pacific. None of which is an attempt on my part to justify his words. Just take into consideration what the most formative experiences he has with Japan are and discount his opinions accordingly. Or not. John McCain still unapologetically refers to the North Vietnamese as "Gooks." Something about a formative experience he had over there. Furman Bisher probably still thinks of the Japanese as "Nips." It just is what it is.

No such semi-waffley explanation can be made for Terrence Moore, who is just stupid.
   28. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 26, 2008 at 03:41 PM (#2720772)
At least he writes for a paper based in Atlanta, which is in a part of the country that has always been loyal to the United States.
   29. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 26, 2008 at 03:58 PM (#2720797)
I wish we would go back to opening the season on land we rightfully stole from the stupid Indians. We gave them pox-covered blankets. I remember.
   30. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 26, 2008 at 04:05 PM (#2720805)
At least he writes for a paper based in Atlanta, which is in a part of the country that has always been loyal to the United States.

You should very much e-mail this to him, but pretend your a 180 year old man with a long memory when you do it.
   31. aleskel Posted: March 26, 2008 at 04:19 PM (#2720819)
John McCain still unapologetically refers to the North Vietnamese as "Gooks."

really? I've never heard of that, but I would be very, very surprised if someone as prominant and PR-savvy as McCain would use that, since, war experience nonwithstanding, it's a pretty nasty slur. On top of that, McCain has done a lot of work (with John Kerry) to normalize relations with Vietnam over the years. But if there's some evidence of this, I'd be interested to see it.
   32. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: March 26, 2008 at 04:28 PM (#2720835)
McCain gave a long, reasonable apology. Based on the circumstances, I understand where the anger comes from, but I still don't think it's very presidential.
http://asianweek.com/2000_02_24/feature_mccainapology.html
   33. aleskel Posted: March 26, 2008 at 04:32 PM (#2720838)
thanks, Eraser-X - that's more or less how I would expect something like that to play out.
   34. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: March 26, 2008 at 05:00 PM (#2720862)
"Money can change any habit. This spring the Mercury Mets and Jupiter Junos will open the season, not in the Solar System. Guess where? Romulus. That Romulus, the guys who we fought in the Romulan War. Some people don't like you to bring that up, trade with the Romulan Empire is so hot. But I've got a long memory."

--Furman Bisher VIII, 2237
   35. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: March 26, 2008 at 05:14 PM (#2720871)
Furman Bisher VIII

The hell you say. It's going to be the same Bisher we have today.
   36. Dr Love Posted: March 26, 2008 at 05:21 PM (#2720878)
Money can change any habit. This fall the Giants and Dolphins opened the season, not in Green Bay. Guess where? England. That England, the guys who gave us tyranny, Canada, and fish and chips. Some people don’t like you to bring that up, trade with England is so hot. But I’ve got a long memory. I saw what a few bombs can do to our property.


-Furman Bisher, October 28, 2007.
   37. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 26, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#2720882)
McCain gave a long, reasonable apology. Based on the circumstances, I understand where the anger comes from, but I still don't think it's very presidential.

Will a "McCain called the Vietnamese gooks" thread get as many votes as "Obama had a preacher who hated him some honkeys something fierce"? These are the questions that keep me awake at night. OK, they don't but it's the first time in my life I've ever found a quasi-suitable reason to use the words gook and honkey in the same sentence. (And, wow, this post will effectively end all my political ambitions, won't it. Try explaining this one without the context when you're running for the Senate in 10 years!)

Furman Bisher VIII

The hell you say. It's going to be the same Bisher we have today.


Nice.
   38. hscs Posted: March 26, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#2720892)
That England, the guys who gave us tyranny, Canada, and fish and chips.


And the Irish.
   39. rfloh Posted: March 26, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#2720898)
the guys who gave us tyranny, Canada, and fish and chips


And boiled vegetables.
   40. cardsfanboy Posted: March 26, 2008 at 05:58 PM (#2720916)
these threads are so much fun to sit an read.

Will a "McCain called the Vietnamese gooks" thread get as many votes as "Obama had a preacher who hated him some honkeys something fierce"? These are the questions that keep me awake at night. OK, they don't but it's the first time in my life I've ever found a quasi-suitable reason to use the words gook and honkey in the same sentence. (And, wow, this post will effectively end all my political ambitions, won't it. Try explaining this one without the context when you're running for the Senate in 10 years!)


but this is the U.S. we are a country of understanding and reason, we would never judge someone or something out of context, it's not in our nature. So you should be fine in your future political aspirations.
   41. Swedish Chef Posted: March 26, 2008 at 06:30 PM (#2720943)
(And, wow, this post will effectively end all my political ambitions, won't it. Try explaining this one without the context when you're running for the Senate in 10 years!)


Senate? In 10 years? Does this mean the audacious Shooty 2008 presidential bid is no more?
   42. baudib Posted: March 26, 2008 at 06:35 PM (#2720950)
I have to admit that I found Bisher's column to be amusing and a quick read.
   43. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 26, 2008 at 06:36 PM (#2720951)
(And, wow, this post will effectively end all my political ambitions, won't it. Try explaining this one without the context when you're running for the Senate in 10 years!)


Senate? In 10 years? Does this mean the audacious Shooty 2008 presidential bid is no more?


Yeah, I ran out of funding and my off color comment about legislating a cable channel with monkey pornography into existence wasn't well received. I was half joking people! Right now my political career is on hold until I find a state that likes monkeys--and I mean really likes monkeys--and then carpetbag my way there.
   44. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: March 26, 2008 at 06:37 PM (#2720953)
I hope the Swedish Chef is relieved that Bisher hasn't turned his poison pen toward the influx of damned Scandinavians in the majors. Why, from Matt Lindstrom to Tim Harikkala to Casey Fossum, they're making the back ends of our bullpens look like, um, cod dealerships, or hockey teams, or model welfare states, or something.
   45. Swoboda is freedom Posted: March 26, 2008 at 06:43 PM (#2720959)
the guys who gave us tyranny, Canada, and fish and chips

I seem to remember them burning down our White House too.

54' 40 or fight.
   46. aleskel Posted: March 26, 2008 at 06:48 PM (#2720967)
I seem to remember them burning down our White House too.

ah, but 'twasn't white until they did
   47. Swedish Chef Posted: March 26, 2008 at 06:58 PM (#2720982)
I hope the Swedish Chef is relieved that Bisher hasn't turned his poison pen toward the influx of damned Scandinavians in the majors. Why, from Matt Lindstrom to Tim Harikkala to Casey Fossum, they're making the back ends of our bullpens look like, um, cod dealerships, or something.

Well, how bad could it be, the only headlines Scandinavians had last year was Scott Olsen's arrest(s). Maybe a hate campaign is what we need to get some attention. Bring on Furman Bisher, I say!

Yeah, I ran out of funding and my off color comment about legislating a cable channel with monkey pornography into existence wasn't well received. I was half joking people! Right now my political career is on hold until I find a state that likes monkeys--and I mean really likes monkeys--and then carpetbag my way there.


That's too bad. Monkeys are a tough sell, conservatives won't like the subtle pro-evolution message in your monkey porn legislation.
   48. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 26, 2008 at 07:04 PM (#2720988)
That's too bad. Monkeys are a tough sell, conservatives won't like the subtle pro-evolution message in your monkey porn legislation.

And liberals didn't like the whole animal exploitation aspect. Yes, mistakes were made during the Shooty in 2008 campaign. Mistakes were made.
   49. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 26, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#2721006)
That's too bad. Monkeys are a tough sell, conservatives won't like the subtle pro-evolution message in your monkey porn legislation.

And liberals didn't like the whole animal exploitation aspect. Yes, mistakes were made during the Shooty in 2008 campaign. Mistakes were made.


Evolution + lack of corporate regulation? You are the libertarian dream candidate!
   50. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: March 26, 2008 at 07:19 PM (#2721013)
Evolution + lack of corporate regulation? You are the libertarian dream candidate!

Which explains perfectly my miserable showing.
   51. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 27, 2008 at 06:16 AM (#2721459)
That England, the guys who gave us tyranny, Canada, and fish and chips.


And me...
   52. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 27, 2008 at 06:26 AM (#2721461)
Bisher served for three years with the US Naval Air Corps during WW2; two of those years were spent in the Pacific Theater. One of his stations was Pearl Harbor...
   53. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 27, 2008 at 09:45 AM (#2721471)
it's the first time in my life I've ever found a quasi-suitable reason to use the words gook and honkey in the same sentence.

My vinyl copy of Elton John's "Honky Cat" skips because I got some gook on it.
   54. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 27, 2008 at 10:46 AM (#2721475)
Why is honkey a slur, anyway? I was told that cracker was a reference to the whips of the slaves' masters, but I'm completely at sea on this one.

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