The Blob

Monday, October 13, 2003

Men behaving badly

Over the weekend, I was watching a perfectly good brawl when a baseball game broke out. I was so bummed. I mean, can't a man watch a genuine, knock-down, drag-out fistfight without a sporting event getting in the way?

This weekend's altercations between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees was the low point in the 2003 season. I've read too many meatheaded articles taking one side or another, alternately praising the Yankees or the Red Sox as the victims. What a crock. The truth is, everybody is wrong. Pedro Martinez for losing control of his temper, the managers of both teams for not taking control of the situation, and for everyone else for not acting mature enough to realize that this was the playoffs after all.

Nice example they gave kids.

Contrast that with what took place in yesterday's game between the Cubs and Marlins. Josh Beckett, who threw a brilliant game against the Cubs, accidentally zipped a high and tight fastball that was way too close to the Cubs' Sammy Sosa, who had suffered a terrifying bean ball that shattered his batting helmet earlier this year. Reacting angrily, he could have charged the mound. But he didn't. This was also kept in check by the classiest player of the playoffs, Pudge Rodriguez, who, sensing the moment, immediately embraced the upset Sosa and calmed him down. Using the leadership he has shown all season, he calmly explained to Sosa that it was an accident, and gestured to where he was directing the pitch to go.

Problem immediately solved.

The hot tempered stupidity of Pedro Martinez versus the common sense of Pudge Rodriguez. It does not take much to make a difference. I've always been an American League kinda guy. But I'll be rooting for either the Cubs or the Marlins in the World Series.

It's all about character.