MLB’s hollow tribute to Jackie Robinson

One of the advantages of reactivating my Facebook account is that I get to see lots of ads. A while back I must have “liked” the official Lids Facebook account. I now get to see ads from Lids in my Facebook feed.

That’s not a problem. I like to wear overpriced hats associated with professional sports franchises. By Lids peppering my Facebook feed with ads, I now have a better idea on what I should be spending money on. In other words, being a good consumer.

There was an ad I saw yesterday that made me look twice. It was for hats honoring Jackie Robinson, the first black player to play in Major League Baseball. Not the first black player good enough to play in Major League Baseball. Jackie Robinson was the first black player the racist pricks who controlled Major League Baseball allowed to play.

Major League Baseball has now turned the legacy of Jackie Robinson into a way of making money. These hats at Lids are just one example. The thing that surprised me about the ad is that they couldn’t even bother to get his name right. It’s Jackie Robinson, not Jackie Robins.

MLB's hollow tribute to Jackie Robinson - Bent Corner

It annoys me that every team in Major League Baseball gets to honor Jackie Robinson when only the Dodgers signed him and put him on the team. When I see a Yankees hat with 42 on the side, I think it’s honoring famed closing pitcher Mariano Rivera. He played 19 years of the Yankees and he wore the number 42 like Jackie Robinson. He started wearing it before Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson’s number league-wide. Players who already wore the number 42 could continue to wear it.

Why were they allowed to do that? If you want to mass retire a number you should be willing to enforce it immediately. We’re all for honoring someone or something, unless it’s inconvenient. Having to change the number on your uniform would just be too inconvenient.

Every year I saw Mariano Rivera play with the number 42, the more I associated that number with him, not Jackie Robinson. Like every other Yankees player, his name wasn’t on the back of his jersey. All he had was a large 42 on the back. Even now when I see the numbers of retired players at Camden Yards, the blue 42 makes me think of Mariano Rivera, not Jackie Robinson.

MLB's hollow tribute to Jackie Robinson - Bent Corner
Retired numbers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

It looks it me that the Orioles are honoring Mariano Rivera. This is the same team that has a statue of Babe Ruth in front of the stadium. Babe Ruth, the greatest Yankees player of all time.

 

Washington Nationals sign Matt Wieters to a two-year deal

Former Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is now a member of the Washington Nationals. He signed a two-year contract with the choice of opting out after one season. That may work out in Wieters’ favor if there is a demand for 31-year-old low average, switch-hitting catchers next season.

Matt Wieters will make $10.5 million this season. That’s a pay cut when compared to the $15.8 million the Orioles overpaid him last year.

Matt Wieters never turned out to be the player the Orioles hoped he would be when they drafted him with the 5th overall pick in 2007. His lifetime batting average is .257. When the Orioles signed him, he was supposed to be the next Joe Mauer. Matt Wieters was never Joe Mauer. He did win two Gold Glove awards, in 2011 and then again in 2012.

Watching Orioles games on TV and hearing the way color commentator Jim Palmer talked about Matt Wieters, one might think that Wieters was baseball Jesus. It was obvious Palmer had a severe man-crush on Wieters. Like most things said by Palmer, it was annoying to listen to. When Palmer speaks, you can almost hear the Grecian Formula drip from his head and puddle up on the broadcast booth countertop. Someone should tell Palmer that it’s not natural for 71-year-old men to have a full head of jet black hair. Palmer looks like he’s cosplaying Ronald Reagan.

Yasiel Puig is ready to bash Glenn’s head in

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig received a prop from the TV show The Walking Dead. It’s a replica of Lucille, the baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire used by Negan to kill Glenn.

I stopped reading The Walking Dead comic with issue #100. It was the issue that Negan killed Glenn with the barbed wire bat. I watched the TV show until I realized it suffered from the very same plot problems that plagued the comic book: characters are only there to be killed in gratuitous and meaningless fashion.

I found this problem to be worse with the TV show. Actors spent years crafting their characters into layered individuals, only to have them end up decapitated, stabbed, boiled, shot, or eaten.

In the comic, the characters were much more one-dimensional individuals. Also, because of the art style employed, they all looked alike. I never really cared too much when a character died in the comic because it never felt like too much of a loss. That wasn’t the case with the TV show.

Another problem with the TV show is the main protagonist Rick Grimes. He’s played by British actor Andrew Lincoln. The man cannot act. His performances come off as over-the-top and heavy. Think William Shatner with a bad southern accent.

I don’t understand the point of a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. The dangerous part of the bat is the head. That’s where all the kinetic energy is. I don’t see how barbed wire makes the bat more lethal. I guess it could be a defensive measure. The way you defend against someone with a baseball bat is to close the distance with your attacker. Get close enough and you can easily block a baseball bat attack by focusing on the area of the bat closest to your attacker’s hands. Wrap barbed wire around that area and it would make a baseball bat attack much more difficult to defend.

This wasn’t a concern when Negan killed Glenn. It wasn’t a fight. It was execution.

I don’t know what Yasiel Puig is supposed to do with this bat. He should try to sell it on eBay.