A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Stop the PC Madness!

Must everything be politically correct? Isn't it bad enough that Marquette University ditched a perfectly good, well-loved, nickname because somebody might have been offended? Isn't it enough that many youth sports don't keep score (the kids still know, trust me) because it might be hard on the losing team to, you know, lose? Can't we say that the distribution of trophies to anyone and everyone ends when you go into high school?


Then why, oh why, did Bud Selig think it was a grand idea to have the home run derby become some sort of "world outreach" program instead of a competition between the best home run hitters? Shouldn't you get into the Home Run Derby because you are good at hitting home runs, not because you happen to decent to above average in hitting home runs but from a small or under-represented country?

Here's the deal for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about. Baseball has there annual Home Run Derby during the All-Star break festivities. If you had hit more home runs than anyone else to that point in the season, you were almost certainly going to be in the Home Run Derby, unless you were injured or a jag, like Barry Bonds. Until this year, it has featured eight of the best home run hitters based on that season's statistics up to the all-star break. They weren't always the eight best statistically, because of a variety of factors, but I think its reasonable to say they were almost always in the top 10, and certainly in the top 15.

This year, Bud Selig decided the Home Run Derby needed a more "international" flare. Never mind that baseball is already the most international of any of the major pro sports in the U.S. Baseball needed to be more inclusive. So, each of the eight participants in the Home Run Derby had to be from a different country. Only one American, please, and for that matter, only one person from the Dominican Republic.

The result? Three, yes three, of the current MLB home run leaders were in the Home Run Derby-- Andruw Jones (tie 1st, 27, Curacao), Mark Teixeria (third, 25, USA), and Carlos Lee (tie 7th, 22, Panama). Of the other seven in the top 10, five are from the US and two are from the Dominican Republic-- which was represented by David Ortiz, tied for 11th with 21 homers. Of the next six (tied for 15th or better) players, all of them are either American or Dominican.

In all, 19 of the top 23 home run hitters so far this season are either from the U.S. or the Dominican Republic. Yet only one from each of those countries could participate this year. What a crock.

Meanwhile, to round out eight participants, MLB invited Justing Bay of Canada, who is tied for 30th with 16 home runs, Hee-Seop Choi of Korea, who is tied for 51st with 13 home runs, and Ivan Rodriguez of Puerto Rico who is tied for 166th! with six, yes six, homeruns. Presumably Pudge got the nod because he plays for the host Detroit Tigers, but that's a crock, too-- Carlos Delgado, who is actually in the top-20 with 18 home runs, should've been representing Puerto Rico.

And I don't care that Rodriguez made it to the finals-- he never should've been there to begin with.

I dunno. Maybe it was a marketing ploy, but even that seems stupid. I have to believe that the fans would rather see guys like Derrick Lee, Manny Ramirez and Albert Pujols (all in the top-10) in the Home Run Derby than freaking Hee-Seop Choi or 0-fer "slugger" Justin Bay (Canada). Or maybe none of the good hitters wanted to participate. If that's the case, then I think MLB is in deep doo-doo.

It's bad enough that the All-star games have largely become popularity contests that often have little connection to how the players actually performed on the field-- do we have to actively hunt for ways to not offend people now?

"Stupid" is a good word to describe it.

If this is such a good idea, perhaps Major Leauge Baseball ought to adopt it more fully: every one of their managers must be from a differant country.

Every MLB exec should be from a differant country. And, to be fair, there should also be a gay exec, a lesbian exec, a bi exec, a terrorist exec, an illegal alien exec, and sort of an unknown exec who can stand for any missed group.

Now there's an organization to be proud of!
Nick, are you even paying attention? The whole point of the 'international' home run derby is so that people will be interested in a world cup type baseball tournament that MLB is actually behind. This tournament is actually really good marketing from baseball, which is something they have been horrible at for some time.
Okay, so it's supposed to be World Cup like. Isn't the idea in World Cup that the BEST soccer teams play? Not arbitrarily chosen countries that represent a diverse span of the globe?

MERIT has been, and should always be, the defining reason for these things in professional sports. The times when it hasn't been, ie, when only white people were allowed to play baseball, have been some of the darkest days of those sports.

Perhaps its good marketing outside of the U.S., I dunno, but it still seems like a dumb idea that will decrease the appeal of the thing to Americans-- North and South. Which doesn't seem like a good thing to me.

Even if it is a good marketing ploy, I think it sets a really bad precedent.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?