by Mack Williams
28 July 2014

I. Give Him A Ten

As we wish the best in blessings, each in our own way, for the family of the late Eric Garner – the young man that recently died after a chokehold was applied by members of the NYPD – a college student named Brian Hogan-Gary came up with a most unique way to memorialize him in a local tournament’s dunk contest:

Going forward, there will probably be some financial settlement paid to the Garner family…which of course could never replace Eric or compensate for his loss. But the thing about these type of settlements that rubs me the wrong way is that they are paid out of the coffers of the City of New York – which means that they come from the monies collected from all of the citizens of New York. Why should the rest of the population ultimately be financially responsible for the actions of a few?

I wonder what would happen if police misconduct settlement monies were taken out of Policemen’s Benevolent Association funds? Would the number of these incidents diminish?

II. So Sue Me

Really, Republicans? You really want to sue President Obama? You know, as a Democrat, I probably shouldn’t be in the business of giving you advice…but then again, you probably wouldn’t listen to me, anyway.

With that said, wouldn’t it be a better usage of your time to craft some legislation that could actually pass on a bi-partisan basis and help the citizens of this country?

III. So Impeach Me

Really, Republicans? Some of you really speak of impeaching President Obama? Are you familiar with the fact that the removal process in an impeachment requires a two-thirds ratification by the Senate? Therefore, do you really think that you guys can get sixty-seven votes to remove the President? If you can’t, the whole thing is a sham, a colossal waste of time.

And money, for that matter. As in the case of number one above, if the Congressional Republicans were to be personally responsible for the costs associated with suing and impeaching the President, I’m sure all talk of this would cease.

IV. Must Be Great…

Given the number of requests I get to play Candy Crush Saga, it must be chess-like in quality. But please don’t be insulted if I don’t play.

V. Please Don’t Complain

Colby Lewis, a pitcher for the Texas Rangers, lashed out against Colby Rasmus of the Toronto Blue Jays, a left-handed batter against whom the Rangers had employed a shift. Rasmus bunted Lewis’ pitch down the vacated third base line…vacated because such shifts virtually leave the entire left side of the infield empty, since the third baseman and shortstop move out of their regular positions.

Lewis also complained because it was only a 2-0 game at that point and Rasmus was just trying to pad his batting average, claiming that this was not playing the game “the right way.” Getting into baseball tradition is a whole different discussion…but suffice it to say that it is the batter’s job to get hits; if he does not, he will be out of a job. Lewis wouldn’t have complained if – with 6 of the 7 players (other than he and the catcher) on the right side of the diamond – Rasmus had smacked it through the infield but it was fielded by the third baseman in short right field. So since you have determined that Rasmus will generally pull the ball, and you radically align your fielders in the expectation that he will do just that, you’re upset because he chooses to bunt the ball where your players are not.

If more people did that, some of the massive usage of these shifts would go away.

VI. The DH

One baseball aficionado – and outstanding coach – that I know made a post stating that designated hitters are not Hall of Fame-worthy. I’m a National League fan at heart and prefer the non-DH game and the increased strategy therein – but I would beg to differ. As much as I prefer the NL game, the union will never vote to abolish the DH, which at the very least keeps jobs in place for older players that have slowed up but can still rake it. So since it is here to stay, we have to deal with it – and recognize that it has spawned an American League position.

If a position is created – whether in Major League Baseball or on your job – someone should not be dissed for excelling at it just because you would rather that position not be there. They didn’t create it – they just worked it given that it was created. And to that end, there should be a place in Cooperstown for Edgar Martinez and – most definitely – Big Papi.

VII. Happy Birthday

A friend of mine had a birthday yesterday, a birthday shared with a couple of famous people – namely WWE personality Triple H and Alex Rodriguez. She’s single right now…which means that unlike Triple H, her father-in-law is not the head of her company…which means that she might not have the year, financially speaking, that he has.

A-Rod’s year has been kind of slow by recent standards, while his Yankee teammates fight for a playoff spot in his absence during the Jeter farewell tour season. And I’m glad that the AL East has been underwhelming and the injury-depleted Yanks have something to play for. But next year with Jeter gone, from an entertainment standpoint, it will be great to see A-Rod back. It won’t be dull.

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