Peter Hyatt - Latino, ESPN, The New York Post and Culture


Today, America stands divided by identity politics in a way we've not seen since the 1830's through 1850's. 

That did not end well.

 The more identities we can classify, the more that can claim victimization, discrimination and condemnation of America, even while so many are attempting to enter the country, legally and illegally.  

At best, everything is offensive to any and everyone, and we now have a generation of "special snow flakes" who take offense when a man checks under the hood and discovers he is a man and uses the correct pronoun.  

ESPN and the New York Post recently got into it over the behavior of some Cuban players. 

ESPN has long embraced narrative and divisive politics.  "Hate speech" is anything that does not fit their agenda.  They have now taken to praising inappropriate, ungentlemanly and arrogant behavior, particularly from Cuban players, calling it "exciting" and "great for kids."

The more unsportsmanlike, the better.  

I gave up watching ESPN years ago, as they progressed into the lowest common denominator of civility within sports, and in spite of lost ratings (and layoffs), they continue to peddle trash for juvenile highlight reels and manufactured excitement.  

The ESPN news reel has led directly to all forms of showboating, incredibly lengthy home run "tator" trots, and overall narcissistic behavior.  

I can only imagine Tom Seaver breezing a fastball beneath the chin of one who "bat flipped" him after homering.  Both the retribution and policing of the game would take place within the diamond.  

ESPN praises the "Latino flamboyance" while the NY Post cries "racism."  

Meanwhile, MLB does nothing to tone down the antics, and even with the attempt to limit game times, including faux "discipline" last year to Odubel Herrera's deliberately provocative antics.  Again, I think the game should be policed within, but pitchers may be concerned with allegations of "racism" and "anti" something, or even a mental health diagnosis of irrational fear (Latinophobia?).

Roberto Clemente's name was invoked in the argument as a class act.  The Post, also playing the Politically Correct game, knew it had to use a Spanish born player to counter the nonsense.  

So as they play "who is the most victimized?" there is a loser in all of this. 

We can expect to see more and more distinctly un-masculine behavior from Little Leaguers taunting their opponent, as they look up to the big leaguers for inspiration.  (Take a gander at what happened to high schoolers during the steroids era.  Cheating has its victims, too.) After leaving coaching Little League baseball years ago, I returned recently for one ill-fated season where my biggest challenge was to get the boys to stop dancing in the dugout, and concentrate.  For this, I endured the ire of parents, including one father who said, "I may just have to investigate you."  He was a small town cop with a big badge, while my wife could no longer attend games due to the threat of violence from one of the mother's who felt her darling wasn't allowed to express himself.  Everyone was offended at everything.  

We can expect, eventually, a Zach Wheeler competitor type having had enough and, perhaps, even injuring someone who went too far in the taunting. 

We can expect impact to continue, as we have seen, a general, overall cultural acceptance of disrespectful behavior.  When little black boys scream at police officers, "Mother F***er!", because they've been taught so by deception employing and paid protestors, their own lives, from this lack of respect for the rule of law, may be ruined. Even with men like Curtis Granderson doing what he can to promote the game with dignity, he is up against a cultural appropriation of our game of which "multiculturalism" is an elitist term to justify bad behavior.  

We can continue to expect announcers reluctant to call out players' bad behavior lest they, too, lose their jobs due to protests because, after all, someone has got to be offended.  Recently, the Post called out Mets announcers for their praise of Yoenis Cespedes' refusal to slide and even refusal to run out pop ups and ground balls.  I can only imagine if his refusal to run out and break up a double play ball contributed, via halting mid stream, to his leg injury. 

Before the season, one baseball insider told me, "Expect to see Yoenis' first injury come when either he begins to slump a bit, when he is criticized for lack of hustle, or when someone else on the team gets hot with home runs.  You can set your watch to it. "

Recall when Cespedes' refusal to slide cost the Mets a run that Keith Hernandez called out another Met for not instructing Cespedes to slide.  

The next night, Cespedes did get instructions, but not from a player, but a coach who gave him the "stop sign" rounding third base.  

How'd that end, Keith?

We can expect ESPN to continue to promote the worst behavior of American baseball by those who did not wish to play baseball in their country, but ours.  

We can expect agents to compile highlight reels from ESPN in driving up players' contracts.  

Yet, who is the loser in all of this?

We can expect to see more ratings drop for Major League Baseball, as it fears "racism" in curbing the lengthening time frames of the game.  

We can expect the struggle to shorten baseball games in the era of distraction and attention deficits to continue without success until it stops with the identity politics.  

We can expect more life long fans to see interest in major league baseball wane even as the game's most boring aspects, such as Obudel stepping in and out and in and out of the batter's box.  

Ultimately, it is the fans who lose the heritage of our glorious game. 

Sure, Willie Mays left his hat on loosely while he ran like the devil, and yes, Pete Rose would not allow for a clean uniform, but they respected the game, their opponent, and still entertained with great baseball.  Hank Aaron's quiet mouth let his bat do the talking and today, the mantle left to Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Clayton Kershaw, Giancarlo Stanton,  and others is in question.  


Mack Ade said...

Excellent article Peter, as usual.

Everything on this site doesn't have to directly be Mets related, especially during these times when it is hard to follow our beloved team.

Reese Kaplan said...

Interestingly this weekend there was an incident where after being spiked by Manny Machado, later in the series the opposing pitcher threw behind his head and the player who was spiked, Dustin Pedroia, visibly mouthed the words --
"Not me!" At first I was impressed with the sportsmanship Pedroia showed and he said in interviews that Machado wasn't intentionally trying to hurt him. But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered how a Bob Gibson would have backed up his teammate. They have all gotten so PC in how they deal with the game that some "givens" are no longer part of player behavior.

Thomas Brennan said...

I know how Bob Gibson dealt with Tommie Agee in his first spring training at bat as a Met. Beaned him with high heat. That wasn't good either.

The problem with showboating also is when a guy who showboats can't play any more, such as Jose Reyes.

Lastly, I am glad we have Asdrubal Cabrera and not Odubel Herrera.

Reese Kaplan said...

To say nothing of Dilson Herrera...

Mack Ade said...

or Dilson Torres

JimmyBX said...

Oh please....

This isn't the 70's. Times have changed and so has attitudes in baseball. Players celebrate and enjoy themselves as they see fit. To me, baseball is fine. If you have a problem with the next player, handle it with fists. Stop complaining about the way players act on the field.

Mack's Mets © 2012