Major League Baseball
Baseball isn’t alone in its history of player debauchery, but it seems like every time I turn to my RSS feed, there’s another player who has gotten in trouble for some off-field activity or another. Ex-Brave Andruw Jones found himself in jail after his wife reported that he placed his hands around her neck and threatened to kill her. She has since filed divorce. Giants relief pitcher was detained in the Las Vegas Airport after allegations that he violated TSA and airport rules on New Year’s Day. Debates abound over whether we should allow entry into the hall of fame for individuals who may have used steroids.
Of course, these baseball bad boys aren’t the only ones to go around drawing up trouble. Sports players have a history of causing a ruckus and getting themselves into trouble. Ty Cobb was perhaps the best hitter in all of baseball history. However, anyone who has watched the movie, Cobb, knows that he was also one of the meanest players. Pete Rose bet on baseball. Jason Halman tragically killed his brother, Seattle Mariner Gregory Halman.
Sure, one can argue that baseball players and other sports figures are human, just as fallible as any of us, and just as likely to fall into moral trappings and emotional uproars. No one’s perfect, and I don’t think any of us are expecting that from any of our sports heroes. However, there is a big difference between a sports player who is great on the field but has shady dealings off the field and a sports player who is a great player and a great example of a moral human being.
Take for example, the film A League of Their Own (Yes, I’m referencing the movie that gave us the line, “There’s no crying in baseball.” Get over it.) In the film, the women’s league players are held to high moral standards. They cannot appear to have shortcomings or to be poor examples. Compare the chiding for behavior in this film to the infamy one gains by causing a ruckus in baseball.
I’m not saying that we should impose some sort of 50s morality on our baseball players. We should, however, hold them to higher standards. The fact that Andruw Jones will still be eligible to play baseball with the Japan’s Pacific League team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles with a $3.5 million contract, is disturbing. More atrocious is the fact the man spent only 7 hours in jail and is out on $2,400 bail after allegedly attacking and threatening to kill his wife.
We don’t have to have saints as baseball players, but it would sure be nice to have players we could look up to. An arrest record, especially one with convictions on crimes to me, seems as though it should come with at the very least a pay scale reduction. It would also seem that we might want to distinguish between players who have been upstanding citizens and outstanding ball players and those who demonstrated unsportsmanship-like behavior. One might even think that such behavior at the minor league, college, or high school level should disqualify a player from the Major Leagues.
Of course, one might argue, “Won’t that eliminate a lot of great players from eligibility?” Perhaps we could also have a rewards system for good behavior or a probation period. These are all loose thoughts, but I believe that something needs to be done about the instances of bad behavior. Perhaps by coming up with a reasonable system of deterrents and motivators, we can have players less likely to engage in such destructive behavior.
It’s no secret that the Seattle Mariners are in big need of some strong offense. General Manager Jack Zduriencik is very active at the 2012 winter MLB meetings in Nashville, Tennessee.
Rumor has it that there are three prospects for pitchers for the Seattle team: Danny Hultzen, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker who may be up for trade when the Mariners go batter-hunting. While the Mariners do have some funds freed up to pick up a free agent this year, they may still need to pull some trade strings to get someone who will work hard for their team. It boils down to a big decision for the Mariners’ team management: Trade away young, unproven prospects for players that have shown their stuff or spend more money on their payroll for the roster.
With attendance falling, and confidence in the team low, the pressure is on for Zduriencik to build a team that can compete. A lot more than bringing in the walls at SafeCo Field is necessary in order to develop a winning team. The question is, will the team be able to gain the members it needs in order to compete against big-budget teams like the New York Yankees?
If the Oakland Athletics could pull out of a slump to become the AL West Champions this past year under the logic put forth by the Billy Beane Moneyball tactics that changed the face of baseball, perhaps the Mariners need to start thinking in an out-of-the box way as well.Who will get on base, and more importantly, once on base, who will be able to get home for the all-important score?
Some of the players the Mariners are rumored to be interested in include:
- Josh Hamilton
- Justin Upton
- Mike Napoli
- Nick Swisher
- Cody Ross
- Ryan Ludwick
- Mark Reynolds
- Garrett Jones
A lot of this will be contingent upon how much the M’s are able to put forward financially and who they are willing to trade for the various players on their wish list. What do you think the beloved Seattle team should be looking at in order to get to a pennant win in the 2013 season?
Tags: 2013 Season, Baseball General, Danny Hultzen, featured, Jack Zduriencik, Major League Baseball, Oakland Athletics, Popular, Safeco Field, Seattle, seattle mariners, Trade Theorys, winter meetings