Friday, April 13, 2012

Suspended Animation

George Carlin is not the only one to point out the differences between football and baseball. Still, he did a fine job of distilling the disparities between America's Game and America's Pastime. The one that has stuck with me for many years is the way baseball managers have to wear the same uniform as the players, as if there was a chance that, in a pinch, they might trot out on the field and turn a quick double play instead of merely hurling a few epithets at an umpire before skulking back to the dugout. Even those relatively fit specimens in the coaching ranks of the NFL would look pretty silly in full pads and helmet. And that's not where the divergence ends.
Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has been suspended for five games because of his comments about Fidel Castro. In case you're unfamiliar, Fidel is not an up and coming lefty from the Dominican Republic. He is the retired leader of Cuba. A communist. Ozzie told Time magazine he loves Castro and respects the retired Cuban leader for staying in power so long. At least two local Miami officials said Guillen should lose his job. Praising Castro in Miami is a little like supporting a mosque in lower Manhattan. Free speech? Maybe.
Meanwhile, over on the gridiron, Sean Payton's boss upheld the New Orleans Saints coach's season long suspension for his team's pay-for-pain bounties. That would be sixteen games, or twenty if you count the preseason. There aren't very many voices in the Big Easy calling for coach Payton's head. They're just trying to figure out how to keep things running while they sort out how things could have gone so wrong just three years after their Super Bowl win. Or maybe they're trying to figure out how they got caught. Paying your team to commit extra-curricular violence is one thing. Lying about it to Roger Goodell is another thing.
Now Ozzie Guillen is going to try and save his job and some face by explaining just exactly what he meant when he was talking about his respect for a brutal foreign dictator. Sean Payton is going to try and find a brutal dictator to come in and take his place until it's time for him once again to play ball.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Supporting a mosque which serves innocent American Muslims is hardly equivalent to supporting an individual human being who directly caused widespread death and suffering. I sympathize with Ozzie's admiration for Castro's ability to tell the U.S. where to stick its capitalist imperialism all these years, but to say he loves Castro when he's just started pulling a paycheck in Miami will not endear Ozzie to his employers or to the fans who brought him to America and made him a very wealthy man.