Monday, March 28, 2016

Joe Garagiola on Baseball

Joe Garagiola, a major league baseball player who evolved into a long broadcasting career at the age of 90.  Garagiola was a journeyman catcher who played for nine seasons in the majors for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and the New York Giants.  After his retirement from baseball, Garagiola wrote the book "Baseball is a Funny Game" (1960).  That helped launch his broadcast career.

But Garagiola was better known as the backstop panelist for NBC's Today show from 1967 to 1982 and 1990 to 1992. Garagiola also did play by play and color commentary  for NBC Sports baseball telecasts from 1974 to 1988.  Garagiola then spent a season doing cable commentary for the California Angels.  Afterwards, Garagiola did part time commentary for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998-2012 while his son was general manager for the Diamondbacks.  

All together, Garagiola broadcast for 35 years over seven decades.  No wonder why Garagiola was honored with the Ford Frick Award and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York in 1991.

Keeping to his lighthearted take on life, Garagiola quipped that the only way that he could get into Cooperstown was as a broadcaster.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

ESPN Sports Cuban Propaganda

One of the reasons why sports is a popular pastime among Americans is because it has tended to be non-partisan. It is news which mentally reconnects aged athletes back to their glory days, while stoking local loyalties and friendly rivalries and forgetting the tumult of news from the "real world".

Unfortunately, the trend in the media has been to politicize everything, including sports news.  More than seeing sports through a lens of political correctness, the sports media has segued into political propaganda. 

A case in point was a ESPN Sportscenter social media sharing in regards to President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba after 55 years of bilateral hostility.

ESPN authorized a Tweet which whitewashed the brutality of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's communist regime by promoting propaganda that Fidel was a sports fan. 

After a couple of hours of consternation, ESPN withdrew the post, but the damage was done by humanizing the despot. One of the reasons that Cubans believe that they won their long standoff with the United States is because of Fidel's romancing the American press. 

It may be true that Fidel is a big sports fan.  Fidel even yearned to play for the Yanquis in his youth. But ESPN featuring such factoids during a controversial trip to Cuba by President Barack Obama amounts to propaganda. 

To give a truer picture of the sporting Castro, it is important to understand how Fidel Castro used sports as a weapon to enforce his communist ideology.

A more accurate picture of Fidel Castro's sporting sense is captured by hitting the links with the bloody revolutionary Che Guevara. 

[L] Che Guevara [R] Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro

It is dubious that Che's favorite sport was golf.  More likely it was coaching firing squads.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Johnny Manziel on Football

Phyllis Schlafly Whiffs at All American Baseball

Phyllis Schlafly returned to the headlines today endorsing Donald Trump for the Republican Presidential nomination.  This Schlafly endorsement probably is intended to give the Manhattan Mogul some sway among social conservatives.

But a commentary that Schlafly published on the Eagle Forum may give conservatives consternation.  Schlafly urged that the Major Leagues ban foreigners from playing in America's Pastime.

Phyllis Schlafly on Baseball

Ironically, Schlafly is making her pitch as the Major Leagues have been earnestly endeavoring to expand their influence worldwide. In 2014, the MLB season kicked off in Australia. There has been lots of talk (along with trepidation) about moving a franchise to Mexico. And currently, the Toronto Blue Jays aren't playing their home games on US soil (and it is dubious if Canada will withhold foreign players' visas).

While it is lamentable that there is not as much sandlot baseball that progresses player into the Major Leagues, reimposing bigotry barriers goes against the grain of the civil rights movement.

It is bizarre to believe that sports fans today worry about the ethnicity of an athlete as opposed to their athletic abilities.  Anyone who suggests an "America First" on the fields of competition is out of this zeitgeist.

Granted, Phyllis Schlafly is 91 years old.  Her notoriety skyrocked in the mid 1970s  fighting against the willy nilly imposition of the Equal Rights Amendment.  This was around the same time that then Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) was selected as President Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in 1976.

Perhaps it is time for Ms. Schlafly along with Senator Dole and President Jimmy Carter to gracefully surrender the public spotlight before they further embarrass themselves.