The worst title for the worst spin-off of a great show of all time is the inspiration for my two topics today.
Let's start off with the aftermath of the furor surrounding Willie's decision to let the Amburglar pitch to Ryan Howard with first base open on Monday. Listen, people. I'm not going to repeat myself, and you're probably all sick of this stuff by now. You can read my thoughts and all opposing and supporting viewpoints here and here. I thought this decision was 100% indefensible. Having said that, however, I'd like it known that I'm not prepared to adopt Mr. Met's decision that Willie is a bad in-game manager. Yes, he has the occasional decision that will make me scream in anger even BEFORE it blows up in his face (like Monday). But I think, by and large, he did a good job last year, save for a brutally managed series in San Fran (remember this?). Is he a big-time manager? Probably not, but I like him and I thought the contract extension was well-deserved. Having said that, I have a right to annihilate him any time he does something patently stupid like he did on Monday. Enough said.
(Actually, looking back at that post from a year ago, I see that he walked Barry Bonds, who, like Ryan Howard, was hitting around .220 at the time, in the first fricking inning with first base NOT open. How you gonna do that, and NOT walk Howard in the LATE innings with first base OPEN?? OK, let's not get me going on this again.)
The second issue, which has been utterly beaten to a bloody pulp over the last 48 hours. is the Imus thing. People, I'll make my position very clear on this one. In fact, I only require five words:
Don't like him? Don't listen.
Easy. Simple. Learn it. Live it. Know it.
Now, having said that, I thought the Rutgers ladies were rather impressive in their press conference yesterday. Certainly, if Imus has a right to say what he said (which, by the way, I would describe as a brutally misguided extemporaneous attempt at humor), they have a right to say how it affected them. No problem whatsoever there. But it got me to thinking, why have they been affected this way? Why, as one girl put it, has this "scarred her for life"? Do you think that MAYBE, just maybe, this absurd whirlwind of media attention to one DJ's off-the-cuff stupid remark has had anything to do with it? Do you think that maybe, given what's going on the the world, the media should be doing something better with its time? Do you think that maybe if it wasn't for all these hysterical headlines, the majority of the population - these girls included - would never even be affected by this? Just some food for thought.
Now, having said all of that, I got a MAJOR kick out of the fact that Mike and the Dog spent about 5 hours on this topic yesterday. Here are two rich, white, and completely out-of-touch sportscasters. I can't imagine two people LESS qualified opine about race relations in America. And not surprsingly, in classic Mike/Dog style, they gave you the terse, obligatory "we can't defend what Imus said" at the beginning, but then they spend the next 4 hours and 59 minutes tearing into Al Sharpton. Very thought-provoking.
Best moment? When an irate caller started screaming at Dog "You're a PUNK. You're a PUNK! You're a PUNK!!" before they finally cut him off. I think we've all wanted to say that at some point.