Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dad tip #103: Teach your kids that it's not cool to push 64-year-olds

I'm not sure how, exactly, but there's some kind of life-lesson to be extracted from the Manny Ramirez situation that's been slowly festering over the last eight years in Boston. While the Boston Red Sox have won two World Series with Manny, they (and the fans of Boston) have also had to deal with the "Manny being Manny" antics that included things like dogging it to first base, having to pee inside the Green Monster during a game, and generally being a goof ball.

All of these things were excusable because he was still very likable and he was putting up ridiculously good numbers. Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, the relatively harmless Manny-isms turned ugly VERY quickly as the offending actions suddenly included slapping a teammate in the dugout, pushing a 64-year-old Red Sox employee, and essentially hanging the team out to dry against hated rivals, the New York Yankees.

Ramirez, once a hero loved and embraced by the city of Boston, has now been run out of town. The perenial All-Star and future Hall-of-Famer was traded away in a three team deal. It doesn't even matter that much who we got back (Jason Bay from the Pittsburgh Pirates). What does matter is that we got rid of someone who was poisoning our beloved Red Sox from within.

Addition by subtraction, if you will.

So, my thought here is that one day I'll use the story of Manny Ramirez as some kind of parable illustrating that just because you've done (relatively) good things in the past doesn't mean that you can do whatever you want in the present and future. Or maybe I'll coin a new phrase from the tale like, "Good will is a currency fast spent."

Or perhaps, "$20 million a year doesn't buy you common sense or a sense of decency."

Or maybe even more simply, "Don't be a dick and push 64-year-old people."

Anyway, bye bye, Manny ... we appreciate the good you did for the Sox but are sad that you never loved us (the city, the fans, and your teammates) as much as we loved you. I hope my son never grows up to idolize a professional athlete who ends up being a total douche like you.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dad tip #87: May the sports be with you

So, it's occurred to me that I should brush up on any number of sports-related things before my son gets old enough to ask me about them. For instance, while I could talk for days about how the pick and roll is a lost art in basketball, I couldn't begin to even make up details on the differences between nickel and dime defenses in football. So inadvertently, the main advice today is "thank heavens for wikipedia!"

But, I also thought it would be funny to document my plan if my son wants to become a professional athlete some day. Should that become his desire, I will encourage him to be a baseball player. More specifically, a left-handed knuckleball pitcher! He'd always be in demand and he could have a wicked long career a la Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox.

While we're on this tangent, let's think about former Red Sox player Doug Mirabelli who was Wakefield's longtime designated catcher. If we eventually have a second son and my older son seems destined to become a professional left-handed knuckleballer, you can bet that I'm going to encourage the younger son to learn how to catch him.

Yep, I'm already planning on helping all my kids achieve job security while maintaining close familial relations. Go me!

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