(EDITOR’S NOTE : From time to time, renowned baseball executive / Arcade Fire superfan Randy L. of the Bronx takes to CSTB to address the more pressing issues of the day. In the light of the growing bullying scandal involving Miami Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, Randy offered, nay, demanded to have his say – GC)
Before I tackle today’s big story, I’d be remiss in not offering my most sincere congratulations to the Boston Red Sox on their recent World Series triumph. Some of my colleagues in the corridors of the New Stadium have suggested that between whatever goo was resting in Jon Lester’s glove during Game One and David Ortiz’ most suspicious late-career revival, this 3rd Boston title in 9 years is every bit as legitimate as Konrad Kujau’s Hitler diaries ; it’s a rather unflattering analogy, sure, but no matter which side you’re on, there’s no denying that my staff are very well read.
But I digress ; the reports coming out of Miami today should turn the stomach of every sophisticated sports fan. Since no one reading this blog fits that description, you might want to walk around your neighborhood for 10 or 15 minutes and see if you can’t find someone with a job, family, conscience, etc., not necessarily in that order.
OK, are we all set? I am addressing a normal human being who finds threatening, abusive, racially-charged voicemail and text messages completely unacceptable in the workplace? Good — tell the so-called editor to take his time buying organic dog food. It’s good to be amongst likeminded, reasonable people for a change, though I doubt any of you would be surprised to learn the sort of actions Richie Incognito is accused of would buy him a one-way ticket out Yankee Universe if for instance, he was 100 pounds lighter and had any sort of athletic ability besides shoving smaller people out of the way at Golden Corral.
It’s a shameful, embarrassing situation for Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin and owner Steve Ross, though to be perfectly fair, I should admit that we at one time contended with our own “hazing” rituals in the Bronx. A number of years ago, the boys took a rather extreme dislike to a newly arrived free agent, who despite his gaudy statistics, managed to alienate the entire clubhouse with his preening mannerisms and Eddie Haskell-like behavior.
This individual, whom for legal reasons I can only refer to as “Alex”, was the guest of honor at a surprise July 2004 birthday party at the China Club, an event I was genuinely embarrassed to attend. Despite my personal feelings for this player —- a young man I found to be disingenuous, supercilious, and deeply pretentious (and those were his good qualities) —- I was deeply worried what his teammates had planned for him. There was all sorts of whispering about a “big surprise” for our third baseman, and without even getting into the liability issues, I felt this was conduct thoroughly unbecoming the greatest professional sports franchise of all-time.
I arrived late to the party that fateful night, and imagine my abject horror when I entered the room and observed the birthday boy receiving a lewd lapdance from Nicole Bass. Without hesitation, I ordered my good friend DJ Finesse to cut the music and hand me the microphone. Employing public speaking skills that would put John Sterling to shame, I admonished the players in attendance for their culpability in a cruel, senseless prank. “So what,” I intoned, “if this narcissistic, self-obsessed fop makes Kevin Brown seem like a fun guy to hang out with?”
“You’re a team, for fuck’s sake. Attempts to demoralize and humiliate your colleagues will not be tolerated — that’s my job.”
It was quite a speech. I’m pretty sure Waldman cried. And even though it was explained to me later on that Nicole Bass was actually Alex’s date for the night, I think I made my point, loud and clear. The Yankee Universe has traditionally welcomed all sorts of colorful personalities ; Joba Chamberlain, Luis Polonia, Jim Leyritz, Jason Giambi and Steve Howe just to name a few. I kept that tradition firmly in mind when defending the player mentioned above, and that’s exactly the kind of leadership that’s sorely lacking in South Beach. While my services are obviously beyond the means of Mr. Ross, i don’t think there would be any harm whatsoever in my taking a day off from my important work in the Bronx to deliver a pregame pep talk to the Dolphins when they visit Tampa next Monday night. And when an inspired Miami squad runs the table and eventually wins Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands next February, I’m hardly gonna turn down a Super Bowl ring. I mean, that’s the least they can do for me, right?
Be a star,