Too Late To Apologize ………………

Too Late To Apologize ……

As MLB celebrates the Civil Rights games scheduled over the weekend I found it quite fascinating to see the interview that took place between Hank Aaron and CNN’s Don Lemmon . The interview with baseball’s former home run King shed light on what is now a glaring disparity within the game of baseball and that is that the African American’s participation within the game , is now said to be at its lowest level in years. I know that the game’s hierarchy has done its utmost to honor Jackie Robinson and his contribution’s to the game but I feel that Aaron summed it up best when he said that …..” baseball simply doesn’t do enough to lure young African American fans to the game “ . If anything it has been how the game is now marketed and the mere fact that Commissioner Bud Selig has set his sights on the Latin America , the Caribbean basin as well South Asia to bring the game of baseball to a wider audience. And granted , the game has seen a growth in those areas but what cannot be denied is the waning interest in the game amongst young African Americans . So much so , that their participation in the game at the professional level is now at its lowest level in two decades.

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Slide show for your perusal .

It wasn’t that long ago that Los Angeles Angels’ outfielder Torii Hunter made the comment that ….” Latino males who are of African ancestry can’t be considered to be black “ ……unfortunately for Hunter even if that wasn’t his intent to generate the resentment that may well have brought up amongst the Latin players but after those comments if anything , it simply didn’t stir much of a response amongst prominent African American players in the league . I’d like the to think that the contributions of such players as Reggie Jackson , Willie Mays , Robinson and Aaron would actually mean something to young African American players at the youth level but the fact of the matter is now they are simply no real African American icons within the game today that they can simply identify with. They’ve seen the game brought to its knees by the antics of Barry Bonds the steroid allegations that have surround him and the game’s handling of that very issue amongst other things may well be one of the main reasons for their choosing to shy away from the game of baseball. Most certainly as Hank Aaron stated the league hierarchy has indeed done a poor job of actually bringing back the game at the grassroots level .

OK, it’s said that they have specific programs within the elementary schools , high school and inner cities within their recreation departments . But that in of-itself simply hasn’t been enough to actually heighten the interest sought by the game . And that if anything is really a sad indictment of the game and how much of a waning interest that there now is with the African American community. If anything the NBA and NFL have simply stepped up their branding and marketing of their respective sports and the financial opportunities there are far greater and the chance of immediate success would seem to be far greater given the right set of circumstances for a player seeking entry into the those sports .

One of the points also raised by Hank Aaron also was that during lean economic times we tend to see it hit the African American community hard in terms of their attending games and taking an interest in recreational events . But I think that comparison can be made for the whole demographic of the community at large because if fans aren’t simply turning up for games then there’s also to be less of an interest in participating in that sport as a recreation. Certainly , I do believe also that when public schools are making budgetary cuts within physical education it makes the situation much more stark as to the gravity of the events that are now taking place. Even within the game itself where we now see that there’s also a glaring disparity with the haves and have nots amongst the large and small market teams I can’t help but wonder what might be the next step to be taken by Bud Selig , the team owners , in particular the MLBPA and what they might do to remedy the situation that facing them as they see a fall-off in the presence of African Americans within the sport at the professional level amongst the players. Certainly at the executive level amongst the general managers and managers there is a presence there with prominent African Americans . But I for one have yet to hear a public statement from any of the individuals in question concerning this issue much less a public statement on this issue from Bud Selig, himself. I think if anything Selig’s handling of this all has been like everything else that he at times deal with , it tends to be haphazard and rather laissez-faire attitude as he simply seeks to put a positive spin on any issue that tends to show the image of the game in a bad light . And nowhere was this more self evident than his handling with the whole steroid issue and the hearings that came with this all he gave his own testimony to the House Oversight Committee .

I don’t know that there’s a clear cut answer for this situation but I do feel that the league hierarchy has been lax in dealing with this and several other issues that now seems to have befallen the game of baseball. Even when I hear statements being made by Rob Manfred even addressing the financial disparities within the game I simply know that he’s not at all sincere much less does or any of his colleagues within baseball’s hierarchy have a real answer for the disparities and problems . It would appear problem solving isn’t even the highest priority within the game of baseball but merely keeping up this facade that they’re simply the ones who still carry this flag of social conscience as it relates to the issue of racial integration within team sports. If anything it’s simply now doing the game a disservice as it fails to really deal with a number of issues within its own parameters.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning this piece and are you at all in agreement with the statement made by Hank Aaron ? And what changes if any do you believe would be of benefit to the game concerning this specific issue ? Simply just chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Hall of Fame baseball player Hank Aaron watches a tribute video showing him hitting his 715th career home run at the Major League Baseball Beacon Awards Banquet at the Omni Hotel on May 14, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images North America / Mark Zarrilli …….

(2) (From left to right) Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, Billye Aaron and Beacon Award winner Ernie Banks gather after the Beacon Awards Banquet at the Omni Hotel on May 14, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images North America / Mark Zarrilli …….

(3) Baseball Hall of Famers wave to fans following ceremonies opening the Hank Aaron Museum at the Hank Aaron Stadium on April 14, 2010 in Mobile, Alabama. From left: Bob Feller , Ozzie Smith , Reggie Jackson, Hank Aaron and Rickey Henderson . Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images North America …….

(4) Robinson is seen here alongside his wife Rachel at his Hall of Fame Induction . Also pictured is Branch Rickey whose courageous act brought Robinson into the Majors . Post Archives Inc….

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MLB News

Mr October ……Blah , Blah , Blah A-Rod Ain’t It !

Mr October …… Blah , Blah , Blah…… A-Rod Ain’t It !

It never surprises me as to the sheer idiocy of many of the sports writers and tv analysts who claim to be intelligent and knowledgeable enough about their sport. Well in the case of Major League Baseball (MLB). All of a sudden the pundits are already lauding over the postseason exploits of the New York Yankees‘ 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez . Commendable as his exploits have been this postseason. To be making comparisons between A-Rod and another Yankees’ great, Reggie Jackson is as asinine as they come.

Yankees  third  baseman   Alex  Rodriguez  gets  a  pat  on the  head   from  team   captain   Derek  Jeter after    he  scored a  run  against  the  Minnesota  Twins  in  game 3  of  the  ALDS  game   played  at the  Hubert  Humphrey  Metrodome  in  Minneapolis,  Minnesota,.     picture appears  courtesy of  getty images/ Johnathan Daniel ................
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez gets a pat on the head from team captain Derek Jeter after he scored a run against the Minnesota Twins in game 3 of the ALDS game played at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota,. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Johnathan Daniel ................

Now unless my memory is completely out of whack with regard to the historical relevance of Jackson’s postseason exploits. Rodriguez’s own exploits in the postseason just doesn’t even measure up when compared to that of Reggie Jackson. That tends to be the case when you have on air personalities and former players now making such stupid statements. Whether or not they’re doing this in order to maximize their exposure on television. It makes their credibility all the more ridiculous to begin with in that regard. An on air personality once again looking to make complete fools of themselves.And in that regard when it comes to that , the personalities on Fox, ESPN and TBS tends to overstep that line of credibility. Wherein , there’s none to begin with !

‘Liar, liar , pants on fire . My bad ! Listen intently to Rodriguez’s answers and it becomes abundantly clear as to what the player is truly all about.

Before they really can start to make comparisons as to Rodriguez’s postseason exploits ,they ought to look at the body of the player’s work thus far in the postseason. He’s yet to lead the Yankees anywhere. He’s yet to win a World Series. But what’s even more repugnant is the sheer audacity of these idiots to think that Rodriguez and Jackson are now comparable in stature as to the relevant stages of their careers.

Rodriguez’s public apology. Easily blurring truth and reality. I was somewhat surprise that the ‘Tooth Fairy’ didn’t make an appearance at the time.

While I don’t doubt Rodriguez’s credentials as a player. What I do find somewhat annoying about the player, is the fact that he still lives in a world of denial and the mere fact that he can no longer be truthful as to his use of steroids. Having publicly acknowledged his use of it , earlier in his career. He’s failed to answer questions raised when it was stated that he’d continued to use steroids after the 2004 season.Which clearly signifies to me that Rodriguez still has a great deal to learn when it comes to telling the truth. But much like Rodriguez, Jackson isn’t without fault when it comes to having an ego. Jackson, known for being able to perform on the grandest of stages. He knows how to play to the crowds and though he wasn’t always known to be a choirboy. He he never made himself out to be one. His already legendary meltdowns within the Yankees’ clubhouse and his contempt for Yankees’ owner George Steinbrenner , as well as this then coach , Billy Martin. Well in many ways it gives us an idea as to the what Jackson was all about. Still beloved by many New York Yankees’ fans as well as A’s fans in the city of Oakland . The legacy of Reggie Jackson is one that is what the game of baseball is meant to be about , in terms of his on the field accomplishments.

Jackson  hits   one  of three  monumental   home  runs   during  the  game   in  the  1977  World   Series   played  against  the  Los  Angeles  Dodgers .     picture  appears  courtesy    of   baseball archives  ............  Jed  Patterson  ................................
Jackson hits one of three monumental home runs during the game in the 1977 World Series played against the Los Angeles Dodgers . picture appears courtesy of baseball archives ............ Jed Patterson ................................

And for Rodriguez , though his life has been filled with a great deal of controversy. Much of it self initiated , with all too often publicity seeking antics that’ve been as asinine as they come. I’d however, say this objectively as to the only valid observations that can be made with regard to Alex Rodriguez and Reggie Jackson are that in their prime ……these two players were the very best that the game has to offer ! . However, when it comes to making postseason comparisons between the two. Alex Rodriguez is no ……..Mr October ! There will only ever be one player for that lone specific moniker can be referred to . And that is Reggie ‘Reginald Martinez’ Jackson ! That’s because his postseason exploits speak for themselves. As of now , Alex Rodriguez has yet to prove himself as a player within the New York Yankees’ organization. Regular season stats count for nothing , when your team is expected to contend year in year out for the World Series.

Nobody   does  it   better  .... Reggie  Jackson  shows  his  prowess  at  the  plate  during  the   1977  World   Series  .  picture  appears  i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0809/mlb.top.world.series.moments/images/1977-reggie-
Nobody does it better .... Reggie Jackson shows his prowess at the plate during the 1977 World Series . picture appears i.cdn.turner.com/si/multimedia/photo_gallery/0809/mlb.top.world.series.moments/images/1977-reggie-

With Jackson the Yankees’ fans knew what to expect when Reggie was ready to play. And play he did , and though it can be said he wasn’t always complimentary towards some of his teammates or manager as the case maybe. Jackson came to play, and play he did , as if his very life and soul depended on it. At this juncture the same cannot be said of Alex Rodriguez, as he’s yet to truly prove himself on the postseason stage. Rodriguez for his part knows that he has to prove himself not only to the New York Yankees’ fans but also to the fans of baseball in general. If he’s unable to perform upon the grandest of stages in the postseason and not lead this team to a World Series win. Then the only moniker attached to the name of Alex Rodriguez will be ….. great player , ……….. though not that great in the postseason . It’d appear that for now A-Rod will just have to continue to ride on the coat tails of Derek Jeter for the foreseeable future. Jackson never really had to do that whilst a player for the venerable New York Yankees. That my friends, is the stark difference between these two undoubtedly talented players.

Jackson  (left)  now  a  special  consultant with the  New York  Yankees , sits   in the  dugout   alongside  Alex  Rodriguez .  Whatever  the  topic  of   discussion  might've   been  about.  I   doubt  it  had  anything  to  do  with  the  number  of  World  Series   rings   that  Jackson  has.          picture  appears  courtesy  of    ap/photo/  Rich  Creswell  ........................
Jackson (left) now a special consultant with the New York Yankees , sits in the dugout alongside Alex Rodriguez . Whatever the topic of discussion might've been about. I doubt it had anything to do with the number of World Series rings that Jackson has. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Rich Creswell ........................

So as of now, let’s just have all this talk stop of Rodriguez being the new ‘Mr October’ . As he’s yet to prove himself in October , much less having made an appearance of note in the ‘Fall Classic’ , known as the World Series . There will forever be only one ‘Mr October’ and that’s Reggie Jackson . Need one say anymore ?