10 May 2009

Manny, Mothers, and Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball sure wants you to know all about Manuel Aristides Onelcida Ramirez' urine. That trademarked and copyrighted fairytale-factory wants you to care a lot about what's in a grown man's bloodstream. But I don't. I'm one of those baseball fans that doesn't want to know or need to know. Sportswriters are a funny beast--they project much of their fantasies about athletic achievement on to the athletes they cover. They assign them roles in a myth, and rank them as heroes or villains. The billionaires who own the clubs don't care, they've got PR departments and advertising budgets. Slap on a heavy coat of patriotism and motherhood and you've got a product. These same billionaires convince cities to pump tax dollars into corporate playgrounds called ballparks. The business these same billionaires are in enjoys a Congressionally-approved monopoly status. Major League Baseball has Budweiser and Chevrolet to sell. If one of the heroes is tarnished by something he ate, fewer people might buy Budweiser and Chevrolet, and that would be bad for America. Manny is a hero--and when he falls, he falls hard. At least that's what Major League Baseball wants you to think. Manny's a damn fine ballplayer. I don't know if he's a damn fine man or not. That's his business. And as long as he's not hurting anyone, I'm damn sure I don't care. I have a hero. My mother is my hero. I'd be willing to bet mothers are heroes to a lot a people. Look for the heroes closest to you. And let plumbers be plumbers and ballplayers be ballplayers, and let them have whatever makes them happy. Happy Mothers Day.

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