The Rundown: Heyward Makes Stand Against Injustice, Baseball Insignificant Right Now, League Leadership Exempt

“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.” – Muhammad Ali

I don’t feel much like writing about baseball today because what is happening in Kenosha hits very close to home, literally and figuratively. I’ve had a friend lose his business and another forced to leave her home because it’s been vandalized. She has an adult autistic son whose excitable mannerisms may give a rioter the wrong impression, putting him and her in danger. Far worse, Jacob Blake was shot in cold blood seven times by police officers who failed miserably at their jobs by allowing a domestic situation to intensify into near deadly violence.

Too many individuals have declared themselves judge, jury, and executioner, whether it is one whose job it is to serve and protect, or a teenager who thought he was doing the right thing by protecting property — so he says — though he drove from another state and started gunning down protesters. Anger is out of control and in a nation where innocent people are seemingly murdered every week without the benefit of due process, I fear the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse are not the “means to an end” as Tucker Carlson pointed out last night, but rather the first shots fired in what has now become a weaponized racial, political, and economic civil war, something the FOX News host seems to be encouraging.

Two political parties accusing the other of encouraging mayhem and violence in furtherance of their agendas during an election year is everything that is wrong with this country. Talking points and debates are useless without action, and whether your way of expressing your anger and disappointment is starting a fire, throwing a brick, stealing, boycotting, silent protest, or yes, killing innocent people, none of it is working because leadership is intent on the further division of its constituents.

The Cubs lost in Detroit to the Tigers 7-6 last night in a game that really carried no significance. Jason Heyward sat out in protest and his teammates were vilified by journalists and on social media for not following suit, despite Heyward’s insistence that they play. For all of the rhetoric coming from MLB at the start of the season regarding racial equality, diversion, and inclusion, the league exhibited lack of leadership by not taking a unified stance on the matter and simply postponing all of yesterday’s games. As such, it encouraged the same division within its ranks that has become part of our civilian lives.

Remember when baseball was supposed to be a way of uniting this country? Remember when most of us said that notion was farcical? Because racial injustice is baked into the DNA of this country, uprisings occur periodically throughout history. That glaring discrimination is time and again accompanied by similar injustices of economic inequality and political indifference.

What’s notable today versus historic instances of organized protest is that nothing is being led by the NAACP or the Urban League, and government leaders are loudly AWOL. This is a grassroots movement that has scaled quickly, and now dangerously. Imagine if the response from the White House all the way down to city legislators was, “We hear you and here is what we are going to do to change this.” Sadly, the answer has not been to try to keep peace, which can only mean that engendering alienation is the ultimate “means to an end,” no apologies to Carlson and his awful take.

“Humanity does not differ in any profound way; there are not essentially different species of human beings. If we could only put ourselves in the shoes of others to see how we would react, then we might become aware of the injustice of discrimination and the tragic inhumanity of every kind of prejudice.” – John Howard Griffin, Black Like Me

Extra Innings

Sliding Into Home

I had my biopsy Monday but I am still awaiting results. Because the liver is a very vascular organ, I had some complications with fever, drainage, and internal bleeding. In fact, I was shocked the procedure was performed without the use of an ultrasound. The radiologist just stuck that needle in without visual aid, so here’s hoping he’s of eagle-eye status among his peers.

I hope to get the results today, and I am trying not to worry, not that I carry any significance as compared to what is going on across the country.

They Said It

  • “It’s time for us to stand up and be a part of the cause and not just sweep it under the rug. I decided to let my teammates know that I couldn’t go out there and play tonight, not with what’s happening. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen tomorrow. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen the next day. But tonight I need to be a part of what was going on in my community.” – Jason Heyward
  • “He was pretty adamant about having the guys play. All the way up until probably five minutes before game time, guys are all talking and trying to do what’s best for everybody. Like Jason said, there’s no handbook. I literally told the guys, ‘I don’t know. I will stand by all you guys with whatever we decide.’ Support Jason is No. 1, and he wanted us to play, so that’s what we did.”David Ross
  • “Shit doesn’t change. It’s just the fact of the matter. Politicians don’t really give a f**k about us. All they care about is their own agenda. It’s just the way it is. It’s upsetting.”Anthony Rizzo

Thursday Walk Up Song

I’d Love to Change the World by Ten Years After –  If only.

“World pollution, there’s no solution, institution, electrocution, just black and white, rich or poor, them and us, stop the war.”

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