06/22/2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Amir Garrett (50) and Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart (16) celebrate after the game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Brad Rempel, Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)
At around 5 p.m. Tuesday, after the Reds had done enough home runs to outlast Minnesota, the comments rolled to my inbox and radio. They often went like this:
Golly, this is one hell of a great Reds team, isn’t it? More entertaining than a barrel of fulla burrows. Love the way they’re never out of a game. These guys don’t give up. Seems like nice guys too. Easy to root. And by the way, the owner has to fire himself.
Question: Is that the most important thing now?
Most of the reactions are missing a word.
I’m not sure when “exciting” will be lapped “winning” on the local priority scale. but it has. Before Saint Joe went down last fall, the Bengals had a very exciting loss record. No team currently plays .500 baseball as exciting as our team.
It’s not that I disagree with the feelings. They are all true. Unless, well, the owner is unlikely to fire himself. The reds are compelling, though not always the way you’d like them to be. Is it exciting to lose two late leads in one game?
You play hard. But playing hard is implied in the contract.
You are pleasant. I think DBell has something to do with it. His Respect to everyone and its steady nature has had the intended effect.
But to say the Reds are exciting means that winning is secondary. It is not. Or shouldn’t be. Frequent readers may recall the occasional TML talk about settle down. We do that here. We are depressed enough by the losers, we have become immune. It helps save our sporting souls so that we can live complacent another day.
I also think that baseball is its national level steady gliding on our passion knife. More and more fans see the game as a way to fill idle time. It’s no different than going to the movies or to dinner. Nobody gets up, jumps around and yells at The Precinct.
Only now do we have to be really excited. We must be dissatisfied. Fates have conspired to enable these Reds to be both exciting and successful for the first time since 2012. (The ’13 club slipped into the wildcard game with a downstreak and was then unceremoniously executed in Pittsburgh.)
All of these good qualities mentioned above are no match for teams with better players. Now is the time to stand up and let the powers that be know Losing half the time isn’t as exciting as losing 40 percent of the time, even playing robots in 1st and 3rd base and a trio of circus clowns in the outfield.
Property hears you. The Big Man reacts sensitively to the ups and downs in visitor numbers. He is very aware of what the fans are saying. Unlike some owners, the fans are important to him.
Let go of the praise for an average team at the moment. Don’t settle for a fun evening. Professional sport is about winning and nothing else. Allow me to replay what Bob Knight said to me a few lives ago:
We don’t get what we expect or deserve in life. We get what we are willing to endure.
Stop opening. Don’t be so nice
Well then. . .
Wisconsin B-Ball Trainer Greg Gard met with his team in the middle of last season. The players were dissatisfied to say the least. The meeting was secretly recorded and published by a local newspaper.
Transcripts published by the Journal paint a picture of a lack of trust and communication between Gard and his players.
“I just feel, coach, we are not in a relationship,” senior striker Nate Reuvers told the Journal. “In my opinion, it’s too late for that. Personally, I don’t think or feel that you are interested in our future endeavors.
“I can’t talk to you. I just don’t wanna talk to you After that, coach, I don’t know what kind of relationship we’ll have when we have one. “
Senior Guard D’Mitrik Trice told Gard that he felt disconnected from the success of this season and the 2020-21 season.
“We played for each other last year, but we also played for you,” Trice told the Journal. “I have a feeling that the breakup is that we’re not playing for you right now. We are not here to compose your résumé with all due respect, so to speak. “
One anonymous player said, “He sat, he listened and at the end of it all, not a single eye in the whole room stayed dry,” the player said, according to the Journal. “The biggest thing he did in the end was apologize again and burst into tears and say, ‘It’s not your fault, it’s my fault.'”
Outgoing Badgers AD Barry Alvarez supported Gard and his staff.
A few things:
We don’t know enough to be able to say anything with certainty. But if Gard were as despicable as he is portrayed he must have been pretty lucky too. He made the tournament four times in seven seasons.
“We’re not here to make your résumé.” What does that mean? Don’t get free education and about 30 pro auditions a year to help him win? Then what are you there for?
The old school in me doesn’t quite understand that soulful component to. It should be cut and dried. A coach needs players, players need a coach. It’s in Gard’s interest to create an atmosphere where everyone gets along. But he’s not responsible for ensuring that players get professional gigs. That is your responsibility.
We are at the beginning of what could be an enormous shift in power in quasi-am athletics. Name-Image-Likeness Rules that make players realize they are the game and act that way. There will be more examples what happened to Gard and John Brannen, not less.
Is that good for the game? I think we will find out.
CURRENTLY THE SUPREME COURT OF JUSTICE WEIGHS IN on the payment of athletes, with Judge Brett Kavanaugh reiterating the court’s stance:
“Nowhere else in America can companies get away with not paying their workers a fair market price because their product is defined as not paying their workers a fair market price,” wrote Judge Kavanaugh. “And according to the usual principles of antitrust law, it is not clear why university sports should be different. The NCAA is not above the law. “
CARL NASSIB IS GAY. SO WHAT? March 21st is one of my least popular days of the year. It has been World Down Syndrome Day since 2012. My daughter Jillian was born to Down 32 years ago. The ultimate goal is not to consider their life remarkable, although it is. The point is to see their life as typical.
Don’t give her a day, OK?
Not unless the rest of us get one too. National size 9 shoe day! I could take this day off.
Nassib is a D-lineman for the Raiders. He came out this week and is now the first openly gay active player in the NFL. I don’t care. Is he a good person and a citizen? Does he take care of his fellow human beings?
Perhaps his revelation will help other gays find peace and understanding. Well. But what we are really striving for here is a time when nobody needs to be singled out. When days are not needed.
ONE LAST WORD THAT MOVES. . . Yesterday Kerry and I packed a U-Haul with a few things and brought it to the new location. Today the promoters collect the rest. It doesn’t take long to crate life.
Every moving day is melancholy for me. (Damn, that’s how every day is, who am I kidding? I could see melancholy in a can of peas.) Another page turned, another era has come to an end. How many more eras? Not as many as yesterday.
The practical aspects: We’re moving to be closer to Jillian. For this sincere privilege, we spend more money on the new house than we do now, we move into a bigger house and I’m back in the garden, something I thought I left a good four years ago.
Downsizing is subject to different definitions.
And that stuff. All that stuff. I was able to spend my days without 90 percent of what we dragged to the new place. They know you have too much stuff when you pay the stuff people to carry some of it away.
It will be done tomorrow. Praise be.
TUNE O ‘THE DAY. . . Dave Mason was just OK, but I always liked this one. “I’m going back to a place far away. How about you?”
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