Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ortiz and Race

As I was driving to work today I heard an outrageous rant by a sportscaster nicknamed, Mad Dog. Mad Dog was disparaging David Ortiz, the designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox because of comments he has made.

The Mad Dog would rail at me if he were to read this blog post, and talk about all of his black cronies, to support the legitimacy of his vitriol. But the fact is that his attack on David Ortiz, and others' attacks on Ortiz which have a similar theme and are similarly excoriating have been directed at Ortiz because of his race-because David Ortiz is black.

Ortiz is one of the best clutch hitters of all time.  It is remarkable how often he has had to, and has, come through in difficult situations for the Red Sox.  Without Ortiz, the Red Sox absolutely do not get to the World Series in 2004 or 2013.

As significantly, Ortiz is a great teammate.  He is a valuable person in the clubhouse who encourages and exhorts others. He helped create a cohesive climate that facilitated the Red Sox winning three championships since 2004. Before 2004 the Sox had not won a single championship in the previous 86 years.

A pitcher from Texas was pitching a no hitter when Ortiz hit a bloop to the outfield that dropped.  The official scorer called it an error. Ortiz did not complain. Subsequently, another Sox player got a hit eliminating the possibility of a no hitter. Ortiz's bloop would have been scored a hit had it not been for the pitcher having a no hitter going.  In the next few days the league changed the ruling from an error to a hit since the no hitter no longer depended on Ortiz's ball being scored an error.  Ortiz commented that this was the right thing to do, though he would not have said anything had the pitcher completed his no hitter.

Why not hang the man.

On another occasion Ortiz did contend that another shot he hit should have been called a hit when it was scored an error.

He was skewered.

If David Ortiz looked like me he would be given more slack.  Any minor blemish is magnified.  A guy like Dewey Evans, really a journeyman, is identified in these parts as the Messiah.  Just an okay player. Always looking on the tv screen after a good outfield play.   There are other examples, Trot Nixon, Tom Brunansky. Just okay players that got a lot of slack. Ortiz is a bona fide superstar.

Saw a play last week called Smart People. About four smart people whose behaviors indicate that any claims that suggest that we are in a post racial society are flawed.  Not sure a play like Smart People does anything to help us get to a post racial society, but the playwright's message is not inaccurate.

The Mad Dog would be upset as would many others by my comments here, but I think I am dead on. If David Ortiz was white, he would not be taking this heat.

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