And Now An Editorial Reply

I’ve often been accused of being contrarian just for the sake of being contrarian, but I don’t know that I’ve ever gone this far

I hadn’t heard previously of Dan Steinberg and his blogs at The Washington Post and The Sporting News, but he goes a long way to defend Manny Ramirez and skewer me for what I wrote here Saturday (I think that’s what he’s doing – it’s not exactly clear; it seems to be snark, a medium in which I’ve worked for 35 years, and whatever it is, I think he’s doing it wrong). I criticized the juxtaposition of Fox’s celebration of Ramirez’s return and the MLB-wide official tributes to Lou Gehrig on the 70th Anniversary of his “day” at Yankee Stadium in 1939.

As if he were worth of being alive, Keith; of sharing the status of “human being” with Lou Gehrig. Manny Ramirez should have declined all offers of oxygen, on this day, and on every other day that is an anniversary of a day on which Lou Gehrig was alive.

I confess to being mightily impressed at the head of steam he builds up on the long trek he makes towards his great climactic accusation of hypocrisy on my part.

For shame, for shame, baseball fans. You should all be standing in line to forfeit your mindless baseball entertainment, on account of there having been rule-breaking in that industry, which is devoted primarily to occupying the minds of 30-something lawyers with expense accounts, middle-aged journalists and college kids making fictional “trades” at 3 in the morning while eating week-old pizza slices they found in their closets. Why, oh why, don’t you brainless masses boycott this farce in favor of a more wholesome, ethical and Gehrig-approved entertainment option?

I also confess to becoming afraid for him as he accelerates, the way we all used to become afraid for the Coyote in the Roadrunner cartoons, since we could see the edge of the mesa coming and he couldn’t.

I would argue further: that no one not named Gehrig should ever again be allowed to play baseball, even Strat-O-Matic. And that Manny Ramirez should be tasered every night for a year. And that the fans who have cheered for him should be tasered, too. And that Manny Ramirez is, pretty much, the Worst Person in the World. And that anyone who so much as cashes one check paid for with dirty baseball money from immoral cheering fans should be banished from civilized society.

Wait, Keith, why is there an MLB logo on your blog? 


Umm… as anybody who reads the MLBlogs knows, baseball has no say over what is written here, by me, or anybody else. And, yes, this particular blog, MLB pays for. Only I don’t get checks to cash. The money gets split three ways: to St. Jude’s Hospital, to the Baseball Assistance Team, and to the education fund for the grandchildren of the former big leaguer and MLB.TV host John Marzano.

That was a long way to run to wind up going off a cliff like that. At least Mr. Steinberg was good enough to provide his own sound effect at the end.



    Sigh, forgotten again! He forgot 55 year old, disabled (FSH Muscular Dystrophy), red haired women with an attitude. And no attitude bugs me more than that disabled people, dead or alive, have society by the short hairs. It’s alright Dan if you would rather forget us or insult us but please just come out with it and stop using others as cover. What do I think of Manny Ramirez reappearing on Lou Gehrig Day? Not that you care but I’ll tell you anyway! It makes me sad, sad because anytime I see someone, particularly an athlete, ruin the health I wish I had been born with it just disturbs me. I want to yell, “be happy, take care of your health, you don’t appreciate what you’ve got!”.

  2. hartbreak

    Don’t pay attention to these jokers. You hit the nail on the head with that post, and some of your critics admit that. Others can’t deal with it.


    You figured it out, Keith — with this comment, “I hadn’t heard previously of Dan Steinberg and his blogs at The Washington Post and The Sporting News . . .” but now you have and now all your readers have.

    Mission accomplished, Mr. Steinberg.


    Well, the final line was added after I had already finished, and I guess I’ll agree that it gives the wrong impression. Although I didn’t really think you got paid for doing this. The point was more that you are associated with the official apparatus of MLB, which has clearly been pretty well filled with cheaters of various degrees for a long, long time. Seems to me either you give up on an entire generation of baseball fans, or you just accept the fact that cheaters were everywhere and you move on with your life. When so many were cheating, to me, it’s a systemic problem and not a sign of individual moral failing.

    As for the rest of the slop quoted above, apologies for not just writing what I thought. Here’s what I think: there are so very many problems in the world that deserve outrage, many of which you highlight on TV. Manny Ramirez sullying the image of a man who’s been dead for decades by trying to hit a ball with a piece of wood on a day his employer told him he was eligible just doesn’t strike me as one of them.

    And if you want to say that being outraged about Manny is also a topic unworthy of outrage, I will concede the point.

    As for never having heard of me, I was the fella who turned up Miles Rawls, the Wizards fan who taunted Prez Obama this spring. You quoted from my piece extensively, on the air! And I thought that made us bff!


    Come on Keith, give this a break. If you haven’t heard of Steinberg you clearly haven’t read any sports blog in the past several years. The guy is a king there, and maybe you’re too high and mighty to read sports blogs but believe me, his opinion counts and is never as snotty sounding as your post came across as. Ever heard of sarcasm when it comes to Steinberg’s post? Come on, you know better.

  6. 1948braves

    Mr. Steinberg writes above that “trying to hit a ball with a piece of wood” is not something to be outraged about, considering all the problems in the world. I disagree with this statement. To say this is to suggest a fan should have no passion or opinion for something that has been a constant in our life since childhood. We have every right to feel anger when we think back to the players of a time gone by and compare them to today’s rich, and all too often, lazy ballplayers. Perhaps we romanticize. I know I do, but it’s borne out of respect and admiration. There is a certain dignity when one looks at pictures of ballplayers from prior generations. Their uniforms are torn and dirty and wrinkled, as though they had been wearing the same one for weeks. There is something in their faces, something in their eyes that tells you no one handed them a thing. So yes, we do feel anger when we see what Manny has done, and ARod and McGwire and Sosa and Bonds, etc. Because not only did they cheat themselves, they cheated us, their fans, just as they cheated Roger Maris and Hank Aaron. And they didn’t have to. They were terrific ballplayers who needn’t have “used” anything.
    So if we become angry, or disappointed, so be it. That is our right. We started following baseball because we love excellence. We love to see what a player can accomplish in the short time he is in the majors. And we root for the best, regardless of what team they play for. We love to see records chased.
    Does cheating in baseball matter compared to the problems of today? Yes. Precisely because of the problems of today. This is what sports is for. I can’t help but think that Clemens’ love of the game and Smokey Joe Wood’s love of the game have different meanings.
    For the lifelong baseball fan, the meaning of the game has never changed. And never will. And that’s the way it should be.

    “Pitchers, like poets, are born not made.”
    — Cy Young —


    To Mr. Steinberg (and your sockpuppet and/or flying monkey jprywes): You’ve missed the entire point, which is that your lame attempts at wit mocked the struggles of Lou Gehrig and anyone else who has battled health problems. You directly mocked Keith’s statement, “For risking that for which Lou Gehrig would’ve given anything — his own health.”

    You want a problem that deserves outrage? Here’s one: People are struggling with, and dying from, severe health problems every day, and people like you don’t care. Instead of trying to justify your juvenile screed, you should publicly apologize for being so disgustingly unsympathetic.


    I’ll admit up front that I know nothing about people in sports. I apologize to both sides of this debate/argument if I get anything wrong.

    What I can do is look at this from the outside. It looks as if Mr. Steinberg tried to go after what Mr. Olbermann had wrote about Lou only to end up rolling over the dead guy. To pick on someone who’s defenseless is petty at best.

    “For publicly admitting he likes Tiramisu better than Apple Pie.”

    Wait.. what?? When did it matter what foods someone does or does not like? Please tell me this was a joke.

    As for the rest of the entry.. I’m at loss for words. I don’t see how being upset at an athlete for completely missing the point of sports in the first place is wrong. People of all ages can still enjoy the game but to excuse the athletes for doing wrong does not make your sport look any more appealing to the rest of us. Maybe Mr. Olbermann would not have gone off on his post like that had the return of Ramirez not been on a day for Lou.

  9. pexw

    Mr. Steinberg,
    While much of what has been said here may be true in any number of contexts, there’s one simple flaw in your basic argument, which I presume to be: “…there are so very many problems in the world that deserve outrage… Manny Ramirez sullying the image of a man who’s been dead for decades… just doesn’t strike me as one of them.” That’s true. It’s also why Keith wrote about this subject on his MLB Blog instead of leading with it on his TV show. It’s okay to care about the world’s problems and have an opinion about baseball at the same time. He chose the appropriate venue and the fact that MLB doesn’t censor him should be applauded.



    I’m possibly a bit off topic here, but having just heard you reference Mr. Ramirez in another venue, I felt this diary the most appropriate of the options available.

    I was reminded of Michael Jordan playing AA ball in Sarasota Florida in the 1990s, which is in itself a rather interesting saga.
    But to the point, I would note that Mr. Jordan bought the AA White Sox a brand new team bus. A Prevost, if I recall correctly. Those check out in the low seven figure range, and he never even played in The Show!

    Thanks for the dinner!

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