I have often referred to José Canseco as “the gift that keeps on giving” because he does lots of things that you could label “zany” of “bizarre” and that provides material for these rants. Now, it appears that he has migrated from the territory of “harmless goofiness” to a field of landmines. Canseco may have lost his job because he decided to try to be funny about sexual harassment. Ten years ago, his remarks might – I said MIGHT – have evoked a small chuckle; in today’s environment, his remarks are akin to playing Russian roulette with 5 live rounds in the chambers. Here are his reported Tweets on the subject:
“Well I mean I’ve been beaten by women taken advantage of by women and molested by women I never complain but it was kind of a turn-on”
“I see the difference I guess cuz I was a good-looking guy and these politicians look like a bag of boogers”
“These women complaining against sexual misconduct are just racist against ugly men”
Canseco was a local TV analyst on the pre-game and post-game shows for the Oakland A’s and his contract expired at the end of the season. His employer, NBCSports California, said in a statement that they do not agree with these remarks and that they do not reflect the views of the company. [Aside: No surprise here…] The A’s called his comments “disappointing” and pointed out that he is not in a contractual relationship with the A’s. [Translation: They want no part of this.]
Unlike many celebrities and politicians and sports figures of today, Canseco has not been fired or forced to resign over these Tweets simply because he does not have a job at the moment. His contract expires at the end of each season and then the team and the network decide who they want to do the job in the upcoming season. Right now, I think Canseco’s agent will need to be very conciliatory in his negotiations – – if in fact he ever gets a chance to do any negotiating.
Mentioning José Canseco’s latest verbal excursions reminds me of another current bit of nonsense going around that tangentially involves Canseco. The Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton very obviously engendered a series of reports on the trade that emphasized the great slugging potential in the Yankees’ lineup with both Stanton and Aaron Judge in the lineup. A baseball writer who did not mention that would probably have to be drummed out of the Fraternity of Baseball Writers – or whatever it is called.
However, in today’s world, that flurry of reports about the slugging duo was insufficient. Today, media outlets must to do things to attract eyeballs and to garner online clicks; that leads to “listicles” – articles that are merely lists of things that are in a given category. Evidently, these draw attention; they must because if they did not, there would no other redeeming social value to writing them in the first place. And the Yankees’ acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton generated “analyses” of the “Greatest Slugging Duos In Baseball History”. Here are some of the suggested candidates – in no particular order:
- Ruth and Gehrig
- Mantle and Maris
- Mays and McCovey
- Aaron and Matthews
- McGwire and Canseco – maybe you need an asterisk here?
- Stanton and Judge
I have no problem making these sorts of lists – – AFTER all the entrants on the list have actually accomplished something. As of this morning, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge have been a “slugging duo” for all of ZERO games. Who knows? Perhaps they will supersede all other slugging duos in MLB history; time will answer that for us. Instead, we have to deal with “listicles” now before there is even a single datum on which to base a conclusion.
The premature “listicles” about Stanton and Judge provides a segue of sorts to my next point of irritation. I was watching the end of an NBA game involving the New Orleans Pelicans a while ago; the Pelicans won and their pair of big men – Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins – were dominant in the game. In the afterglow of that win, the studio team of Shaq and Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley were rhapsodic about the potential of this pairing of big men and how it would give every other team in the league defensive nightmares. That is typical sports hyperbole; I have gotten used to that over the years. However, I began to listen closely because I hoped these guys would not go too far with it. And then they did; they started to muse about Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins as “one of the greatest big man pairings of all time”.
First, these guys should know better. Second, these guys need to realize that there is a tendency out there – particularly among millennials – to believe that anything which happened before they were born is either irrelevant or is prehistoric. Too many young sports fans need to be disabused of that line of thought; it should not be encouraged.
I do not want to turn this into a “listicle” so I am not going to do any stat research. What I would like to suggest is that there have been “pairs of big men” on NBA teams in the past who have significant accomplishments – playoff appearances and championships – on their résumés and who had a degree of longevity that dwarfs Davis and Cousins. Off the top of my head, consider:
- Tim Duncan and David Robinson
- Kevin McHale and Robert Parish
- Bill Walton and Maurice Lucas
- Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes
Yes, Virginia, there was life in the NBA before 1990…
Finally, here is a comment from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times regarding Alex Rodriguez’ recognition that his use of PED’s cost him a shot at the Hall of Fame and about $40M in lost income:
“It’s all right there in this week’s issue of Well, Duh magazine.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………