Keep On Keeping On…

Everyone knows the adage:

“Tis a lesson you should heed:

Try, try, try again.

If at first you don’t succeed,

Try, try, try again.

Isaac Galloway clearly took that message to heart as a youngster.  Galloway played minor league baseball from 2008 to 2018 before he made his major league debut with the Miami Marlins a little over a week ago.  In the minors, Galloway played for 5 teams from the Greensboro Grasshoppers to the New Orleans Baby Cakes.  He was in 947 games and came to bat 3401 times.  His minor league batting average was .251.  Nonetheless, he got a call up to the Marlins this year and has gone 2 for 7 in his major league career.  About now, I suspect that the adage going through Isaac Galloway’s mind is:

“Good things come to him who waits…”

Over the past week or so, I have commented on Urban Meyer and Larry Fedora as two college football coaches who are in the news for the wrong reasons these days.  However, there is another college coach who deserves a bit of scrutiny.  Dan Mullen is the new guy at Florida; he did well at Mississippi St. and Florida called when it needed a coach.  Mullen proclaimed that he had a “no guns policy” for the team which sounds like a good idea to me.  Unfortunately, Mullen had to explain last week that his “no guns policy” was not quite what it sounded like.  When a Florida player was found at a traffic stop to have a loaded AR-15 in the back seat of the vehicle, here is how Mullen explained his “no guns policy”:

“What we do … is really to educate them on weapons, on having guns. Why would you have it? What’s the purpose of having it?”

Mullen emphasized that owning guns is perfectly legal in the US and that the player was not arrested because the weapon was not concealed, and it did not violate the open-carry laws in Florida.  He then added this to his explanation of the policy:

“It’s a no-weapons policy in certain situations of how to be educated to not have (issues).  No weapons, that’s easy to remember. If I write out all the different (scenarios) — no weapons in these situations or have a weapon for a hunting situation, if I’m doing this, I store it at this location, I keep it here, I have gun safety rules and knowledge — that’s not a quick catch to them to register in their mind. Does that make sense?”

Well coach, it does make sense – – unless you previously told the world that it was a “no guns policy”.  If it were actually a “no guns policy”, then there would be no need at all for any of the stuff that you say you are trying to do with your players.  Based on your clarification here, I would conclude that your “no guns policy” is in fact a “gun education policy” and those are two VERY different things.

As the first round of NFL Exhibition Games get underway this week, former Cowboys’ WR, Dez Bryant remains unsigned.  Some folks say that Father Time has eroded his skills to a point where he is not worth the baggage that he would bring to a locker room.  After all, he referred to one of his former Cowboys’ teammates as a “snake” recently implying that the “snake” was part of a cabal to convince Jerry Jones to cut Bryant from the team.  Let’s just agree that the accusation has not been conclusively proven to date.

I bring this up because this situation seems like the Colin Kaepernick situation to me.  Both players are out of work and it is not out of the question for me to recognize that both players would bring those “dreaded distractions” to any locker room they inhabit – – albeit the “Bryant distractions” would be very different from the “Kaepernick distractions”.  Notwithstanding that parallelism, I have not yet heard anyone say that Bryant is being “blackballed” from the NFL.  Maybe it’s just me, but I find that interesting…

Bob Molinaro asked an interesting question in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot recently:

“Musical chairs: You think some of the Nationals’ failures this season – beyond injuries – might be the residue of having had five managers in eight years?”

I think there is another dimension to the problems the Nats face this year – and in recent years.  The revolving door of managers does not help the situation, but I believe the root of the problem is deeper than that.  I think that the Washington Nationals team – a team that is extremely gifted with physical talent – has been coddled for far too long.  The team’s highly talented players do not always “give full effort” [I am being polite here.] and the team as a whole does not excel in fundamental baseball.

  • [Aside:  To be sure, there are exceptions.  Max Scherzer never dogs it.  When he takes the ball, he gives everything he has every time.  He is not the norm for this team.]

A problem that has faced previous Nats’ managers is that they have allowed that sort of lackadaisical play to go unchecked and unpunished to the point that it happens more than weekly now for the team.  There has been no accountability and it sure looks to me as if the young – and very talented – players have come to believe that it is OK for them to hustle on those occasions when the spirit moves them to do so – – but sometimes the spirit stays in the clubhouse.

When I read Molinaro’s question, I sent him an e-mail telling him that I think what the Nats really need is an ass-kicker for a manager.  I told him that Billy Martin would be perfect – – except that Billy Martin is dead and therefore not available for interviews.  If I were the owner of the Nats, I would tell the GM to interview Ozzie Guillen for the job and after the interview to come and tell me why Ozzie would not be a good choice.  In case, that last sentence is not clear, I have a suspicion that part of the “coddling environment” for the team originates in the GM’s office.

Finally, here is a comment from Scott Ostler in the SF Chronicle:

“Former NFL running back Ricky Williams, who once took a break from smoking weed to swear to me that he was done smoking weed, is selling his own line of weed products, ‘Real Wellness by Ricky Williams.’  I hope it’s better than the line of baloney he used to sell.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

 

 

3 thoughts on “Keep On Keeping On…”

  1. Florida has some of the most pro-gun laws in the country, so I am not quite sure what Mullen hoped to gain by his “no guns” policy. But, I think it’s not legal to have guns on college campuses in Florida. As long as the player was not on campus, I doubt there was ever anything Mullen could do. If he disciplines the player for doing something legal he gets in serious hot water. If the disciplined player is a starter, he probably gets fired.

    1. Doug:

      He COULD announce – and then enforce a team rule – banning guns. You are correct that he is walking a tightrope there because open-carry is legal in Florida but he COULD do that if he wanted to.

      However, what he SHOULD NOT do is to announce a “no-guns policy” when in fact it is not a “no-guns policy” because it is asking for the situation he finds himself in right now. That was completely a self-inflicted wound.

  2. As a former FSU student the mental picture of a U of F football player driving around with a loaded AR-15 is scary for several reasons.

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