Sunday, July 1, 2012

As Frank Sang, "Regrets, I've Had a Few . . . ."

But I don't think I'm entirely crazy.

If you haven't seen the prior post, check it out now.  Read the comments, too.

As I mentioned in my comment, I wish I had taken a less dramatic approach.  But I don't think I was entirely out of line on this.  Ignorant about ALS, guilty.  Ass, guilty.

But this has been on my mind for quite awhile.  I looked ahead.

 Look, I'm a guy that worries about stuff like this.  I don't even like Fight Night, so if you think I'm too much of a mamby-pamby, you're entitled.   But let me invite you to join me in a little theater of the mind. Consider this decidedly non-crazy hypothetical:

Josh throws a bat.  Bat hits someone, doesn't matter who.  Maybe into a group of kids who couldn't protect themselves.  Someone is badly hurt.  The Rangers aren't able to make a private settlement.  This isn't like a foul ball, where spectators have a reasonable expectation of one coming their way.  Scene:  A law firm conference room.

HIGH-PROFILE PLAINTIFF LAWYER:  Good morning, Mr. Daniels.

JON DANIELS:  Good morning.

HPPL:  Mr. Daniels, you're aware of the events of August 3.

JD:  Yes.

HPPL:  Mr. Daniels, were you, or perhaps I should say, to your knowledge, were the Texas Rangers aware of the statistics regarding thrown bats?

JD:  I don't understand the question.

HPPL:  Were you aware that a bat being thrown into the stands is a relatively rare occurrence over the course of a season, and even rarer for a single player to have done it on several occasions in a season?

JD:  I didn't know the exact numbers, but generally, yes.

HPPL:  In fact, the number of bats thrown by Mr. Hamilton, several of which went into the stands, may be a major league record?

JD:  I don't know.  I do know it was somewhat unusual.

HPPL:  On occasion, did Mr. Beltre leave the on-deck circle over concern about Mr. Hamilton's thrown bats?

JD:  It may have been a gag.

HPPL:  The team regarded it as funny?

JD:  No.

HPPL:  Were you concerned about the thrown bats?

JD:  Somewhat, yes.

HPPL:  Did you speak with him about it?

JD:  Yes.

HPPL:  What did you say to him, and what did he say to you?

JD:  I asked him why he was throwing the bats.  He said he didn't know.

HPPL:  Is that all?

JD:  He said he guessed he just couldn't help it.

HPPL:  Did he say anything about the bats, or maybe his batting gloves?

JD:  No.

HPPL:  Did he give you any reason for the increased frequency of thrown bats?

JD:  No.

HPPL:  What did you say to him about it?

JD:  I explained that we were concerned about the safety of our fans and the players on the field, of course, and urged him to make every effort not to throw the bat.

HPPL:  What was his reaction?

JD:  He understood.  He said he would try.

HPPL:   Did you ever think it was intentional?

JD:  Certainly not.

HPPL:  A subconscious issue of some kind?

JD:  No, no.

HPPL:  How long was this second meeting before the incident and Mr Hamilton's suspension by Major League Baseball?

JD:  A month or so, I think.  Six weeks maybe.

HPPL:  But after that and before the incident, he threw another bat into the stands and another towards the dugout, did he not?

JD:  I believe that's correct.

HPPL:  Did you do anything else?

JD:  We spoke to him again and repeated our concern about the thrown bats.  He said he was sorry but he just couldn't help it.

HPPL:  Did you speak to Mr. Washington about possibly removing Mr. Hamilton from the  lineup?

JD:  No.

HPPL:  Why do you think he threw the bats?

JD:  I don't know.

HPPL:  Did it concern you that he said he said he couldn't help it?

JD:  Well, yes, of course.

HPPL:  What do you think he meant by that?

JD:  I don't know.  I thought he meant he would just lose his grip from his swing.  Obviously, he swings very hard.

HPPL:  But the frequency was increasing, was it not?

JD:  Yes.

HPPL:  Did you ever ask Mr. Hamilton to submit to a medical examination to determine why he might be losing his grip on the bat?

JD:  No.

HPPL:  No further questions.

+     +     +

THAT's what I was thinking.  That when the whole world can see there's something odd going on that results in the threat of bodily harm to your fans and highly-paid athletes, you do something about it in advance of tragedy.  And where you don't know the reason, you ask people who know about holding on to things to have a look.  Even if they don't find anything, you've done what you could to find out why this extremely unusual and dangerous series of events were occurring.  Other than sitting him down to think it over.

It would surprise me if I am the only person in the metro who has thought -- there's something wrong here.

But in retrospect, I should not have focused on the specific possibility of ALS.  That was look-at-me, even by my somewhat relaxed standards, and I should have thought twice about that.

Let the piling-on continue.  I know, I know, I've lost a reader.


East Texas P1 said...

And I thought [other blog edited out] had the 100% hold on drama. Jesus F Christ.

Just for the record, the last part of "Regrets, I had a few....." is

"I did it my way"

Plainsman, you sure did.

Shaggy said...

Are we sure Norm didn't just hijack this blog?

Anonymous said...

I think you just made things worse, Plainsman. In fact, maybe you're the one that needs neurological and psychological evaluation at this point. Jeez a whiz, man, your follow up post is now making me think that you are/have been a kook all along. And that makes me both sad and a bit embarrassed for myself, as I've been reading and posting here for over 3 years. Maybe it's time to take a break? Or maybe it's time to give up the ghost? Don't know. But I wish you'd get back to what you do best: providing a forum for the more well thought out Ticket "opiner."

Anonymous said...

Lets call this his Dave Barnett moment. Hope all is well Plainsman.

Todd said...

Your lawyer argument doesn't hold up because of the liability disclaimer printed on the back of a ticket. Do players get suspended for hitting a foul ball in the stands? Stick to more esoteric fare.

But hey, this is the Internet, so there is certainly a precedent for this type of yellow blogging.

The Plainsman said...

I note that no one is addressing the substantive point here. Which is fine, all comments appropriate to date. Bash away.

But for those of y'all who think I'm off my rocker:

What would you do if you had a player who had the habit of throwing bats with far greater than random frequency?

There are a couple of answers. One is mine: I'd try to find out why it was happening and, if possible, put a stop to it. No one much seems to like that answer, indeed, the majority seems to think it's pretty nutso.

So another answer, presumably the favored answer, is to do nothing. OK, but IF you believe that the bat-throwing is something other than a random spike (and maybe you don't), this means that you are deliberately assuming the risk of an injured player or fan -- that's your cost -- in exchange for the benefit of: what? Not disturbing Josh? Not generating evidence that there is anything that needs fixing?

So while I'll take the bashing, I'd like to know what anyone who finds the bat-throwing non-random would do. Maybe the answer is "do nothing to address the issue and accept the small risk that someone will be seriously hurt, and hope that he stops throwing the damned bats." Fine. Just be prepared to own that decision if someone gets hurt and wants millions in damages because you made a deliberate decision not to act to reduce the possibility of injury. That is not mere negligence -- in the face of a known risk, that's recklessness, and you're gonna have to pay.

P2 on MI said...

Sorry, but neither of your post point to you wanting to have that discussion on why. The first post was just a random, careless medical accusation. Then you followed it up with a strange lawyer-esc post trying to justify your wild and potential hurtful accusation. Now, of you wanted to start a discussion about why he has been tossing his bat, that would have been a valid post and a better way to tackle the subject.

I first came to this site because of the Ticket show talk. Yet, like some of the shows, the quality has slipped. These kind of post seem better suited for silly message boards. As for me, your site is becoming more like some of the shows I liked on the Ticket - I still listen, but not as engaged as I once was. I will still read because my app makes it so easy, but won't be ss engaged anymore with the change.

T4 In Rockwall said...

Man, why is everyone getting so bent out of shape? It's just an opinion that everyone can agree or disagree on. No reason to start stating someone's losing their mind, or is way off base. It's just an opinion. I won't state mine one way or another because I just think Hamilton's stressing too hard or getting out of a funk. He has seemed to throw the bat more often when he's in a slump, but I could be wrong and don't have any proof to back that up. Either way, instead of acting like the Plainsman standing on the bridge ready to jump off, give him some time to respond to some decent replies and not having to defend himself on these claims.

barry v said...

Both MLB and each team are heavily insured for this (among other) very reason, and reasons like it. After all, we had a fan die (eerily enough, as a byproduct of a ball Hamilton tossed up into the stands) in the ball park last year. While it was the fan's going after the ball that ultimately caused his own death, the originating action that set off the sad chain of events occurred on field, by a MLB player. Like the health of the players, MLB and each team is very aware of liability issues. And they are sundry in kind. Therefore, while your points might be substantive, they are not points that haven't been carefully thought about by the Rangers, MLB, and the players union. I honestly think you're playing a game of CYA here: you posted something you've in some way come to regret, and now you're trying to rationalize it to where you no longer look like the boob that many are claiming you to be in these comboxes.

Is it possible that Josh has ALS? I guess so. Neither I nor you know. The question here is if this is something that a blog that purports itself to be about a particular radio station --run by someone who has claimed to not be the most knowledgeable of sports fans, but loves the station for other reasons-- ought to be auditioning for a position on the TMZ team?

I will say this, though: I think some of the harsher criticism that you're getting is a bit on the dramatic side. I mean for the love of Pete, you made one odd post (and it is quite the anomaly) and now an almost equally as odd follow up. I think you should be given a break.

Can we now please get back to our regular MTC programming?

birq said...

I'm with T4 on this. It's an opinion posted by a blogger on his own blog. It's not sensationalist or out of line, it's just an opinion posted requesting comment. Lighten the hell up.

Josh's broken records said...

What's up with Josh falling down lately? Leaving the box, leaving 1st..and the bat tossing is happening at an insane rate. I don't know what's up, but it's not that big of a stretch.

Anonymous said...

Aw jeez, Jbr, don't get this thing cooking again. Let's let sleeping dogs lie, whaddya say? PLEASE!!!!

Anonymous said...

But seriously its funny how the demise of broadcast quality at the Ticket parallels the demise of writing quality and content on this site.

Anonymous said...

It's one article (okay, two when you count the follow up 'dialogue') folks. Look, I personally don't like the constant stream talk. I understand why it keeps taking place, but I find it boring as hell. Overall the content on this site has been consistently interesting. This is the first time that I can remember where the Plainsman has gone off the range. I don't understand all the you've lost a reader and you're so hurtful and you're so irresponsible comments. The dude threw something kinda weird against the wall and guess what? it didn't stick. So freaking what.

The Plainsman said...

I wasn't aware that JH had been having trouble keeping his feet lately. He's always been a leaper and crasher and faller in the field. I hadn't noticed anything else.

Well, something to keep an eye on.

New post up shortly.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather listen to Norm as Deron Williams than read another one of your courtroom transcripts.