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Saying goodbye to ‘The Man’ and ‘The Grouch’ PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:12 PM

Another hero from the Boys of Summer is gone with the death of Cardinal great Stan “The Man” Musial.
Another great memory of our collective past, the traditions and personalities that made baseball the National Pastime, are going the way of the do-do. Do we still refer to them as the Boys of Summer?

He retired before I entered this mortal coil, so I can only speak from watching past films and such, but he was still a hero to many of us — even Reds’ fans! — growing up.

He did it with class, even if he wasn’t the most “sound” player.

We wanted to be like those guys — current and retired — playing in the backyard or at the park and we had their baseball cards.
As kids, the four youngest of the Metcalfe clan — I won’t name names but you know who we are! — pretended we were certain teams in the backyard. Of course, the oldest always chose the Reds, so I was either the Orioles or the Cubs. If your batter was left-handed, you had to bat lefty. The only time this didn’t apply was if your pitcher was a lefty; I’m not sure any of us could have survived throwing lefty!
Whoever wasn’t playing was either the catcher or the umpire … Let’s not go there!

Needless to say, I didn’t do so well.

It was fun and a way to pass the summer time.

Speaking of the Orioles, the long-time former manager and bombastic one, Earl “The Earl of Baltimore” Weaver, also passed away.
In all honesty, I thought he was already dead! Shows you what I know!

Those were some of the greatest Orioles’ teams that regularly contended for the World Series, back when they did it the “right” way: build through the farm system so that when someone did leave because he wanted what was thought to be too much money (in those days), they had a replacement.

They and the Reds were the first teams that I can really remember seeing (of course, I couldn’t root for the Dodgers since I hated them!), which is why to this day I am a fan of those teams — no matter how rotten they have been at times.
Weaver wore his emotions on his sleeves — was that such a bad thing?

As Jim Palmer was quoted the other day, no one but his wife could have called him a teddy bear.
Rest in peace.

I have a friend who is a big Notre Dame fan and he is of the opinion that I am going to write a hit piece on them regarding the Manti Te’o situation.
I assured him I would not because I was never going to. Because he mentioned it, I almost decided to but changed my mind!
What this girlfriend hoax is really all about is crazy but it happens.
He was embarrassed that he was so easily fooled but who among us hasn’t perhaps fallen for a ruse from time to time and then felt awkward admitting it?

Perhaps the story did get him more Heisman votes but until they poll the voters, no one will really know. Besides, since it’s so skewered toward the quarterbacks to begin with — think about how the rules have changed so much that if your QB ISN’T putting up big numbers, what’s wrong with you? — that you almost need shenanigans to get a defensive player to even be considered. Should Notre Dame have come clean about this earlier? Yes, but I am not going to act as if they committed an act of pure evil.

What gets me about the story is how the media beat itself up about the fact that no one looked into this to make sure it was true, that they were so enamored of the story that they fell for it hook, line and sinker.

Then they blamed the fact that no one had the “time” to really do the background check because of the quick-hitting nature of our culture, how everyone wants to get the story NOW and “hope” it’s accurate. That’s what happens when you forget your objectivity and let your emotions, views or whatever get the best of you. It’s a lesson that needs to be learned.

As I wrote last week about Lance Armstrong, his confession to Oprah Winfrey was as advertised.

I join millions of my followers — OK, 25! — in still asking the question: why now? You “lied” for all these years, you somehow beat every test — which should be damning evidence of how the tests are flawed — and spent all this money fighting the system and now you’re coming clean?
Perhaps it is good, old-fashioned repentance — he finally came to the conclusion that what he was doing was wrong — which seems to be in the mix by what he spoke about in the interview, that at the time he was cheating, he didn’t feel it WAS cheating.

I do believe he is also looking out for the best interest of his LiveStrong! Foundation and that this might be the best thing to do to keep that organization viable. It’s work that is truly needed but it doesn’t justify a “lying” life.

However, with the cynicism and skepticism I have grown to have in my life, much needed now after the above Te’o scenario, methinks it isn’t that clear-cut, that there is something behind the scenes we don’t know about.

He claims he had no help in beating the tests but if this is true, this man is a scientific genius.

The sport’s governing bodies want him to come fully clean and I wonder if this isn’t the first salvo in a “give me this and I’ll give you that” scenario: I’ll name names if you … We know he wants to compete in competitions; that’s just who Lance Armstrong is.
When this chapter is history, I actually hope for the former resolution but figure the latter is closer to the truth. Or maybe both in some fashion.

 

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