It Would Be Nice For Baseball To Have A Backbone On This Suspension

By Gregory Moore
Updated: July 26, 2005

Kenny RogersPhil Ivey Ricky Williams SAN ANTONIOTick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. The second hand continues to sweep on the timepiece called a baseball suspension. It has a heartbeat and it seems to be getting stronger and stronger as a decision on whether Kenny Rogers’ 20-game suspension is going to be upheld or reduced. From the sound of the heartbeat, it seems that Commissioner Bud Selig is resigned to reduce Rogers’ suspension by a few games. That’s too bad for baseball fans. It would nice if Selig just grew a titanium backbone against the baseball union on this one. I know, I know. I can’t expect Selig or Donald Fehr to understand that in the real world, assault charges don’t get rewarded. And that’s the problem with this sport and all the others that we watch; they do not live in the real world. I think the only sport that does a so-so job when it comes to making sure that athletes understand their real life consequences is the NFL and the biggest example of that is Onterrio Smith’s dismissal from the Minnesota Vikings this season. But I’m not asking Commissioner Selig to be Paul Tagliabue. I’m asking Commissioner Selig to go against the grain to and give Rogers a life lesson on bad conduct. In other words I’m asking for a miracle on 34th Street and Mockingbird Lane.

I guess I will never understand how a grown man like Rogers can continue to justify being a bad ass when the cameras are rolling. Maybe I’m having a Maalox moment here and I’m just wishing that a camera man bone up and tell this overgrown bully to sit his spoiled ass down somewhere cause he isn’t running anything in the Texas Rangers organization but his mouth. For once I guess I’m wishing a Dallas journalist grow a pair and when Rogers says, “You proud of yourself?”, I’m hoping somebody in the Metroplex says, “Yeah, you got a problem with it? Take it up with my union president.” Why am I looking for somebody to be son confrontational with Rogers? Because he has continuously disrespected the very people who allow him to whine, cry and sniffle about how sorry he is for one mistake in his life but then he rails and taunts these same professionals when he’s getting fingerprinted for an assault charge. But does Selig see this Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde demeanor? Of course not. He’s too busy trying to not ruffle the union’s feathers.

Well Commissioner Selig here’s a suggestion: ruffle the feathers for once. You want to grow the game of baseball and bring back the casual fan into this sport? Show that you can be tough minded and that the union doesn’t run the day-to-day operations of conduct enforcement but the Commissioner’s office does. You want journalists to respect you more and stop calling you a union whipping boy, then let Rogers and his union lawyers know that if you disrespect another human being, you will be dealt with in real world tactics. Let’s cut to the chase Commissioner Selig. Kenny Rogers deserves a ten-start suspension and if he and the union don’t like it, then invoke the morality clause in his contract so that when he is found guilty, you give the Texas Rangers a way to cut him off the roster outright. In other words Mr. Selig, give him the choice of either serving his weak twenty game suspension with no fuss or he can take his chances in the real court of law in Arlington, Texas. That’s how you stop a bully Mr. Selig and that’s how you bring respect and honor back to America’s Pastime.


Okay maybe I’m a little naïve this week but can somebody tell me when did poker surpass cycling and extreme sports as the preeminent event to watch on television this year? More important, who the heck is Phil Ivey and why is he being touted as the “Tiger Woods of Poker”? Maybe I’ve missed my Sports Media 101 class this week and just wasn’t paying attention but the last time I checked, poker is a card game not a sporting event. Maybe the closest thing to this being a sport is the fact that you could get addicted to watching a bunch of over the top people with lackluster personalities try to make this seem as exciting as a badminton tournament (no disrespect to the birdie and badminton rackets).

It that isn’t the kicker in my story’s community hand, how about the fact that some people are trying to say that Phil Ivey, a 27-year-old African American from Jersey, is the Tiger Woods in his sport. Excuse me? Okay let’s back up the public relations bus for a moment on this one. No disrespect to Mr. Ivey but he’s a poker player and I don’t think any parents, especially of African American descent, wants little Ravon growing up to be like Phil. The odds of making a good living playing a bad game of chance like Texas Hold ‘em poker isn’t something I can see these parents doing. But yet here is this PR machine trying to ram Phil and Poker down our throats. I guess what got me is the fact that this very website actually put Phil in the “Black Box” a few weeks ago. To the Black Box I say, “bad box, bad box. We don’t put poker players on the front page”.

Look I’m not knocking Ivey’s professional choice. If he wants to be known as the most recognized poker player in Black America that is his business. But I don’t need the public relations machinery trying to force him down my throat either. And this classification that he’s the ‘Tiger Woods of his sport’ has got to go. The only thing that Woods and Ivey have in common is the fact that they both have been to Vegas. That’s it. Woods is endorsed by Nike and actually plays a bona fide sports. What sport is Ivey playing? Nothing because we all know that poker is not a sport. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

FINALLY A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE HOMELESS GUY THAT SHOWED UP Well it’s official for Miami Dolphins fans. Ricky Williams has returned from his one year sabbatical to be with his teammates. That was Williams I saw on television right? I guess Nick Saban forgot to tell him that the scraggly beard and disheveled hair do was against team rules. C’mon Ricky have a little pride in yourself will you please? Either trim the beard up or lose it all together. You are an NFL football player who makes a lot of money. Have a little pride in your appearance. If you are going to drive up in a $50,000 rig at least spend $50 and get yourself groomed up and looking good.

Dolphins’ fans wanted Williams back well now they have him. But the homeless look is a little disturbing for this writer. Is he really off of the dope? You can’t go to work looking like that. Maybe Williams will get around to cleaning himself up and go back to looking ‘professional’ in the eyes of NFL fashion police but can somebody at least get him a razor and some foam action shaving cream? Or at least a Norelco shaver so he can trim up that beard? Dan Haggarty would be so proud of Ricky right now. That Grizzly Adams look works if we were shooting a back woods television series like “Lonesome Dolphin”. In all seriousness, Williams has got to put his best foot forward to get back into the sports fan’s good graces. A clean-shaven Williams would go a lot further than this current look. But hey, I’m not his PR guru. I just play one on the Internet.