May 13, 2014

No, #Cardinals fans, Ozzie Smith is NOT Carlos Gomez

Nor is he to a lot of people, except in the febrile mind of Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports' website.

Calcaterra, who seems to have a history of writing trollish blog posts at times (and I'm far from the first to state that), wanted to give a smackdown to a lot of people complaining about the Brewers' Carlos Gomez standing at the plate recently and admiring his in the park home run triple.

So, he gathered together a bunch of old pictures of "exuberant" ballplayers and said "voila." Actually, his header said:  ' “Respect the Game?” Phooey.' No context was provided of the actions of other players pictured.

Among those pictures? Ozzie Smith's famous start of season backflip. So, I tweeted him and said bullshit.

He, in turn, said, what's the diff?

I said, that, above all, Ozzie wasn't doing it during a game. That's not to mention he only did it on opening day, or home opening day, and again at the start of playoffs. That was it. And, besides, he had a reputation that was not that of Carlos Gomez. (Or Craig Calcaterra.)

Meanwhile, back to Calcaterra's trolling. And, no, I'm not the first person to accuse him of that.

He responded to my second tweet and said:
But you realize, you're just making up rules as you go along, right? There's no standard. Some stuff is good, some bad.
First, you're making up objections to standards you don't like, methinks. Second, there always have been standards. True, not all of them are formal, but there is, jokes aside, an unwritten rulebook of sorts.Third, per my first response to you, you know there's a difference between the Wiz and Goober Gomez, which gets back to the first point.

Fourth, if "some stuff is good, some bad," how do you know what's good and what's bad? If you're not pulling it out of your own backside, you're using a standard!

As I tweeted back, if there are no rules, fine, let's go back there.

That said, back to the Ozzie Smith issue. And other players, like Casey Stengel (bird under his hat in a game, I presume his pic is about), arguably weren't the same:
So color me unimpressed with the latest calls for Carlos Gomez or Yasiel Puig or whoever the talk show warriors’ next punching bag happens to be to respect the game. The game has been disrespected by way better and way more disrespectful than the likes of those guys and will be disrespected by many more in the future.
That said, Ozzie Smith unarguably wasn't the same. Period.

Further proof? Ozzie never had a pitcher woof at him over that. It was just like Anheuser-Busch rolling out the Clydesdales and Craig Troll Calcaterra knows that.

If he really, really believes that's the same, what Ozzie did, or even what Casey did, he's a fucking idiot. If he doesn't, this is the best proof ever Calcaterra's a troll blogger. (I'm not the first to make that accusation by any means.) And sadly, gets paid by NBC.

He also blames only Brian McCann for Gomez's run-in with the Braves last year. 

That said, I'm not justifying the actions of Pirate hurler Gerritt Cole. Instead of f-bombing Gomez at third, he should have plunked either the next Brewer batter or Gomez the next time he came up. 

That's exactly what the unwritten rulebook says, and back in the day, Bob Gibson or Juan Marichal would have planted a pitch in the earhole of Gomez's batting helmet.

Indeed, among his "respect the game" pix, he has the one of Marichal going upside John Roseboro's head with a bat. Lest we forget, that's because Roseboro had reportedly buzzed his head with at least one throw back to the mound.

(Update, May 13: Sadly, Jonah Keri's joined the Calcaterra brigade, even saying he wants pictures of bat flips. I promised to instead send pictures of beanings, and went ahead and sent a link to the Marichal-Roseboro pic.) 

But, I'm sure Craig wouldn't like that, disregarding formal rules against beaning. So, Craig, that's another way in which you do believe there's standards of some sort.

Better yet, to test for standards? And respecting the game? Let's put you in a batting cage, but instead of a pitching machine, you can face Hoot Gibson.  Make contact just once, Craig Troll, then flip your bat.

Calcaterra now claims he was trying to make the point this was relatively minor. I didn't say it wasn't. In terms of respecting the game, I said Ozzie didn't disrespect it at all. Stengel didn't do so in a way that "faced" opponents. And, neither one affected actual play in a game.

Further tweets with Calcaterra indicate that he thinks it's all the same thing, when I think it's pretty clearly not.

I've blogged before that I don't believe in a "Cardinal Way," but that doesn't mean that I don't believe there's certain standards within games. That's even more the case in other sports. Gomez might get a 15-yard flag for unsportsmanlike conduct in the NFL.

And, maybe we need an ump or two to start tossing players before fights. Or have the baseball equivalent of soccer's yellow cards.

As for the other pix? I'm not sure what incident or incidents of Babe Ruth Craig means. Eating too many hot dogs is a far cry different from drinking issues or allegedly snorting coke. On Pete Rose, ditto. An underwear ad is far different from betting on one's own team. If it's the former on both of them, nothing was done during play in a game, nor to "face" another team.

So, Craig, if you're trying to make the point that these folks are all like Gomez, you're wrong!

Well, Craig, I'll put a "no follow" on your post, so you won't get any click love from people reading here, whether you troll in part for that or other reasons. But, feel free to Tweet him.

And, the whole issue of links, clicks and web traffic is why I wish somebody would invent some mouse software that would automatically give us a Javascript pop-up window to read the first paragraph or two of text in a piece without actually clicking a link. 


When I grow up, I want to be a pro sportswriter, having millions of people overestimating my importance to society. 

No comments: