Friday, July 31, 2015

Baseball pics from Brooklyn

Walked around the Brooklyn Cyclones ballpark at Coney Island over the weekend. The Jackie Robinson/Pee Wee Reese statue was worth the walk.

Back then, Cincinnati cops weren't killing black guys, but Cincinnati fans were disgustingly racist. The statue honors the moment at Crosley Field when Reds fans were taunting and jeering Robinson and Reese came over and put his arm around him to shut them up.

Things are somewhat better now than then, but racist remarks at GABp are a regular occurrence, and now Cincinnati cops are killing black guys for not having drivers licenses. (Of course, Cincinnati isn't alone in this trend.) Sadly, this statue in Brooklyn was vandalized with racist slurs and swastikas a few years ago.

That there are Americans who justify cops giving people the death penalty without trial is evidence that America is in decline. While many of these same people point to marriage equality as "moral decline," the truth is the real moral decline is that murder of actual human beings has been legalized and glorified in our country and racism has made a strong comeback.

Enough is enough, America.

"This monument honors Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese: Teammates, friends, and men of courage and conviction. Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Reese supported him, and together they made history.

In May 1947, on Cincinnati's Crosley Field, Robinson endured racist taunts, jeers, and death threats that would have broken the spirit of a lesser man.

Reese, captain of the Brooklyn Dodgers, walked over to his teammate Robinson and stood by his side, silencing the taunts of the crowd. This simple gesture challenged prejudice and created a powerful and enduring friendship.

Born 1919 Cairo, Georgia - Died 1972 Stamford, Connecticut. Jack Roosevelt Robinson. On April 15, 1947 Robinson first took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. In the face of hostility, he remained steadfast, winning his way into the Hall of Fame and the hearts of baseball fans. Robinson was a champion of the game of baseball, of justice, and of civil rights."

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Here's Johnny

What a wonderful performance by Johnny Cueto last night.

I'll never forget his debut game, a miserable rainy April game in Cincinnati during which we signed up for credit cards just to get a free blanket, back when the credit card companies were allowed to exploit you at ballgames.

We saw the zeroes on the scoreboard and everyone was looking around at each other, unwilling to say aloud what was happening. That's back when you didn't mention no hitters by tradition. But it was five innings of zeroes and we thought we were witnessing something special. We were. We were witnessing the debut of a homegrown guy whom we would see become one of the best pitchers in baseball. This, in Cincinnati, who once had Tom Seaver and Mario Soto and few other pitchers of the caliber of Good in its very long history. This, where we watched Paul Wilson and Eric Milton and Pitchers Whose Names We've Forgotten because they were so mediocre or worse.

Cueto had ten strikeouts in his debut, if I remember correctly. It was a masterful performance just like last night was masterful, but the first game was so full of hope, whereas last night's game, most likely the last I'll see of Cueto in a Reds uniform, was bittersweet. For me, it was a cap on a magnificent career, one where I saw him pitch in low A and saw his debut and saw him lead our team to two division titles after The Losing Years. We were lucky to get to watch him pitch.

I feel like I'm going to a funeral.

Baseball is the best game but goddamn it, it breaks your heart in the worst ways.