Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lost In Translation

This picture has nothing to do with anything, it's just too great to leave unposted.

A-Rod cannot be held accountable for being rude, he just didn't understand how important common courtesy is in Canada. In last night's game, A-Rod was running towards third base between Blue Jays third baseman Howie Clark and shortstop John McDonald as the two of them were tracking a pop up with two outs in the 9th. As A-Rod ran between them, he yelled something. The Jays claim he yelled "Mine!" and thus Clark thought McDonald was taking it so he backed off and the ball dropped. A-Rod says he yelled "Ha!" No matter what he said, it worked and the Jays are furious. I've got a couple points to make on this one (the final one being the explanation for the whole matter).

1. Even if A-Rod had stood behind Clark and screamed "Howie, I plan on catching the ball that is coming directly at you so you should run out of the way that ball is MINE MINE MINE and I'm going to catch it before you do so please move and let me catch it!!!!" the ONLY person at fault for dropping the ball is Howie Clark. If you fall for the Ol' "I got it" trick, maybe baseball just isn't your game.

2. 90% of baseball is about deceiving your opponent about what is going on. Do teams get pissed when the second baseman fakes like the ball has gone into the outfield on a stolen base throw from the catcher only to have the basestealer fall for it and get tagged out? What about the pitch out? Is Gibbons gonna complain when a team pitches out and catches his guy at second base? "HEY! THE CATCHER PUT DOWN ONE FINGER AND THEN WAGGLED IT INSIDE! THAT'S THE SIGN FOR AN INSIDE FASTBALL YET THEY PITCHED OUT AND CAUGHT MY BASESTEALER! BULLSHIT!" Get a grip. Your third baseman's a moron. Deal with it.

3. On the other side, A-Rod's post-game comment made him sound much more culpable than he really was. He just doesn't get it. A-Rod admits to yelling "Ha!" while running between the two players. When asked what his intent was while yelling he says, "I don't know what my intention was," Rodriguez said. "I didn't say, 'I got it' or anything like that." Really? You don't know what your intention was when you yelled at someone as they were trying to catch a two out pop up? I mean, it's ok if your intention was to distract him. You can do that. It's within the rules. Here's some advice for you A-rod: When you make comments like that, you sound like you're hiding something. You're like an innocent person accused of running a red light and then lying about whether your seatbelt was buckled. It's ok if your seatbelt wasn't buckled, it's not good but it has no effect on the outcome of the red light offense. But when you LIE ABOUT IT, your whole story seems less credible.

4. A-Rod is a complete moron. In explaining that his actions on the field happen all the time, A-Rod said, "That play happens to me three or four times a week, except it's not at third base, it's over in foul territory by the dugout..." Ummm, that's not the same at all. In fact, it's not really close to the same. When you run towards the dugout and the players in there are yelling at you, you don't mistake them for your teammates and aren't concerned that they are going to grab the ball from you. When you run between two players from the same team and make a comment that could be mistaken as one player calling the other off, the level of distraction is a wee bit more effective. But again, if you're dumb enough to fall for that, well, you're just too dumb.

Lastly, the real problem is the culture difference between America and Canada. Canada is a much more polite society than ours. In Canada, it is impolite to walk faster than a 4mph clip and talk at a volume over a loud whisper (in 1999 I was told it was impolite to throw my "Two-nies" ($2 canadian coins) on the stage of the Wonderland Club in Corwall, Ontario. Who knew it was impolite to tip strippers?). If someone casts a shadow on you in the streets of Ottawa they will immediately turn around and say "Sore-EEE boot that" (that's how they say it up there). They will then take you to the Beer Store, buy you a "2-4" of Labatt and give you a back rub. You could punch a stranger in the balls in Toronto and they'd apologize to you for it. Politeness is really their most sacred held belief. A-Rod violated this tenet of their society and nothing ruffles the feathers of Canadians more than impolite conduct. A-Rod lives in New York, so he can't really be held accountable for not understanding their culture's devotion to courtesy. It was just a cross-cultural misunderstanding. Unfortunately, the Jays didn't see it that way and they dished out Canada's most severe punishment: They stared at him. It may not seem like much, but that is how Canada punishes their sex offenders and car thieves. Next time A-Rod passes third, he should punch Clark in the balls.

No comments: