Seriously.

Seriously.

(Source: twitter.com)

Sports on Earth’s Tomas Rios, “A Narrative That Doesn’t Feel Good”:

Why would she marry him?
It’s the natural question that arises after watching the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging the unconscious body of Jenay Rice from the elevator where he knocked her out. Then his fiancée — the video was taken in mid-February before their wedding later that month — on Friday she stood by him as his wife for a stomach-flipping press conference. The disgust starts with the monstrous obliviousness of Ray Rice’s stating, “Failure is not getting knocked down, but not getting up,” and ends with Jenay Rice sharing the blame for his unconscionable crime. That so many wonder how this situation could end with Rice easily avoiding jail time and marrying the woman he battered betrays the willful ignorance of a society that enables him.
Violence is how abusers keep their victims from escaping. Wondering why Jenay Rice would stay requires a focused ignorance of a world in which roughly one third of murders against women are committed by an intimate partner. In this world, the threat of death, expressed or implied, can keep anyone captive.
Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL have seemingly normalized domestic violence as a learning experience for the abuser. Apparently, the crime isn’t the crime itself, but failing to offer a mawkish homily on how the crime made you a better person. The future of domestic violence in sports is here now.
For contrast, take the case of Gurbaksh Chahal. The founder and former CEO of RadiumOne, a tech advertising company, was recently fired by his board of directors after being charged with 47 — yes, 47 — counts of domestic violence. Chahal plea bargained down to misdemeanor charges after a video of him hitting his then-girlfriend 117 times over a half-hour period was ruled inadmissible. Prosecutors, however, blamed the victim’s “lack of cooperation” for the plea bargain that will leave Chahal with a clean record after three years probation.

Sports on Earth’s Tomas Rios, “A Narrative That Doesn’t Feel Good”:

Why would she marry him?

It’s the natural question that arises after watching the video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice dragging the unconscious body of Jenay Rice from the elevator where he knocked her out. Then his fiancée — the video was taken in mid-February before their wedding later that month — on Friday she stood by him as his wife for a stomach-flipping press conference. The disgust starts with the monstrous obliviousness of Ray Rice’s stating, “Failure is not getting knocked down, but not getting up,” and ends with Jenay Rice sharing the blame for his unconscionable crime. That so many wonder how this situation could end with Rice easily avoiding jail time and marrying the woman he battered betrays the willful ignorance of a society that enables him.

Violence is how abusers keep their victims from escaping. Wondering why Jenay Rice would stay requires a focused ignorance of a world in which roughly one third of murders against women are committed by an intimate partner. In this world, the threat of death, expressed or implied, can keep anyone captive.

Ray Rice, the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL have seemingly normalized domestic violence as a learning experience for the abuser. Apparently, the crime isn’t the crime itself, but failing to offer a mawkish homily on how the crime made you a better person. The future of domestic violence in sports is here now.

For contrast, take the case of Gurbaksh Chahal. The founder and former CEO of RadiumOne, a tech advertising company, was recently fired by his board of directors after being charged with 47 — yes, 47 — counts of domestic violence. Chahal plea bargained down to misdemeanor charges after a video of him hitting his then-girlfriend 117 times over a half-hour period was ruled inadmissible. Prosecutors, however, blamed the victim’s “lack of cooperation” for the plea bargain that will leave Chahal with a clean record after three years probation.

 Hoosiers, man.

Hoosiers, man.

Dr. Frank Jobe is rightly being remembered today for his pioneering Tommy John surgery, but Joe Posnanski has a terrific story that demonstrates his remarkable compassion:

Gary Nolan was a brilliant young pitcher. Few remember him that way, but Nolan was a phenom in the same class as Bob Feller or Dwight Gooden. He was 18 years old when he made his first start in the big leagues — he and Feller are the only two pitchers in baseball history to strike out 10 or more big league batters in a game before they turned 19 years old. Nolan as an 18/19 year old had a lower ERA, better WHIP, more strikeouts and fewer walks than the National League Rookie of the Year — a pretty fair pitcher named Tom Seaver.
“Don’t be scared,” Feller had told the kid that first year. “Make them scared of you.”
Not long after that, Nolan’s arm began to hurt. It was this sharp pain that made him wince with every throw. He couldn’t stay out there. He made just 22 starts his second year, 15 his third. But what hurt even more was this: Nobody believed him. Doctors had looked at his arm in the primitive way that doctors looked at arms in those days, and they found nothing wrong. Of course doctors didn’t KNOW that they were looking at arms in primitive ways, so they felt sure that there was nothing wrong … except in Gary Nolan’s head.
“Pitchers have to throw with pain,” his Reds manager Sparky Anderson told him. “Bob Gibson says every pitch he’s ever thrown cut him like a knife. You gotta pitch with pain, kid.”
This cut harder than the jolting pain in his arm. The Reds — this included doctors, management but, more painfully, his teammates — thought he simply wasn’t tough enough. Rub a little dirt on it. Grit your teeth and bear it. Pitch through the pain. He tried because that’s what was expected. He pitched 250 agonizing innings in 1970, 244 more in 1971. He grew so used to the sharp pain, that he simply came to think of it as normal. In 1972 he was having a poor-man’s version of the legendary season Steve Carlton was having in Philadelphia.
At the end of July:
Nolan: 14-6, 1.71 ERA, 152 innings, 78 strikeouts, 28 walks, .228 batting average against.
Carlton: 15-6, 2.37 ERA, 205 innings, 208 strikeouts, 54 walks, .206 batting average against.
And then the pain climbed to a higher plane. It was too much. He couldn’t handle it. The reporters asked him how much it hurt. “Enough to make you cry,” he said. Teammates rolled their eyes. Letters to the editor in the Cincinnati papers questioned his manhood.
“When’s Nolan going to pitch again?” reporters asked Sparky Anderson.
“Hell, I don’t know. Ask him,” Sparky barked angrily.
It was at this time that the Reds did one of the most bizarre things a baseball team has ever done. Reds executive Dick Wagner called Nolan and said they had figured out a way to fix his arm. They were sending Nolan to … a dentist. Yeah. A dentist. Some crackpot dentist had reached the Reds with the message that Nolan’s arm problems were clearly the result of an abscessed tooth. Nolan actually went to the dentist. The dentist actually pulled a tooth. This really happened, not in the Dark Ages but in 1972. It’s probably lucky that the Dentist didn’t pull out leeches. The pain, strangely, did not go away. Nolan pitched two games in 1973 and he did not pitch at all in 1974. His career seemed over. And he felt dead.
Then, in desperation, Nolan went to see Frank Jobe, orthopedic doctor for the Reds’ biggest rivals, the Dodgers. The Reds, of course, were opposed to this … but Nolan had reached the desperate point where he would try anything. He, like every other pitcher in baseball, had heard Jobe was different from other doctors. The first thing Nolan noticed was that Jobe took an X-Ray of Nolan’s shoulder from a different angle. This was new. And because of that, Jobe found what every other doctor had missed — a one-inch bone spur floating around in Nolan’s shoulder and slicing him every single time he threw a baseball.
Finding the bone spur and getting rid of it, of course, are two different things … but Jobe thought removing it was considerably less complicated than replacing Tommy John’s torn elbow ligament. The Reds, of course, were opposed to the surgery. They thought he could pitch through the pain. It really is staggering how disposable baseball players were to teams in those days. Jobe performed the surgery. And Nolan — though he could never be as brilliant as he was at 19 — no longer felt the pain and he came back to the Big Red Machine and won 15 games in 1975, another 15 in 1976 for two of the greatest teams in baseball history.
But the extraordinary thing is how Gary Nolan looks back not at the career-saving surgery itself but at something entirely different. He looks back and sees the kindness of Frank Jobe. For six or seven years, Nolan had been treated as something less than a man. He’d had his pain mocked and his toughness doubted. He’d been told again and again and again that the agony was all in his head, that it was his duty to pitch through it, and this false aura of fragility had come to define him in the eyes of American baseball fans.
Then, this soft-spoken doctor from North Carolina came back from the X-Rays and pointed at the source of all that pain — there it was, as real as a swing and miss strikeout.
“I have no idea how you pitched in that sort of pain,” Frank Jobe said to him. “You must have been in agony.”
Thirty-five years later, Gary Nolan could still recite those two sentences, word-for-word.

Dr. Frank Jobe is rightly being remembered today for his pioneering Tommy John surgery, but Joe Posnanski has a terrific story that demonstrates his remarkable compassion:

Gary Nolan was a brilliant young pitcher. Few remember him that way, but Nolan was a phenom in the same class as Bob Feller or Dwight Gooden. He was 18 years old when he made his first start in the big leagues — he and Feller are the only two pitchers in baseball history to strike out 10 or more big league batters in a game before they turned 19 years old. Nolan as an 18/19 year old had a lower ERA, better WHIP, more strikeouts and fewer walks than the National League Rookie of the Year — a pretty fair pitcher named Tom Seaver.

“Don’t be scared,” Feller had told the kid that first year. “Make them scared of you.”

Not long after that, Nolan’s arm began to hurt. It was this sharp pain that made him wince with every throw. He couldn’t stay out there. He made just 22 starts his second year, 15 his third. But what hurt even more was this: Nobody believed him. Doctors had looked at his arm in the primitive way that doctors looked at arms in those days, and they found nothing wrong. Of course doctors didn’t KNOW that they were looking at arms in primitive ways, so they felt sure that there was nothing wrong … except in Gary Nolan’s head.

“Pitchers have to throw with pain,” his Reds manager Sparky Anderson told him. “Bob Gibson says every pitch he’s ever thrown cut him like a knife. You gotta pitch with pain, kid.”

This cut harder than the jolting pain in his arm. The Reds — this included doctors, management but, more painfully, his teammates — thought he simply wasn’t tough enough. Rub a little dirt on it. Grit your teeth and bear it. Pitch through the pain. He tried because that’s what was expected. He pitched 250 agonizing innings in 1970, 244 more in 1971. He grew so used to the sharp pain, that he simply came to think of it as normal. In 1972 he was having a poor-man’s version of the legendary season Steve Carlton was having in Philadelphia.

At the end of July:

Nolan: 14-6, 1.71 ERA, 152 innings, 78 strikeouts, 28 walks, .228 batting average against.

Carlton: 15-6, 2.37 ERA, 205 innings, 208 strikeouts, 54 walks, .206 batting average against.

And then the pain climbed to a higher plane. It was too much. He couldn’t handle it. The reporters asked him how much it hurt. “Enough to make you cry,” he said. Teammates rolled their eyes. Letters to the editor in the Cincinnati papers questioned his manhood.

“When’s Nolan going to pitch again?” reporters asked Sparky Anderson.

“Hell, I don’t know. Ask him,” Sparky barked angrily.

It was at this time that the Reds did one of the most bizarre things a baseball team has ever done. Reds executive Dick Wagner called Nolan and said they had figured out a way to fix his arm. They were sending Nolan to … a dentist. Yeah. A dentist. Some crackpot dentist had reached the Reds with the message that Nolan’s arm problems were clearly the result of an abscessed tooth. Nolan actually went to the dentist. The dentist actually pulled a tooth. This really happened, not in the Dark Ages but in 1972. It’s probably lucky that the Dentist didn’t pull out leeches. The pain, strangely, did not go away. Nolan pitched two games in 1973 and he did not pitch at all in 1974. His career seemed over. And he felt dead.

Then, in desperation, Nolan went to see Frank Jobe, orthopedic doctor for the Reds’ biggest rivals, the Dodgers. The Reds, of course, were opposed to this … but Nolan had reached the desperate point where he would try anything. He, like every other pitcher in baseball, had heard Jobe was different from other doctors. The first thing Nolan noticed was that Jobe took an X-Ray of Nolan’s shoulder from a different angle. This was new. And because of that, Jobe found what every other doctor had missed — a one-inch bone spur floating around in Nolan’s shoulder and slicing him every single time he threw a baseball.

Finding the bone spur and getting rid of it, of course, are two different things … but Jobe thought removing it was considerably less complicated than replacing Tommy John’s torn elbow ligament. The Reds, of course, were opposed to the surgery. They thought he could pitch through the pain. It really is staggering how disposable baseball players were to teams in those days. Jobe performed the surgery. And Nolan — though he could never be as brilliant as he was at 19 — no longer felt the pain and he came back to the Big Red Machine and won 15 games in 1975, another 15 in 1976 for two of the greatest teams in baseball history.

But the extraordinary thing is how Gary Nolan looks back not at the career-saving surgery itself but at something entirely different. He looks back and sees the kindness of Frank Jobe. For six or seven years, Nolan had been treated as something less than a man. He’d had his pain mocked and his toughness doubted. He’d been told again and again and again that the agony was all in his head, that it was his duty to pitch through it, and this false aura of fragility had come to define him in the eyes of American baseball fans.

Then, this soft-spoken doctor from North Carolina came back from the X-Rays and pointed at the source of all that pain — there it was, as real as a swing and miss strikeout.

“I have no idea how you pitched in that sort of pain,” Frank Jobe said to him. “You must have been in agony.”

Thirty-five years later, Gary Nolan could still recite those two sentences, word-for-word.

Thank you for the many memories, Devin. You are truly ridiculous.

You are not alone, baseball fans in the other 29 cities. St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan is also tired of hearing about the “Cardinal Way”:

… When I arrived here in 1980, St. Louisans weren’t calling themselves the best fans in baseball. They seemed to consider themselves good fans, very good fans, the equal to any fans in the country. As good as fans in Detroit. As good as fans in Chicago. As good as fans in Pittsburgh. Better than fans in Philadelphia. (They boo too much.) But not the best fans.

Of course, St. Louis was a Midwestern city back then. Midwesterners are understated. Over the years, Missouri has slid down the map and taken St. Louis with it. We’re Southerners now. Southerners aren’t understated.
After disposing of the Dodgers, the Cardinals played Boston in the World Series. What an insufferable World Series that was. The Cardinal Way versus Boston Strong. Oh, how I longed for the days when baseball games weren’t so fraught with meaning.


Emphasis added.

You are not alone, baseball fans in the other 29 cities. St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan is also tired of hearing about the “Cardinal Way”:

… When I arrived here in 1980, St. Louisans weren’t calling themselves the best fans in baseball. They seemed to consider themselves good fans, very good fans, the equal to any fans in the country. As good as fans in Detroit. As good as fans in Chicago. As good as fans in Pittsburgh. Better than fans in Philadelphia. (They boo too much.) But not the best fans.

Of course, St. Louis was a Midwestern city back then. Midwesterners are understated. Over the years, Missouri has slid down the map and taken St. Louis with it. We’re Southerners now. Southerners aren’t understated.

After disposing of the Dodgers, the Cardinals played Boston in the World Series. What an insufferable World Series that was. The Cardinal Way versus Boston Strong. Oh, how I longed for the days when baseball games weren’t so fraught with meaning.

Emphasis added.

You know, “homophobic,” “Old Asshole Golfer,” either one seems pretty accurate.

You know, “homophobic,” “Old Asshole Golfer,” either one seems pretty accurate.

“Many of the forces that slurp at the college cartel gravy train are also up in arms over the temerity of Northwestern’s players. The winner of ‘most obnoxious comment’ has to go to Doug Gottlieb, the CBS Sports college hoops analyst who tweeted, “The greatest gift you can receive in the world is a free college experience/education—the need for a greater gift is sickening.” (That was Doug’s bolding of the word ‘gift’, master of subtlety that he is). It is hard to know which part of that tweet to correct first, but suffice it to say, exploitation is not a gift. Seeing your coaches make millions off of your sweat while you are an unpaid billboard for Nike is not a gift. Missing classes because you have to fly to the Great Alaska Shootout is not a gift. Driving thirty straight hours while fighting staph infections is not a gift. Hell, seeing Doug Gottlieb make a ton of money that should by all rights be in your pocket is not a gift. The only thing “sickening” is the rank contempt Mr. Gottlieb has for a group of young people daring to stand up and be heard. … Whether or not the Northwestern players succeed in their efforts to unionize—and the NCAA will spend however many billions it takes to make sure this does not happen—their efforts today will long be remembered as the opening shot that cracked the NCAA Cartel. They deserve our support. They deserve our respect. Most of all, they deserve our solidarity. In 1922, that author of The Jungle, Upton Sinclair wrote, ‘College athletics, under the spur of commercialism, has become a monstrous cancer.’ I do not know what Sinclair would make of a twenty-first-century world where coaches make 100 times the salaries of professors. I think we can say safely, however, that the actions of the Northwestern football team would have made Mr. Sinclair very proud indeed.”
Dan Wetzel writes that “Jameis Winston deserves benefit of doubt in sexual assault claim until proven otherwise”:

Perhaps the police didn’t act because they quickly deemed the allegation baseless or found the accuser/victim to be non-credible. The police report lists the accused as standing between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11. Winston is 6-foot-4. Of course, police reports are historically riddled with errors.
Also for what’s it worth, Winston’s attorney told the Tallahassee Democrat he’s provided law enforcement with two affidavits from witnesses present that night that defend Winston. Did Winston also provide a written account of the night and that was enough for the police to not seek questioning?
Perhaps the investigation stalled because the complainant didn’t want to cooperate, although the TPD told the Tallahassee Democrat she is working with the state attorney.
Or perhaps, as some are certainly prone to believe, a college town police department swept this under the rug. At this stage, however, that isn’t just baseless speculation but wild, unfair stereotyping. 
The assumption requires the belief that numerous officers and departments (including the one assigned to investigate sexual assaults) chose to risk their careers, reputations and perhaps their own freedom to protect a then-redshirt quarterback for the local football team.
That isn’t just improbable and would require a vast cover-up; it’s without even a hint of evidence suggesting as much.
What’s more believable, albeit with limited known facts, is that the police saw nothing to investigate. That may not mean the woman is lying. It may mean there just isn’t evidence. Although, again, if this were a close call, you’d think the police would have at least spoken to Winston.
…
It’s long past time for sexual assaults, particularly acquaintance rapes, to end in America. They are a terrible plague against women. They are overwhelmingly preventable. There should be zero tolerance.
That said, there also must be a fair system for the accused. Even the most ardent activist against sexual assaults understands that. Without balance within the process, the entire movement collapses.
As sure as the complainant deserved a thorough and serious investigation into what she says happened in that apartment on that December morning, Jameis Winston deserves to be publicly cleared if, indeed, police long ago privately determined he did nothing wrong.

Dan Wetzel writes that “Jameis Winston deserves benefit of doubt in sexual assault claim until proven otherwise”:

Perhaps the police didn’t act because they quickly deemed the allegation baseless or found the accuser/victim to be non-credible. The police report lists the accused as standing between 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-11. Winston is 6-foot-4. Of course, police reports are historically riddled with errors.

Also for what’s it worth, Winston’s attorney told the Tallahassee Democrat he’s provided law enforcement with two affidavits from witnesses present that night that defend Winston. Did Winston also provide a written account of the night and that was enough for the police to not seek questioning?

Perhaps the investigation stalled because the complainant didn’t want to cooperate, although the TPD told the Tallahassee Democrat she is working with the state attorney.

Or perhaps, as some are certainly prone to believe, a college town police department swept this under the rug. At this stage, however, that isn’t just baseless speculation but wild, unfair stereotyping. 

The assumption requires the belief that numerous officers and departments (including the one assigned to investigate sexual assaults) chose to risk their careers, reputations and perhaps their own freedom to protect a then-redshirt quarterback for the local football team.

That isn’t just improbable and would require a vast cover-up; it’s without even a hint of evidence suggesting as much.

What’s more believable, albeit with limited known facts, is that the police saw nothing to investigate. That may not mean the woman is lying. It may mean there just isn’t evidence. Although, again, if this were a close call, you’d think the police would have at least spoken to Winston.

It’s long past time for sexual assaults, particularly acquaintance rapes, to end in America. They are a terrible plague against women. They are overwhelmingly preventable. There should be zero tolerance.

That said, there also must be a fair system for the accused. Even the most ardent activist against sexual assaults understands that. Without balance within the process, the entire movement collapses.

As sure as the complainant deserved a thorough and serious investigation into what she says happened in that apartment on that December morning, Jameis Winston deserves to be publicly cleared if, indeed, police long ago privately determined he did nothing wrong.

Geoff Foster:

At some point during the 2013 season, baseball players stopped resembling baseball players and started looking more like roadies for the Grateful Dead. You can’t throw a rock in a ballpark these days without hitting a player who badly needs a shave.

Exasperated with a dearth of reliable facial-hair statistics, The Count decided to study the faces of 912 MLB players in order to assemble the first ever baseball-beard audit. The results were staggering: 58% of the league has some form of facial hair.

Geoff Foster:

At some point during the 2013 season, baseball players stopped resembling baseball players and started looking more like roadies for the Grateful Dead. You can’t throw a rock in a ballpark these days without hitting a player who badly needs a shave.

Exasperated with a dearth of reliable facial-hair statistics, The Count decided to study the faces of 912 MLB players in order to assemble the first ever baseball-beard audit. The results were staggering: 58% of the league has some form of facial hair.

Ugh:

We wouldn’t accept it if these guys showed up at a party in blackface. We wouldn’t cite “tradition” or “enthusiasm” and act as if it wasn’t racist for them to do so. If they wore blackface at a ballpark I am pretty confident that security would have them removed, for their safety among other reasons.

As a Braves fan and a Blackhawks fan, I’m done with trying to differentiate supposedly acceptable uses of Native American logos and mascots from the plainly offensive ones. Jesse Spector’s right: Change them all.

Ugh:

We wouldn’t accept it if these guys showed up at a party in blackface. We wouldn’t cite “tradition” or “enthusiasm” and act as if it wasn’t racist for them to do so. If they wore blackface at a ballpark I am pretty confident that security would have them removed, for their safety among other reasons.

As a Braves fan and a Blackhawks fan, I’m done with trying to differentiate supposedly acceptable uses of Native American logos and mascots from the plainly offensive ones. Jesse Spector’s right: Change them all.


Nearly six months later, kind of amazing to think that one win could be the difference between one of these teams making and the other one missing the postseason.

Nearly six months later, kind of amazing to think that one win could be the difference between one of these teams making and the other one missing the postseason.

sportsnetny:

Puts today’s $765M concussion settlement in perspective.

Yep, precisely why my first reaction when they announced the settlement on the radio today was, “That’s it?”Roger Goodell has to be pretty satisfied getting this particular set of lawsuits settled before a new season begins, giving him more time to determine how the league will muscle some sort of liability waiver in to the next CBA.

sportsnetny:

Puts today’s $765M concussion settlement in perspective.

Yep, precisely why my first reaction when they announced the settlement on the radio today was, “That’s it?”

Roger Goodell has to be pretty satisfied getting this particular set of lawsuits settled before a new season begins, giving him more time to determine how the league will muscle some sort of liability waiver in to the next CBA.

Well, at least Brad Stevens is smiling. I think.

Well, at least Brad Stevens is smiling. I think.