Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baseball Heal Thyself

The Detroit Tigers lost a game Sunday afternoon when the Texas Rangers' Alberto Gonzales attempted a bunt with the bases loaded in the eleventh inning. The ball hit his knee and ricocheted onto the playing field. The winning run scored from third base. The umpires missed the call which would have been called a foul ball if it had been seen.  As both an avid golfer and admitted Tigers fan, I think the incident is one that needs to be addressed from the concept of sportsmanship.  Why is Gonzales/s deception by silence considered to be a standard part of the sport of baseball?  His act is deceptive because he knew the ball hit his knee (he admitted it after the game) and, yet, went along with what he clearly knew was a ruling that was both incorrect and allowed the winning run to score.  If an equivalent situation occurred in golf (e.g. a double hit on a shot coming out of a bunker, a fairly common event for some of us) the golfer is expected to acknowledge the double hit and penalize himself/herself.  In other words, the failure to declare such an incident by a golfer is considered cheating.   A baseball athlete who just keeps his mouth shut about a situation known to be clearly wrong is cheating and creates a horrible example.  It teaches kids a terrible life lesson.  This attitude has permeated both baseball  and American culture and allows one to understand why the use of steroids was ignored for so long.  Baseball heal thyself.  Just saying . . .

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