Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rick Reilly.....STFU

So, the homerun derby,...... here is a compition that over the years is met mostly with yawns and with Chris Berman at the helm doing the announcing with his constant and reptitive back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back, it is met with a lot of annoyance. Over the years I have realized that Berman is not a fan of the game, nor a fan of the fans of the game.

Then along came Josh Hamilton.......Josh Hamilton was pretty awesome especially considering what he was, where he went and how he came back. More on Hamilon later, but what the hell was Rick Reilly on? First, he starts off talking about how there were only white players in the derby. Now, I am not sure how the whole HR derby invitation piece works, but I am quite confident that anyone is part of the All-Star team could request and be part of the HR derby.

Then we have the derby, which the announcers went on and on and on about hitting a HR out of the stadium, like somehow Yankee stadium would not be complete until a former heroin addict, turned Jesus Christ superstar hits one out of the stadium. It was annoying and took away from Hamilton's accomplishment as it is a great story.

I love baseball, I love almost everything about it. I should have been a baseball player, I envision myself like a Jeff Kent type of player even though I would probably be more like Tom Lawless. I understand what it takes to make it, it take a lot of talent, a lot of luck, a lot of dedication, a lot of people helping out, a lot of work. Not unlike a lot of other professions where people have made it big but in some ways very much different. Regardless, Josh Hamilton made it, he had the talent, he had the luck, he had the dedication, he had the family and coaches helping out. He was the number one can't miss draft pick in 1999 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, he got injured and got severely hooked on hardcore drugs and basically was attempting to kill himself. He then comes back and comes back and is a potential MVP candidate. He doesn't trust himself and has a friend or bodyguard go with him everywhere, not to protect him from fans but to keep him from doing drugs or doing something that could potentially lead him to do drugs.

I don't know the dark places he went but I can assume it was pretty dark and drastic. I don't know what its like to be on drugs but I watch Intervention on A&E when my wife tricks me into it and those people are pretty horrific and most go back to drugs. I know that what Josh Hamilton did in the HR derby was personally significant to him, anyone who watched and who knows anything about baseball would know this, what he was doing, what he was hearing from the crowd was significant to him not just as a baseball player but as a person. That mattered.

However, Rick Reilly took away from it, his comments on "How come all the players are white". "The old guy wakes up stiff in the morning" and his "Bad night to be an atheist" were horrible. Then the constant discussion and repackaging of Hamilton into this "New and improved" version was eye-rollingly bad. Rick didn't matter that night, the sad thing is that you didn't realize it.

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