Tag Archive | "Voices"

On The Eve Of “42″ Home Release, Racism Is Alive And Well

Editor’s note: What follows is commentary on world events and popular culture.  The content is not the typical baseball-related material we tend to promote at this website but I felt the thoughts, in relation to the release of a movie that centers around the subject, were worthy of sharing in this space.  Due to the sensitive nature of this post, we will not be allowing comments to be posted to it.  Feel free to reach out via Twitter of Facebook if you wish to respectfully discuss the issues contained within.

42-FP-0292

Photo courtesy of, and trademarked by, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Warner Bros. will release the movie “42″ on home video in various aspects on Tuesday, July 16.  The movie, which follows Jackie Robinson throughout the early part of his ground-breaking career, is an excellent adaptation of the integration of baseball and racism in America during the same time frame.

Recent events seem to suggest that the world has not changed as much as one would hope.

George Zimmerman Found Not-Guilty
In one of the most public cases directly associated with racial profiling, George Zimmerman was found by a jury to have acted within his rights of self defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin.  The story and the facts seem to suggest that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, found Martin’s actions threatening and reacted in a manner that he believed was required.  However, Martin was unarmed and many believe was only guilty of being black, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Since the announcement of the verdict, many citizens have taken to protests in their own cities, expressing concern that justice was not served in the case.  The whole situation reminds many of the trials centered around the beating of Rodney King in the early 1990′s.  The nation has reacted peacefully in this instance, but they are still striving to have their voices heard.

There are many varying opinions as to why the jury reached their verdict.  Some believe the prosecution did not do their job while others feel the legal system is flawed to the point that it was the only logical decision.  How the decision ultimately effects the country and the culture we live it has yet to be seen.

Big Brother
The CBS television reality show “Big Brother” has put together a cast of contestants that have led to severely low ratings this season.  The show takes a number of contestants and sequesters them in a house for a period of time, having them live and compete with one another in challenges that ultimately leads to a $500,000 prize.  The current cast has, however, seemingly created a focus group of life in America right now.  A few of the cast members have shown traits of bullying and extreme threatening behavior while one of the cast members in particular, Aaryn Gries, has been a source of racist comments, observations, and outbursts throughout the first eight episodes of the current season of the show.

The show reached a boiling point on that issue this week, as seen on the recent episode which aired on Sunday.  Candice, an African-American contestant who has been on the receiving end of multiple comments and outbursts, was physically removed from a room during a verbal altercation by another African-American contestant, Howard.  Speaking of the conversations that happened and his reaction, Howard had the following to say:

“It’s heartbreaking seeing any woman cry. When we share the same ethnic group, it takes on a different hurt for me because that’s my mom crying, that’s my sister crying, and all she wants to do is to stand up for what’s right. Unfortunately, we are not playing a game where you can do that.”

“It’s just reminding me of where I am from, it’s reminding me of what I heard, it’s reminding me of all the stuff we know goes on…we ain’t running from nothing, we just being smarter. It’s a game and we gonna play the game.”

That seems to bring forth the biggest concern about the entire situation, a suggestion that they are in a situation where they cannot stand up for themselves.  A situation where allowing others to continue to treat them poorly based solely on their race seems to be the only choice they have.

It should be noted that Aaryn apologized to Candice during the episode.  However, the apology seemingly came across with a tone of misinterpretation than it did as a sincere apology for racist remarks.  Aaryn has had her employment with a modeling agency in Texas terminated due to the situations brought about on the show, a termination that she is unaware of due to her involvement on the show and being sequestered from the “outside world”.

Jackie Robinson faced many of the same situations and was challenged to “turn the other cheek” in order to further a cause for an entire race of individuals.  It was a time when America had not fully come to terms with the integration of society, let alone baseball.  Jackie kept his mouth shut, his anger in check, and his emotions private in order to pave the way for many more people sharing his race to not have to do the same thing.  Jackie’s courage, along with the support of his wife Rachel, is well depicted in the film and I strongly recommend it.

In many ways, Jackie Robinson succeeded.

Some people seem to still be fighting the same fight despite his victories.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
You can follow him on Twitter by 
clicking here.

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UCB Roundtable: The Designated Hitter and Perpetual Interleague Play

February brings Spring Training, baseball games, and baseball discussions back into the forefront of our minds.  Meanwhile, every February the United Cardinal Bloggers host their first roundtable discussions of the year.

The premise is simple, one writer asks a question and the other writers from around the UCB get a chance to answer with their thoughts about the St. Louis Cardinals.  This continues from day to day for three weeks and concludes with a question from the man himself, Daniel Shoptaw.  You can follow along over at the official UCB site by clicking here.

This year, i70baseball was tapped on the shoulder to open the discussions up.  The question I posed to the group centered around the changes in baseball this year:

This year, Major League Baseball will engage in perpetual interleague play.  For the first time, interleague games will be played throughout the season, taking away the ability to adjust rosters based off of new requirements.  No longer can the Cardinals send a pitcher out for the week to pick up an extra bat.

With players like Carlos Beltran and Rafael Furcal, the DH has been used often in the past as a way to get a veteran an extra “day off” without losing his production in the lineup.  Some players are uncomfortable with the routine of a DH, sitting and effectively pinch hitting three of four times a game, and would prefer to be more involved.

So the question is this:

Will perpetual interleague play help or harm the Cardinals this season?  Why do you feel the way you do?

The answers are displayed in the slide show below, with the author’s site logo being displayed with their answer.  Please take the time to look through all of the answers and visit the various author’s websites to read through the various voices of the UCB.

<b>Aaron Miles Fastball</b>

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Christine - Aaron Miles Fastball

My opinion is it’s not really going to affect them much either way. As Dathan said, it’s not just the Cardinals facing this in a vacuum – every other team is as well, so every other manager is going to have the challenge of balancing his lineup differently. To me that’s the key: how Mike Matheny is going to handle it. It’s more of a responsibility for him to find the right piece to plug into the DH spot on the right day for it to not be a problem. The pieces are there – it’s what he does with them that will make the difference. Supposedly weak bench or not, I certainly haven’t heard or read any of the “experts” saying the Cardinals will be weak offensively, so having to use a DH at other times beyond the previous set interleague games shouldn’t make a difference.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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United Cardinal Bloggers Progressive Game Blog

Welcome back to the annual Progressive Game Blog.  For the last four years, the United Cardinal Bloggers have come together to tell the story of an entire game from multiple voices on multiple sites.

 

This year, not only will you find the voices of many members of the UCB, you will also find some of our friendly Mets bloggers describing the game from their own standpoint.  You can read all of the entries by following along through the main “index” post over at the official UCB Site.

I-70 Baseball will bring you the third inning of today’s game as will Mets Fans For Life.

The Cardinals come to the plate in the top of the third down by three runs as the Mets plated three in the bottom of the second (read about the second inning over at Cards N Stuff.  Young centerfielder Shane Robinson will look to get the Redbirds started in front of pitcher Lance Lynn and the top of the order.

A Texas League single to right put the lead off man on board but an all to familiar story unfolded with Lance Lynn at the plate.  On three consecutive pitches, Lynn was unable to push a bunt into fair territory, and the opportunity to move the runner up 90 feet passed the Cardinals by.  Unable to move the runner into scoring position or out of a force play situation proves once again to be fatal as lead off hitter Rafael Furcal grounds into an inning-ending double play.  Give Shane Robinson credit for a solid attempt to break up the double play as Daniel Murphy attempted to make the turn.

A quick aside as we wait for the bottom of the third inning to play out: I don’t think I have seen any other team in baseball represented as well on the road as the St. Louis Cardinals.  No matter what city they visit, there is almost always a strong representation of Cardinal red in the crowd.  Not to be out done in New York, there is a young lady sitting directly behind the plate sporting the familiar bright red cap adorned with the white STL logo.

What Lynn lacks in ability to drop a bunt, he more than makes up for on the mound.  After a rough second inning, he took the mound to face the middle of the Mets’ order, starting with cleanup hitter Lucas Duda.  After falling behind Duda, Lynn battled back to get him to fly out to left fielder Matt Holliday.  Daniel Murphy would follow with a fly ball towards the right-center field gap, but the defensive positioning was in place to make it a routine out for Carlos Beltran.  Young Mets first baseman Ike Davis would fall behind in the count early and yet work a walk out of Lynn.  After falling behind shortstop Omar Quintanilla, Lynn battles back for his second strikeout of the game and keeps the Mets from causing any more damage.

Working deep into counts is hurting Lynn early on in this game and his pitch count is climbing to out of control proportions as he closes the third with 71 pitches, 41 of which are strikes.  At this rate, the game will soon be in the hands of the Cardinals’ bullpen.  It feels strange to say that any game in the hands of this bullpen is a major concern at this point.  If the Cardinals hope to pull this one out, they will need to get some offense going and some efficient innings for their starter.

Head over to Rally Birds to check out the top of the fourth inning.  Thanks for stopping by our corner of the Cardinals web-o-sphere to check out or commentary.  Here’s hoping this game turns around quickly.

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Solving Conversation Problems at Busch Stadium

If your buddies weren’t able to come to the game with you because they’re on vacation this time of year, you might be watching the game with “peoples” you don’t usually hang with. Conversation topics might be lacking, and with beer being $10.00 a bottle, the wallet can only stand so much. So, here’s some mid- season Cardinals topics to get the conversation going.

Mention centerfielder Colby Rasmus. Everyone who can see the Arch has an opinion on him. Some say he is very J.D. Drewesque. Others love his offence enough to overlook his sporadic confusion in the outfield. Offensively, his 2010 Batting Value is 17.1, the highest in all of Major League Baseball for center fielders. However, St. Louis fans are so accustomed to watching Jim Edmonds control the game with his fielding performance, that watching Rasmus in the outfield can at times, be painful. And yes, even the female fan is struggling with not being able to watch Jim Edmonds this year. That, however, has nothing to do with his WAR stats.

To read the rest of this post, check out Venuing Voices by clicking here.

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