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It’s not news that pro and college athletes sometimes fail to behave like role models, but a couple of recent incidents involving Major League Baseball players seem especially worthy of note. Or at least that’s what Bill Littlefield thinks.
The Major League Baseball Players Association has filed a grievance in support of former Houston Astros pitcher Shawn Chacon, who was released by the team on Monday, shortly after he grabbed Astros General Manager Ed Wade by the throat and threw him to the ground. Regarding the latest stupid Manny trick, which occurred when Manny Ramirez pushed Boston Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the ground in the visitors’ clubhouse in Houston on Saturday, the Red Sox have said they are a family and will handle the incident “internally.” Maybe Chacon will get the nine hundred eighty three thousand six hundred seven dollars remaining on his contract, despite the fact that he assaulted the general manager. Maybe Manny, who says “whatever happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse,” and his team are right about this “family” business. There are probably lots of families in which an athletic young man can manhandle a guy thirty years his senior without raising the eyebrows of anybody else around the hearth. And, heck, Mr. McCormick had told Manny he might not be able to come up with the sixteen tickets Ramirez had requested for that night’s game, so it’s not as if the shove was unprovoked. The good news is that apparently neither incident involved guns, knives, explosives, cocaine, steroids, human growth hormone, drunk driving, spousal abuse, or the invasion of a foreign country. It’s also encouraging that the potential for hysteria notwithstanding, certain verities seem to have held. Over fifteen starts this season, Shawn Chacon had stumbled to a two and three record and built an earned run average of over five. In short, he stunk. When he provided the Astros with an excuse to get shut of him, his release was a certainty. Manny Ramirez, who passed the five hundred homerun mark this season and currently leads the team in runs batted in, has suited up for each game since the veteran McCormick failed to get off the canvas, which suggests the Boston team has kept things in perspective, just as their neighboring franchises and pro teams playing various other sports in various other cities have been doing for as long as they have been in business.
This program aired on July 3, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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