Isaac had a troubled past. He had been in and out of juvenile court, and from the time he was 13 years old, he was on a first-name basis with a Covington criminal defense lawyer. He was being raised by his grandmother, who did not have the ability to keep up with him, and without stronger parental figures in his life, he gravitated to the lowest common denominator. That is not to say that he was without promise. When he applied himself, he did well in school, and was quick to learn how to accomplish any task that was put before him. Unfortunately, that aptitude was easily gratified by the spoils of crime. Read more
People have a tendency to be careless at best and reckless at worst, which means the world is full of accidents just waiting to happen. Do you have a plan ready in case you are injured in an accident? Keeping track of police and medical records, negotiating with insurance companies, and interacting with the person or organization responsible for your suffering can be an enormous burden to take on when you are already dealing with an injury. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, consider contacting a Chico personal injury lawyer to take some weight off your shoulders. Read more
There are many different types of chairs that are available for purchase. It’s hard to choose one over the other without knowing the pros and cons of each choice. It’s rare to have the amount of time needed to go through each option. An Eames chair is both stylish and comfortable and can be used in a multitude of locations.
The Eames chair was designed by the Eameses using plywood and leather. The overall look is very high end and modern while still being comfortable. The first design made use of a heavy rubber washer glued to the backrest and screwed to the lumbar support, which allows the backrest to flex slightly. The washers were called shock mounts and have been used in newer models. Read more
There are so many different extracurricular activities available that it can be hard to choose which ones to enroll your children in. While you want them to be well-rounded and have the opportunity to grow and develop in many different areas, you also don’t want them to be overwhelmed. It can be hard to know how many activities are too many when it comes to balancing your family. However, of all the different activities available, many people choose to enroll their children in dance classes. There are so many different types available – everything from hip hop to classical ballet dance lessons. But, no matter what type you choose, your children will benefit from a variety of physical, emotional, and social developments. Read more
Finding relief for your headaches can sometimes be a headache in and of itself. You can spend a lot of time visiting doctor’s offices, trying medication, and having tests done. You might be one of the lucky ones that does not have to go through all of that only to find out your headaches are not getting better. If you are just dealing with a headache every now and then, it probably is not that big of a deal. If you are looking for other answers, you might find them from a Carrollton chiropractic practice. Read more
The real estate market in Mississippi is always very competitive. That should not be a big surprise when you count the numerous homes for sale in Hattiesburg, MS. When there are a lot of properties on the MLS listings, houses have to stand out to attract a decent buyer. Overwhelmed by the whole selling process and the stiff competition, sellers often make mistakes. They do not realize what they are doing wrong, and then wonder why their house is not selling. If you want to find out if you are doing it right, listen to what buyers have to say. Read more
Cars are so handy to have and have made life a lot easier for the population, and yet they can be quite the handful to maintain and keep running in a regular fashion. They just tend to break down at the most inopportune times, and it can take a lot of time and money to get them up and running in the way they should be when all is said and done. When you find yourself in need of replacing some of the bits and pieces of your mode of transportation, then it would be smart to consider Milwaukee used auto parts for these repair needs. Here are three advantages of using these particular kinds of car pieces. Read more
CHICAGO, IL.—The waiting is finally over for Kevin Brown. Garnering 77% of the vote on his first try today, he is the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“It’s a great day,” said Brown from his home in Macon, Ga. “This is what you dream about when you’re a kid, and I’m just so honored. When you think about baseball, you think about guys like Rube Marquard and Jesse Haines. The thought of being one of them is just incredible.”
Brown, who won a World Series with the Florida Marlins in 1997 and ERA titles in 1996 and 2000, was named to six All-Star Games during an illustrious 19-year career. Feared for his surly attitude on the mound and devastating sinkerball, he was also known during his prime as an outstanding big game pitcher. This was perhaps best illustrated by his duel with Randy Johnson in the first game of the 1998 National League Division Series, when he surrendered just two hits and struck out 16, helping his team win a taut 2-1 classic.
“When Brownie was on the hill you knew who was in charge,” said Hall of Fame teammate Tony Gwynn. “That guy was just filthy.”
Brown, the fourth overall pick in the 1986 draft, was inconsistent in his early career with the Texas Rangers, known for explosions of temper. At 27, he led the majors with 21 wins, but it wasn’t until he turned 31 that he began to truly harness his talent and develop into a holy terror all baseball learned to fear. That year he ran up an astounding 1.89 ERA with the Marlins, beginning a six-year run of pitching as good as nearly any you’ll ever see. Brown went 92-45 with a 2.53 ERA at the height of baseball’s offensive explosion, ranking as perhaps the best pitcher in the game during a time when greats such as Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Tom Glavine were at or near their best.
“You never wanted to hit against that guy,” said fellow inductee Larry Walker. “I’m not even going to lie, man—I faked a hangover a couple of times to get out of facing him!”
After serving as the ace of a World Series winner in 1997 and the National League champion San Diego Padres in 1998, Brown became baseball’s first $100 million man when he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Staggering as the deal was, he held up his end despite injuries, going 58-32 with a 2.53 ERA in the deal’s first five years.
“We basically got four years of Cy Young-type pitching in the five years we had him,” recalled former Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone, who inked the contract. “You can’t ask for anything more than that, and it tells you a lot about what kind of competitor and what kind of man he was that he came through that way under all that pressure.”
The end of Brown’s career was not without controversy. A stint with the New York Yankees ended badly, with Brown turning the same intensity that fueled his greatness against himself, breaking his non-pitching hand while punching a wall in frustration. That injury was a key in the team’s notorious collapse against the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 playoffs. His manager at the time, Joe Torre, recalled that incident today.
“I was angry at the time, sure,” he said, “but it told me a lot about just how much he cared. He wanted to be excellent, and that’s why he was.”
Brown was also named in George Mitchell’s report on performance enhancing drugs in baseball. It was thought by many analysts that this would affect Brown’s chances, but this proved not to be the case.
“I think everybody believes he was doing something,” said Jack Hanratty of the Visalia Bugle, who voted for Brown, “but having that kind of stain on your reputation is its own punishment. I’m not saying I like it, but he was a great pitcher and that’s what this is about.”
“You don’t want this to just be a library and a plaque of Jackie Robinson,” added fellow voter Billy Coxcomb of the Peoria Planet, in reference to Brown’s occasional off-field issues, which included menacing a neighbor with a gun during a debate over yard debris. “Maybe he was a jerk, I didn’t cover him, but there are a lot of jerks in the Hall of Fame.”
Ultimately, though, it won’t be the controversy that’s remembered, but the excellence. With a 211-144 record and a 3.28 ERA, Brown fits comfortably alongside the likes of Juan Marichal, Don Drysdale and Jim Bunning—not in the first tier of immortals, perhaps, but in the next rung down.
“I’m just so proud today,” he said. “It’s just great to know that all the work you put in pays off in the end.”
With Hall of Fame voting results in, I can state as certain fact that the same sports moralist class that gave Kevin Brown all of twelve votes is irredeemably full of shit. The lead in the balloting, after all, went to Roberto Alomar, who got the votes of nine of ten veteran baseball writers despite having been accused by two different women, one of them his wife, of having knowingly concealed his HIV-positive status from them as prelude to unprotected sex.
I don’t know if Alomar has HIV, or whether or not he lied about not having it so as to not have to use a condom. I hope he doesn’t and didn’t. I do know that two different women have said so, one of them in a divorce filing, and that the accusation is thus on an entirely different level of credibility than the rumors and Dr. Frist-style diagnosis by image that have done in Jeff Bagwell. I also know that this is rather more serious than the issue of whether or not a given player was snorting powdered monkey testicles.
Not being a sports moralist or much of a fan of the Hall of Fame’s character clause, I’ll still allow that there are lots of things a player might do, even after his career is over, to bar himself from election. If Greg Maddux is found to have been financing a sex slavery operation in Romania, for example, I will argue that no one should vote for him. If he were to be seriously accused of having done so—if there were charges filed, or he was named in a civil suit, or if there were a ten thousand word takeout on his involvement in sex slavery in the New Yorker—I would argue that no one should vote for him until the facts were in.
Alomar obviously hasn’t been proved to have done something unconscionably evil, and I can understand why someone would say that in the absence of criminal charges he just isn’t going to pay this any mind. Given that literally millions of words have been written about whether this or that player did or didn’t do something that at absolute worst is orders of magnitude less malicious than deliberately exposing someone to a fatal illness for which there is no cure, though, you would expect that the issue would at least have come up.
Since it never did, there are only so many possibilities. One is that no one was aware of it; I don’t believe that. Another is that veteran baseball writers think that it’s worse to have perhaps taken steroids than to have perhaps essentially tried to kill someone; I don’t believe that, either. Another is that many veteran baseball writers assume that these are just the fevered ravings of gold digging bitches; I do believe that, but I don’t think it’s sufficient to explain the stifling silence around all this.
Probably there are two things at play here. One is that HIV is still an uncomfortable subject for a lot of people and they would prefer just to not think about it or mention it, thinking that even discussing the possibility of someone having it is tantamount to accusing him of having done something wrong. As someone younger than most voters, who never viewed it as a plague visited upon people for doing bad things like having sex or taking drugs but just a hideous disease—I had family friends who had it when I was growing up, interned at GMHC and so on—I don’t have that hang up, but I understand how some do.
The other is that sports moralists tend to behave mysteriously, like eusocial insects operating according to the dictates of unseen waves. Where the hidden center of consciousness deeming that the use of certain classes of illegal performance enhancing drugs is bad while the use of others isn’t is located I have no idea, but some accusations of wrongdoing are simply deemed worthy of ‘takes’ while others aren’t through some process that works along the lines of Chomsky’s manufacture of consent and which I’ll never understand so long as I live. IC reader Dave theorizes that those who set the narrative have to do so capriciously because the entire power of the gatekeeper is in his ability to grant exceptions rather than simply follow the rules, and I think there is a lot to that. I am even more sure, though, that anyone who drones righteously on about dope without saying a word about a possible case of purposeful would-be HIV infection is not making judgments based on a strict moral code.
One time I wrote a piece about a ballplayer whose name had come up in connection with doping, in which I noted that lots of people take drugs and that it is easy to condemn someone for doing something you might do if you were him. I got a lot of emails about it, and one of them was from his wife. She was glad someone had taken the time to think about what the world might look like to a young athlete.
Recently I wrote about Nick Diaz, a pretty famously cantankerous fighter who gave me quite the runaround when it came time to get him on the phone and wasn’t, to say the least, much in the mood to talk to some random guy once I finally got him. Instead of hatcheting him I just reported what I’d heard from talking to him and people around him and what I’d learned from following him over the years, and I got a lot of emails about it, and among them were a few from people who know him and just wanted to write to tell me that they thought I’d caught him pretty well and were glad someone had written fairly about him.
These are the first two examples that come to mind, but there have been other occasions where I’ve written something about someone who’s been taking some shots and heard privately from involved people who were glad I hadn’t joined in. I don’t bring it up to portray myself as someone who understands athletes especially well, but just to point out that I know at first hand that even an obscure journo will have people close to his subjects (or his subjects themselves) reading him and that those people will, when they feel the journo has done right by their man, reach out and let him know. I also happen to have been in the fishbowl myself—did I ever tell you about that time when my best friend and I quit our jobs because our publisher wouldn’t let us run cartoons that had sparked riots in Muslim lands and thus became a cause celebre for like a day, culminating in absurd appearances on MSNBC and NPR and CNN and FOX News where we called other editors pussies for being afraid that terrorists would blow up their offices if they ran not especially offensive images that were already widely available online?—and that taught me a lot, too.
Anyway, my point here is that while yes, it can be dismaying to do a vanity search and discover that people you’ve never talked to think you’re a douchebag, there are two things worth keeping in mind. One is that there there is an inverse dynamic, whereby if you write well or fairly people will reach out to you and let you know that they noticed and that this means something to them, and that this is worth far more than money to anyone who is writing for honest reasons, and well worth random people saying that your headshot makes you look a twat, something facilitated by the same technology. The other is that any journo who has ever taken a shot at someone he’s never talked to (this would be all of them) has been in the exact same position as some random guy on the internets calling random journos douchebags, except that he is much more likely to have actually hurt someone’s feelings or caused actual harm. The series of tubes, in other words, just reveals to the journo that like his subjects he is both a person and a synthetic image about which people form judgments and about which they may not think generously, and if this revelation causes the journo any discomfiture the fitting end of it should probably just be to make him more generous and cautious and aware that his words have mass and meaning.