We’ve made it to August. The dog days of summer are upon us. And so are the hot takes.
Astros Trade Away Their Decency
Yup. That’s a pretty sensational heading there. But it’s honestly what I believe. While everyone was spending the trade deadline wondering if the Nats were actually going to do something smart for once, (they didn’t BTW) the Houston Astros were busy trading RHP Ken Giles, minor league RHP Hector Perez and minor league RHP David Paulino to the Toronto Blue Jays for RHP Roberto Osuna. If you’re wondering why that name is familiar to you, it’s because you may have heard about Osuna’s legal issues. And by legal issues I mean the fact that he is a complete scumbag.
Osuna is currently serving the last few days of a 75-Game suspension after being arrested on domestic abuse charges on May 8, 2018. While the Canadian legal system has not yet decided whether or not Osuna is guilty of the crime, the details that have emerged about the case are not pretty. Clearly, the Toronto Blue Jays no longer wanted anything to do with the young closer, though by holding onto him as trade bait instead of just cutting him in May does not completely absolve them of any culpability.
Trading for Osuna would be bad enough, but would be slightly more tolerable if Astro’s GM Jeff Luhnow had come out and said, “he’s not been proven guilty and we just want to win. It’s what we’re supposed to do, by any means necessary.” No instead of that we got a 15 minute press conference that didn’t talk about the victim once. What it did talk about was how the Astro’s “zero-tolerance policy” isn’t actually a zero-tolerance policy at all.
Back in March, the Astros inequitably released prospect Danry Vasquez after footage was released of him beating his girlfriend in a stairwell. They cited a “zero-tolerance Policy” for domestic abuse and he was gone. It was widely celebrated by both the media, fans, and current Astros players.
🖕🏻 you man. I hope the rest of your life without baseball is horrible. You deserve all that is coming your way! https://t.co/e8nJ8urUAJ
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) March 15, 2018
The issue here is no one cared as much until a video was leaked & now everyone is outraged!? This is the reality of domestic violence. It’s always brutal, always sickening. We must fight for the victims, video or not. He should be in jail. If you need help, find it. People care. https://t.co/1ZhHnJlX3o
— Lance McCullers Jr. (@LMcCullers43) March 15, 2018
So why doesn’t this policy apply to Osuna? How can you bring someone in and still adhere to your moral decency? Here’s what Luhnow had to say on the matter:
“Quite frankly, I believe that you can have a zero-tolerance policy and also have an opportunity to give people second chances when they have made mistakes in the past in other organizations. That’s kind of how we put those two things together.”
Basically, what is being said here is “we have a zero-tolerance policy for our players but only for the things they do while they are a member of our team. Things that happened before we bring them in don’t count.” The mental gymnastics you have to perform to come to this conclusion are insane. If you’re going to only care about winning, then only care about winning. Don’t take the moral high ground only when it’s convenient to your bottom line.
Sean Doolittle Speaks Out
Major props to Sean Doolittle for this thread of tweets:
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for baseball on twitter. It sucks to see racist and homophobic language coming from inside our league – a league I’m so proud to be a part of that I’ve worked really hard to make a more accepting and inclusive place for all our fans to enjoy.
— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
Please click on that tweet and read the entire thread. It is full of insightful, genuinely positive wisdom that may be ultimately directed at MLB players, but applies to everyone. Among all of them, this is my favorite:
It’s a reminder that words matter, and that the impact the of words matter more than the intent. Rather than feeling like this platform makes us targets and we have to censor ourselves, find a way to use the platform to lift others up and make a positive impact.
— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) July 30, 2018
He also points out that you can’t accidentally post a slur, which is 1000% truth.
LeBron Gives Back
LeBron may be a resident of LA now, but he isn’t done giving back to Ohio. On Monday he opened his I Promise School in his hometown of Akron to help troubled youth. Here are some of the details.
This is completely wonderful, and the best story to come out of this NBA offseason. It’s also a nice reminder that LeBron James is one of the best role models professional sports has ever seen. He has been under unbelievable scrutiny since he entered the Association at age 18 and has never had a scandal bigger than The Decision, which wasn’t a scandal at all.
In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, LeBron described his childhood bike being his way to escape from the troubles of the area he grew up and his way to explore and grow. Every kid who attends his school will receive a free bike and helmet along with their tuition completely covered. The school is in association with the Akron Public Schools. Yes, Public. This is not some fancy private school that sounds great but no kid who really needs it would be able to afford. It is a wonderful way for LeBron to give back to his home and even with all his accolades on the court, its stuff like this that I hope he is remembered for long after he hangs up the Nikes.