The tattoo poll is still open until this Friday, so vote vote vote! So far, it looks like we need to win the AL West for me to get tattoos (my bank account thanks you all for your realism), but that second Felix Cy Young is in close pursuit!
Keep in mind, I haven’t really read around the ‘net this morning. I have pretty limited time during the morning, and most of it is spent fielding email, watching the news, and trying to siphon as much coffee into myself as possible. So I don’t really know what others might have to say about the thing I found in my inbox this morning.
My first reaction is not a good one, I’m afraid. Unless there is some sort of reverse psychology going on here, where Zduriencik is trying to humble Bradley into submission by giving him a third (fourth?) chance, I’m not sure I understand the org’s logic. Milton Bradley has not done well by us, and while I thought of his temper as a bit of “fire” at first, I’m afraid I really can’t approve of the whole domestic violence thing. This may sound hypocritical in light of my support of Josh Lueke, but I’m cutting Lueke slack specifically because he doesn’t have Bradley’s history. Lueke’s still young, and while I know that a lot of people find what he may or may not have done reprehensible, where alcohol is involved, situations like that get a lot more complicated, and outside of my own personal reasons, I refuse to judge with impunity in this case.
Milton Bradley, though? Well, do you judge a tornado by what it does when it’s just a mass of gray clouds, or do you judge it by what it does after it hits the ground for a few good long minutes? I have to say, this move, so soon after the fact, is really surprising. I’m afraid I can no longer say that I believe the Mariners organization when they say they support the Refuse to Abuse program. We’ve got Bradley, we had Russell Branyan twice, and while looking for something else, I found this article from USSM from a few years back (Carl Everett, what the hell?!) Perhaps naively (actually it appears to have been borne more out of ignorance than anything else), I used to believe with conviction that if there was a problem like this, the Ms would take care of it immediately, or simply not allow men like that on our team. Now I don’t feel that comfortable making those claims. And I feel even less comfortable with it knowing that Julio Mateo was merely suspended, rather than being given walking papers, because the Mateo case, as I knew it with my vague awareness in 2007, was what I used to base my high opinions of this particular part of the Mariners on.
Now I know I’m wrong. And I’m disappointed, but for reasons other than what might seem obvious. I witnessed these sorts of situations in the news previous to becoming a sports fan, and that combined with long-held personal beliefs led me to avoid and actively hate sports of all kinds. With the Mariners, I felt like I was safe in enjoying the game because they “took care” of things like this. It’s kind of a blow to see that they don’t, not really, and that they’re no better or worse than any other sports team with a problem and a guy who can play. What makes things more offputting for me is that on that front, I’m still conflicted – I mean, playing is what these guys do for a living, it’s not like they can go out and be accountants or day laborers or something.
There are so many layers to this, and in my typical fashion, I can see it from all sides, which just causes further confusion. What’s sad is that this post was originally supposed to be about how awesome Garrett Olson is, and the fact that the Mariners signed this Chris Ray guy to a minor league contract, but no, I’m more upset about this than I am excited about those other things.
I’m hoping that my day at work allows me to chill out on some of this and give it some more rational thought. I’m still looking forward to FanFest this Saturday and seeing people and having my hot dog and being in the stadium – but this certainly puts a bit of a damper on things. If I thought it would do any good, I’d urge the Mariners to work
a little a lot harder at Refusing to Abuse, but I doubt so very much that anyone in any position of power reads this…it needs to happen, though, guys. Fix it.