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Just The Sports: Indignant Sportswriters

Just The Sports

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Indignant Sportswriters

Nothing makes a sportswriter happier than climbing up on his high horse and railing on the perceived foibles and failings of professional athletes. Never mind the fact that professional athletes are so egotistical and self-centered because society makes them that way by worshipping them and putting them up on ridiculously high pedestals. Why discuss that when a sportswriter such as Phil Taylor can make himself feel better by tearing down an athlete who makes more money than he will ever seen in his lifetime? It's so much more fun to feel morally superior than to actually think.

Seems that everything has to be just right for a pro athlete to agree to enter a game these days. His contract has to be satisfactory, he has to play the position he prefers, the X's and O's must be to his liking, the coach has to give him a hug, and then maybe, just maybe, he will agree to grace the competition with his presence.

The nerve of these pro athletes to want satisfactory contracts and to do the job they want to do. Imagine that. It's almost like when people who live in the real world want to be paid according to their worth and make sure the salary is worth them taking the job. In fact, the more I think about it, it is exactly like that. And as for pro athletes wanting to do the job they want to do, well that's just a ridiculous request. I am sure that if asked Phil Taylor to stop being a sportswriter and be an administrative assistant, he would be okay with that because it is all about the team.

So it shouldn't be surprising that Alfonso Soriano, the Washington Nationals' second baseman -- and whatever you do, make sure you identify him as a second baseman -- refused to take the field at the start of the Nats' exhibition game on Monday because manager Frank Robinson had penciled him in as the left fielder.

What should be surprising is the fact the Washington Nationals traded for a player in Alfonso Soriano who has only one year left on his contract and who they knew for a fact did not want to switch positions from second base to left field. Also, they traded away Brad Wilkerson, a decent leadoff hitter, and now find themselves lacking in just that position. So forgive me for having no sympathy for a team who trades for an asshole and then becomes indignant when the asshole exhibits assholic behavior.

There was a time when pro athletes were expected to sign autographs without charging for them,

Right up until the time pro athletes found there were people stupid enough to pay for them.

when they were supposed to play their entire careers without committing a felony,

When was this time? There was never a time like this. You're an angry old man, Phil.

when they were supposed to be more concerned with championships than endorsement deals.

Championsips pay nothing. Endorsement deals pay millions. I don't understand how that is a bad thing.

Some of the blame for Monday's embarrassing scene belongs to Washington general manager Jim Bowden for not making sure that Soriano would agree to switch positions before acquiring him from Texas in the offseason.

I would say all of the blame. Trading for a player who doesn't want to be traded and moving him to a position he doesn't want to play is indicative of bad general management and a general manager who does something that stupid should be prepared the face the consequences.


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