Web reads: Barack, Diddy, Baldelli

17 Mar

combs.jpgThree stories worth your attention…

1. Barack Obama is receiving some warranted criticism for his association with pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who formally presided over the church to which Barack has belonged for 20 years. You can defend Barack by pointing out that he wasn’t the one who made the remarks, that the views expressed by Wright in no way embody Obama’s opinions, that it’s not completely fair to take the remarks as point-blank truth without first knowing their context, that association in no way spells guilt…but let’s be honest: if we’d heard similarly (though politically opposite, obviously) divisive remarks coming from the head of President Bush’s or Mitt Romney’s or any other GOP candidate’s church, we’d have a field day. We would. (Or at least I would.) So, as a bipartisan I will admit his detractors have a right for concern (though they do need to hear his side of the story — it’s only fair), but as a full-fledged Barack supporter, I will say these comments helped, and that I believe his upcoming speech in response to this criticism will be direct, honest and impassioned. Because after all, this is Barack we’re talking about, and he is the balls, and I’m convinced he’ll be our next President.

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2. This headline made me a giggle: Sean Combs denies he planned Tupac shooting. Man, whoever thought he actually might be responsible in the first place, at least enough to warrant his questioning, must be completely ignorant in terms of the hip-hop world (which is quite alright, but still). Of course Diddy wasn’t responsible for Tupac’s death. Do you know Diddy at all? He’s whiter than I am, the whitest black dude since Carlton Banks. He’s a fashion mogul, a private-party-having, limo-riding, restaurant-owning, marathon-running business executive fat cat. I’ll grant you he might know some people who know some people who hang with some people who have guns, but I’m damn certain there is no way Diddy was the man responsible. He’s more likely to employ an overbite while dancing than he is to commit a drive-by.

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3. By the time you read the following, Fox Sports writer Kevin Hench may have apologized for his insensitive, unfunny gaffe in his recent column, but as I write this, the situation is as follows: in his March 14 “Hit List” column, Hench says this:

Rocco Baldelli is a five-tool player: and those tools are scalpel, knee brace, cane, sling and Ace bandage.

Baldelli has appeared in 127 of a possible 486 games the last three seasons. And — surprise! — he will begin this season on the disabled list. His latest DL-inducing “injury” is exhaustion. Who does he think he is, Mariah Carey? And what is he exhausted from, the off-season?

Baldelli’s career mirrors the sad history of the Rays. Just one downer after another. He may be only 26, but after four seasons he has proven two things definitely: he can’t stay healthy and he doesn’t know the strike zone. He has a career .324 OBP and strikes out four times as much as he walks. In 1,656 career at bats he has drawn only 83 walks. He’s exhausted, and he’s exhausted the patience of Rays fans, tired of watching him strike out on balls in the dirt.

Baldelli, as even the most casual baseball fan knows, has recently been diagnosed with a rare disease that involves mitochondrial abnormalities. At 26 years old, almost exactly one year younger than me, his baseball career may very well be over. Ouch.

Now, Hench very well have made an innocent mistake in not researching Baldelli’s situation — which, if you’re scoring at home, makes him an incredibly lazy writer, and that’s the best possible scenario — but the real sin is that he still hasn’t apologized. So, at worst, he’s both lazy and pig-headed (not to mention in possession of a retarded sense of humor). And it’s not as if no one has reacted negatively to his remarks. Read a few of the reader comments below the column, many of them more or less echoing this sentiment:

I, too, have joined the masses who created an account for the sole purpose to chastise you for your terrible insensitivity and demeanor toward a man who’s baseball life is now most likely over. How dare you question his intent and drive when he is suffering from a disease that is so much bigger than baseball or any sport or any worthless peon “columnist.” Mr. Hench, you are a terrible individual and it disgusts me that people like you are getting paid to write this drivel. You’ve used your national stage as a podium to forward your ridiculous ideas that have done nothing but make you look like the imbecile that you are.

An absolute truth: there is no rage like the rage exhibited by anonymous internet commenters. It’s mostly justified here, though, right?

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