#37 - Sticks and stones …. Most of us learned the nursery rhyme growing up that goes "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me". If nothing else our teachers or parents tossed it at us when we would get upset about someone calling us names. But look where the world has gone today. As an example of how out of control it is getting, let's look at three players in Major League Baseball.
As almost everyone knows, recently John Rocker, relief pitcher for the Braves, had published a number of comments he may about certain groups of people in America and in New York City in particular. John did not physically threaten these people, just stated he did not want to play in New York City where he would have to ride the subway with them. He called them names that they use on themselves, i.e. the homosexuals have a Queer Nation march each year, but as with other groups they can use certain word about themselves, but no outsider can use it. Agreed queer is not the best term to use.
Daryl Strawberry who is on probation for drug use and has been previously suspended for drug use tested positive for cocaine this week. This is in the drug test he has to take regularly for his probation. We supposedly are running a drug war in this country and in baseball to eliminate our drug problem.
A couple of years ago one of the Baltimore Orioles got upset with the ruling the umpire made. He didn't choose to just argue with the umpire. Instead he chose to also spit in the umpire's face. The rule has always been that you cannot touch the umpire. They have a difficult job and it is a protection for them.
So we have one that just used words, one that is doing drugs and cannot seem to break the habit, and one that made physical contact with the umpire. Now which do you think received the worse penalty and was ordered to undergo psychological testing? Which had his punishment deferred and only for a few games for the start of the next season. And which one went right on to spring training as if nothing happened.
Of course at this point you know. John Rocker who only used words is not allowed at any of spring training and must miss the first month of the season. The Baltimore Oriole who made contact with the umpire with his bodily fluid (In college football if you have bodily fluid, including blood, on your uniform or skin, you must leave the game under the "AIDS" rule) was not suspended for the playoffs and was allowed to spring training and only had to miss a few games at beginning of season. Daryl Strawberry who drug tested positive with cocaine in violation of his probation just this week is in Florida at spring training. He should be sitting in jail on the probation violation and be the second living major leaguer under a life time ban from baseball as he has already been suspended several times. So what is this teaching to our young people? Simple drugs are ok, physical contact with officials is not really bad, but you better watch what you say, because that is the worse. So the updated rhyme should go something like "Sticks and stones may break my bones, like drugs they are really not bad, but words will cost me my job".
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