Lou Piniella's Suspension Is a Joke

Frank ZacharyCorrespondent IJune 4, 2007

Finally, we see a case where ESPN takes the right side of an issue in the wide world of sports.  
Or at least John Kruk did.
Yesterday, Major League Baseball suspended Lou Piniella indefinitely. 
The offense?
Arguing with an umpire.  Scratch that: screaming in an umpire's face. 
Err...more like throwing a tantrum where you kick dirt and throw your hat in disgust because the call in question seems so unjust that you just can't stand it.

Lou Piniella engaged this weekend in an act that largely defines baseball.  Where would the game be today without managers becoming so invested in the outcome of a game and so devoted to their teams that they're willing to yell and scream when they think an ump blew a call?

What would have happened to the great Baltimore Orioles teams of the 1970s if Earl Weaver was suspended every time he threw a fit?
Think John McGraw might have had a hard time developing the hit-and-run and taking home three World Series trophies if being his fiery self meant he couldn't come to work every day?
Could Bobby Cox really have put together the best starting rotation the world has ever seen had he been forced to watch Maddux and Glavine pitch from home?
Every person who loves the game of baseball—and who doesn't have his head jammed halfway up his ass—knows that there's nothing wrong with what Lou Piniella did.  This kind of ranting and raving by managers has been going on for years; it's a certified baseball tradition.

And the fact that the people who run Major League Baseball decided otherwise?  I'll let you put the pieces together yourselves.

Apparently, the traditions of the game aren't that important.  The people at Major League Baseball have at least decided such...even though We The Fans of the baseball world disagree, and even though 99 percent of all major league players would laugh in the face of anyone who would suggest Pinella's act be a suspendable offense. 
Doesn't matter a wink: The efficiency-first corporate managers and marketing executives who run the league have decided that a more "family-friendly" game would be good for MLB's image.
Let me tell you something America: If you and your kids can't enjoy what Lou Piniella did on Saturday, you need to get into family therapy immediately. 
And not the kind where you sit on a couch and talk about how you and your son are growing apart—the kind where the people in white coats strap you down to a bed and inject you with a heavy dose of valium to prevent little Billy from getting another haymaker straight to the face.
Unfortunately, Major League Baseball's crew of moneymaking swindlers have handed down their decision—and therefore it will stand.  They've made this decision at the expense of the game—Our game—and will run to the bank when the fans "prove" their hypothesis correct by grudgingly buying season tickets for another year.

In reality, all that's been proven is that some people understand the history and traditions of Major League Baseball, while others will stop at nothing to make money off the same game that the rest of us consider on-par with Christianity itself.

Some folks go to bed with huge smiles on their faces, replaying the best diving catch of the night in their heads. 
Others go to bed thinking about how they can make money off that diving catch. 
And sometimes, that second group of people also think about ways that they can perhaps change the outcome of that play to line their pockets even further. 
A way, perhaps, to discreetly reduce the chance that such plays will occur in the first place...if a profit can somehow be turned in the process.
That's right: The people who run Major League Baseball want to alter the outcomes of games when the pig in charge of branding decides that doing so could be "good for the league."

Good for the league, ehh? 
You mean good for you and your twisted vision of what baseball should be? 
You mean good for your corporate sponsors?  Good for the owners?    
But what about the red, white, and blue-blooded Americans out there? 
The Americans who get home after a tiring day and just want to crack open a cold beer and watch the Cubs with their children? 
The Americans who want to see the drama that is Lou Piniella and his efforts to bring a struggling team out of a rut?
The Americans who want to see that passion and truth still exist in a world that lies to them on a regular basis?  
What about them, Bud Selig?  Do you even give a shit about those fans who aren't sitting in the luxury boxes?     
There's only one thing left to say about this whole affair...one name that will live forever amongst the true baseball fans of the world.  One name which symbolizes all that is right and pure about the spectacle that is a call-induced-manager-spazout. 
One name that, if We The Fans refuse to forget it, will ensure that no amount of greed and disrespect for tradition can destroy the beautiful game of baseball:   
Earl Weaver.  
Earl Weaver.
Earl Weaver, Earl Weaver, Earl Weaver.
Keep saying that name: Earl Weaver, Earl Weaver, Earl Weaver, Earl Waver, Earl Weaver.
Every day and every night; when you lie down, and when you rise up. 
Earl Weaver, Earl Weaver, Earl Weaver, Earl Weaver, Earl Weaver...Earl Weaver.
Remember that name my friends. Hold on to it like you would your own child. 
Because if those who run professional baseball have their way, We who truly cherish the game won't have any Earl Weavers left to watch.