Daily dump: Cranky Columnists and Turkeys Gone Wild

Matt TarrContributor IJune 24, 2009

First things first, a tip of our Poopcaps this morning to The Bostonist’s Rick Sawyer and Sports on My Mind’s Modi. The blog columnists have offered forth the most provocative reviews we’ve read yet of Bob Ryan’s curmudgeonly diatribe against Major League Baseball’s cheatin’ foreigners.

Truthfully, most of Ryan’s rant comes straight out of Sanctimonious Sports Columnist 101. How dare these players sully the game that I’ve devoted my life to covering, how dare they make me look like a fool, don’t they realize the game is almost as beloved as me, etc., etc. But the excerpt that’s gotten the most attention is this one:

“One of the worst aspects of the PED mess is that just about everyone who puts up any large numbers is now suspect. Would you not agree with the following?

1. All sluggers are suspect.

2. All Caribbean-based sluggers are doubly suspect.

3. All Dominican sluggers should be booked and read their Miranda rights.

It’s clear that there has been a more casual attitude toward the use of PEDs by Caribbean-based players, and it’s undeniable that PEDs are easily available down there, especially in the Dominican Republic, which has become an irreplaceable source of baseball talent.”

We’re not even going to try to break down the bigoted lunacy at work here, Sawyer and Modi do an exemplary job of that on their own. But aside from the obvious racist overtones of Ryan’s column (as well as other comments he’s made throughout the media, as Modi points out), there’s also some class elitism at play here as well. Any American who’s actually spent any time in the Dominican Republic and ventured outside the walls of the U.S.-operated tourist resorts/compounds can attest that there is a level of poverty in the country that few of us can truly comprehend. The challenges even most low-income Americans face pale in comparison to the struggle these people endure.

So it’s hard for us not to get the dry heaves when old, wealthy white columnists criticize the ethics and “attitude” of a handful of Dominican-born players who may have taken a shortcut in securing their opportunity to help themselves and their families. Especially when MLB’s Powers That Be looked the other way while they were doing it. Bob Ryan has no earthly concept of the challenges these young men faced growing up in the Dominican Republic. His rant was not only bigoted, but reeked of class arrogance.

Dumbest celeb ever?

Dumbest celeb ever?

Anyhoo, enough of that nonsense. On with today’s roundup …

- Irrefutable evidence that Arthur Carlson was indeed correct. As God is our witness, we knew turkeys could fly. And land in manure trucks. (13Wham.com)

- Oregon football team thrilled with new uniforms from Nike. Sweatshop employees thrilled to receive an extra 30-second break at lunch in celebration of a job well done. (Yahoo!)

- Big day in our home state of Florida. First, a report surfaces that Gloria Estefan may be joining Dolphins’ ownership group. Then, we learned that NHL commish Gary Bettman will play Judge Judy in the messy divorce case of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s wacky owners. Then, we learned that a Fort Walton Beach man was arrested for trying to mail Oxycodone in a condom. … OK, that last one basically happens every Tuesday here, but it was a well-rounded day nonetheless.

- London paper dubs Megan Fox “the dumbest star ever.” Dumb stars around the world outraged over the slight. (Daily Mail UK)

- Black Eyed Peas manager arrested for assaulting Perez Hilton. Considering that his band has been assaulting the sensibilities of people who enjoy music that doesn’t suck for many years now, the arrest should come as no surprise. (UPI)

- Speaking of revolting music, the man who gave us “You Light Up My LIfe” indicted on rape charges. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. (Fox News)

- And just to prove there are celebrities we actually like, we give you Johnny Depp and the story of his $4,000 tip at a restaurant in Chicago. Johnny, you da man. (Radar Online)