A World Series for the Ages - The American Spectator
A World Series for the Ages

The current wild and wooly World Series is so entertaining that even Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred can’t mess it up, though he’s trying. Just about everything fans want to see on a baseball field has been featured in this match-up between two vastly talented and evenly matched teams.

There have been pitching duals and slugfests. Pitchers lost control of Sunday night’s bizarre 13-12 marathon, eventually won by Houston, at about the fourth inning. Baseballs were flying out of the field at Minute Maid Park at such a rate that, my sources in Houston tell me, Astros officials were considering, for safety reasons, passing out chest protectors and batting helmets for people sitting in the outfield stands.

As the game got into its mature innings, both teams found it near impossible to come up with a clean half-inning. The contest began to resemble a Sunday afternoon slow-pitch softball game between the cops and the firemen (where, as we know, there is plenty of beer available in the dugout). Or perhaps one of those defense-free football games where the winner is the last team to have the ball. The game lasted 5 hours and 17 minutes, took more than 400 pitches to put through, and didn’t establish a winner until 0137 right coast time. Doubtless a lot of tired Monday moping at work in Houston. But not as much as there would have been if the Astros had lost.

This World Series has been so good that Sunday’s baseball game beat the NFL’s Sunday Night Football by a wide margin in TV ratings. Baseball’s rare TV win over football can be accounted for both by the quality of the World Series games, and by the NFL’s insistence on committing suicide by political correctness by catering to a bunch of overpaid, anti-American malcontents who use the NFL pre-game to give the middle finger to America and to the people who have paid dearly to make the NFL a $14 billion industry.

Commissioner Manfred seems to have a bit of NFL-envy. He showed that this past weekend when he overreacted to a minor offense against PC etiquette. As most sports fans know by now, in Friday night’s game, after hitting a home run against Dodger starter Yu Darvish, who is Iranian-Japanese, Astro first baseman and Cuban defector Yuli Gurriel made a slant-eye gesture while celebrating in the dugout. The gesture, which lasted about six-tenths of a second, was tasteless and juvenile. Gurriel quickly apologized for it. This and a lecture on respecting others from Astros manager A.J. Hinch should have been the end of this tiniest of incidents. But no. Manfred landed on Gurriel with both of his highly virtuous, and well-heeled, social-warrior feet. He suspended Gurriel for five days, to be served at the beginning of the regular 2018 baseball season. Players have gotten less time on the porch for pushing umpires around. This may be baseball, but when it comes to political correctness (also known as left-cultural tyranny), it’s one strike and you’re out.

What has gotten less attention than the five-day suspension, which will cost Gurriel thousands in lost salary, was the requirement that Gurriel attend sensitivity training in the off-season. Comrade Stalin would have loved this touch. I’m sure that when Gurriel made it out of Castro’s Caribbean island jail he thought he would no longer have to worry about being a good comrade. Wrong. He’s finding that we have our own social and political orthodoxies that in Rob Manfred’s circles are rigidly enforced. So our Yuli will have to endure a browbeating from officially sensitive people with degrees in crackpot “disciplines” who will lecture him on what a racist toe-rag he is and badger him into getting with the party line.

Seems like Gurriel is getting a lot of advice just now. No reason why I should be left out of the fun. I have three suggestions for him:

  1. Don’t tell your “trainers” about what is said and done in Cuban baseball dugouts. They might faint dead away.
  2. Treat people, including those on other teams, with a little more respect.
  3. Get a decent haircut.

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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