Sometimes it’s the game, not the players. In this instance, it was the players, not the game.
Our World Series baseball champions, the Houston Astros, were caught cheating by Major League Baseball. Severe penalties were imposed that resulted in the loss of the first and second round draft choices and a $5 million fine. Jim Crane, owner of the Astros, fired manager A.J. Hinch- manager and the general manager, Jeff Luhnow. This action also ignited firings of former Astro and New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran. Obviously, he understood that the trophy was tainted and that most of the fans supported his decision. Crane realized that he was more than the owner, he was the high sheriff.
Many questioned the firing of Hinch because, at one-point, Hinch had become so enraged at the cheating that he destroyed a monitor in the club house and chastised the players for stealing signs. However, he needed to extinguish the fire and he left timbers blazing.
Baseball, once America’s perennial and premier past time, is a challenging and humbling sport. Facing a 97 to 100 mph fastball followed by a change-up featuring an 87-mile curve suggests that a batter or pitcher will need a little help. Maybe pine tar, a bat stretcher, royal crown, sweat or razor nicks on the baseball. Or you might take the invitation to get an injection of performance enhancing drugs -PEDS.
“Mr. October” – Reggie Jackson – said that the paramount thought that was on his mind when he faced flame-throwing pitcher Randy Johnson was that “this pitch could kill me.” The killer hitters of the Astros solved that problem of uncertainty and lethality by placing a camera in center field and manually or electronically relaying a signal to the batter. If using carrier pigeons could help them win, they would have been employed and paid good money.
MLB and the Astros owner said that you cannot be left at the wheel because you stole from the cookie jar and then lied about it. Including, cooking up a preposterous excuse that you had to button your jersey all the way up after the division-winning homerun so that your wife would not be jealous of the honeys peering at his chest. Many sportswriters and fans have posited that key Astros wore wires. Give us a break.
Crane knew that he was the high sheriff, and Hinch and Luhnow were his deputies.
Another organization that you are a part of is on trial. Your CEO has been caught cheating and prevaricating, according to the documentary evidence and witness testimony. No one is believable when you tell more lies than Carter has liver pills. The CEO has crowed that maybe a 500-pound fat man hacked the American 2016 election, which he lost to Hilary Clinton by almost three million votes. All the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian president Putin ordered the hacking and he refused to accept their expert conclusion because he was a stable genius and smarter than the dopey generals.
Even a bipartisan investigation through the General Accounting Office concluded that to withhold Congressionally approved aid to Ukraine is illegal. Lives are at stake and Ukraine is fighting a hot war and you are making deals to get dirt from a foreign government in order to aid your re-election campaign in November 2020. This is a gangster-styled shake down by a wannabe. Louie XIV thought that he was the state, but he duped by his own mind. The founding fathers anticipated a rogue president who would desire to restore a monarchy and be king.
Crane is the adult-man in the room. The fans’ best interest is represented by him. Organization US’ best interest is represented by the US Congress. Congress represents 350 million American citizens. Sheriff Crane is proud of the fact that he had the power to make a difference and he did. No, the Dodgers will not get the rings as runner ups, but they were not losers. Crane’s managers had the power to shut the charade down, but they didn’t. Now the high sheriff has brought in a no-nonsense old school guy (Dusty Baker) as deputy to stop the lawlessness and restore order.
Does Congress know that the United States constitution has empowered Congress to be HIGH SHERIFF? Crane acted on behalf of his shareholders. The United States Senate dishonored its commitment to 350 million citizen shareholders. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was driven by his faith to elevate country over party by his vote to remove “45” from office for abuse of power. Now, he has to face hellhounds who are wanting to expel him from the Party and mock him as an infidel.
Famed filmmaker and historian Ken Burns quoted Gerald Early – 2000 years from now America could be explained by three sacred things – Jazz, baseball and the Constitution.
Sheriff Crane has imposed class, decency and order on baseball for the moment. Black classical music aka Jazz has strong vital signs. Can we say the same for the US Constitution?
When you have a chance to do the right thing, do it. There is a cost for discipleship, often a high cost.