Of Baseball And Willful Ignorance

I love baseball. I have since I was a little boy. One of my earliest memories is of watching Don Larsen throw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. I was too young to have appreciated the feat but I knew something very special had happened. I am writing this on Sunday morning and my motivation is some things that happened in relation to Major League Baseball (MLB) over the past few days. They tie into policy and politics as I will outline below. Oh, and I’ll throw in a few other tidbits.

Last week one of the biggest international stories was of the flooding in Europe. As of this writing more than 100 are confirmed dead, thousands are still unaccounted for and the financial losses have to be in the billions of dollars. Over the past few weeks the American and Canadian Wests have recorded record high temperatures. There are still those who say climate change is a hoax. You try to square that circle; I can’t.

In Miami, where certain streets flood on almost every afternoon, gentrification is a growing concern. We all love to see neighborhoods be redeveloped but almost no attention is given to the displaced residents who cannot afford the cost of living that renewal brings and are forced to move or go homeless. Today several of the wealthier neighborhoods in Miami are in danger of soon being underwater. Several of the poorest neighborhoods are just a few miles away but on higher land. You connect those dots.

The COVID-19 numbers are spiking but still a good portion of the American right call it a hoax. Thursday MLB scheduled a lone game to reopen the season after the All-Star break. It was the Boston Red Sox at the New York Yankees. That is arguably the biggest rivalry in not only professional baseball but all of professional sports. That lone re-opener was not an accident! The game had to be cancelled due to several positive COVID tests. When are we going to make vaccinations mandatory for all? No matter how much of a bubble players and staff put themselves in they still have to interact with the general public to some degree.

Saturday night we had two outrageous events that influenced MLB games negatively. In Washington a shooting outside of the stadium caused the suspension of the Nationals-Padres game. This is yet another illustration of the need for federal gun regulations and the fact that we simply have too many guns on the streets and too many of them are in the hands of the wrong people.

Up the coast a bit in the Bronx a fan in the stands threw a baseball at the Boston left fielder hitting him in the back. I remember that I stopped going to Yankee and Red Sox games at the Trop when I lived in the Tampa Bay region (now over a decade ago) because the fans of both of those teams simply did not behave well at the ballpark and I felt it was unsafe for my family which often included young grandchildren. This was despite those teams having some of the best players in baseball on their rosters. My point is that while somewhat rare, this is not an isolated instance, and if the franchises want the revenue generated by the additional fans they need to bear the cost of additional security to prevent this outrageous conduct.

Climate change, guns, bad behavior; all have existed for a long time now and yet precious little has been done to control/eliminate them. I have to believe these are instances of willful ignorance because I simply refuse to believe that the people responsible for allowing them to continue are that stupid.

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