Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Theo, We Hardly Knew Ye

But we really, really wanted to. I guess that's one the factors here isn't it? Not just to Theo but to a lot of the ballplayers - Foulke, Manny, Wells, the list is probably much longer - who complain that they can't get any privacy in Boston. No matter where they go, there are people in their space, usually just congratulating them or wishing them well, sometimes asking for autographs, probably sometimes being asswipes and bitching about some stupied play that happened a couple nights back. Boston fans.

There is a large contingency (and a very small part of me) that says "tough crap". These guys make millions of dollars a year. The play a game for a living. They have everything they want. They can suck it up and be nice to the fans - the fans pay their salaries! I can understand the logical argument being presented but largely this is a bunch of bullshit. Every human being has a right their privacy. By stating that when they are out they are in the public eye and therefore belong to the public, you're dehumanizing these people, turning them into little puppets for you to play with because you're bored with your life and want to grab a tiny piece of what they have. Not only is it not right, it's despicable.

When ballplayers are at the ballpark, they should be held accountable - that is their workplace, it's why we love them; because they step into the arena and do what we cannot. When a guy makes millions of dollars a year and reports to camp out of shape, shame on him. When a guy doesn't run hard on every single ball in play, shame on him. When a guy sits out because he's tired or has a ding, shame on him. But when a guy complains because he took his kids to McDonald's and they got molested 45 times by total strangers, he has a right. If you can't respect other people, no matter what their job, shame on you.

So, so long Theo. I know working with Lucchino, a true douchebag in the moistest sense of the word, surely hastened your departure. But knowing that most of us think our bosses are tools, I suspect that the killer was - you could never escape the job. Where would you go? When I get to the point that I want to kill my arrogant megalomaniacal overlord (strangely, I have one too), I can leave and do something that relaxes me, or nothing at all. I don't think Theo had that option. I think that at 31 years old he wasn't ready to be owned, not even by this team that he truly loves. Not even by this public who adores him. So he's walking away, and it's probably the right decision for him.

That's what we loved about Theo right? He could make the hard decisions. He could analyze, assess, pull the trigger, and not look back. It separated him from us. For us, the hard decision is to look at the man you admire, the man you maybe love in a strange way, and leave him the hell alone. Admire him from a distance, and take some pride in your reserve. That's the team play. I hope we learn to make it.

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