NY Sports Dog: September 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jeff Pearlman's Awakening

Sportswriter Jeff Pearlman is the author of the classic, "The Bad Guys Won".  It's one of my favorite baseball books.  He also writes for Sports Illustrated and has several other books out.

Like most baseball writers, Pearlman got wind of the Mets Walter Reed visit and heard about the three Mets that didn't make the trip.  His perspective on their non-visit resulted in what I consider an unfortunate piece for Sports Illustrated.

I called Jeff Pearlman on the piece, writing on his blog:  

Jeff:  I just wanted to thank you, in advance, for your upcoming visit to Walter Reed. I know all of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines there will enjoy the personally autographed books you’ll be bringing them.

E-mail me if you want me to go with you…really.


This morning I saw this from Pearlman: "Sometimes You're Simply Wrong..."
In it he says:
Started thinking about it this afternoon, while doing my regular Friday segment on Hardly Workin’ With Greg Burton, an ESPN Radio show in Richmond. Greg asked about the column, and as I began to dump on the players it hit me: How many times have I visited Walter Reed? How many cards have I sent the troops? How many meals have I cooked? How much money have I donated?
In other words, why am I expecting more of three ballplayers than I am of myself? And why do they have a greater obligation to charitable deeds than I do?
Answer: They don’t. If they were wrong not attending, I’m wrong for doing jack shit.
Jeff Pearlman came up with a solution--do something.  He actually took the time to contact Walter Reed and offer up his time, his books, and the opportunity to sit and chat with the wounded to talk baseball, sports, books, etc.

A very good thing, by a good man.....very good indeed.
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

From a 21-Year Military Veteran: Leave Them Alone

I am a 21-year veteran of the Armed Forces, and a disabled vet as well.  I am absolutely appalled by the Press coverage that Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez are getting for not going to Walter Reed.

Why?  It is not big deal that they didn't go.

Carlos Beltran said he visited a VA hospital this off-season and had meetings to attend about his charity on the day of the Walter Reed visit.

Luis Castillo said he is not comfortable around amputees and those with other disfigurements.

Oliver Perez refuses comment, which is his right.

The fact of the matter is that this wasn't a visit to the zoo, it wasn't some mandatory fun, it was a visit to Walter Reed to pay tribute to fighting men.  Why on Earth should someone be forced to do it?  If it was voluntary, then why make a fuss over anyone who didn't attend?

Oliver Perez is from Mexico.  Does that mean if an American works in Mexico he needs to go visit a Mexican veteran's home?  Should they wear a Viva Zapata! shirt while doing so?

If Luis Castillo doesn't want to see disfigured people, do you force him to go and deal with the trauma?  Do you make the soldiers uncomfortable by forcing a guy on them who refuses to look, or possibly gets physically ill in their presence?

Do you force Carlos Beltran to delay the meetings for his $10M charity, and his lifelong dream, so that one more baseball player goes to Walter Reed?

Here's something you may or may not care about--those guys at Walter Reed get visits all the time.  It's not like this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet their hero.

I am staggered by the reporting here, and I guarantee you that if you speak with any Walter Reed Soldier, Airman, or Marine, they would tell you to leave those three guys alone. 
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