Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Things That Don't Make Sense

Monday the Red Sox had their home opener against the Yankees and also used the occasion to pick up their World Series rings. By most accounts it was a good day, especially considering that the Sox won 8-1, but by the time Baseball Tonight rolled around you would've thought that in addition to recognizing guys like Yaz and Pesky, the Sox also curtain called David Duke and Senator Robert Byrd circa 1955.

Creating all the commotion was the tag team duo of Harold Reynolds and John Kruk (if you're in need of an analogy, Kruk is to baseball analyst what Reynolds was to professional baseball player). Honestly, I like Reynolds on BT primarily because he usually makes cogent points and also has the perspective of a former player. Kruk is tolerable because he plays the tubby buffoon to perfection, but anything more than a glance at his writing will make you want to poke your eyes out with mellon ballers.

Anyway, Karl Ravich mentioned that both Derek Lowe and Dave Roberts -- two guys who played very big roles in Boston's 2004 postseason success -- showed up for the ceremony, and both emerged from the dugout wearing their Red Sox uniforms (Roberts, by the way, looked more like a high school chemistry teacher instead of the guy who had maybe the biggest stolen base in Red Sox postseason history). Of course both guys now play in Southern California, but because they actually won the Series in Boston, and because the ceremony took all of 15 minutes, it seemed harmless enough to everyone except Kruk and Reynolds.

Reynolds started things off by saying that it was not only disrespectful to their current teams, but if he was a player for the Dodgers (in Lowe's case) he wouldn't be comfortable when Lowe returned to the team, and would probably have some sage-like advice for him about how players are supposed to act. And don't misunderstand, Reynolds (and Kruk too) had no problem with either player attending the ceremony, but instead got their unmentionables in a bunch over the fact that they donned their former teams unis for a couple of minutes while they got their rings. I wonder if they would've felt better if Lowe came out in his full Dodger uniform -- would that've made a difference in their minds? I mean, other than looking completely ridiculous, it probably would've been the perfect solution to a problem that wasn't there.

This line of reasoning makes the argument even dopier. Who cares if Lowe wore his former team's jersey while celebrating a World Series win that was 86 years in the making? Reynolds and Kruk seem to think that this act of treason makes Lowe and Roberts less loyal to their current employers. Does it though? Of course not, and to think otherwise is pretty ridiculous. And why both Kruk and Reynolds kept harping on the point wasn't really clear.

What made things funny was that Tim Kurkijian basically made the point that both Reynolds and Kruk were on drugs because no one on the planet believed it was disrespectful (well almost no one ... I'll get to that in a minute). There's nothing quite like watching a four-foot writer tell former MLB players that they're being ridiculous about something baseball-related; I half-expected Kruk to reach across the set and flick Kurkijian off-camera like he was a bug, but it didn't happen.

Now, to the only other person who thought Lowe/Roberts were treacherous in their actions: Michael Wilbon. Yesterday on PTI he toed the Reynolds/Kruk line and not surprisingly, he too came off looking like a buffoon. I usually agree with most of Wilbon's sentiments, but it wasn't clear why he thought this was an argument worth fighting. If I had to guess, it probably had something to do with the fact that he spent all day hanging out with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith and eight hours later, his IQ had dropped by 80 points.

I thought I'd never say this, but Kruk and Reynolds (and Wilbon) are too much -- just give me Millar and Damon (OK, I'm kidding ... I think).