Workin for a Livin

FLIP:  Jeff Sullivan with another fine essay, this one on Raul Ibanez and the championship that would fittingly cap Raauuul's career.

Jeffy proposes that there are four basic attributes to The Player Who Deserves a Ring...

1.  Veteran - has paid the dues

2.  Hard Worker - has paid the dues

3.  A Good Player - see chop

4. A Good Person


CHOP:  Lemme throw these four dice into the Yahtzee cup, shake, and re-throw.

All of these relate to another Grand Theme:  we all hate to see hard work go for naught.  ... my son, John, has played basketball and baseball while growing up, and has always resisted football.  This year, as a high school senior, he finally walked on to the team -- after they'd played their first game of the year, LOL -- had somebody show him how to stuff his pads in his jersey, and gave it a whirl.

He was warned about what kind of PT he could expect, but worked so hard in practice that he got sick to his stomach.  As a basketball player, it was quite a discovery the day that two starting-varsity linemen sandwiched his shooting hand between their two helmets. 

John came home daily, looking like he'd been beaten with a club.  One bruise on his arm swelled up so tight I thought it would have to be drained...  on top of that, he's played the last two weeks with a hacking cough and headache...

He's played a few downs at DE each game (which makes daddy proud as pumpkins considering the senior midseason walk-on).  But today he got in there a lot, in a 48-0 victory that had the other team actually quit and go home at halftime.  (Did not realize that was legal.)

(Birdwalk here, so sue me... John has a little NFL-Street thing where he can pass behind his back -- a good 40 yards -- as well as he can throw conventionally.  The coach was just about to put him in at QB, to throw a Pete Maravich fly pattern behind his back, when the other team called the refs over and quit.  I wonder what kind of riot that would have caused!?)

The point is this.  Had John killed himself in padded football drills, and never gotten onto the field for a single play ... I'd have feared for the lesson it taught him about life, liberty and happiness.  What would he have learned?  That if you give something your entire being, it's just as likely you'll get nothing for it?  ::shudder::

As it turned out, he did get a taste, and so all's well that ends well.


I think that it's a deep-seated fear in human beings, that we might sacrifice mightily for a thing -- and then have it turn out to be for nothing anyway.  What keeps people from giving up smoking?

It seems to me, that to see a Raul Ibanez play for the title his whole life and not get it ... that's a vaguely frightening prospect for all of us.


As to Jeffy's last point:  if we don't like a guy, we don't care if he's stiffed by fate.  There, "karma" takes over.

ARod works hard, that's for sure, but he's got his reward already.  He's got his money, his recognition and his website with the stylized image of himself.  We don't really want to see him get more than he already has.


Kenji Johjima, that was a major bummer.  The guy came over here, ran head down middle of the pack, kept his mouth shut and did everything he could possibly do to help his team win... I felt terrible at what he received for it.

He'll have to take consolation in the fact that he moved the NPB-MLB tolerance factor forward... also, he returns home to accept the adulation of Japanese fans for having represented Japan honorably.

Granted, I'll take the same lack of appreciation if you'll cut me an $8M check.

Anybody know if Johjima-san is likely to play in the next WBC?  Three-peat baby :- )


Chuck Knox wrote a poignant section of his book talking about what a championship would mean in his life.  He watched a Super Bowl celebration one time, and "I vowed, if such a moment were ever mine...." I forget what he vowed.

Was there ever a Man who fought more honorably for a prize he was always denied?

Chuck Knox, Steve Largent, Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar, Walter Jones in the 2005 Super Bowl ... I didn't vote for her, but watching Hillary fight so gamely and, yes, honorably only to see Barack Obama ushered on by her, that was tough ... Brian Holman had a perfect game going into the 9th inning when Ken Phelps hit a home run off him, breaking up the shutout even, in one swing.  What a kick in the gut.

Watching people fight so honorably and lose.  It doesn't seem right.  The Eastern Hemisphere consoles itself with the entire doctrine of Karma so as to soothe the pain resulting.


Sure, it'll be nice to see Raul win.  Who roots for the Yankees, anyway.  They've got plenty.

My $0.02,

Dr D



Sullivan often surprises me with his self-awareness. A lot of his more editorial sounding pieces have got this "yeah this is biased and maybe not entirely rational...but it's my bias, I like my bias and here is why" theme to them. Very refreshing. And the dude can write.


He's determined to base his assessement on facts, and when they're not, he's acutely aware of it - and secure in his writing in that kind of presentation, too.
Definitely a super-talented guy.  Wonder where he'll wind up in ten years :- )
Also cool that, despite the blog-o-sphere's history with Raul, LL isn't married to the past on it.
For my part, I was pretty frustrated with the GM committee of the time, that went with Raul as opposed to Stars & Scrubs, but the Committee definitely appraised Raul's ability better than we did.  Probably tipped off by Gillick ;- )

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