Even in January, “The Game has changed.” That’s the standard rationalization/half-explanation to a full one that, if completed, defies sense. Even now, when the NFL has about completed another season of trying to wring every last vestige of the sport from its sport — Vince Lombardi is rolling over in his Trophy — baseball refuses to take time off from doing the same. Last week, MLB Network proudly promoted its first presentation of “The 50 Best Bat Flips.” Oddly enough, the one-hour show didn’t include the bat flips of Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Harmon Killebrew, Frank Robinson and the most enthusiastic player of his time, Ernie Banks. It didn’t even include the dramatic bat flip performed by Jackie Robinson in the 2013 movie about his life, “42.” That’s because Robinson never “performed” a bat flip. That bogus scene, now widely regarded as historical fact, was included to satisfy modern needs that place a premium on conspicuous individual immodesty within what used to be played, enjoyed and even cherished as team games. MLBN’s chosen work in this endeavor — who chose it as a worthy topic? — arrived at a time when credible Little League umpires and rec-league refs, nationwide, are packing it in. Be they volunteers or 25 bucks-per-gamers, they can no longer suffer the obnoxious, often violence-provoking unsportsmanlike conduct among kids and their parents — nearly all of it taught, spread and cemented by what our pro sports, TV and marketing geniuses have determined as best for business.
MLB now going out of its way to celebrate bat-flip immodesty
New York Post | Jan 29