A part of

Issue # 29 Thursday June 4,1998

About the Author:

Charles Loyd McIntosh

In 1997 Charles Loyd McIntosh was a news writer for the Talledega Daily Home (www.dailyhome.com). He was a former reporter for The Western Star in Bessemer (a small city west of Birmingham), Alabama, and a former Sports Editor for the Clanton Advertiser. At the time he was writing for the Sideroad, Loyd was pursuing a Masters in English degree at the University of Montevallo, Alabama. An avid sports fan, soccer is Loyd's sport of choice, one he has been known to coach in the recent past.


Running From The Punches

I guess most of you have seen the video of the fight between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles after Orioles pitcher Armando Benitez hit Yankee batter Tino Martinez in the back after Benitez gave up a home run to the previous Bronx Bomber batter.

I haven't seen anything like that since I was backstage at the Miss America pageant. Sequined gowns were tearing and tiaras were snapping like wishbones in a whirlwind of feminine terror.

Of course I'm kidding. Lighten up.

However, Daryl Strawberry's sucker punch of Benitez did have an "I just lost to a short, fat Miss Arkansas" ring to it. But hey, Daryl is Daryl.

In all seriousness, these kind of things wouldn't happen if Major League baseball had some leadership, but, as we know, it doesn't. After all of the fines were levied and player's reputations tarnished, there was an uneasy feeling that baseball had, once again, gotten out of control. It was sort of like the beginning of tensions in Pakistan. No one knew exactly where it was going.

Coming from an armchair athlete, the idea that a pitcher would intentionally throw at a batter's head as a way of communicating his displeasure over a home run boggles the mind. What exactly is he trying to prove? That he's got to be dangerous because he can't pitch worth a damn? What a tough guy. He stood 60 feet away and tried to knock a man unconscious.

A good way to end this kind of garbage is to end the American League's 25 year experiment with the designated hitter. I doubt a pitcher would intentionally throw at another man's head knowing he had to face an opposing pitcher at the plate.

But then this leads us right back to the leadership question. How can two leagues that play each other on a regular basis now have a set of different rules? This could only happen in baseball.

The only good thing about last week's fight between the Birds and the Bronx Bombers is the relatively lack of support from Benitez's team mates for what he had done. I didn't see a single Oriole fighting too hard to defend him. The Yankees had him running so scared he snapped his jock strap completely in two just from the tension.

We're talking some serious pucker, baby!

I guess he did the manly thing when faced with danger. He ran. Ran like the wind. And, when it looked like he was safe in his own dugout, he was blindsided by Strawberry, another great man of integrity.

See you on the rastlin' circuit fellas.

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Text copyright Charles Loyd MacIntosh, 1997 - '98. Part of the original Sideroad ezine.
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