Category Archives: everything else

No-hitter by Sanchez “unlikely”? Not when you’re given a chance to shine

Here’s a lesson we can all take away from the magnificent no-hitter thrown last night by the Giant’s Jonathan Sanchez.

The baseball was great last night. Near perfect. But the non-baseball lesson was even better.

Give people  with  talent a real opportunity, don’t give up on them, and eventually they will rise to their talent level.

In social terms, some people would call that a form of  “affirmative action. ”  It’s just about giving people who would ordinarily be ignored  a chance to fulfill their maximum potential.

Before last night, the Giants almost gave up on Sanchez. Fans were calling for his head.  The club needed a hitter and had a surplus of young arms. But apparently no GM was willing to trade for  Sanchez or give him a chance.

The lefty was unceremoniously sent to baseball’s woodshed and demoted to the bullpen.

By every statistical standard, the Giants should have dumped Sanchez, a massive underachiever.  If there was a less anal, bean-crunching GM in the league, Sanchez surely  would have been dealt off before Friday night.

But circumstances like Randy Johnson going to the disabled list, left Sanchez as the Giants’ only option for a Friday start. They had to believe.

It was the opportunity a real gamer relishes. Sanchez, who has shown real glimpses of greatness inthe past, perhaps every third inning he pitched, was set up to prove himself.

It was the opportunity everyone with a strong belief in their talent relishes.

All you need is the chance. Or someone to give you one.  After the game, Sanchez mentioned how he put some extra time in with  Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti.  Rags certainly didn’t give up on Sanchez.

Last night, Sanchez emerged as a different pitcher. The hook and sink on all his pitches seemed to be guided to their spots perfectly. And the Padre hitters seemed totally mystified.

The game had its dramatic moments and disappointments. The Uribe error, the Rowand catch.  All that and the Giants were hitting!   The baseball part was great last night.

But the non-baseball parts were even better.  Sanchez’ father was in the stands watching for the first time. And for the first time, it all came together for Sanchez.

When people with promise are given a chance to shine, they can and will.

The Giants extended Sanchez another chance, and he affirmed their belief and his own talent by throwing a gem, the first no-hitter in the majors this year.

It was nine innings for all of the Jonathan Sanchez’s in life, the ones often described as “unlikely.”

Imagine the  amount of potential unfulfilled because people have been deemed “unlikely” all their lives.

You are only “unlikely” if you’re never given an opportunity.

But with a chance, you can surprise and amaze.

Surprising. Amazing.

That’s exactly what the Giants’  Jonathan Sanchez was at AT&T Park.

The Media and Michael Jackson: Welcome to the Jackson School of Law, Public Health and Race

I had to stop watching. The orgy over Michael Jackson was deserved to a point, and then with 24-hour cable channels pumping out to a “Thriller” beat, it just got embarrassing with the media practically pandering to the mass audience the story is attracting.

Leave it to the Wall Street Journal to put things in perspective. Wednesday’s front page featured above the fold horizontal photos of Uighurs and Hans!  (The Uighars? Did they sing a cover of “I Want You Back”? )  Where was Jackson in the new hip Journal? MJ was in a small box, a photo of his coffin and a caption  on the left under the masthead.

A triumph of journalistic restraint!

The story now unfolds like any other emotion-filled  mega-story before it , i.e., the O.J. trial. that’s when the news became our de facto public school of law.  O.J  was our criminal law class.   MJ is our our  family law and probate class.

As we learn of the details of Jackson’s life,  you’ll be asking yourself if you have a will or an estate plan. You can count on that. You wouldn’t want to end up in the mess the courts are about to untangle.

So the news will become part law school, part business school case study , and potentially a seminar in the Jackson  school of public health; that is,  if we ever during the course of the next few months discover what killed Jackson, what tormented  him, and what he was running away to or from.

We have lots to look forward to!

Notice I have avoided taking the contrary approach like  one blogger on Alternet which called Jackson an icon of mediocrity who wasn’t a good dancer, singer, musician. Like what’s the fuss?  That’s an elitist approach, to which I’ll confess to using it in the past.  But save that tack for denigrating mass love shown for Donny Osmond. Or at the passing of one of the Monkees.

Jackson was far too complex and gifted.  And troubled.

His most complicated role that’s worth examining may well be the psychological toll race had on his psyche.

Jackson wanted to transcend race as if he were music and the dance, the universal forms that made him the King of Pop.

He couldn’t do that as a person, no matter how he tried. Jackson didn’t survive his fight against race and identity, no matter how he tried to transform himself.

But his music triumphed and that shall live forever.

State of play: My analog weekend with Russell Crowe, Asparagus and the Tubes

Russell Crowe in his new movie “State of Play” is as pitch perfect as it gets in his depiction of the good old-fashioned journalist.

It was both nostalgic and sentimental for this old reporter. Like an old cowboy looking at a Western.

As Cal McAffrey, ink-stained wretch, Crowe uses the back seat of his aging Saab as a combination trash-can/file cabinet. He drives while listening to loud Irish music, so he has a touch of the ethnic journalist in him. He likes his car so much, his apartment décor resembles his car. Outward appearances be damned, McCaffrey considers fashion an affront to the truth, which of course, is all he cares about, no matter how painful it is.

The movie centers around a basic dilemma for journalists: Who’s a friend? Who’s a source? Who can you sleep with?

And the truth is found the old fashioned way. No guns.(Only the bad guys have those).  No superhuman powers. McAffrey Crowe just asks questions; of editors, sources, colleagues, himself.  In the end, what’s left are just the facts. No opinion. No blogs. Continue reading State of play: My analog weekend with Russell Crowe, Asparagus and the Tubes