The media and spin, how can a brotha win?

5/19/09

              I want to start todays entry out on a light note then gradually get heavier..

                                                  This piece is called: 

                      “Don’t forget to check your child’s homework”
homework11.jpg

The teacher sent a note home with the student asking about the odd drawing and a note accompanied the child the following day explaining the drawing’s meaning:

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.

I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn’t show me dancing around a pole. It’s supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.

From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Smith

shirt-press.jpgOk onto more pressing issues,

Where is our fellow MLBlogger The Happy Youngster and where is his blog? It’s gone, all but his picture and his sidebar. Happy was a daily reader for me. 

Was his blog hacked, you never know it’s possible?  :)

Was he forced by MLB or his employer to cease and desist all ball hawking activities?

Was he tired of all the BS and just said F’ck it?

I can’t imagine this being the end of the Happy Youngster. Nick is a passionate ball hawk, you can’t just give that up. The dude has thick skin, he’ll emerge from all of this. 

Nick I know you read the Rant brotha, I just want to say that I hate how things turned out. I know you’re “good people” and if you’re ever in Denver I better know about it. Take this experience and re-group. Get your focus and your priorities straight and roll forward at a extremely careful pace.

 You have a lot of fans/friends around here so don’t let the haters cloud your judgement.

I was reading Rays Renegade’s blog today and he wrote a great entry on the unwritten rules of baseball.

It stimulated my brain and got me to thinking about the hidden and unhidden rules of the sport/hobby of ball hawking.

Maybe these so called rules need to be discussed and/or documented so future ball hawkers have a basis for which to learn this great sport/hobby?

          I guess the best way to start this is to give you the rules that I try to snag by.

                             Some Ball Hawking Rules of Play

First let me say, I am not an expert on this subject. I expect that those of you that have more time in this sport than me will add to these suggestions. I didn’t start ball hawking with these rules, I’ve adopted them as I’m learning this sport. 

1. Ball hawking is a non-contact sport. Touching, shoving, holding or anyway preventing another ball hawk from snagging a ball is the lowest of low in my book.

2. Realize that each individual has his/her personal space. Sometimes staying out of that space can be tricky when you’re tracking a BP homer. Just remember nobodys personal space deserves to be invaded while you’re on a quest for another baseball. Back off and let the ball go, there will always be another.

3. Be polite and courteous. “B-Hats” don’t love us I realize that, but you can do your best to not further damage our fragile image.    

                                                          B-Hats = Ball Hawk haters


large11.jpgRPR’s Dictionary defines a “B-Hat” as a special breed of loser. Usually B-Hats have never actually attended batting practice and make ridiculous assumptions on how they “think” something is as opposed to how it “Really” is. Another interesting fact is that B-Hats actually spend more time on the internet harassing ball hawks and leaving ignorant uneducated comments than ball hawks spend at the stadiums snagging baseballs.

Go figure?

4. Don’t be that guy who screams at the players to toss up baseballs then gets mad when they don’t.Go to a batting practice and you’ll see,  if you don’t harass the players they will usually reward the fans who show up early to BP by tossing up baseballs. As soon as someone cusses a player out for not tossing up a ball, the baseball charity stops. I’ve seen it plenty of times.

5. Don’t keep all the baseballs. Last year I kept the ones I caught and got them autographed. This year I’m snagging a few more so what I don’t use for autographs I give to kids at batting practice. I give them away on my terms.  

(That’s the way most of the BP regulars at Coors Field are. They will keep anything that is different or new to them. The other baseballs they catch are given away as soon as they are snagged.)

6. When at all possible during BP stay out of a fellow snaggers bleacher row or general area. There’s plenty of room, so no need to crowd anyone.(If you can read between the lines here that means please don’t stand next to me).

7. Congratulate someone you notice make a nice catch. You know it’s nice to hear it so throw it out there yourself. People like to know you noticed.

7. This one I’m still working on myself, but ignore the haters. People that don’t go to batting practice have no idea what goes on or what we do. I never have a problem educating someone how things “Really” are so on this one I’m a work in progress.

youkilus.jpg8. Always keep an eye out for kids and BP homers. Somebody has to pay attention to those BP missiles crashing into the bleachers. I don’t ever want to see a kid get hit with a ball because someone was afraid to catch or deflect a baseball headed for a group of kids because they didn’t want to hurt their hand.

(<——Youkilis getting tagged by Chein-Ming Wang)

There are those of you who say it’s wrong for an adult to bring a glove to a game. I’ve been hit with a ball so speaking from personal experience you are out of line and absolutely clueless on this one. 

Personally I think that if your stadium seats are anywhere near foul ball or home run territory you’re a fool not to bring a glove as protection.

When you have your glove with you you’re able to fend off any enemy baseballs that may be on a mission to try and shorten or drastically alter your happy lifestyle. Don’t believe me? Take a baseball hit off of a bat to the head then see how great life is with a busted skull or worse. 

cat helmet.jpgIf you don’t bring a glove I suggest a helmet. I hate helmet hair so I opt for bringing my glove. 

9. ALWAYS say thank you if you’re tossed a ball or a player does something nice for you. Remember the players owe you nothing.

       My take on the whole Happy/Coghlan thing:

I have really thought about this a lot and in my opinion (not to bash Happy whatsoever),  you cannot be team loyal and then swap gear just to get more baseballs. Zack Hample gets away with it but he’ll be the first to tell you he’s not team loyal,  he’s a fan of baseball. 

Happy swapped his Brewers gear for Marlins gear on the chance of snaggin more baseballs. By doing that Milwalkee, The Brewers Nation, the Marlins and the state of Florida turned on him.  

This country will forgive an athlete who staged dog fights and others who repeatedly abuse drugs and alcohol? Can’t we forgive a overzealous baseball fan who just wanted a couple of baseball bats for his collection?

         Do it Happy, give em their apology so they’ll shutup and then move on brotha.

Remember when in doubt always take the high road, then you can look down and laugh and you don’t get stuck in the rockslide…DThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image

6 Comments

You can tell Happy really has a passion for getting those balls. I met him in Toronto for a brief while and you should have seen him bolt for a ball hit anywhere in the vacinity of us!! He loves it, he has a passion!

I wish I had that much passion for anything in my life! I really hope that he has not gotten too discouraged from all this. It is a very intriguing story, not only to baseball fans even. I really hope he comes back with his blog too.

http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

Given what “happy” does day in and day out, I stand behind this guy. he didn’t have to give the ball back.
ever MLB player even if it is a a”rookie” makes ridiculous amounts of $$ to play baseball. That is a great thing for them. “Happy” PAYS ridiculous prices to snag baseballs. He absolutely has a right to ask for what he did. It is not like he asked for $1000.00 for the ball. Which I probably would have done.
All those who snag baseballs inspire me to try for more. While I only have less than 40 in my life. I did get 22 last year, and already set a single game record of 3 in my 1st game this year.
all that to say, I hope Happy continues to snag. Let’s all remember, that the FANS are what continues to pay MLB salaries.

D – you raise a lot of good points. It is hard sometimes when people are perceived as “overzealous” about wanting to get a ball from the game. We saw that last night at the Red Sox game – it was a close game, the Jays popped a ball up into foul territory, our catcher raised to get it – he did BUT he had to fight off the fan who leaned over to try and catch it instead! And while I know that Happy is one of the good guys I have to agree with you – I can not imagine going to a game and wearing clothing from anytime except the Red Sox! If you just change clothes to try and get more balls handed to you then what are you a fan of? Cooler heads need to prevail and I hope that Happy comes back!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Well said, Ranter. I like the term “B-Hats.” I hope the Happy Youngster emerges unscathed from all of this and comes back with a vengeance.

D
I loved the homework story.
Maybe I can use that when I go back to Grad school as a ice-breaker at the college mixers lol.
As for the “Happy” situation.
I am of the family where you take what the nplayer gives you personally. It is not a debate.
I remember when Matt Sinatro was the Rays Bullpen coach and Aubrey Huff hit his 30th homer.
I went and got the guy for Matt and the guy was making demands.
Matt informed him that he had a ball in his hand, and it was the 30th homer if the guy became an *** about it all. Plain and simple, he got an autographerd ball and bat from Huff in the end.
The actual ball would mean more, but the feat itself is the pure prize. We forget that sometimes.
People were positioned all over the Trop in hopes of Jason Giambi’s 300th during their series against the Rays.
I actually know what the person would have gotten after chatting with the Giambino one night at a local brew house.
But the true fact is we do not do balhawking as a profession, so anything that we get from the actions should be considered a great addition to your collection.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

HOMER-Agreed brotha, I’m into it, but Happy takes it to a new level and I’m ok with that. It’s his thing.
MRESPOT-Keep up the snaggin, sounds like you’re off to a good start.
JULIA-He’s back :)
ZACK-Sup brotha? You gonna be in beautiful Colorado this summer?
RAYSREN-Thanks, I’m starting to realize it’s all how you present yourself in these negotiations. Keep you’re cool and don’t be too demanding seems to be the key. There is no “standard operating proceedure” for what to do in these situations, so each incident is it’s own baby if you know what I mean. Some baseballs hit by some players will historically have value to them, some will not.
Why is it ok to sell a Bonds baseball for big bucks and not ask for a couple of bats for another player?
Maybe Ball Hawks need agents to negotiate their deals? I’m just kidding, but you see how crazy sheet can get…D

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