BURNSIE BITES

Faith, Family, Country, Sports

Chipping away at our defense — via the Diamond

Over 16 years ago singer/songwriter Paula Cole asked the question:  Where have all the Cowboys gone?  Maybe she had a crystal ball and saw the forthcoming wussification of America.  Whether its a personal choice or the unrelenting efforts of society to re-shape what a man is supposed to be, and why toughness is needed, our country is becoming softer by the day.

Today, Major League Baseball has decided to ban collisions at home plate.  After hearing this, I knew I must watch ESPN’s Around the Horn to hear what the “experts” had to say.

Today they included journalism professor Kevin Blackistone, who on this very show in early November referred to our National Anthem as a “war anthem” and the Boston Globe’s legendary sportswriter Bob Ryan. In his November 17 column, Ryan lamented his covering of professional football and takes part of the blame for being an “enabler” to a sport that has caused so much head trauma.  Not surprising, both, along with the two other panelists, agreed that banning collisions at home plate was a good idea.

Some who actually played the game disagreed (there are others who will also agree). Oakland outfielder Josh Reddick tweeted:  ”No more home plate collisions?! What is this? NFL quarterbacks are catchers now?” Former catcher and current NY Yankees manage Joe Girardi concurred:  ”I lost time as a catcher being run over a couple different times, but I thought it was part of my job and I enjoyed the contact.  Now I’m not so sure that everyone enjoys contact. But I love football, so I liked it.”

What will come next in baseball?  Not breaking up the double play?  Face-masks for batters?  How about hitting off a tee?  Cutting home plate in half so pitchers cannot throw on the inside corner for fear of hitting a batter who hangs over the plate like a tree limb?

I played baseball growing up, in high school and college and was always under the assumption that those in the batters box were on offense and the dudes in the field played defense.  The nine guys on defense do all they can (within the rules) to make sure no one crosses home plate.  Home plate in baseball and the end zone in football are very similar – they are the end point.  If the other team crosses more than you, you lose.

Therefore, each team is called to … defend.  That word is not as honorable and well thought of as it used to be.  In a game or life, defending hurts.  Some may respond that it’s just a game, and it is.  If that’s the case, why is the media and this administration in DC attempting to punish citizens owning firearms that want only to defend something much more important than home plate or an end zone – their family and belongings?  The Constitution says we have that right by law (that the Left is working tirelessly to tear apart).  This is where I see PCness (political correctness), and its destruction of our moral, ethical and national fiber, along with the long, oppressive arm of big government, seeping into every area of life.

This is about much more than banning collisions at home plate.  Silently our inner toughness as a country is being chipped away and when that is weakened, so is our ability to defend.

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