Single page view By Tim Keown
Page 2

Let's pretend for a moment that baseball resembles real life. It'll take a stretch, but maybe everyone can close their eyes and let their minds drift into the realm of the outlandish.

Ozzie Guillen
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
"What? Did I say something that offended you?"

First, we have Ozzie Guillen and his now-epic and ever-childish back-and-forth with Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti. Guillen called Mariotti a "bleeping fag" -- except he didn't say "bleeping." Guillen was ordered to take sensitivity training, a prospect he promptly mocked.

Imagine Ozzie as an employee in the real world. Forget his problems with Mariotti -- the tough-talking columnist who won't go to the locker room because he's afraid (of something or other) -- and look at Ozzie's behavior. In what profession would this fly? What organization allows one of its most high-profile employees to behave like this in public and doesn't respond with even a public censure? And no, GM Kenny Williams' surprisingly candid mention of "someday" facing the possibility of getting rid of Ozzie because of his mouth doesn't rise to the status of public censure.

And even though Ozzie has received a remarkable amount of attention lately, there's an even more egregious example of baseball's distance from reality. Phillies pitcher Brett Myers was arrested early Friday morning after allegedly assaulting his wife on a Boston sidewalk. There were witnesses and some pretty damning evidence that Myers took a break from chivalry for at least a few moments.

And what happened to Myers? He took to the mound, starting for his team the next calendar day. On Saturday in Fenway Park, he was pitching and hearing about it from the Red Sox fans. Isn't that amazing? Someone should write a story about Myers' courage and fortitude, his ability to blot out all those nagging issues of getting accused of wife beating on a public street. It would be a wonderful, feel-good human interest story.

I know one guy who would be willing to provide testimony. Myers' manager, Charlie Manuel, proved to be an argument against evolution when he expressed his displeasure with the media's insistence on questioning Myers about the incident. The boy shouldn't have to answer those questions, Manuel said.

Isn't it better, sometimes, just to keep your mouth shut?

Oh, by the way, here are the vitals on the Myers' battle:

Brett Myers, 6 foot 4, 240 pounds.

Kim Myers, 5 foot 4, 120 pounds.

Baseball is a really twisted world. It's the only major sport that pays almost no attention to public image unless and until the public outrage spills over the top. After all, this is a sport that needed two authors and their killer book to finally own up to the steroid problem and order someone to investigate.

You want to know how messed up this is? You want proof? The Guillen-Mariotti fiasco, perhaps because it pertains to sensitivity training, has brought John Rocker out from under the porch. The dogs were barking or something, but Big John came out and said sensitivity training was a waste of time. A farce, he called it.

What hath Ozzie wrought? A return of Rocker, that's what. God help us all.



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