EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Happy Monday, everyone! Apparently it’s Fake News that we are in Spring. We got a dusting of snow overnight up here. Such has been the miserable weather in Western New York, but I don’t think I will get sympathy from anyone, so let’s just get to today’s topics: Jackie Robinson Importance, Next Sho-Time, NBA Playoffs; NBA Play
Jackie Robinson’s Importance
This weekend was the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. I got into a debate with a friend about the importance of Robinson as compared to the importance of intergrating baseball. Here is the conversation in full.
Dave: Great column about Jackie Robinson, with some great quotes. The gist of it is, he was hopeful about white America in the 40s and 50s, but before he died he realized he “never had it made.” (link to an article, but they don’t pay me to big up their work)
Junoir: I just think never had it made was the name of his book but he long realized that. In my study of him, I think he was hopeful for loads of change but by the end, he realized it would be brutally slow and he would likely not live long enough to see a black manager.
Dave: Jackie Robinson is among the most overrated figures in history. Larry Doby erasure bugs the hell out of me. Two reasons: First, Robinson did it in New York, so that has more cultural cache, I guess, but the American drive toward equality isn’t mostly happening in New York. Second, by making Robinson The One, it teaches us that change is made by One Great Man. But it obviously isn’t. The vanguard needs reinforcements. So the first black player in the AL mattered, just like the first black pitcher, and the first black catcher. (For those who don’t follow baseball, the catcher is widely acknowledged as a leadership position that requires intelligence. Think about how long it was for black quarterbacks to be uncontroversial. )
Junoir: Valid point about the journey but being the first one you always get it in the teeth as you go through the door. The pressure of being the only one in the whole league, under the brightest spotlight as you are on a flagship team is unfathomable. Being the only black guy on a team is off putting as I can tell you from personal experience but all the attention? Black people talk about the stress of ambassadorship in America but very few of us has had to actually been an ambassador on the national stage. That cannot be overstated or overrated.
Dave: Larry Doby debuted just a few months later. It’s not like he came 2 years later.
Junoir: How happy do you think Doby was that he had Robinson to call?
Funny Robinson story: As you know, New Yorkers hate the renaming of landmarks and bridges. People still call the Ed Koch Bridge, the 59th Street Bridge and if you call it the Koch, you’re just another fudging transplant from Minnesota or something. They decided to change the name of the thruway that connects Brooklyn and Queens from Interboro Parkway to The Jackie Robinson Parkway. I have never seen people switch to calling something it’s new name. People would quickly be like the traffic on “The Jackie” is the worst when it rains. You call it the Interboro and you were the jerk face. No way is he overrated.
I am calling him the new Sho-time. Shohei Ohtani is the Japanese Phenom that came to MLB and continued to be awesome winning an MVP. Well the baseball scouts in Japan, will need to ring their bosses in the US. Japanese pitcher Roki Sasaki threw a 19-strikeout perfect game in his last start then yesterday in his most recent start he pitched 8 perfect innings before being taken out and then his team lost in the ninth. Must be pitching for the Japanese version of the Mets. He keeps this up and when the season is over, 2023 he will be in the USA.
NBA Playoffs Game 1’s
The highlights of the first games of the first round of the NBA Playoffs say a few things. The Celtics beat the Nets at the buzzer and showed that sometimes it’s better to just rundown the court and run a play than call a timeout and let the opponent get set with their best defensive players… The Warriors unveiled their small-ball death squad that is gonna be headache as they finish out games… Trae Young and the Hawks couldn’t solve the Heat defense… The Suns showed they are gonna be a PROBLEM to any team they face… Dallas Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic went down and is in doubt for the series, meaning the Mavs season is in doubt.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment below. Come back tomorrow for our Ben Whitney, who try to tell you that Yankees are looking at bringing Clemens and Pettitte back.