Well, the 2020 baseball season is off and running. I’ll try to be enthusiastic. It’s getting such a late start, it’s hard to get into it. The rhythm of the season has been thrown off. In spite of all that, at least I now have something new to write about.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are off to a less than impressive start. After getting bombed 9-2 and 12-1 in two exhibition games with the Los Angeles Dodgers, they dropped their first two regular season games to the San Diego Padres, 7-2 and 5-1. They won the third game, 4-3, for their first win of the regular season.
The first game saw recent acquisition Kole Calhoun smack his first home run as a D-Back. Left-handed pitcher Madison Bumgarner’s debut as a D-Back was less than auspicious. He lasted four-and-two-thirds innings and gave up three earned runs. He also gave up four hits, walked three, and struck out four.
The D-Backs came from behind to win the third game, scoring four runs in the last two innings. Ketel Marte, Starling Marte, and David Peralta each had an RBI. Ketel and Peralta each had two hits, and they both scored runs themselves. Reliever Archie Bradley got the win.
By the time this shows up in print, the D-Backs will have played their final game in the series in San Diego and will be heading to Arlington, Texas to play the Rangers.
The D-Backs have their home opener July 30, but I don’t know why I mention this. Fans aren’t allowed to attend, so why should anyone care if they’re home or not?
I saw how the players took a knee prior to the season opener between the Washington Nationals and New York Yankees. Do you want to know what my reaction was? It wasn’t anger. It wasn’t disgust. It wasn’t supportive of their actions, either. The best way to describe my reaction was I was annoyed.
That’s right, I was annoyed. It’s like I expected them to do something like that. They had to show how much they supported Black Lives Matter and how they were protesting injustice. I wanted to roll my eyes and say, “Oh, brother!”
As Ronald Reagan might have said, “There you go again.”
I watched how women soccer players kneeled during the National Anthem and wore “Black Lives Matter” shirts. I saw how WNBA players walked off the court during the National Anthem and wear the names of women-of-color who have been killed by the police on their jerseys. They also have Black Lives Matter painted on their courts and banners in the arenas.
I’m certain a lot of the feelings behind all this are genuine. However, I believe it’s becoming overblown. It’s starting to feel like a marketing ploy. It’s almost fashionable now to show everyone how “woke” you are. When something becomes overblown and seems more like a marketing play, it loses much of its original meaning.
The end result of overdoing the protests is a lot of people will stop noticing or caring. They’ll accept the kneeling as just part of the pre-game rituals, and they’ll see the names on the jerseys and the Black Lives Matter banners as just part of the scenery. The whole point of the protests will have been lost.
Given how much Americans need to examine their history and learn how to deal with the racist and oppressive aspects of that history, this would be a shame. Athletes can certainly speak their minds and voice their opinions, but they also need to remember they don’t want people to take their protests as just another part of the game.
The people the protestors are protesting on behalf of deserve better.