Jackie and Reality

Jackie Robinson was a historic figure. In baseball, in pro sports, in civil rights, in life. That being said, and having lived through the Jackie Robinson saga, we can not but notice there is a wide gap between today's deification of Jackie and the actual reality 60  years ago.

Where are the public celebrations of Branch Rickey, the man who orchestrated it all?

Where are the reality based celebrations of the role of Roy Campanella, of Pee Wee Reese, the southerner who changed literally before our eyes, of Dick Young and the other valiant sportswriters of the era? It's as if they didn't exist.

Jackie was great, but he was far from a saint.

Many if not most of  those celebrating today don't have a clue about what life was like for both blacks and whites 60 years ago.

They are creating a world they didn't know and often is very, very different from the world that was then.

Jackie Robinson is a historic sports figure. When decrying the lack of Afro Americans in big league baseball today, one really has to look at all pro sports. Include football and basketball, both at the professional  and  collegiate level. Include the Latin Americans in numbers counts or at least acknowledge that many Latin American baseball players are of mixed racial heritage.

We watched Jackie from day one. We met him several times.

We  met many if not most of the players in this saga even if they are not remembered now. Most would have looked at the hyped festivities of 2007 with at least a raised eyebrow if not bemusement. It was not like it is portrayed now in many, many respects.

Jackie himself, a battler to the end, one who disagreed with the acknowledged order of things, even the majority black viewpoint, at the drop of a hat, would have punctured today's balloon.

Lorenzo Bundy's (Las  Vegas manager) remarks seemed to us out of line (he publicly had no sympathy for AAA players who felt they belonged in the big leagues).

Wilson Betemit is off to a 1-24 start. He is not now or ever will be  Willy Mays. James Loney is in Triple A.

Nomar Garciaparra CAN and HAS played third base. Who could disagree that right now the Dodgers would be better off with Nomar at 3B, Loney at 1B and Betemit either on the bench or in Las Vegas.

The Loney matter still continues to reek of managerial and front office incompetence.

Who can blame Loney for wishing he was with another team?

Who can think Loney will not forget this when the time, and it will come, when he has a chance to declare free agency?

You always win some and lose some in player transactions. The Dodgers,at least in the early going, have done really well in the Brady Clark for Elmer Dessens swap.

They have not done nearly as well in the millions upon millions they invested in ex-Giant Jason Schmidt. Oh, that they had done really well with Schmidt and only so-so with Brady Clark.

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