It works outside of sports, too. Gently braking and courteously waving a fellow commuter into your lane because it’s clear he absolutely HAS to get into it — like, right friggin’ now — is good for ball. Not getting even the slightest wave or some other form of acknowledgement in return? Bad for ball.
Not quite honk-and-the-finger-worthy, but bad for ball nonetheless.
It’s simple. Everything in life can be characterized in one of two ways. So let’s get irresponsible and start slappin’ some stuff with labels, shall we?
The Giants’ two marquee offseason additions — salty vet righty Tim Hudson and screw-loose outfielder Mike Morse — are going to make the team’s very strong chemistry even better. Hudson is so hugely respected around the game and he uses a razor-sharp, whippet-quick wit to send subtle messages that can instantly effect change for the better. Morse is a big, goofy, fun-loving lug, but he can switch gears and get deep when he needs to, lending himself to crossover clubhouse appeal. Good for ball.
Doesn’t hurt that Hudson can still baffle big lineups with a sinking fastball that hisses pure evil when he’s on. And Morse is a much-needed banger from the right side. You got a problem with the deals these guys got? Bad for ball. Stop reading this and get someone to teach you about the economics of the game. There are risks, that’s a given. But well-worth taking given the team’s obvious needs.
My thoughts last week on Jim Harbaugh being a bit of a bully sparked quite a storm. I’d been out of the media game for quite some time before The San Francisco Examiner brought me back, but I never forgot two things: 1) A good columnist is supposed to polarize. 2) Polarized is another word for “pissed,” and pissed-off fans have serious fangs. I haven’t been attacked like that since I went after then-A’s outfielder Milton Bradley. Felt good in a rip-off-a-scab sort of way. Thanks, people. Good for ball.
And just for kicks, I have two words for those who pointed out that history is littered with tons of great coaches who were less-than-pleasant men: Pete Carroll. Or would you prefer Bill Walsh? Somehow they managed to win AND be good guys. But hey, if all you care about is the win, I just hope you never coach my daughters, or any other youth team. You’re the coach who runs up the score instead of playing those two awkward kids at the end of the bench. Jackass. Bad for ball.
The A’s ballpark proposal recently revealed by the good folks intent on keeping the team in Oakland sure does capture one’s fancy. Build that bad boy and the inferiority complex that A’s fans refuse to cop to — we all know it’s there — disappears instantly. Never been a fan of Mayor Jean Quan, whom I doubt is involved in a meaningful way regardless, and A’s ownership will fight the notion unless San Jose gets wiped off the map, but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming. Good for ball.
Finally, is there some sort of rule on the NFL books that says a team can’t just shut it down with a few games to play? I mean, really. The Raiders are ravaging their already-tattered image on a weekly basis now. For the love of George Blanda, call off the jam. Bad for ball.
Mychael Urban has covered Bay Area sports for more than 22 years as a contributor to Comcast SportsNet, CSNBayArea.com, KNBR, MLB.com, ESPN The Magazine and various newspapers.