A Policy of Truth
There’s been a bit of buzz on Cubs blogs recently on Felix Pie’s work ethic, based on this from Arizona Phil over at The Cub Reporter:
Reading between the lines, it appears that Pie being sent to Fitch Park was more for disciplinary reasons than it was to rehab an injured thumb, with the so-called "sprained thumb" the excuse needed to justify the DL stint and the Fitch Park rehab assignment.
As a further tidbit of bizarro information, Pie had what sounded like an argument with someone from the Cubs brass (I couldn't see exactly who it was, but I could probably guess) who was sitting up in the Fitch Park Tower that overlooks the four fields as Pie was walking to the clubhouse after he left the game in the 6th inning.
I didn't understand the complete nature of the "discussion," but I believe it had something to do with Pie expecting to leave town immediately (like "who is driving me to the airport?"), but being told instead that he would be staying in Arizona for at least one more day.
Pie did not look happy, that's for sure.
Juicy! Intriguing! Absolutely false!
I talked with Cubs Organizational Hitting Instructor Dave Keller today, and he admitted that he was the guy in the tower yelling at Felix Pie (in Spanish) after Pie left the AZL Cubs game on Sunday, but that the conversation had to do with Pie verbally being given the hitting schedule for Monday at Fitch Park (which otherwise was an off day for the AZL Cubs), and that there was no animosity involved in the exchange.
Let’s put it bluntly – Goatriders of the Apocalypse does not precisely shy away from saying negative things about baseball players. (You’ll find something that I wrote once as the number one result for the Google search “Ryan Theriot sucks.” I’m sure that nobody is surprised.) So I’m not trying to engage in some rah-rah Kool-Aid drinking.
But – and this is me, anyways, your mileage may vary – I really don’t like passing judgement on a player’s personal life unless there’s some sort of criminal proceedings to go with it. I have no problem talking about Jason Marquis' poor imitation of a starting pitcher; his bad command, his mediocre stuff, his surprising amount of home runs for a ground ball pitcher.
But people will say things about him lacking mental toughness, or lacking focus or whatever - and how in the hell do you know what's going on in Jason Marquis' head? I mean, really, if you can diagnose somebody's mental state from a box score they need you in the FBI violent crimes division. Expect recruitment shortly.
Ask Roger Clemens - or better yet, ask his mistresses: the ability to pitch in the majors is not related to your merits as a human being. You can be a horrible person and a fine ballplayer; you can be a fine person and a horrible ballplayer.
And now there are all sorts of rumors floating around the Internet about Pie, simply because somebody wanted to tell him what time batting practice was the next day.
I guess my point is this - baseball players, all of them, are humans, just like us. And like all of us, they aren't perfect. We respect and honor them for what they're capable of doing as baseball players, and most of us are only going to know them as baseball players. It can be dangerous and just simply wrong to presume we know them in any other way, and we owe it to them to be careful with the conclusions we draw.