US professional sports has raised cheating – the conscious violation of the laws of the game – into a system, as the following article by AP published earlier this year on baseball catchers demonstrates by negative example. Of their ability to frame a ball thrown outside the strike zone as a strike, AP comments, “Technically, it is an attempt to cheat, an ingrained and artful baseball deception as old as the neighbourhood play at second base.”
The basic approach promoted is American pragmatism – any means to the end, the end justifies the means, winning is everything / the only thing, and everything goes. Success becomes the criteria of the private sport empires to discard basic norms of modern sport such as a level playing field. Such concepts as “selling the catch” (baseball, football) and “the good foul” or even “the good hard foul” (basketball) have become official and introduced into the everyday vocabulary of competition to degrade the culture of sport, athletes and humanity. It is little wonder that hooligan behaviour is rampant and the “major leagues” are mired in an unprecedented moral crisis.– Tony Seed
Rays catcher Jose Molina is considered the gold standard for framing pitches, which can help bring several extra wins | Ted S. Warren/Associated Press
AP (March 22) WASHINGTON — It was a crucial pitch in a game in the early 1990s. A fastball. Away.
When the ball hit Randy Knorr’s mitt, Knorr, a Toronto Blue Jays catcher, moved it back over the strike zone.
The umpire called it a ball.
“Fifty thousand fans in the stands are booing,” Knorr said. “I knew it was a ball. I was just trying to bring it back over. And he smacked me in the back of the head and said: ‘Don’t ever do that to me again. You know that was a ball, and now you made everybody in the stadium think it was a strike.’ ”
At that moment, at least, Knorr was no Jose Molina. Continue reading