Sports: Danny Graves: Idiot Athlete of the Month
The Cincinnati Reds, my hometown team, have been in the news lately, and not for good things. They have dropped several games in a row, and are off to their worst start in a couple of years. The false promises by the management are wearing thin, and fans expressed their displeasure at this past Monday's blowing of a 9-3 Reds lead against the Cardinals. The gamewinning homer was given up by who? Yep, Reds "closer"(choker) Danny Graves. Graves has been a joke for a couple of years now. Closers are supposed to be lights out. The only lights Graves puts out are those of the lightstand when he gets blasted again. Fans booed Graves for poor pitch selection and for 6 years of accounting for at least 7 or 8 losses that should have been wins a year. One would think Graves, a veteran ballplayer, would take it in stride, maybe even use it as a motivator. Nope!
The Choker Lashes Out
Yes, you would think the seasoned vet would realize that fans who paid their hard earned cash are frustrated with a decade of losing, and are frustrated that their closer is not a certainty to save games. Yes, he was 8of 9 in save opportunities, but how many elderly fans did Graves give heart attacks to with his dangerous and often blatantly choreographed pitching. Every outing is an adventure. Someone with maturity would have simply said, that's baseball. Graves decided to lash out.
Graves said he couldn't believe the fans would boo him. He said he was trying his best, and that hometown fans should not boo him. He said it made him feel small. Gosh, I guess that 6 million a year will help cool your hurts, Gravy. When I don't get results, I don't get paid. You blow a lead, you still laugh to the bank. That's reality.
If Danny was shocked at the boos, I am sure he was livid at the reaction on talk radio and across Reds Nation. Many fans called for his head. At the next home game, people wore bags with tears on the eyes with the name Graves on it. Many called him a crybaby, a spoiled brat, and with good reason. Most professional athletes fall into this category. They have been coddled their whole lives, and when they get booed they either suck it up or cry or insult people's intelligence. Graves chose option C. More on that later.
Many people wanted the Reds to dump Graves. They won't eat 6 mill a year. Few teams want a never-will-be like Graves, who was a flash in the pan for two and a half years before the league caught up with him. He may be the Reds alltime leader in Saves, but he is also the leader in blown saves and earned runs for a closer. Look at the former Reds all time save leader, John Franco. When he came into games, it was over. He converted a better percentage of saves for a poor set of Reds teams.
Of course, in many cases, the fans need to look at themselves. Cincinnati is much too lenient with its teams. It put up with a decade of Bengals losses and still almost filled Paul Brown Stadium. It has put up with a decade or more of Reds Suckitude and the fans have still sang the praises of washouts like Graves. Now, of course, the fans have been fed a line of crap for years and are wanting results. Graves has been shocked by the fans holding him accountable. What a novel Concept.
The Idiot Just Won't Shut Up
You would think 24 hours later would change Graves's tune. You would think he would get a reality check. You would think he would revise his comments, or better yet, just keep his trap shut. Nope. Here are his comments with my own response.
It was embarrassing that our hometown fans are booing us," he said. "Embarrassing to the city. This is supposed to be such a great baseball city, and in all my years here, I believe it is."
If you read, Dannyboy, you will see on the back of a ticket that fans have the right to cheer and boo. If the Reds do something worth a crap, like, you know, not give up the biggest comeback in 50 years, then the fans will cheer. And Danny, it is a great baseball city. Baseball was born here, you dolt! Thanks for the vote of confidence, your opinion, really, means a lot.
Do they honestly believe I tried to give up a three-run homer to (Jim) Edmonds? And a two-run homer to (John) Mabry?"
Given how you threw three consecutive of the same pitches to Edmonds in pretty much the same location, I have to wonder. Given how you consistently seek to give fans' heart attacks, I have to wonder. Given how you continue to be rewarded for mediocrity, I have to wonder.
They have every right to cheer or boo, do whatever they want.
Gosh, thanks for the permission, Danny. Not like the hundreds of dollars people put down for games gives them the right to boo or anything. I mean, words hurt, don't they Danny? Would you rather be playing in New York? I am sure Joe YankeeFan has a nice battery with your name on it if you think booing is so horrible. But wait, it gets better.
But as a player, I believe our hometown fans should be behind us and not against us. When Sean Casey misses a ground ball (by the Cardinals' Mark Grudzielanek, just before Mabry's game-winning blast), you're going to boo Sean Casey, the nicest guy in baseball? Plays harder than anybody on this team? That's what I don't understand
OK, dunderhead, they were booing the poor play, not Sean Casey. Unlike you, Casey is consistently good. He is widely respected as one of the nicest guys and one of the premier hitters in the league. You, however, are a joke. When are you going to quit acting how you look, like a 12 year old? Has all the tatoo dye gone to your small brain?
Maybe the fans wouldn't boo you guys, if you like, you know, won some games and didn't give up before summer. Maybe they wouldn't boo if you sought to connect with the fans, if you actually showed you care vs. collecting a paycheck.
"Because I make a lot of money, I have to be perfect? Is Bill Gates perfect? Donald Trump? I've (converted) eight out of nine (save opportunities). Does that mean I'm not earning my keep? Eight out of nine is pretty good.
"Are these the people that know the game?" Graves asked of those who booed. "That played the game? Or wished they'd played the game? I don't know."
He said the fans "disappointed" him.
No, Danny, you don't have to be perfect. You do, however, have to perform and act like a professional. Sadly, you have done neither. As for questioning the fans' knowledge, shame on you. Many of those people can throw 85 mph cheese over the plate just as easily as you can. And who cares if they don't know the game? They paid their hard earned cash (remember what it was like to earn money, Gravy?) to see you pitch. They came to be entertained. They obviously were not, so what recourse do they have? You can't be "fired" in the sense of losing your job and salary. You have a guaranteed contract that will pay you even if released or even if you suck.
And as for knowing the game: Cincinnati IS baseball. This is where the pro game was born. Wait, I forgot, you probably can't read. This is where Pete Rose and Johnny Bench won championships, where Tony Perez showed grace and leadership. And you presume fans don't know the game?
Besides, Danny boy, the fans weren't getting personal. They weren't saying Graves sucks! They weren't threatening you, they weren't throwing batteries. They were merely booing. Wow, you really are a pressure player, getting all hot and bothered over boos. Wow, you are amazing. Amazingly juvenile.
Donald Trump and Bill Gates have stakes in their products success. If the products stink overall, they don't get paid and they go bankrupt. You suck, you get booed. Oh the humanity!
Graves, who disappointed who? You claim you are disappointed in the fans. Me too. I am disappointed they put up with this crap of an organization and the likes of you for the past decade.
Please, ask for a trade. Tell the Reds you don't want paid and ask for your release. Something....Just get out of town.
Pro Athletes Need a Reality Check
I say, every pro athlete needs to work a week of the season in a real job. Take a fan's job for a day, then go out and watch the team play. You know, athletes gripe about all their preparation....You don't think teachers have a lot of prep? You don't think construction workers have prep? They talk about the grind and physical toil....Guess what? You are getting paid to PLAY!!!!!!!!!!! You are getting paid to entertain. When you stink up a field, you should expect repercussions. But wait, I forgot, we don't like repercussions, especially for athletes. We coddle them and we gloss over their issues, and we continue to put up with the poor attitudes and lower standards of performance. If this continues, every sport will look like the NBA.
Athletes need a wake up call. I hope the fans of Cincinnati don't forget Gravy's comments. I hope he lives to regret them. I hope he gets booed everytime he shows his face. I hope he wakes up. However, I am not counting on it.
This was Mark, thanks for reading....