I follow both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. I am both Christian and Capitalist. Yet I feel no cognitive dissonance, that mental discomfort that results from the simultaneous holding of conflicting beliefs, values or attitudes.
Suppose you were an avid fan of the Chicago White Sox in 1919. First, you hear post World Series rumors of a scandal and you actively deny the rumors. You drink the “Comiskey Kool-Aid”. You make disparaging remarks about the fans who choose to believe the rumors. Then, you feel justified when a local jury finds them not guilty and you rub it in your friends face a bit too vigorously. That new commissioner, what an idiot, decides to ban them from baseball for life. You generously share your opinions. “Just those sportswriters are hunting a story.” “Landis just got it in for Charlie Comiskey.” “Just look at Joe's stats, he didn't throw nothing except a baseball.”
Then, ever so slowly, the truth begins to leak out. A few players confess.
You say, “Ah, Eddie is just a mal content.” Then, come others. Enough you doubt. You become quiet. If someone pokes you, you say, “Shut up! The guys didn't throw nothing.”
Then, the facts become overwhelming, more than you can deny. But you still try. You admit your doubts only to yourself. But you know. You hope against hope no one mentions the Black Sox to you.
“Say it ain't so, Joe.”
Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver admit they knew something was up and they didn't say anything.
You say, quietly, “Nobody has ever proved nothing!”
You're reminded all confessed except for Buck and Joe.
You yell, “I don't care about the truth.”
How good was Joe Jackson? Ty Cobb, who was not prone to flattering competitors, said, “He was the finest natural hitter in the history of the game.”
Babe Ruth said, “I copied his style because I thought he was the greatest hitter I'd ever seen, the greatest.”
Fair or not, choosing not to speak out against wrong-doing can, in the end, carry a very large price.
Billie was watching a program on the Food Network and I heard, “Fried bologna.” My ears perked up. I like the story of our sons playing wiffle ball at a neighbor's home. They would break for lunch, cook themselves a fried bologna sandwich and return to their hotly contested game. I don't mean to distract from the soulsoothing properties of southern comfort food but it isn't the taste of the food, but rather the warm memories of people and events that stirs in our hearts, not in our stomach.
Stomachs full and heads filled with “Sandlot Visions”, the wiffle ballers would reclaim their alter egos. Bob Gibson on the mound. Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson or Stan Musial stroll to the plate. Pete Rose steals a base.
I took my coke and peanuts to the back porch before the heat sat in. Pete Rose. Whatever happened to that guy?
Even Napoleon had his Watergate. – Yogi Berra
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. –Winston Churchill Hal McBride writes a column, Just Thinkin', published each week.