Thursday, January 31, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing

The umpires' complaints about the Tim Donaghy-inspired background checks conducted by Major League Baseball ring pretty hollow. While the allegation -- that investigators are "asking neighbors a series of questions that include whether the ump belongs to the Ku Klux Klan" -- is somewhat troubling on the surface, the reality appears to be much more benign:
Alison Rohan, who lives across the street from Kulpa in Maryland Heights, Mo., said Christopher knocked on her door two or three weeks ago and gave her his card.

"He explained they were going to be talking to neighbors and friends because of the problems with the basketball league and that Ron knew about it," she said. "He listed about 10 different questions, the first one being did Ron live out of his means? For example, does he drive a Rolls-Royce?"

Rohan said she told Christopher that Kulpa lived in a manner similar to that of his neighbors.

"He asked if Ron belonged to any groups or organizations," she said.

"Groups?" she remembered replying.

"You know, like the KKK," she said Christopher told her.

"We both laughed and I said no," Rohan said. "He belongs to a neighborhood Harley-riding group of dads."

Asking about group affiliations is a typical background check question. At worst this investigator used an ill-advised but essentially harmless "f'rinstance," which the interviewee rightfully took as a humorous exaggeration. There is no issue here, and the umps -- still upset that they're being checked in the first place -- are simply casting for some PR and sympathy. This criticism from the head of the umps union, however, is rich:

"Once again, baseball's favorite way of doing things: Ready, fire, aim," Hirschbeck said. "It's not a good way to start the season."
Yeah. And ready, fire, aim is something the umpires union has never done.

UPDATE: If there was any doubt that this is a tempest in a teapot, that doubt has been put to rest by the always frivolous presence of Jesse Jackson.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Can we play the "create a caption" for that picture?

Great moments in asscracks?