Baseball On My Brain

Tempering feelings
June 16, 2008, 8:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Today the Mariners fired their General Manager, Bill Bavasi. To some, it wasn’t a surprise; the worst record in the majors combined with several losing seasons under his watch, a bevy of transactions that seem to have gone almost all against our favor certainly and finally a sweep at Safeco Field by the last-place seemed to indicate that change was coming.

On the other hand, some argued that the wheels of change in the Mariners organization, particularly at the upper levels turn so slow that it would be some time before we saw a new nameplate on the GM’s office.

Nevertheless, the change was made, and what makes me write is the public’s reaction. I understand that sports fans are passionate about their teams – I would count myself among that group. But what struck me is what goes on in people’s heads when they process news like this.

It seemed that a lot of reaction I was hearing and reading seemed overwhelmingly positive that the Mariners had let Mr. Bavasi go — and understandably so. But what concerns me was how much of it seemed to be genuine excitement for the organization moving in a different – and hopefully more successful – direction, and how much of it seemed to be some kind of vindication for them that someone lost his job.

Sure, Mr. Bavasi didn’t leave the Mariners in better shape than he found them – and when a permanent General Manager is named, he’ll probably have a substantial amount of work ahead of him.

I’m not asking that we hold Mr. Bavasi in higher esteem than is deserved – just that we as collective fans and followers of the Mariners remember that he is still a human being, and as most people who interacted with him would tell you, a fairly decent one at that.

I think that a lot of times we don’t take time to consider the lives of those who live theirs in the public eye. Most people who are celebrities have become as such because their talents have reaped them a tremendous amount of benefits. We don’t associate with them because most times we simply can’t understand or relate to the lifestyles they are able to lead.

But not everyone who lives in the public eye is so rich that they are able to be self-sufficient; undoubtedly Mr. Bavasi will have to go look for another job, and while it probably will be something that has a substantial salary, it still doesn’t mean that it’s any less impactful.

It’s still the loss of a job, and more importantly a very public admission that you weren’t able to do a job that you were hired to do. Hopefully we all take pride in our work – it can be hard enough when you lose a job without it appearing in the papers and on TV; I can only imagine what it must feel like to not only have it broadcast but to have people celebrating it.

This may be a stretch – but I think that as we see people in the public eye, we tend to forget that they are more or less just like us. Sure there may be lots of differences – but the core more or less remains the same.

So keep that in mind as you hold your Bavasi-has-been-fired parties and tell your friends how your day has suddenly become so much better now that you’ve heard the news. Just temper those feelings – that’s all I’m asking.


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