May 16, 2004

Hell, Frozen Over

This has nothing to do with baseball or sports in general, but I think it might be the only time I will ever agree strongly with something John Kruk has to say on anything, so I'm going to discuss it a little bit.

Kruk is a new cast member on ESPN's Baseball Tonight and I find his "analysis" and commentary to be completely horrible and bordering on unwatchable. I have said this and other things about the downfall of Baseball Tonight before, so I won't go into it again now.

The beauty of having a website is that, although I no longer watch Baseball Tonight, I have readers who do suffer through it, and they often e-mail me with some of the more idiotic statements that are made on the show. One loyal reader named Tyson even has a name for his e-mails. He calls them the "Baseball Tonight Idiot Updates."

For instance, several of you e-mailed me yesterday to say that Kruk picked Anaheim's Jarrod Washburn as his front-runner for the AL Cy Young, on the basis of his 7-1 record. Washburn, of course, has a 4.68 ERA and has received approximately 1,000 runs of support in each of his starts thus far. But I digress...

In addition to doing his part in the ruination of a once-great TV show, Kruk also pens a weekly column for's Page 2. The column, as far as I can tell, is basically just his random thoughts on whatever he feels like talking about, and I've found it to be fairly unreadable thus far.

However, I was skimming through his most recent column when I came to the end and saw the following:

Here is something that I still don't understand.

I was watching something from the 2003 Academy Awards the other day. Didn't seem like anything special. All those shows are the same. Then Harrison Ford presents the award for Best Director. And the Oscar goes to ... Roman Polanski for "The Pianist."

The place errupts in applause and they give this guy a standing ovation. Now, this isn't a big deal in Hollywood. These guys use every opportunity to fawn all over each other. But this one was a little different. See, Roman couldn't make it. Back in 1977, he had sex with a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson's house and, because he feared jail time, he fled the country.

We all know the story. If you don't, check out what The Smoking Gun has on this guy. He knows what he did and he should be in jail. The guy is a child molester.

Sorry you had to receive your award by FedEx, Roman.

That's not the point.

What the hell are all these Hollywood people doing cheering this guy on? I know these idiots have no sense of reality, but this guy is a special hero because he ran away from the law after abusing a little girl?

We all know that celebrities think they are above the law, but I didn't know that also meant you cheer known criminals because they're part of "the club."

I wonder when O.J. is going to get his standing O.

Now, I rarely get political on this site and I rarely state strong opinions on things other than sports and entertainment, but I will this time.

I agree with John Kruk here about as much as I could possibly agree with someone. In fact, I like what he said and the fact that he said it in a public forum so much that it washes away some of the bad feelings I have about his "work" on Baseball Tonight.

The Roman Polanski situation is a funny one. Funny weird, not funny haha, of course. Back when Polanski got the award Kruk was talking about, in 2003, I remember talking to my grandmother about it. I would consider her a very intelligent, rational person, but her thoughts on this matter absolutely floored me.

I, like Kruk, had read all of the Polanski-related material and documents on The Smoking Gun, and I told my grandmother about what I had learned about the situation. Her response was that it wasn't a big deal and that Polanski was a great director of movies. What one thing has to do with the other is beyond me, but that's not the point.

The point is that smart, rational, kind people can feel this way about someone like Roman Polanski. As Kruk said, an entire room of Hollywood types gave him a standing ovation. I would like to think that some in the room booed him as loudly as their peers cheered him, but I'm not sure.

I mean, my own grandmother, who has two daughters and three young granddaughters, even after hearing about the details of the situation from me, still didn't agree that what Polanski did was bad. I imagine she would have been standing and clapping for him as well.

While writing this blog, I have learned that no matter how right you think you are about something and no matter how black and white you think the issue is, there will always be someone who disagrees with you. Whether you're talking about the winner of a trade that you think is heavily lopsided or you're talking about a player who you think quite clearly stinks, there is someone out there who will vehemently disagree with you.

Such is the case with Roman Polanski too. In my mind, I can't see how anyone can take an objective look at the documents related to his situation and come away from it with anything but disgust for the man and his actions. Still, it is obvious that this is simply not the case, as people continue to work with him, honor him and even give him standing ovations on national television.

It's hard to convince everyone of everything, and that's something all writers should remember when they state opinions and get feedback from readers. I'm not quite sure whether John Kruk and I agreeing strongly on something proves that we're both right, that John Kruk has had a rare moment of clarity, or that I've gone completely insane. I will, as usual, let you figure that out for yourself.

I'd give John Kruk a standing ovation before I gave one to Roman Polanski and, as scary as that sounds, the fact that so many people feel differently is even more frightening to me.

New article at The Hardball Times: The Exp000000000s

Today's picks:

Chicago (Diaz) +115 over Cleveland (Lee)

Total to date: -$690

W/L record: 43-58 (2-0 on Friday for +310.)

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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