7.01.2005

Hey, Baseball Jerks: Take One Responsibility!



Okay, MLB has called me in to talk about some of these meatheads that have been disgracing the great game of baseball with their senseless acts of violence. We've had a bunch of these knuckleheads giving the national pastime a black eye: Kenny Rogers, Oliver Perez, Gary Sheffield, Jose Guillen, Frank Francisco...the list goes on and on, like Baptists in a picnic line.

The thing that really frosts my pumpkin about this is that none of these so-called adults have the gumption to own up to this childish behavior! "Oh, it was the media's fault," they moan, or "the umpires goaded me into it," or "my ex-manager, who shamed me last fall, got caught cheating and then started screaming at my new manager, who is a famously hot-tempered Hall of Famer and a certified AARP member." And the gullible people of the country who don't want to think ill of their pampered millionaires just smile and nod and go "yep, must be someone else's fault."

But that's all ten tons of hogwash in a shotglass. If you blow up at someone, it's your fault. Life always has obstacles, but it's up to you to overcome them. Come on, you either get it or you don't.

Take this Rogers fellow, for instance. He's 40 years old. That's a very impressive accomplishment, especially for a white man in baseball. (No offense.) So you'd think he'd know a little better than to very intentionally assault some Hispanic cameramen, in full sight of some other Hispanic cameramen. Hey, believe me, no one is sicker of the excesses of the paparazzi than me. I've had some bottom-feeders going through my garbage for months, trying to bring me down by finding something incriminating to splash across their tabloid newspapers. But come on, Kenny: even Hispanic cameramen need to make a living. Use your head, and act like the good Lord gave you a brain in your head instead of just a thunderous left arm!

It's happened to me, too. I guess a lot of you know that I am related to the late baseball pitcher Tug McGraw; and, for that matter, his country singer son Tim McGraw and Tim's wife, the beautiful and sexy country singer Faith Hill. Well, we lost ol' cousin Tug a little while back, a very sad occasion indeed. We were all there at the funeral, and it began to dawn on me that I was developing a very real sexual attraction to Faith. Hey, an adult can own up to these things. And it started to eat away at me that this scrawny little snot-nosed kid, who used to mope around the family compound all the time like "oh, boo hoo, I miss my daddy because he plays baseball and can't hang out with little poor old me," is now a multi-millionaire with his own hair and the hottest wife in the world. I mean to tell y'all, I saw red. Because it seemed to me that that blonde bombshell should be mine instead of his. And because I am a man, with natural male urges towards revenge and procreation.

Now, clearly, I could horsewhip Tim McGraw with my eyes closed and both arms tied behind my back. Hell, gimme a horsewhip and a place to stand and I ain't afraid of anyone. But did I disrupt the service to go over and sucker-punch that little brat, heave his woman over my arm like a pirate, and fly the coop? Like fun I did. I just gave myself some personal space, withdrew to the comfort of the nearest restroom, and spent some time doing some visualization exercises about Tim and Faith. Mostly about Faith. It worked like a charm, and I was "back in 15" with no one any the wiser.

If Kenny Rogers had tried this, or if he had thought to himself, "Let me visualize the fallout from me beating up this camera guy and having the footage replayed endlessly on E$PN," he never would have done what he did. He would have realized that this was no way to go about disproving the rumors about him wussing out and exaggerating the injury to his non-throwing hand just to get out of
starting in upcoming games against the Angels just to keep his surprising ERA and won-loss record nice and shiny. He could have maybe talked to the guys first or removed himself from the situation causing his rage and shame, thereby performing what I like to call a PMS, or Pre-Melee Self-intervention.

(Or he could have also just waited, and then jumped them with some teammates and some Louisville Sluggers after practice was over. Believe you me, there are a lot of places in Texas to hide a body.)

Now they'll be calling for his head. It's sad, but that's what happens when you look externally for the approval that you need to be giving yourself.

And I know that a lot of you are going to write off the incidents with the Perez kid and the Guillen kid and the Francisco kid to their being hot-tempered Latin fellows. But culture is no excuse for bad behavior. Hell, one of my favorite people in the world is my gardener, Arturo. He's been working on my ranch for about 30 years now, and a nicer, more humble guy you'd never want to meet. His English might not be too great, but that's because he has been in this country since he was six months old and went to public schools in Houston. And, last I checked, Arturo was a name-0 in espanyol-0.

So none of your cultural excuses, please. Act like an idiot, you should be suspended for 30 games immediately. Do it again, they should kick you out of baseball and into one of my boot camps. Hell, didn't you see the episode where I had my new friend Milton Bradley on? He didn't want to go on that nature trail hike at all, but then he realized that all the punk-rock little teenage girls that we'd sent to boot camp for the last month were all there in the middle of the woods with him. Hey, whatever works, right?

I guess it all boils down to this: You have to Behave Your Way to Success. Once these mental defectives get that through their skinny heads, this will be a better sport, a better world and a better place. So why don't these players know this rule? And when are they going to establish a mental health executive for the sport as a whole? Hey, I'm available! Until then, the chances that blood will flow from the fountains at Kaufmann Gardens are pretty high. Come on, Selig: don't say I didn't warn ya.

Dr. Phil McGraw is the star of "The Dr. Phil Show," a syndicated advice show that helps millions of people get real, get smart, and get going every weekday. (Check local listings for times.) He has also written many books, including Family First and Get Over It: A Guide to Overcoming Physical and Sexual Child Abuse.

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