Baseball is a complicated game. The rulebook for Major League Baseball is 191 pages long. The intricacies of the game’s strategies are seemingly endless, and as a team manager at the top level of the sport, the opportunities for missteps present themselves constantly. Should we attempt a bunt in this situation? Do I need to bring another pitcher in to face this next batter? Does it make sense to attempt a hit-and-run play on this pitch?
It’s not easy being a major league manager. But there are certain aspects of our national pastime that are simple, including rules that most of us learn as children playing in Little League. Yet San Francisco Giants’ manager Gabe Kapler committed an error yesterday worthy of a first-year little league coach during a game in which he chose to stay in the clubhouse for our National Anthem.
On the Friday leading into Memorial Day weekend when we honor more than 1.1 million men and women who were killed while fighting for our freedom, Mr. Kapler decided to sit out our National Anthem. Why? Because Kapler somehow thought that disrespecting our flag and the song that commemorates the sacrifice of those fallen soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines would be a good way to protest the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday.
Can’t you see how Uvalde relates to standing for our National Anthem? Yeah, me neither. Here’s what Kapler wrote to explain his actions:
“When I was the same age as the children in Uvalde, my father taught me to stand for the pledge of allegiance when I believed my country was representing its people well or to protest and stay seated when it wasn’t. I don’t believe it is representing us well right now.”
That’s an interesting lesson your father taught you, Gabe. He told you to stand for the anthem or the pledge only in certain situations? Please excuse me when I say I don’t believe you. I call bullshit.
Around the same time Kapler was preparing to play Social Justice Warrior, he should have been focusing on the game his team was about to play. One of the most fundamental responsibilities for a baseball manager, and also one of the easiest, is to fill out the lineup card. That’s the list of players you hand to the umpires. But yesterday, Kapler forgot to put one of his players on that list, and in the eighth inning when he tried to put that player in the game, the umpire rightfully told him he couldn’t.
Relief pitcher Jake McGee was brought off the injured list onto the active roster earlier on Friday, but his name still must be on the lineup card in order to play. That’s Baseball Managing 101. But not only did Kapler not put McGee on the lineup card, he didn’t even realize the mistake until he tried to put him on the mound to pitch.
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And, poetic justice was served, as the Giants went on to lose the game with the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 5-1.
So, while Gabe Kapler was focused on virtue signaling, he was simultaneously dropping the ball with his team: both figuratively and literally. While Kapler was trying to connect imaginary dots between a horrific school shooting by an evil teenager in Texas and honoring our great country on one of our most solemn weekends, he was making a mistake that most nine-year-old Americans know is inexcusable.
Maybe you should worry a little more about baseball basics, Gabe, and stop exploiting your position to make political statements. And in the meantime, we hope your team doesn’t win another game this season.
By Jess Lawson
Jess Lawson is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a passionate, conservative millennial who loves America.
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