The Gospel Truth

Tom and Hill | May 25, 2015

It won’t take a rocket scientist to guess that I have adapted my title from an 18th century English nursery rhyme.   My first thought was about the long-time bandleader. Bob Kuban who played at one of our family’s weddings in the early 1990s. His one big hit was a tune from the late sixties that even to this day gets people to tap their toes and sing along. It was called The Cheater and it warned of a Lothario—-a veritable fool-hearted clown who would take your girl and lie and then hurt her!

Does this sound anything like Tom Brady?

My wife does have or had a crush on him but now that he has been publicly vilified as the world’s most despicable professional athletic cheater, he has lost favor with millions of sports fans, of sports fans outside of New England.

I suggest these millions, especially the sanctimonious hack journalists who have pontificated their elite moral values to the rest of us dummies, get a life!

The history of sports is rampant with all kinds of cheating! That’s why they have umpires, referees and field judges because it is endemic to human nature to take advantage of situations that advance their teams’ change for victory.

Sports, games and competitions are only a reflection of what a culture, a people or a country’s attitudes are.

This should come as no surprise to thinking adults that even America’s athletic heroes can and would cheat because cheating is endemic to our fallen human nature.

Cheaters are celebrated in song and in our movies and TV show. Since our progressive society has virtually erased traditional morality from human consciousness, people have been celebrated in their license to break all of the 10 Commandments at will as a sign of personal enlightenment and liberation, including cheating on one’s spouse.

Why then should we be surprised then that athletes will in a culture that stresses and rewards winning immediately that players and coaches will stretch the rules till they break in order to secure the slightest edge that may translate into victories and dollar signs? All sports suffer from the temptation to cheat, to find that subterranean edge.   Greed and vanity not only go before a fall but also ensure that one will fall far and deep. Is that what will happen to Tom Brady?

One reason baseball garners the most print and media coverage is because there are so many ways to cheat. There is a veritable shelf of well-researched books on the history of cheating in baseball. Authors Martin Quigley in his 1984 book, Crooked Pitches and Eldon Ham, in his 2005 book, Larceny and Old Leather demonstrated that cheating was endemic to a sport with so many rules.

One of the first great scandals was gambling. Eliot Asimov’s marvelous 1963 book, Eight Men Out, later made into a movie, detailed the betting scandal that nearly destroyed the game before its Ruthian prime.

It detailed the story of eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox and their attempt to alter the outcome of the World Series with Cincinnati that year.

Eight Men Out details the pinnacle of cheating as eight members of the 1919 Black Sox as they were called. They conspired with gamblers to fix the most pristine of all sporting events in its day–the World Series. All eight were banished for life and most went to their graves with deep regret.

The spitball was another serious problem that grew legs over the decades as the juiced balls flew over the fences with extreme frequency. In baseball’s two decades doctoring a ball was completely legal. (Maybe they should adopt that practice in football.) It was not until Yankee sidewinder, Carl Mays killed Cleveland shortstop, Ray Chapman in 1920 with an underhand fastball that he failed to see that the leagues decided to do something about crooked pitches. What killed Chapman was not the spit or the break of the ball. It was the mud, dirt, grime and even coffee that had been legally applied to alter the flight of the ball that prevented him from judging the pitch’s proximity to his head..

While 17 pitchers were grandfathered, years later many others including Brooklyn’s Preacher Roe, and Gaylord Perry to name just a few, were notorious for fooling the umpires with doctored balls.

A scandal of comparable magnitude that just surface a few years ago was when the Miracle Giants of 1951, which produced the shot heard round the world, the ninth inning home run that catapulted the New York Giants into the world series, which they promptly lost in six games.

During the waning months of the season they stood 13.5 games behind the Boys of Summer, the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers of Jackie Robinson. The Giants coaches had rigged a sophisticated electronic relay system that informed the batters of the coming pitches.

Teams have been stealing each other’s signs for centuries. The Patriots over-blown Spygate was amateurish by comparison with the Giants.

In the 1980’s corked bats became the cause du jour. When the Cardinals confiscated some of Mets’ slugger Howard Johnson’s bats, I used to quip that he corked his arms, not his bats.

Little did I know that the next generation of players would do exactly that with PEDs and create a scandal, not quite on a par with the Black Sox or the High Jinxes of 1951 but enough to taint the blood supply— the statistics of the game.

Lance Armstrong betrayed an adoring crowd and forfeited seven Tour de France titles. His successful battle back from testicular cancer would have brought him the same hero status as his titles did and yet he threw all that away. Now he is paying the price.

For my opinion on Deflationgate on this issue of seemingly great importance, I will have to surrender to the Bard who wrote a comedy centuries ago, entitled Much to do about Nothing. The deflation of footballs is the proverbial tempest in a teapot, which quite possible traces its origins back to Cicero, long before they even had inflatable hog bladders.

The real gravity of this situation is that sports are no more important to final realm of things than were the bread and circuses of the Roman Empire. While games originally serves as legitimate exercise and recreational functions, big time sports have served both the capitalist instinct and the government propensity for keeping its electorate amused and disinterested in what they do behind our backs or now even in front of our passive faces.

One knows that this is true when people get more upset over Brady’s deflated footballs than they do about erstwhile Secretary of State and quite possibly our next POTUS’ financial shenanigans so deftly portrayed in journalist Peter Schweizer’s blockbuster book, Clinton Cash.

I just finished reading it and while there is no smoking gun, the author has pieced together a boatload of evidence that documents the global reach of the Clinton’s growing financial empire.

Schweizer conclusively showed how adroit America’s most megalomaniacal couple have worked the corridors of power around the globe. It is a sordid tale of financial chicanery, money laundering, bribery, influence peddling and crony capitalism.

In the past 17 months alone the couple have amassed millions in speaking fees that can only be justified in access to power and favorable legislation around the world, especially in natural resource exploitation.

It should worry the American people who if Hill is our next president, the Republicans may never see the White House from inside again.

Brady is irrelevant to me but the Clintons may hold my life—all our lives in their scandal-stained hands. Remember HillaryCare in 1993? It was far more intrusive than ObamaCare has been in 2015.

God only knows if Tom will break his crown. Of greater importance is whether Hill comes tumbling after!

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1 Comment »

  1. Bill, I am Ron Wolf a friend of Jim Rygelski. I have his copy of a play you wrote. He wrote a third book, a novel, that had nothing to do with baseball. He couldn’t find a publisher so he offered it for 2.99 on an internet site. I bought a copy and read it on line. Did you buy a copy and download it. If so I would like to have a copy.

    Thank you for whatever help you can give me.
    RW
    maryandron10@yahoo.com

    Comment by Ron Wolf — June 9, 2015 @ 12:21 am


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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