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July 1, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Life in bizarro world

Many of us have dreamed at some point, if only for a millisecond, of doing what Shawn Chacon did to his boss last week. Of course, we live in civilized society. I’d love to jump off the Space Needle, flap my wings and soar around Puget Sound just like a free bird sometimes. But I don’t do it. The Houston Astros pitcher got tired of hearing his boss berate him in front of teammates, so he threw GM Ed Eade to the ground. Naturally, he was released by the team.
But the MLB Players’ Association is going to handle a wrongful termination grievance on his behalf. They say his release came without just cause. And you thought ballplayers were just like you or me? Think again. Now, look. I realize there are probably some legal definitions and interpretations to be ironed out here. Understand that contracts have provisions for things like this and such.
But hey, in what job out there (besides baseball) is a guy going to be able to throttle a boss nearly twice his (or her) age and not lose their employment? What am I missing here? Anyone care to help me out?
By the way, I don’t ever advocate physical violence as a way of sorting out workplace problems. Yes, we’ve all had supervisors and co-workers we’d love to give the schoolyard treatment to. And they to us. But that’s not a healthy way to build a career and sort things out. In the home or office. Unless, of course, you happen to pitch for a major league team. Or hit home runs for one, as Manny Ramirez demonstrated over the weekend. For me, this is different from former Toronto manager John Gibbons duking it out with Ted Lilly a couple of years ago. Gibbons invited that scrap. Lilly took him up on it. They were both in reasonably decent shape. Gibbons was in his early 40s and a former big leaguer.
Ed Wade is 52 and a former PR assistant turned GM. I’d love to see Chacon try pulling this on Billy Beane.
But really, have we, as a contract-driven society, lost our minds in this case? Is this the end of civilization as we know it? Or just business as usual?

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