I don't want to talk about yesterday's Orioles game, so I'm not going to. I do want to talk about Adam Jones, because he's the best. We're all lucky that we get to have him represent our favorite team on and off the field.
As you may have seen yesterday, Jones offered his thoughts on a recent thing that has caused much tut-tutting in the NFL world: Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the performance of the Star-Spangled Banner, written during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore that began 202 years ago today.
Jones spoke to USA Today's Bob Nightengale about the whole thing when the Orioles were in Detroit. If you haven't read the full article for yourself, you should do so here, because there's so much more going on than just the sensational headline quote, "Baseball is a white man's sport."
Later, Jones added to his comments in his pre-game session with the Orioles beat corps. You should read them in full, too, because Jones deserves to be heard. Part of the exchange, as transcribed by MASN's Roch Kubatko:
"Here's my biggest thing is, society doesn't mind us helping out the hood and the inner cities, but they have a problem when we speak about the hood and the inner cities. I don't understand it."
In our 240 years of existence, the United States of America and its people have done a lot of great things and hopefully will continue to do so. Yet it's worth remembering the times where we've fallen short of the ideal to which the founding fathers aspired all the way back in our Declaration of Independence.
We all know the words, the self-evident truths that all men are created equal (women too, even if they didn't write it in 1776), with certain inalienable rights - that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The founders themselves fell short. Slavery was expressly written into the Constitution. Slaves counted as three-fifths of a person. For nearly a century of this country's life, human beings (white) could own other human beings (black) as property, to be used, given away, or sold. Segregation and "separate but equal" was the rule for nearly a century after that. The people treated this way were not being treated as though they possessed those inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
And although slavery has now been gone for a century and a half and the worst of segregation for half a century, that doesn't mean all is fixed. One need look no farther than a couple of recent Baltimore news stories to know that this country's complicated racial legacy is far from resolved for all time.
One story from over the summer was about big bank Wells Fargo discriminating against minorities with its lending practices - for which it agreed to pay $175 million to people all over the country. Another was the Justice Department report on unconstitutional policing practices by the Baltimore Police Department, so many of which were visited on the city's majority-black population. One that stood out to me when I read about it was a woman who was pulled over for a missing headlight and ultimately strip-searched in public.
We are not unique in having problems here. Many places in this country could be better on these and other issues in a number of different ways. These are not things that can be fixed overnight, even when there is agreement about what the problems are, which is never assured. Athletes like Kaepernick or Jones who choose to use their position to speak out about these things should be commended rather than scorned.
Thankfully, Jones does seem to be getting much more commendation than scorn, from what I have seen. Having Jones speak his mind about this while representing our favorite team and this city is something about which we can be proud. It takes some courage to break out of "stick to sports" to try to make things better.
So thank you, Adam Jones, for saying what you said. Hopefully America can keep striving towards the version of itself that we've said we were about all along. Americans of today and tomorrow deserve nothing less.
And now back to baseball for me.
Around the blogO'sphere
Showalter on Miley: "He's capable of better" - School of Roch
I think this is something very similar to what Showalter said about three days before the Orioles dumped Brian Matusz. I don't think they're three days from dumping Wade Miley. But man, he's been so bad!
Tap-In Question: Are you still majorly concerned about the Orioles' starting rotation? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
And this post was written BEFORE Miley's outing on Monday night!
Orioles notes: Brad Brach trying to find consistency in rocky second half - Baltimore Sun
Just piling on the Orioles problems here, really. Although Brach's 1.78 ERA for the season still looks pretty nice, he's got a 3.80 ERA since the All-Star break and has been directly responsible for two losses.
Camden Depot: The Orioles 19 Sacrifice Bunt Attempts of 2016
Ol' Earl was not a fan of the sacrifice bunt, so one hopes that he is smiling down from above on this non-bunting team. And if you are curious about the few bunts of the year, hey, here's Camden Depot to tell you more.
Birthdays and anniversaries
On this day in 1971, Frank Robinson hit a home run in both games of a doubleheader, with the second home run making him the 11th player to join the 500 home run club. Even today, Robinson stands 10th all time on the home run list, with 586.
There are only two former Orioles with birthdays today. You will see one of them on TV tonight, unless he has his birthday off. Happy birthday to 1983 World Series MVP Rick Dempsey, turning 67 years old today. It's also the birthday of Mike Adamson, who appeared in a few games from 1967-69.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Along with Dempsey, your birthday buddies for today include: the man said to be the inspiration for "Uncle Sam", meat packer Samuel Wilson (1766), War of 1812 hero - for the other side - Laura Secord (1775), chocolate-making businessman Milton Hershey (1857), General of the Armies John J. Pershing (1860), ace fighter pilot/author Roald Dahl (1916), and four-time Olympic gold medal sprinter Michael Johnson (1967).
On this day in history...
In 1501, Michelangelo began to work on the statue of David.
In 1814, the British fleet in Baltimore's harbor began its bombardment of Fort McHenry. You might have heard about the guy who wrote a song about it.
In 1985, Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan for the Nintendo Entertainment System, beginning the Super Mario series of games - the best-selling video game series in history.
And that's the way it is in Birdland on September 13 - or at least, until something happens later. Have a safe Tuesday. Go Orioles!