The idea of this blog post formulated while I was showering after the day’s events. For some reason, I tend to do some of my better thinking in the shower, but that is another story all together. This brings me to the realization I had that throughout the day: baseball players and coaches tell stories. A lot. I do not think I could identify a 20-minute window throughout the day where I did not listen to, or tell a story regarding a past baseball event.
There are recollections of plays, follies, speeches, road trip highlights, and pretty much any other things you can think of that occur during a season. It is funny how homeruns always seem to be farther, the weather that night worsens, and the situation gets direr each time the story is retold. As if the seasons were not long enough, we are always the first to go back and relive the experiences. This is one of the reasons we play. We get to do things that only a handful of people in the population will ever be able to say they did. This fraternity has its own set of rules, and with that is the folklore that goes with it. Some of these stories make for interesting conversations with outsiders, but there are some stories that do not belong in the public’s eye.
It is not that we are trying to keep things a big secret. There are just some things that the general public does not need to know about. During the long season, there are many things that are said and actions that are taken that may not be the best things to say or do at the time. These may be viewed poorly in the public’s eye. Conversely, there are motivational words said and experiences that are very positive in nature. While these occurrences may seem like nothing to hide, there is a bond between players and organizational staff that may dictate this information is best to be kept in-house. Everything that goes on “behind closed doors” and not discussed in public are not all negative things. There is a social stigma that if someone does not want to talk about a situation or a conversation that something is trying to be hidden. This is simply not the case.
Some may be wondering what provoked me to write about this topic. Anyone following the Angels closely (or maybe even minor league baseball in general) is aware of a recently published book that was supposed to provide an inside look of a minor league baseball season. I have been asked many times what my feelings on this book are, and this will be the only time I discuss it. I am not going to name the author or the book because this “misfit” does not need any more undeserving publicity.
I have not read the book, and have no intentions of reading it. However, I have read excerpts and spoken to individuals surrounding the stories told within the covers, and have formed my opinion that this work was an attempt to hurt people for personal gain. Many things discussed in this book, whether true or not (and much evidence is piling up suggesting the latter), occurred in the inner sanctum of a clubhouse or related team functions.
Everyone has heard “what happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse.” We are not trying to hide everything from the public’s eye. There are just some things behind these doors that warrant them to remain “classified.” Do you see the military disseminating all of their classified information to the public? Absolutely not. Why do professional athletes have to be held to different standards? Yes, we are looked at as role models by kids and have an obligation to be quality citizens and set professional examples. However, this does not take away our right to share experiences with each other that deserve to stay within these close-knit families. This book violated the inherent trust shared among individuals in these organizations and attempted to mar the reputations of many innocent people. This proves that in order to know the whole story, you just had to be there.