Sometimes, we rush to make a decision without thinking through the impacts. This is one of those times. Ray Rice is now unemployed, and his wife now no longer has income in the family to support their children. Now, I understand exactly why Rice should lose his job, and you can argue that if they saved properly, Rice should still have enough money to support his family. However, the NFL is putting a burden on the back of the woman that was the victim in the situation, and is now even further victimized. Now, everyone sees her as the weak, limp, unconscious body, not a person. That is also extremely humiliating to know that the world sees your video. Maybe we need to consider who we're punishing here first (not Rice himself, but his family as a consequence) before we evaluate this situation further.
The controversial ex-Ravens running back Ray Rice will be removed from Electronic Arts' popular football video game, Madden '15. Again, another damage control measure in the aftermath of a bad decision by an athlete. This comes on the heels of the NFL offering fans an exchange for any Ray RIce jersey.
What Ray Rice did to his wife was absolutely horrific, inhumane, and worst of all, terrible for all the fans of football, especially young kids that need a good example set for them.
That being said, Ray Rice now has no employment with the NFL, and is suspended indefinitely, which would prevent him from being rehired again by an NFL team. He paid for his actions by losing his job. He still has to reconcile truly with his wife. He is not in an enviable position to say the least. Which is why the entire pecking party on Ray Rice must stop.
Ray Rice was a likable football player, a short dude that contributed as much as he could. Last year, his season was derailed, as all good things can come to a possible end, and he definitely lost NFL and fan support. That all changed once we saw video of his unconscious wife in that Atlantic City elevator.
I get it, couples don't always get along. People don't always get along. But punching someone in the head is never a good thing. It results in a sure-fire ejection on the NFL field. It's even worse if the recipient of that punch is your wife. Any kind of violence towards others, especially women and children, is a no-no.
However, when media and every single possible person is talking about Ray Rice, we the mass public are the losers. Maybe we need to institute a Roger Goodell of banning Ray Rice from our conversations.Do we truly help his wife or even abused women as a group? Why not make this an ice-bucket challenge, where if you make a video or post about Ray Rice, you have to donate some money to a local organization that deals with domestic violence victims? That might help raise more true awareness to the problem at hand. Vilifying Ray Rice does nothing for that cause. It just bashes a man that made a terrible decision and has faced steep punishment for it.
Maybe it's time to stop bashing on Ray Rice because it is politically correct to bring up how you admonish his actions.
Let's do something to make change happen.
The home plate blocking rule have raised its fair share of controversy, so let's explore what the history of the rule is, and what can be done to solve the situation.
In the days before people truly were concerned about ACL tears and concussions, home plate collisions were the equivalent of a monster sack in football, the only truly violent collision that always occurred on the basepaths. The logic behind it? If a batter ran as hard as he could into the catcher, he could knock the ball out of his glove, and thus be able to score. The logic behind a catcher blocking the plate? To force the runner to make a decision about how to reach the plate - do I try to slide under the tag? Do I run around the catcher? Do I hurdle him?
That all changed after the MLB implemented what is now known as the "Buster Posey Rule", after the San Francisco Giants' star was injured in a home plate collision. Extended legs can be ran over, head to head collisions can occur, so the reasoning to remove these collisions was logical in terms of player safety. However, the rule has created tons of controversy. The rule only hampers the defensive team, the catcher, as only the catcher can be called for such an infraction. Incidentally, should the catcher indeed commit an egregious violation of the rule, he's the one who stands to get hurt just as much, if not more, than the runner, as he's stationary, taking the full on blow.
Today's example of the White Sox losing a run to the Giants due to a catcher being in the way highlights potential issues in the rule. Usually, home plate collisions occur on fly balls or other hits to the outfield. However, what about plays in the infield, where the throw is shorter and the catcher has less time to react to a thrown ball and needs to get in a place to catch and tag the runner?
Since a catcher is allowed to be in the way of a runner if a throw goes there, then doesn't that make all balls hit to the right side of the field harder for the defense since a throw must be cut off before it reaches exactly the plate, then must be carried in the glove of a catcher to make a tag?
It's not like horsecollar tackles or facemask tackles in the NFL, where the team that commits the penalty is risking only the other team's safety, the catchers themselves risk their own health as well.
Ah, so what can we do to improve the entertainment of baseball without sacrificing player safety? After all, baseball is and always be simply a game...
1. Mild mockery proposal: Make all plays at home plate force plays if a player is within 10 feet of the base, thus declaring that he truly wishes to try and score. This way, there is no incentive for a player to bull into a catcher because just like any other force (such as 1st base), the player is already out.
Of course, this is probably the least fun to watch, but brings much more strategy (ex: a player may choose to run back or stop before entering the 10 foot zone, where upon entering, he would be ruled out.
2. Allow the catcher to block the plate if the runner is not within 10 feet of the base upon catching the ball. The current rule does not really clarify what can be construed as blocking the plate, so in theory, a player that just rounds third while the catcher is standing in front of the plate could score because of "obstruction"
3. Change the rules altogether and instead, have throws go to the mound. If a player has not reached a base, then he must go back to the base he last touched. Kickball style.
In all seriousness, the issue of home plate collisions is no joke, but in order for the current rules to stay valid and useful, they must become more clear on what is/isn't legal.
Cleveland's best move was signing LeBron James. And even that move wasn't a completely free transaction. The Cavaliers lost a prolific contributor on both ends of the floor in Luol Deng, who should make an impact in Miami. The teams, while by happenstance just swapped SFs, didn't make a deal, but it worked out that way.
LeBron James came at a steal (in relative terms) at $20.6 million this year and a $21.6m player option next year. But the fact that he does make a large salary cap dent is an issue. Not a great one when you consider how much James contributes to a team, but it is a factor to notice.
The Cavaliers also signed Kyrie Irving to a longterm max-deal. Irving is an outstanding player, but the team simply threw a ton of cash at him, and when you have tons of money going to a couple of players, it limits your flexibility should anything go wrong (look at the Bulls struggling without D-Rose for a couple seasons).
The Cavaliers also will acquire Kevin Love, another high paid superstar that will eat into the salary books. Look at Miami this year. They had all this money committed to the Big Three, and once the Big Three ended its tenure, they had to scramble to sign Danny Granger, Deng and Josh McRoberts.
The Cavaliers lost two #1 draft picks, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, both guys that would be under contract for much lower than their market values due to rookie contracts. They lose their first draft pick in this upcoming season. They bailed on the future, searching for wins now.
And frankly, it doesn't improve the team that much.
You can argue that the Cavaliers had depth at SG (Dion Waiters, and they also drafted Joe Harris), and PF (Tristan Thompson, and now Love). But in essence, the T'Wolves got what the Cavaliers had before the acquisitions of LeBron and Love, incomprehensible talent on good deals. Incomprehensible talent on good deals means that you win now and later.
Bold Call: Cavaliers will be a strong team, but they have so severely mortgaged the team that in a few years (maybe even this offseason), LeBron James will be forced into another free agency frenzy as the Cavaliers struggle to maintain relevance in the NBA.