Ratto: Advice for the Championship Baby's parents

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Ratto: Advice for the Championship Baby's parents

July 19, 2011

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CSNBayArea.com

As someone who has avoided marketing and its practitioners as though they were door-to-door salesmen, and because I have not yet been hired as Comcasts West Coast obstetrician, I have largely remained free of the details of the World Championship Baby promotion.
RELATED: The Giants World Championship Baby

But as the day grows closer, I will serve as the childs de facto ombudsman as he or she faces an uncertain world wearing nothing but orange and black for most of his or her formative years.

I have not cleared this with the parents, as (one) I dont know them and (two) as the stupidly-titled Senior Insider, I dont have to. I checked with Legal on this, so dont mess with me.

But on behalf of little Todd or Toddina, let me say the following things:

1. There are other colors in the rainbow than orange and black. The child will have to wear Dodger colors on the Fourth of July, and Minnesota Wild colors on Christmas. Thats just how it goes. A duo-chromatic world is bad for a childs mental health.

2. Slapping a beard on the childs face for photos is not something one can easily explain to that child later in life. Save years of disgusted looks from family members and friends and leave the little ones mug free of props. That includes bow ties as well, unless you want the child to spend time fighting off assailants in schoolyards.

3. Panda outfits are probably acceptable if you are willing to lie in play groups and say, we just like baby bears, and besides, you dressed your kid up like a platypus, for Gods sake.

4. Calling the child The Freak is the same as investing 400,000 in therapy futures.

5. In fact, all nicknames should be eschewed so the little being can develop an actual individual identity. He or she is not MadBum or Vogey on Sanchie or Miggy or HuffDaddy or Buster Junior or Pat The Bat or Buckethead (for the manager) or Crankypants (for the general manager). These are all awful ideas when attached to the adults currently under contract, and their use is an unalloyed blight on the fan base. But since they apparently have no shame in the area of infantilizing their players, well have to make our stand on behalf of the winning zygote.

6. And Zeets is right out. Perfectly ghastly.

7. Using the word Torture, which is already a tedious clich, is not recommended for raising a child. It will be torture without questions, especially once the child starts to walk and irretrievably when talking in complete sentences follows. But kids take a dim view to being compared unfavorably to waterboarding. Bad for the self-esteem, were told by child psychologists who charge 145 an hour and therefore must be smart.

8. The child does not care about the Dodgers. The child cares about its next Fig Newton. Prioritize properly. Do not teach it to say Beat LA unless there is a good reason to do so. Let the miniaturized human find his or her own path.

9. Tommy Lasorda doesnt know your kid. Hes not a factor.

10. Teaching the child to bitch about lineup selections, bullpen construction, rotation maintenance and things like OPS, WAR and BABIP is not a bad thing, but dont forget the basics. ERA, batting average and wins and losses may not be great statistics to draw sweeping conclusions, but knowing the seven times-table doesnt put rockets into orbit either. First things first. Teach the fundamentals.

11. If the child grows up and decides to follow another team, thats your fault. You will have overplayed the Giant angle and sickened the child into nausea. Do not rebuke the little ingrate for wanting to seek his or her own path; let the diminutive little soul-sucker choose the Pirates, or the Nationals, or the Winnipeg Jets, or West Bromwich Albion, if he or she wants. Its called letting him or her be an individual. A stupid idea, I know, but you follow the Giants with a creepy monomania that has caused your friends to back away from you at parties. It is not fair to make the child live your pathologies.

12. If the child grows up and decides to follow a divisional rival, make the malignant little brute live in a tree in the back yard. Individuality has its limits, and a few missed-meal cramps ought to straighten him or her out.

13. And never ever ever let the liquor cabinet be depleted. The team angle aside, a child is a frightening responsibility who will cause years of sleep deprivation, worry, stress and heart palpitations. A child costs damned near a million bucks from the womb to the front door going out, and if you think about it too hard, youll hit yourself repeatedly in the head with a mounting hammer.

14. If after all this you still want to be in the WCB contest, then we cant help you. But you can never ever say you havent been told. So drink up, Brittany and Scott if you win, only a few of us will make fun of you.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Does St. Louis' suit against NFL mean hope for the City of Oakland?

Does St. Louis' suit against NFL mean hope for the City of Oakland?

You thought you were done worrying about the Raiders. You thought the votes were in, the moving vans booked for three years down the road, and all gnashing and sharpening of teeth was over. You thought you were free.

Then those buttinsky-come-latelies from St. Louis decided to rear their litigious heads, and now you find yourselves slipping back into that desperate-hope world from which no one escapes.

It seems the city and its regional sports authority has decided to sue the National Football League and its 32 semi-independent duchies over the relocation of the Rams 15 months ago because, and you’ll like this one, the league allegedly did not follow its own relocation rules when it moved the team.

As you know, there is no such thing as a rule if everyone governed by the rule decided unanimously to ignore the rule. This doctrine falls under the general heading of, “We’re billionaires, try and stop us.”

But all lawsuits have a common denominator, and that is that there is money at the end of the rainbow. St. Louis is claiming it is going to miss out on approximately $100 million in net proceeds (read: cash) and has decided that the NFL and especially their good pal Stan Kroenke is going to have to pay for permission to do what they have already done -- specifically, leave.

Because the suit was filed in St. Louis, the benefits of home field advantage apply, and the league is likely to have to reinflate their lawyers for some exciting new billable hours.

As to whether it turns into a windfall for the jilted Missourians, well, as someone who has known lawyers, I would list them as prohibitive underdogs. But there is nuisance value here, which brings us to Oakland.

The city and county, as we know, did not put its best shoe forward in trying to lure the Raiders into staying or the other 31 owners into rejecting the team’s pleas for geographical relief. By that, we mean that the city and county did not fall all over itself to meet the league’s typically extortionate demands.

But they did play angry enough to start snipping about the 2019 part of the Raiders’ 3-More-Coliseum-Years plan, and they are threatening to sue over about $80K in unpaid parking fees, so filing their own breach-of-rules lawsuit might be a possibility.

Because, hey, what’s the point of sounding like a nuisance if you can’t actually become one?

By now, it is clear that everyone in SuitWorld got what it needed out of the Raiders’ move. The city and county could concentrate on guiding the A’s into activity on their own new stadium. The team could go where Mark Davis has been agitating for it to go for at least three years – somewhere else. The state of Nevada could find a place for that $750 million that was burning a hole in its casino vault. And the league went to a market that it, at first reluctantly and then enthusiastically, decided should be its own.

The fans? Oh, please. Who cares about them? To the NFL, and to all corporations in all walks of business, folks are just walking wallets.

But for some cash? Well, climb on board, suckers. The gravy train is pulling out on Track 3.

Nobody is fool enough to think the Raiders would be forced to return. Hell, even St. Louis isn’t asking for the Rams back. They just want to get paid for the money they probably banked on in the good old days before Stan Kroenke decided to head west.

And that would doubtless be Oakland’s stance as well if. Now the circumstances are slightly different, in that St. Louis worked harder to keep the Rams than Oakland did to keep the Raiders. St. Louis scared up $350 million toward new digs for the Rams, well short of what Kroenke would have accepted, while Oakland said it could get its hands on some infrastructure money and no more.

But Mayor Libby Schaaf complained in her relocation post mortem that the league didn’t follow its own guidelines (yay correlation as causation!), maybe with an eye toward throwing a few lawyers into the fire to see how long it would burn.

There is not yet any indication that the city and county are going that route (and the silence may simply mean that they are sick of the Raiders’ saga as everyone else seems to be), but if they do, well, don’t freak out that the team might be forced to return.

Except, of course, in that place where migraines start. Dragging this back up is a bit like the phantom pain amputees feel -- but hey, people will do a lot for a bit of court-ordered cash. Anyone who has ever watched Judge Judy will understand.

A sports-related pie-fixing scandal? Hell never felt so fun

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AP

A sports-related pie-fixing scandal? Hell never felt so fun

I’m liking this 2017 so far. Then again, after 2016, nearly any year would be an improvement.

Just this last weekend we got a flat-earth scandal that turned into a mock-up about media self-importance and fake news (yay Kyrie Irving and his impish sense of satire!).

We got the overblown Russell-Hates-Kevin narrative, and the faux Russell-Secretly-Loves-Kevin counternarrative, all because we are stunningly attracted to meaningless and utterly contrived drama (yay our ability to B.S. ourselves!).

We got the NBA All-Star Game ripped for having no defense even though last year’s game was, if anything, worse (yay short attention span!).

We got the Boogie Cousins trade and the national revulsion of all the thought processes the Sacramento Kings put into this perpetually rolling disaster (yay making Boogie and Vivek Ranadive household names!).

And now we got the Great Sutton United Pie-Fixing Scandal. Yeah, pie-fixing. Hell never felt so fun.

So here’s the deal. Sutton United, a very small fry in English soccer, got to the fifth round of the FA Cup, a competition in which all the clubs in England are commingled and play each other until one team remains. The big clubs almost always win, so any time a small club goes deep, it’s a big deal.

Anyway, Sutton went deeper in the competition than nearly anyone in the last century, a charming development given that it is such a small club that it had a stadium caretaker, goalie coach and backup goalie all in one massive fellow, a 46-year-old guy named Wayne Shaw. Shaw became the globular embodiment of the entire Sutton Experience, a jolly lark for everyone involved and especially when he ate a pie on the bench in the final minutes of Sutton’s Cup-exiting loss to Arsenal.

And now he’s been eased into resigning his jobs with the club, because – and this is so very British – there were betting shops taking action on whether he would in fact eat a pie on the bench, and he either did or did not tip off his pals that he was going to chow down on television.

He did eat the pie. His pals collected on their bets. The sport’s governing body opened an investigation into market manipulation by gambling – which is hilarious given that no fewer than 10 gambling establishments have advertising deals with English soccer clubs. Shaw was invited to quit to kill the story, and he took the hint.

Hey, dreams die all the time. But it’s still pie-fixing. Let that rattle around your head for a minute. Pie-fixing. Not match-fixing. Not point-shaving. Pie-fixing.

Now how can you not love this year?

Sure, it sucks for Shaw, but it serves as a series of cautionary tales for athletes around the world.

* Gambling is everywhere, and every time you inch toward it, you dance on the third rail.

* If you want to help your friends, give them cash.

* This is a horribly delicious way to lose your gig.

* And finally, fun in the 21st century isn’t ever truly fun because someone in a suit and a snugly-placed stick is going to make sure you pay full retail for that fun.

But it is nice to know that something that has never happened before is now part of our year. Pie-fixing is a thing now, as silly in its way as Irving’s flat-earth narrative was. And as we steer away from normal games as being too run-of-the-mill-fuddy-duddy entertainment, we have replaced them with sideshows.

Or do you forget how many people complained Saturday and Sunday that the dunk contest wasn’t interesting enough? How stupid is that?

Lots. Lots of stupid. But against pie-tin-shaped planets and pies turned into betting coups, how can it possibly compare?

We chase a lot of idiotic narratives in our sporting lives. The great What Will The Patriots Do To Roger Goodell story died like the old dog it was. We still try to flog Warriors-Thunder as a rivalry in search of better TV ratings when all the obvious evidence is that it is no such thing unless you think a couple that broke up nine months ago is still a solid story. We have Bachelor fantasy leagues, for God’s sake.

This would leave most normal folks in despair, thus matching their everyday experiences, but yin meets yang, and every time it looks like we are all barrel-rolling into the sun, we get Irving, and then we get Wayne Shaw.

In short, 2017 is going to be fun of grand surprises for us all. I look forward to the day President Trump tries to fete the Patriots and only gets to Skype with Bob Kraft and the equipment guys who midwifed DeflateGate, and Mark Davis in Las Vegas, just to see if he can get a P.F. Chang’s into the Bellagio.

Why not? This is sport’s year-long tribute to sketch comedy, and evidently everyone is signing on enthusiastically to replace lessons of morality and honor and equality and dignity and sportsmanship with slackened jaws and belly laughs.

So yay sports! Or as it is clearly becoming, A Night At The Improv.