Wooden's World of Baseball

Friday, January 01, 2010

Let's Kill The Culture Of Negativity

[Ed. note: This is what I wrote for another site, but am republishing under author's permission ;-]

With a New Year, and a New Decade upon us, hope springs eternal for a New Era (no, not that New Era). This is irrespective of baseball, but with this being a baseball [blog], but I'm proposing a very simple change for Nationals fans.

Let's kill the culture of negativity.

The more astute reader will recognize this as a reference to Rick Pitino's famous rant in which he intoned "Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they're going to be gray and old."

But it's the next four sentences that few people remember:

What we are is young, exciting, hard-working, and we're going to improve. People don't realize that, and as soon as they realize those three guys are not coming through that door, the better this town will be for all of us because there are young guys in that room playing their asses off. I wish we had $90 million under the salary cap. I wish we could buy the world. We can't; the only thing we can do is work hard, and all the negativity that's in this town sucks.

What Washington fans probably don't know is that the most powerful sports-talk radio station in Boston used to play that rant mockingly as a set-up for the call-in segment for people to give their (half) witty remarks. But in the end, wasn't Pitino right? Absolutely.

This isn't to say we should become boosterish Pollyannas, going after Moby Dick and taking the tartar sauce with us. But the constant b*tching and complaining from some so-called fans on other sites has long since gotten old. It's childish. It's ignorant. And it serves no good purpose, save for creating a fellowship of the miserable.

Washington's woes are far from unique. Pittsburgh hasn't had a winner since 1992. Baltimore hasn't had one since 1997. Kansas City hasn't had one since 2003. None of these franchises can point to a five-year period where MLB treated the franchise like the Pennsylvania Road Warriors, gutting it like a fish. And yet all three of those franchises have farm systems that experts believe can start feeding them some decent major-league talent.

By definition, this is a site that focuses on the future, not the past. I propose that [fans] focus on what can be, if not what will be, as opposed to what hasn't been and might not be. It's more productive and more instructive and I think it makes for better reading.


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