Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday's Musings on Sports - Ruth, Pink Bats and Brophy, a Mother's Day Love Story

When the NHL playoffs are in full swing, I return to my childhood infatuation with hockey. While I am always interested in knowing what my beloved Rangers are doing, its the playoffs that draw my attention to the greater hockey world. This infatuation with hockey manifests itself in my religiously reading the Ranger blogs after the game and listening to NHL radio (XM Channel 92) when I am in the car.

Yesterday, I was driving my son to little league when I heard an interview with former coach John Brophy. Brophy talked about how when his kids were young, Brophy was coaching (I can't remember where) and the radio broadcast of the game mentioned that he had been giving someone a hard time. I don't remember where Brophy said that his wife was, but the story he told was that Brophy's mother had been watching his kids for at least part of the game.

Apparently, Brophy's actions were quite egregious, because when Brophy returned home there was a note left for him on his kitchen table from his mom. The note read "You're a Jerk, Love Mom." Only hockey players/coaches can tell stories like that.

While hockey had a humorous, if not uplifting story on Mother's Day, baseball had yet another public relations black eye. A number of years ago, major league baseball started a tradition of allowing the players to use pink bats on Mother's Day. The bats were tied to donations which were made to the Susan G. Komen - breast cancer foundation.

This year, Baltimore outfielder Nick Markakis and Minnesota third baseman Trevor Plouffe (who are reportedly both sons of breast cancer survivors) received special bats from manufacturer MaxBat. However, major league baseball banned them from using the bats because Louisville Slugger had made a donation to the Komen foundation in exchange for the exclusive rights to distribute pink bats with their logo on Mother's Day.

The actions of MLB in commercializing what should have been a nice gesture of honor and respect is hard to stomach. Major league ballplayers are not restricted to only using Louisville Slugger bats during the regular season. It is only on Mother's Day that players are told that the only pink bats they can use are Louisville Sluggers or those with no logo on them at all.

During the same week as Mother's Day we will also read about the woman who showed great respect for her Mother (in law) and how she received a great reward. Ruth was the daughter in law of Naomi for a short period of time before her husband died. When Naomi chose to leave Moab, Ruth (who was a princess in her own right) pleaded that she wanted to stay with Naomi, rather than stay in Moab with Orpah, Ruth's other daughter in law. As a result of Ruth's desire to stay with and take care of Naomi, Ruth met with and married Boaz. Many years later, she saw her great grandson David become King of the Jews.

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