Now I cannot say that I really follow baseball nowadays; I tried to on a few brief afternoons off but the sport has become too slow with its allowance of what feels like lifelong ceremonies before each pitch. Adjust, limber up, adjust, strut, and approach home plate, pitch and repeat. By the second batter I was switching to something with more action, like watching paint dry. I am also not a gambler; I never had extra money that I felt I could just as well throw out the window as bet on anything with. Call me old fashioned but I believe in working for a living (not that I am against those who gamble). One thing that strikes me as very hypocritical though is the treatment of Charlie Hustle. Pete Rose was a very hard working player. He was not flashy and not the “best” player of all time, but he was consistent and loved the sport. He loved the action and took his team allegiance very seriously on and off the field. He also loved to gamble. Many of you know his story; he was caught gambling on baseball which is a real no no especially since the scandal that almost ruined baseball in the early part of the last century when people were caught being paid to throw the World Series. He accepted a lifetime ban from baseball that could be reviewed in as soon as one year, unfortunately the person who brokered the deal with him passed away a matter of months later and his replacement made it clear that the ban would stand, always. He is perhaps the most highly decorated retired baseball player NOT to be in the Hall of Fame. All this happened because he made bets that HIS team would WIN. We move forward several years and look at professional sports. We have had convicted rapists fight for the heavyweight boxing championship. We have had accused rapists revered for their ability to dunk a basket and obviously performing enhanced baseball players not only allowed to keep their eligibility to become inducted into the hall of fame, but also allowed to play the sport that they are tainting. Oh, and the endorsement deals do not hurt either. Taking a look at this and you have to find hypocrisy. We try to teach our children about right and wrong, but then we have to admit that there are many inconsistencies to say the least. Kobe was never convicted so that is why he still plays, but wait, Tyson was convicted, showed no remorse and then continued his career as well. Makes it hard to have kids understand I guess. So we have Mr. Rose and his lifetime ban because he made a legal but prohibited by his contract bet. Perhaps if he had committed a rape and then tried to eat the ear of an opponent he would not only have escaped a ban but also have been given movie cameos and a reality TV series? What does this have to do with counseling? Just that we have to pay attention to the world around us and as clinicians we need to be able to acknowledge to our clients from time to time that yes, hypocrisy does exist and sometimes life does not seem to come with consequence, other times it comes with just ones while still others times the punishment greatly out scales the offence. It’s what we do as people to counter our struggles and what we do in our lives and with our lives that define us. No person is truly imprisoned totally if their minds are free. Oh, and just because you can save lives doesn’t mean you deserve to be paid a great deal of money; I mean it is not as if you can hit a ball far, throw one through a hoop or beat the daylights out of someone; now that deserves a big pay day. :O)
Warren Corson III (Doc Warren) is a counselor and the clinical & executive director of a community counseling agency in central CT (www.docwarren.org).