MLB on Jackson

Does this give me license to go off topic and dive into a Posnanskian-length Michael Jackson essay when I get some time later today?

The year was 1976.

Farrah Fawcett had the poster that was on walls everywhere.

Michael Jackson was fronting “The Jacksons” — as the band started off on its own a year after leaving Motown.

Johnny Bench and Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine repeated as World Series champs, and this time it wasn’t even close — a powerhouse sweep of the Yankees, following a three-game sweep of the Phillies for the National League pennant.

American icons.

Farrah is gone now. She passed away Thursday from cancer.

Michael is gone now. He passed away at almost the same time due to cardiac arrest.

Sparky Anderson’s team was one of the mightiest in Major League Baseball history, arguably in the top five, loaded with legends and a Hall of Fame manager.

She was a symbol of beauty and then courage for so many. He was the King of Pop, fallen from this decade but nonetheless an icon for countless millions who always held hope he would find a graceful comeback, somehow, that would make us watch him again. You remembered or you were looking it up on Thursday, as hearts ached.

Nationals center fielder Willie Harris’ heart ached. He was the reason that Michael Jackson’s music filled Nationals Park throughout his team’s 9-3 victory over Boston Thursday night. It was a somber and sad celebration, just as there will be Michael music during the Dodgers’ Friday Night Fireworks event.


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ditmars1929
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ditmars1929

No, Craig, it doesn’t give you license to go off topic later on.  Plenty of other news sites are reporting on a drug addled homosexual child molester.  Just stick to baseball, please.

Craig Calcaterra
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Craig Calcaterra

Oh well. I’ll just have to hang out in my co-workers’ doorway and share my unified theory 1980s pop music with them.

Ogilvy
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Ogilvy

The drug addled and homosexual are par for the course for entertainers, of course, the molestering children thing is pretty horrific. Anyways, lets hear it Craig, ditmar can skip that post.

Jimmy
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Jimmy

ditmars, why did you feel the need to lump in “homosexual” right between “drug addled” and “child molester”?

Richard in Dallas
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Richard in Dallas

Michael was a severely flawed human being, to be sure, but his talent was at a level with Elvis, Lennon and McCartney, Steven Spielberg, and the like.  There will be no more Thriller videos, no next generation moonwalk, no “Rockin Robin” and no more Neverland.  I believe he was a tormented soul who, in a way, was fortunate to find the sweet relief of death at an early age…..

MooseinOhio
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MooseinOhio

Farrah Fawcet hung on my wall next to Red Sox gear and I had a boom box that wore out several tapes that featured Michael’s music that was also used to listen to games.  It is often hard to separate the childhood memories from the present day realities and despite that fact that Farrah aged and Michael’s declined in so many way I will choose to remember them in their more idealistic states.

J.W.
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J.W.

Second what Jimmy said.

lar
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lar
Jonah Keri probably has the best take of Michael Jackson that I’ve read so far, touching on the joy that he brought to billions of people, the pain/trauma that he caused to others, and the immense psychological beating he took as a kid that led to both aspects of his being: The Complicated Legacy of Michael Jackson. I’m with others: There’s a lot to dislike and hate about what Michael Jackson became, but he did bring a lot of joy to many people’s lives (both directly and indirectly). Probably more than any of us could ever hope to even imagine,… Read more »
Jack Marshall
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Jack Marshall

Go for it, Craig. Jackson is a horrific example of the ravages of child-exploitation by parents who see talented kids as income centers. His folks sold his childhood, and he paid the price. There sure are a lot of parallels with sports, but I’m eager to read your unified theory. Still, lets go easy on MJ. He gave an awful lot of pleasure to the world, and was a unique talent, despite being damaged goods almost from the beginning.

ditmars1929
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ditmars1929

Just being factual, Jimmy, not homophobic, if I’m properly interpreting what you’re trying to say.  I sincerely apologize if I offended you and J.W.

And to the other kind posters, MJ was immensely talented, nobody can possibly argue with that.  But his freakish lifestyle sort of cancels that out, doesn’t it?

J.W.
Guest
J.W.
“His folks sold his childhood, and he paid the price…Still go easy on MJ.” Isn’t the problem that he wasn’t alone in paying the price? Isn’t it possible that at least two children paid the price as well? I’m all for withholding judgment and giving the benefit of the doubt, and presuming innocence, but I’m sure Jack Marshall and Craig and really all of us can attest to the fact that the result of a trial isn’t always the last word on an issue. In the absense of absolute evidence, all are free to make their own judgments on whether… Read more »
ecp
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ecp

Craig, I have no objections if you decide to opine at length, a la Poz, on the subject of MJ.  Just please don’t say anything like Chad Ochocinco did about yesterday being “worse than 9/11” because of the losses of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

Craig Calcaterra
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Craig Calcaterra
ECP—please tell me that Johnson didn’t say that.  Dear lord, that man’s an idiot. J.W. (and whoever): I don’t think it’s inconsistent to (a) have sympathy for MJ as a result of the abuse he went through at the hands of his father; (b) feel scorn and refuse to forgive him for him for the things he did to other children when he grew up; and (c) still absolutely love his music. Building off of something I said in a comment somewhere yesterday, when it comes to celebrities, I don’t buy the notion that Hollywood and the sports world tries… Read more »
ditmars1929
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ditmars1929

In support of J.W., you’d think that the man who got his childhood sold out by his parents would be EXTRA sensitive to NOT ruining another’s.  Apparently, Mr. Marshall disagrees.

OK, let’s get back to baseball!  Yanks/Mets in another very very tired subway series, but I have to say, “Go Yankees!!!”

And, JW, I really didn’t mean to offend you previously.

Joao
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Joao

In defense of Ocho Cinco, he quickly realized it was stupid, that it was an emotional reaction, walked it back, and said he was sorry.

tadthebad
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tadthebad
OK, Craig.  I hear and agree with most of what you wrote about celebrities and appreciating them for the entertainment they provide, and not necessarily anything else.  Still, you did write: “Basically, if you avoid violence, cruelty and the mistreatment of kids, I’m probably going to still buy your product even if I wouldn’t seek you out at a party.”  So, how do you make that jive with your obvious appreciation of MJ?  Do you have second-thoughts about that statement?  Do you rationalize it by not actually buying any MJ products (which, I think, would be side-stepping the issue a… Read more »
J.W.
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J.W.

Ditmars1929—

I meant to say this earlier: no apology is needed, but it’s greatly appreciated and very cool of you. 

Craig, I hear what you’re saying and it makes sense to me. But I still think (and this isn’t really the point I made before, but anyway) that he may not necessarily be worthy of the tears of strangers, and while it’s understandable to hold the three perspectives you mentioned above, the one questionable stance (I think) would be to allow love of his music to erase the wrongs he (may or may not have) committed.

Craig Calcaterra
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Craig Calcaterra
Tad: I guess what it boils down to is that I’m unwilling to shed any tears for Jackson. When he was alive I was unwilling to buy any of his products post-molestation business. I was unwilling to listen to his p.r. rebop.  If something new arose, I would have been decidedly skeptical of whatever his position happened to be.  I won’t turn off a demonstably awesome song of his that came on the radio, however, because to deny something like that is silly and rather self-defeating. To put it in the context of what I said in the quote you… Read more »
ecp
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ecp

Yeah, Craig, I’m serious.  He really said it.

Oh, and Joao, from what I heard, he only gave that little bit of a back-off at the point when the initial rumors of MJ’s death were denied.  It was more like, OK, he’s not dead, sorry I overreacted, that was a dumb thing to say.  It was a qualified retraction.

John Northey
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John Northey
If one is abused as a child it does lead to a drastically increased likelihood of becoming an abuser when you get older.  There is no question on this, sadly enough. I suspect Jackson’s parents never got him the treatment he needed, and once an adult he didn’t seek it out as he should’ve.  The difference between someone who takes responsibility (seeks treatment for childhood traumas and does whatever they can to avoid putting it onto a new generation) and those who don’t.  You can feel sorry for Jackson and also be mad at him quite easily as it is… Read more »
Joao
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Joao
ecp, Not sure I agree.  Here are his actual comments: “Okay, first Mrs. Fawcett now Mr. Jackson, please tell me that this is a mistaken rumor, if not this is just as sad as 9/11…about 4 hours ago” “okay not as bad as 911, its sad period, both situations my goodness people, they just said he is okay in the hospital…about 3 hours ago” “The 9/11 was a bit over the top, i am just in an emotional state right now, bare with me while i regroup people, be back in 10 minutes…about 3 hours ago” “Sorry 85 million times,… Read more »
tadthebad
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tadthebad

Craig,

That was well-explained in an inconsistent sort-of-way.  Seriously, though, I share your perspective, but I find myself reminding people today of the man’s alleged horrors as those same people fall over themselves praising his music,
which hasn’t been any good in over a decade now.  Nevertheless, I may be placing my Thriller LP under lock and key in the hopes that’s it worth some decent money in the future.  I’m no music buff – what kind of prospect/tradeable chip do I have in a Thriller LP, anyways?

Steve
Guest
Steve
Craig, Milwaukee has a real inferiority complex because of Chicago.  The two cities were comparable until the mid-1800’s when the population and industry exploded to the south.  You won’t find a more ornery, insecure bunch of people than the ones who live in Milwaukee. I grew up in Madison, and I have to deal with sighs and eye rolling when I even bring up the name of the town.  You’d gather from the people of Milwaukee that they are the only ones who truly understand how the world works (very black and white) and the hippy liberals to the west… Read more »
Jack Marshall
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Jack Marshall
Regarding comparisons between Manny and Jacko (and there’s a match I never thought I’d be contemplating): Jackson is responsible for his own actions regarding child molestation (yes, I think it’s almost certain that he was a serial abuser). That he, as an adult, is responsible does not alter the fact that his conduct was a likely bi-product of his own abuse and cruel upbringing, which has been fairly well documented. As a performer, Jackson should be judged on his talent and professionalism, which, when he was physically well, was pretty much beyond reproach. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame… Read more »
Jake
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Jake

ditmars… I too tripped over the “homosexual” in the middle of all the other adjectives. 

What if the description were “drug added, red-headed child molester”? 

To me, the non-sequitur of the second descriptor is the same in both cases.

Joao
Guest
Joao

Jake,

If Jackson was known to have molested only red-headed children, it would not be a non-sequitur.  I took the original comment to mean that he was a molestor of male children, and the author of the post’s subsequent follow-up convinced me he meant to be only factual.

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