Rain Delay Theater: Summer Camp Edition
Today I experienced the first ever White Sox rain delay for an intrasquad game during a pandemic.
I don't actually know if that's true, but it seems specific enough to be possible, and I don't really feel like looking it up. Additionally, if it isn't true, I don't really see how making it up is all that problematic.
What is problematic, however, is any response that wasn't in full support of the big news yesterday regarding Michael Kopech's decision to sit out the 2020 season.
Twitter polls are more scientific, and reveal more than any other form of polling that I can think of, so I ran one yesterday simply asking #WhiteSoxTwitter if they supported Kopech's decision.
After 92 votes, 88% of the voters said YES, while 12%, for some reason, said no.
I was pleasantly surprised with that result, considering one should never underestimate how many bad opinions baseball fans, and to a larger extent sports fans, can have.
It seemed like the vast majority supported the decision — not only from the results of the poll, but also reading responses to the team's official statement.
That being said, I would like to take a moment to address the 12% who didn't support Kopech's decision, and to anyone else who criticized his choice.
You are wrong.
This is not an opinion, this is a fact.
My editor might make me say that it, is in fact, an opinion, but I think you get the point.
Traditionally, the sports fan/athlete relationship has caused many fans to think that athletes owe them something more than just doing their jobs.
Traditionally, that is wrong.
One of the silver linings of 2020 has been how many "traditions" have been exposed as problematic, and have forced people to realize the deep changes that need to be made within those institutions and their traditions.
Michael Kopech doesn't owe us a damn thing.
This might be hard to hear for some people, but in normal circumstances a player's decision as to whether or not they will play a season is nobody's business but their own. Perhaps also the team's. But certainly not the fans.
Under pandemic circumstances, that should be understood more than ever.
You were probably excited to watch Kopech return in 2020 after not seeing him play for a long time, so it's OK to be a little bummed out.
But being bummed out is absolutely no excuse to personally criticize a player for making a decision, no matter what the reason might be.
I can't believe I have to say this but, players are humans. They have feelings, families, thoughts and opinions, just like you and me. They don't owe you a single thing beyond what they are comfortable sharing.
More players will opt out in the coming weeks. I don't know if they will be White Sox players, but be prepared for more.
All I ask is if and when they do, please respect their decision, and know they that are people, just like you.