Rain Delay Theater: Summer Camp Edition

Sam Sherman

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.

Comments (3)
No. 1-2
Mark Liptak
Mark Liptak

Editor

The big question is going to be what kind of pitcher will he be after AT LEAST 31 months without playing in a regular season game. 31 months...and in fact it may be longer before he returns. Unless there is a vaccine, the virus will still be around next spring or the owners may decide to lock out the players or the players may decide to go on strike given the CBA ends after the season.

1 Reply

WIN05
WIN05

He will be well rested.

WIN05
WIN05

You are right. Kopech does not owe the fans anything. However, as fans we can speculate why he is not playing. Kopech is in the entertainment business and that is part of the deal. My own opinion is that it has nothing to do with covid. If it did, 99.9% of the people in this world would tell you that. For the Sox going forward with him, his mental aspect is important. Breaking his hand fighting a team mate and now this, you have to wonder. Almost for sure marriage has not been a plus. He needs a life coach.


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