-It was good to see and hear yesterday in numerous places that my reaction to the Stan Musial slight at Tuesday night's All-Star Game wasn't an isolated one. Many have reacted with the same level of disgust that I did. And I've gotten numerous e-mails and texts to that effect as a result of my post here yesterday.
In a Dan O'Neill piece in the Post-Dispatch and on stltoday.com, some of the reasons (allegedly) for the Musial slight were put forth. I think I'm even more upset if you can believe what Dan was told.
Supposedly it was all about timing in the program and the President's appearance. They say Mr. Obama's presence in the evening's script wasn't planned for until a few weeks before the game when it became known he would attend. If this were the case, it seems to me that it would have been easily enough accomplished to re-structure the Heroes Among Us segment featuring the video from the five living Presidents. That piece of the program ate up at least 7 or 8 minutes all by itself. And most of it was the video. You mean they couldn't have re-edited the video to shorten the piece up by two minutes in two weeks? A good video editor could have done it in two hours. I fully support the sentiment of encouraging volunteerism, but somebody misjudged the value of a Stan tribute any way you look at it.
Virtually eliminating a tribute to The Man was not the answer to any pre-game timing problem. It may have been an easy answer...but not the correct one.
I do believe that MLB forced the program as we saw it down the throats of the Cardinals brass who likely pushed for a more elaborate tribute to Stan. It makes sense that, as I indicated in yesterday's post, someone at the Commissioner's office cowered in the face of the President's appearance and made some inappropriate choices. Certainly, and accurately, they saw the President's appearance as one of national importance that carried a ratings bonus. They also likely saw Stan's tribute as more of a regional segment, and of appeal to a more limited number. However, this was a baseball night. This was about baseball and baseball stars. Did they forget that? Probably.
Again, if there was a scripting problem to account for, the volunteerism segment needed to be sacrificed..not Stan the Man. He is one of the people that everyone in baseball who makes their living from the sport needs to revere to the utmost in every way possible. Shame on MLB for their disgraceful and numbskulled judgement on this one.
In O'Neill's article, Bill DeWitt III covers for MLB by saying (paraphrasing) they had a lot to juggle and some tough choices had to be made. Well, what would you expect him to say? How about "We're sorry that it turned out that way. Stan is more important to us than anybody...and no disrespect intended...that includes the President." That was his correct answer if he were to make things right for Cardinals Nation and his customer base.
MLB and the Cardinals owe Stan, and all of us who consider him our hero, a heart-felt and unabashed celebration of The Man. We're all longing for it now...and Tuesday's neglectful and wrong-headed happenings have brought it all to a head.