If you watched ESPN for five minutes the last couple of days you probably saw 40 year old Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers act like a spoiled 4 year old brat. Earlier this week he assaulted a water cooler after being removed from a game (and broke a bone in his hand in the process). Then in the wake of negative press he went after two cameramen during practice the other day, one of whom has filed assault charges. The question is not if, but how long he will be suspended. Way to go, Kenny, your teammates appreciate it.
In an unrelated incident, I saw thirty-something Gary Sheffield of the Yankees (formerly the Braves among others – there’s a reason a player so good has played for so many different teams), throw a ridiculous temper tantrum of his own when he was called out in a close play at first base.
Hockey player Jeremy Roenick came under fire over the weekend for comments about the NHL lockout in which he said that fans that didn’t understand his “sacrifices” in trying to get the game on the ice again (instead of the labor boardroom) could kiss his… well you know. He said it several times to make sure the message got out, and told such fans he didn’t want them to come to the arena. Pretty sure they won’t, Jeremy. (He talked about his sacrifice at a charity golf tournament – definitely living a tough life).
It’s amazing that professional athletes wonder why fans are hard on them, why people don’t understand them. There are unquestionably good guys in professional sports, but they have plenty of peers who apparently believe that because they get paid zillions of dollars to play a boy’s game they can act like little boys. I can’t recall seeing some guy in an office throwing his stuff around and yelling and crying at his boss when something didn’t go his way. If someone acted like that in such a real world setting, however, he’d most likely find himself looking for another job. These athletes, however, are coddled their whole lives and can’t seem to grow up, and it makes rooting for them very difficult.