You don’t expect to get lessons in perspective when you read the Boston Globe’s Extra Bases blog about the Red Sox. But one post tonight delivered that message twice.
At the end of a notes-style piece, Nick Cafardo writes that former Red Sox backup catcher John Marzano died of a heart attack at age 45. I vividly remember the excitement I felt when I got his first baseball card, one from his stint on the 1984 Olympic Team, that was included in the 1985 Topps baseball card set. I actually liked it more than the Roger Clemens rookie card that was included in the same set (I can’t even explain why 23 years later). He always seemed like a class act and was an easy autograph, which I appreciated as a youngster. Life is indeed too short, especially John Marzano’s.
On a lighter note, the same blog post quotes Manny Ramirez of all people demonstrating that not every bad act requires higher intervention. In this case, it was his reaction to MLB suspending Yankees pitcher Kyle Farnsworth for throwing at Manny during a game earlier this week. Manny said it was unnecessary because it is how the game is played. Amen to that. Sports — especially baseball and hockey — would be better served if the suits let the players police the game rather than jumping to suspensions and penalties as readily as they do these days. That’s not to say some vicious acts don’t require severe penalties, but the players on the field and the ice do a pretty good job of keeping things in balance themselves when permitted to do so.
Both of these are lessons that we should take to heart off the field as well.