Thursday, May 27, 2010

Letter over Spirit... Safe but wrong choice

Recently in the Big Apple Softball League, http://esportsdesk.com/leagues/front_pageesd.cfm?clientID=1322&leagueID=2106 , a serious knee/leg injury occurred to Nick Ross manager/player of the Brother Jimmy's softball team. The injury occurred on May 2nd at second base while playing against Lucky's (formerly Contact). Lucky's tough competitor, excellent infielder, and scrappy lead off man Mike Trenk slid "aggressively" into second and unfortunately the injury transpired.

Injuries are part of the game. We all accept that risk the second we cross the lines. i am a big propeonent of sliding in hard, clean, and early into any base to avoid a tag or break up a play. it's part of the game. But we also must all adhere to good sportsmanship and overall respect for the game, players, and officials. You can't play alone.

Despite all his success on the field over the years Mike Trenk has rarely exhibited good sportsmanship and respect during a league games. I do not know him personally so it would be unfair for me to comment on his off the field character but here is what I see on the field:

(1) Argues every border line pitch during an at bat with an umpire
(2) Steps out on every pitch to disrupt a pitcher and argues during that time with umpire.
(3) Ducks under pitches during an at bat
(4) Nasty Attitude - yelling, screaming, bullying everyone- no one likes him and its a shame b/c he is a winning player
(5) Three years ago he also slid in late, high, and hard to Nick and knocked Nick out of commission for a while. I witnessed that 1st hand.

To be fair Mike did call Nick immediately after the incident to apologize and see how Nick was doing. In addition, Mike dishes it out and can take it as well, as I and other players, have slid very hard into second base just because he is there and Mike has never wined or complained.

Nick filed a formal grievance with the league stating that Mike exhibited poor sportsmanship and intentionally slid into second to injure him. The league to their credit asked questions and conducted an investigation of players and officials but had no physical proof to rule against Mike.

This is clearly the case of the the Letter of the Law versus the Spirit of the Law. Where there was no physical evidence (video tape, umpire testimony) of poor sportsmanship, but Mr. Trenk's reputation and repeated poor past behavior leads one to question his actions/intentions. The league had a tough call to make and made a fair and safe decision, but ultimately the wrong choice. Trenk should have been suspended for at least 2 weeks, maybe then we will realize that you can't play the game alone and would change his attitude.

Fyi :

(1) Upset at the league decision, Nick has decided to resign as a member of the league's committee effective June 1, 2010.

(2) This repeated poor behavior would not be tolerated in Inwood.

21 comments:

  1. John RosenmillerMay 27, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Rick -

    As a member of the Commissioner's Committee (CC) that reviewed Nick's complaint, I would like to make a few comments. My personal opinion of Mike Trenk should not and did not factor into what the CC had to do, which is to make a ruling on one play. I am aware of Mike's rep and of the feelings toward him which you expressed. Whatever criteria you or other guys use to judge Mike is fine for you, but not for the CC. We have, and should have, a different standard.

    The C.C. has been given the responsibility by the managers to rule on some serious issues that can lead to suspensions and banning. We dont take this lightly and have spent countless hours reviewing and discussing each decision. Nick is aware of this because he is a member of the CC. We spoke to at least 10 people regarding the situation with Nick. If we had come up with anything concrete in any respect, we would have made a ruling based on that. But we didnt. And none of us were there to see the play.

    To say that we should have suspended Mike for a few games means you think we should pass judgement on players based on something else than the facts that we know. For example, I would like to ban Mayaguez because they are really good, and I think Rudy might fudge his playoff roster. Rudy's rep as a manager is probably the same as Mike's as a player. So, I think we'll kick Mayaguez out now before that happens. And I dont like the fact that Choice Parts couldnt hit Gil's knuckle ball, and Gil has a reputation for losing his head sometime...perhaps acting unsportsmanlike toward his own team... so he's gone. I realize I am over-dramatizing things but the bottom line is this: YOU AND EVERY PLAYER DO NOT WANT THE C.C. ACTING AS DICTATORS OR MAKING DECISIONS BASED ON ANYTHING BUT FACT.

    If you give us this authority, it might end up being used against you in an unfair way sometime. We try to do things as fairly as possible regardless of who is involved. If we fail at that, so be it. But I sleep well at night knowing I have done the right thing. The popular thing for the C.C. to do would be to suspend Mike; only Contact would have been upset. But that would not have been right. You are a popular person and a voice that people listen to. I dont think you should be advocating that the CC take any action unless we are convinced that there has been a clear rules violation.

    I think Mike plays hard-nosed and aggressive and this can lead to injuries even in plays that are legal. Personally, I think Mike and anyone else who plays this way needs to reconsider their priorities. Is it worth being safe at one base in one game during the year when you might injure someone in a significant way? This can occur even if you dont intend it to happen. When you slide hard and there is hard but legal contact, it is a risky play. The severity of Nick's injury shows what can happen. We all have lives, jobs, families and things to do which we dont want messed up by a softball injury. Each player, not just Mike, needs to ask themselves whether they want to be a hard-nosed aggressive player on every play or whether there are some occasions when it is better to give 75% effort and avoid a play that might be risky or injure another player. This isn't a question of legal vs. illegal but of priorities, consideration and respect for other players. This question applies to many ballplayers and not just Mike.

    I know Nick feels Mike's intent was to hurt him. I cant answer that question, only Mike can. But we cannot and should not judge what Mike's intent is without certain proof. All we can do is deal with what actually happened. And this we did.

    - John Rosenmiller

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  2. We should nickname him "Dirty
    Mike".

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  3. John Rosenmiller, can we have the CC please explain why John Browne is legal for your team but not for anyone other team?

    Can Browne pitch for another team other than yours?

    Can you please ask the CC to explain why your team can have a pitcher throwing frisbee's but no one else can't???

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  4. Frisbee comment - classic.

    John, your gonna get carpal tunnel from all that writing!

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  5. John RosenmillerMay 28, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    Hey Anonymous -

    Why is it that all the punk comments come from Anonymous? If you have a serious question, ask me in person. Everyone tries to poach JB every year. Maybe he likes playing with guys like Kip, Clay, Kenny, Lou, Doc and the rest of our team. Maybe he likes playing with a winning team. We know September...do you?

    And please let me know where you found the "e" on Brown...do you think he's French?

    Juan, you are right...keep it S & S from now on.

    John

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  6. Can we all just get along. Johnny C

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  7. John Brown is illegal no doubt about it. Remove Rosenmiller from the Committee and bye bye John Brown.

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  8. Make Rosenmiller the comish. problem solved.

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  9. Mike Trenk to those who know him is a good guy and a friend, since when is being a tough, hardnosed competitor wrong and he's got 13 Big Apple League chips to prove it. He in NO WAY tried to hurt Nick Ross. There are a lot of guys who act way out of line in the Big Apple League and get away with it-ie: Rosenmiller, Rudy, O'Hanlon's whole team. Mike can play for my team anytime. The real hypocrisy is the CC's pitching rules, which are a joke and slanted towards one team, while other teams (who do know September, thank you) cannot bring in anybody to compete. Let some real pitchers come into the Big Apple League or ban ALL illegal pitchers.

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  10. Rosenmiller, how is John Brown possibly legal?

    Brown throws FRISBEES!!!!

    Finally, we all know you are paying him.

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  11. mike trenks cool!

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  12. John RosenmillerMay 30, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Anoymous Friend of Mike Trenk and September -

    If you have good comments to make, why not sign it? I dont know where you read anything about Mike's intent. I dont have any idea what his intent was, as you dont, and never said anything about it. What I said was that people sometimes get hurt even on plays that are hard-nosed and legal. Nick's knee if really fucked up and this has really screwed his life around. The point is that there are situations where injuries may be avoided.
    And what pitching rules are you talking about? There's no slingshot or windmill, that's it. Before you bash the CC, why dont you pay a little attention to that is happening in the league you play in. As far as "real pitchers," so this mean that Cedric, Franny, Edgar, Gil, Matt, Dennis Murphy, Kenny, Evelio and others are not "real pitchers"? Boy, you really like to take shots at everyone.

    John

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  13. I was at 3B in the game Nick got hurt and had a bird's eye view. Nobody talked to me though. But I'm just gonna say one thing. Since when did we blurr the line between "hard nosed" play and sliding into a bag with your cleats up!?!?! Anybody can play hard, slide hard and try to break up a play by sliding INTO THE BASE. The second you come in with your cleats in the air it's a DIRTY PLAY. There is no gray area. I certainly doubt there was any specific intent to injure Nick, but this was unquestionably a slide with the cleats up. I'm sure the intent was just to break up the play but a dirty tactic was used to do it.

    And message to the CC, do you really need to look any further than the pictures showing the cleat marks all the way up Nick's leg to draw your conclusions? A clean slide results in cleat marks on Nick's shoes, or worst case his ankle, and there is no question he could have been injured anyway on a clean slide, but cleat marks up on the top of your shin??? You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to know what occurred. And I saw it perfectly anyway, but nobody asked me my opinion.

    Nick now misses the rest of this season and probably half of the next one and after that slide, he's lucky it wasn't worse.

    Jeff C

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  14. Rosenmiller, you are delusional if you think that Brown is legal. Seriously.

    I am sure Brown is enjoying every cent you are paying him though. ;)

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  15. why dont all u lil girls cryin about john brown hit the cages and learn how to hit ! you sound rediculous stop crying!!! if your team is nice you'll beat him like we did!! stop bitchin already you sound like fucking girls!!!

    ANG

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  16. His name is not Pang and John Brown is definitely illegal and looks like the guy from Hannibal.

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  17. Where can i sign up to play F division softball?

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  18. List of pure scrubs in softball....

    Santo Ciralo
    John Rosenmiller
    Charlie
    Diblasio
    Hot Dog Neck
    Edwin

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  19. Can we send that fat horse man looking fan of ours to watch your garbage games instead?

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  20. More Scrubs:

    Billy
    Chris Cross
    Woody
    Derm

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