The 2020 World Series was in the 6th game. The Ray’s star pitcher Brent Snell was cruising. Kevin Cash the Ray’s manager walked to the mound and relieved Brent Snell. The world knew that was a bonehead move. I was sure the Dodgers were going to win the series and I was even more excited that an illustration I had produced was going to be a centerpiece for the LA Times Commemorative Book. Well, technically is was going to be the last page of the book. My editor was thrilled, the group producing the book was excited and so was I. A full page in a commemorative book is pretty cool.
The game wore on and everyone started to wonder – Where’s Justin Turner? He wan’t manning 3rd base. He just disappeared from the game – nowhere to be seen. The game ended and still no Turner. Then, we found out the Turner had tested positive for Covid and, my heart sank. I got “the text” from my editor: The illustration wouldn’t make it into the book. Great illustration but Turner tested positive so, bad look for Turner, and bad luck for me.
I thought it a pretty gutless move to pull it but it wasn’t me call. My editor supported me but it was killed higher up the food chain. A couple of the LAT guys wrote columns on Turner putting “everyone in danger” by being on the field. Those takes were catering to the crowd that see every Covid case as a death sentence. Turner was well distance and the science is clear. Outdoor is pretty. Turner, like most young healthy adults, had no problems. Ultimately no one else was infected by Turner but the damage was done. I lost a featured position in the 2020 World Series Commemorative Book.
Oh well. LA Times didn’t pay me or run my illustration, so it’s mine.
Before Covid, Major League Baseball was awash in cash. Stars making over 30 Million. Guys batting .220 making millions, but minor leaguers barely make enough to survive. It’s shameful how the feeder leagues (and players) are treated by MLB. Players frequently eat hot dogs for dinner. The training table at a DIII school is better at keeping their athletes healthy.
MLB’s reasoned there are too many minor league teams. MLB’s answer was, contraction. It eliminated teams that have been local stalwarts for decades. One the best family entertainment experiences is minor league baseball. The baseball is good, the mascots are fun and its cheap. Go to see an MLB game and you dump $200 per person.
The “Good Fellas” are in charge and they are dumping the completion.
My deadline is Friday for the Saturday addition of the Los Angeles Times. I had my cartoon finished when the news of the Hank Aaron death hit the wires. I switched gears, and did my tribute. I’ve always admired Aaron. His infectious smile and gentlemanly manner impressed me. He was a Hall of Fame man, and a Hall of Player, so I had to pump something out. My idea of using Lasorda and Babe Ruth seemed a natural. Lasorda had died two weeks prior so casting Lasorda as Heaven’s Manager seemed appropriate. Both Ruth and Aaron played right field and Aaron ‘replaced’ or, perhaps, displaced the Babe when he hit #715. Arron replacing Babe in the lineup as a rookie – yeah, that’s wha I will do. The illustration turned out nice and I got a solid reaction online.
One ATL Braves site posted my cartoon on their Facebook page. I thought, that’s nice until I read the comments. Good Lord people just love to criticize. A common complaint was “Aaron was a rookie in Milwaukee not Atlanta” or Aaron is going to replace The Babe” or “why is Lasorda Managing Heaven’s team?” 15,00 likes, and 500 comments with most offering criticism.
KEN ROSENTHAL is a pretty decent, solid baseball reporter for Fox Sports. He tweeted on the last day of the Trade Deadline that Yasiel Puig had been told of his demotion, and that Puig had thrown a fit and stormed off. Seems plausible, but it wasn’t true. Puig wasn’t even at the stadium – so the source, for lack of a better phrase was “full of shit”. I published a Yasiel Cartoon of a Puig Bobblehead with the head off the spring, and the above cartoon the next day… except this isn’t the cartoon I published first. I tweeted out a cartoon mocking Rosenthal (actually mocking Trumps lack of common sense and fact checking) with a spelling error.
I fixed it, by deleting the first one, and putting this one up. God’s punishment methinks. I’ve been kinda mean lately… but isn’t that what cartoonists do?