Friday, February 06, 2009

Zen Dayley: Je suis désolé, j'ai pensé la cette Amérique

Il est raisonnable de se demander combien la situation d'Erik Bédard dans Seattle affecte l'aileur francophone semblable Phillippe Aumont.

On a pu ne jamais jaillir n'ont rien à faire avec l'autre. Les Mariners du Seattle sont la seule équipe dans les commandants avec deux pichets à extrémité élevé qui sont les deux francophones, jouant un sport qui est couru dans leur deuxième langue. Bédard rencontre les mêmes problèmes avec les médias qu'il a fait à Baltimore. Aumont, qui a à peine voyagé en dehors du Québec dans les 17 premiers, 18 années de sa vie, est des années d'un couple à partir d'avoir affaire avec les écrivains de sport américains réactionnaires qui viennent d'une culture où la diversité de reconnaissance, encore moins lui adaptant, est un péché cardinal. L'élection de Barack Obama ne s'est pas débarassée de Gallophobia latent.

(Les Mariners ont été prudents avec Aumont, comme USA Today l'a mis dans leur annuel «100 Names You Need To Know». Ceci est probablement dû au sien début en retard dans le jeu plus qu'une barrière linguistique; il se manipule très bien en anglais.)

C'est plus au sujet de la façon dont les chroniqueurs ne l'obtiennent pas avec Bédard et de la façon dont les médias l'emploieront comme point de référence quand Aumont arrive à Seattle. Bédard est modeste et lance, un enfant de ferme qui a élevé les Français parlants vers le haut. Un commutateur n'obtient pas renversé juste parce qu'il est $7.75 millions payé pour jeter des baseball. Malheureusement, ce tombe en dehors du coupeur de biscuit pour les types de supports dont l'élément vital est montrant eux, et par prolongation vous, comprenez comme ce qu'il est d'être un pro athlète. Aucun de nous n'a un indice. Il est comme prétendre être un docteur parce que vous observez «House».

Un scribe de Seattle, Jim Moore, est allé jusqu'ici appeler le Bédard «aloof», «jerk», «moody», et le «least-liked Mariner of all time». Sa base était que Bédard ne s'est pas inquiété pour parler aux médias la saison passée où il a été limité par des dommages douloureux de hanche. La plupart des joueurs n'aiment pas parler aux médias quand ils sont blessés. Ne jouant pas des moyens ils sont embarrassed et souvent peu sûrs au sujet de parler aux journalistes.

Il y avait également une citation de Jamie Burke, l'attrapeur personnel de Bédard, «You would know him as well as I do». La signification de celle est peu claire. Elle ne serait pas la première fois que deux personnes qui travaillent étroitement ensemble, beaucoup moins deux joueurs de base-ball, n'ont eu aucun travail d'extérieur de rapport. Évidemment, cet arrangement ne peut pas serrer un certain chroniqueur qui comprend tout «d'une manière vous, étranger faible-chinned, ne faites pas». (Michael Lewis, Moneyball.)

On espérerait qu'Aumont devrait être bon. Il descend à la personnalité, finalement. Il est simplement irritant pour voir Bédard donner un mauvais moment au-dessus de rien puisqu'il est commode pour quelqu'un qui doit remplir espace, mais n'a rien valable pour contribuer. Quel pays.

Rien qu'un certain Canadien dit ne va changer l'esprit ou l'approche d'un chroniqueur 3.000 milles loin. On l'accepte que certains écrivent comme elles pêchent pour être sur ESPN ou pour être sur la radio débat avec tous les «knowitalls» au lieu de dire la vérité. C'est la vie.

(Svp lu cette liste d'USA Today. Pas que n'importe qui a eu besoin d'un rappel, mais de Travis Snider du Blue Jays est deuxieme, après David Price.)

It is reasonable to wonder how Erik Bedard's situation in Seattle affects fellow francophone flinger Phillippe Aumont.

One could never well have nothing to do with the other. The Mariners are the only team in the majors with two high-end pitchers who are both francophone, playing a sport which is run in their second language. Bedard is encountering the same problems with the media that he did in Baltimore. Aumont, who barely travelled outside Quebec in the first 17, 18 years old of his life, is a couple years away from dealing with reactionary American sportswriters who come from a culture where acknowledging diversity, let alone accommodating it, is a cardinal sin. The election of Barack Obama did not get rid of latent Gallophobia.

(The Mariners "have been conservative" bringing along the hard-throwing Aumont, as USA Today put it in their annual 100 Names You Need To Know. This is likely due to his late start in the game more than a language barrier; he handles himself very well in English.)

This is more about how columnists just don't get it with Bedard and how the media will use him as a point of reference when Aumont arrives in Seattle. Bedard is unassuming and shy, a farm kid who grew up speaking French. A switch does not get flipped just because he is being paid $7.75 million to throw baseballs. Unfortunately, that falls outside the cookie cutter for media types whose lifeblood is showing they, and by extension you, understand what it's like to be a pro athlete. None of us, present company included, have a screw's clue what it's like any more than watching House makes you qualified to be a doctor.

A couple weeks ago, one Seattle scribe went so far to call Bedard "aloof," a "jerk" "moody," and "least-liked Mariner of all time." His basis was that Bedard didn't care to talk to the media last season when he was limited to 81 innings (the lowest of his five full seasons) by a painful hip injury. Most players don't like to talk to the media when they're injured; they're usually embarrassed and often insecure because they're not playing.

There was also a quote from Jamie Burke, Bedard's personal catcher, "You'd know him as well as I do." The meaning of that is unclear. It would not be the first time two people who work closely together, much less two ballplayers, had no relationship outside work. Evidently, that understanding cannot crowd some columnist who understands everything "in a way you, weak-chinned outsider, will not." (Michael Lewis, Moneyball.)

One would hope Aumont should be fine. It comes down to personality, ultimately. It is just irritating to see Bedard give a rough ride over nothing since it is convenient for someone who needs to fill space, but has nothing valuable to contribute. What a country.

Nothing some Canadian says is going to change the mind or approach of a columnist 3,000 miles away. It is accepted that some people write like they are angling to be on ESPN or be on talk radio with all the knowitalls instead of telling the truth. C'est la vie.

(Check out that USA Today list. Not that anyone needed a reminder, but the Jays' Travis Snider is No. 2 behind Rays super-lefty David Price.

(A tip of the cap to Garry Trudeau, George Frazier and, Babelfish.)


Rob Pettapiece said...

Good stuff. I'd bet very few writers* who gripe about these guys have ever been forced to work in their second language. If they even have one. It's shades of Saku Koivu getting grief from the equally-tolerant class of ass-talkers up here for not speaking his third (fourth?) language.

* An exception can be made for Keith Law, who either speaks Spanish or is trying very hard to achieve fluency.

random commenter said...

It is reasonable to wonder how Erik Bedard's situation in Seattle affects fellow francophone flinger Phillippe Aumont.

I'm not sure that it would affect Aumont much, if at all. While I don't doubt that the American media's lack of understanding of cultural differences has played a role in the way they view and treat Bedard, I think the bigger issue is entitlement. They expect him to give them what they want, and It's got to be their way and no other. They can't conceive of an athlete that doesn't conform to norm, that won't play their game by the rules they have established, that won't bend to their will, and doesn't do their job for them, like Bedard (quite amusingly) does. I think Aumont is already the kind of athlete that either enjoys or, at least, tolerates these things, so he will probably have an easier go of it. I'd think, too, that already having somewhat of a media presence with his blogging for RDS probably earns him points with the writers and broadcasters that will be covering him. They seem to lap up that kind of stuff.

There was also a quote from Jamie Burke, Bedard's personal catcher, "You'd know him as well as I do."

That's a recycled quote from the column here. As you can see, Moore has been calling Bedard a jerk for some time now. Bedard graciously refused to engage in the name calling when given the chance. Perhaps he didn't want to kick a guy that will lose his job in a couple of weeks when he's down -- consideration that was not given to Bedard by Moore or any other media type in Seattle ...

sager said...

That was the point, like you say, it's got to be their way and no other. Well, that doesn't fly, especially when the same Seattle writers fawn over Ichiro (who reportedly speaks more English than he lets on).

The hell of it is, when Aumont gets to the majors, it will be, "He's nothing like Erik Bedard was." That's unfair to both. They're individuals.

Anyways, one would hope Bedard is fine this season, assuming he's worked out the flaw in his mechanics which led to the bad hip.

After that article Tom Verducci wrote about Tim Lincecum and how destructive throwing a baseball is on the joints, no one should be questioning a pitcher's toughness.

sager said...

Just as an addendum, new Seattle GM Andy MacPhail, had this to say about Erik Bedard in Sunday's Seattle Times:
"He's just not comfortable with a lot of attention. I'm sure that's well known now. I expect he's going to have a considerably better year in '09."