A lot of readers were left wondering yesterday why such a big deal was being made about the photo that surfaced on his ladyfriend’s Twitter that showed Brett Lawrie being a bit of a fucking cock hole at a Phoenix Coyotes game. In case you didn’t notice, I refrained from getting sanctimonious about it, and I went out of my way not to decry his actions except as being something that you’d probably rather not see on Twitter. But apparently even this was too far down the road toward judgement for some.
I get it; he’s just barely 22, he’s a ballplayer, we’ve seen him deeper in the throes of douchebaggery, Twitter is exactly made for getting a window into what these guys are really like, and for fuck sakes, who is the asshole that runs a site called “Drunk Jays Fans” to start pointing fingers at anybody’s supposedly-inappropriate behaviour? What’s the big deal?
Glad you asked! For starters, I’m not saying it’s a big deal. And I’m certainly not putting it out there asking anyone to be outraged by it. But in my view it’s in-bounds, and certainly worth having a little think about, if only because we’re not talking about a regular 22-year-old, or even a regular 22-year-old budding MLB star. We’re talking about the centrepiece of the maple dick-fluffing, national market-consolidating, franchise-rejuvenating PR efforts of a multi-million dollar sports franchise, the unnecessarily-large collection of TV channels it’s compelled to subsidize, and the billions-rich corporation that owns the lot of ‘em.
Long-surfaced pictures of boozy hijinx from a BC kid’s days in the minor leauges of the Milwaukee organization are one thing. But after the pedestal Rogers’ marketing team rushed to place Lawrie on this summer, after the paeans from Lawrie-worshipping members of Canada’s Langley-based Little League World Series entrant and Michael Grange’s exultation in a Sportsnet piece that “there are role models and there are living, fire-breathing, tattooed examples of exactly what you want to be when you go to bed at night clutching your baseball glove,” isn’t there maybe something more to consider here?
Oh, I fully get that, on a scale of one to legitimately harmful and appalling, giving the thumbs up to a fat lady’s ass crack barely rates– yes, it’s shitty and potentially humiliating, but let’s not make it bigger than it needs to be… er… if you’ll pardon the pun. More importantly for us as fans, doesn’t it speak, perhaps, to Lawrie’s unpreparedness for the role Rogers and the fawning media have thrust upon him? Or the marketers’ myopia in the rush to promote the club’s golden Canada Goose? I honestly don’t know.
Am I overblowing that tendency? Perhaps. I just can’t help but wonder if the Jays maybe got lucky on this one. Brett Lawrie has douchebagged before, and surely he’ll douchebag again. Maybe we shouldn’t give a shit, but like I said, maybe it’s a thing best kept off Twitter. And maybe it’s worth not simply pretending it didn’t happen. Or maybe we should at least just be a little more honest about who these players are *COUGH* Sportsnet Marketing Department I’m looking at you *COUGH*, so that there isn’t quite so much of a disconnect between the reality and the myth so many people would stick their left thumb up a fat lady’s asshole to hastily construct. (Or maybe it was a man, who the fuck could tell?)