Outrage For Outrage’s Sake

Today in shocking and appalling news: Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, less than a day after leaving a hospital for esophagitis, was seen in attendance at a charity event for The Greg Hill Foundation. An outraged segment of the Boston sports media horde has but one question for the tall right-hander: How dare you!?!?!

In the hyperbolic and CAPS LOCKED world of Boston sports radio stations, an event raising funds to assist families stricken by tragedy is quite easily played up to be a vodka-sponsored pool party. While the obvious motivation for such nonsense is attention, and there’s an element of me that wants to be understanding to the “radio host douche bags gotta eat, too” justification for such, I can’t help but wonder why these idiotic stories garner such responses in the first place.

In this instance, the provocation of outrage is obviously artificially induced by salacious word selection and skipping important details (like doctors giving Buchholz the go ahead and the pitcher exercising temperance at the event), but let’s pretend as though the claims of the sports radio station are more complete and accurate than they truly are. Let’s pretend that the Red Sox pitcher got out the hospital and started drinking like Orson Wells while carousing at pool parties like he was a villain from Burn Notice.

Who gives a fuck? No, seriously. Do some soul searching, here. Why the shit do you give a fuck what Clay Buchholz does in his spare time?

Sure, it might be disappointing that his preparation for playing baseball, the sole virtue for which most of us even know who the person is, could possibly be lacking, but until his performance is actually affected by his actions, why do you care?

Even if the imaginary drinking/carousing that the radio station’s Twitter account is attempting to infer are to have a dramatic effect on his ability to pitch for what I can only assume to be your favorite team, he’s likely not very long meant for baseball anyway. So, Buchholz’s impending joblessness wouldn’t be enough for you, he also must suffer through being the target of your disdain.

I don’t want to get into some bullshit conversation on Western obsession with celebrity wherein we all start sounding like first year sociology majors. I really want to know why any of us would give a fuck about what Clay Buchholz does.

I understand that being a baseball fan is a vicarious experience, in which we project ourselves into the outcomes of plate appearances, game scores, standings and seasons. We all take varying measures of pleasure and pain from the achievements and failures of others. However, the furthest this experience should extend off the field is into the front office, not the personal lives of the athletes involved.

I would suggest that no one is genuinely offended over anything that Buchholz does off the field. We’re all so pathetically repressed in our expression of emotion that instead of being legitimately outraged over something a baseball player does, we see the opportunity to express outrage and don’t care if it’s genuine or not, so long as we have an outlet for emotion that allows us the opportunity for expression without the reality of dealing with what that expression is truly about.

So, have at it, idiots. Go get angry and upset and enraged over something so beyond the scope of what should be your interest. You’re not fooling anyone, or garnering anything beyond pity from people who see through the charade and know deep down your avoiding dealing with something that might actually be meaningful.