Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Whatever it takes"

Small victory in my work life today as I received an email this morning saying that we will be going to "summer business casual" attire. What does that mean? Khaki shorts are allowed! Sweetness. It's about time. Working in regular business casual (or even worse, suits) is sooooooo overrated, esp in a corporate environment where you don't interact with customers/clients in person. So, I'll be in a much better mood starting tomorrow.

Now there was an interesting discussion regarding A-rod in last night's game. Here's an excerpt from an article on

With the Yankees grasping at desperation to end a month-long slump that had seen them lose 18 of 23 games leading into Wednesday's game, Rodriguez saw fit to refer to schoolyard tactics in the ninth inning. Rodriguez ripped a clean two-out single to center off reliever Scott Downs, scoring the Yankees' seventh run.

Jorge Posada followed with a sky-high popup to the left side of the infield, and as Rodriguez passed third baseman Howie Clark, Rodriguez made a verbal sound -- Rodriguez said he said, "Ha," while Clark insisted he heard, "Mine" -- in the ear of the infielder.

Thinking he'd been called off, Clark backed away from the ball, which dropped for a run-scoring single. Jason Giambi followed with a two-run single to center that put the game on ice for the Yankees, who open a three-game series at Fenway Park on Friday.

Um... wow, that's dirty. I personally think that's such a petty tactic and there are unwritten code of conducts in sports where you just don't do certain things... Like in pickup basketball, I always see one or two idiots try the call-out-for-the-ball-to-confuse-the-opponent move... now once in a while, there are also clowns that fall for it but regardless of which team I'm on, I always hated that. If you want to steal the ball, earn it. Block the shot, grab the rebound, steal the pass/dribble, but trying to capitalize on the confused opponent is just cheap. But, I see the argument. The other guy shouldn't fall for it.

A couple of years ago, I was playing live poker somewhere (can't remember if it was at some home game or at the casino - PAPT boys, don't sweat, it's not you guys) and this one guy goes, "I wish I could see what everyone else had and what the next card was." I asked him "why?" His response? "So then it would be so much easier to win!" I just let it go at the time but in my mind, I thought to myself, is this kid retarded? While you're at it, why don't you just try cheating. And hell, while you're at it, just try cheating your way through life you moron. Well, that was my thought process. I mean what fun would poker be if you could see everyone's hole cards AND you knew what cards were coming? Hey, I have an idea. Why don't you go join the 7yr olds shooting hoops in the neighborhoods, block their shots, score on them and then pat yourself on the back? Isn't that the same thing? Unfair advantage, that's what it is.

But I was also wondering, is that what some would consider "Hey, I'm doing whatever it takes to win and remember, winning isn't everything, it's the only thing!" Well, yeah... but I always thought there was a caveat to the statement... you know, I'll do whatever it takes to win, as long as it's fair and ethical. So, was A-rod doing whatever it took to win a game? Or did he violate this unwritten code of conduct? And to translate that onto the poker table, where do you draw the line? What if you saw someone's hole cards? Would you pretend not to see it? This is where the line, to me at least, gets iffy. As hypocritical as I may sound, I will pretend not to see it but also have it in the back of my head of what I saw. In other words, it's the player's job to keep their hole cards hidden. If someone was careless enough that I could see those cards, then that's his fault, in my opinion. Do I consider that dirty? Kind of... But I still don't feel that that's the same as being able to see everyone's cards and knowing what cards are coming... it's a tough call. So where would you draw that line?

Should you be able to do whatever it takes to win, even if that was unethical or considered breaking some unwritten code of conduct? Or would breaking rules be part of the "edge" that you seek to gain? If you have any thoughts, please weigh in. I'd love to hear it. And where would you draw the line?


Mike Maloney said...

Too funny, I got the very same e-mail this morning as well!

crazdgamer said...

I didn't hear about the A-Rod thing (mostly because I suck at keeping up with current events), but it does seem like bad form to verbally interfere with anyone on the other team.

However, since it isn't a rule, A-Rod doing what he can to help his team win is acceptable in the context of going for the win.