FanDuel - WFBC

December 08, 2005

The Silencing of Carlos Delgado.: "The Mets have a policy that everybody should stand for 'God Bless America' and I will be there. I will not cause any distractions to the ballclub.... Just call me Employee Number 21." And we saw him grin and bear it when Jeff Wilpon, son of Mets CEO and owner Fred Wilpon, said, "He's going to have his own personal views, which he's going to keep to himself."

posted by the red terror to baseball at 10:24 AM - 57 comments

Yeah, I saw it. I agree that freedom of speech doesn't exist on the job; I also think the Mets are an embarrassment for requiring players, or anyone else, to stand for a song that is not the National Anthem. Besides, as a song, GBA just sucks.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:34 AM on December 08

God Bless America is a very pretty song especially when its sung correctly. You cannot do a a rap or jazz version of it cause it aint gonna sound good. I agree that Delgado should be able to express his views- Too much is being made of this issue. The Mets and Delgato should deal with this "away from the media" Wow LBB you and I may agree about something here-at least in theory! ;-)

posted by daddisamm at 10:52 AM on December 08

Besides, as a song, GBA just sucks I've heard better myself. However, our National Anthem sucks much, much worse. Not just because it is tuneless (try dancing to it) but as far as I know, we are the only country on the planet that sings about rockets and bombs bursting. The Canadians, now they have a beautiful little song there - a.

posted by drevl at 10:56 AM on December 08

It was always a very personal protest for Delgado. He never said a word about it until directly asked, and always made it clear to the Jays and Marlins organizations that he'd stop if they asked him to. Good on him for keeping to his word and putting the team first. That said, the Mets are totally embarrassing themselves by doing this. It's ridiculous.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:00 AM on December 08

Also, here's the original SpoFi thread on Delgado's protest.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:01 AM on December 08

Wow LBB you and I may agree about something here-at least in theory! ;-) Not really. Put GBA side-to-side against the Star Spangled Banner, and it just don't hold up. Exceedingly simple melody, mawkish and trite lyrics...GBA's got nothing. Nor do I think that Delgado should necessarily be able to express his views: I recognize the right of the employer to control that, to an extent. If they have the right to make you clap and chant, "Yo-1!" in a Total Quality Management meeting (yes, this happens), I guess they can force you to sing a song praising your host country (you can't call it a "patriotic" song in Delgado's place because, gosh, it isn't his country). But they're crossing the lines of etiquette, at the very least, and expressing a profound disrespect for the National Anthem when they force their employees to stand for GBA, as if it were the National Anthem. On preview, from drevl: I've heard better myself. However, our National Anthem sucks much, much worse. Not just because it is tuneless (try dancing to it) You're joking, right? Do you know what melody is? Hint: not every melody is a dance tune, nor is it supposed to be, and you can dance to the sound of two rocks being banged together. but as far as I know, we are the only country on the planet that sings about rockets and bombs bursting. Do you have any knowledge what events the lyrics of the National Anthem commemorate? I'll give you a hint: it wasn't the bombing of Baghdad -- it was about us being bombed.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:02 AM on December 08

A move to Canada may be good for you drevl

posted by Rabbit504 at 11:04 AM on December 08

And please don't miss this old William Rhoden piece (bugmenot: goober316/widget) from that first thread which has tons of background information on the Delgado protest:

His well-thought-out opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is just one part of a larger issue for him. Delgado, a native of Puerto Rico, sees his protest as consistent with his earlier opposition to the Navy's use of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques as a weapons testing ground. In many ways, the United States military waged a form of war for 60 years on the tiny island, using a 900-acre site for bombing exercises. [...] Delgado, who was signed by Toronto when he was 16, spent two years involved in the movement to force the Navy to stop using Vieques as a testing site. The military ended the exercises on May 1, 2003. Now, Delgado and others want the United States government to help clean up the economic, psychological and health messes it left behind. He has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars toward that effort and solicited other Puerto Rican celebrities to join the campaign against the aftereffects.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:10 AM on December 08

lbb, I never said it wasn't about us being bombed. There is hardly a country on this planet that hasn't been in war, bombings etc. They just have better sense than to make a war ditty into their National Anthems. Also, the dancing part was a snyde remark. I thought folks would realize that. Your use of the word "melody" is most interresting. That's exactly what the SSB ain't got. A move to Canada may be good for you drevl If you can arrange for my social security check to be sent there, I may take you up on that. I'll also save nearly 4 grand a year on health insurance. Think of all the beer that will buy.

posted by drevl at 11:16 AM on December 08

"as far as I know, we are the only country on the planet that sings about rockets and bombs bursting" - drvel You may want to take a look at the French and the Germans (though I believe those lyrics were changed after WW2) America is not alone in celebrating military glory in a national anthem. While it still may be distasteful, it's not a solid line of argument than nobody else does it (or has done it).

posted by kokaku at 11:30 AM on December 08

Correction - should've said "militaristic events" not "military glory".

posted by kokaku at 11:32 AM on December 08

If there needs to be a national anthem, I believe it should be America the Beautiful and ALWAYS the Ray Charles version.

posted by scully at 11:37 AM on December 08

lbb, I never said it wasn't about us being bombed. There is hardly a country on this planet that hasn't been in war, bombings etc. They just have better sense than to make a war ditty into their National Anthems. It's not a "war ditty", drevl, although it does commemorate an event that took place during a war. Do you even know exactly what it's about? No websearch, now. Also, the dancing part was a snyde remark. I thought folks would realize that. Your use of the word "melody" is most interresting. That's exactly what the SSB ain't got. Au contraire. You just don't like it because you're terrified of the range, like everyone else (there's a solution to that, but I'd have to refer you to Pogo Possum). And speaking of ditties, that's just what GBA is. People love it because of the sloppy sentiment and the fact that, since it's only got about six notes, just about anyone can bawl it out more or less on tune even when they're half in the bag. That doesn't make it a good song. And, to return to the original point, that certainly doesn't make it something that people should be compelled to reverently stand up for.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:37 AM on December 08

I also think the Mets are an embarrassment You could have stopped right there. But really, it's not the anthem (which I have been chastised about for not standing or wearing a hat during on several occasions) To those who find his views distasteful I say ignore him and his statement has no meaning. I'm a music guy but I could not imagine debating the structure and melody of the national anthem. I personally think its time for a new one. My vote War Ensamble by Slayer. Just call me Employee Number 21 Thats pretty good.

posted by HATER 187 at 11:47 AM on December 08

I don't mind the SSB, but I can sing it. Nonetheless, I'd much prefer another song as my country's national anthem.

posted by ursus_comiter at 11:48 AM on December 08

Just call me Employee Number 21 That is some damn cutting irony. I always knew Delgado was intelligent and articulate enough, but that line really impressed me. Talk about slipping in a backhanded slap at your repressive employer.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:58 AM on December 08

Thanks for the link, kokaku. The German anthem is about unity, justice and freedom. The complaint seems to be about it's reference to Germany Above All. Also about Germany's lack of the above mentioned unity, justice and freedom (during the Nazi years). The French anthem is truely horrid - but then, they are the French. Would one expect any less. lbb, I couldn't sing it if it had only 1 note. Also, I know that FSK wrote it in the near dark, and that he wrote the words in less than one hour. My guess is that it took less time to write the "melody". Five minutes would be my guess.

posted by drevl at 12:00 PM on December 08

The point behind our national anthem isnt to make it a song that you think flows, or that you can dance to. It was written at an actual point in time when our country was being defined. (For all you history buffs, during a battle in the war of 1812.) Aside from that, when games are played in Canada, be it hockey or baseball, players dont sit down after their song has been played. If that was the case, more than half of each hockey team would be napping on the bench. Its a show of respect that is expected. Same goes for the Olympics. Whether its the national anthem or not, you can stand up for 2 minutes with the rest of your team, but yes the Mets should keep it an in house conversation.

posted by steelcityguy at 12:16 PM on December 08

I love the story about the writing of This Land Is Your Land. Woody Guthrie heard God Bless America and it pissed him off enough that he wrote a (vastly superior, I agree, ursus_comiter) answer song about how America doesn't belong to God, it belongs to the people who live in it and make it great. I love that. And while I understand Delgado doing the grownup thing and knowing where to draw the line as far as taking his protest, I agree that the Mets are being dicks about it. I'd love to see some Mets fans sitting down during the playing of GBA in support of their highly principled new slugger. That would be very cool.

posted by chicobangs at 12:44 PM on December 08

I've sat at all the Mets and Yankees games I've been to since 9/11. GBA is an awful song, and I've always found it strange that we are forced to profess our patriotic fealty at sporting events.

posted by ajaffe at 01:02 PM on December 08

I meant sat for the playing of God Bless America. I stand for "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

posted by ajaffe at 01:04 PM on December 08

God Bless America is the most unamerican shitpile of creepy religious sentiment I know. The Star-Spangled Banner is hard to sing if you didn't grow up singing it (bonus points for shouting "O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave....") But if you have sung it all your life, to shit on it is a clear mark of idiocy. For shame. This Land is Your Land is fantastic, but change the National Anthem? You're out of your fucking mind. Why the hell would any sports team give place of honor to God Bless America anyway? To satisfy a gang of idiot zealots? Fuck it, I thought my country was founded on stronger principles than that. Pardon my French.

posted by Hugh Janus at 01:04 PM on December 08

How about "My Country, 'Tis of Thee?"

posted by Hugh Janus at 01:13 PM on December 08

I think that we're avoiding the real issue here, though. The marriage of private corporations and government engaging in the politicizing of public events. I think they should do away with playing the national anthem at these things - at least give up the whole GBA seventh inning stretch which has gone from it's use in NY as beautiful stoicism in the aftermath of 9/11 to a public declaration of one's tacit support of the wars being waged. I find the whole exercise misleading, simple-minded and disgusting. In fact, nationalism has succeeded in hitting new lows ever since. It's made the anthem less than special. It's warped the context of the message. And as always rendered any kind of meanigful debate about the actual issues buryed under a pile of flag waving symbolism. And it's clearly worked on Rabbit504. "Love it or leave it" - the dullest blade in the arsenal of idiots everywhere.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:17 PM on December 08

its the numbers in his username....silly wabbit, thoughts are for adults.

posted by garfield at 01:22 PM on December 08

I refuse to go to any more MLB games until they cut the Nuremberg rally crap. last one I went to was with my dad, the only reason I stood for "GBA" with everyone else is I didnt want to start an incident with him there. But I felt really dirty doing it. Besides the general stupidity of this song, could there be any less appropriate choice under the current circumstances? A song that says "our God is better than your God" in so many words- the exact same sentiments going through the heads of the hijackers as they rammed into the towers (only with the gods reversed). I love the story about the writing of This Land Is Your Land. Woody Guthrie heard God Bless America and it pissed him off enough that he wrote if you get Springsteen's live box set, he tells that story before he sings "this land is your land," "about one of the prettiest songs ever written" as he puts it.

posted by drjimmy11 at 01:47 PM on December 08

Also, I know that FSK wrote it in the near dark, and that he wrote the words in less than one hour. My guess is that it took less time to write the "melody". Five minutes would be my guess. FSK did not write the melody. The melody is from an old English hymn. I'd love to see some Mets fans sitting down during the playing of GBA in support of their highly principled new slugger. That would be very cool. I've been to a few games in NYC (Yankees and Mets) since 9/11, and I never stand for God Bless America. It's a dumb song.

posted by schustafa at 01:58 PM on December 08

I'm can't stand that Delgado has buckled under the pressure not to stand up for his views. Or in this case to stand for views that aren't his own. What good is a guaranteed contract if you can't thumb your nose at the people who gave you all that money with so few strings attached? I'm not employable in a conventional office setting after 10 years as a freelancer, but if I was, the day I got a guaranteed contract is the day I'm adding laxatives to the office coffee, stuffing my pants with office supplies and taking a four-hour lunch.

posted by rcade at 02:18 PM on December 08

It's not the song that's bad, it's the idea that we should have to stand for it as if it were our national anthem. A good jewish immigrant wrote it and I still can remember Kate Smith singing it on radio. SSB is a terrible song, a war song, voted to be our national anthem by a congress during the depression that didn't have enough to do. We should celebrate the greatest of America: America the Beautiful does that and should be our N.A. GBA is o k, but would you stand up for Alexander's Ragtime Band - the best song Irving Berlin wrote.

posted by rchugh at 02:19 PM on December 08

Noooooooooo, Hughjanus, No! O how I hate that Baltimore tradition. It might be an unsingable milataristic mess, but it's still our national anthem. Keep your baseball team out of it.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:30 PM on December 08

Not to go off topic here...wait, what was the topic? Oh yeah, Delgado and hsi principles. From the article: "The latest polls show Bush and his war meeting with subterranean levels of support. Delgado could be an important voice in the effort to end it once and for all." If Carlos Delgado's voice had the power to end the war in Iraq, it would be the most powerful thing done by an athlete since Rocky Balboa convinced the Soviets to embrace prestroika after he beat Ivan Drago like a government mule.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:14 PM on December 08

If I recall correctly, Carlos spurned the Mets last time around when he signed with the Fish - I'm guessing oppressive management may have had something to do with that. I agree with DrJohnEvans - I think the "employee #21" comment is hilarious - and cutting - and hopefully it hit it's mark with the ridiculous front office at Shea.

posted by westcoastexpress at 03:16 PM on December 08

You are right lbb, we really dont agree on this. I cant believe the hate that this simple song, GBA has generated here.. Its a simple song asking for our country to be blessed. There is noting wrong with that. LIke i said before, if its sung right, its a beautiful song. I get goosebumps just thinking about singing it. I would rather see some other patrioted song be used in its stead, esspecially if GBA is causing so much trouble.

posted by daddisamm at 03:26 PM on December 08

Hugh, did you say "the most unamerican shitpile of creepy religious sentiment"? That's so simplistic, yet...so...DEEP! You don't mind if I meditate on that for awhile, do you?

posted by Desert Dog at 03:47 PM on December 08

I don't really think that the point should be if we like GBA or not or even if we agree with Delgado's "stand" against or not - the point is whether the Met's as Carlos' employer should be able to force him to stand for a song against his will. Should the Met's be telling him to shut up and like it? That doesn't seem all that "american" of them.

posted by westcoastexpress at 03:48 PM on December 08

rcade, you should take your act on the road. I've been laughing for ten minutes.

posted by drevl at 03:51 PM on December 08

Well, why not This Land Is Your Land? It's a singalong, it really does epitomize the spirit of what makes the USA great, it's time-tested, it's both universal (no song was more inclusive of all the different people in this country) and personal, and everyone knows it. God Bless America just doesn't do these things as well, or at all. Gets my vote. As far as Canadian national anthem-slash-patriotic ballgame type songs (yes, I'm threadjacking for a second, but bear with me), I have two thoughts: For the seventh inning stretch, to get everyone up and stretching, why not Takin' Care Of Business? If the point of a national anthem is to whip a sports crowd up into a nationalistic frenzy, face it, you can't do better than BTO. If, on the other hand, you want something that stirs people in their deepest heart of hearts and brings the alpha and the omega of Canadian history in one deeply emotional package, I propose Stan Rogers' Northwest Passage. Imagine them playing that at the Olympics. People would literally be bawling with nationalistic joy.

posted by chicobangs at 03:54 PM on December 08

Exactly my thoughts re: this thread, westcoastexpress. Oh, and welcome aboard!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:54 PM on December 08

Hook it up, Desert Dog. Phrases like that don't lead to satori; they are satori.

posted by Hugh Janus at 04:00 PM on December 08

I prefer my sports free of politics. Every time I miss hearing "take me out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch it occurs to me that Ossama Bin Laden continues to change America. The only thing worse than the misguided, blind, so called patriotism of people standing & removing their hats for a non anthem is forcing a Puerto Rican playing for a Canadian team to do so. Now that he's in NY we can show the world what true freedom means.

posted by knuckleballer at 04:04 PM on December 08

"Now that he's in NY we can show the world what true freedom means." We can ... but we won't.

posted by westcoastexpress at 04:08 PM on December 08

Satori...interesting. I could always use a little spiritual enlightment. How did you come across this? Could you recommend any literature or even a website so I could learn more? DD

posted by Desert Dog at 04:14 PM on December 08

You are right lbb, we really dont agree on this. I cant believe the hate that this simple song, GBA has generated here. Oh, the hate. Let's talk about the hate. I do hate the song, for reasons already stated. I hate the way it's been used since 9/11 much, much more. And what I hate the most is that my reasons for hating this misuse are really very, very simple, and you still don't understand them. Nor are you, by any means, unique. And that's the problem. Its a simple song asking for our country to be blessed. There is noting wrong with that. I won't disagree on that, although there are grounds to. But there is a very great deal wrong with treating this song with the reverence that is supposed to be reserved for the National Anthem -- that's an unpatriotic act, daddisamm; not very patriotic, are you? And there is a very great deal wrong with screaming, "Hater!" at anyone who doesn't stand up, take off their hat, and get all misty when this song is played in the 7th inning stretch. I would rather see some other patrioted song be used in its stead, esspecially if GBA is causing so much trouble. And I would rather see a return to tradition and "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", a simple song that asks to be taken out to the ballgame. There is nothing wrong with that.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:48 PM on December 08

stuffing my pants with office supplies Screw the guaranteed contract, I've been doing that for years! I like the Toronto Blue Jays routine during the 7th inning stretch. A simple little "go-team-go" type song, with a health-conscious stretching routine led by limber people on the dugouts.

posted by grum@work at 05:51 PM on December 08

Rosa Parks chose the right time and place to protest. Consequently, she's an icon and she should be. The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. Protesting what is essentially a prayer by the survivors of an attack on their city wouldn't show much discretion. Carlos should pick another venue to vent.

posted by rudyard at 07:03 PM on December 08

I know that FSK wrote it in the near dark, and that he wrote the words in less than one hour. My guess is that it took less time to write the "melody". FYI. Fancis Scott Key didn't write the melody. The melody is based on an English drinking song, which, if you ask me, is ironically appropriate for a nation that has become so great because of the work of so many diverse people.

posted by sixpacker at 08:09 PM on December 08

Rosa Parks chose the right time and place to protest. Consequently, she's an icon and she should be. Fifty years later, viewed through the patina of history, she sure is an icon. At the time, however, there were plenty of people who called her a no-good troublemaker. Your judgment of Delgado may likewise become as dated as an old fish head that you'd really rather not be reminded of fifty years hence.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:15 PM on December 08

Rudyard: Did you know that Rosa Parks was hand-picked by the NAACP to stage the bus protest and had a background with the organization? They wanted a figurehead less controversial than a pregnant 15-year-old whose unpremeditated refusal to leave her seat resulted in a court battle. People who do what Parks did are always attacked for picking the wrong time and place. Look at Google for what people have been saying about Deborah Davis, a woman who refused to show her ID as a mandatory condition of riding a bus to work in Denver.

posted by rcade at 09:14 PM on December 08

I propose Stan Rogers' Northwest Passage What? Gordon Lightfoot's 'Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' not good enough for you?

posted by owlhouse at 09:46 PM on December 08

Gordon Lightfoot's 'Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald' not good enough for you? Best. Song. Ever.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:02 AM on December 09

I know that FSK wrote it in the near dark, and that he wrote the words in less than one hour. My guess is that it took less time to write the "melody". FYI. Fancis Scott Key didn't write the melody. The melody is based on an English drinking song, which, if you ask me, is ironically appropriate for a nation that has become so great because of the work of so many diverse people. Please re-read the comment. Note "it" took less time, not "he" took less time.

posted by drevl at 11:50 AM on December 09

I'd like to see us go back to the days when we didn't feel a need to turn every sporting event into a paean to patriotism. It really wasn't that long ago they started playing anything before a MLB game...and even then it just was on holidays and Sundays.

posted by ?! at 10:52 PM on December 09

Being in the Miami area I am a big Marlins fan. Having Carlos Delgado here for that one season we got to know him as a quiet hard worker and got along well with everyone. Standing for GBA was only added after 9/11, so lets keep all that stuff out of the pre game.

posted by blademan6946 at 07:21 AM on December 10

How could anyone compare Carlos Delgado to Rosa Parks. What are you thinking?

posted by blademan6946 at 07:25 AM on December 10

Take stuff from work. It's the best way to feel better about your job. Never buy pens or pencils or paper. Take 'em from work. Rubber bands, paper clips, memo pads, folders-take 'em from work. It's the best way to feel better about your low pay and appalling working conditions. Take an ashtray-they got plenty. Take coat hangers. Take a, take a trash can. Why buy a file cabinet? Why buy a phone? Why buy a personal computer or word processor? Take 'em from work. I took a whole desk from the last place I worked. They never noticed and it looks great in my apartment. Take an electric pencil sharpener. Take a case of white-out; you might need it one day. It's your duty as an oppressed worker to steal from your exploiters. It's gonna be an outstanding day. Take stuff from work. And goof off on the company time. I wrote this at work. They're paying me to write about stuff I steal from them. Life is good. - King Missile

posted by yerfatma at 08:06 AM on December 10

Whatever song is chosen, I only want to hear the beautiful golden voice of one gifted person sing it. Carl Lewis.

posted by Desert Dog at 10:04 AM on December 10

I wanna hear Rosanne sing that thar King Missile. Hey, thanks for the laugh, yerfat.

posted by drevl at 10:30 AM on December 10

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