It is with a heavy heart that I report the White Sox have traded for Astros reliever Brett Myers.
Exactly what they’ve traded — other than a truckload of respect — is unclear at press time.
As most of you know, I write about the world through the lens of baseball. There’s great joy that comes with the relationship between this game and the world, and I like spending time exploring that.
As demented and absurd a world as we’ve inherited, much of that time is spent being funny.
But when it comes to the idea of Brett Myers on the South Side, I’m not laughing.
Eyewitness accounts of Myers’ 2006 punching of his wife’s face in Boston leave little doubt as to one episode of spousal abuse. That was the opening of the door. It closed for me the next year, when, like a lot of people, I became more closely aware of Mr. Myers’ deeply dumb and violent nature while listening to a 2007 recording of a clubhouse interview he had with Philadelphia jorno Sam Carchidi, posted at Can’t Stop The Bleeding, presented here:
Repellent people can be gifted artists, musicians, athletes. Johnny Ramone was a kill-em-all, I-got-mine Republican, and one of the three greatest rock and roll guitarists to ever have plugged in. Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations and kicked his wife out of the house for the crime of being heavy after having ten kids. Uggie Urbina had 243 saves and tried to kill five guys with a machete.
Because having two whole ideas in one’s head at the same time is not some amazing feat, the work and the person can be seen all at once. That’s what I’ll be doing this season every time Brett Myers gets up in the pen: see all of him. And I’ll be reminded of the world as it is — as revolting as it can be.
Which means each time I see him, I’ll be donating to Connections for Abused Women and Children. As their annual report shows, this modest nonprofit works to provide safe refuge to Chicago’s women and children who are victims of domestic violence, to provide education, training and outreach, aiding hundreds of Chicago’s abused women and kids. Kids whose exposure to violence at home is probably not much different than Brett’s was.
As long as the White Sox can put Brett Myers — all of Brett Myers — on display, it’s the very least I can do to not look the other way.