Aris: Roots Of The Game

The question I have with today’s musical artists is, are they true musicians? When I hear an artist perform to a sample track that some producer picked for them, does the artist know the roots of the track? Back in 2002, the singer Ashanti performed her hit “Foolish” on “Regis and Kelly.” After praising the song by telling her, “I like that! That’s catchy!” the show’s host Regis Philbin asked her about the music she sang to. Ashanti answered, “That’s Biggie’s song.” Yes, the late rapper Biggie Smalls did use that same sample for his vulgar rap, “Lovin’ you Tonight,” but giving him the credit that it was his song told me all I needed to know about today’s so-called musical artists.

It took the 70-year-old, at the time, Regis to school Ashanti on the origin of the track she was singing to. His words to the upcoming singer from Glen Cove, Long Island remain with me till this day. “No sweetheart, that’s from DeBarge’s song ‘Stay with Me.’”

The legendary musician, Prince, went to his grave preaching that today’s so-called artists don’t even know how to read a musical note. He spoke out of frustration to the tune of, they’re not musicians, they’re music video divas.

Unfortunately this is what’s happening to the game of Major League Baseball. Coaches are being hired for their qualifications of having a college degree in economics or physics or whatever, instead of ever stepping into a batter’s box, and hitting a 95 mile per hour fastball. It seems like todays hiring’s have a sign out front that reads, “No playing experience necessary.”

I totally support equal rights, except when it comes to hiring a female to be a batting instructor. If the attitude here is catering to women’s rights, then you are pushing common sense to the side. For example, the N.Y. Yankees have the legendary slugger Reggie Jackson on the payroll as a special advisor. When Co-Chairperson Hank Steinbrenner was alive, I would constantly bring to his attention that the magnitude of “Mr. October” is not being taken advantage of. They needed to put the Hall of Famer back in pinstripes and have him work with their power hitters, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks, throughout the season. Reggie has been there, done that. Who wouldn’t want to be tutored by the Hall of Famer? One of the excuses being used today by these newly hired brain trusts is the generation gap. The 74-year-old Jackson has more swagger and is much hipper than any of these robotic cue-card reading coaches that are being hired today.

It’s time for these hedge-fund managers who own these teams to wake up, and realize, “Experience Rules.” It’s time to go back to the roots of the game. Forget these new theories of exit velocity and launch angles. The product here is MLB not NASA.

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