November Letters to Jim: Baseball Postseason, Cancel Culture and Education, Oh My

Listen to this article

If you are reading my fan mail, you survived the great bomb cyclone. Fear not, another one, most likely greater than the one that has passed, will be here soon enough. Until that time, sit back and enjoy some letters from people so desperate, they turn to me for advice.

Dear Jim,
I need some parenting advice. My parents were terrible role models and now that I am a mom, I find myself tuning into celebrity moms more and enjoying the advice they hand out. Is this a good idea or is there another way to learn how to parent better?
Mom in Need

Dear MIN,

It is not easy to raise kids today and it is made more difficult if you lacked good examples when growing up. That said, of all the sources to turn to, celebrities might be the worst. Keep in mind, these are people who are always trying to sell something, namely themselves. If they say things that you agree with, you are more apt to tune into their films, buy their music, and worse, purchase their new line of products they just so happen to be pitching.

Celebrities do not live in the same world as you. Their children do not live in the same world as yours. They tend to forget they have a team of nannies, private tutors, and countless other resources you do not have. They may tell you great things like why it is not important to bathe your child every day and then when they go off to their film set, their nanny makes sure the kid gets a good scrubbing.

Would you rely on a celebrity for medical advice? Would you rely on one for financial advice? Would you rely on one for any other type of advice? Chances are, you wouldn’t. Why then would you rely on one for parenting?

Atlanta Braves 1B Freddie Freeman
(Claudia Gestro)

Trust your instincts. If your parents were terrible examples, try the opposite as them. Turn to siblings or friends and ask them what they do? Find a decent chat group and share your experiences. Hell, turn to a pack of wolves or kangaroos before taking the advice of a celebrity. At least they won’t try to sell you something. Good luck.

Dear Jim,
Why do baseball teams that score tons of runs during the regular season suddenly go cold at the plate when the playoffs come around? Baseball is filled with lots of homeruns and high scoring games in the regular season and not in the postseason. Why?
Baseball Fan

Dear BF,

First, you know I do not follow baseball much. However, even I know hitting in the big leagues is way down. Teams are lucky to field a hitter who hits .300. Strikeouts are up because hitters basically suck. I’ve mentioned before much of this is because the league is watered down due to there being too many teams.

Dodgers 1B Albert Pujols
(Claudia Gestro)

However, it makes sense hitting drops off more for the better teams in the postseason because they are now facing the best teams who also tend to field deeper pitching staffs. Teams are also no longer facing the fourth or fifth best starter in the postseason. Add in the pressure that comes with not being able to afford to lose games and suddenly a baseball is harder to hit.

Keep in mind, baseball is now a game of specialists and data. Look at a spreadsheet and put in a specialist for a given situation and suddenly the game becomes quite a bit different than when teams had four-man rotations with no pitch counts matched up against hitters who had to produce against both right and left handers. Managers relied on what their gut told them to do and would laugh at the way today’s game is played.

Baseball is like everything else in the world, much different today than it was in yesteryear.

Dear Jim,
Can Republicans offer up any candidates in 2024 who have no connection to Donald Trump as a viable alternative to run against Biden?
GOP Voter

Dear Voter,


Let’s just pretend such a person exists and he or she takes the party’s nomination. That person would have to convince Trump supporters for their vote. If successful, that person would then be in debt to them and have to make them happy which would be counterproductive to how he or she sold themself to the public.

If such a person does not do this, then we will see Trump running as a third-party candidate which will only ensure Biden’s re-election.

The only way a non-Trump associated candidate succeeds is if Trump and all his people are charged and convicted of crimes and even then, his supporters would most likely reject anyone who is not promising a continuation of Trumpism.

There is no one in the GOP who is openly anti-Trump who has a shot at winning the party nomination. The GOP has hitched its future on the anti-vax, anti-immigration, and basically anti-American approach to the future. They want an America that is a thing of the distant past where whites ruled, whites voted, and whites controlled the nation’s politics, economy, and culture. It is a narrow-minded desire that rejects all that this nation was founded on because Republicans rely on fear over hope when it comes to asking for our votes.

Editor Tim Forkes is a Deadhead
(Tim Forkes)

Dear Jim,
You grew up during the classic era of Rock n’ Roll. With so many of the artists from that era either dying or retiring, are there any current artists you enjoy listening to? I can’t seem to find much new music worth listening to. Thanks.
Rock Fan

Dear RF,

It depends on how you define new. I suppose the only real newer band I enjoy hearing is Gretta Van Vleet. If you enjoy music that reminds you of Led Zeppelin, they are worth listening to. Two other bands that have been around longer but are not from my era that I enjoy are The Killers and Kings of Leon. Both are great bands whose music stacks up well with what we grew up enjoying.

Unfortunately, the thing that made classic rock so enjoyable was record companies’ patience with developing talent. Bands were nurtured and learned the craft of songwriting and production as well as that art of playing music. Now, music companies just want to recreate the same sound and look. It’s why I no longer listen to country music or hip hop. It all sounds the same.

There are more variables involved into what constitutes great rock music, which makes it difficult for music companies to pigeonhole them into one sound. The Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, The Doors, The Police, U2, and REM were all great bands and yet all had their own sound. Elton John, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner, BB King, and Chuck Berry were all uniquely different and great solo artists. It is why the music that makes up classic rock stands the test of time. It refused to be anything other than uniquely original. To sound like another band was the ultimate insult.

Dear Jim,
What would you say is the one issue that tells the public our elected leaders do not care about the people they serve?  It seems we are divided on so many matters. What do you think should be uniting conservatives and liberals?
Concerned Citizen

Dear CC,

I agree, we are split on far too many issues and seem to only unite when it involves us launching another ill-fated military adventure. If war is all that we can get untied over, something is terribly wrong with us as a united nation.

For me, the primary issue that tells me our elected leaders can’t serve the needs of citizens is their inability to pass a voting rights act. The GOP has made it clear they have no desire to pass a voting bill that ensures the rights of all eligible voters to get to the polls. However, since Democrats control both houses, it would seem like a new voting bill that overrides the GOP’s state by state destruction of voting rights would be the easiest thing of significance to pass.

Unfortunately, either the Democratic Party can’t fall into line because of a couple of holdouts who want to capitalize off the party’s need for their support, or they get nervous about getting rid of the filibuster. Our elected leaders are more interested in gerrymandering voting districts and rigging elections, so they are assured of being re-elected rather than trusting the public to tell them what and who they want in power.

We kid ourselves into thinking we live in a democracy. We use the term while failing to live within its definition to the point the average citizen either doesn’t know what democracy is or cares about it because they have given up thinking their vote matters. If voters believe they can’t change the system, our leaders believe they can fail to meet our needs while being impervious to any fallout.

Dear Jim,
You don’t seem to talk much about woke people or cancel culture. Why is this? Both seem relevant to today’s society and play a big part in the daily discussions that unfold? I am interested in your thoughts on both.

Cancel Cancel Culture
(Tim Forkes)

Dear Wondering,

Stop wondering. I do not consider myself woke because I am not sure woke people can agree on what it means to be woke. I try to consider myself an open-minded person who takes the time to understand what others think and why they think that way. For instance, I do not agree why some in the black community feel it is all right for them to use the “N” word while it is offensive to them for whites to use it. A word is either offensive or not and no word is allowed to be “owned” by any group for use while banned for others. It simply makes no logical sense to me.

However, I have taken the time to at least read and listen to the arguments behind it and learned long ago the word is offensive enough for me to not want to use it. Still, I can watch a black comedian who uses the term and laugh at the joke he is telling just as I can laugh at one who drops an F-bomb or who makes a point of not using any offensive language. It is called freedom of speech.

I do not think it does society any good to cancel our past because it offends others. At the same time, it is important to understand society changes over time. It is why I do not think history is being canceled when a city decides to remove statues of men who were once slave owners and viewed as heroes. Who was heroic one hundred years ago might not be viewed that way today.

What I do not like is when society tries to remove these people from the history books when there is much to learn about our past by opening old wounds and examining a different era. It’s how we learn about ourselves and grow as a society.

There you have it. If your letter appeared in this month’s column, my editor, Tim Forkes, will be in contact with you to invite you to the first ever Los Angeles Post-Examiner Thanksgiving meal to be held at Dodger Stadium. If you are lucky, you will get to sit between his creepy aunt and soon to be ex-con cousin who is set to be released from county lock up.

The late Dick Dale, Surf Rock Legend
(Tim Forkes)

••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••

Editor’s Note: My creepy aunt always brings the best cannabis edibles so she is welcome and tolerated. My cousin in lock up plans on going to an alternative community on Maui to spend his days surfing and ingesting cannabis products. Members of my family appear to be single-minded on some things.

As for Thanksgiving dinner at Dodger Stadium, we’ve decided to move to Jim’s home. I’m bringing pork sausage stuffing and all my Grateful Dead music and some Surf Rock.