I’m going to preface this with one simple thing…my beef with Dan Dakich didn’t start out with a personal dislike for the guy. I don’t know him. Heck, as a college basketball analyst, Dakich is in the top two or three at ESPN. He does a ton of Wisconsin games. I hear him a lot. He’s funny, he’s insightful, and he’s real. He doesn’t try to put on an act. He just calls the game he sees. And it makes him darn good at what he does. Those are probably all of the things that make his radio show in Indiana as successful as he claims it is. Fact that he’s a local guy probably doesn’t hurt him in that regard, either. Overall, Dakich is a good analyst. And living in Madison, WI…I have never heard his radio show.
My beef here started with what Dakich said.
I know it’s a “meathead””Neanderthal” move but I’m hitting Daniel Murphy tonight..stir it..reboot and let’s go
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) October 21, 2015
Do you know the Goats Name that put the Curse on the @cubs ? MURPHY!! Drill Daniel Murphy immediately
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) October 21, 2015
Idea is to WIN..self proclaimed baseball guy says its “Dumb/Dangerous” to drill a Met..amazes how little people know about feel of a game — Dan Dakich (@dandakich) October 22, 2015
Reason I said hit a Met..I saw this coming after last night..way too comfortable at the plate and Cubs looked defeated..it’s why they pay me
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) October 22, 2015
**EDIT** Dakich reached out. Made a fair point. I did not include here what my initial response was to him calling on the Cubs hitting Daniel Murphy.
Funny @dandakich advocates assaulting someone like he’s not an old man who’d get beat down in a heartbeat.
— Andy (@Behind_The_Ivy) October 21, 2015
That was it. It wasn’t excluded to be dishonest, as Dakich said. It was simply, not really the point. Although, I did say that almost knowing full well that he’d respond because that’s his M.O. And to be sure he can’t call out my “dishonesty” if he reads this post edit, I’ll include that I tweeted that I wanted to beat him to death after he called me dishonest this morning. After a night of his name calling to get me to react and say something inflammatory and over the top, he was successful. But like he says, it’s all he’s got…
In reality, it was at that point in the conversation that I should have gotten out. Again, I’ll accept that. Dakich got what he wanted…an over the top response. And he ran with it. He got me so he can brag to his followers and listeners. Congrats, Dakich. You goaded a nobody into saying something dumb. **EDIT**
Keith Law is the baseball guy who called it “dumb” and “dangerous” And he’s absolutely right. I don’t agree with K-Law on everything, but this is a place we do. It is dumb. It is dumb to give the team who has been beating you a free base runner in front of their best power hitter in an elimination game. In some ways, that’s common sense. Why in the world would you try to help the Mets by giving them a free base runner while risking getting which ever pitcher who performs the act tossed for something so blatant? The only answer Dakich managed on twitter was, essentially, that nothing else worked. Dangerous is the part I zoned in on in my irrationally juvenile twitter argument with the guy. A baseball weighs between 5 and 5.25 ounces. It is made of cork, rubber, wrapped in yarn, and encased in two pieces of white leather. It is a projectile. It is no different than taking a spherical 5 ounce potato and shooting it out of a gun at 90 miles per hour into someone. If it were done on the street, the person would be arrested It’s assault…because there is an apparent and present ability to cause bodily harm. It is very simple. It has nothing to do with being soft. It has nothing to do with being in my 20s (because I’m in my 30s and Wikipedia says Keith Law is 42). It has to do with being a decent person. And a good sportsman.
Back to the part about where I like Dakich. One of the things he said was absolutely spot on. Daniel Murphy was really comfortable at the plate in that series. He was comfortable against Kershaw and Greinke, too. The guy was on fire. Should they have gone inside on him more? Sure. I am a strong advocate of pitching inside. It’s necessary. If he gets hit, he gets hit. Sometimes it is the cost of doing business. Getting hit accidentally is part of the game. It’s part of the reason I didn’t say a word about Anthony Rizzo getting hit 30+ times this season. He stands on the plate. You’re going to get hit when you stand that close. Cost of doing business. Take your base. But to intentionally throw at someone? It isn’t part of the game. It’s against the rules. It can come with the same ejection and suspension that I recall someone else calling for a shade over nine months ago.
On January 20, the Iowa men’s basketball team was in my stomping grounds in Madison. Kohl Center. And they got worked. From the opening tip. Wisconsin got up early and won the game by 32 points. Iowa forward Adam Woodbury poked both Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes in the eyes during that game. The analyst called it “gutless” and “cowardly” and as I sat in my living room and watched, I agreed with the guy who said the Big Ten Conference needed to act on it. That guy was Dan Dakich. He was right. He still is. There is no place in basketball to put a finger in the eyes…just as there is no place to hurl a weapon, intentionally, at a player in baseball. Both are against the rules. Both can be punished. Both are acts designed to hurt the opponent, intent to injure be damned. It doesn’t matter that you’re calling for a pitch in the thigh or his backside. Pitchers miss. It’s how players get hit accidentially. Thighs and butts become backs and ribs…or the chest…or the head…and now we get into some things that can be life changing. So why go there?
I can’t say I’m particularly proud of this tweet, although I will say I stand by my intent with it. Dakich’s point was that since the Cubs couldn’t get Daniel Murphy out, they should plunk him. So what’s good for Daniel Murphy’s parents’ son must be good for his own son, right?
To me, it is interesting that Dakich didn’t condemn this on the spot since he used his platform on ESPN to publicly scold and call for discipline on Adam Woodbury, but at the same time I understand he couldn’t take my bait. For that, kudos. He saw through my trick. And his loyal followers were sure to call me out for it, all the while defending drilling Daniel Murphy because the Cubs couldn’t get him out.
Looking back, it’s fortunate that the Cubs are run by the “saber nerds” and the team is comprised of soft “20 somethings” who know better than to intentionally try to inflict pain on someone because they’re winning some games and playing at an unprecedented level. I’ll be happy that in April, there won’t be a Cubs pitcher suspended for beaning Daniel Murphy in the NLCS. I’ll also be happy that Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, or more likely Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber (who had stellar NLCS performances in a losing effort) won’t be potentially nursing injuries for the inevitable retaliation…that would likely come next year when Daniel Murphy isn’t even a Met, anymore.
Why am I wasting my time after midnight writing about Dan Dakich? Honestly, the guy ticked me off. And he crapped on a good group of people who like to blog in their free time about baseball. And that ticked me off more. A man can only be called a number of variations of dumb, have his age thrown against him as though that is some sort of credential (even though as I said…I am in my 30s and not my 20s), and belittle that like him, I am a baseball fan who uses his own platform to talk (sometimes nonsense) about a game we both really love. Just like the other bloggers out there who do this for free. Or for money. If you’re good enough to write about baseball and get paid, bless you, you’re living the dream. Dakich has 100K+ twitter followers. He has a radio show. He calls basketball on ESPN. His reach is further than mine. And as he so assuredly points out, he gets paid for it. I get paid to serve (thanks for paying your taxes, Dan). I am not “sensitive”. I am self-deprecating. I am funny. Most people who know me think I’m a pretty good dude (most because Dakich says he knows me). It’s why I extended the peace offering of sitting and having a beer with him. Physically, I know I’m the bigger person. I just am. I’m built like a linebacker. As a person, I went pretty low tonight dragging his kid into it. He doesn’t hang with “dim” people though. I do plan to make good on finding him at the Kohl Center this year; if for no other reason than to shake his hand, introduce myself as “ignorant blogger”, and just see if he is willing to admit he was wrong about me not coming out from behind my keyboard.
Other than that, here I sit. An aspiring physical therapist with a degree and an undying desire to serve in, now, the National Guard, in spite of injuries and a beating that most bodies don’t see in a lifetime, much less in their 20s. I get paid for those things. On this website, I write because it’s fun (well, not this piece…this is venting). And I like to write. Dakich “knows” me, but doesn’t know I was a published poet in 2002. Or a number of other things that are far more important than writing for a blog when I have some time. But that’s something entirely different.
Dan, if you read this…thanks for taking the time. And I am willing to come on your show. But like I said, you follow me on twitter, and I’ll DM my number. You call me when ever you want me. This time, leave the “Beyond the Ivy” blog alone. Poor guy was so lost. I’m @behind_the_ivy. As for anyone else who read this…I am so so sorry. Please keep checking out our blog, even if Dakich thinks I’m a moron. Promise, he’s not alone. Some of you have actually read my work.