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Web brings us too close to Beasley, others

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Mark Kriegel

Mark Kriegel is the national columnist for FOXSports.com. He is the author of two New York Times best sellers, Namath: A Biography and Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich, which Sports Illustrated called "the best sports biography of the year."

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The news that Michael Beasley has checked into a Houston clinic for depression and other issues shouldn't come as much of a shock. More surprising, and perhaps more troubling for what it portends, is the notion of a ballplayer announcing his innermost thoughts — in this case, suicidal — on Twitter. "Feelin like it's not worth livin!!!!!!! I'm done ... "I feel like the whole world is against me I can't win for losin ... "


Forget what the economists are saying. The recession isn't really over until A.I. gets a job.

Most amazing stat of the season: 39,151.

Despite a spectacularly disappointing campaign and an ongoing depression, that's the Mets' average home attendance.

In other words, at Citi Field prices, the Wilpons are doing to their fans what Bernie Madoff did to them.

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Don't get me wrong. I hope Michael Beasley gets the help he needs. I hope he has a good, long career, commensurate with his enormous talent. I'm certainly not goofing on a guy who's in pain. But, really, there are some things I don't need to know. Like, for instance, Beasley showing off his new tats. Again, he divulged this revelation on Twitter: a photograph displaying the legend "SupercoolBeas" across his back with a pair of angel's wings and — what else? — Gothic letters proclaiming him to be "God's Son." Most of the ensuing conversation focused on the supposed contents of the baggie at his side. What, I'm supposed to be surprised? Rather, what struck me was the pathetic vanity of it all. My problem isn't with Beasley, or even with Twitter, despite the irreparable harm it has already done to the English language and the atrocities committed in the name of punctuation. Who imagined that messages of 140 characters or less could be so disturbing? My beef is with this new age in self-promotion, and the unspoken perils for all these would-be heroes who engage the new technology of hype. For every Ocho Cinco, who appears benign, there's a Starbury, whose advertisements for himself have devolved into crying spells and episodes of Vaseline-swallowing. The guys who are tweeting and posting videos of themselves are almost always the same ones you've grown tired of. Either that, or they're crying out for help. Either way, you're left to wonder: What are these fools trying to hide? Perhaps Beasley could recover well enough to someday compose a memoir like, say, Joe Pepitone's Joe, You Coulda Made Us Proud, an otherwise unknown volume that should serve as the searing standard in ballplayer confessionals. But you don't get perspective, even a little, in real time. It takes years. I spent most of my career trying to get into the minds of the athletes I've covered. But now that I'm there, someone please rescue me. Looking back, it was a blessing that guys like Keyshawn Johnson, Bill Romanowski and Dennis Rodman, among others, were all done before the age of tweeting and self-posted videos. Instantaneous access to their innermost thoughts? Again, more than anyone needed to know, and more than most of us could have handled. Still, in what passes for progress, the idea of the hero athlete has been irrevocably demystified. On one side of the computer screen, the fan has been reduced to a voyeur. On the other, there's the ballplayer, showing his tats to hide his scars.

On the Mark

Forget what the economists are saying. The recession isn't really over until A.I. gets a job. Most amazing stat of the season: 39,151. Despite a spectacularly disappointing campaign and an ongoing depression, that's the Mets' average home attendance. In other words, at Citi Field prices, the Wilpons are doing to their fans what Bernie Madoff did to them. Or what that judge from Texas did to Paulie Malignaggi in Houston on Saturday night. Malignaggi, who was never hurt by Juan Diaz and controlled the fight from beginning to end, had said he was being "set up" for a hometown decision. And given Gale Van Hoy's scorecard — which had Diaz winning 118-110 — it's just nice to see a fighter make good on a prediction. Such a bad decision I got a call from the Mets' press box informing me that no less a man than Gary Sheffield was outraged. Then again, as Newsday's Wally Mathews points out, let's just hope Sheff can judge a fight better than a fly ball. Tough week for Nebraska. First, former cornhusker running back Thunder Collins was convicted of murder. Then Bo Pelini dismissed another running back, Quentin Castille, for an unspecified violation of team rules. Word is, Tom Osborne is outraged. At Pelini. "If he's so good," asks my kid, "then how come they call him a Pujols?" Good thing Plaxico didn't go to trial. He'd have done more time than the Lockerbie bomber. How about that SOB getting off the plane in Libya with a Nike cap? Guess it was only a matter of time before someone went after the terrorist demographic.
Tagged: Heat, Michael Beasley

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