Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 11/09/2020
In January of this year, World Series-winning baseball manager Alex Cora was released as the coach of the Boston Red Sox because he was implicated in a sign-stealing scandal when he was with the Houston Astros. That scandal probably stole the World Series from the LA Dodgers. It was a sophisticated deception using video cameras and co-conspirators. Cora was fired by the Red Sox.
A week ago, as soon as he was eligible, Cora was rehired by the struggling Red Sox to again coach the team. There is a former baseball player named Pete Rose who is one of the greatest to ever play the game. But, he has been ineligible to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because he bet on games. He was never found to have fixed a game or thrown a game as a player or manager. Cora, on the other hand, did actively try to fix games. For many Red Sox fans this is probably a doxology. To me, it’s pretty pathetic.
We’ve come to a point where winning trumps ethics, the limelight brings out the lowlifes. I’m all for redemption, and rehabilitation, and mea culpas. But has the discipline fit the crime? Yet another media-star pastor, Carl Lentz, was “outed” last week. He ran a mega-church which featured rock bands and huge productions. Oh, yeah: He was cheating on his wife.
I think sometimes that Americans hate crime but love the criminals. Bonnie and Clyde created a romantic image for many, desperados that they were. I wonder whether people would vote for Al Capone over Elliot Ness.
The more people rationalize cheating, the more it becomes a culture of dishonesty. And that can become a vicious, downward cycle. Because suddenly, if everyone else is cheating, you feel a need to cheat, too.
The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one’s self. All sin is easy after that.