Thanks Boomer

I recently moved and last week I was unpacking boxes for my home office.  This is the first time I’ve had actual man-space in my home, so I was sifting through old memorabilia trying to find the right mix for my walls.  In an old folder I came across an old black and white picture of a baby-faced George “Boomer” Scott, a former Red Sox first baseman.  Boomer stood arms at his sides smiling with the Winter Haven spring training facility as his backdrop.

Boomer was one of my heroes when I was a kid.  In the 1970s, Boomer was our Big Papi – a larger than life, smiling, power hitter.  Born and raised in rural Mississippi, Boomer was a remarkably quick man for his size and his agility helped him earn 8 gold glove awards at first base.  But it was his power to hit “taters,” his Mississippi term for the long ball that captured the hearts of Boston Fans.

I quickly found a frame for the old 8×10 of George Scott.  Sure, my office isn’t huge – but there certainly had to be room for my old friend.

This past Saturday night, I was sitting in my office and I took notice of that old photo of George Scott.  There he was smiling on the wall opposite my desk.  I let my mind travel back to the 1970’s; to the days when the Red Sox were a loveable, heart-breaking, working-class team.  There was Yaz, Freddy Lynn, Jim Rice, Pudge Fisk and Boomer Scott wearing the classic 1970s Sox uniforms – white pull overs, red hats with blue brims.

And then I said it out loud:  “Boomer and the Crunch Bunch!” I could remember an article in Sports Illustrated with that title that I had read as a kid.  I wondered if I could find that article.  I did a quick internet search and sure enough it led me to the July 4th 1977 Sports Illustrated (the one with Ted Turner on the cover for his America’s Cup yacht racing exploits).

What a summer 1977 was!  It remains to this day one of my favorite Red Sox teams and I was thrilled as I recalled the amazing stretch where Boomer and the Crunch Bunch launched 30 home runs in just 10 games; one of the most terrifying exhibitions of power in baseball history.

I did another search for George Scott and found his personal website.  There was boomer – older and a little heavy but still the guy who flashed incredible leather at the friendly confines of Fenway Park.  Boomer was advertising his autobiography aptly titled “Taters.”  Then I noticed the CONTACT button and I figured – what the heck?

So I wrote this note to George Scott this past Saturday Night:

Dear Boomer,

I just want to thank you for all the great memories of baseball you provided to me and many other Red Sox fans.  Your exploits in the 1970s – especially 1977 with Boomer and the Crunch Bunch remain some of my favorite sports memories.  Thanks for playing the game the right way.

God Bless,

The day after I sent that note, on Sunday, George Scott passed away at age 69.  It is unlikely he ever got my note.

Now that I am in my 40’s I am never surprised when a childhood hero dies – it is after all the nature of life.  But as I write this I am looking at a black and white photo of Boomer Scott hanging in my office and I am smiling too.  There is something glorious about our childhood connection to athletes that never really leaves us.

And for a moment I am standing in Toabe’s Hardware store in Pembroke Massachusetts.  I am 12 years old.  I am trying to convince my father to buy me a first baseman’s mitt – the George Scott model.

Dad:  “Christian, why do you want to play first base?  You are too small to play first base.”

Me:  “But Dad, Boomer and the Crunch Bunch!”

Dad:  [Sighing] “alright.”

Thanks Boomer.

-cj cheetham

Copyright © 2013 cjcheetham

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If You Really Cared, You’d Support 35 Dollars an Hour for McDonald’s Employees

The latest salvo in the never ending attack on common sense is this idea that McDonald’s employees can’t earn a living getting paid the minimum wage.  The sniveling Marxists are now demanding 15 dollars an hour for exploited fast food workers.  This comes on the heels of last week’s report that the City Council of Washington D.C. demanded that Walmart pay its workers a 12.50 minimum wage if they wanted to build stores in the nation’s capital.

The socialist mind, set afire over these last 5 years, literally has gone into full-blown mindless emotionalism.  These economic illiterates care so much more than normal people, that no matter how illogical and fundamentally wrong their arguments are ; they will not be dissuaded.

Here is the socialist argument in a nutshell:  People who work at McDonald’s don’t make a lot of money; they can’t afford a home and a car; they can barely pay the bills; so therefore, the government should FORCE McDonald’s to pay 15 dollars an hour to someone working a drive-through window.

In other words, in typical leftist fashion, people who know nothing about business, nothing about restaurant management, nothing about what is a fair wage for incredibly low-skilled employees, still want to dictate to the experts in the food industry what they should pay for that incredibly low-skilled employee.

Ugh.

1.  Forcing fast food establishments to pay artificially high and arbitrary wages of 15 dollars an hour will force the fast food industry to lay off workers or dramatically raise prices.  And who will that hurt?  The lower middle class folks who work and eat at these establishments!

I just watched a pasty-faced socialist on my television state she would be glad to pay double the price for a Wendy’s hamburger if it meant people working there got a living wage.

This is nonsense.  People will get laid off.  Also, no one in their right mind is going to pay big bucks for McDonald’s or Wendy’s.  It is not going to happen.  All this woman’s idea will do is bring more misery and more poverty.  (She’s probably a vegan)

2.  Socialists always like to wrap their wage arguments in emotional appeals.  They care so much they are willing to use government force to compel evil fast food restaurants to pay workers 15 dollars an hour.  If you are against that idea – you don’t care enough.  You are part of the problem.

But why stop at 15 dollars an hour?  Couldn’t we care enough to force fast food employers to pay 20 dollars an hour?  Why not 25?  Personally I think we can all find it in our hearts to demand they get paid 35 dollars an hour.  In fact – if the union bosses and left-wing economists really cared they’d support 35 dollars an hour for McDonald’s employees.

Newsflash:  There is a good reason why hourly workers at fast food establishments get paid 7.25 an hour (the current national minimum wage).  That is what they deserve to get paid based on their incredibly low skill levels.  These are not jobs that you are supposed to hold in order raise a family.  They are entry-level jobs for high school kids, people with low skill, etc.  If you are working at Wendy’s making fries or working the drive thru window – you should be working hard there while working hard at finding another job. I get it, you want to make a fortune building Egg McMuffins, but guess what?  No one will pay you a fortune to do that!

No, you cannot raise a family and own a home by cooking fries at Burger King.  I don’t care how good you are at making those fries, it isn’t worth more than 7.25 an hour (in fact it probably is worth less than that).

So yes, Karl Marx probably would support 15 dollars an hour for fast food workers.  Why?  Not because he cared, but because Marx wasn’t smart enough to run a fast food restaurant.  He was an exhausting boorish utopian nincompoop – which is why he became a leading leftwing economist instead.

It paid better.

-cj cheetham

Copyright © 2013 cjcheetham