What Tom Glavine & The Ayatollah Have In Common!

19 Jun

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“It’s over, Johnny.”

I love that expression.  I’m sure it’s from a movie.  Which one?  Not a clue and I’m too lazy to use this Internet thing to look it up.  Regardless, “it’s over, Johnny” are words to live by.

Unfortunately, most people don’t.  The hardest thing to know is when to quit while you’re still ahead.  Everyone struggles with this.  Politicians/dictators and athletes are no exception.

Word today is that Tom Glavine won’t be pitching this year, but he’s not yet ready to retire.   Guess he’s trying out the full time dad thing first to see how much he likes it, which is fine.

Glavine’s had a great career.  I’ve referred to him previously here as perhaps the second best pitcher named Tom ever.  Two Cy Youngs, over 300 career W’s and consistency beyond belief are his calling cards to the Hall of Fame.

The last five or so years of Glavine’s career have not surprisingly NOT been among his greatest seasons.  The truth is Glavine hasn’t been the real Tom Glavine for a long time.  He’s still a serviceable major league pitcher, but the question is for how much longer?   He’s finally started to get hit with injuries and post 40 that’s a bad sign.

Glavine’s made millions.  He’s no longer the pitcher he was.  It’s his right to continue on as long as someone will let him play in the majors.  If he had any sense though, he’d hang them up now.  It’s not going to get better and if he thought the way the Braves shoved him aside was bad, wait til some other teams decide he’s got nothing left.  They’ll cut him so fast it will make his head spin.

Dictators, excuse me, supreme leaders like athletes can get an over-sized belief in themselves.  This is what happens when no one will say no to you.  We all need people to check us or we’d all slip into a little self-delusion.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is suffering from some delusion.  Amid all the recent street protests in Iran he gave a speech yesterday insisting the Iranian election was free from any irregularities.

Hmmmmm….  The vote was a massive land slide in the current president’s favor and yet thousands & thousands smell a rat and are taking huge risks to express their displeasure publicly.  Seems to me that the Ayatollah has a credibility problem.

Much of this he has brought on himself of course.  The supreme leader blessed the election results way too early and the result seemed beyond the bounds of common sense.  It seemed plausible that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have won the election, but a landslide?  Those two things tipped people off to the possibility of a fix, which in turn pissed people off.

While Tom Glavine is fighting an unwinnable battle against aging, the Ayatollah is fighting a couple of unwinnable battles of his own.  Khamenei is fighting a two front war and we remember how well that worked out for Hitler in WWII.

The Ayatollah is battling the march of technology.  For all their annoying qualities, things like Twitter & Facebook as well as the general presence of the Internet are proving very hard indeed to put down.  In time past, a society could be relatively closed.  With the advent of the Internet, we are all more connected than ever before.  There’s good and bad in this, of course.  In the case of the current situation of Iran, we’re seeing how the Internet can help people better their lives (hopefully).

The second front Khamenei and his boy Ahmadinejad face is the collective will of their people.  Sounds very Soviet-era, right?  Be that as it may, once a nation’s people get to the boiling point it’s very tough to fight against that.  Many a dictator and their repressive regimes have learned that the hard way.

Khamenei was unable to quash the concerns of the Iranian people about their election early on either through logic or force.  For a period of time, the protests will undoubtedly continue and perhaps grow.

Ultimately, the Ayatollah may survive politically.  But the genie is out of the bottle.  Iran may not face change immediately due to the protest movement, but rest assured it’s over for the current system.

It’s just a question of how much time it has left.

Both Tom Glavine and the Ayatollah would be wise to get out while they’re still ahead.

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