05-23-2012, 10:27 AM #1
Uni-Watch.com does not like P.J. Walters' "AFW" gesture
Many people may have noticed during last night’s game that Twins starter P.J. Walters etched the initials “AFW” into the back of the mound. In his two previous starts, Walters also placed these letters on the back of the mound. The initials are those of the daughter who passed away after just 52 short days - an unimaginably devastating loss, no doubt.
I assume for most viewers, this gesture of memorial for the daughter he and his wife lost seems appropriate. As a pitcher, Walters will approach the mound from the back and see his daughter’s initials and be reminded of her. However, at Uni-Watch.com, the proprietor and several commenters have found this practice to be inappropriate.
First opinion is from a commenter named “Phil”:
“You have to feel sorry for anyone who’s lost a child, but that is a “Look at me” move if there ever was one.
Wear a shirt under your jersey, write her initials on your cleat, ****, get a tattoo … but for the love of Christ, keep the mound clear of that.
And this seems like a total ratchet move too. If someone else loses a kid, or their wife, or their mom or their sister, or their childhood friend … what’s to stop them from expressing a similar sentiment? You’re gonna have all kinds of mound graffiti.
Nay, there are other and more appropriate ways to mourn someone than defacing the bump. …
First game back after her death, as a one-off? OK, I’m down with that. Three (at least) games approximately two years after her passing? No.”
“I’m with Phil on this one. I’d be more okay with it if the initials were on the side of the mound, where the TV cameras couldn’t pick them up — then it wouldn’t have as much of a “Look at me” factor. As it is, it’s the mound equivalent of some guy who stands behind a TV correspondent and waves because hey, he’s on TV!”
Secondly, in response to the “grandstanding” comment, it would appear (although Seth Stohs or a Rochester correspondent would have to confirm) that Walters has performed this act prior to coming to the majors when cameras were around. As I said above, most pitchers climb the mound from the back (or at least circle behind it frequently) and the position of the initials would give Walters the best view.
To summarize my sentiments on the issue, I direct you to Clarence Swamptown’s tweet in reply to the article:
“Those who critique how a man chooses to mourn the loss of his baby daughter are a special kind of *******.”
05-23-2012, 10:39 AM #2
I thought it was a very sweet and loving gesture. I can't complain. It does seem to help him and I fully agree with Clarence Swamptown's response.
05-23-2012, 10:39 AM #3
+1 on that-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
05-23-2012, 10:42 AM #4
Wow, I guess I didnt realize that a pitching mound was as sacred as the Sistine Chapel.
Is the mound not the same place where pitchers spit, swear and engage in other such behaviors?
And is it not also common now to have a team's corporate logo right on the mound?
05-23-2012, 11:01 AM #5
This feels like a 'complain about something so we have something to complain about' sort of topics...
05-23-2012, 11:06 AM #6
Breaking news: Person on internet says something stupid! More at 11!
05-23-2012, 11:08 AM #7
Great Tweet Clarence Swamptown. If anyone thinks this is just showboating, they have a real twisted sense of the world.Posts on other sites:
05-23-2012, 11:13 AM #8
Considering all the garish and cheap advertisements plastered all over MLB stadiums, it seems awfully petty to take issue with this. I didn't even notice it until I read this post.
Where was this guy when the Twins put up that obscene milk jug at the Dome?
05-23-2012, 11:18 AM #9
I didn't know that is what AFW stood for. That's rather touching. I am confused by all that bothers anyone.
05-23-2012, 11:30 AM #10
That there's a website called "Uni-Watch" with apparently devoted followers is the topic worthyof ridicule, not someone harmlessly remembering their infant daughter. Sheesh.
05-23-2012, 12:02 PM #11
When he's pitching it's his mound. As long as it's within the rules, let him do what he wants. My guess is the anal-retentive people at MLB aren't too thrilled with it either, but they probably don't want to look bad by telling him to stop.
05-23-2012, 12:15 PM #12
Huh, just checked out Uni-watch and I like the idea of the website-dedicated to "athletic aesthetics". I should post something there about the Twins ugly blue jerseys. They should be banned in my opinion (grey, white, or cream only please).
05-23-2012, 12:24 PM #13
Okay, I'm going to sound like the grinch here. When I first noticed the initials last night and found out what they stood for on Twitter, I wasn't particularly bothered by this. But the more I think about it, the more it bothers me.
Perhaps this is generational, but I don't really understand the need to make the letters so large. Or in other cases the need to blog every detail about one's life. Or to post photos of every thing about your child or your spouse or your friends.
In a way it ties into Facebook nation. People are your "friends" whether you've met them or not. Not merely acquaintances but "friends".
My sense of personal privacy just makes me wonder why he feels the need to make HUGE letters on the mound. He could make them much smaller and still honor his daughter and his wife.
Maybe I'm just the grinch reincarnated but I think that someday the generation under the age of 40 is going to wish for some of their privacy back.
05-23-2012, 12:27 PM #14
I think the uni-watch guys are guilty mainly jumping the gun a little, with a "but what if everyone did that" point of view that really hasn't been rebutted in any of the discussion I've seen. Yes, it's hard to reproach the specific purpose of grief over a tragedy. But each person out there is going to decide differently what is appropriate - I recall a pitcher (Eddie Bonine with the Tigers?) a couple of years ago catching flak for digging a sign of the cross on the mound. Tomorrow, who knows what worthy event or cause will be symbolized? Maybe some pitcher will think it's important to bring awareness to a balanced budget amendment. BUT... it hasn't happened yet, and the discussion can occur if and when it does happen. So, the uni-watch guys have a certain mindset, and have jumped the gun. They aren't baby haters or anything.
05-23-2012, 12:54 PM #15
05-23-2012, 12:54 PM #16
Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure Walters would rather have his daughter alive than her initials on the mound. The link is almost unbelievably disgusting in claiming that Walters just wants attention. I also doubt somehow that he sat down and pondered the exact size the letters should be.
I personally don't think pitchers should be allowed to 'write' on the mound, but in the absence of such a rule it is despicable to call out Walters for what he does.
05-23-2012, 12:55 PM #17
Here's the point, it's none of our f****ing business what Walters wants to do to honour his daughter and everyone should just butt the hell out and trying to judge what is right or wrong. JB I'm sure P.J. Walters doesn't give a rats ass whether it bothers you or not or whether you think he should cherish his privacy more. He does it for his daughter and himself and I'm quite certain if any of his cyber critics actually had the chance to bring it up to him they would quickly excuse themselves from the discussion.
05-23-2012, 12:55 PM #18
As long as a player isn't drawing anything vulgar in the dirt who the hell cares? People act like pitching mounds/stadiums are some sacred grounds which never be touched, when in reality US Cell field or whatever it is called is a dump that should be burned to the ground, just like the other Chicago stadium.
05-23-2012, 12:56 PM #19
05-23-2012, 01:02 PM #20
By the way, and I'm not sure if this is exactly on topic, but there was recently (three weeks ago or so?) an article on grantland.com about the culture of "facebook mourning."