Thursday, December 28, 2017

Time to think rationally here

Some disturbing allegations have emerged regarding a 2-year old incident between Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano and a former photographer with the team.

In a tweet posted Thursday, photographer Betsy Bissen said Sano grabbed her wrist and tried to pull her inside a bathroom at a store in a mall after an autograph session and that the 6-foot-4, 260-pound Sano tried to kiss her several times. ESPN does not typically identify people who make accusations of sexual assault unless they have chosen to go public with their names.

In her post, Bissen described how Sano flirted with her without reciprocation during the autograph signing. She said Sano's agent and her former boss were also at the event. She said Sano later grabbed her wrist and made her accompany him to an Apple store in the mall before trying to pull her into a restroom against her will.

"Every time he did, I said no and kept pulling back," Bissen said in her Twitter post. "... I was in a squatted position with my wrist throbbing. I screamed, no one came to help me. He finally gave up after a solid ten mins of fighting to pull me thru that door.

"... Every time I have to hear how great people think Miguel Sano is, I'm reminded of how awful he actually is and how he hurt me."

Sano issued a statement Thursday denying the allegations.

"I unequivocally deny the allegation made against me today -- it never happened," Sano said in the statement. "I have the utmost respect for women, especially those working in professional sports, and I deeply sympathize with anyone who has experienced sexual harassment. There is no place for it in our society."

Because sports fans are such a passionate lot, some will forgo reason by verbally savaging the accuser of someone they love to watch play a game. Sano has a chance to be a premier power hitter for the Twins, possibly another Harmon Killebrew. No doubt that has Twins fans excited. But before you let the baseball fan in you just instinctively lash out towards Ms. Bissen, try looking at this objectively for a moment. What incentive does she have to lie? Ms. Bissen has already had to put her Twitter account on "protected" mode due to the invective spewed towards her. And from what I can gather, she isn't seeking any monetary settlement from Sano and Twins. There seems to be literally zero upside for Bissen to fabricate this story.

In the end, the appropriate MLB officials will put forth their due diligence and thus make a decision on Sano accordingly. But if you're more concerned by the possibility that losing Sano puts the Twins further behind when trying to match the prowess of A.L heavyweights like the Astros, Yankees, Indians, et al, lemme just point out that your moral code is completely out of whack.



jerrye92002 said...

Sorry, but reason demands there be some corroborating evidence here SOMEWHERE, one way or the other. As for "why would she lie?" ask yourself- why would women go on Jerry Springer, or Maury, or any of those other open sleaze-fests, and embarrass themselves?

Brad Carlson said...

Sorry, but reason demands there be some corroborating evidence here SOMEWHERE, one way or the other.

How about that it's been established she worked the event where the assault took place and that Sano's rep couldn't issue an emphatic denial? I'm not saying that's incontrovertible proof but to dismiss it out of hand isn't very prudent.

As for "why would she lie?" ask yourself- why would women go on Jerry Springer, or Maury, or any of those other open sleaze-fests, and embarrass themselves?

Jerry, I appreciate your frequent comments on my site. You are always welcome. But that said, this is perhaps the most dimwitted take on this saga that I have read yet (and that's saying quite a bit). While I don't know Ms. Bissen personally, to automatically lump her in with an infinitesimal percentage of kooks whom Springer and Maury look to exploit lacks any critical thinking whatsoever. You're better than this.

Brad Carlson said...

For a Yahoo Sports story:

Sano fired back with a full-throated denial, saying in a statement “it never happened,” and followed with boilerplate spin that endeavored to soften his tone: “I have the utmost respect for women.”

This was a perfect example of that terrible decision-making, because while Sano might have a lot of things, the utmost respect for women is not one of them, according to five people, including teammates, ex-teammates and confidants, with whom he has spent time. Though none accused Sano of sexual assault or could confirm Bissen’s account of the story, they characterized him as someone who saw the pursuit of women as sport. Getting in trouble for it “was only a matter of time,” said one person familiar with Sano, whom he called “a ticking time bomb.”

So I guess the teammates, ex-teammates and confidants are all co-conspirators, eh?

jerrye92002 said...

I confess my take was based on my very limited knowledge-- I never even heard of the guy. I was merely suggesting that NONE of us have sufficient knowledge to pronounce sentence in this situation. We should not take EITHER side of the charge as automatically true, and certainly not unbiased. Sometimes it is possible that "he said, she said" accounts can BOTH be true, from their individual points of view, and NEITHER account may be true from an objective observer's viewpoint. Your Yahoo story does tend to offer "pattern of behavior" evidence for the woman's account, but that is still insufficient considering that her charges would not seem to fit that pattern.

And I think the fact that women will go on these sleazy shows and admit to all sorts of sexual "eccentricities" proves that fame is apparently a good reason to debase oneself or make spurious charges. That doesn't mean this applies in this particular case, but we cannot deny the possibility, nor automatically apply punishment to the accused strictly on the basis of the accusation. I think that is a perfectly rational approach, and this sudden rash of "MeToo" charges would seem to engender a reasonable skepticism on all of them. Unfortunately for all concerned, IMHO.