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Common courtesy: pass it on! (or pass the buck)

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Interesting column by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (obligatory hat-tip to Baseball Primer):

[Bill] Hall went into the off-season with the understanding that he'd be the Brewers' starting third baseman in 2006, an opportunity earned with his breakthrough '05 season, during which he regularly shifted among three infield positions. That rug was pulled from under him when [Corey] Koskie was acquired, a move that otherwise made perfect sense for the Brewers. . . .

[General manager Doug] Melvin knew the acquisition of Koskie would be a blow to Hall, which he tried to soften by calling Hall in advance so he wouldn't hear of the trade second-hand. In the often cruel, business side of the game, players often complain about being treated like a piece of meat, be it well-paid pieces of meat.

"I appreciated (the advance notice)," said Hall, who batted .291 with 17 homers and 62 RBI in 146 games last season. "Doug wanted to make sure I heard it from him first."

Good for the Brewers; if only things had been so peaceful for the Nats.

Maybe, hopefully, all of this fuss regarding and resulting from the Soriano trade will work itself out by the time the designated den mother delivers the Panera Bread and orange slices following the final spring training game in lovely Viera. Perhaps Soriano has stored up a massive salary-drive outburst and will render laughable any comparison to an alleged peon like Brad Wilkerson. Who knows at this point if it will all work out---if Soriano is happy and productive, if Vidro is happy and healthy---but we can hope. And, until then, Jim Bowden's mouthpieces can spin. It's all harmless in January.

But the thought does occur to me that Bodes could have saved a lot of consternation had he comported himself with the same kind of class and respect for the dignity of others that Doug Melvin apparently did. Ballplayers are certainly well-paid individuals, and I sense sometimes that fans expect them to act as if they were as "value-added" in all phases of life as they are in their paychecks. Unfortunately, it does not work that way. They are only human---often too human---and mankind can be as petty and jerky as it can be patient and kind. The way one diffuses the pettiness and jerkiness in others is displaying common courtesies. The media accounts contemporaneous with the Soriano trade demonstrated that Bowden failed in this regard.

Now, that doesn't made Bodes a bad person; however, it doesn't make him a Doug Melvin of this world, either.