Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pedro Martinez Is a Psychopath; David Ortiz, a Sociopath

There are two kinds of folks who sit around, thinking about how to kill people: Psychopaths and mystery writers. I'm the kind that pays better. Who am I? I'm Rick Castle.
-- Nathan Fillion, in the opening narration to the 2nd and 3rd seasons of the ABC drama Castle

Once, just for my own edification, I opened a dictionary, and looked up the definitions of "psychopath" and "sociopath."

Without getting technical, here's the difference that dictionary gave me:

* A psychopath is someone wants what he wants, and goes after it without thinking about it. He cannot help himself. It does not occur to him that society considers his actions unfair, insane, or evil. He has lost his conscience. He is within society, but lives apart from it. He is asocial and amoral.

* A sociopath is someone wants what he wants, but does put thought into going after it. If he considers that the odds are against him, he can stop, or he can find ways of evening the odds. It does
occur to him that society considers his actions unfair, insane, or evil. But he does not care. He has chosen to throw away his conscience. He despises the society that stands in his way, but can still work within it, often seeming to be normal, even charming. sometimes even doing the right thing, if he thinks it will benefit him. This is a facade, because he wants pleasures, and has no qualms about inflicting pain to achieve them, may even enjoy it. He is anti-social and immoral.

Having observed the Boston Red Sox since their 1998 revival that coincided with the arrival of Pedro Martinez, including their glory days that began in 2003 with the arrival of David Ortiz, I -- trained as an observer of baseball, but not a licensed practitioner of psychology or psychiatry -- have made the following diagnoses:

* Pedro Martinez is a psychopath. He doesn't get that he is wrong. He's probably been told, but he still went on acting like he always has.

* David Ortiz is a sociopath. He knows that what he did was wrong, but he not only still does it, he still denies that he's ever done it.

We ended Pedro's career, in Game 6 of the 2009 World Series. Big Papi plays his final game against us tonight.

Best way to pay tribute to him? When he is introduced, everyone should stand up, and turn their backs on him, and remain silent.

He deserves worse. But it would be a unique response in sports history, one that would never be forgotten.

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