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Orlando Cabrera is John Galt

Jun 23, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT


Orlando Cabrera doesn’t much care for playing third base. But according to Paul Hoynes, Cabrera has a way of dealing with the challenges facing him at the hot corner:

The Tribe’s Orlando Cabrera prepared for his second-ever start at third base Wednesday night by reading “Atlas Shrugged,” by Ayn Rand.

“This is my bible,” Cabrera said. “It’s over 1,000 pages long.”

Cabrera’s copy of Rand’s 1957 novel is worn. The spine of the book is taped over to help hold it together. Cabrera said he reads it every year.

“The book is about objectivism. It’s about many things,” Cabrera said. “It’s about how to be successful in life. It’s about how to live life now while you’re still alive.”

Hey, whatever floats his boat. And I have no problem with people who take some of their cues in life from Rand’s writings. Though I am not a libertarian or an objectivist by any stretch of the imagination, most philosophies have at least some valuable insights into the human condition, Rand’s included.

But I gotta tell ya, I’ve never been too impressed by people who go in for that stuff whole hog, think of “Atlas Shrugged” as “their bible” and otherwise consider themselves hard core objectivists. I haven’t the space for it here, and I doubt you all have the stomach to hear me go on, but let’s put it this way: anyone who thinks that they are right simply because of the nature of their being — as do the heroes of Rand’s books and, based on many accounts, Rand herself — is not the sort of person who can teach me much or whose example I feel the need to follow.

People need to have their views and feelings questioned a hell of a lot more than they are and need to have their predispositions bolstered a hell of a lot less if they are to learn anything. Rand is like a gigantic circle jerk for people who already believe everything Rand has to say in the first place. And if you don’t believe me, try to get someone who thinks of “Atlas Shrugged” as “their bible” to tell you about the flaws or weak points of objectivism.  They’ll look at you like you’re from outer space.

All of that said, I think it’s pretty cool that Orlando Cabrera has an interest in philosophical thought, even if it ain’t my cup of tea.  Baseball is more fun with more thinkers.

  1. halladaysbicepts - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:03 AM


    • ditto65 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      ! ! ! ! ! ! !

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        #####?????^^^^^ and you may quote me on that.

        Who is John Galt? It has been many many many years since I read the book.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      I don’t know either, ‘Bicepts. I have always been more of a science and math kind of guy. Ask me questions about human physiology and pharmacology, I am there….but ask me philosophical questions and I sit there with a blank stare on my face.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        I don’t understand the significance of what a player chooses to read. Do you?

    • jjschiller - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:13 AM


      • ditto65 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        Too funny.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    That Ayn Rand- What a fox! Would she feed ARod popcorn?

    • yankeesfanlen - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      Leave ARod Alone!

      • ditto65 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        Len – stop yelling at yourself. Read a book instead. I hear “Atlas Shrugged” is a Bible for some…

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        ditto- I didn’t do it. My computer is programmed to say that whenever ARod is mentioned.

      • trevorb06 - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:49 PM


    • Utley's Hair - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      I caught a quick glimpse of the pic, and I had to look again, since I could have sworn it was a really bad pic of Janet Reno.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        Actually Maxwell Klinger comes to mind for me.

      • Detroit Michael - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:58 PM

        Looks like William F. Buckley in costume.

      • jimbo1949 - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:27 PM


  3. Manni Stats - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    FWIW, there is a substantial group of libertarians (myself included) who find Rand to be somewhat of a hack, both philosophically and literally. I do agree with a more overall point that making any book your “bible” and following it as such is usually very close-minded.

    • jjschiller - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      “making any book your “bible” and following it as such is usually very close-minded.”

      Except, you know, the Bible. ‘Cause God said all that.

      • halladaysbicepts - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:05 PM

        Your probably an atheist, scumbag.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:07 PM

        Because A) being an atheist makes one a scumbag and B) following the Bible closely has never made anybody closeminded?

      • trevorb06 - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        ‘I contend that we are both athiests. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.’
        -Steven Roberts

      • trevorb06 - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        ‘Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.’

      • smith288 - Jul 5, 2011 at 10:11 AM

        @trevorb06 – Except at the lunar landing, when this was said: “Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, whoever or wherever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way.” At that time a communion was performed.

    • halladaysbicepts - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      Kevin S.,

      You are a thorn in my a**. Go eat a bag of di*ks!

      • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        You seem to have some perception issues as to who is the thorn here.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        HB- Why do you keep telling people to “eat a bag of di*ks”. I thought they come in a box.

      • Charles Gates - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        The irony of an apparent bible thumper telling Kevin S, a man, to ‘go eat a bag of di*ks’ is priceless.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        Not really ironic at all. He’s coming from the twisted worldview that telling somebody to do something “gay” is some kind of insult. It’s not. I’d pity him if he wasn’t such a gnat.

      • jjschiller - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:36 PM


    • dink53 - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM

      Can you make the Bible your Bible?

      • 18thstreet - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        Does this violate the terms of conduct? Honestly, anything that would make this twerp go away, I support.

        If Craig won’t do it, maybe we could get a court to declare that statements issued by halladaysbicepts are not considered speech under the First Amendment?

  4. benyamen - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Mitch Williams vs. Joe Carter in the world series …

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      I have to give a thumbs up to that!

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        Not me.

      • cur68 - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:39 PM

        Got my vote. Like there was ever any doubt…

  5. JBerardi - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      JBeradi wins the thread. You all can still comment, but know that JBeradi wins.

      • JBerardi - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        Just to be totally clear, I’m quoting a guy. That’s not my blog or anything.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        I’m not sure if one can win the thread by bringing up a quote that is quoted Every. Single. Time. Ayn Rand comes up.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        Argh, the thumbs-down police require me to clarify. I actually enjoy that quote, it’s just that it’s a knee-jerk reaction to bring it up when Atlas Shrugged is the subject.

    • Austin Swafford - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

      LOL…that is brilliant.

    • uberfatty - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      That joke reminds me of my favorite Craig Fergusen jokes. He tells at least one of those setup jokes a week, and they get me every time. Well done.

    • IdahoMariner - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM

      you win. love that quote. love to drive my brother – who also believes Atlas Shrugged is his Bible and also cannot abide having anything he does or says questioned – batshit crazy with that quote. Happy it comes up every time, because I can picture him beginning to have an aneurysm every time.

  6. tuftsb - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    I would have recommended “I Am Third”, the autobiography of Gale Sayers.

    • Austin Swafford - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

      Agreed. I want to see selfless players, not guys who embrace the “Virtue of Selfishness.”

  7. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:19 AM

    They adapted this into movie, in case anyone cared. It may be the worst movie of this young decade from what I’ve heard. I wouldn’t dare watch it b/c I already have a “low bar” setting for movies and it’s based off of ‘Gigli’. If you think a movie is so terrible that you want to Cobain yourself, watch Gigli first b/c it may save your life, albeit temporarily, because you will certainly want to shoot yourself after sitting through that craptasm. [note: I’ve never sat all the way through ‘Gigli’ or I would not be writing this.]

    • Utley's Hair - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:27 AM

      I’m sure you’ve never watched the whole thing because Jennifer Garner’s husband is a BooSux fan. (And yes, he does have a name, but relinquished it when he married that fine specimen. And she likes cake.)

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        She is cake and I’d prefer a slice of that cake above all other cakes. She’s no pie though. Pie is Megan Fox and Jessica Biel while I’m the filling. That’s also a sandwich.

        That boosux fan actually has directed some okay flicks (Gone Baby Gone and The Town are both 3 of 4 stars imo). He really was f’d in the head when dating JLo it appears. Also, Damon is clearly the better half of their bro-love-relationship.

      • ThatGuy - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:28 PM

        Agreed on The Town, really enjoyed that flick.

  8. Austin Swafford - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    I gotta be honest, as a player in a TEAM sport, I wouldn’t be wild about someone subscribing so strongly to a philosophy that teaches you to only care about yourself, to do what’s best for yourself without regard for others, and to never ever look outside of yourself. I’m not saying you have to embrace altruism to be a good teammate, but Rand’s philosophy could not be less conducive to team play.

    • JBerardi - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      Also, I’m no Rand expert, but I can’t imagine she approves of labor unions, and Orlando is a member of the most powerful union in the world, one that’s in large part responsible for making him a multi-millionaire. So, Atlas Shrugged his “bible”, but he only follows it’s rules when it’s convenient to him… so actually, yeah, I guess it is his bible.

    • spudchukar - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:58 AM

      Austin, Kudos, this is where I was going, but you pretty much nailed it, as obviously Berardi did likewise. I’m actually more familiar with the Fountainhead/Architects/Roark, but I remember tossing the tiny “A Virtue of Selfishness” against a wall upon completion. The Rand philosophy has regained some popularity by the Conservative causes and think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, but in reality it is just and excuse for greed and avarice, the doctrine of the right.

      As for Cabrera, I guess it beats nothing, but maybe someone should send him a copy of Rawls, “A Theory of Justice”, and let him ponder that in the second half of the season. This is the eighth team he has played for, so maybe he is following the mercenary route.

  9. adowding3 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    you can say circle jerk on an NBC Sports affiliate? Legen-wait for it-dary.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      You’re new here, aren’t you?

  10. Jonny 5 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    I choose my path by following the Beams as the Dark Tower is MY bible.

    • paperlions - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      Sorry to hear that…the first 4 or 5 books were okay…interesting at least….but the last couple were self indulgent crap (seriously, what author puts his/her real-world self at the center of their own fiction and makes the fruition of the story contingent on the actions of that version of the author?…oh right, Stephen King does…god that thing was painful to read)…and the last one was a complete waste of time that I felt compelled to finish (thanks sunk cost fallacy). What an utter disappointment the last part of that series was….

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 28, 2011 at 8:53 AM

        LOL!! I was being a smartass.

        Seriously though. Who says a work of fiction is their bible?

        About the Dark tower series. Although I tend to agree in part, I liked it. I’ll tell you why. Because I read just about every other King novel written, and the series tied together much of his previous writing including “Bachman’s” work. Also you have to understand that King isn’t a normal man, who thinks as you do. He’s self absorbed and these stories he writes are more real to him than they ever could be to us. His stories are part of his life, so it’s no shocker to me that he inserted himself. It was interesting and reminded me of books I read 10 years prior. I’m not going to judge the series besides saying I liked it and it entertained me. It made me think, maybe too much. I thought he probably wished he shortened it up a bit. But King is warped, and his novels are as well. Some were amazing, some were kinda not. This one to me was somewhere in the middle, while screaming it should be one of his best. But then again some of his novels can’t be beat if you like horror, so it’s futile.

  11. 18thstreet - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Fifty-seven career sacrifice bunts. Ayn Rand would not approve.

    Objectivism is selfishness masquerading as a political philosophy. I think this helps explain why a pretty good player has played for so many franchises.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      He’s clearly angering the baseball gods for praying to another, illegitimate deity.

    • Austin Swafford - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      So true. Reason is not what prevails in Rand’s world…greed does. Selfishness does. She is just trying to intellectualize the childish concept of “mine mine mine mine mine.” I just think it’s sad that so many people have bought it.

      • jwbiii - Jun 23, 2011 at 6:40 PM

        Greed is right, greed works. Just ask Frank McCourt.

      • jimbo1949 - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:37 PM

        Jury has yet to be heard from on that case.

    • smith288 - Jul 5, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      I dont subscribe to all of Ayn Rand’s philosophical points but her point isnt “greed”. Its self preservation. If you are merely altruistic for the sake of altruism, then you arent preserving yourself in the future. Hence, won’t be an effective element to society if you are as broke as the next person through altruism.

      Now, bunting to move a runner over isn’t altruism at all in how it relates to Rand’s theories. It help one’s self in the end via that vehicle to further the chance of winning the ballgame.

      Having a pitcher swing away with a man on first and no count is actually against Rand’s philosophy as it doesn’t help the pitcher nor his team in any way.

      If you are a all-star catcher stand in front of the plate to get mowed over in a 12-3 ballgame and get injured “for the team” is altruistic and benefits nobody in the end.

      In baseball, Rand’s theories go hand in hand. Meritocracy and the team wins if you are personally vested in your own success first and foremost.

  12. feartherallythong - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Damn, I had all sorts of comments, having read “Atlas Shrugged” several times – but I have to agree that there is no topping JBerardi today. Reading that book is like pulling off a giant BandAid for two solid weeks. Both bracing and painful…

    • aceshigh11 - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      Good god, man…SEVERAL times? Are you a sadist?

  13. tuftsb - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    What kind of book does Frank McCourt read?

    • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:58 AM

      You, sir, are assuming Frank McCourt is capable of reading.

  14. ditto65 - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    I question the significance of how many pages this particular book has.

  15. mtreder1 - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Gore Vidal on Ayn Rand: “She has a great attraction for simple people who are puzzled by organized society, who object to paying taxes, who dislike the ‘welfare’ state, who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts.”

  16. oikosjeremy - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Maybe Cabrera really reads Ayn Rand mostly for the great sex scenes.

    /end sarcasm

  17. Charles Gates - Jun 23, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    This comment section is demonstrating a rather simple understanding of Rand’s rather simple philosophy.
    To clarify, I would categorize myself more Rand-esque than anything else. Yet I also see the shortcomings of such a philosophy. In a theoritical utopia, sure maybe pure Objectivism will work. But that utopia, i.e. Galt’s Gulch, assumes that everyone acts rational at all times. This is obviously not true in the real world. There are, howerver, many positives to learn from Rand. It’s perfectly moral to act in your own rational self interest. This, of course, is within the realm of ethics. It’s is not ok for me to kill you if doing so is a positive to me.

    Perhaps where I venture away from Rand is where I find value in other people and their opinions, including what they think of me. In our reality, you can’t expect to lock yourself in your *ahem* mother’s basement with only your ego to keep you company and find success. Positive results are team driven, and leading a team means truely caring about what your team thinks and feels (regardless of whether the emoitional response is rational). Now, I define success as what betters my own self interest and that of my family. I just understand that no man is an island. I’d rather have 1% of the efforts of 100 people than 100% of the effort of 1.

    So while the sacrifice bunt jab makes for a funny one liner, it’s perfectly within Cabrera’s self interest to be a team player. Betterment of the team is betterment of one’s self in the sense that he will be rewarded with more playing time, contracts etc.

    • spudchukar - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:17 PM

      You can turn this into a biological symbiosis argument if you choose, similar to Dawkin’s “The Selfish Gene”, but my reading of Rand leads me in a different direction. While it may behoove one to co-operate with others for a period of time, any notion of sacrifice, would be contrary to her teachings. I am pretty sure that Rand would prefer you ignore the bunt sign, and swing away, keeping in mind that for your next contract negotiation it isn’t in your best interests to forego a RBI opportunity.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        Or that swinging away produces a higher run expectancy unless you’re a pitcher.

      • spudchukar - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        Still confusing quantity with temporal impact I see.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 23, 2011 at 8:53 PM

        Unless the pitcher is at the plate, the only ninety feet worth an out are the last ninety feet. It has nothing to do with timing.

  18. birdman6824 - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    I’m not sure I grok all this.

    Waiting is.

    • spudchukar - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      Perfect Birdman, this discussion brought to my mind Heinlein too. Ah, if only the magic cloak were real.

  19. 1historian - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Mr. Calcaterra – You are in way over your head. You haven’t the foggiest idea what Cabrera is talking about so you are frantically trying to bring what he says down to your level and at the same time make it palatable to the gum-chewing public (GCP) which is your bread and butter, while at the same time hoping that that same GCP doesn’t notice that you are in way over your head.

    It ain’t working

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 23, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      Actually, I think I heard him say that “Atlas Shrugged” is his “personal bible” and told him that if that works for him, wonderful. Then I said that objectivism, as a philosophy, is a flawed one, and that its adherents usually act quite defensively when you point that out. And that any philosophy that can’t handle even the slightest criticism isn’t worth the 1000 pages its printed on.

      Now, which part of that would you like to dispute?

      • ThatGuy - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:35 PM

        Does there exist a philosophy that is not flawed? I’ve never seen one.

      • trevorb06 - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        I’d say the philosophy that all philosophy is flawed is… but then again that’d be an unflawed philosophy therefore…

        ah screw it.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Jun 23, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        To be perfectly fair, objectivism is hardly the only philosophy that is flawed. It’s also commonplace for the hardcore adherents of just about any philosophy to react defensively and even violently when one points out the flaws inherent in their worldview. The only difference is the number of hardcoreadherents and their volume.

        I’m not really disputing your point, Craig — just noting that it applies almost universally.

  20. fuguewriter - Jun 23, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    It isn’t the case that Ayn Rand was against charity. She was personally charitable to friends and donated to help Israel defend itself. In her own words: “My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.”

    Her point was that you have to have a healthy non-charitable sector in order to be able to provide charity, and that economic freedom (and nothing else) provides that health. How much can one donate if one is starving or dies at age 35, as before technology one did.

    Government welfare is a perversion of charity because it is ill-managed and cripples the productive sector over time. Look at the tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities that are going to cripple our economy; and it’s just going to get worse unless we get the system right.

    One part of the foolishness of the recent debates about Rand is the idea that agreeing with Rand’s prediction and diagnoses in “Atlas Shrugged” – the accuracy of which has been demonstrated in the last few years to a nicety – somehow magically commits one to agreement with her total philosophy. Would this argument be extended to an atheist leftist who recommends Tolstoy or Victor Hugo?

    The other part is a specific misrepresentation of Christianity. Christianity is not a pro-Statism religion; indeed, given who killed their Savior, it tends to the anti-State. (This is something the left has not yet dealt with.) Nowhere in the Bible does it say that wealth should be expropriated and redistributed by the dubious means of government structures; it speaks of personal and *voluntary* charity. One might add, looking at the horrific debt and unfunded liabilities situation that the U.S. is in right now, that the Bible and Jesus were wise in staying away from government panaceas.

    This entire kabuki charade is in bad faith. The Bible does not advocate any Progressive notions of “economic justice.” The progressives who have suddenly discovered religion and its necessary role in politics – after thirty decades and more of stridently and rightly insisting it must be kept out of politics – are not sincere. After this temporary rhetorical bubble is over, they will resume their previous, also ad-hoc, declarations.

    As for the “sociopath” accusation, this is what comes of copying attack website garbage. The whole thing rests upon one author – Michael Prescott’s – highly selective excerpting and chopping up of a private [i.e., thinking out loud without clarifications ] journal written when Rand was barely out of her teens, fresh from the blood bath of 1920s Soviet Russia – and still made it very clear that her read on the personalities of the observers showed that they were not appalled by Hickman’s crime – she said there had been far worse, without the same spectacle of glee – but by his flamboyant and mocking defiance of society. She – who was writing about a *legally innocent man* at the time of the trial – even called him a monster, a pervert, a repulsive and purposeless criminal. Enough with the disinformation and – yes – Satanizing of Ayn Rand.

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