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Former Padres catcher Derek Norris signs with unaffiliated minor league team

His quick fall from All-Star to also-ran would be sad if it happened to someone else

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

News can be uncomfortable. Sometimes it isn’t the news itself that is uncomfortable, but the subject of the news that makes the whole thing uncomfortable. I mean, people come here to read redemption stories of heroic men who faced adversity, fell below their former glory, but are going to work hard to put those “distractions” behind them; they don’t want to read about the deserved fall of someone accused of carrying out a sustained pattern of domestic abuse against his significant other. That is why I’m going to just stick to sports.

There’s no way to talk about Derek Norris without acknowledging the very serious allegations levied against him, for which he was disciplined by Major League Baseball. Well, I suppose there is a way to do so, but it would feel dishonest as well as disrespectful to his alleged victim to gloss over that one subject he wishes would just go away. Personally, I feel like talking about just Derek Norris, the ballplayer, and not addressing the topic of his alleged abuse, would be akin to complicity.

So, sure, Derek Norris signed with the Sugar Land Skeeters, an independent team that has provided a home in the past for other notable has-beens and controversial figures including Rafael Palmeiro and Roger Clemens, and this is certain to be framed by some as the starting point for a tale of redemption, but I’m not on board. No one should be commended for facing adversity when that “adversity” is actually consequences.

Catchers are like lefty relievers in that they can pretty much keep getting major league jobs until they decide they don’t want one, so Norris’ new digs give an indication of what a liability he is to have around, even if much of that is organizations just caring about optics. You can be a bad person and still play in the major leagues, and you can be a bad player and still play in the major leagues; but once a bad person becomes a bad player, they just aren’t worth anyone’s hassle. That’s when the only people willing to soil their hands are trying to sell tickets to some dirt circus deep in the heart of Texas.