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Monday, June 18, 2018

OTP 2018 June 18: How Life Imitates the Congressional Baseball Game

“This game is a situation of which, you’re a product of your political success, so if you have a good political year, you have a good recruiting year for this game.” So said former Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., many years ago about the Congressional Baseball Game and the teams each party gets to field.

Washington is host to the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, known among fans as the midsummer classic. But Capitol Hill has staged its own midsummer classic every year for more than five decades, the Congressional Baseball Game.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 18, 2018 at 08:15 AM | 433 comment(s)
  Beats: off topic, politics

Monday, June 04, 2018

OTP 2018 June 4: How Dr. Alan Nathan Became Baseball Fans’ Favorite Physicist

Nathan said he expected to simply read the book and share on what he learned, and that would be that. But thanks to a local reporter who heard his initial talk and interviewed him about it for the Sunday paper, Nathan is still sharing what he’s learning almost two decades later. Not long after that initial talk, Nathan had a sabbatical from the University of Illinois, so he decided to spend it studying the physics of baseball more closely. He almost immediately found a fascinating rabbit hole of study that helped change a long-held perception in baseball.

“Grip on the bat, while the ball and bat are in contact with each other, plays no role whatsoever in the collision itself. And that pretty much goes against what you might call conventional wisdom,” Nathan said.

“Not scientific wisdom, but baseball wisdom,” he adds, elaborating that at the moment when the ball strikes the bat, the hitter’s grip doesn’t matter at all. In fact, he could even let go of the bat altogether—at that point of contact—and it would not change how the ball was hit.

 


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

OT: Soccer Thread (World Cup)

We’ve gotten through Champions League and most of the relegation/promotion stuff so we may as well focus on the World Cup. And what a World Cup, Buffon playing his sixth, Pulisic making his WC debut, quality on-site reporting from Fox and two time Copa America champs Chile just part of what should make for an amazing tournament!  Plus of course the the family-friendly, inclusive atmosphere sure to be fostered by the Russians.

Group A - Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Uruguay
Group B - Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Iran
Group C - France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
Group D - Argentina, Iceland, Croatia, Nigeria
Group E - Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Serbia
Group F - Germany, Mexico, Sweden, South Korea
Group G - Belgium, Panama, Tunisia, England
Group H - Poland, Senegal, Colombia, Japan

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: May 29, 2018 at 09:57 AM | 569 comment(s)
  Beats: off topic, soccer

OTP 2018 May 28: Don’t turn down WH invitation: Former Nats manager on Powerhouse Politics podcast

“Baseball is not about politics, it’s just about going out and enjoying the game,” Johnson says of his experience managing a team in the nation’s capital in comparison with managing teams elsewhere, such as the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Games at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., are often a “who’s who” of the political world, including Supreme Court justices, leading Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and high-profile media figures. Johnson says when they come to the game, they put aside politics.

“You don’t think about politics you just think about baseball,” Johnson says about the unifying nature of professional baseball in the nation’s capital.

 


Monday, May 21, 2018

OTP 2018 May 21: President takes British royalty to a baseball game, May 15, 1991

The 65-year-old queen, dressed in a below-the-knee blue and red dress, black gloves and three strands of pearls, entered the Orioles dugout along the third base line. She formed a receiving line with her husband and the president, clad in a navy blazer, and Barbara Bush. The first lady wore a blue and white floral print dress.

While the VIP guests took their positions designated by their names on 3-by-5 cards, the song “Brown-Eyed Girl” played over the stadium’s public-address system. Their images appeared on the video screen in right-center field.

“I’ve been playing baseball for 10 years, and I’m used to a normal atmosphere,” said Cal Ripken Jr., the Orioles shortstop, after exchanging handshakes. “This is a lot different. There’s a lot of excitement.”


Monday, May 14, 2018

OTP 2018 May 14: Political leadership, fans needed to bring baseball to Portland: Guest opinion

Today I’m not writing to promote the virtues of Major League Baseball or Portland as a baseball city. I’m writing from the perspective of one who worked on the last successful effort to bring a professional sports team to town—the Portland Timbers—and as someone who has worked in state and local politics for nearly 30 years. Few situations are fraught with as much politics as bringing a professional sports team to a community. If you look closely at cities that have experienced these debates, you’ll often find a combustible mix of political, financial and cultural issues that run deep and can linger for years.

 


Sunday, May 06, 2018

OTP 2018 May 7: George F. Will Is the Umpire on Politics and Baseball

I sat down Washington Post columnist and author George F. Will in Austin, Texas, in late March to chat about the current administration and America’s favorite pastime — baseball. We discuss politics in the age of polarization and the future of America.

Baseball is the sport of America’s future, Will argues, as parents stop letting their children play football because of the dangers of lifelong head and body injuries.

 


Monday, April 30, 2018

OTP 2018 Apr 30: Republicans in Congress return to baseball field nearly a year after gunman opened fire

As a light rain trickled down Wednesday, Republican members of Congress returned to a baseball field where a gunman critically wounded teammate Rep. Steve Scalise and shattered their sense of security nearly a year ago.

“Today is an emotional day,’’ said Texas Rep. Joe Barton, manager of the Republican congressional baseball team. “But it’s also a rebirth, a renewal. I’m proud of the team.’‘

On June 14, Republican lawmakers practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats found themselves scrambling to dodge gunfire from a man behind a chain-link fence.

 


Monday, April 16, 2018

OTP 2018 Apr 16: Beto strikes out but is a hit at baseball fundraiser

“I guarantee you he didn’t just get three pitches and three strikes like his old man,” said O’Rourke.

He can afford a laugh, since he has dusted Cruz in fundraising by taking in an eye-popping $6.7 million in the first three months of this year. That’s more than twice the $3.2 million gathered by Cruz, whose tally counted money from multiple campaign entities including a political action committee.

O’Rourke won’t take PAC money, a stand that’s expected to put him at a fundraising disadvantage as the general election nears. He said Saturday that he and his supporters are “doing this 100 percent the right way. There are no political action committees, no corporations.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 16, 2018 at 08:18 AM | 1328 comment(s)
  Beats: off topic, politics, strikeouts, texas

Monday, April 09, 2018

OTP 2018 Apr 9: A Curveball From the New Tax Law: It Makes Baseball Trades Harder

As President Trump congratulated the World Series champion Houston Astros at a White House ceremony last week, he also heaped praise on himself and congressional Republicans for passing a sweeping tax cut last year. He hailed Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the House’s chief tax writer and an Astros superfan, as “the king of those tax cuts.”

What he did not mention is that the new tax law Mr. Brady helped draft, and which Mr. Trump signed, levies a large new tax on the Astros, and similar franchises across professional sports.

 


Monday, March 19, 2018

OTP 2018 March 19: Spending bill could quash Minor League Baseball players’ wage claims

A massive government spending bill that Congress is expected to consider this week could include a provision exempting Minor League Baseball players from federal labor laws, according to three congressional officials familiar with the talks.

The exemption would represent the culmination of more than two years of lobbying by Major League Baseball, which has sought to preempt a spate of lawsuits that have been filed by minor leaguers alleging they have been illegally underpaid.


Monday, March 12, 2018

OTP 12 March 2018: Trevor Bauer thinks Major League Baseball trying to silence him on Twitter

Last February, Bauer made waves on Twitter when he argued over politics with his followers. He tweeted that almost all of the Indians supported Donald Trump and told another user they were “welcome to quit life.”

Bauer has been much calmer as of late and that could be because MLB stepped in. The 27-year-old hasn’t tweeted that much this offseason and when he does it’s been about things like the Olympics and his training.


Monday, March 05, 2018

OTP 3 March 2018: Texas Wesleyan baseball coach fired after rejecting Colorado prospect over politics

A college baseball coach in Texas was fired Thursday partly because of an email he sent to a high school prospect in Colorado. Texas Wesleyan University’s coach told the senior that Colorado players have failed drug tests in the past and the university doesn’t take a chance on students from the state.

At a Thursday morning press conference, University President Fred Slabach announced coach Mike Jeffcoat was fired because of the remarks and for violating National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics rules regarding player eligibility. Slabach said the school had been investigating the rule violations for about a week and reported them to the NAIA on Thursday.

 


Monday, February 12, 2018

OTP 12 February 2018: Jeff Samardzija explains why politics and baseball rarely mix

However, there were several curveballs that forced Giants’ players to think outside the box, including one from a fan who asked a trio that included catcher Buster Posey, reliever Cory Gearrin and starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija whether they think baseball players should have a role in voicing their political opinions like football and basketball players have in recent years.

The question temporarily stumped Gearrin and Posey, so as his teammates waited, Samardzija decided to jump in and share his perspective.

“I don’t think so, not necessarily because we’re here to entertain you guys. Every time we step on the field, it’s important,” Samardzija said, before pausing temporarily while a loud round of applause petered out.


Monday, February 05, 2018

OTP 5 February 2018: Train crash with GOP lawmakers brings back memories of baseball shooting for Jeff Flake

Sen. Jeff Flake rushed to the aid of injured passengers from a garbage truck Wednesday after it collided with an Amtrak train carrying Republican lawmakers to a GOP congressional retreat in West Virginia.

For Flake, R-Ariz., the accident scene near Crozet, Va., brought back memories of last year’s shooting at the GOP congressional baseball team practice in Alexandria, Va., in which House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was seriously wounded.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 05, 2018 at 07:46 AM | 2137 comment(s)
  Beats: off topic, politics

Monday, January 15, 2018

OTP 15 January 2018:Mississippi’s anti-gay marriage law is hurting two college baseball teams

The “stick to sports” mantra took on a life of its own in 2017, as the interweaving of sports and politics was undeniable and, ultimately, angered quite a few sports fans. Still, protests during the national anthem or political tweets by athletes never actually got in the way of the action or stopped games from being played.

But politics have halted a college baseball series between the University of Southern Mississippi and Stony Brook University, a public school in New York. The two schools were scheduled to meet in a three-game series in February, but dueling declarations in each state have now made that series impossible. The kicker? It has absolutely nothing to do with baseball.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 15, 2018 at 03:13 PM | 2103 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball, off topic, politics

Monday, January 08, 2018

OTP 8 January 2018: Lawsuits could change the rules in North Carolina politics, balance of power in Raleigh

Jake Quinn says his main job when he umpires baseball games as a volunteer for North Asheville Little League is to ensure each team is treated fairly.

“Before the first pitch is thrown, the score is 0-0 and the team that scores the most runs during the game wins the game,” he said.

But, he says, “That’s not the way elections work. With gerrymandering, one team starts out in the lead. That’s fundamentally unfair.”

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 08, 2018 at 07:54 AM | 2393 comment(s)
  Beats: little league, off topic, politics, umpire

 

 

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