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Monday, October 23, 2017

OTP 23 October 2017: Dave Zirin discusses how race, politics, culture impact sports

“There was a mammoth gap between what I thought about sports history and what actually was sports history,” Zirin said.

Zirin used examples of figureheads of the civil rights movement to demonstrate how there has always been a connection between sports and politics. He spoke about athletes like Jackie Robinson who, in addition to becoming the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball, was an important figure in the civil rights movement alongside Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and others.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 23, 2017 at 08:36 AM | 192 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, October 16, 2017

OTP 16 October 2017: Sorry, Yankee fans: Trump’s claim that he can ensure victory simply isn’t true

As is sometimes the case with Trump’s tweet’s, his claims don’t hold up. We identified 14 games that Trump has attended since 1988, including two preseason games and the game above. Of those 14 games, the Yankees won eight and lost six — 57 percent of the time during seasons when the Yankees won 60 percent of their games overall.

In other words — Trump might be a jinx.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 1967 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, politics, yankees

Monday, October 09, 2017

OTP 9 October 2017: Trump Tells Pence to Leave N.F.L. Game as Players Kneel During Anthem

Mr. Pence lavishly documented his early departure in a series of tweets and an official statement issued by his office. On Twitter, he declared, “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

While the vice president portrayed his decision as a gesture of patriotic principle, it had the distinct appearance of a well-planned, if costly, political stunt. He doubled back from a trip to the West Coast to take a seat in the stands in Indianapolis, where the 49ers — the team most associated with the N.F.L. protest movement against racial injustice — were suiting up to play the Colts.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 09, 2017 at 07:53 AM | 2170 comment(s)
  Beats: nfl, politics

Monday, October 02, 2017

OTP 2 October 2017: Oakland Catcher Bruce Maxwell Breaks Baseball’s Politics Line

It’s worth asking why baseball has been behind other sports. Some of the surprise over MLB players’ reticence to protest is rooted in a misreading of baseball history. Because of icons like Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente (and, less so, another social-justice icon, Curt Flood), the sport has always had a superficial patina of progressiveness. But baseball has always been a conservative sport.

Jackie Robinson was a giant, and his tenacity in breaking another of baseball’s “color line” is the stuff of cinematic legend. But he was hardly swimming in solidarity. New York Post writer Jimmy Cannon observed Robinson in the dugout and called him “the loneliest man I’ve ever seen in sports.” Roberto Clemente and Curt Flood, in much more politically charged times, also stood apart. When Carlos Delgado engaged in his own anthem protests during the Iraq War, the Mets would sign him only if he promised to stop. And he did.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 02, 2017 at 07:46 AM | 1440 comment(s)
  Beats: oakland a's, politics

Monday, September 25, 2017

OTP 25 September 2017: CC Sabathia won’t visit the White House if the Yankees win the World Series

Ballplayers, however, will likely continue to speak up. The latest: Yankees starter CC Sabathia, who was asked yesterday whether he would visit the White House if the playoff-bound Yankees won the World Series. From the Daily News:

“Never. I just don’t believe in anything that is Trump. So there wouldn’t be any reason for me to go at all. I just think it’s stupid. I just think it’s dumb that he’s addressing players and stuff that he shouldn’t be. But it is what it is, and that’s the country we live in these days . . . I’m proud of the way that everybody has Steph’s back and just athletes in general these days, the way everybody has been stepping up has been great.”

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 25, 2017 at 07:41 AM | 1989 comment(s)
  Beats: cc sabathia, politics, yankees

Monday, September 18, 2017

OTP 18 September 2017: Ex-Baseball Star Darryl Strawberry Criticizes Jemele Hill, Praises POTUS: Trump is ‘A Great Man’

“I think no one should call anyone anything. President Trump, he’s a great man to me. He was always gracious to me. I really love him, his family, I was on his show and he’s always been kind to me… I’ve known him quite well and every time I’ve seen him and been around him he’s always been so gracious with me and I’m always grateful for that.”

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 18, 2017 at 07:53 AM | 1552 comment(s)
  Beats: daryl strawberry, politics

Monday, September 11, 2017

OTP 11 September 2017: Hurricane Irma wreaking havoc on minor league baseball playoffs

There are 18 minor league affiliations that play playoffs every season, and those playoffs all have different formats – some with one wild card, some with split first-half/second-half winners, some with a required 8-10 team playoff grouping. This season, the issues caused by Hurricane Irma will lead to 3 of those 18 championships being cancelled and turned into co-champions.


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

OTP 5 September 2017: For storm-ravaged Houston, a presidential visit and baseball’s return

The city of Houston on Saturday witnessed two milestones on its road to recovery from Hurricane Harvey: a visit from the president of the United States and the return of baseball a week after deadly floodwaters engulfed the metropolis.

President Donald Trump, in a widely watched test of his handling of the disaster, distributed food and played with children at a center for evacuees in his first trip to Houston since it was slammed by one of the most destructive storms to hit the United States.

A few miles away, Major League Baseball returned to downtown Houston for the first time since Harvey came ashore last Friday as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in 50 years, bringing a welcome distraction to the fourth-most populous city, facing years of rebuilding.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 05, 2017 at 07:43 AM | 1430 comment(s)
  Beats: houston astros, politics

Monday, August 28, 2017

OTP 28 August 2017: Minor league baseball team’s ‘Alternative Facts Night’ promises ‘bigly home runs’

For those who do show up on Friday, they’ll be in for an interesting experience. The first 1,000 attendees will get a 2016 Eastern League championship ring to celebrate what one can only assume was the alternative championship considering the SeaWolves won it with a purported 142-0 record. (In the actual Eastern League last season, the SeaWolves finished with a losing record of 69-72 and made it nowhere near the actual championship game.)

The team also plans to involve the other side of the political aisle in its Friday night promotion. The team’s printed out hundreds of “confidential Hillary [Clinton] emails” that it plans to break out at UPMC Park.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

OTP 22 August 2017: The myth of baseball’s depoliticalization

The cornerstone of a democratic republic is civic engagement in service of civic virtue, to be aware of fellow citizens’ struggles and to doggedly fight injustice and oppression. In today’s America, much of this engagement is missing, and it is viewed less as a responsibility held by every citizen than the task of few professional groups. But when it comes to Nazism, it should be the duty of every person, doubly so for white people, to vociferously denounce the individuals and the ideals themselves, to stamp them down in every area of society. The silence of white MLB players is thus telling of the way baseball players in the past have interacted with politics and its relationship to the larger degradation of American democracy.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 22, 2017 at 07:43 AM | 1771 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, August 14, 2017

OTP 14 August 2014: The American Pastimes of Rock ’n’ Roll, Baseball and Poetry

Maybe poetry and politics don’t mix. “I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of American liberty lighting the world,” said Stephen Miller, a White House senior adviser, when he was challenged, recently, about the Trump administration’s proposal to restrict immigration. “The poem that you’re referring to was added later. It’s not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

The poem, “The New Colossus,” was written by Emma Lazarus, who is being celebrated at the 92nd Street Y with works by 19 young poets inspired by her words. While the text wasn’t finally affixed to the base of the statue until 1903, the poem was commissioned in 1883 — three years before the statue opened — to raise money for the pedestal. Speaking of poems, more than 700 commercial, university and independent presses have contributed 3,000 items to the 2017 Poets House Showcase through Aug. 26 at Poets House in Battery Park City.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 14, 2017 at 07:18 AM | 3273 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, August 07, 2017

OTP 7 August 2017: Women’s Rights, Baseball And Politics: 12 Talks Not To Miss At Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival

“Tweets, Leaks, and Turmoil: Covering the Trump White House”

This sold-out opening panel (the only event that requires paid tickets) features the subject that has embroiled the nation and every corner of social media: the White House.

Ashley Parker (Washington Post) and Glenn Thrush (New York Times), highly regarded White House correspondents from dueling papers, will discuss covering the administration in a period of uncontrolled leaks, Twitter feuds and shake-ups. Specific details will likely be determined by whatever President Trump tweets that day.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 07, 2017 at 07:39 AM | 2147 comment(s)
  Beats: books, politics

Monday, July 31, 2017

OTP 31 July 2017: Here’s What Christie Said to Heckler

No, not Margaret Heckler.

Brad Joseph told a Milwaukee TV station he was at the game rooting for the visiting Chicago Cubs when a nachos-toting Christie “got in my face” after he heckled the governor.

“I called him a hypocrite,“Joseph said. “I thought it needed to be said. He then turned around and got in my face for what seemed like a long time but was probably only 30 seconds or a minute.”

Joseph said Christie initially said, “‘Why don’t you have another beer?’ which I thought was a decent comeback, and I thought that was kind of funny. Then he started calling me a tough guy.”

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

BDC Posted: July 31, 2017 at 10:13 AM | 2052 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs, nachos, new jersey, politics

Monday, July 17, 2017

OTP 17 July 2017: Love is baseball, family. Keep the politics out

This is baseball, and it’s our cocoon, our special time together, protected from the harder realities of life. Here, the sun is always shining, even if it rains.

If you don’t understand that, you’ve probably never lifted a child up over your head to watch adults scramble after a ball or circle the bases after crushing a home run. Or maybe you’ve never slid head first into a mud puddle without a care of how you would get past your mom and into the laundry room. Maybe you’ve never sat for hours on a rickety old bus with ice on your ankle, sprained from sliding into home, but smiling because you were safe.

Maybe you should have; if not, maybe you should try now. You are never not welcome to go sit in the bleachers and cheer on the players at a youth game, even if you cheer for both sides. Leagues always need volunteers. I coached for 35 years after playing, so I know.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 17, 2017 at 08:54 AM | 3063 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball, ffs, politics

Monday, July 10, 2017

OTP 10 July 2017: Jim Bunning’s Brethren: Baseball Men Who Went Into Politics

But if Bartolo is anything like Jim Bunning, he could go into politics, following the example of the tall right-hander who passed away on May 26 after 224 wins, 3,760.1 innings, and 23 years in the House and Senate as a representative and later senator from Kentucky.

John Tures, a political scientist at LaGrange College, compiled a list of players who went into politics. As with baseball itself, many have tried, but few succeeded, and certainly none so spectacularly as Bunning, whom the Veterans Committee inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996. (That happened while he was a member of the House of Representatives. Two years later, he ran for the Senate and won. His newfound Hall of Fame status surely cannot have hurt his chances.)


Wednesday, July 05, 2017

OTP 4 July 2017: On July 4, Palm Springs celebrates with family, fireworks, baseball

Thousands gathered in Palm Springs to celebrate the Fourth of July on Tuesday with distinctly all-American traditions: family fun, fireworks and a baseball game.

As temperatures climbed above 110 on Tuesday afternoon, valley residents gathered to await a Palm Springs Power baseball game and fireworks show. They bought water, beer and snow cones as the opening pitch approached.

“It’s very American,” said Rafael Candelario, a Marine stationed at Twentynine Palms who drove to Palm Springs for the day. “We’re big baseball fans. Every year for the last four or five years, it’s (been) a great tradition to have.”

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: July 05, 2017 at 07:54 AM | 723 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball, ffs, fireworks, politics

Monday, June 26, 2017

OTP 26 June 2017: Confederations Cup shows how sports media in Russia differs from politics

And a lot of those perceptions are based on truth. Though a lively and influential group of independent outlets still provide critical news coverage in Russia, their staffers are under continual pressure, and are menaced regularly with legal and financial threats (and on occasion even physical harm) over unfavorable stories, which often obligates them to commit self-censorship. According to the watchdog group Freedom House, Russia’s news press is classified as “not free,” television often “functions as a propaganda tool for the government” and the media is “also expected to conform to official narratives.”

Yet much of the sports media here seems to exist on a different plane. State-run television outlets in particular are as slanted as ever, but while some might imagine a situation similar to North Korea’s—where sports news famously included reports on leader Kim Jong-Il’s fantastic golf round in which he (allegedly) shot 38-under par for 18 holes and recorded five holes-in-one—the reality is that many of the sports outlets in Russia are critical, if outright acerbic, in their coverage.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 26, 2017 at 07:46 AM | 1465 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, soccer

Monday, June 19, 2017

OTP 19 June 2017: Bipartisan baseball: Dems best GOP, give trophy to wounded Scalise

The game at Nationals Park carried on a century-old bipartisan ritual, this one tinged with worry about Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise and their determination to answer the attack by coming together in sport. Democrats won in an 11-2 blowout.

In a final flourish of bipartisan camaraderie for the night, Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, his team’s manager, accepted the trophy, then gave it to his GOP counterpart, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, to put in Scalise’s office on behalf of the Democrats. After accepting it gracefully, Barton cracked, “Next year we won’t be so nice.”


(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: June 19, 2017 at 07:20 AM | 1275 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball, ffs, congress, politics

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Rovell: Senators aim to stop use of municipal funds to finance stadiums

Cory Booker, D-N.J., and James Lankford, R-Okla., are sponsoring a bill that would prohibit teams from using municipal bonds, whose interest is exempt from federal taxes, to help finance stadium construction.

. . .

The largest federal subsidies, according to the report, include the New York Yankees ($431 million), the Chicago Bears ($205 million), the New York Mets ($185 million), the Cincinnati Bengals ($164 million) and the Indianapolis Colts ($163 million).

 


Monday, June 12, 2017

OTP 12 June 2017: McCain Stays Up Late to Watch Baseball

The obvious baseball/politics tie-in of the week:

Arizona Sen. John McCain is blaming his convoluted line of questioning at Thursday’s James Comey testimony on his decision to stay up late the night before to watch a baseball game.

Many on Twitter were left scratching their heads after the 80-year-old Republican senator grilled Comey during the hearing about why the FBI closed its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, while continuing its probe of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

McCain responded by releasing a statement that read: “I get the sense from Twitter that my line of questioning today went over people’s heads. Maybe going forward I shouldn’t stay up late watching the Diamondbacks night games.

I just see this as McCain setting good priorities.  Prepare to investigate threats to our democratic way of life, or watch baseball?  Seems like one of the easier choices a politician could face.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

 

BDC Posted: June 12, 2017 at 06:08 AM | 1635 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, politics, why are nl west games on so late

Sunday, June 04, 2017

OTP 5 June 2017: Venezuelan big leaguers strike back

Back to baseball this week, as patriotic players highlight resistance to a disastrous President. 

Since March, massive anti-government rallies have erupted in Caracas and other big cities, with demonstrators protesting the country’s runaway inflation, deadly shortages of food and medicine, and the politician they blame for pushing Venezuela into crisis: current president Nicolas Maduro.

At least 60 protestors have died in clashes with government forces. As the conflict deepens, a series of Venezuelan sports stars have spoken out in support of the demonstrators, hoping their profile can help publicize the country’s entrenched problems and jump-start solutions.

“We are listening. Here we are supporting (demonstrators),” said Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera in a recorded interview with ESPN. “All they’re doing is not in vain. We’re fighting for a better Venezuela.”

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

 

BDC Posted: June 04, 2017 at 09:59 PM | 2151 comment(s)
  Beats: endy chavez, miguel cabrera, pablo sandoval, politics, venezuela

Monday, May 29, 2017

OTP 29 May 2017: Should we double check with Rod Laver?

Political controversy in sport is global, as witness this episode from Down Under:

Margaret Court said last week she would not travel on Qantas because the boss of the airline, Alan Joyce, supported same-sex marriage.

A volley of controversy followed. It was even suggested that the Melbourne Park court named after the winner of 24 grand slam titles be renamed. It is amazing how stupid some of our community can be.

Should we double check with Rod Laver on his thoughts? What if he doesn’t agree on same-sex marriage either? We’re going to need a bigger spanner.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

 

BDC Posted: May 29, 2017 at 08:27 AM | 1834 comment(s)
  Beats: australia, politics, tennis

Sunday, May 21, 2017

OTP 22 May 2017: George W. Bush photobombs a sports reporter

Former president George W. Bush attended a Texas Rangers baseball game Wednesday evening, and happened to be heading to his seat with drink in hand right when sideline reporter Emily Jones was live on TV.

So Bush did what any normal person would do — seize the opportunity to be on TV and make a funny face.

Mark my words, the Donald will be doing this a couple of decades from now, and we’ll all be nostalgic for the innocent, rosy days of 2017.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

 

BDC Posted: May 21, 2017 at 08:10 PM | 1731 comment(s)
  Beats: journalism, politics, rangers, television

Monday, May 15, 2017

OTP 15 May 2017: A sport dominated by politics

And that would be … cricket – what were you expecting?

Tanya Alfred draws our attention to the world-threatening problem of climate change — which more than 97 per cent of climate scientists agree on’ — and bemoans the lack of a strategy from the English Cricket Board (ECB) for how cricket is organised today and its lack of preparation for the future.
In 2016, for instance, the Indian Premier League was forced to relocate matches from Maharashtra because of a water shortage. Bangladesh is threatened by extreme river floods, rising sea levels and high temperatures.
Zimbabwe has uncertain precipitation patterns, as does the southern part of Australia, while England is predicted to get more rainfall.

Does MLB have a climate-change contingency plan? I am sure Rob Manfred would consider it.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

 

BDC Posted: May 15, 2017 at 08:43 AM | 2684 comment(s)
  Beats: cricket, politics

Monday, May 08, 2017

OTP 8 May 2017: FIBA to allow Muslim athletes to compete while wearing hijab

Nothing to do with baseball this week, but an important development at the intersection of sport, religion, gender, and politics:

Muslim women now will be able to compete in basketball while wearing hijab, thanks to a rule change by the international governing body for the sport.

The ruling, which takes effect Oct. 1, is the culmination of a study by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) that began in September 2014 and follows a trend in which more governing bodies are allowing athletes to balance their religious beliefs with their athletic pursuits. FIFA, the world’s soccer governing body, has allowed players to wear hijab since early 2014.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

 

BDC Posted: May 08, 2017 at 07:30 AM | 1817 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, muslims, politics, women in sports

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