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Monday, July 25, 2016

OTP 2016 July 25: Card Shark - Bikini trading-card king Brian Wallos expands his empire to politics

Wallos’s Decision 2016 political trading-card set, released in mid-April, is perhaps the most ambitious and comprehensive effort to date for cable-news addicts who also grew up collecting baseball cards. Instead of documenting when a player was drafted in what round, Wallos reminds collectors of the exact moment each candidate dropped out of the race. And rather than commemorating highlights, like Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit, Decision 2016 cards capture seminal moments, like Hillary Clinton facing tough questions at the Benghazi hearings and Pope Francis condemning Donald Trump’s views on immigration. Borrowing another baseball-card gimmick, one out of every 288 packs contains an “authentic cut-signature” card from a presidential candidate, and one of every six packs includes a special “Trump Under Fire” insert card documenting one of the Republican nominee’s many controversial moments.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: July 25, 2016 at 07:24 AM | 2122 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball cards, politics

Monday, July 18, 2016

OTP 2016 July 18: Girls’ softball teams being shut out of city defibrillator policy, while boys’ teams given life-saving devices

Youth softball coaches are furious that their predominantly female leagues have been left out of a city law that gives free defibrillators to youth baseball leagues.

That new law, which Mayor de Blasio signed in May, provides a free automated external defibrillator for baseball leagues who play on city fields in case a kid gets hit with the hard ball in the chest.

“The law should cover all sports,” said Peter DeMauro, a longtime youth sports coach who currently coaches girls’ softball in Brooklyn neighborhoods Bay Ridge and Sunset Park. “It’s only called softball. It’s not a soft ball. It’s the same density as a regular baseball.”

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: July 18, 2016 at 06:59 AM | 1834 comment(s)
  Beats: new york, politics, softball, youth baseball

Monday, July 11, 2016

OTP 2016 July 11: Power player interns with Congressman Raul Ruiz by day

It’s a rite of passage for a United States president to throw out the first pitch in a Major League Baseball game at least once during his tenure. Other than that, though, politics and baseball don’t often mix. That’s what makes the summer schedule of Palm Springs Power relief pitcher Alex Strizak unusual.

By night, Strizak is a relief pitcher for the Palm Springs Power. By day, he is an intern working for U.S. Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Palm Desert).

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: July 11, 2016 at 07:17 AM | 1784 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, politics

Monday, July 04, 2016

OTP 2016 July 4: Bustos withdraws support for baseball bill

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has withdrawn her support for a bill that would have exempted minor league baseball players from the minimum wage standards in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The bill drew nationwide attention, as it was introduced in the midst of a legal fight over whether to pay minor leaguers the minimum wage.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: July 04, 2016 at 04:08 PM | 1904 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leaguers, politics, salaries

Monday, June 27, 2016

OTP 2016 June 27: Republican comeback after eight years? Yeah, on the baseball diamond

Gallego, who joined fellow Democrats during their sit-in of the House, was suited up and ready to play and rolled his eyes when a reporter tried to ask a question about politics.

“I love baseball,” said Gallego. “I’ve been playing since I was about 6 years old.

“It’s tradition of the Democrats playing the Republicans every year and I wanna take part in that this year,” said Gallego, a freshman playing in his first game here. “So I’ve been practicing with the team and hopefully I get to play today.”

Even though the stands were clearly divided between Republican and Democratic supporters, players and fans alike said the partisanship pretty much ended with the team lineups and the seating arrangements.

“You can tell that people are joking and cheering and it’s not very like, you know, mean-spirited even with all of the stuff that’s been going on lately, so it’s nice,” said Hannah Brown, a college student in D.C. for a summer internship. “It’s very American.”

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: June 27, 2016 at 07:30 AM | 2101 comment(s)
  Beats: congress, politics

Monday, June 20, 2016

OTP 2016 June 20: I prefer baseball, America’s pastime over politics, America’s blood sport

Now that basketball is over, baseball season is in full swing.  My college home team LSU just lost a heartbreaker that kept them from going to the college world series.  I’m a die-hard Yankees fan and tune in to a number of their games.  But it’s a presidential election year, so a tough choice of what to watch; a baseball game or political rallies?

Just what is America’s favorite pastime? Is it politics or baseball? Politics has always been a major spectator sport, particularly here in my home state of Louisiana. But don’t sell baseball short. Not only has baseball been around longer than any of America’s professional team sports, the game’s highs and lows have been injected in national politics almost from the sport’s inception.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: June 20, 2016 at 07:59 AM | 2050 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball, ffs, politics

Monday, June 13, 2016

OTP 2016 June 13: Voinovich remembered as a ‘titan of Ohio politics’

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, who was Dayton’s mayor when Voinovich was governor, said that Voinovich’s “support for projects like the baseball stadium, the Schuster Center and RiverScape MetroPark were essential and he intervened to ensure that Dayton was identified as a destination along I-70. His work in the U.S. Senate was incredibly important for sustaining Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. My prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, said Voinovich “impacted every community in our state,” adding it was her “privilege to work with him on a bipartisan basis and always find common ground in the public interest.”

Rep. Pat Tiberi, a Republican from suburban Columbus, said he was “a remarkable leader and public servant,” while Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Upper Arlington, hailed him as “a role model of how to lead in public office.”

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: June 13, 2016 at 07:06 AM | 2135 comment(s)
  Beats: ohio, politics

Monday, June 06, 2016

OTP 2016 June 6: Patrick Murphy aims his youthful political exuberance at U.S. Senate seat

By his senior year, Murphy said he was in conversations to play baseball at the University of Miami and a few other schools. But instead, he opted to take a “post-graduate year” after graduating from Palmer Trinity. Murphy went to the elite Lawrenceville School in New Jersey in 2001-02, where tuition, room and board this year is about $58,000 a year.

“I didn’t know which sport I wanted to play in college,” he said. “So Lawrenceville gave me another opportunity to play sports another year, take my SATs again, get a great educational experience.”

But more injuries — a broken shoulder and a concussion — sidelined his athletic future permanently. Murphy went to the University of Miami on an academic scholarship to pursue business school, so he could be near his family and work through college, he said.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: June 06, 2016 at 07:37 AM | 1998 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

OTP 2016 May 31: Trump campaign eyeing big stadium for acceptance speech

Donald Trump’s campaign is considering booking one of Cleveland’s big sports venues for his acceptance speech in July, two GOP sources familiar with the planning of the upcoming GOP convention say.

The sources said First Energy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, and Progressive Field, home of the city’s Indians baseball team, are the two sites under consideration for Trump’s acceptance speech on the final night of the convention.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: May 31, 2016 at 08:11 AM | 1393 comment(s)
  Beats: cleveland indians, politics

Monday, May 23, 2016

OTP 2016 May 23: Baseball owners hear from Democratic, Republican strategists

Baseball owners heard from Democratic and Republican strategists Wednesday on the opening day of their spring meeting.

Jim Messina, co-chair of Priorities USA Action, spoke to them along with Matt Rhoades, chairman of America Rising. Messina was campaign manager of President Barack Obama’s successful re-election campaign in 2012 and Rhoades was campaign manager four years ago for Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: May 23, 2016 at 07:32 AM | 1628 comment(s)
  Beats: owners, politics

Monday, May 16, 2016

OTP 2016 May 16: College baseball takes hit from Mississippi politics

The state flag is already keeping Mississippi from hosting predetermined NCAA preseason and postseason tournaments, which is why the state didn’t put in a bid to host the SEC baseball tournament, which could have been held at Trustmark Park, in Pearl.

An anti-flag group held a rally last month at the SEC headquarters in Birmingham to ask the league to ban Mississippi from postseason play altogether. Postseason baseball tournaments are currently determined by how well a team performs during the regular season, but the group is calling for the SEC to stop Mississippi schools from hosting, regardless of the team records.

“To me, that’s penalizing student athletes—some of them are from this state and some of them are not from Mississippi—and you are penalizing universities that don’t dictate the flag either, and so that would be a shame,” Ole Miss baseball coach Mike Bianco said.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: May 16, 2016 at 07:18 AM | 1561 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball, politics

Monday, May 09, 2016

OTP 2016 May 9: There’s no politics in baseball

Only one problem. The national tournament May 28 through June 4 is being held for the eighth-straight year in North Carolina. And Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton last month prohibited state employees and state agencies from traveling to North Carolina in protest of that state’s new law prohibiting transgender people from using bathrooms designated for the gender with which they identify.

The governor’s ban didn’t apply to MnSCU (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities) campuses like Mankato, but MnSCU presidents followed the governor’s lead by implementing their own travel ban for their own employees, including baseball coaches and others connected to the teams.

(Views expressed in the article lead 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. )

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: May 09, 2016 at 07:20 AM | 2064 comment(s)
  Beats: college baseball, politics

Monday, May 02, 2016

OTP 2016 May 2: The Anti-Moneyball Election

But these are not the campaigns that people will study, looking back at 2016. The surprises came from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump campaigns, which followed completely different models. They have broader, more emotional appeals to voters, rather than trying to slice the electorate into ever-narrowing segments (which have been the source for a generation of condescending consultant-speak: Bill Clinton’s soccer moms, George W. Bush’s security moms, and so on). They are running humanities campaigns in an era of social science. At least for Trump, it seems to be working.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: May 02, 2016 at 07:18 AM | 2777 comment(s)
  Beats: moneyball, politics

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ted Cruz the latest victim of politicians trying to talk sports | NBC SportsWorld

I don’t care about a politicians’ sports opinions. I care even less about the political views of sportswriters.

And no, this isn’t another OTP thread. Frankly, just like I’m sure you don’t care about mine, I don’t care much about your political views either.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:40 AM | 118 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, April 25, 2016

OTP 2016 April 25: Forget politics, baseball season in full gear

We all have our ways of marking the seasons. I know it’s spring when in early April I start my morning by skipping The Washington Post front page and going right to the sports section. It’s not until I’ve fully savored the baseball box scores that I resignedly turn to politics.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: April 25, 2016 at 08:13 AM | 1946 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, politics, washington nationals

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

OTP: Randy Levine on GOP’s Foul Ball: Rules Deny Voters’ Will, Trump Wins

Working party officials, much like coaches work referees is acceptable. Sen. Cruz is doing exactly this.

But once a state votes and the results are in, the candidate who wins the most votes should be awarded the most delegates. Even more important, voters should be allowed to participate in every manner throughout the process.

A situation like Colorado, where party officials changed the rules to exclude voting is akin to a rainout that was never rescheduled or played. A game in which the umpires, not the players, decide the result.

The reality is that what seems to be going on is that certain party insiders and the party establishment do not like the results they are watching unfold on the field.

They do not like what they see on the scoreboard, and they definitely do not like the standings.

They do not like seeing Donald Trump on top.

However, just as in the world of sports, a level playing field is required in the world of politics.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 19, 2016 at 08:45 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: donald trump, opinion, politics, randy levine, yankees

Monday, April 18, 2016

OTP 2016 April 18: How politics played a major role in the signing of baseball great Jackie Robinson

The Communist newspaper The Daily Worker, which was published in New York City, began campaigning for integration in baseball shortly after Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Sportswriters for The Daily Worker, including sports editor Lester Rodney, compared the racism in Nazi Germany to the racism in the United States.

During the next decade, the newspaper published hundreds of columns and articles calling for the desegregation of baseball. Its sportswriters excoriated the baseball establishment for perpetuating the color ban and pressured major league owners to give tryouts to black ballplayers.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: April 18, 2016 at 07:29 AM | 1976 comment(s)
  Beats: integration, jackie robinson, politics

Monday, April 11, 2016

OTP: ? Ken Burns on Jackie Robinson and the Republican Party’s ‘Pact With the Devil’

Airs tonight on PBS.

 Robinson, sure enough, was present at the 1960 Democratic Convention as well as 1964 Republican Convention, and what he saw left him distraught. Jackie was a lifelong Republican because the Democratic Party’s Dixiecrat wing ran his family out of Georgia. In 1960, angered that Richard Nixon ignored his requests to help a jailed Martin Luther King, he considered endorsing John Kennedy and attended the Democratic National Convention. He also had friends telling him that this senator from Massachusetts was serious about civil rights. Yet Kennedy was still trying to hold that Dixiecrat coalition together and sat segregationist Governor of Arkansas Orval Faubus on stage. Robinson walked out in disgust.

In 1964, Robinson endorsed New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and attended the Republican National Convention as a “Rockefeller Republican” delegate, only to witness the ascension of Barry Goldwater as his party made its play for Southern whites enraged at Lyndon Johnson’s support for the Civil Rights Act. He saw, in Burns’s words to me, the moment when “the Republican Party made a pact with the devil for which they are still paying, from Ronald Reagan beginning his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, saying ‘I’m for states’ rights,’ through Willie Horton, through, now, Donald Trump taking a couple days to—wink, wink—disavow David Duke and white supremacy in the Ku Klux Klan.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 11, 2016 at 05:28 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: democrat party, jackie robinson, politics, republican party

OTP - 2016 April 11: Talking Baseball, and Politics, With Joe Buck

In the seventh episode of the Culture Caucus podcast, we look at baseball in the year 2016, how it remains central to the American experience, how presidents will throw out first pitches until the end of time, and how the game has changed along with the country itself over the decades. We also discuss how baseball’s current cultural conflict—older, white, often-Southern players grousing about the new generation of young, brash, often Latino stars—bears more than a passing resemblance to the forces behind the Donald Trump campaign.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: April 11, 2016 at 07:15 AM | 2213 comment(s)
  Beats: joe buck, politics

Monday, April 04, 2016

OTP - 2016 April 4: Breaking the unwritten rules, of baseball and politics

This week marks the start of another baseball season and, undoubtedly, the continuation of the ongoing beanball season that the Republican presidential campaign has degenerated into.

Over the years, both of these American pastimes—baseball and presidential campaigns—have been governed by quaint, but powerful “unwritten rules.” They both now find themselves under great strain. There are written regulations, too, certainly, inscribed in the form of election laws, or an actual baseball rule book. But it’s the unwritten ones that reveal the essential character of these institutions—the moral codes and social expectations by which we play our games, and choose our leaders.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: April 04, 2016 at 07:18 AM | 2147 comment(s)
  Beats: opening day, politics

Monday, March 28, 2016

OTP - 2016 March 28: Obama Shrugs Off Criticism After Baseball Game, Tango Dance

Obama shrugged off the criticism. He said allowing terrorists to disrupt attempts to build U.S. relationships in the world—a counterpoint to the extremists—plays into their hands.

“It is very important for us to not respond with fear,” he said at a news conference Wednesday with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri. “A lot of it is also going to be to say you do not have power over us. We are strong. Our values are right.”

Diplomacy and strategic interests aside, Obama tapped into his own memories of growing up amid the Cold War and of reading of the region’s literary giants.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: March 28, 2016 at 07:18 AM | 2314 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, March 21, 2016

OTP - 2016 March 21: Baseball politics nearly as ugly and unbearable as the real thing

The rhetoric has escalated, it’s getting ugly, and folks are being downright mean.

You’ll soon be asked, perhaps forced, to pick a side. It’s you vs. them. Old vs. new. Progressive vs. conservative.

No, it’s not the 2016 presidential election. It’s the 2016 baseball season. But it’s getting hard to tell the difference.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: March 21, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 2136 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, March 14, 2016

OTP - 2016 March 14: No political baseball for Mets as team told to steer clear of talk about presidential race

Former Yankees outfielders Paul O’Neill and Johnny Damon endorsed Trump earlier this week. O’Neill attended a Trump rally on Tuesday in Florida, while Damon told the Daily News he supports his former “Celebrity Apprentice” boss’ vow to a build a wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico and his immigration policies.


Monday, March 07, 2016

OTP - 2016 March 7: Obama will take in a baseball game during his visit to Cuba

President Obama’s historic trip to Cuba later this month will include some baseball diplomacy, the White House said Tuesday.

The president will attend a March 22 exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team during his brief trip to the island nation. The restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba and the reopening of the U.S. Embassy after more than 50 years has been touted by the White House as a key part of Obama’s foreign-policy legacy.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: March 07, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 2416 comment(s)
  Beats: cuba, politics

Monday, February 29, 2016

OTP - 2016 February 29: Politics, baseball, booze and a good book

THE TRUMP THING: Three perspectives on Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy and his threat to the Republican establishment:

1:50: Analysis from Herb Smith, professor of political science at McDaniel College, and Melissa Deckman, chair of political science at Washington College and author of “Tea Party Women: Mama Grizzlies, Grassroots Leaders and the Changing Face of the American Right.”

22:27: A Maryland Democrat’s perspective from Rushern L. Baker III, county executive of Prince George’s County.

26:44: Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik on Trump’s shrewd and savvy use of social media.

37:43: BASEBALL: Sun columnist Peter Schmuck reflects on “losing Dexter Fowler,” and a very weird and embarrassing day for the Orioles.

45:01: BOOK: Paula Gallagher recommends, “Movie Freak,” a memoir by film critic Owen Gleiberman.

48:57: FOOD: Our foodies Henry Hong and chef John Shields talk about movies that make us hungry.

1:02:43: BOOZE: Baltimore bartender Brendan Dorr treats us to some cocktail talk and a recipe to try at home this weekend.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: February 29, 2016 at 07:45 AM | 2960 comment(s)
  Beats: centauromachy, politics

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