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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 | 900 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, April 02, 2018

OTP 2018 Apr 2: This Opening Day, keep baseball pure—and keep the politics out of it

In a year when American culture seems to be dissolving before our very eyes in the shadow of a political discourse that often seems as turbid as it is abhorrent, there’s always baseball.

I grew up the daughter of a man who loved baseball; over the years my Mom learned to enjoy it just as much. My dad played it, listened to it, watched it, collected cards of players he admired. I can’t even pinpoint my first baseball experience, such is the way the entirety of the game enveloped around and melded into my childhood memories.

 


Monday, March 26, 2018

OTP 2018 March 26: He struck out at baseball, but made it big in politics. Now he’s returned to his first love

In 1937, a group of standouts from the Negro baseball league, as it was known, was lured to the Dominican Republic for a barnstorming tournament against the country’s home-grown talent. Soon enough, the sun-and-fun adventure became a life-and-death proposition; the competition, it turned out, was for the benefit of the homicidal dictator Rafael Trujillo. The instruction given the visiting all-stars was simple: “You better win.”


While baseball is at the heart of the book, “The Pitcher and the Dictator” — the pitcher being the legendary Satchel Paige — the story is about much more, including gunboat diplomacy, the blood-drenched history of the Dominican Republic and, not least, the prevalence of racism and repression in mid-20th century America.


“One of the great ironies,” Smith said in an interview, is the visiting black players were “coming from the land of the free, home of the brave, and they’re going into one of the most repressive dictatorships in the world. Yet in some sense they have more freedom in that repressive dictatorship than they do in the United States.”


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 26, 2018

OTP 26 February 2018: Hope springs eternal in baseball and politics

This is a special time for baseball fans. Major league baseball is ready to begin another season, with spring training officially opening this week. With some exceptions, fans in most cities can at least dream of watching their team play in the postseason and maybe even compete for the World Series championship. For them, hope springs eternal.

Ditto for the Democratic Party. 2018 appears to be a “wave year,” with an opportunity to win control of the House of Representatives, maybe even the Senate, and then use those majorities to place a major constitutional check on a president almost all Democrats loathe. Once that victory is secured, Democrats dream of finding the perfect candidate to win back the presidency in 2020. Just who that might be is not clear yet, but Democrats are hopeful that it is only a matter of time before the next Messiah arrives to lead them to the promised land. Unfortunately, hope is not a strategy in baseball or politics.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 26, 2018 at 07:48 AM | 1688 comment(s)
  Beats: off-topic, politics, spring training

Monday, February 19, 2018

OTP 19 February 2018: Does Buster Posey Have a Post-playing Career in Politics?

Buster Posey is one of the most accomplished catchers in baseball history. At 30 years old, he already has a Hall of Fame resume.

In eight full seasons with the Giants, Posey has won National League Rookie of the Year, NL MVP, four Silver Slugger awards, a Gold Glove, and is a five-time All-Star. While he still has plenty of years left, Posey has naturally thought a bit about what he would like to do once his playing days are done.

But, politics? Well, kind of.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 19, 2018 at 08:04 AM | 2205 comment(s)
  Beats: buster posey, giants, off-topic, politics

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 22, 2018

OTP 22 January 2018: What the Baseball Hall of Fame can teach us about elections

Would ballot-box behavior change if people knew more precisely how their fellow citizens planned to vote?

It’s a question that still haunts Democrats as they continue staring daggers at their friends who went third party in November 2016. But it’s also an experiment being carried out in real time by the Baseball Writers Association of America as members prepare to elect at least three and as many as five retired greats to the Hall of Fame later this

The association’s complicated voting rules work like this: Eligible players need 75 percent of the vote to win election. Those receiving less than 5 percent get kicked off the ballot; those between rejection and enshrinement can stay on the ballot for up to 10 years. And voters can support up to 10 candidates.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:44 AM | 4563 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, 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

Monday, January 01, 2018

OTP 1 January 2018 - Athlete boycotts of White House didn’t start with Donald Trump — but he sure helped

Amateur teams began going to the White House as far back as the mid-1860s, while the first championship winning pro baseball team attended in 1925. That was the Washington Senators, winners of the previous year’s World Series. They were hosted by then-president Calvin Coolidge.

Teams that later followed include the Super Bowl-winning Pittsburgh Steelers. The squad was on hand for the same ceremony in 1980 with then-president Jimmy Carter as baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates. In June 1991, the Penguins were the first NHL team to visit after capturing a title, meeting George H.W. Bush.

Bird’s decision to skip the visit in 1984 — usually consisting of handshakes and photo ops — is said to be the first snub of significance, even though he didn’t give political reasons.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: January 01, 2018 at 03:22 PM | 1771 comment(s)
  Beats: champions, politics

Monday, December 18, 2017

OTP 18 December 2018 - Lawlor / Fairfield Year in Review: Politics, baseball, football, hockey

However, we had some extremely bright spots this year. The Fairfield American Little League team went to Williamsport in the Little League World Series. This group of poised young men represented us well. They finished even better than the other recent Fairfield American teams who have been going to Williamsport on a regular basis. They finished third in the nation. The coaches and players said they had grown into a close-knit family.

This fall, the Fairfield Giant Football 10u team literally picked up the ball where baseball left off. When it was all over, they stood atop the mountain as the national champions. When practice began Aug. 1, their coaches started from the ground floor, as many players had never played organized football. In addition to the football skills, their coach, Mark Cirilli, stressed teammate skills. “The whole season was dedicated to learning about how to be a great teammate. Our chant was ‘One heart, one mind, one team.’ ” That chant and the teamwork that it inspired took them through an undefeated season and the Pop Warner National Championship.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 18, 2017 at 07:48 AM | 2518 comment(s)
  Beats: football, little league, off-topic, politics

Monday, December 11, 2017

OTP 11 December, 2017 - GOP strategist: Moore would have ‘date with a baseball bat’ if he tried dating teens where I grew up

“I grew up in Mississippi. Every father I knew, if he saw a guy like Roy Moore in his 30s trying to date his 16-year-old daughter, he would have had a date with a baseball bat,” Stevens, a former aide to Mitt Romney’s campaign, said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

Stevens, who worked on former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley’s (R) primary campaign against Moore in 2006, said Moore has violated the “decency standard” of civil society in his previous alleged pursuit of teenage girls.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 11, 2017 at 08:53 AM | 2653 comment(s)
  Beats: bats, bats are afraid, politics

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

OTP 04 December 2017: Baseball group accused of ‘united front’ tactics

New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said that the baseball association should bear the brunt of the blame for letting Taiwanese players become political tools in China’s “united front” strategy and for giving Chinese media an opportunity to promote the “both sides of the Strait are one family” view without restraint.

China is not a top-tier nation in baseball and positive effects on Taiwanese baseball from the tournament would be limited, Hsu said.

The Chinese Taipei Baseball Association should not go along with China, he said, adding that the Sports Administration should investigate whether the association accepted financial aid and whether it reported issues to the government in advance.

“The government should clearly standardize the guidelines for cross-strait sports exchanges,” Hsu added.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: December 05, 2017 at 08:57 AM | 1746 comment(s)
  Beats: china, politics, taiwan

Monday, November 27, 2017

OTP 27 Nov 2017: Will Supreme Court open a ‘dam burst’ of legalized sports betting?

But only one thing can prompt him to stop what he’s doing and look up: a loud cheer from the throng of bettors gathered at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, which houses the largest sports betting operation in the world.

“Usually,” he says, “cheering is not good for us.”

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 27, 2017 at 08:25 AM | 2792 comment(s)
  Beats: betting on baseball, politics

Monday, November 20, 2017

OTP 20 November 2017: Sheriff’s official suspended 10 days over Cubs World Series sneak-in

A high-ranking official in Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office had to pay a price for allowing others to avoid having to pay the price of admission last year to a Cubs World Series game at Wrigley Field, newly obtained records show.

Mike Anton, a deputy chief with the sheriff’s police who makes about $120,000 a year, was suspended for 10 days for giving security IDs to two people so they could get in to a 2016 Cubs World Series game, the records show.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 20, 2017 at 08:01 AM | 1172 comment(s)
  Beats: off-topic, politics, world series

Monday, November 13, 2017

OTP 13 November 2017: Politics, race now touching every sport

Like legions of Giants fans who hate the Los Angeles Dodgers, Le rooted for the Houston Astros to beat them in the World Series. But he changed his mind, swallowed hard and began cheering for the Dodgers after Yuri Gurriel, a Cuban-born Astro, hit a home run against Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish then was caught on camera pulling the corners of his eyes with his fingers in a racist gesture.

“I couldn’t really be OK with them winning any longer,” Le said of the Astros.

With Gurriel’s gesture, yet another major sporting event in the United States came to be viewed through a prism of race, politics or both.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 13, 2017 at 08:05 AM | 2202 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dodgers, politics, world series

Monday, November 06, 2017

OTP 6 November 2017: Remembering Baseball’s Right-Wing Rotation

“Capitalist nations will crumble and die from the inside — not the outside,” one of the pitchers said.

“Communism is not the end in itself,” another pitcher said. “It’s only a way to socialize the entire world, so special-interest groups will be the master. And we? We will be the slaves. If, that is, we even live.”

A third pitcher nodded at these ideas and said: “Before, I was just one of those people ignorant of what really goes on.”

The pitchers were Eric Show, Mark Thurmond, and Dave Dravecky of the San Diego Padres. As Los Angeles Times reporter Mike Granberry later noted, they comprised three-fifths of the Padres’ starting rotation.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: November 06, 2017 at 08:05 AM | 1984 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, san diego padres

Monday, October 30, 2017

OTP 30 October 2017: Yuli Gurriel’s offensive gesture unleashes World Series debate about racism and political correctness

The episode, caught on video and repeated endlessly on television and social media, opened up a new heated conversation about race and identity in professional sports, which has already been grappling with NFL players taking knees during the national anthem.

Many found Gurriel’s antics as juvenile and insulting as they were sadly familiar.

“It just felt like, ‘Man, again?’ Like, we’re so used to this,” Jason Chu, a Chinese American rapper based in Los Angeles. “People don’t even pause. They think that this is acceptable, socially, to target Asian Americans in this way, or Asians in general.”

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 30, 2017 at 07:48 AM | 1917 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dodgers, politics, world series

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 | 2102 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

 

 

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