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Monday, November 30, 2015
President Barack Obama recognized 17 Americans with the nation’s highest civilian award on Tuesday, including the first African-American woman elected to Congress, one of the greatest catchers in baseball history and a “Funny Girl”.
“We celebrate artists, public servants and two legends from America’s pastime”, Obama said, the latter comment referring to Berra and fellow baseball Hall of Fame member Willie Mays.
Monday, November 23, 2015
As a political science major in college, I had thoughts of getting into writing about politics. Baseball, however, grabbed hold of me and never let go. How was I to know that at this late date I would find a reason to combine the two interests?
Monday, November 16, 2015
In 1951, Warren Spahn was on the way to becoming the winningest left-handed baseball pitcher. Will painted the scenario of a game when he was pitching for the Boston Braves against the New York Giants.
The Giants sent up to the plate a rookie who had yet to record his first big league hit. The rookie was Willie Mays.
“Spahn stood from the mound, 60 feet and six inches from home plate, and fired a bullet in. Mays crushed it,” Will said. “After the game, sports writers asked Spahn what happened. He said, ‘gentlemen, for the first 60 feet, that was a hell of a pitch.’ If it’s not good enough in baseball, it’s not good enough in government either.”
Monday, November 09, 2015
Dinners at Capital Grille, a van rental for a Little League team, a catered Fourth of July celebration and a pony rental are just some of the expenses that showed up in state lawmakers’ most recent campaign fundraising and spending reports.
Monday, November 02, 2015
Her gibe, though, raises a question: What are these things on which the dysfunctional Congress supposedly agrees?
Their wager is just one of several that have been made between various elected officials from the two regions, in keeping with a familiar World Series tradition as cheesy as whatever is failing to be sneaked past hungry vermin.
For example, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri have also agreed to wear the winning team’s jersey for a full day if their team loses. Presumably this allows for other articles of clothing to be worn as well.
Monday, October 26, 2015
Throughout the long and glorious history of America’s national pastime, an undeniable relationship seems to have formed between baseball and American political culture. From the president throwing the first pitch on opening day to presidential mascots competing in races at Washington National’s games, the political and sporting traditions of our nation seem to come together in baseball.
The very origins of the sport are integrally connected to American politics. Although variations of baseball were played as early as the 1820s, the sport spread nationally when Union soldiers brought their version of the game across the country during the Civil War.
Given this unique, if not peculiar relationship, it is perhaps not surprising that this year’s crop of playoff teams are strangely similar to many of the 2016 presidential candidates. Indeed, many of the storylines surrounding the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates vying for their respective party’s nomination echo the rise and fall of baseball’s elite teams.
Monday, October 19, 2015
He seemed like a nice guy: loquacious, thoughtful, curious. We’d exhausted the play-by-play, and he asked me how I liked my job. Then we got to talking about politics. He didn’t like the way this country was headed. He said he was scared for me, and this seemed genuine. He was worried about the Islamic State. He thought that Trump seemed like a bright guy, an honest guy. He asked my opinion on gun control, and repeated the refrain about the car crash and whose fault it was.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Congressman Lou Barletta, who once tried out for the Cincinnati Reds, was at the game with his grandson. He told the team about his own baseball background as they ate pizza slices on the dais in a House hearing room, and offered a few words of encouragement regarding their future plans.
“If you don’t make it as a professional ball player, you can always fall back on being a congressman,” Barletta quipped.
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
OTP October 2015 II: Religion, Politics, Baseball - America’s Favorite Pastimes Come Under the Microscope in Shaking the Tree’s Gorgeous PASSION PLAY PART III
PASSION PLAY PART III centers on a group of actors who have been performing the Passion together in small-town North Dakota for years. This isn’t just a group of actors, it’s a family. The actor who plays Pontius Pilate is both the husband of the actress who plays Mary and the brother of the actor who plays Jesus. And he’s about to leave for the Vietnam War. The play holds up a microscope to the things we as a society hold most dear—religion, politics, even baseball—and asks us to consider the idea that they’re all just theatre after all. It’s profound, moving, and, in classic Sarah Ruhl style, often very funny.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
In politics, the survivors will learn their fate in New Hampshire, Iowa and other early 2016 primaries. In the dead of winter, survival is the name of the game. For Hillary Clinton, there is no next time. Simply desperation. She must win in 2016 or likely fade from the scene. It is hard to see a path to the nomination for any other Democrat, Bernie Sanders included.
For Republicans, the current chaos must lead to a viable challenger, but it remains a bit of a wild card. As September fades to cool October days, most of us simply are desperate for a great World Series and a slice of pumpkin pie as thick as Joe Maddon’s glasses.
NOTICE: Due to the number of comments and the impact on site performance, the OTP-Politics threads will need to change from monthly to weekly threads. FYI, Jim.
Tuesday, September 01, 2015
OTP - September 2015: Making Sense Of The Republican Presidential Race: It’s Like Major League Baseball In August
For starters, you have to know what you are trying to “make happen” at this stage of the season. No team is trying to win the World Series in August; instead the goal is to get in position to be one of the 10 (of 30) teams to make the playoffs where, as they say, anything can happen. Likewise, 17 Republicans are not trying to be the final party nominee this early, they’re just trying to be one of the 3-5 candidates left standing next summer. As in baseball, that’s really about developing momentum and finding the money to remain in the race as long as possible.
Monday, August 03, 2015
Just when I was beginning to like the Cubs again :)
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Some smart person, I believe it was political columnist and baseball guru George Will, said that politics is a lot more like baseball than football.
What he meant is that if you lose a few football games the season quickly becomes unsuccessful. But if you lose even a lot of baseball games, you can still win the World Series. NFL teams play 16 regular season games. Major League Baseball teams play 162.
In politics you can lose a lot of legislative battles and public policy fights, and still be very successful. Of course, you can’t lose many of the big games – elections – or you don’t last long in politics. But many politicians bounce back even from election losses.
Some politicians are timid because they can’t stand to lose any fights. But that’s not the route to a successful political career. Here’s another insightful George Will quote: “Conflict avoidance becomes habitual. Risk averse politicians are constantly at risk. The rule regarding power is use it or lose it.”
Monday, June 01, 2015
KOKOMO, IND. — A dispute involving the federal and state governments over how Kokomo built part of a baseball stadium in a flood-prone area meant to remain green space has been resolved on the eve of the opening game.
Gov. Mike Pence said in a news release Friday that a dispute involving the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security had been settled, commending the two agencies for “working together in good faith.”
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