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Monday, January 23, 2017

OTP 23 Jan. 2017: Theo Epstein on baseball, politics and what he may do next

Theo globally, act locally:

“The reality is these days so much of the most important work in society is done by these non-profits, most of which don’t get real government funding, so it’s really important to identify the most impactful non-profits in your community, especially in a city like Chicago right now that is battling so many critical challenges and support them,” Epstein said. “Baseball is just bread and circus. What we do, we just entertain the masses.”

(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: January 23, 2017 at 07:37 AM | 275 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, politics, theo epstein

Sunday, January 15, 2017

OTP 16 Jan. 2017: The ‘honor’ Trumps politics in scheduling Cubs’ White House visit

Seems like the obvious story this week:

President Obama, a White Sox fan, extended invitations to his other hometown baseball team via Twitter and a phone call to Maddon to visit the White House to celebrate their first championship in 108 years before the president leaves office.

Already gathered in town this weekend for Cubs Convention, the Cubs plan to fly to Washington for the visit Monday, just a few days before Trump’s inauguration.

Given the Rickettses’ ties to Trump, there was some initial doubt whether the Cubs would make the trip before the administration change. Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts has been selected by Trump to be his deputy commerce secretary.

(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: January 15, 2017 at 10:17 PM | 2387 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, politics, world series champions

Sunday, January 08, 2017

OTP 9 Jan. 2017: What’s next for sports, politics, and TV in 2017?

Cyclical trends may obscure the connection at times, but you can’t permanently disentangle sport from politics:

“Sport in 2017 will con­tinue to be a resur­gent and resounding plat­form for athlete-​​led social activism,” says Dan Lebowitz, exec­u­tive director of Northeastern’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. “If his­tory repeats itself, 2017 will be this generation’s 1967, a year in which promi­nent ath­letes held a social jus­tice summit to call out insti­tu­tion­al­ized inequity, con­front it, and cat­a­pult a con­ver­sa­tion that America still needs to hear, embrace, and lead.”

Today we have football’s Colin Kaeper­nick, whose national anthem protest cap­tured the nation’s atten­tion, and col­lege basketball’s Bronson Koenig, who protested the Dakota Access Pipeline and then reflected on his expe­ri­ence for The Players’ Tribune.

(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: January 08, 2017 at 09:10 PM | 1952 comment(s)
  Beats: activism, kaepernick, politics, social justice

Monday, January 02, 2017

OTP: 2 January 2017: In a world of 24-7 entertainment, art, sport and politics are the poorer

Entertainment once hummed along creating the background noise of our lives. Nowadays, it has come to the foreground. We live in “sensurround”, surrounded by billions of bits of information – audio, visual, graphic, factual, fictional – all distributed on algorithmically generated social media formats, played on gadgets of ever-decreasing size laid over traditional platforms like radio, television and cinema.

Over the last decade, all manner of gimmickry and novelty has been rolled out to exploit income streams across multiple platforms. Cricket is no longer a game, to be enjoyed live, but a mediated entertainment played in near-empty arenas around the world. The crack of leather on willow barely resonates in the absence of a real community.

However, it is in the political arena where the consequences of entertainment are most dangerous …

(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: January 02, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 1809 comment(s)
  Beats: art, cricket, media, politics

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

OTP: 26 December 2016: Sport, politics and ‘Russia’s aggression’

Germany’s national football team will monitor human rights in Russia during World Cup 2018, German sports officials said. We have heard similar statements before the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014. Is it deja vu?
According to German national football team manager Oliver Bierhoff, “we will definitely not turn a blind eye on violations of human rights in Russia.” “We” stands for both the German Football Association and the national football team.
In general, the remarks from the German official appear to be another attack on Russian athletes in particular and Russia in general. The campaign lasts for more than a year virtually without interruption.
The topic to deprive Russia of the right to host the World Cup 2018 has surfaced again. This initiative came from US and British officials, who explain their anti-Russian stance with Russia’s “aggressive behavior.”

Little is happening in the baseball/politics offseason, so here’s some soccer politics to get us through the winter – courtesy of Pravda.

 

BDC Posted: December 27, 2016 at 08:20 AM | 764 comment(s)
  Beats: international, politics, soccer

Monday, December 19, 2016

OTP: 19 December 2016: The book about baseball that explains Donald Trump’s win

If there’s anything that the political market is full of, it’s inefficiencies. And the Trump team, to its credit, understood just that. The easy story to tell about Trump is one of a billionaire bully who preyed on prejudice to push the first female president out of the White House. But there’s another story to be told, one about an underdog campaign that raised about half as much money as its opponent and managed to win anyway, in part by disregarding common campaigning strategies and focusing on the inherent inefficiencies of the electoral college.

Alec Baldwin takes a team of lovable misfits …?

(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: December 19, 2016 at 09:25 AM | 1445 comment(s)
  Beats: moneyball, never shouldda written, politics

Monday, December 12, 2016

OTP: 12 December 2016: Washington Legislators Propose Bill to Allow Guns in Sports Stadiums

The bill aims to shoot down the strict no-gun policies at stadiums like Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, which are privately owned. The stadiums are home to the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks.

The legislation would keep private owners from banning guns at public spaces, and allow people with proper license to carry firearms to be at the sporting venues with their weapons.

Gotta offer the amenities to keep Safeco the #6 fan experience in MLB.

(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: December 12, 2016 at 09:02 AM | 1884 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, politics

Monday, December 05, 2016

OTP: 5 December 2016: Baseball’s New Collective Bargaining Agreement

OTP articles are traditionally whimsical, but not much whimsy is abroad these days.  Since labor relations are always political, here’s an actual baseball-news item for a change: 

Word broke late last week of a new five-year CBA as a deadline fast approached. The luxury-tax threshold — officially called the Competitive Balance Tax — and tougher rules surrounding it quickly emerged as a central theme.

Despite those enhanced rules, what’s glaringly evident is that MLB no longer sees the need to curb overspending via a hard salary cap. That talking point had lingered since the New York Yankees began annihilating everybody with free-agent spending that led to four World Series titles and two other finals appearances from 1996 to 2003.

(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: December 05, 2016 at 10:21 AM | 2020 comment(s)
  Beats: labor relations, politics

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

As Atlanta Braves search for new spring training home, donations flow to key Florida state senators

Drain the swamp!

The Atlanta Braves still don’t know where in Florida they will move their spring training operations in 2019, but that is not stopping them from sending campaign donations to key state legislators who could help them with stadium financing when they do find a new home.

Earlier this month, the Braves gave $1,000 to a political committee run by new Senate Appropriations chairman Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater. That is just months after the team sent $1,000 donations each to new Senate President Joe Negron and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, who will run the Senate Rules Committee.

The Braves are in a bit of a spring training stadium limbo. Their 20 year lease to train at the Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando ends in 2017. The team and Disney are working on a one year extension to cover 2018 while they search for a new home. Team officials told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this year that with spring training teams for the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals moving out of Osceola and Brevard County respectively, the team is left with few teams close to play regularly, putting them on longer bus rides to Florida west coast or southeast Florida where more teams are now clustered.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 29, 2016 at 05:11 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, field of schemes, politics, spring training

Monday, November 28, 2016

OTP: 28 November 2016: Bud Selig reminisces about 1999 MLB trip to Cuba, meeting Fidel Castro

Once Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, there was a small window where it was somewhat easier for Latin players to make the transition to las Grandes Ligas. But that all changed when Castro overthrew the Batista regime and took control of Cuba in 1959.

Luis Tiant, the star pitcher for the Indians and Red Sox and who pitched for the Yankees as well, never returned to his native Cuba after the 1961 failed Bay of Pigs invasion. Tiant, now 76, was playing in Mexico at the time of the botched, CIA-backed military operation designed to topple Castro. Tiant fled to the U.S. in ’61 and carved out a stellar major league career, including his star turn in the 1975 World Series between his Red Sox and the Reds.

Earlier that season, South Dakota Sen. George McGovern brokered a deal with Castro that allowed Tiant’s parents to travel from Cuba to the U.S. to see their son pitch for the Sox. Luis Sr., Tiant’s father, was a pitching star in the Negro Leagues, and he threw out the first pitch before his son took the mound at Fenway against the A’s in an Aug. 30, 1975 game.

“My father got beat around pretty good,” Tiant’s son, also named Luis, told The News Saturday, referring to his father giving up six runs in 2.2 innings of a Red Sox loss. “My grandfather was not too happy about it.” Tiant’s parents remained in the U.S. after their arrival in ’75, but both died the following year several days apart. Luis Tiant, the former major leaguer, returned to Cuba in 2007, an emotional trip that was documented in the 2009 film, “The Lost Son of Havana.”

 

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: November 28, 2016 at 12:08 AM | 1913 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, cuba, cuban players, otp, politics

Monday, November 14, 2016

OTP 14 November 2016: Curt Schilling Mocks Matt Damon

Curt Schilling was giddy following the news of Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.

The former Red Sox pitcher and possible future Senate candidate chatted with TMZ Sports on Wednesday to express his joy over the results and to mock Hollywood stars who supported Hillary Clinton. In particular, Schilling singled out Matt Damon, saying that he and other celebrity supporters should “go away” now that America has decided it’s next president.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments, including express or implied support for the Boston Red Sox, 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: November 14, 2016 at 04:45 PM | 1616 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, red sox

Monday, November 07, 2016

OTP 2016 November 7: How baseball bridged the political divide

A World Series game seven for the ages offered some rare relief from the most bitter presidential election in recent memory.
The Chicago Cubs, in carrying off their first title since 1908 when Theodore Roosevelt was president, finally proved that no curse is forever and offered a few moments of hope fulfilled and optimism — two qualities badly lacking from this grimmest of presidential races.

 


Monday, October 31, 2016

OTP 2016 October 31: Stepping Up to the Plate: A Brief History of Baseball Players in Politics

South of the United States, players like Bobby Avila, Aurelio Lopez, Raul Mondesi, Magglio Ordonez and Melido Perez became involved in politics in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. It’s a similar story for several Japanese baseball players too.

But success in the baseball stadium does not guarantee victory in the political arena. Walter “Big Train” Johnson, the Hall-of-Fame pitcher for the Washington Senators, lost a race for U.S. Congress for the GOP in 1940 when he promised to “study up on them issues” once elected from Maryland (he lost, most likely based on that comment).

We are galloping down the home stretch with only a week to go.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 31, 2016 at 08:19 AM | 1544 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, October 24, 2016

OTP 2016 October 24: Breitbart Radio Exclusive: Curt Schilling Joins Breitbart News Rotation Weekdays 9AM to 11AM ET

The Arizona native said he is depicted as a close-minded, hateful man in the media when the opposite is true.

Schilling said an example of how he is treated in the media is his recent appearance on CNN with Jake Tapper.

“I asked him as a person of the Jewish faith, why people, who practice that faith would be supporters of the Democratic Party — given their anti-Israel, anti-Jewish stance,” he said. “After that — I was called an anti-Semite — and I am thinking to myself: ‘What a minute?’”

Yet, all the time, Christians are asked to defend or attack policies based on their being Christians, he said.

“I am not taking my news anymore from ‘the media’ because the media has very clearly given all pretenses away of objectivity,” he said. “They want and need Hillary Clinton in the White House.”

Only *2* more weeks until Election Day.

(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.)

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: October 24, 2016 at 01:03 AM | 1348 comment(s)
  Beats: breitbart, curt schilling, politics

Monday, October 17, 2016

OTP 2016 Oct 17: Politics, Sports, and the ‘League of Legends’ World Championship

The closer eSports comes to mirroring real world sports, the more we’ll see the truly political components of eSports. Traditional sports have long and complex ties with politics of all sorts, and you can already see these strands in their digital counterparts.

Baseball, perhaps the most American sport, traces close connections to the US military—at least going back as far as World War II. The home plate has also been the home of culture wars. If you’ve been to any baseball games that sung “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch (most common on Sundays and during Yankee’s games), you experienced the lingering cultural repercussions of post-9/11 America. After the attacks, baseball as an American pastime became a cultural representation of our nation in relation to global terrorism.

This isn’t an attack on the expression of national pride and honor at sporting events, but it’s silly to think that sports (and by extension eSports) can ever be politics free. Even the very makeup of our “American” baseball teams are political in nature. It’s always deliciously ironic when you hear the national anthem at baseball games when well over a quarter of athletes are foreign born (27.5 percent in 2016).

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 17, 2016 at 07:59 AM | 2095 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, video games, yankees

Thursday, October 13, 2016

#NatsRide Helps Fans Help Themselves After DC, Metro Snub Them

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was asked whether she had a plan to get Nationals fans home from Thursday’s Game 5, which will likely end after Metro closes.

“Nats fans are amazingly persistent and creative, and we know that they’re going to plan ahead,” Bowser said.

Yes. Yes, they are. And they have. Before Bowser’s unhelpful response to an important question, Nationals fans were making and sharing alternative transportation plans using the hashtag #NatsRide on Twitter.

And as most Nats fans don’t want to die a fiery death on a Metro train, they win two ways by sharing rides to the park!

Bote Man Posted: October 13, 2016 at 01:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, playoffs, politics

Monday, October 10, 2016

OTP 2016 Oct 10: Sox fan Obama ‘pleased to see the Chicago Cubs play so well’

I asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest about Obama and the Cubs at the Wednesday briefing. Obama is a die-hard Sox fan. Less known: He has a mixed marriage. Michelle grew up on the Cubs.

“Well, the president is a loyal Chicago White Sox fan,” replied Earnest, taking a sip from his Kansas City Royals cup.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 10, 2016 at 07:47 AM | 1759 comment(s)
  Beats: chicago, cubs, politics, white sox

Monday, October 03, 2016

OTP 2016 Oct 3: Tossing around a little politics, baseball

The next debate, a vice-presidential one between Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine and his Republican counterpart, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, will take place Tuesday, Oct. 4. The next two presidential showdowns are scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 9 and Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 03, 2016 at 07:57 AM | 3767 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, September 26, 2016

OTP 2016 Sep 26: A single for Donald Trump - He doesn’t have to hit a home run to send Hillary to the showers

There’s baseball tonight, and politics, too. Politics, like baseball, is a game of inches. A called strike, two inches within the strike zone, a fly ball that clears the left-field fence by three inches. A tag at third base misses by four inches. An inch here and two inches there, and a late-inning rally ruined.

Baseball is the all-American metaphor for politics, and Donald Trump must keep his eye on the ball if he wants to avoid the missed inches and extend his rally. This is no time for a sharp remark about Hillary’s fragile health or a crack about her pants suits that he just can’t resist. He has to watch the ball over the plate.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 26, 2016 at 09:26 AM | 2082 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, September 19, 2016

OTP 2016 Sep 19 - Race for the White House: The Greatest Circus on Earth

But is the volume of inches of news space and on-air minutes that are devoted to the U.S. presidential race internationally any longer justified?

I believe it isn’t. It is but a quaint habit by now.The near-interminable, grinding race for the White House has degenerated into a self-feeding media circus. Worse, the event has largely become a severe obstacle in global affairs.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 19, 2016 at 07:53 AM | 1707 comment(s)
  Beats: get off my lawn, politics

Monday, September 12, 2016

OTP 2016 Sep 12: Iraq, Hillary and baseball

Opening up the interview, King asked Trump: “What surprised you the most about running for office?”

Trump pointed to the media’s “tremendous dishonesty.”

“I mean, they’ll take a statement that you make, which is perfect,” Trump said, “and they’ll cut it up and chop it up and shorten it or lengthen it, or do something with it, then all of a sudden, it doesn’t look like as good as it did when you actually said it.”

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 12, 2016 at 08:01 AM | 1346 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, September 05, 2016

OTP 2016 September 5: Baseball, Politics & Comedy

From baseball and politics to comedy, Drew Forum speakers will display a lot of range this fall and winter.
Between September and February, the Drew University series will feature Seth Meyers, host of NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers; Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred; New York Times columnist Gail Collins and political players Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: September 05, 2016 at 12:58 PM | 1118 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner, politics

Monday, August 29, 2016

OTP 2016 August 29: Minor-league team offers Trump, Clinton bobbleheads with real hair

On Sept. 3 some lucky game-goers will receive a bobble of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, and said bobblehead will be adorned with real hair. Putatively, this is a feature and not a bug.
But wait: That’s not all!

 


Monday, August 22, 2016

OTP 2016 August 22: Baseball has much to teach us about politics

On this day in 1870, pitcher Fred Goldsmith demonstrated to baseball writer and historian Henry Chadwick that the curve ball is real. And the world was never the same.

The New Haven Register, Goldsmith’s hometown newspaper, wrote about the event recently.

“No game was scheduled this particular day, but a large crowd, curious to the proceedings, began to gather,” the Register reported. “[Goldsmith’s friend Ham] Avery, the story goes, drew a 45-foot line in chalk. He then hammered 8-foot poles at each end, and another in the middle. Goldsmith, just 14, strolled out from the sidelines. His objective was to release a pitch from the left side of the first pole that would circle the center pole and then cross back to the left of the far pole.”

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 22, 2016 at 07:47 AM | 1021 comment(s)
  Beats: curveball, history, politics

Monday, August 15, 2016

OTP 2016 August 15: Amarillo’s Politics Could Cost City a AA Baseball Team

Nelson presented a feasibility study to the Lubbock city council Thursday showing how bringing a major league affiliated baseball team to the city would benefit them not only culturally with downtown development but economically as well.

“Part of the project is to build a stadium with a minimum capacity of 6,000 seats. Nelson said. “Deterime the ideal site for that stadium. Determine the viability of sharing the stadium with the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

 

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 15, 2016 at 08:09 AM | 989 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, minor leagues, politics

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