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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 | 817 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

Monday, February 22, 2016

OTP - 2016 February 22: Cigar-maker Geiselman played baseball, politics in early Hibbing

Outside of playing ball, Bobby dabbles in politics and has been a winner. For two years he served as village trustee and in the last campaign he was elected village treasurer. He is a prominent member of the Saint Louis County Agricultural society and is a prominent member of the Elks.
He is a left hand thrower and as an indoor baseball player has few equals. He is married and is engaged in the cigar manufacturing business.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: February 22, 2016 at 08:05 AM | 2799 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, February 15, 2016

OTP - 2016 February 15: Politics and Baseball

I think what is most interesting about this development is that it comes on the heels of two terms with a particularly modest center-oriented president. Historically, this kind of revolutionary rancor is a response to executive radicalism, or ineptitude and malfeasance. Barack Obama may be many things, but only his most ridiculous critics would call him radical and inept. Of course, the same cannot be said for Washington as a whole. So maybe that is where this transformational ardor is coming from. We may blame the president, but that’s really only because he is the face of the entire system.

So yeah, politics is like baseball, and politicians are like baseball players.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: February 15, 2016 at 08:30 AM | 2507 comment(s)
  Beats: pete rose, politics

Monday, February 08, 2016

OTP - 2016 February 8: There’s baseball, politics … and real problems

Instead of wasting the time and effort thinking about baseball, wouldn’t it be more productive for our elected representatives to concern them with one of this state’s biggest problems? Water quality.

How many cities and towns have problems like the lead levels found in Sebring, Ohio? And how many draw their water supplies from lakes containing massive amounts of toxic algae, like Toledo and Celina?

Conservation groups around the Great Lakes region are calling for states to become more active in cleaning up lakes, especially those used for drinking water. As one group told the governor of Michigan, they’re tired of reading about plans; they want to see some action.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: February 08, 2016 at 01:16 PM | 2507 comment(s)
  Beats: pete rose, politics, water quality

Monday, February 01, 2016

OTP - 2016 February 1: Donald Trump spends $450,000 on red baseball caps in just three months

Tonight sees the first US state cast their preliminary ballots to select a candidate for the General Election in November.

Trump leads the field in the latest Des Moines Register poll - which in recent elections has been the most accurate predictor of caucus success.

Ted Cruz trails him by five points, with Florida senator Marco Rubio in third.

Ben Carson, by some stretch the biggest spender on the Republican ballot, is in distant fourth place on 10%.

And Jeb Bush, who many presumed would be the nominee when he announced his candidacy in June, has seen his momentum stall. He’s currently languishing on 2%.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: February 01, 2016 at 07:40 AM | 2773 comment(s)
  Beats: caps, politics

Monday, January 25, 2016

OTP - 2016 January 25: A vanishing line separates politics and sports

Serious science has also increasingly treated politics as sports. In 2012, the political scientist John Sides of George Washington University explained that he derived approach to research from baseball, specifically from Michael Lewis’s “Moneyball,” in which a baseball manager abandons the “gut feeling” school of selecting players and starts relying exclusively on arcane but important statistics. Sides wrote:

“My goal with the study of elections is to move things as close as possible towards ‘Moneyball,’ which is to say I want to measure what’s going on, I want to measure the background conditions and the fundamentals that are important in any election, like the economy. I want to measure the news coverage, I want to measure the campaign advertising, all of the things that convey information to the voters about the candidates, and then finally I want to measure the voters themselves, I want to understand why they made the choices they did and what impact, if any, the campaign had.”

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: January 25, 2016 at 08:06 AM | 2612 comment(s)
  Beats: moneyball, nate silver, politics

Monday, January 18, 2016

OTP - 2016 January 18: MLB opens D.C. office

Major League Baseball, which has lobbied before, has now opened a Washington office

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: January 18, 2016 at 05:53 PM | 2025 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, January 11, 2016

OTP - 2016 Jaunary 11: Political playoffs set to begin

These excessively long seasons and postseasons are not only the province of professional football, or presidential election cycles. Major League Baseball, the onetime spring and summer sport, now plays its World Series into November, while professional basketball, formerly a winter sport, plays out a season that routinely stretches into June.

At least in regard to those last two sports, there are action heroes to carry the day. There is Matt Harvey throwing the fastball and Steph Curry burying another long 3.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: January 11, 2016 at 08:03 AM | 2413 comment(s)
  Beats: centaurs, politics

Monday, January 04, 2016

OTP - 2016 January 4: Mark Your Calendar: Must-Know Political Dates for 2016

With debates over policy issues like immigration, personal issues like which candidate is “low energy,” and fundamental arguments about who is or isn’t qualified to be commander-in-chief, the nuts and bolts of how a candidate is chosen can get lost in all the noise.

But here are the critical dates to guide you through this chaotic nominating contest.

MLB starts April 3rd.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: January 04, 2016 at 07:55 AM | 2323 comment(s)
  Beats: politics, schedule

Monday, December 28, 2015

OTP - 2015 December 28: Baseball Beards: The Civil War Comps

These kids, Kevin Pillar and Kyle Schwarber, I would instead put in the Union Army. Granted, Schwarber’s look suggests “Union soldier” less than “often drunk frat boy.” However, his round, well-fed face fits the better-supplied Northern ranks, and that tuft carries a hint of Pennsylvania Dutch farmer with it. JDavis1He needs to be careful, though. Grow it out too low, and he’ll end up resembling Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: December 28, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 1394 comment(s)
  Beats: beards, civil war, politics

Monday, December 21, 2015

OTP - 2015 December 21: 5 takeaways - Sanders swung, Clinton hit, and Raddatz was a star.

The press filing center at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, New Hampshire, resembled the parking lot of a baseball stadium whose team had been eliminated from the playoffs. By the reality-TV standards of the Trump-headlined Republican mud-fights, the substance-heavy, we-all-agree-on-the-basics discourse of the third Democratic debate was a narcoleptic’s dream.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: December 21, 2015 at 07:52 AM | 1275 comment(s)
  Beats: politics

Monday, December 14, 2015

OTP - 2015 December 14: Donald Trump Should Buy The Yankees

This brings me to the reason the Yankees are also perfect for him: Owning the New York Yankees would give Trump a way to maintain his gargantuan media footprint, which not even the presidency can provide. Sure, he’s getting all the attention in the world now, but that ends if he loses.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: December 14, 2015 at 07:38 AM | 1720 comment(s)
  Beats: centaurs, humor, politics

Monday, December 07, 2015

OTP - 2015 December 8: Caps for Sale, When Clinton and Bush want made-in-America gear, they turn to one guy in New Jersey

What do Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Jeb Bush all have in common? A hat factory in Newark, New Jersey.

In 1992, Mitch Cahn quit his Wall Street job and bought a bankrupt baseball hat factory. He couldn’t compete with overseas manufacturers on cost, so he catered to a specific market: people who want their hats made in the United States.

Bitter Mouse, Space Tyrant Posted: December 07, 2015 at 07:54 AM | 1619 comment(s)
  Beats: caps, politics

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