Sunday, June 02, 2013
Gov. Phil Bryant, at a Coast press conference with Beau Rivage workers dressed as ballpark vendors and handing out CrackerJacks, today announced the state will kick in $15 million of BP oil disaster money to help build a baseball stadium in Biloxi.
He also announced that an ownership group he’s been working with since last year is about to buy a team to play there, although its name and pro team affiliation would not be announced until later.
Talk recently around Biloxi has centered on the Huntsville Stars, a Milwaukee Brewers affiliate, considering a move.
This would be a huge deal for the Coast, where leaders have pitched getting a pro team and stadium for years. Read more in the C-L and at clarionledger.com.
Posted: June 02, 2013 at 12:31 PM | 74 comment(s)
Thursday, April 18, 2013
“Today’s day and age has gotten so crazy. Shoot man, Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything. You got all this stuff going on; it’s just a little bit insane for me, man. I’m not sure how to take it.”
Posted: April 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM | 133 comment(s)
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
The Cubs organization dropped $13.9 million on the campaign; that’s roughly $4 million more than the other all of the donations made by the other 29 teams combined.
The vast majority of the Cubs’ spending came from owner Joe Ricketts, who dumped $12 million of his own money on Ending Spending, a super PAC that ran ads dedicated to, well, ending spending. (Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, gave $1.1 million to Ending Spending as well.)
Most of the rest of the Ricketts family also gave to conservative causes including Restore Our Future, a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC. Interestingly, however, Joe Ricketts’ daughter, Laura, gave $575,000 to liberal causes during the election including LPAC, a political organization she founded to support issues of import to lesbians.
Political giving in MLB tilts heavily to the ideological right. “More than 75 percent of contributions tied to teams went to conservative causes,” writes Louis Serino, the author of the study
Posted: April 02, 2013 at 02:53 PM | 17 comment(s)
Sunday, March 31, 2013
This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.
This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.
When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.
Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.
Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.
Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.
In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”
Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s)
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Sure, Jeff Suppan would listen if John Boehner called.
Colusa County Supervisor Kim Vann is likely to challenge Rep. John Garamendi in the Sacramento-area 3rd District. Former state Sen. Tony Strickland is expected to run again, most likely forging a rematch with freshman Rep. Julia Brownley in the Ventura County-based 26th District.
There’s some talk that Strickland would take a look at the neighboring 25th District if GOP Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon opts for retirement. One plugged-in GOP source said another person looking at a challenge to Brownley is baseball pitcher Jeff Suppan, who may run if he doesn’t make a Major League roster this season.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
While working at the Detroit Tigers’ spring facility in Lakeland, Gov. Rick Scott announced today he will ask the Florida Legislature to set aside $5 million a year for projects specifically aimed at improving the Major League Baseball training facilities in the state.
“It’s my job as governor to make sure Florida remains the number one destination for spring training and that is why we will work to provide $5 million annually to only be used for spring training facilities,” Scott said in a statement that was released while Scott was participating in one of his “work days” with the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland.
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
I reckon Loria learned ‘em well.
The Miami Dolphins are getting early support from state legislators to use tax dollars to renovate Sun Life Stadium.
A Florida Senate panel on Tuesday unanimously approved a measure (SB 306) that would guarantee $3 million a year for the next 30 years to help pay for stadium upgrades. It’s just the first vote, however, with a final vote coming during the session that starts in March.
But the swift approval could be a sign that the Republican-controlled Legislature will support the deal despite past objections to helping out South Florida sports franchises.
Posted: February 06, 2013 at 09:45 AM | 1 comment(s)
Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Washington Nationals might have bitten off more than they can chew by naming William Howard Taft as their next racing mascot. If you aren’t familiar with the controversy, the baseball team features four mascots dressed as U.S. presidents that race around the Nationals’ stadium during home games to entertain fans.
“Teddy has handpicked the next president for the Presidents’ Race,” Nationals COO Andy Feffer told the newspaper on Friday, a day before the Taft mascot was rolled out. “There was a great amount of banter and discussion back and forth, but Teddy won out with his recommendation.”
On Saturday, the sanitized Taft mascot made its debut at a fan event, looking at least 100 pounds lighter than its real-life counterpart.
The reaction in the media, so far, is that even sportswriters who aren’t historians know the two men hated each other.
The Post’s Dan Steinberg asked a local historian how bad the blood was between TR and Taft.
Allan Lichtman, distinguished professor of history at American University, told Steinberg that each man considered the other a backstabber, and they had no qualms taking down each other in a presidential election.
“The rivalry was as bitter as it gets in politics,” said Lichtman. “There’s nothing like the feeling of betrayal, and both men felt betrayed by the other.”
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
With 7 whole signatories already, don’t be the last on your block to sign!!!!111!!
Please help force Marlins owner Jeff Loria to sell the team. He has lied to the people of Miami to get tax funded dollars to build a stadium and promised to put a team on the field with a payroll avg. The Payroll for the Marlins is about 35 million when it was around 90 last year. He has traded every player away with a high salary after just signing to long term deals last off season.
Only 99,993 to go!
Posted: January 23, 2013 at 03:10 AM | 92 comment(s)
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reads blogs. Well, baseball blogs.
Appearing at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy on Monday, Mr. Bernanke offered a few glimpses into his life outside the central bank.
Yes, he does peruse the Internet from time to time.
“Blogs have become a pretty important source of intellectual exchange,” the Fed chief said, noting that the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Atlanta both maintain active blogs. But is that how he spends his time browsing online?
“I follow a lot of baseball blogs myself, actually,” he said. That shouldn’t surprise Wall Street Journal readers who learned Mr. Bernanke’s high opinion of Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson’s ability to combine intuition and rigorous statistical analysis in an October 2012 editorial from the “unabashed Nats fan.”
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
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