Saturday, December 07, 2013
The Nats also have a club option for 2016 at $6.5 million on this deal but I’ll eat my topsiders if they end up exercising it.
Mike Rizzo got his experienced starter in Doug Fister earlier this week. Now he has his left-handed-hitting reserve outfielder in Nate McLouth.
The Nationals have signed McLouth to a two-year contract, a source confirms, giving the Nats their fourth outfielder, one who can play any outfield spot and has a little bit of pop from the left side of the plate.
FOXSports.com was the first to report the signing, and according to the Baltimore Sun, McLouth will get $10.75 million over the two-year deal. [...]
The Nationals came into this offseason looking to bolster their bench, add more of a left-handed presence and get a solid defensive outfielder.
They paid nearly $5.5 million per season to get McLouth for two years, but get a guy off the bench who is a bit of a threat from the left side of the plate, gets on base at a decent rate, is defensively versatile in the outfield and has good speed.
Friday, October 18, 2013
The fact is, however, that words don’t stand still. They evolve.
Fifty years ago the preferred, most respectful term for African Americans was Negro. The word appears 15 times in Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. Negro replaced a long list of insulting words in common use during decades of public and legal discrimination.
And then, for complicated historical reasons (having to do with the black power and “black is beautiful” movements), usage changed. The preferred term is now black or African American. With a rare few legacy exceptions, Negro carries an unmistakably patronizing and demeaning tone.
If you were detailing the racial composition of Congress, you wouldn’t say: “Well, to start with, there are 44 Negroes.” If you’d been asleep for 50 years, you might. But upon being informed how the word had changed in nuance, you would stop using it and choose another.
And here’s the key point: You would stop not because of the language police. Not because you might incur a Bob Costas harangue. Not because the president would wag a finger. But simply because the word was tainted, freighted with negative connotations with which you would not want to be associated.
Proof? You wouldn’t even use the word in private, where being harassed for political incorrectness is not an issue.
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
From the penthouse to the outhouse and back again.
In 2010 he landed with the Cubs, and in 2011, at age 33, Byrd made his first All-Star Game. Rather than celebration, the feat was met with suspicion. For years, Byrd had unapologetically worked with trainer Victor Conte, the mastermind behind BALCO, and maintained his innocence.
Everything after his all-star appearance became a nightmare. He tapered in the second half of 2011. He opened 2012 hitting 0.70 for the Cubs, who released. The Red Sox took a flier, and he whiffed his way through another month before they released him, too. Two weeks later, MLB suspended Byrd 50 games for testing positive for tamoxifen, a banned substance that increases testosterone produced and, as a side effect, causes breast-tissue growth.
Byrd’s career had reached a dead end. He couldn’t hit. The taint of a PED suspension hovered over him. He was more punch line than ballplayer. He was done. And then he went to Mexico. Byrd signed with Cualican, hoping he could convince one desperate team to give him a shot in spring training. He found a perfectly desperate outfit in the Mets, who invited him to Port St. Lucie. He clobbered the ball in the Grapefruit League and made the team.
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Off topic, but I’d love to know what a bunch of thinking fans think about this.
This is by no means a new complaint, as the propriety of the term “Redskins” makes its way into the news cycle seemingly every few years. There are a myriad of examples. See “Redskins under fire for ‘racist’ name.” BBC News, 2002; “Naperville Central High School Drops Redskins Tag.” Chicago Tribune, 1992. Complaints about the name dating at least as far back as the 1970’s.
However, despite the self-righteousness and indignance with which the present-day advocates for change appear to be viewing the issue, debates regarding the use of the term “Redskins” are actually quite complex, intertwining an understanding of history and of the evolution of language.
Posted: June 30, 2013 at 10:41 PM | 223 comment(s)
Saturday, June 29, 2013
It was an oxymoron in those days: “Ward 7 Baseball.” There hadn’t been baseball played in this far eastern corner of the District in generations. But phone calls led to meetings, and meetings led to action, and action led to kids showing up, and kids showing up led to those first ballgames in the summer of 2010. And now here we are, three years into Ward 7 Baseball’s existence, and there might actually be a youth baseball renaissance taking place in a part of the city where the sport had long ago died.
Perhaps even more amazingly, that renaissance is being led by a 30-year-old New York transplant — a cop, no less, with all that inherent distrust to overcome — who is operating on a budget of zero dollars, unless you count the two or three grand that he and each of his coaches routinely shell out of their own pockets each year to feed, equip and transport the 72 kids, ages 7 to 16, in the program.
Ward 7 Baseball — less a league than a conglomeration of teams representing the housing projects of Kenilworth, Clay Terrace and Lincoln Heights — is centered at Marvin Gaye Park in Northeast Washington. When Medina and Jose Agosto, a former Harlem teammate who helps run Ward 7 Baseball, first started cleaning up the neglected field, strewn with hypodermic needles and beer bottles, the only thing that gave it away as an old ballfield was a rusty, teetering backstop. Now, it has a cut-out dirt infield, dugouts and bleachers.
Posted: June 29, 2013 at 08:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
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