It seems like the climate crisis is breaking through into popular culture — the Lil Dicky Song, the HBO documentary narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio — any indication an MLB player might weigh in? — Keith
I can’t tell you which MLB player would speak up for the climate, but now would be a pretty good time, considering what the Padres did (and will continue to do) out in San Diego. This past Sunday, bees showed up at Petco Park. The Padres’ response was to murder all of them, which [checks notes] is not standard procedure at sporting events.
Continue reading “Mailbag: MLB and the climate, bargaining wedge issues”
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The NBA Draft lottery occurred earlier this week, and with it came the usual fanfare. In addition, there was also criticism of the NBA Draft, and sports drafts in general, from various commentators like Bomani Jones and Joe Sheehan, whose Twitter thoughts on the matter I’ll share below:
“Just a reminder that Zion Williamson should get to pick where he works, like the rest of us do, rather than have his employer picked for him and his salary dictated to him. Sports drafts are indefensible.”
Jones, in response to Sheehan:
“I say this every year and people act like it’s the craziest thing ever. Drafts are so baked into sports that people can’t even consider the idea they are fundamentally unfair.”
Sheehan is wrong about one thing: drafts are defensible, so long as you happen to be working in or for one of the leagues operating one. As Bomani Jones implies, fans are brainwashed into thinking drafts are necessary, when they very much are not. Drafts, like pretty much every other policy put forward by owners in sports leagues, exist in order to control labor and limit their earnings. In a league with a salary cap like the NBA, this becomes even more obvious: 29 of the NBA’s 30 teams spent the 2018-2019 season right below or right over the $109 million salary cap (the latter allowed by a series of complicated exemptions for additional spending). No one in the NBA can hoard talent in the absence of a draft, as roster limitations, the salary cap, and the lack of an organized minor league that’s comparable to what Major League Baseball has in play make that impossible.
Continue reading “Drafts are indefensible, unless you’re a team owner”
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The defending World Series champion Red Sox should never have gone to the White House to visit President Donald Trump. That’s the beginning and end of the story, or, at least, it should have been the end. Instead, the Red Sox did go to the White House — the white Red Sox, anyway — and now we’ve got denials of any kind of clubhouse divide, non-white players put into public positions they never should have been forced to have to take, and Trump taking credit for the Sox’ recent resurgence because they were able to absorb his aura or whatever via soggy and cold McDonald’s lunch ritual.
Even the Washington Post, which is certainly not some bastion of progressive thinking, says the racial divide shown by who went and who did not is “impossible to ignore.” Yahoo’s Hannah Keyser has the right idea, too, writing that if the Red Sox wanted to remain apolitical, the organization never should have put players in a position to choose going or not:
Continue reading “Red Sox White House visit illuminates larger MLB-wide problem”