1:27 PM, Nov 27, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Everyone could use a nice government subsidy and bailouts aren’t just for broke car companies and derelict banks anymore. Baseball teams need that same kind of taxpayer love. No surprise then, as Mark Segraves of NBC’s channel 4 in Washington reports:
The Washington Nationals want to put a roof over Nationals Park, and they want D.C. taxpayers to pick up the tab.
The ballplayers are well paid, of course, and they don’t give the tickets away just for the asking. Still:
District taxpayers put up about $700 million to build the ballpark in 2006.
The new roof will run about $300 million so the Nats will be playing in a billion dollar ballpark, paid for by the citizens who will have no say in the making of trades, when pitches are yanked, and when to put on the hit-and-run. Savage example of taxation without representation.
Sep 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 04 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
What if everything we think we know about the history of baseball is wrong? What if despite the carefully cultivated image of its manly origins—long mustachios and tobacco-juice-stained vests—it was a game played by women as well as men? What if the game was invented 100 years before Abner Double-day allegedly took bat to ball? And, perhaps most astonishing, what if our national pastime was first played in England?
Is the Atlanta Braves' Andrelton Simmons the best ever?3:36 PM, Sep 16, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Of the 39 most awesome jobs in America, only the nine members of the Supreme Court have lifetime tenure. Major League Baseball’s 30 shortstops, on the other hand, are always looking over their shoulder. Every ground ball in the hole, every slow roller dribbling past the mound, every relay throw from the outfield is another test, another risk to be replaced by some slick-fielding Dominican phenom lighting up Double-A ball. Still, it’s safe to say that Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons’s job is his for some time to come, for the 24-year-old has established himself as the best defensive shortstop in the game. Indeed, some are already wondering if, in only his second year of big league ball, Simmons has entered the pantheon of baseball’s greatest glovemen, taking his place among the likes of Ozzie Smith, Luis Aparicio, and Mark Belanger.
Dead trees, junk cars, and dim, dim streetlights.11:06 AM, Sep 4, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press, writes about some of the obstacles in Detroit's way if it is to show its best face come the "invasion by the nation’s media in October for baseball playoffs and, hopefully, a World Series."
How one national pastime (baseball) has been injured by another (the law).Sep 2, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 48 • By EDWARD ACHORN
For decades, the lords of big-league baseball scrambled to protect their antitrust exemption, warning that the professional game would fall apart if the owners could not conspire against free markets to run it their way. Most of all, they wanted to protect the reserve clause, under which a player was bound to one club as long as that club wanted him rather than permitted to sell his services to the highest bidder.
1:58 PM, Aug 6, 2013 • By LEE SMITH
Monday night, Alex Rodriguez singled in his first at-bat of the season—which for Rodriguez may end as early as Thursday, when Major League baseball intends to enforce its 211-game suspension of him that will include the remainder of the 2013 campaign and all of 2014. With the 12-time All-Star third-baseman turning 38 on Saturday, it may be that a ballplayer once believed capable of breaking many of the game’s most famous records has now entered his last week of big-league baseball.
12:31 PM, Jul 14, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Baseball has a way of distracting us, at least momentarily, from the routine stuff. Both the boring and the distressing. Santiago found it easier to bear all those fishless days by reading about the "Great DiMaggio" who, as all fans know, was famous for going so many days hitting safely.
10:21 AM, Jul 6, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
"Because of the way in which baseball links the generations it has been a channel through which vital traits of American character are instilled. The health of baseball concerns all of America, and the health of America — perhaps especially the American family — finds itself reflected in the state of our national pastime. Baseball is a mirror of American liberty and of the virtues necessary to sustain it."
—Diana Schaub, "America at the Bat," National Affairs, Winter 2010.
The rebirth of the national pastime after World War II.May 6, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 32 • By COLIN FLEMING
In an American sports world where football is king, the notion of baseball as our country’s national pastime is a quaint one, a sort of nostalgic throwback to a bygone era, like westerns in the 1940s or heroic literature in the century after the Crusades.
Stan Musial, 1920-2013.Feb 4, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 20 • By GARY SCHMITT
If you lived in the decade following World War II in the American Southwest or a goodly portion of the South and were a baseball fan, there is a good chance you were a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. And if you were a Cardinals fan during this period, you almost certainly thought that Stan “the Man” Musial was the era’s greatest player—and you would have been right.
2:24 PM, Oct 22, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
What to watch tonight? There is the debate, of course, upon which hangs the fate of the nation if not the world. That's important. And, then, there is the seventh game of the National League playoffs, with the winner going to the World Series. And, on Monday Night Football we have the Chicago Bears vs. the Detroit Lions, a tough divisional match-up.