XM MLB Chat

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Aaron Judge hits 3 run, walk off home run in bottom of the 9th, final 6-5 Yankees over Blue Jays. “Here comes the Judge”-John Sterling

5/10/22, John Sterling: “It’s a game-winning, walk-off three-run home run by Aaron Judge! A JUDGIAN blast! And here he comes: Here Comes the Judge! Ballgame over! Yankees win! Theeeeeee Yankees win!” John Sterling calls twitter. Final, 6-5 Yankees over Blue Jays

John Sterling’s live call at link.

 

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Monday, April 18, 2022

Can’t Forget the Motor City: Snowy Comerica Park in Detroit readies for Yankees at Tigers, Tues., April 19

4/18/22, Comerica Park right now….Should be a lovely Winter Classic between the #Yankees and #Tigers tomorrow."..@ByKristieAckert, Retweeted by Eric Boland

4/18/22, Erik Boland twitter

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Added: Can’t forget the Motor City," @1:35 in Dancing in the Street” lyrics, Martha and the Vandellas, released July 1964, Motown label, lyrics by Marvin Gaye, Ivory Joe Hunter, William Stevenson

Above, screen shot, You Tube

 

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Saturday, April 09, 2022

Newsday back page, Sun., 4/10/22, “Power Ball, Stanton, Rizzo provide pop as 6 Yankees relievers also go deep in win over Red Sox,” final 4-2 Yankees

Sunday, April 10, 2022, Newsday back page, “Stanton, Rizzo provide pop as 6 Yankees relievers also go deep in win over Red Sox,” final 4-2 Yankees

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Majesty of Yankee Stadium Opening Day sold for bloody US war propaganda. Professional baseball players assembled on the field to great fanfare, fans settled in seats, a captive audience at peak emotion and excitement. What next? The Ukrainian National Anthem. Either play both Russian and Ukrainian anthems or neither-4/8/2022

4/8/22, In Yankee Stadium on Opening Day: A beautiful rendition of Ukrainian National Anthem,“ “from Yankee Stadium,” Marly Rivera, ESPN

Final score in 11 innings, Yankees beat Red Sox 6-5

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Added: “Beautiful Rendition” of Russian National Anthem with both Russian and English lyrics:


The anthem was created and adopted in late 2000, and became the second anthem used by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

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Added: Metallica in Moscow in 1991 play “Enter Sandman:”


“Live at Monsters of Rock, Tushino Air Field, Moscow”

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Metallica's “Enter Sandman” was of course Mariano Rivera’s entrance music:


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“Enter Sandman” was even played for Rivera when he was at the White House for an award.


 

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Saturday, March 26, 2022

Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling Talking Bobble Head Night at Yankee Stadium, Friday, August 19, 2022

Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling Bobble Head night coming to Yankee Stadium on Friday, August 19, 2022! via Eric Boland twitter, 3/25/22…WFAN announcement says they’re “talking” bobble heads.

John and Suzyn broadcast every Yankee game on radio, WFAN AM&FM in NY metro. August 19 will be Blue Jays at Yankees

 

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Friday, October 22, 2021

Steve Somers will be leaving WFAN amicably sometime this fall, owner Audacy announces-Newsday, Neil Best

Among other things, Somers is known for his friendship with regular caller and Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld. “Jerry from Queens” returned to the show in April after a long absence.”

10/22/21, Steve Somers leaving WFAN ‘sooner rather than later’,” Newsday, Neil Best

Steve Somers, WFAN’s longest-serving daily host, will be leaving the station “more sooner rather than later,” he said on the air early Thursday morning [10/21].

After he made several allusions to his imminent departure early in the three-hour show, callers asked him for more details in the final half-hour or so, and Somers described the decision as a “mutual thing.”

“I’m at peace with it,” he said. “I’m not being fired.”

Somers, 74, said he was offered a return to his old overnight shift but declined it.

Shortly before 2 a.m., he told a caller, “What I’ve done before, I don’t want to do again, working five hours overnight. They made it clear that they wanted to keep me around, but the bottom line is the time period. I would need to recharge the batteries and so forth and so on.

“One thing I don’t want to do is have a farewell tour. [Mike] Francesa had that, and Joe Benigno had that, and I don’t want to go through all of the gladhanding, the hugging and the kisses and all that stuff. That would embarrass me, number one, and number two, I would rather share the information with those people who gave me the support and gave me, really, a life and gave me a career as far as that goes and that’s the audience late at night.”

WFAN did not set a date for Somers’ last show. Chris Oliviero, a senior vice president for Audacy, WFAN’s parent company, issued a statement that said, “Yes, sadly it is true. Steve will be wrapping up his full-time run at WFAN sometime this fall. He is without a doubt one of the most important building blocks in the history of WFAN.

“Steve and ‘the FAN’ became stars together. The voice, the wit, the humor, the catchphrases, all iconic. Now we have to convince him to give us all, especially the listeners, a chance to celebrate him, because he is worthy of the accolades.”

In a subsequent phone interview with Newsday, Oliviero reiterated his priority to arrange a proper sendoff, saying, “We do really want to do something big for him. That’s my job to coax him to do something. I’m going to make that my personal challenge.”

Somers said he might return for occasional appearances as a fill-in and reiterated he will leave on good terms after speaking to WFAN executives Oliviero and Spike Eskin.

“You want to give people a chance who are young and who are talented, and this station is doing that,” he said.

In an interview with Newsday in March, Somers called himself “the last one standing” from the original roster of hosts and indicated he might not be at it much longer.

“Maybe I’m the next one not standing, who knows?” he said.

He added then, “I understand where the direction of the station has gone, and I don’t have any ego problems at all, certainly not at this stage . . . I think so many of the young people at WFAN, both on the air and on the other side of the microphone, are very bright and very, very talented.

“You want to keep up with the times, and again, I totally understand where I’m at at this stage of my life and this stage of my career.”

Among other things, Somers is known for his friendship with regular caller and Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld. “Jerry from Queens” returned to the show in April after a long absence.

Somers had been upset with Seinfeld for several years over what Seinfeld characterized as a misunderstanding, telling Newsday, “Ridiculous. I love Mr. Somers.””


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Friday, October 01, 2021

Yankee Aaron Judge hits two home runs vs Toronto Blue Jays-Newsday back page, Fri. 10/1/21

Above, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, “All rise and shine, Judge’s two tape measure blasts boost Yankees’ playoff hopes,” Newsday back page. Final, Yankees 6, Toronto Blue Jays 2

 

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Sunday, September 12, 2021

On Oct. 30, 2001, Pres. George Bush is about to throw first pitch at Yankee Stadium and Derek Jeter tells him, “Don’t bounce it, they’ll boo you.” World Series Game 3

10/30/2001, Yankee Stadium, World Series Game 3, “Behind The Scenes Of Pres. Bush’s 1st Pitch At 2001 World Series–Weeks After 9-11”

Above two images, 10/30/2001, Derek Jeter chats with Pres. Bush before his first pitch, screen shots from You Tube video. “Don’t bounce it, they’ll boo you,” Bush remembers him [Jeter] saying.” Bush relates this at 2:40.

Above, 10/30/2001, Bush emerges from Yankee dugout, screen shot, mlb video

Above, 10/30/2001, Yankee Stadium, Bush heads to the mound, screen shot mlb video

Above, 10/30/2001, Bush on the mound at Yankee Stadium World Series game 3 vs Diamondbacks. Final score, 2-1 Yankees, 7 innings pitched by Roger Clemens, 8th and 9th innings pitched by Mariano Rivera

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Comment: It was a great moment. Too bad over the years George Bush revealed himself to be a nasty creep.


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Friday, September 10, 2021

World Trade Center Jumpers, September 11, 2001-Reuters photo

[<span class=

9/10/2011, “The 9/11 victims America wants to forget: The 200 jumpers who flung themselves from the Twin Towers who have been ‘airbrushed from history,” UK Daily Mail, Tom Leonard

  • Almost all of them jumped alone, although eyewitnesses talked of a couple who held hands as they fell.”…

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Added:

9/10/2011, Children of 9/11: Life with a parent missing,” Newsday, Carol Polsky

Nearly 3,000 children under the age of 18 lost a parent on Sept 11. The average age was 9. A total of 108 were born in the months after their fathers died.”…

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Added:

9/6/2010,September 11: Recalling my day at the World Trade Center, the experiencejunkie.com by msw

“Then the crowd let out a collective gasp, I looked to see the first of many people falling through the sky. The television stations and the newspapers downplayed this aspect of a day already filled with enough shock and terror, but I place great importance on it because it immediately human-ised the situation for both myself and those around me. This wasn’t just a burning building; it was suddenly full of people, friends, and family. For me, it is the most haunting memory of the day. When I focussed on what the crowd had noticed, I too let out a cry so involuntary and so primeval that I barely recognised it as my own. It was not a piece of building falling to the ground, but a man, recognisable by his flapping tie and flailing arms and legs as he fell through the air. The situation was surreal no longer; my body shook with shock, my knees buckled and a light-headedness overwhelmed me with such severity that I thought I was either going to throw-up or fall down.

I sat down and looked up only to see more people jumping. I thought for a moment that they might have fallen, but there were too many people, their arms windmilling as they subconsciously tried to fight gravity and avoid the inevitable. Haunted by these visions numerous times since the incident, I have tormented myself by trying to imagine the extreme conditions that those people must have faced that they should choose certain death by leaping from the building over clinging to any hope of rescue. What were they thinking when they jumped; what did they think on the way down?…But my fear is that to forget is to fail the lesson and lose the opportunity. That’s why this raw wound will never completely heal and that things can never go back to ‘normal’. Because even as a simple bystander I have a responsibility to incite change for the rest of my life or I watched all those people die in vain.”

  • ——————————————–

[Sept11AP3.<span class=
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Sunday, August 08, 2021

Everyone who takes a Covid PCR test is entitled to see their Ct score. States should forbid reporting of “cases” without corresponding Ct scores. Rhode Island Ct numbers acquired via FOIA-Todd Kenyon, 1/8/21

Every individual receiving a test should receive their associated Ct score. Furthermore, all states should require Ct scores to be reported along with “cases.””…

1/8/21, “COVID-19 PCR Testing: Cycle threshold values are the missing piece of the pandemic puzzle–until now,” by Todd Kenyon, PhD, CFA, RationalGround.com
“Most folks by now have heard that the great majority of COVID-19 tests are PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests. And you may have heard that there are potential problems with interpreting the results of these tests. New data obtained from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in the State of RI [Rhode Island] confirms that there is much more information contained in PCR testing than a simple “positive/negative for COVID” result. Yet until now this information has been withheld.

First, a quick review of the PCR test. Originally developed to detect the presence of DNA and RNA in biological samples, even its Nobel Prize-winning inventor Kary Mullis declared that PCR was never intended to diagnose a disease. It simply detects the presence of specific genetic material, which may or may not indicate infection.

With every other disease, clinical symptoms are required for diagnosis. The vaccine trials require specific symptoms along with a positive test to flag someone as a COVID-19 “case”. Yet we are running millions of PCR tests worldwide on asymptomatic folks and quarantining them (this includes essential health care workers) if they test “positive” – no symptoms required.

As Dr. Mullis put it, the PCR technique can find almost anything in anybody. The PCR test uses amplification cycles to find viral RNA. The sample is repeatedly chemically amplified to increase the RNA copies until they can be detected. Each “cycle” of amplification doubles the number of molecules in a sample. If you run enough cycles, you can effectively find a single molecule of any substance.

But is this clinically significant? Not according to many studies that confirm PCR results by culturing virus from the samples (a technique not practical for wide-spread testing). These studies indicate that if the machine must run more than 25 to 35 cycles to get the sample to the test’s Limit of Detection, there isn’t enough virus in the sample to matter clinically – i.e., no live virus can be cultured.

Yet data we have obtained indicates that most labs run more than 35 cycles, and some run as many as 45! Since each cycle doubles the RNA copies, 40 cycles means ONE TRILLION-fold amplification (2 to the 40th power)!

The number of cycles required for the machine to flag the sample positive, known as the CYCLE THRESHOLD or Ct, is proportional to the original viral load in the sample. Higher viral load = more infection. Fewer cycles required to detect the virus (Lower Ct) = more infection. Once you get to ~30+ cycles, the likelihood that the subject is infectious becomes very small. This Ct number is a crucial part of the PCR test result!

Except that officials don’t seem to think so. If you get a positive PCR test result, good luck getting your Ct value. It is simply not reported. This is akin to taking a cholesterol test and getting a yes/no answer. You are “positive” for high cholesterol, but no information is given on LDL and HDL levels and how far out of normal range they are. That would be ridiculous, yet this is what the world is doing with PCR tests for COVID-19.

On top of the Ct issue is that tests don’t look for the complete RNA strand. Instead, they test for one, two, or three gene sequences. Tests that look for only one sequence are less accurate than those that use two or three, and even if the Ct value is reported, that value is often the average of the values for the different gene sequences instead of the number of cycles needed to detect each sequence. If the number of cycles for detecting different sequences varies widely, that may be an indication that there is a problem with the test, and averaging the values can hide that.

If you get a positive result, you have no idea “how positive” you are. Are you infectious? Likely to become ill?

There’s no way to know without the Ct score–

but go and quarantine anyway! Not only does this result in huge amounts of needless quarantines, it also serves to drive fear and panic. Overly sensitive

tests with no Ct “score” are used to inflate “case” counts.

Also, everyone who shows up at a hospital for any reason is tested, with no Ct information, and if “positive” they are counted as a “COVID hospitalization”. Even fatalities are inflated, as many jurisdictions only require a “positive” test any time in the 1-2 months before death to flag someone as a COVID fatality.

So a binary “positive/negative” PCR test regime with no quantitative information inflates COVID numbers

from cases

to hospitalizations 

to deaths.

Ct data is simply not reported, and many labs claim they don’t even keep them. It took a FOIA request from an intrepid member of RIFreedom.org to finally uncover data from the [Rhode Island] RI State Health Laboratory (RISHL) spanning March-June 2020. If this Rhode Island data is at all representative, there is a lot to be learned from PCR test Ct scores.

First we take a look at each individual positive test, plotted as Ct score versus date of test. The pandemic hit RI hard in early spring, and these data cover that period. Note the color code that indicates which of these “positive” tests may have been truly infectious versus not infectious, or “cold positives”. One can argue where exactly to draw these zones, but the point is clear that a great number of the positive tests represented “cold”/non-infectious individuals.

Next we look at the relative numbers of tests in each category, by Ct value.

Data source: RI HHS via RIFreedom.org
By: TTBikeFit LLC

We can see that nearly half of the positive tests had Ct scores of greater than 32 – meaning they were probably not infectious. Only 42% were likely infectious, and this is during a time when RI was smack in the middle of the spring pandemic, AND when they were mainly testing symptomatic people!

We can analyze the data further by looking at what percentage of Ct scores were above 32 (likely not infectious) by month. As the Spring progresses, we see more tests with higher Ct values = more people with lower viral loads, to the point where 2/3 of tests in June were likely not infectious.

Data source: RI HHS via RIFreedom.org
By: TTBikeFit LLC

Note that RI’s case/hospitalization/death metrics peaked right near the end of April – which corresponds to the large jump in non-infectious Ct scores in May vs April!

Now it gets even more interesting. Let’s look at the daily mean Ct scores by date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As May approaches, the average Ct score of positive tests rises linearly through the “maybe infectious” zone into the “not infectious” zone, again showing clearly that viral loads were decreasing (fewer people were actually sick).

Finally, if we overlay fatalities, we can clearly see the potential predictive effect of Ct score trends relative to pandemic severity. In the graph below, daily fatalities have been offset by 21 days (shifted 21 days earlier than actual date of death) to better align with infection date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here I inverted the Ct scale to represent viral load. As viral load is decreasing (Ct score increasing), we see that fatalities (21 days later) follow. As average Ct scores pass through the yellow into the green zone, fatalities wane.

So the Ct score clearly has predictive power! As it should, since it represents viral load, and higher viral load = more severe illness. It is quite possible that by May-June most of the positive tests were picking up non-viable RNA–dead virus. [What Dr. Fauci would call “dead nucleotides“ at 4:30]

Perhaps one might object that this is just one data set (sadly), so maybe this is a fluke. Well, we did manage to procure a second small data set from a lab on the U.S. west coast, also from the spring. And voila, the Ct score distributions are remarkably similar to those in RI.

Data source: confidential
By: TTBikeFit LLC

It is frankly negligent that officials and “experts” on both sides of pandemic policy are ignoring or cannot access this data. Labs simply don’t provide them, apparently because they are not required to do so. Beyond informing a tested individual regarding the severity of infection (or if there is even an infection at all), the distribution of Ct scores in any given time period provides information that clearly has predictive value in gauging pandemic severity. Yet Ct values are nearly impossible to obtain. To date, only the state of Florida has moved to require reporting of Ct scores, though it’s unclear what the level of public disclosure will be (if any). PCR testing is used as a blunt instrument to whip up reporting of “cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, while crucial insights from Ct scores are ignored.

Worse than draconian lockdown policies are lockdowns based on faulty and incomplete data. How can rational policy be set based on metrics that are corrupted through improper use of PCR testing?

Every individual receiving a test should receive their associated Ct score. Furthermore, all states should require Ct scores to be reported along with “cases.””…

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Friday, July 09, 2021

In baseball today, less contact, less action. 2016 had 3,294 more hits than strikeouts. 2021 is on a pace for 5,000 more strikeouts than hits-George Will, Washington Post

7/9/21, Opinion: Baseball is losing its entertainment value. It’s time to change the rules." George F. Will, Washington Post

Even if you belong in the basket of deplorables — Americans uninterested in baseball — you should be intrigued by the sport’s current problems. At the all-star break, Major League Baseball’s 2021 season is demonstrating, redundantly, that the quality of the game as entertainment is declining. Paradoxically, the problems arise from reasonable behavior based on abundant accurate information.

Improved technology generates data about pitches’ spin rates, the launch angles of batters’ swings, particular batters’ tendencies on particular pitches and much more. Improved kinesiology increases pitching velocity. The results include a slower pace of play, diminished action, fewer balls in play and more of them handled by radically repositioned infielders.

Five seasons ago [2016], there were 3,294 more hits than strikeouts. Three seasons ago, strikeouts edged past hits. Writer Jayson Stark notes that until 2018 there had never been a month with more strikeouts than hits. This April [2021] there were almost 1,100 more strikeouts than hits, and writer Tyler Kepner says this season is on a pace for approximately 5,000 more strikeouts than hits. Twenty-four percent of plate appearances end in strikeouts (they are increasing for the 16th consecutive season, partly because today’s average fastball’s velocity is 93.8 mph, 2.7 mph more than 14 years ago. As of mid-June, the .238 collective major league batting average was 15 points below 2019. In 2015, teams shifted infielders on 9.6 percent of all pitches. This season, teams are shifting on 32 percent (usually an infielder in shallow right field), which will erase perhaps 600 hits.

With pitchers dawdling to recover between high-exertion, high-velocity pitches and with 36 percent of at-bats ending with home runs, strikeouts or walks, around four minutes pass, on average, between balls put in play. Players spend much more time with leather on their hands than with wood in their hands, but have fewer and fewer opportunities to display their athleticism as fielders. Home runs predominate because scoring by hitting a ball far over defensive shifts is more likely than hitting three singles, through shifts, off someone throwing 98 mph fastballs and 90 mph secondary pitches. This means fewer baserunners. In 2021, there probably will be 1,000 fewer stolen bases than 10 years ago.

Writer Tom Verducci notes that in the last 26 minutes of 2020’s most-watched game, the final World Series game, just two balls were put in play. In this game, the ball was put in play every 6.5 minutes, and half the outs were strikeouts.

More pitches and less contact. Longer games (13 minutes 17 seconds longer than a decade ago) and less action. No wonder fans who have been neurologically rewired by their digital devices’ speeds are seeking other entertainments. Major league attendance has fallen 14 percent from its 2007 peak.

Last season, MLB made an action-creating change — a runner is placed on second base to begin each extra half-inning. And MLB is experimenting with other changes in various minor leagues.

Because pitching velocity is suffocating offense, MLB could move the pitcher’s mound back a foot (from today’s 60 feet six inches) to give batters more reaction time. The changed physiology of pitchers has, in effect, moved the mound closer to home plate: In the 1950s, the Yankee’s 5-foot 10-inch Whitey Ford had a Hall of Fame career. Today, 6-foot 4-inch pitchers, with long arms and long strides, release the ball significantly closer to the plate than Ford did.

Requiring four infielders to be on the infield dirt — or, even bolder, requiring two infielders to be on the dirt on each side of second base — as the pitch is thrown, would reduce reliance on home runs, which are four seconds of action, followed by a leisurely 360-foot trot. A 20-second pitch clock might reduce velocity by reducing pitchers’ between-pitches recovery time. And by quickening baseball’s tempo, the clock might prevent batters from wandering away from the batter’s box and ruminating between pitches. Stolen bases might increase if pitchers had to step off the rubber before throwing to first base. After a walk and then a steal, one single would produce a score.

Baseball fans, a temperamentally conservative tribe, viscerally oppose de jure changes to their game. They must, however, acknowledge the damage done to it by this century’s cumulatively momentous de facto changes in the way it is played. What Edmund Burke said of states is pertinent: “A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.””

 

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

MLB Commissioner Manfred says sports betting is good for baseball, “fills in the gaps” in the game. NBA Commissioner told Manfred to stop complaining about slow pace of baseball, its pace is perfect for sports betting

4/27/21, “The brazen hypocrisy of all of these sports leagues, which for years and years and years demonized gambling and now embrace it as a revenue source and dress it up as some kind of way to reach fans is comical. Especially MLB.” Erik Boland twitter

Above, 4/27/21, Erik Boland twitter

LA Times’ Bill Shaikin twitter: MLB Commissioner “Rob Manfred on Sportico Live: Sports betting is a massive opportunity for fan engagement.” He said [NBA Commissioner] Adam Silver told him to stop talking about pace of game, because baseball’s pace of game is perfect for sports betting (meaning wagering between pitches and innings).”

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Added: Manfred: Gambling can “fill in the gaps” in baseball games:

4/27/21, [MLB Commissioner] “Manfred certainly believes there is a bright future with baseball and sports betting.

“We do see it as an opportunity in everything we do-our broadcast, all forms of fan engagement,” he said. “It is better for our fans and those interested in it to fill in the gaps for the game and another opportunity for entertainment that our fans clearly want.“…msn sports, radio.com

 

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Snow in Cleveland postpones Cleveland Indians game against Chicago White Sox, April 21, 2021

Above, 4/21/21, Cleveland, Ohio, “Snowy scenes at Progressive Field," “Photos: Mother Nature gives us a rude awakening that anything is possible in April,” news5cleveland.com

Above, 4/21/21, Snow at Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio, news5Cleveland.com

4/21/21, Cleveland Indians game against White Sox postponed due to April snow," news5Cleveland.com, by Kaylyn Hlavaty, Cleveland

The Cleveland Indians announced it has postponed Wednesday’s game against the White Sox due to snowy conditions at Progressive Field.

“Tonight’s game against the White Sox has been postponed and will be made up as part of a traditional doubleheader on May 31 when there is (hopefully) not snow on the ground.

If you have a ticket to tonight’s postponed contest, you will receive an email with further details. pic.twitter.com/HoadMt7R9X— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) April 21, 2021″

Anyone with a ticket tonight will receive further instructions, the team said.”

Above, 4/21/21, “Shaker Heights [Ohio] residents woke up to snow-covered roads, flowers and street signs.” news5cleveland.com

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Added:

Above, 4/21/21, from ESPN MLB scoreboard

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Thursday, April 08, 2021

After failing to spell out specific criticisms of Georgia’s voting laws, Rob Manfred is in the awkward position of having to defend Colorado’s voting laws. The situation calls to mind the 2006 Duke lacrosse case, when many erred-like Mr. Manfred has here-Fay Vincent, Wall St. Journal, 4/6/21

What is the basis for acting so forcefully against Georgia?...Mr. Manfred failed to spell out specific criticisms of Georgia’s voting law. Now he’s put himself in the awkward position of having to defend Colorado’s voting laws....The situation calls to mind the 2006 Duke lacrosse case, when many erred—like Mr. Manfred has here."

4/6/21, Rob Manfred’s All-Star Error," Wall St. Journal, Fay Vincent, opinion (Print ed. April 7)

“The commissioner politicized baseball over a law he likely hadn’t examined.”

“Major League Baseball decided last week to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta after the Georgia Legislature passed changes to the state’s voting laws that many, including President Biden, called racist. Activists urged Commissioner Robert Manfred to punish Georgia. By rushing to do so without first protesting the substance of the law, Mr. Manfred made a serious mistake.

The use of “muscle” or financial power to influence policy is an ancient tactic. The term “boycott” has its roots in 19th-century Ireland, where the nationalist politician Charles Stewart Parnell urged his followers not to deal with Charles Cunningham Boycott, a highly unpopular British land agent. A boycott is generally an act of desperation, and the original one was largely unsuccessful.

Organizations like Major League Baseball have sometimes participated in public debates over policy. Moving directly to an economic sanction suggests that Mr. Manfred believed the Georgia law required drastic intervention. But consider what he didn’t do: He didn’t limit the number of home games the Atlanta Braves will play. He’d need the approval of the players’ union to do that, and Braves owner John Malone would surely resist. To move the site of the All-Star Game is one thing; to ignore union and ownership powers is quite another.

The midsummer All-Star Game is an exhibition that benefits only the city where it’s played. It was reported Tuesday morning that Denver will be the new host. The players will get paid no matter where the game takes place. MLB will get the same television revenue. The only people hurt by Mr. Manfred’s decision will be Atlanta’s stadium workers and local vendors.

The talk shows and editorial pages are full of questions. What is the basis for acting so forcefully against Georgia? If Georgia is racist, how can baseball talk of doing business with China? Mr. Manfred failed to spell out specific criticisms of Georgia’s voting law. Now he’s put himself in the awkward position of having to defend Colorado’s voting laws.

During my time as commissioner, I learned that the American people view baseball as a public trust. They want the game to stand for the best and noblest of our national virtues. They see baseball as the repository of their dreams, even as they root for their favorite teams. They don’t want, and won’t accept, anything that separates them from the game’s history and leadership.

Major League Baseball can’t become a weapon in the culture wars, a hostage for one political party or ideology. It can’t be only for the rich or the poor, nor can it only be for one race, as it was until 1947. Baseball must always stand above politics and its dark elements of corruption, greed and sordid selfishness. It can’t go wrong by standing for national greatness.

The situation calls to mind the 2006 Duke lacrosse case, when many erred—like Mr. Manfred has hereby leaping to a conclusion based on assumptions rather than carefully considered facts. I’ve done the same thing, to my regret. Much rides on Mr. Manfred’s shoulders so he must be prudent. Perhaps he now sees how complicated these issues can become. I wish him well.”

“Mr. Vincent was commissioner of baseball, 1989-92.” “Appeared in the April 7, 2021, print edition.”

 

 

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