Major League Baseball
The surveillance state comes to the ballpark
With the scale of foul play mounting in every sport, it is apparently time to add a spurious note of fairness: Instant replay has come to Major League Baseball. The reasoning seems to be that if so many of us are having such fun watching sports on screens, why shouldn’t the officials get screens, too?
Today marks the official start to baseball season! Well, that’s not quite true. The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners played a pair of untelevised games in Japan last week, the results of which remain unclear. And last night, the St. Louis Cardinals faced off against an unrecognizable team dressed in orange uniforms that has apparently been in the NL East for 20 years. In any event, many first pitches will be thrown today, and if we’re lucky, a few first retaliatory beanballs.
Since the 1960s, professional football has supplanted baseball as our nation’s favorite sport—generating higher revenue and better television ratings. And, as the past few weeks have demonstrated, college basketball has captured the attention and diminished the productivity of the American workforce in ways baseball does not. But let’s not confuse popularity with superiority. Major League Baseball (MLB), the oldest spectator team sport in the nation, has become the most affordable and least exploitative one—and its labor relations are remarkably harmonious, too.
Conservatives are charging the Medicare Trustees report, which says that the Affordable Care Act has extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund, with double counting. Jim Horney shoots this objection down: The National League’s home run leader, Washington Nationals slugger Adam Dunn, hit two homers on Wednesday in the Nats’ 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. What would you do if a disgruntled Diamondback suggested that Major League Baseball should not count those homers toward his individual home run total and toward the Nats’ run total in their 7-2 win because, somehow, this amount
One frustrating problem with the dysfunction of the Senate is that Senate institutionalists have no capacity to grasp the structural forces causing the current mess. Here is a perfect example. David Broder, the voice of institutional Washington, reads George Packer's long article on Senate dysfunction and comments: Packer does as good a job as I have ever read of tracing the forces that have brought the Senate to its low estate.
Last week’s filing of the anticipated federal lawsuit against Arizona’s controversial immigration law--set to take effect July 29--all but guarantees the issue will continue to roil debate. Despite the controversy—and President Obama’s repeated denunciations of the law--21 states may follow Arizona’s lead, having discussed or introduced “copy-cat” legislation. Off the front pages, the heat continues to build on other fronts.
Like Satan, Sodomy and Socialism, Soccer begins with an S. Obviously, then, it's un-American and likely to corrupt these great United States. Hats off to Marc Thiessen for scrawling the most absurd anti-soccer nonsense of the World Cup. At long last we have a winner: The world is crazy for soccer, but most Americans don’t give a hoot about the sport. Why? Many years ago, my former White House colleague Bill McGurn pointed out to me the real reason soccer hasn’t caught on in the good old U.S.A. It’s simple, really: Soccer is a socialist sport. Think about it.