Posts Tagged ‘Baseball’

Bigoted Tweets Gives Us a Chance to Look in The Mirror

Sean Newcomb

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Over the course of just a few weeks, at least three Major League Baseball players’ social media behavior came back to haunt them. First, it was Milwaukee Brewers’ reliever Josh Hader, whose vile tweets were unearthed just after his All Star Game appearance. Yesterday, the past came back to bite Atlanta Braves’ pitcher Sean Newcomb (just after Newcomb pitched 8 and 2/3 no-hit innings) and Washington Nationals’ shortstop Trea Turner. 

Seven or so years ago, both Newcomb and Turner let racism and homophobia go from their brains, into their fingertips, and out into the world via Twitter.  Both players (likely at the behest of their employers) apologized almost immediately. Naturally, they blamed the tweets on their youth (both were around 18 at the time of the offending tweets), but that’s no excuse. It also serves as a helpful reminder that athletes should be admired for their athletic abilities, but admiring their characters is often a challenge.

Another striking contrast is what other ballplayers (in an array of sports) do to help their communities, raise awareness on social issues, like racial injustice, and what the megaphone provided to athletes is capable of doing.

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Durham Bulls Athletic Park is Too Nice for Crash Davis

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Is that headline too harsh? After all, Davis was one of the all-time greatest minor league hitters. The quintessential quad-A player.

It’s too bad Davis never played in the Durham Bulls’ current home.

Wait. This just in. Apparently, Crash Davis is a fictional character.

Regardless, the Durham Bulls Athletic Park is a gem and the legacy of the classic baseball flick Bull Durham is everywhere the eye can see.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

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Apparently, Predatory Lenders Found Their Way Into Baseball Too

A few weeks ago, Congress passed a bill embedded in the gigantic spending package making it easier for Major League Baseball owners to pay minor leaguers as little as possible. The new law ensures MLB owners only have to pay players for games played in the regular season. Never mind spring training, off season appearances, or anything else.

In recent years, minor leaguers shared stories often horrific stories about their lives in MiLB. They often face difficult living conditions and struggle just to eat a decent meal. As glamorous as being a pro baseball player seems, it’s really only glamorous for the guys raking in the big bucks in the majors.

A consequence of low wages is more visible this week, after top Cleveland Indians prospect Francisco Mejia filed a lawsuit against the company Big League Advance, which effectively bought a stake in Mejia’s future earnings. Basically, companies like Big League Advance provide minor leaguers with a sum of money in exchange for future earnings. In Mejia’s case, Big League Advance provided him with $360,000 in exchange for 10 percent of Mejia’s future MLB earnings. As a top prospect, Mejia could end up earning big money.

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A Double Dose of MiLB Action

IMG_1110There’s a plethora of Minor League Baseball in the Mid-Atlantic and frankly, there’s no good reason to avoid it. As May turned to June, we had one particular date on the calendar: the weekend of June 3. Why? The Columbia Fireflies were visiting the Hagerstown Suns. Why was this noteworthy? The one, the only Tim Tebow would be paying a visit to Hagerstown. As a Gator, I had to be there.

Unsurprisingly, tickets were hard to come by, but we managed to secure some grandstand seats for Sunday, June 4. The game was sure to be close to a sellout. We grabbed tickets for Hagerstown, accompanied by a few friends and were excited (well, I was; Ansley can’t stand Tim Tebow. Must be the two national championships he won with Florida while she was at Georgia…)

One would think an afternoon in Hagerstown would satiate our baseball appetites, but fear not friends, the title of this post is not a misnomer. No, no. We caught the Frederick Keys on the way home, because one game on a Sunday afternoon is just not enough!

Let the adventures begin!

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A Sudden Glut of Baseball

After a quiet early portion of baseball season, bereft of games, things dramatically shifted. In the last week, I’ve checked out the Pirates’ gorgeous PNC Park, and caught a Single-A doubleheader, seeing both the Hagerstown Suns and Frederick Keys today.

What does this all mean?

I need to write!

I have a full write-up on PNC Park (and by extension, Pittsburgh) in the hopper, and I’ll get rolling on reviews of Municipal Park (Hagerstown Suns) and Neymo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick Keys) in the coming days.

All in all, it’s been a great week of traveling through Pennsylvania and Maryland, getting a chance to traverse a few mountains, check out a Civil War battlefield, and most of all, see a few ballgames!

New adventures on tap for 2016

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After nearly 2 decades in Atlanta, this will be my new home ballpark. *Gulp*

Last year was filled was unfulfilled promises and plenty of false starts. Baseball took a backseat to finishing graduate school, largely unsuccessful attempts to find gainful employment in an economy that doesn’t value people with liberal arts degrees (I have only myself to blame), and a strange purgatory where I found myself in a place where most things in life seemed to stall.

However, in recent weeks, the finishing touches on a move to the Washington D.C. area were put in motion. Not only will this provide me with real, quality job opportunities, but it also puts me dangerously close to the majority of the AL and NL East, as well as a plethora of minor league teams at all levels of play. To say I’m excited is an understatement. So, after an underwhelming few years, which found me wallowing around the south, seeing a game or two at a minor league park in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama, I will now have relatively easy access to six major league teams, and more minor league teams than I can count.

What does this mean?

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New 2015 All Star Game caps are amazing

Behold, the greatest caps in All Star Game history.

Behold, the greatest caps in All Star Game history.

UPDATE II: Turns out the caps are a hoax. Oh well. Hopefully we get something cool for this year’s Midsummer Classic!

UPDATE: Well, good ole Paul Lukas from Uni-Watch has done some digging and apparently players are NOT wearing the pillbox hats during the ASG. Such a shame. Once I know what the pillbox hats are for, I’ll post an update.

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