Happy Opening Day! Post your favorite analogies to Easter and Passover in the comments.
Usually a link dump is supposed to be, like, a lot of links (hence “dump”), but I wanted to call attention to just three to make sure you actually read them (or view them in the case of the video). After all,you only have five hours to read them before we have actual baseball to talk about!
- First, as a follow-up to the pace of game post, Vox has a good video explaining the pace of game problem: how much the game has slowed, why it’s slowed (including helpful video illustration), and what’s being done to fix it. (I’ve got another post in the works on this, too.)
- The video features Grant Brisbee, who also has an absolutely stellar long read up about Barry Bonds and what he means to Giants fans and to baseball. Even aside from being a Giants fan, Brisbee may be the smartest baseball blogger out there, even though he masks it with self-deprecation and humor; he routinely captures the nuances of issues that others miss or prefer to blunder past, and this post is no exception. Here, he doesn’t treat Bonds’s steroid use as no big deal or something to rationalize, but neither does he condemn him categorically; he considers him, and our reactions to him then and now, in context. Giants fans are already privileged to have the consensus best broadcast team in baseball; having the best baseball blogger too just seems unfair. (If you want some juvenilia, and a sense of this kind of conflict being lived in real time, here’s my post about Bonds on my old blog, from the time that the extent of his juicing was becoming known.)
- Finally, I linked to this in my last post, but Craig Calcaterra’s piece on how the Angels are treating Josh Hamilton is a must-read. For the uninformed, Hamilton is a player with a history of drug addiction, who pulled himself out of the gutter and made it to the major leagues, but has suffered from periodic relapses, including one this off-season. Baseball attempted to get him suspended for drug abuse—which in itself is a horrible way to treat an addict who admitted to a relapse—but lost the case, and the Angels immediately condemned the decision not to suspend their own player, whom they signed knowing full well of his troubled past. The Angels signed Hamilton to an expensive contract, but he has not performed especially well—a clear case of caveat emptor—and the suspicion that they want an excuse not to pay him this year is overwhelming, especially since the evidence suggests they’re the ones who exposed his relapse to the press. There’s no question about the ethics here; this is a disgusting situation, and one wishes a grievance against the Angels was in the offing.
Woof, sorry to end on a down note. It’s Opening Day! Let’s not care if we ever get back.