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Ball of Confusion

 
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Posts: 16628
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Thu 11/29/18 12:14 am    Post subject: Ball of Confusion Reply with quote

Tantalizing thread title? My head is swimming from so many scary events taking place in our crazy world, but when it gets to the point where real life encroaches on baseball, what can you do?

For years, I've asked that we not delve into politics in this forum, mostly because I want anyone of any political persuasion to feel welcome here. In fact, I have strictly limited such discussions to what impact politics has on baseball, or what impact baseball has on politics.

And there's just too much of that going on lately. As everyone knows, I have no aversion to this topic and in fact, have somewhat of a fascination with it.

But now, we're living in unprecedented times, when donations to political candidates are being questioned, response to natural disasters is being criticized, and numerous other examples. So how can you avoid discussing politics?

Just wondering what other opinions are out there.
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forloveofthegame



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu 11/29/18 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear you there. I think it has gone beyond just talking politics because right now I worry more about the blurring between lying and truthfulness. It is like nothing I have ever seen before. My thoughts are MLB should stay out of donating to candidates in general. Players should do as they wish but I would not like it if ownership supported someone running for office that I thought was taking us backwards. To be fair I would say just avoid it if you can - even if it is a candidate I like, myself.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Wed 12/5/18 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard Alex Cora has announced the Red Sox will visit the White House. I wonder how many of the team will go.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Mon 1/28/19 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard today that Mookie Betts will not make the trip to the White House with the Red Sox. Does anyone know when that is scheduled to happen?
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sunnyblue



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sun 5/5/19 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it was confirmed today he won't go, and yes I did have to search a long time to find this thread!

So far that makes Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, JBJ, Rafael Devers, David Price, Christian Vazquez and Hector Velazquez who won't be going.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 5/6/19 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Chris Sale is? LOL.

Originally Cora had suggested he would attend in order for it to be a "teachable moment." I'm not sure what happened with that, but I applaud him. This is not about simple disagreement with policy.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Thu 5/9/19 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I understand the White House was not too "bright" by calling them the "Red Socks" on their website and mentioning the "World Cup Series" - does anyone there pay attention to sports? Maybe not the biggest deal in the world but it shows how shoddy their lack of attention to detail is. I think Trump was just so happy that some of them showed up he did not even mind that they chanted "Yankees suck." Lol
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 5/10/19 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll post more about this later. But yes, Big Papi has backed Alex Cora's decision!

Opinion piece from the L.A. Times:

"Alex Cora’s White House Snub Consistent with his Stance on Puerto Rico"

By LZ GRANDERSON
MAY 06, 2019 | 10:00 PM


In January 2018, Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora brought a delegation that included team President Sam Kennedy, pitching ace Chris Sale and the mayor of Boston, Martin Walsh, to Puerto Rico.

Four months earlier, Hurricane Maria had devastated the island, killing more people than Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11 attack combined, according to a Harvard study. Cora and company brought nearly 10 tons of supplies, including water filtration systems, food, diapers and medical supplies.

After the Red Sox won the World Series, Cora brought the trophy to his home country to inspire a country still struggling more than a year after the storm hit.

Sunday, Cora decided to bring the heat.

“The government has done some things back home that are great, but we still have a long ways to go,” Cora said, as he announced he would not be attending Thursday’s White House celebration of the World Series champions. “That’s our reality. It’s pretty tough to go celebrate when we’re where we’re at. I’d rather not go and be consistent with everything.”

Cora added that many people still lack electricity in their homes, and schools are still in bad shape nearly a year and a half later.

On Monday, a day after Cora spoke about his protest, President Trump added another bizarre chapter to his adversarial relationship with facts. He took to Twitter, seemingly in response to Cora’s comments, attacking Democrats by mischaracterizing the post-Hurricane Maria aid given to Puerto Rico. He wrote that the island had been given $91 billion, “should be very happy,” and — after listing a number of red states he claimed Democrats threatened to punish in retaliation to his response to Puerto Rico — added “Dems don’t want farmers to get any help.”

More than an accounting of long-dispersed funds already in the bank, his $91 billion claim is actually more like an estimated IOU cobbled together across a number of government agencies.

As for the insinuation helping Puerto Rico doesn’t help farmers, farming income on the island grew 25% from 2012-2014 to the tune of $900 million.

In other words, helping Puerto Rico does help American farmers — lest we forget Puerto Ricans are Americans.

Cora is not the first sports figure to skip the traditional White House visit, and almost certainly won’t be the last. But his absence, as well as that of a number of his players, is part of a growing trend since the 2016 election.

Whereas before most players showed up if for no other reason than to respect the office of the presidency, we now see athletes and coaches openly protesting the man in the office, respect be damned. Members of the Golden State Warriors publicly debated not visiting the White House in 2017, leading Trump to tweet (of course) that the invite was withdrawn. In 2018, nearly all of the Philadelphia Eagles players and coaches said they were boycotting the visit in light of Trump’s comments about players protesting during the national anthem. Trump later canceled the visit.

For those who don’t remember, Trump has called black NFL players who were protesting police brutality during the national anthem “sons of bitches.” He said a Latino judge was not capable of doing his job simply because he was Latino. He also said “grab them by the [crotch].”

It’s inconsistent to ask athletes to be respectful of the office when the office is disrespectful to them. And, regardless of one’s political affiliation, it’s hard to imagine any rational adult reading these comments made by Trump and viewing them as respectful toward minorities or women.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not invite Jesse Owens to the White House, and in the lead-up to Brown v Board of Education, President Eisenhower told Chief Justice Earl Warren he could understand why white southerners wanted to make sure “their sweet little girls [are not] required to sit in school alongside some big black buck.” But at least we can acknowledge that flawed mentality was a reflection of American culture. We’re different now, especially in the sports community.

Cora, who has won a World Series as a player, coach and manager, is not going to be blackballed for his overt politics the way onetime Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Craig Hodges was after his visit to the White House in 1992. Hodges showed up wearing a dashiki and equipped with a letter for President George H.W. Bush that read in part:

“The purpose of this note is to speak on behalf of the poor people, Native Americans, homeless and, most specifically, the African Americans, who are not able to come to this great edifice and meet the leader of the nation where they live.

"This letter is not begging for anything, but 300 years of free slave labor has left the African American community destroyed. It is time for a comprehensive plan for change.”

Hodges, who at the time was winner of three consecutive All-Star game three-point shooting contests, was cut soon thereafter and never played in the NBA again.

The abrupt end to his career was the kind of cautionary tale that likely prevented athletes, particularly those of color, from using their platform to direct attention toward social ills and policy shortcomings. But it is undeniable that what began during President Obama’s administration has not waned but grown in strength. We know this because while Colin Kaepernick’s NFL career is essentially over, his popularity has not dissipated. In fact, Nike has monetized his stance.

Professional athletes are no longer content with being used as props to help a president appear more relatable. They are demanding a return on investment, a demand that perhaps comes with consequences. While media attention regarding the controversial visits for the Warriors and Eagles occurred during their respective offseason, the Red Sox are in the early stages of their regular season. The defending champions have a sub-.500 record, and one can’t help but wonder if the White House visit has something to do with team chemistry. Reportedly, 11 players have decided not to go. But Sale is going, as is Kennedy.

“We fully support Alex and respect his decision,” Kennedy told the Boston Herald.

It’s refreshing to see men and women of tremendous influence moving away from being self-serving and returning to behaving selflessly the way icons like Billie Jean King and Muhammad Ali did. The continued suffering of the people of Puerto Rico is back in the news and Cora’s stance is a big reason why.

Cora, who has used his resources to help in the recovery of Puerto Rico, isn’t disrespecting the office of the president by not attending the ceremony. He is holding it accountable. Fortunately, that’s no longer a career killer.
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-Baseball Hall of Fame
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