We’ve all become accustomed to Al Gore’s constant preaching about global warming. He put together a movie about climate change and managed to win a Nobel Prize due to his fear-mongering and alarmism. We’ve heard various theories and claims over the years from Gore and the like about global warming and its effects. However, I may have heard the strangest claim to date.
Tim McCarver, who may be the worst sports broadcaster I’ve ever listened to, recently said that global warming is causing more homeruns in Major League Baseball. Seriously, he actually said this:
There have been all kinds of reasons given for the increasing number of home runs in baseball over the decades including more tightly-sewn balls, steroids, improved fitness training programs, and bat technology.
On Saturday, renowned Fox sportscaster Tim McCarver blamed it all on Al Gore’s favorite money-making scam.
“It has not been proven, but I think ultimately it will be proven that the air is thinner now, there have been climatic changes over the last 50 years in the world, and I think that’s one of the reasons balls are carrying much better now than I remember,” McCarver said during Saturday’s game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Really? I’ve never been one to take McCarver seriously. In all honesty, I refuse to watch games that he’s broadcasting. The guy drives me nuts. However, McCarver’s claim here deserves to be looked at a little deeper, and since it’s baseball, it makes the issue more interesting.
This particular question is one that I’ve never really looked at in-depth, but last night I went through the data dating back to 1993 to last season (the chart below shows 1992 and 2012, but I couldn’t get rid of those years for some reason).
Armando Galarraga pitched the game of his life against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night. With two outs in the top of the 9th, he was one out away from a perfect game, a rare feet in baseball. Twenty-seven batters faced, twenty-seven outs. No walks, no errors.
The last hitter he faced, Jason Donald, hit a ground ball to the hole between first and second. It was fielded by Miguel Cabrera and tossed to Galarraga, who was covering the bag at first. Jim Joyce, the first-base umpire, called Donald safe, killing the perfect game/no-hitter.
It was a close play, and it’s obvious from looking at the replay that Joyce missed the call. He even admits that he missed it. The outrage from fans has been loud, though mixed as far as reversing the call to somehow give Galarraga the perfect game.
Galarraga has been a class act, by the way. This was the scene today in Detroit:
My 12 year old daughter recently landed her first regular job. Once a week she goes to watch a little boy for a couple hours so his mom can get things done around the house.
She’s both delighted and very proud of her earning power. Plus, it will help her understand the value of money – and hard work – as she starts moving into her teen years. I’m excited. She’s excited. Everybody’s excited.
Last night she was asking me about inflation. Her question specifically was about the idea of minting two $1 trillion dollar coins and why it might be a bad idea.
So we talked about the increase of money supply, and I tried to explain it in a way I thought she could understand: baseball cards. Her favorite baseball player is Atlanta Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, so I used him in the discussion.
I said, “If there were only 100 of a certain Tyler Pastornicky card in the world, would it be worth a lot or a little?”
“A lot!” was her reply.
“So if I had one, what do you think it would be worth?”
“Probably at least $50.” (Please nobody sell my daughter your Tyler Pastornicky cards…she’ll pay way too much for them.)
So we continued the discussion, talking about how long she would have to work to earn the money for that Pastornicky card. And then I said, “what if, after you’ve already spent $50 for the card, the baseball card company prints 1,000 more of the same card?”
She got mad. And rightfully so. She knew that her prized baseball card would be worth a lot less than the $50 she paid for it. “But,” she said, “they don’t do that. When they say there’s only 100, that’s all they make.”
Voting results were released last week for the Baseball of Hall of Fame. Despite a few solid candidates being on the ballot with credentials, sportswriters didn’t find anyone worthy of enshrinement into Cooperstown. The oddity of this year’s ballot was that there were players who had hit the traditional criteria — 3,000 hits or 500 homeruns for hitters and 300 wins for pitchers , etc — to make it to the Hall, but allegations of steroid usage really tainted the field.
For example, five players — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmerio, and Sammy Sosa — with numbers that would ordinarily get a player into Cooperstown were completely shutout by voters. The reason for this is because all are suspected or known to have used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) during their careers. However, players that played the game honestly who had the numbers, such as Craig Biggio, and some who had great careers — including Fred McGriff and Tim Raines — were also left out.
In an editorial at FoxNews.com, former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent has some ideas on how to deal with alleged cheaters without shorting players who deserve enshrinement and fans:
We want to honor those who played the game properly and fairly. We prefer to honor those who played by the rules and did not cheat.
I am secure in the rejection of those about whom there is doubt. Many serious commentators complain this result is not fair.
If I were involved, I would do three things:
Via Reason: The 2012 bankruptcy of Rhode Island-based video-game developer 38 Studios isn’t just a sad tale of a start-up tech company falling victim to the vagaries of a rough economy. It is a completely predictable story of crony capitalism, featuring star-struck legislators and the hubris of a larger-than-life athlete completely unprepared to compete in business.
Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, an iconic figure in New England after anchoring a historic playoff comeback which ended a legendary 86-year title drought, founded 38 Studios near the end of his baseball career in the hopes of becoming a big shot in the intensely competitive multi-player gaming world.
After being out of town a lot over the last month or so, I finally sat down this weekend to catch up on some much welcome non-political reading. While perusing the October 15th issue of ESPN: The Magazine, featuring the resurgence of sports in the District of Columbia, I ran across a story on athletes from the United States’ four major sports about their their views on the upcoming presidential election and some of the issues being hotly debated across the country, including gay marriage, abortion, and taxes.
The sample size is small, so it can’t be taken as anything solid, but it’s still interesting for those of us that are both sports and politics junkies.
On who they want to see win the presidential election, athletes are overwhelmingly behind Mitt Romney, with Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL) showing the strongest support. Suprisingly, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is also firmly behind Romney. President Obama only gains a plurality in the National Football League (NFL), with many Sunday stars staying undecided.
The nanny statists are now telling the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) that they should ban members from using tobacco products during games:
The day before game one of the World Series, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and other senators are asking Major League Baseball to ban players from using tobacco products at games, especially smokeless or chewing tobacco.
“Tomorrow night, an expected 15 million viewers, including many children, will tune in to watch the first game of the series. Unfortunately, as these young fans root for their favorite team and players, they also will watch their on-field heroes use smokeless tobacco products,” wrote Durbin and other senators to MLB executive director Michael Weiner.
“During the upcoming negotiations over the bargaining agreement, we write to ask that the Major League Baseball Players Association agree to a prohibition on the use of all tobacco products at games and on camera at all Major League ballparks. This would send a strong message to young baseball fans, who look toward the players as role models, that tobacco use is not essential to the sport of baseball.”
Anyone who follows baseball to some extent probably knows that Derek Jeter just got his 3,000th career hit. That’s a milestone for any major league baseball player. Fan Christian Lopez got his hands on the ball, a memento worthy of the Hall of Fame. He gave it back to Jeter. The Yankees, apparently in appreciation for his returning the ball to the man Lopez referred to as an “icon”, gave him prizes like luxury box seats for the rest of the season and signed memorabilia, among other thing. Now, Uncle Sam wants a piece.
You see, these are categorized as “prizes” and are subject to taxes. Lopez may well be on the hook for thousands of dollars. Estimates seem to range from $5,000 to $13,000.
Lopez seems to not be bothered by the whole thing.
If it comes down to that, Lopez says he’ll pay the tax man because he’s not about to relinquish his seats. The young government major says his family and friends will help him out.
“The IRS has a job to do, so I’m not going to hold it against them, but it would be cool if they helped me out a little on this,” Lopez told the News.
You know what would be really cool? If our tax code took a few things into account, like prizes and/or gifts. You have a 23 year old kid who does something incredibly cool (the ball could have sold at auction for at least a quarter of a million dollars), and now he’s going to get shafted by the whole ordeal.
Of course, why should I expect sanity from government? You’d think I’d be past that by now.
“Tomorrow, Roger Clemens goes on trial for lying…to politicians. Which is like trying a woman for flashing her breasts at a stripper.” – Radley Balko
Roger Clemens went on trial this week for lying during an investigating into the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in baseball. Mind you, he is not being put on trial for actually using the drugs – and he shouldn’t be; rather telling a the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in 2008 that had not used them.
I get that no one forced him to come forward, but it’s laughable for Clemens to be indicted for lying to and “obstructing” a parliament of whores, to quote P.J. O’Rourke. And let’s face it, there are plenty of other things more important that a trial to avenge the delicate sensibilities of members of Congress.
John Stossel rightly notes that this is both a waste of time and taxpayer resources (emphasis mine):
When the Feds went after Barry Bonds, the taxpayers had to cough up more than $55 million to pay for it. I bet Clemens’ case will cost at least that. Why should you have to pay for this?
At the time Clemens allegedly took steroids, lots of players did, and the substances weren’t even illegal in private MLB.
Congress loves such hearings because they bring the narcissists the media attention they crave. Since 2000, there have been 11 congressional hearings related to Major League Baseball.
Clemens may have lied to Congress about using Performance Enhancing Drugs.
In his column yesterday, John Stossel makes this point about the indictment of Roger Clemens for lying to Congress:
Clemens may have lied to Congress in 2008 about whether he used PEDs, but who cares? Congress shouldn’t even be asking such questions.
While I agree with Stossel that Congress shouldn’t really be investigating steroid use in baseball, this is all Clemens’ own fault.
When the Mitchell Report came out in December 2007 and the House Committee investigation was reviewing it, Clemens and his attorney demanded a public hearing where he could answer what he contended were lies being spread by his former trainer. When Andy Pettitte, a teammate and personal friend, came forward and admitted both that he had used steroids on one occasion and that Clemens had admitted to him that he had used them as well, Clemens essentially called his friend a lair. The evidence that Clemens was lying that day in February 2008 was readily apparent and his testimony under cross-examination by Committee members was, quite frankly, an embarressment. But, he knew the consequences of lying under oath and he choose to do it anyway.
Like I said, I don’t think this should even have been a Congressional issue. It’s an internal baseball matter. But, that’s not what’s at stake here. Clemens put himself out front when the allegations came out by denying them publicly and then doing it again under oath. Now, it looks like he lied.