The Red Sox impose plan to sucker, tax poor people

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The Red Sox and the Massachusetts State Lottery are partnering up for a new lottery game called “Monster Money.”  It’s a $10 scratch ticket game that debuted
yesterday. The game offers three $3 million instant prizes and seven prizes of $1
million. Other prizes include Red Sox gear such as jackets, pants,
warm-up jerseys and duffel bags.

In other news, lotteries are regressive taxes which provide false hopes of riches — and in this case, Red Sox logos and gear — in the eyes of a players who tend to skew poor and less-educated (certainly uneducated enough to be unable to realize the astronomical odds against them ever winning anything from them). As gambling games they are complete ripoffs inasmuch as they often retain as much as 50% of all wagers whereas casino games — which already favor the house themselves — pay out in excess of 90% of the gross.  Simply put, you’re better off wagering the paycheck on the roulette wheels at Mohegan Sun than you are playing the Red Sox scratch game.

But of course, lotteries benefit the masses, right? Sure, in their own inefficient and indirect way they do. For instance, this lottery pays millions to aid local municipalities. Of course, so too could a tax that is applied more evenly and fairly to the populace and doesn’t represent as unreliable a revenue stream as lotteries tend to be. And even if it has to be a lottery, it could certainly be one that doesn’t kick millions to the Red Sox in the form of licensing fees as this one does. Indeed, if the Red Sox really wanted to help out the good people of Massachusetts they could simply donate the use of their logo for the limited purpose of this lottery. I’ll update this post when they do so. In the meantime, know that the Sox will realize millions from gambling while any player who wanders into the sports book and puts $15 bucks on their team to win it all this season risks a lifetime ban.

Finally, let us all bookmark this post and revisit it in a few months when the first few winners are announced.  If form holds, a few working class people who were rescued from squandering their limited resources by sheer dumb luck will be held up and publicized as role models for other working class people who will thereby be encouraged to do more squandering.

My friend Jason is looking for reasons to hate the Red Sox. This one should count as one, shouldn’t it?

Wade Davis? Greg Holland? Who needs ’em?

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 21: Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The story of the two-time defending AL champion and current defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals cannot be told without talking at length about their bullpen.

In 2014, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera formed a shutdown brigade that not only made it next to impossible for the opposition to mount late rallies, but managed something which seemed utterly impossible before 2014: they turned Ned Yost into a tactical genius. Indeed, the only time Yost got criticism at all that fall was when he messed with the autopilot formula that had that three-headed monster handling the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Much the same happened in 2015, of course, despite Holland’s sharp decline and eventual injury. Davis and Herrera continued their dominance. They were joined by Ryan Madson and a cast of other effective relievers who, along with timely hitting, great defense and good health, helped propel the Royals to the title.

This year had not been quite the same story. Holland has been out all year and Davis, while effective when he’s pitched, has missed time due to injury. As has longtime contributor and presumptive next-man-up Luke Hochevar. Herrera is basically still Herrera, but Ned Yost has been presented with a decidedly different set of choices. Lots of choices and Ned Yost don’t always go together well, but lately that hasn’t mattered.

Last night the Royals’ bullpen came in to a close game and tossed three scoreless innings. That set a franchise record with 32 straight scoreless frames, besting the previous record set back in the club’s inaugural season in 1969. The streak is a huge part of why the Royals have won nine games in a row.

Unlike the success of 2014-15, the streak is not a three-man show. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star notes, eight different relievers have appeared for Kansas City during the streak, with Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm leading the crew with five and a third innings pitched. Herrera has tossed five scoreless. Otherwise it’s been a group effort with even Peter Moylan offering a couple of scoreless frames. And here you thought Moylan was, I dunno, gearing up for the upcoming Brisbane Bandits season. Nope.

The Royals are still not, in my view anyway, a lock to make the postseason. It’s a a crowded field right now. They’re seven and a half back in the AL Central and four back in the Wild Card with a bunch of teams in front of them. But they’re certainly playing themselves back into the conversation. They’re interesting. And they’re doing it in much the same way they’ve done it the past two years. Only with different dudes doing the do.

Video: Mookie Betts made a ridiculous throw last night

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.16.51 AM
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Mookie Betts was an infielder once upon a time and the knock on him both then and since his move to the outfield was that maybe his arm was not fantastic. As an infielder there was talk that he was better suited to the right side than the left. As an outfielder people were saying that, with work, his arm could be average and/or serviceable. Not bad, of course, but not anything to write home about.

Maybe we need to reassess that, because last night he uncorked one from right field that would make Dwight Evans says “dang, man.”

 

And the throw mattered, as Kiermaier represented the tying run in a game that, at the time, the Sox were leading 2-1.

Betts is a dangerous middle-of-the-order bat at age 23. And now he shows that he’ll nail a fast runner with a frozen rope if he has to. The guy is going to win an MVP award some day. And maybe not just one.