President Obama throws out first pitch

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The President threw out the first pitch at the Phillies-Nats game a little over an hour ago.  You can see video of it here, at least until Major League Baseball’s lawyers go and shut down the Sporting News for what I presume is some retransmitting and/or rebroadcasting the descriptions and/or accounts of the game without express written consent.  In the meantime, a couple of observations:

  • When I saw the Nationals jacket I was prepared to call the nation’s most famous White Sox fan a flip flopper;
  • When I saw him break out the Sox cap, I was once again pleased with our nation’s leader.  It would have been better if he ripped off the Nats jacket to reveal a Gordon Beckham jersey, thrown the jacket on the ground and then spit on it, but we’ll take what we can get;
  • I have no idea why he wore the glove. Was he expecting a comebacker? Are his mechanics so delicate that he has to have the glove so as not to throw off his weight distribution during his windup?
  • The ball as juuuuuuust a bit high.  Beats bouncing it, sure, but Michelle had better get him breathing through his eyelids stat, because that stuff won’t play in the show, Meat.

Can you call the President “Meat?”  Yeah, I think you can.

BBWAA votes to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning next year

Cooperstown
Associated Press
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In addition to naming the Spink Award winner this morning, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted today to make all Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with next year’s vote for the 2018 induction class.

As of now, writers are encouraged to make their votes public and, if they do, they are placed on the BBWAA website. They are not required to, however, and a great many Hall of Fame voters do not. While ballot secrecy is laudable in politics, the Hall of Fame vote brings with it a fundamentally different set of concerns and sentiment has increasingly favored transparency, as opposed to secrecy when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

While some in opposition to this move may claim that public ballots will only lead to criticism, our view is that if you can’t handle some reasonable criticism over your Hall of Fame ballot, you probably need to get out of the business of making history, which is what voting for the Hall of Fame really is.

The Yankee2 to retire Derek Jeter’2 number next 2ea2on

Derek Jeter
Getty Images
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RE2PECT: The Yankees just announced that they will retire Derek Jeter’s number 2 next season. The ceremony will take place on May 14, 2017 at Yankee Stadium.

With Jeter’s number 2 retired the Yankees will have retired 21 numbers. Twenty-two if you count number 8 twice, given that it was retired for both Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey. They also have retired 42 twice, once for Jackie Robinson, which every team has retired, and once for Mariano Rivera who donned 42 before the league-wide retirement of the number. The Yankees will also have put every single-digit number on the shelf. Except for zero, anyway, which no Yankees player has ever worn.

The retired pinstripes break down as follows:

1 Billy Martin
3 Babe Ruth
4 Lou Gehrig
5 Joe DiMaggio
6 Joe Torre
7 Mickey Mantle
8 Yogi Berra
8 Bill Dickey
9 Roger Maris
10 Phil Rizzuto
15 Thurman Munson
16 Whitey Ford
20 Jorge Posada
23 Don Mattingly
32 Elston Howard
37 Casey Stengel
42 Mariano Rivera
44 Reggie Jackson
46 Andy Pettitte
49 Ron Guidry
51 Bernie Williams