It’s the Fourth of July. We should be honoring nitrites and random bits of offal and our freedom to consume the same, not denigrating them. Especially at baseball games. But once again the doctors are being total killjoys:
A provocative billboard will warn baseball fans flocking to the All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10 that eating hot dogs can greatly increase their risk of colorectal cancer. The billboard, sponsored by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, reads “Warning: Hot Dogs Can Strike You Out—For Good,” and directs readers to http://www.PCRM.org.
The billboard features an image of hot dogs jammed into a cigarette pack labeled “Unlucky Strikes,” and is located at the exit ramp to Kauffman Stadium on I-435 one mile south of I-70. PCRM has also written a letter to Jim Rowland, executive director of the Jackson County Sport Complex Authority which owns and operates Kauffman Stadium, asking him to require warning labels on all hot dogs served at Kauffman Stadium. The label would read: “Warning: Hot Dogs and Other Processed Meats Increase the Risk of Colon and Rectal Cancer.”
Dudes, if they outlaw hot dogs and processed meats, only outlaws will have hot dogs and processed meats. Well, that and the increased risk of colon and rectal cancer. But the point stands.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.