Why do doctors hate America?

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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:

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The explanation:

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.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.