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The Kansas City Royals made the NRA enemies list somehow

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Because it’s the winter and because the Super Bowl is in a couple of days, there is NO baseball news happening. Really, not even crappy players signing one-year contracts to avoid arbitration. We’re desperate here!

Thank God, then, for the NRA.  A few minutes ago I saw people tweeting about the “enemies list” they apparently keep. In the NRA’s parlance, a list of “National Organizations with Anti-Gun Policies.”  Which, sure, if you’re an advocacy group you understandably want to keep a list of people who oppose your agenda, so fair enough. But the list is pretty hilarious, mostly because it goes way beyond actual opposition groups who work to counter the NRA’s agenda and seems to include just about anyone who has ever had a thought about gun ownership that runs counter to the NRA.

Indeed, it has a list of “celebrities” — and since Louie Anderson is on it, that term is defined EXTREMELY loosely. Heck, it has two “Family Feud” hosts on there and doesn’t even include Richard Dawson or Ray Combs. And don’t give me that “because they’re dead!” baloney. Nora Ephron is on the list and she’s dead. Boyz II Men is on the list and they’ve been dead since the early 90s.

Anyway, if you scroll down the list long enough — and you really should — you get to this one:

Kansas City Royals
David Glass, CEO
P.O. Box 419969
Kansas City, MO 64141
Pro Baseball Team

Which, I don’t even know. The Royals haven’t been a threat to anything and haven’t stood for anything since at least the late 80s. But I guess their pitching staffs for the last 20 years have shown an institutional aversion to high caliber firepower, but that’s stretching it a bit. Really, I’m perplexed.  Worth noting while we’re at it that former MLBer Mike Torrez is on the list too. Guessing lots of bitter fans of the 1978 Red Sox are in the NRA.

But I’m not gonna worry about offending the NRA about this. Because if you scroll down even further you get here:

National Broadcasting Company
NBC Television Network
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Anyway, it’s a fun read, and that’s the case no matter how you feel about gun ownership.  Indeed, if you’re pro gun-ownership this list should make you laugh even more. I mean, if you’re prepared to shoot an intruder in your own home, how threatened are you by Art Garfunkel?

Is Bud Black the favorite to be the next Braves manager?

Bud Black
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We talked last week about how Fredi Gonzalez is likely a dead man walking as the Braves manager. They stink, he’s a lame duck and part of the team’s whole marketing thrust is “2017 will be a new beginning,” what with the new ballpark and all. It stands to reason that Mr. Gonzalez doesn’t have long for this world.

Last week I suspected he’d be fired tomorrow, the Braves off day before a home stand. They’ve won in the past week, but it still wouldn’t shock me. Even if firing Gonzalez would be an act of scapegoating. It’s the roster that’s the problem, not the manager, even though Fredi doesn’t exactly inspire anyone.

Today Bob Nightengale throws this into the mix:

As of yet he hasn’t followed that up with an actual column or more tweets about who, exactly, considers Black to be the heavy favorite, but there’s a definitiveness to that which makes me think he’s heard something solid.

Black, as you know, was the long time Padres manager who had an unsuccessful flirtation with the Nationals before they hired Dusty Baker this past offseason. Black is now cooling his heels with his longtime boss Mike Scioscia in Anaheim, in what is clearly a “wait for his next managing opportunity” posture.

Could it be in Atlanta? At least one national writer and some nebulous group of insiders believe so, it would seem.

The Reds bullpen set a record for futility

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher J.J. Hoover reacts after giving up a solo home run to Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez, left, during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, April 22, 2016, in Cincinnati. The Cubs won 8-1. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Associated Press
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I mentioned this in the recaps this morning but it’s worthy of its own post.

The Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen gave up two runs last night. In so doing it made for the 21st consecutive game in which it has allowed at least one run. That’s a new major league record, having surpassed the 2013 Colorado Rockies’ record of 20, according to Elias.

Last year the Reds set a record — shattered it, really — by going with rookie starting pitchers in 64 straight games to end the season. Those guys aren’t rookies anymore, but they’re still really inexperienced. They could probably use some better bullpen help than they’ve been getting.

Headline of the Day– A-Rod: “Trophy Boyfriend”

Alex Rodriguez
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For as long as there have been couples, the woman in a couple has been publicly defined by the man’s life and accomplishments. It doesn’t matter if the woman cures cancer, walks on the moon or wins the Eurovision Song Contest, when news stories or obituaries are written, she is invariably referred to as “wife of ___” or “girlfriend of ___.” Even if the guy is a grade-A schmuck.

While that pattern still persists, it’s nice to see someone flip the script on it once in a while. Like The Cut did in its story about a new, high-profile couple going public:

 

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The couple: Alex Rodriguez and Anne Wojcicki. Who, if you were unaware, is a Silicon Valley biotech CEO and a billionaire. She went to Yale, played varsity hockey in college and is a mother. Alex Rodriguez is accomplished and famous, but outside of the sports bubble he’s a padawan to Wojcicki’s master Jedi. Despite this, in places other than The Cut, it would still not be surprising to see her referred to as “A-Rod’s girlfriend,” because that’s just how people roll. Here’s hoping others take The Cut’s lead when referring to women in the public sphere more often.

A related note: in the rare cases when a famous male personality is identified in reference to his female partner and not the other way around, people like to make jokes and like to question the masculinity of the man. Which is equally stupid. And, to the man in question, should be utterly beside the point.

To that end, I think it’s worth noting that Alex Rodriguez has been involved with several women who, outside of baseball, are far more famous than he is and it’s never seemed to be an issue for him whatsoever. People like to say a lot of things about A-Rod’s ego and personality, but in this respect I bet he’s a hell of a lot better adjusted, grounded and self-assured than the vast majority of men who might find themselves in his place.

Video: Jeff Samardzija breaks a bat over his knee after striking out

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Jeff Samardzija had a great night last night. He allowed one run on three hits over eight innings and picked up the win. In the early going he’s proving wrong those who thought that the Giants overpaid for him and is providing solid performance from the third spot in the Giants rotation. It’s all good.

But good is not always good enough for a professional athlete. Especially one like Samardzija, who excelled in multiple sports and likely can count his lifetime athletic failures on one hand. No, when you’re wired like that you get upset even when you’re excellent because sometimes you want to be perfect.

For example, most pitchers don’t get too worried about striking out. They’re there to pitch, not bat. They turn on their heel and calmly walk back to the dugout. Samardzija, however, got a bit irate when he struck out. Then he did this: