Beyoncé performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Associated Press

Some Mets fans are not happy that Beyonce is playing at Citi Field

84 Comments

The funny thing about that “stick to sports” stuff I was going on about the other day is that, in reality, a whole lot of the people who say “stick to sports” don’t really want to just stick to sports. They’re totally cool going on about political, social or cultural stuff as long as it fits their world view. It’s not “stick to sports.” It’s “don’t talk about the social implications of sports-related stuff in ways that upset me.” If sports and culture come together in other ways, however, they’re completely fine in grinding their axe.

For example, Beyonce is playing a concert a Citi Field this summer. The show is so popular that they added a second date. The Mets’ Twitter feed just announced that tickets will go on sale for the new show soon:

A whole lotta Mets fans responded to that negatively. For political/social/cultural reasons that they are willingly bringing in to a conversation about a pop singer and a baseball stadium that will double as a concert venue:

And they go on and on.

How much do you want to bet that a whole lotta these respondents would tell you to “stick to baseball” if you wanted to bring up how race affects the sport or how, if instead of Beyonce, this was announcing a Kid Rock/Ted Nugent-headlined festival and you mused whether that was a case of the Mets somehow endorsing their messages?

Billy Hamilton hit in the face by a fly ball, Anthony Rizzo gets inside-the-park home run

CINCINNATI, OH - JUNE 28:  Billy Hamilton #6 of the Cincinnati Reds rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park on June 28, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Chicago defeated Cincinnati 7-2 in 15 innings.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton and left fielder Adam Duvall converged on an Anthony Rizzo fly ball in the top of the first inning, leading to disaster. The ball glanced off of Duvall’s glove, hit Hamilton in the face, and rolled away.

Hamilton laid on the ground in pain while Duvall tracked the ball down. Two runners scored easily and Rizzo wheeled around third base, scoring easily for an inside-the-park three-run home run. Hamilton exited the game under his own power, replaced by Tyler Holt.

The Reds will likely pass along information on Hamilton’s status after the game.

A proposed bill would allow teams to continue paying minor leaguers very little

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29:  The United States Capitol building is seen as Congress remains gridlocked over legislation to continue funding the federal government September 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution with language to defund U.S. President Barack Obama's national health care plan yesterday, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has indicated the U.S. Senate will not consider the legislation as passed by the House.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images
4 Comments

(h/t to Kate Morrison of Baseball Prospectus)

H.R. 5580, titled “Save America’s Pastime Act,” was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) last Friday, a bill that amends some language in Section 13 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to make it so minor league players aren’t protected under a law that protects workers who are paid hourly. Minor League Baseball has publicly endorsed the bill, as Josh Norris of Baseball America points out.

Minor League Baseball received a class action lawsuit in October last year, which alleged that the league underpays and exploits the players. As Craig explained last year, minor leaguers are often paid less than $7,500 per season despite often requiring players to put in more hours than the typical work day. According to MiLB, “This suit threatens baseball’s decades-old player development system with an unprecedented cost increase…”

MiLB continues, saying, “Many cities would be in jeopardy of losing their Minor League Baseball teams.” Neither statement is true, as each Major League Baseball team is responsible for maintaining its minor league affiliates. Major League Baseball pulled in more than $9 billion in revenues in 2015, per Maury Brown of Forbes. But it can’t afford to pay minor leaguers a fair wage?

The legislation also adds this:

(f) In any action or proceeding commenced before, on, or after the date of enactment of the Save America’s Pastime Act, no employer shall be subject to any liability or punishment under this Act on account of any violation of section 6, 7, or 11(c) with respect to any work performed before, on, or after such date of enactment for which the exemption under section 13(a)(19) is applicable

That basically means no one can be held responsible for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. How convenient!

Due to the Players’ Union, no one could get away with suggesting legislation like this if it were exploiting Major League Baseball players. Because minor leaguers lack union representation, they have been and continue to get shafted. If this legislation disgusts you — and it should, unequivocally — contact the relevant representatives to let them know.

Video: Melvin Upton, Jr. robs J.J. Hardy of a home run

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 28:  Melvin Upton Jr. #2 of the San Diego Padres goes over the wall to take away a home run from J.J. Hardy #2 of the Baltimore Orioles during the second inning of a baseball game at PETCO Park on June 28, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Orioles have been on something of an offensive rampage. In the month of June, the club has hit 54 home runs, leaving them four home runs shy of matching the all-time record for home runs in a month set by the 1987 Orioles and 1999 Mariners.

They were robbed of a home run on Tuesday night against the Padres, as Melvin Upton, Jr. made a dazzling catch over the wall in center field to bring back a J.J. Hardy home run. Upton alertly fired the ball to first base to double off Mark Trumbo. Hardy put good wood on a 3-2 Erik Johnson fastball, appearing to have enough to break a 1-1 tie in the top of the second inning.

The O’s, who have averaged more than two home runs per game, have two games remaining in June with which to hit four home runs. They’ll face Padres starter Christian Friedrich on Wednesday night and Mariners starter Taijuan Walker on Thursday night.

Goose Gossage to hand out his unwritten rules at a St. Paul Saints game

Baseball Hall of Famer Rich "Goose" Gossage speaks with members of the media, promoting the National Baseball Hall of Fame's new glove-shaped commemorative coin, pictured at left, at the Denver Mint, on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. The limited edition coin celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Hall of Fame, and is the first concave/convex coin ever produced by the U.S. Treasury. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley
9 Comments

Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage apparently grew tired seeing his name absent from the headlines, so the outspoken right-hander will be handing out his version of baseball’s unwritten rules before the July 6 game between the St. Paul Saints and the Joplin Blasters, two independent league teams.

Gossage made headlines before the season, calling Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautistaa f–king disgrace to the game.” He also said he doesn’t want “a bunch of Cam Newtons running around” and that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has “no respect for the game.” And that’s just this year.

In the past, Gossage has ripped Mariano Rivera and expressed a desire for vengeance against performance-enhancing drug users who have made it into the Hall of Fame.

So what’s in Gossage’s rulebook? According to the Saints’ description of the promotion:

Coming in at more than 200 pages and 4.1” wide and 6.3” high the 2016 Official Baseball Rulebook explains everything from the layout of the field, to equipment that can be used to how a game should be scored.  The 2016 Official Baseball Unwritten Rulebook will be similar in size with fewer pages and, by the end of the night; it will be packed with information that addresses baseball situations that have been hotly debated for decades.  Wondering about the superstition of discussing a no-hitter?  It can be in the book.  What about stealing a base when you’re up 10 runs?  It can be in the book.  What about bunting on a pitcher throwing a no-hitter?  All you have to do is flip open the book, grab a pencil and the answer can appear right before your eyes.

Gossage will be at the ballpark, CHS Field, to sign the book for fans as well as, the Saints say, “give his two cents about Jose Bautista, Bryce Harper, and sabermetrics.” Gossage will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and will later join the TV broadcast.