Stick to sports? Never.

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You’ve heard me go on and on about not sticking to sports for years. Sorry, never will.

While I will not go completely off the rails and start posting stuff about housing policy, campaign finance reform or political things that have no connection to baseball at all, I will refuse to pretend that the real world does not exist and that it does not touch upon baseball — and that baseball does not touch upon the real world — almost constantly. When the real world does intersect with baseball I will write about it. I always have, going back to the first baseball website I wrote for beginning 15 years ago.

It’s also worth noting that, to claim that baseball is a safe space where all of the real things which impact real people in real ways don’t exist is itself a political position. It’s a rejectionist one, in which the concerns of others who do care about things like, say, public financing of stadiums, racism, sexism, economic inequality, labor matters and the like are dismissed. You do not have to engage in such conversations or even pay attention to them in order to be a sports fan, but you have no right to tell others that it is illegitimate for them to do so. Or that their sports fandom is somehow lesser than yours because they do.

Today at the Columbia Journalism Review, Tony Rehagen takes up the subject of sports writers who do not stick to sports. I was interviewed for the piece and quoted extensively, as was Rob Neyer, Bob Ryan and Sarah Spain. The tweets of others like Jemele Hill and Richard Dietsch are included as well. The piece does a good job of explaining where folks like me are coming from.

Report: Phillies moving in on a deal with Tommy Hunter

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Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.

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There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.

As for Reed, well, who knows.