There was a time in the country when if a fabulously wealthy person wished to be left alone he’d build a fortified compound well outside the city limits and have its massive grounds patrolled by hounds with a taste for flesh and blood.
Urbanization has changed things, though, and our gentry is no longer quite as landed. They like to live in cities, and that creates problems. Problems like people hanging out on their sidewalk, gawkers peering onto their property — inevitably trespassing and causing damage — and the paparazzi taking pictures of them. Apart from the trespassing and property damage that’s all legal as we still have a First Amendment and the right to gather in public spaces in this country, but it’s still pretty annoying.
Derek Jeter is one of those urban-dwelling members of the gentry, and he’s taking measures to deal with things.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Jeter got the city of Tampa to grant him special permission build taller-than-code barriers around his nine-bedroom home to thwart the paparazzi and assorted gawkers. His neighbors were fully behind the move to give him a variance to build an eight-foot fence, which is two feet higher than code provides. The paparazzi and gawkers bug them and damage their property too.
First Amendment rights are First Amendment rights, but it’s sad to me that people think that hanging outside of someone’s house like that is a great use of their time. If two feet more of fence puts a stop to it, viva Derek Jeter and his actions before the zoning variance board.
The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.
Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.
Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.
“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”
The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.
Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.