Is Yu Darvish affected by the Executive Order on Immigration?

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Hi! How was your weekend? Anything interesting happen? I was busy watching old movies and stuff so I have no idea. You know me: it’s either (a) sticking to baseball; or (b) staying offline and not interacting with the world and current events.

*Looks at the news for a moment. Slowly reaches for the mouse and clicks “close” on his Internet browser before throwing his computer into the sea*

We’re obviously going to keep our primary focus on baseball around here, even as our country turns into the living embodiment of the “This is Fine” cartoon, but as I have so often reminded you, the world of baseball is not a hermetically sealed one in which real life does not intrude and those moments of intrusion are part of our bailiwick. Here are a few of those moments from over the weekend:

  • Even Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that President Trump’s executive order that bans entry into the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim nations is so broad that it very likely applies to the father of Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish who, despite being a citizen of Japan, was born in Iran and would in all likelihood be barred from coming to the United States to see his son pitch;
  • It is unclear, but possible given how hastily and shoddily the executive order was drafted and how it was not vetted by legal counsel, that it the executive order is broad enough to keep Darvish himself out given that, as a baby, he held dual Iranian-Japanese citizenship. Darvish is in the United States now, however, so he would presumably be OK as long as he did not leave and attempt to come back. As Grant notes, however, the Rangers go to Toronto for a series in May. Rangers attorneys are reviewing the order and monitoring the situation.
  • Retired ballplayer Aubrey Huff doesn’t know how people have time to protest and tells them to get a job. Huff, a part time baseball coach and occasional radio personality with no known permanent job of his own, is apparently unaware that a lot of people have the weekends off. He also had no problem, if I recall, with several hundred thousand people attending Giants World Series victory parades on weekday afternoons in 2010 and 2012. It’s almost as if it’s the purpose of public assembly that upset him and not the fact of the public assembly itself!
  • Finally, know that even the most stick-to-sports writers you know are not going to go quietly into the goodnight some in this country would have us all go:

As I said, we will obviously keep our focus on baseball here, while commenting on those moments when it and the larger world intersect. And, of course, some of us have websites and Twitter accounts of our own where we will more fully engage the matters of the day that do not concern the national pastime.

But make no mistake: the larger world does intersect with the national pastime a great deal, so if you’re a delicate snowflake who needs a safe space from that sort of thing, I have some bad news for you.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.