Craig Calcaterra

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 6: Catcher Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies runs on the field to start the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 6, 2014 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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The Citizens Bank Park “Pistachio Girl” . . . is a white nationalist

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A lot of ballparks have colorful vendors. We’ve talked about the Spring Training/Diamondbacks’ vendor who does the “Lemonade, lemonade like grandma made!” thing in the past. The Tigers used to have a hot dog guy who sang opera as he vended. There’s a “Beer Pirate” in Pittsburgh. The list goes on and on, with many of them featured over at MLB.com in this article last year.

One of the vendors featured there was the “Pistachio Girl” of Citizens Bank Park. Her name is Emily Youcis and she’s popped up in the fringes of sports news a few times. I’ve not been to a game at Citizen’s Bank Park, but I’ve heard people talk about her. She’s a lot like any of these other colorful vendors. Some people love her, some people are somewhat annoyed. She doesn’t even sell pistachios anymore because the Phillies discontinued them so she hawks Cracker Jack. Life goes on. Either way, she came in second in the MLB.com poll for top vendor.  Check her out in action:

Despite it not being baseball season, she’s in the news today. Seems that, however colorful her vending style is, she has a favorite color: white. And that led to some difficulties for her over the weekend. From Philly.com:

A well-known Phillies vendor called “Pistachio Girl” for her melodic hawking of peanuts and Cracker Jack at Citizens Bank Park found herself in a radically different arena this weekend — in the middle of a violent street fracas outside a white-nationalism conference that she was attending in Washington, D.C.

She was an observer of the conference, not an attendee, but she tells Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News that “she’s been in thrall with the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement for about 10 months.” Which she calls “a white identity movement.” She said “This doesn’t mean that we hate anybody — we simply want to find our own identity as Americans … as white Americans, and find our own culture.”

Not everyone considers “white identity movements” to be simple searches for identity, and thus you may not be surprised to learn that there were protests of the conference. The protests got ugly and Youcis got spray paint sprayed on her hair. Others suffered minor injuries which is unfortunate, no matter what ideology one harbors. One may protest whatever one desires as vehemently as one desires, but one hopes the line is drawn at physical violence.

One does wonder, however, how her Cracker Jack sales are going to go next summer given her newfound notoriety. Because, no matter what the headlines are saying about it lately, white nationalism is not exactly a super popular ideology.

Marcus Stroman raps on Mike Stud’s latest single

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 14:  Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the sixth inning while taking on the Texas Rangers in game five of the American League Division Series at Rogers Centre on October 14, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman appears on hip-hop artist Mike Stud’s latest single “Shine.” It’s actually the second time he has appeared on a Stud track. Last January he rapped on the song “These Days.”

The basis of the collaboration is not necessarily 100% artistic, however. Stroman and Stud were teammates on the Duke University baseball team. Still, as far as rapping ballplayers go, Stroman is better than . . . well, any other ballplayers who have tried rapping. Although the line “only bright side of Donald Trump is tax breaks” is . . . ugh.

Duke University: not necessarily a noted cradle of hip hop, but if there was going to be hip hop that gave nods to upper class tax breaks, you know it was going to come from Duke University.

Check him out:

(h/t Proudly Canadian)

Expect nothing radical in the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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As we’ve mentioned often, Major League Baseball and the MLBPA have been negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to replace the one which is set to expire on December 1. There has been no suggestion of serious acrimony or the threat of a work stoppage. There have been some random reports of some changes, but it now sounds as if the new boss is going to look a lot like the old boss.

Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reported over the weekend that, apart from the possibility of an international draft, which we’ve talked about at length here, there is unlikely to be anything radical in the new CBA.

Despite some rumblings about possibly shortening the season, the 162-game schedule is likely to hold steady. The 25-man roster is, per Ken Rosenthal’s report the other day, is going to soon become the 26-man roster and September roster expansion will be limited. Competitive balance/cost control measures such as the Luxury Tax will stay in place, though the payroll amount which triggers punitive tax measures will likely increase over its current $189 million.

The international draft is currently the greatest point of contention between the union and the league, but it seems unlikely that it will stand in the way of a deal. The qualifying offer/compensatory draft pick system is reportedly something which the union would like to alter because it depresses the value of certain free agents, but it seems as though there is more likely to be mere tweaks to that system than any sort of fundamental alteration.

It’s understandable why MLB and the MLBPA wish to keep things as close to the same as possible. Labor peace has made for extraordinary increases in revenue and salaries. One might observe, as we have observed on several occasions, that the amount the owners have benefitted over the past decade or so has outstripped the degree to which the players have benefitted and that, as the reason for MLB’s increased revenues, perhaps the players could and should be doing better than they are. One might also observe, however, that the players don’t seem to be too terribly bothered by that. At least bothered enough to put serious pressure on MLB to change the current state of affairs all that much.