Craig Calcaterra

Phillies fans AP

The Phillies will sell hard liquor at Citizens Bank Park this year

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Cue the “with this team, we’ll need it!” crowd:

Beer has been part of baseball forever.

But in a first this season, the Phillies and Aramark will sell cocktails and wine in the general concession areas at Citizens Bank Park. If you think that the idea of a “Phillies bar” is coming from somewhere out of left field – well, you’re correct. It will be located behind Section 142, expanding an existing beer bar.

Best thing about this year’s Phillies outfield to be honest.

We’ve gone several years since any incidents at Phillies games have made national news. Maybe, with more liquor in the mix, we can break that streak.

Every team and fan base thinks it’s “blue collar”

Blue collar
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Dan McQuade of The Guardian looks at an overlooked cliche in the sports discourse: “blue collar.”

The team you root for is “blue collar.” The fans are “blue collar.” That makes them and you way better than all of them fancy-pants white collar teams and fans that dare to compete against the lunch bucket crew of your hometown. It’s even gotten to the point where “blue collar” fans are described as “taking their clients to games.” Which, um, what blue collar people have “clients?” The phrase has lost all meaning.

But so too has “small business” and “middle class” and any number of other descriptors which are designed to make people seem simple and humble when, in reality, we live in a society where actual blue collar workers have more or less been given the shaft for several decades running now. Indeed, poll the folks who can afford season tickets in most pro stadiums these days and you’ll probably find that a pretty large number of them love the idea of “blue collar” when it comes to sports but aren’t really fans of blue collar folks when it comes to deciding things that actually impact the lives of real blue collar workers.

But that’s sort of who we are as a people. Polls have shown that wealthy Americans tend to understate their incomes and their economic class (while overestimating the incomes and economic class of actual poor people). And those who are well off are quick, when identified as being well-off, to state their poor, working class bonafides. Or that of their parents. Or grandparents. There’s a strong tendency for folks to assume we’re all either workers or a step removed and that there truly isn’t increasingly stark social and economic inequality in the United States. Saying that you, as a sports fan, are blue collar or root for a bunch of blue collar players makes a person feel better I suppose.

But hey, we talk about sports as places where soldiers do battle and draw moral and ethical lessons from the acts and words of athletes too, so it’s not like this is the only instance in which sports fans are living in fantasyland.

HBT Extra: Previewing the American League West

Mike Trout
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After a long, cold video-free winter Jenna and I are back in front of the camera to throw out some quick impressions of the American League West:

Domonic Brown will start the season on the disabled list

Domonic Brown
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The Phillies made official today what everyone expected would happen when they informed Domonic Brown that will start the season on the disabled list. Brown has been dealing with a sore left Achilles since last week and his recovery was said to be coming along slowly.

All of which means that the Phillies outfield is going to be an even bigger tire fire than expected. Members will include Ben Revere, Darin Ruf and some combination of Jeff Francoeur Jordan Danks, Brian Bogusevic and Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera.

Feel the excitement.

The doomsday clock for the Rays leaving Tampa Bay moves up a couple of minutes

Watchmen Clock
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I sort of like the Doomsday Clock analogy here because, like the theoretical end of human civilization, the Rays leaving Tampa Bay is something that, however likely, is still kind of a ways off. It’s too early to, say, talk about them talking to other cities or looking at sexy Populous renderings of new ballparks. But we can talk about how much closer we are getting to that point.

So, me and the other scientists here at the small division of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists which handles baseball relocations can now tick the big thing ahead a couple of minutes:

Tampa Bay’s five-year stalemate over a new baseball stadium continues — with no obvious end in sight.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman decided Monday he doesn’t have enough City Council votes to forge an agreement that would allow the Tampa Bay Rays to explore potential new stadium sites on both sides of the bay.

That keeps the team playing at Tropicana Field into an indefinite future, Kriseman said, and prevents the city from developing the Trop’s 85 acres.

“We are at a standstill,” he said.

The lease goes until 2027. The real date that probably matters is 2022, which is when the Rays have to be moving on new ballpark construction for their next home. Of course if it becomes economically feasible to just leave and wait for the city to sue the Rays for breaching the lease I suppose someone could do that sooner, but as of now we’re, symbolically speaking, still five minutes to midnight.