Man loses a bet against Joe Blanton, is forced to eat every food item at Dodger Stadium

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Last January, Joe Blanton signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Blanton had spent 11 seasons as a starter for various teams and in only a couple of those years did he post a league average or better ERA, with the last time being 2009. From 2010-2013 he was downright awful. He didn’t pitch in the majors at all in 2014. He bounced back in a major way in 2015, however, pitching spectacularly out of the bullpen for the Pirates in the final two months of the season and respectably as a swingman for the Royals before that.

The Dodgers made a $4 million bet on Blanton’s rebound being the real deal, but a Dodgers fan many of you may know from the wonderful land of baseball Twitter, TheAmitie, bet against him:

Blanton, in fact, pitched 80 innings of 2.48 ERA baseball, which was substantially above league average (158 ERA+). Which means . . . 

I made a bet that Joe Blanton wouldn’t pitch league average ERA+ for 75+ innings this year. This was a terrible mistake on my part, as he did it, and now I have to follow through on my bet to eat one of everything at Dodger Stadium.

He got the money to buy the tickets to the games and the concession items via Kickstarter and today he paid his debt to the gambling gods. Go check out the most recent set of tweets at his friend’s Twitter feed to see some video updates, which are enough to make me queasy. If, for no other reason, than this was prominently featured:

Thoughts, prayers for our soon to be very sick comrade at Chavez Ravine.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.