American Legion to require ballplayers to show “proper respect” for National Anthem

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American Legion baseball is a grand American tradition. So too is our National Anthem. So too is freedom of speech and the right to protest. If you’re a Minnesota American Legion ballplayer, though, your right to protest during the National Anthem is something you have to check at the door:

American Legion Baseball players in Minnesota will be required to show “proper respect” during the National Anthem, or they won’t be able to play. The Minnesota American Legion committee adopted a no-tolerance policy when it comes to players’ behavior during the anthem before games.

“Proper respect” is being defined as players standing at attention with their hats off, and hats over their hearts. By the American Legion’s own admission, there has never been an Anthem protest during a Minnesota American Legion baseball game but the spokesman said that they just wanted to get out in front of the issue in light of Colin Kaepernick’s protests during the NFL season. He said they wanted to prohibit “kneeling down, back to the flag, stuff like that.” If you violate the new rule, you’ll be kicked out of Legion ball. The Minnesota prohibition was first reported last week and, apparently, follows on a national American Legion edict about Anthem decorum. Which I can’t recall hearing about when it happened, but apparently happened a few weeks ago.

It’s their league, so they can do what they want. And, of course, they’re an organization which cites advocating patriotism as part of its mission, so their stance on this matter is not surprising.

Anyone wanna help me form an ACLU baseball league? I’m guessing the players we’d get wouldn’t be quite as good, what with them all arguing that no one should bat first but, rather, they should all be represented in the lineup on equal terms, but our National Anthem would be fun and the arguments between the coaches and the umpires over rules interpretations would be worth the dang price of admission, that I can tell you.

Orioles finally reach 20 wins, snap nine-game losing streak

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The Orioles won their 19th game of the season 11 days ago. The club snapped a nine-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon, taking down the Marlins 10-4 to finally cross the 20-win threshold. Aside from the Orioles, who have baseball’s worst record (20-50), the White Sox were the slowest team to reach 20 wins, securing No. 20 on June 6 — 11 days ago, for those of you keeping score.

Mark Trumbo had three hits including a solo home run, three runs scored, and two RBI. Jace Peterson knocked in four runs, including two with a two-run homer. Starter Dylan Bundy wasn’t particularly sharp, giving up four runs over six innings, but it was good enough for the W.

Coincidentally, the Orioles’ last two wins at Camden Yards came on Father’s Day (June 17) and Mother’s Day (May 13). They were on an 11-game home losing streak.

There hasn’t been any one singular cause for the Orioles’ woes. The club has dealt with a handful of injuries. First baseman Chris Davis is having a tremendously terrible season, so much so that a Baltimore-area bar is offering free shots whenever he gets a hit. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop hasn’t hit anywhere close to the way he hit last year. Free agent pick-up Alex Cobb has a 7.14 ERA over 12 starts. Andrew Cashner has a 4.98 ERA and is on the 10-day disabled list. Zach Britton has been absent most of the season due to an injury, only recently coming back.

No one expected the Orioles to hang with the Yankees and Red Sox this season, but I don’t think anyone was expecting them to reach 20 wins in the middle of June, either.