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MLB ends “Papa Slam” promotion following Papa John founders’ use of the n-word

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John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s pizza, resigned as chairman of the company’s board last night after it was reported that he used the n-word and said other insensitive stuff on a conference call. Of course, in typical corporate America style, he said it a couple of months ago and everyone at the company knew about it. It was just reported yesterday. So, in essence, he was fired not for being a racist jackwagon, but for the public finding out he was a racist jackwagon.

If you watch a lot of baseball and spend any time looking at baseball highlights at MLB.com, you know that one of the more visible promotions going on these days is the “Papa Slam” promotion, in which people got discounts on pizza after players hit grand slams. Baseball is part of corporate America too, and I wondered yesterday if the Papa John n-word fiasco would impact the promotion:

Guess someone at MLB was listening, because according to Yahoo Sports, MLB has suspended the promotion. It stopped counting the “Papa Slams” yesterday, not including Greg Bird‘s slam last night. Yahoo later confirmed that, no, this was no oversight and the promotion had been suspended.

All submissions for new grand slam promotional partners can be placed in the comments. I’ll start: “Poetry Slams.” Sponsored by that place that used to do an open mic but got tired of dudes strumming bad versions of “Wonderwall,” so they started something new. For each grand slam hit in baseball, you can take a coupon code down there and get 40% off a chai latte while listening to some college sophomore’s patter about how growing up in the suburbs sucked but provided the basis for a rebirth, now, with “eyes open forward/back turned to my father’s oppression” or whatever it is kids who are killing time before going to law school are going on about these days.

 

Bryce Harper defeats Kyle Schwarber 19-18 to win the 2018 Home Run Derby

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Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.

Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.

Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.

As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.