We have to keep baseball ethics alive even if baseball itself is in a state of suspension: the owner and players are, for the first time in decades, arguing about how to divide up their billions, everything from roster size to minimum salaries are on the table, and as of now, the two sides aren’t even talking with the season just a couple of months away. One of the issues to be settled is whether the National League will finally capitulate and adopt the designated hitter rule, which was accepted in the American League on this date in 1973, a day which many traditionalist fans then and now regard as an unforgivable scar on the integrity of the game. Baseball has always been celebrated for its equity and balance: as it was envisioned, every player on the field had to both hit and play defense. The DH, which is a batter who never uses a glove, also allowed the pitcher to be a defense-only specialist, never picking up a bat which, advocates of the new rule argued, was a result much to be wished, since the vast majority of hurlers are only slightly better at hitting the ball than your fat old uncle Curt who played semi-pro ball in his twenties. All these decades years later, the National League and its fans have stubbornly maintained that the DH was a vile, utilitarian gimmick spurred by non-ethical considerations, mainly greed. When the rule was adopted, American League attendance lagged behind the NL, which also was winning most of the All Star games, in part because that league had embraced black stars far more rapidly than “the junior league.” The DH, the theory went, would make games more exciting, with more offense, while eliminating all the .168 batters in the ninth spot in every line-up.
I had a letter published in Sports Illustrated in 1973 explaining why I opposed the DH as a Boston Red Sox fan. Since then, I have grudgingly come to accept the benefits of the rule: it gave the Sox David Ortiz, allowed Carl Yastrzemski to play a few more years, and let American League fans see such all-time greats as Hank Aaron at the plate after they could no longer play the field. It was a breach of the game’s integrity, but it worked.
1. At least that’s fixed. The Supreme Court issued a corrected transcript of the oral arguments in the Biden vaccine mandate case, and it now accurately records Justice Gorsuch as saying he believes the seasonal flu kills “hundreds…thousands of people every year.” The original version wrongly quoted him as saying hundreds of thousands, which allowed those desperately trying to defend the outrageously wrong assertions by Justice Sotomayor regarding the Wuhan virus to point to Gorsuch and claim, “See? Conservatives are just as bad!” Prime among these was the steadily deteriorating Elie Mystal at “The Nation,” who, typically for him, refused to accept the correction. Sotomayor is one of the all-time worst Supreme Court justices, though she will be valuable as a constant reminder of the perils of affirmative action. Her jurisprudence makes the much maligned Clarence Thomas look like Louis Brandeis by comparison.2. It’s true: the Golden Globe Awards were brought down because a white police officer inadvertently killed a black criminal in Minnesota. Talk about unintended consequences! The awards, once the third most viewed of all the TV award shows, always were ridiculous: why should anyone care what the Hollywood Foriegn Press thinks are the best U.S. movies and performances? But the Hollywood glitterati still happily accepted their statuettes and the nominations, and the awards filled up resumes until “racial reckoning” struck. Seems that the Globe voters didn’t vote for some mostly black movies that the powers that be in Hollywood decided had to get nominations because…they were mostly black movies. Then it was discovered that there weren’t any blacks among the voters, so the group was condemned as presumptively racist. This occurred while everyone was virtue-signalling like mad, so to prove that Black Lives Matter, everyone decided to boycott the Golden Globes, including NBC, which was supposed to televise them. The Golden Globes were always phony honors and would have remained so even if every voter looked like a “Hamilton” cast member, but at least they could have been diverse phony honors. Now they’re wiped out, possibly forever, not that I care. Blame Derek Chauvin.
Does this make sense to anybody?
3. Speaking of Black Lives Matter kowtowing, last year American Airlines allowed crews to wear BLM pins, ruling that they weren’t political. Riiiight. Now, the company is reaping the whirlwind because of its obsequious response to a passenger who complained about a pilot who had a “Let’s Go Brandon” sticker on his luggage.
I object, for many reasons, to the derogatory term “Karen,” but if anyone deserves it, this jerk does. She tweeted to the airline,
It does raise the interesting question of whether a pilot’s luggage choices are personal or professional, but trying to get someone punished or fired because you don’t like his luggage tags is pretty petty. Then the official Twitter account of AA responded to the complaint, tweeting, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we want to get this to the right team. Please DM any additional details.” Does AA have a “Hyper-partisan harassment attempts” team? I guess so!
The American staff was just trying to keep an obviously deranged passenger at bay, but never mind: its response was taken by “the other side” as proof of weenism in the face of woke insanity. “Why are you responding to this bully? Stand with your employee, not internet trolls like Dana,” scolded conservative columnist Rita Panahi.
It didn’t help that Dana was determined to make a major issue out of the episode, because she has an empty life, apparently. She kept filing her objections to the tag and the pilot, and documenting the ensuing exchange with American:
How does “Let’s go Brandon” support “the insurrection of our government/sitting President” or “violence against the US government”? Why would a luggage tag bearing that coded vulgarity cause a passenger who doesn’t belong in a rubber room not to “feel safe” on a plane?
As someone whose instinct with unjust complaints has always been to respond “Bite me!,” I have great sympathy for anyone who has to deal with awful, petty, self-righteous people like Dana.
4. And here’s some good news! A new New York state law prohibits insurance companies from refusing to provide insurance to homeowners who have supposedly vicious dog breeds, like this monster…
…who spent this morning being chased around a tennis court by a five month old puppy. Pet rescue shelters,animal rights advocates and Ethics Alarms have been advocating the end of ignorant restrictions on unfairly maligned breeds, especially the various “pit bull” breeds and mixes. “Removing this arbitrary and discriminatory impediment for thousands of responsible New York dog owners is simply the right thing to do,” said Bill Ketzer, senior director of state legislation for the ASPCA: Eastern Division, in a statement.
Irresponsible stereotyping of breeds by the media and phobics has resulted in insurance carriers having the right to decline homeowners insurance to owners of pit bulls, or what look like pit bulls, German shepherds, Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers and other dogs. It was also legal for home insurance premiums to be raised based on the breed of dog owned.
5. Here is another story that I love! A lawsuit alleges that 16 major U.S. universities and colleges have violated antitrust laws by working together to determine students’ financial aid packages. According to the lawsuit, the schools “participated in a price-fixing cartel that is designed to reduce or eliminate financial aid…and that in fact has artificially inflated the net price of attendance for students receiving financial aid.” Lawyers for the plaintiffs claim that more than 170,000 students who received financial aid packages from the schools over the past 18 years were victimized, according to the Wall Street Journal. The schools named in the suit include Yale, Georgetown, Northwestern, Columbia, Brown, Duke universities, the California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth , Cornell, Emory, Rice, and Vanderbilt.
It’s just a lawsuit, but would I be surprised if these elite schools have behaved as claimed?