Bryan Joiner

Why then I

Sox win

… and I wrap it all up.

In which I appear on a baseball podcast

Listen here!

An oral history of the Sox on the eve of the World Series

3,500 words, by me. One of my favorites.

New York Apartment

All I can hear from my apartment are the grinding industrial coolers of the building behind me, constant sirens and a small dog that never stops barking. And everyone who comes here says the same thing:

It’s so quiet.

It’s almost lunchtime read this stuff I wrote

Two Hot Sports Takes for you this week. One is on Phil (groan) Mickelson’s British Open win, in which I compare him to Kanye West, among other things, including a heart attack.

The other is about why baseball fans obsess over the trade deadline when it’s so often underwhelming, in retrospect.

Straightening out The Slurve

The Slurve is a truly excellent daily baseball newsletter written by Michael Dougherty, whose white whale is MLB’s investigation into the players mixed up with the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, which he supports. Here’s the nut of today’s edition:

Anything that can be done to punish the cheats is an effort to live up to the contract everyone signed, it’s an effort to change the culture of baseball locker rooms and the incentives of individual players.

The key word here is “anything.” This is, basically, the language of police brutality and prosecutorial overreach. If you believe in the system, you can’t call the players “cheats” before the results trickle in unless you want to turn the All-Star break into an infomercial for your own hobbyhorse. If you’re really concerned about how this scandal is going to affect a younger generation, you might want to wait until all the facts are in (or any of them, really).  The problem is not with the Joint Testing Agreement. Players get suspended all the time with little more than a few words from most writers. The problem is living with uncertainty: Did the players use the drugs or not? And can MLB prove it? If you feel comfortable muddying a player’s name before you can answer these questions, the only thing that’s certain is that you’ve backed yourself into a corner of a house on fire, chased there by your own self-righteousness, waiting to be saved by the man with the gascan, the kids with the matches already to blame.

The system did not work

Shortly after George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the killing of Trayvon Martin, Slate’s Dave Weigel tweeted:

The outrage in 2012 was that Zimmerman wasn’t being tried at all. He was tried. This is how the system works.

— daveweigel (@daveweigel) July 14, 2013

This is not true. If you put a dollar in a vending machine and order Skittles, you’re not supposed to get a bill from the IRS. Similarly, if you walk into a store to buy a kitten, you’re not supposed to be shot dead. Even if the vending machine is programmed not to give you what you ordered, and even if the pet store is required to assassinate its citizens, this is not how these things are supposed to work. Our criminal justice system is tiered and subject to revisions and appeals because these laws are often unconstitutional and, counterintuitively, illegal. Illegal laws can stand for generations, but it doesn’t make them any more legal. A system that produces results on laws like Dred Scott or Stand Your Ground is not a system that works, and reducing it to that zero point, like Weigel, doesn’t make you wise. It makes you monstrous, a living relic of the past that we’ll eventually try to whitewash away like so much of the rest of it.

A very simple ‘Random Access Memories’ explainer

Image

I’m sure other people on the Internet have thought of this, but here’s the narrative I see in ‘Random Access Memories.’:

1. Give Life Back to Music: Robots arrive. Thesis statement.

2. The Game of Love: In the first part of the robots’ story, someone gets their heart broken.

3. Giorgio by Moroder: They learn the value of music.

4. Within: They realize they have to move on.

5. Instant Crush: They have an instant crush.

6. Lose Yourself to Dance: They dance with the crush.

7. Touch: They touch the crush.

8. Get Lucky: They get lucky with the crush.

9. Beyond: The night with the crush is ending.

10. Motherboard: They leave the crush.

11. Fragments of Time: They remember the crush fondly.

12. Doin’ it Right: They repeat the process.

13. Contact: Robots leave.

Tito returns to Boston

I know you don’t get a chance to take a break or something, but if you do, read all about Terry Francona’s return to Boston at Over the Monster.

El Barto

I wrote about Bartolo Colon, a man who cannot not throw strikes, for the Classical. There are jokes about him being a larger-than-average human contained therein.

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