Stick to baseball, 7/30/16.

It’s been a busy week already and I assume the next 52 hours will be even more so; here are my three Insider posts on trades from the last seven days:

• The Aroldis Chapman trade
• The Texas/Atlanta trade and the Blue Jays’ two deals
• The Andrew Cashner and Eduardo Nunez trades

I also have a draft blog post up on last week’s Under Armour Game, and I held my regular Klawchat on Thursday.

I’ll be on ESPN’s trade deadline show on Monday from 1 to 4 pm ET, after which I’m taking a few days off to work on my book and on some other personal projects.

And now, the links…

  • Dr. Mike Sonne, an injury prevention researcher and a baseball fan, argues that pitch clocks may increase pitcher injury risk by reducing recovery time for fatiguing muscles. So maybe pace of game isn’t such a huge problem.
  • If you missed this on Twitter you really should read Eireann Dolan’s story about her autistic brother, from how he was bullied as a kid to the nightmare they all just went through with him.
  • Iowa Republican Steve King says racist stuff on a regular basis and keeps winning re-election. The Iowa Starting line blog looks at why.
  • As always, I’m nobody’s expert on these matters, but I feel like the rejection of state “vote fraud” laws, including this week’s invalidation of North Carolina’s law as racist, is the biggest story of this election cycle. One, with African-American voters favoring Clinton in historic proportions, it seems like striking down these laws could help her in several critical states, including the swing state of North Carolina. Two, killing these laws – based on the entirely fraudulent fear of fraudulent voting – will have an effect on many elections to come, and, one might hope, will slow efforts to disenfranchise entire demographic groups.
  • BuzzFeed political editor (and longtime reader of mine) Katherine Miller wrote a great longread on how Trump “broke” the conservative movement.
  • Trump has faced multiple allegations of sexual assault from women over the last several decades, including one from his ex-wife Ivana. Everyone dismissed such claims against Bill Clinton in 1991-92, but a quarter-century later, the climate around rape and sexual assault is, or seemed to be, much changed. Perhaps Hannibal Burress needs to joke about it before it’ll go anywhere.
  • A large Swedish study on the environmental impacts of organic agriculture versus conventional found differences in each direction, with neither side clearly favored. This is especially important for consumers, in that food labeled “organic” isn’t going to be more nutritious or necessarily better for the environment. But there’s a problem within the problem here – the term “organic” has itself been watered down (pun intended) from what the term meant when Lord Northbourne coined it in 1940. So-called “natural” pesticides aren’t going to automatically better for the environment, for example, and dumping organic fertilizers into the soil won’t have the same effect as using compost and working in crops (like clover or legumes) that increase nitrogen content in the soil.
  • Those “recyclable” disposable coffee cups aren’t recyclable at all, not unless you have access to one of the very few facilities capable of doing so. This means tons of cups end up in landfills every year, so why don’t we demand better?
  • Scientific American explains a card trick that relies on a simple cipher and the cooperation of a partner.
  • A tough longread on a 20-year-old unsolved missing persons case on the Isle of Wight. The police seem to have botched the earliest stages of the investigation, which may render the case unsolvable.
  • German scientists found a bacterium living inside human noses that produces a chemical toxic to Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium that causes MRSA. Now if only it worked against gonorrhea, the bacterium behind which has evolved resistance to all known antibiotics.
  • Joe Biden has to acknowledge the LIQUID SWORDS tweet at some point, right? If I see him around here I’m going to ask him.
  • Why are police officers enforcing Trump’s ban on Washington Post reporters? They’re claiming it’s a security issue, but that’s clearly not the case.
  • I wrote about a year ago about an essay I read on the unsolved abc problem in mathematics and the abstruse proof offered by a Japanese mathematician, Shinichi Mochizuki, who created a whole new branch of math to solve it – which meant no one was sure if he actually had solved it at all. Scientific American offers an update and some new commentary, including criticism of Mochizuki’s unwillingness to travel or work with others on the proof.
  • In a new book, Innovation and its Enemies, Calestous Juma explains why people often hate new stuff, and talks about what variables affect adoption rates or drive opposition.
  • The National Post gave the fraudumentary Vaxxed zero stars and an admonition not to see it.
  • Speaking of fraud, anything that claims it can “boost your immune system” is lying and even they worked, it’s a terrible idea. If you pay for these “enhanced” water products, or for useless supplements like Airborne, you might as well flush your money down the toilet.
  • The elusive DC-area chef Peter Chang is opening what he calls the restaurant of his dreams in Bethesda. I’ve been to his place in Charlottesville, and I thought it was excellent but have very little history or knowledge of Sichuan cuisine to compare it to.
  • Congrats to Pizzeria Vetri, our favorite pizzeria in Philly and just one of our favorite restaurants there period, for winning Philly magazine’s Best Soft-Serve Ice Cream nod for 2016.
  • Seth Meyers on “Bernie or Bust” twits:


  1. Keith, love your “Stick to Baseball” blog, but I have one important question. When the hell do you have time to follow baseball, play board games with your daughter, read all your non-baseball stuff, experiment with new cooking techniques, listen to obscure records, read the classics and presumably spend a little time with your wife? (Oh, and sneak in your ESPN commitments and your various travels to college baseball games.) Do you not sleep at all?

    • Good question. I probably don’t sleep enough. But I think the best answer is that I’m always doing something. I listen to music or podcasts or audiobooks in the car or even when I’m mowing the lawn. I read books in line at the grocery store or the pharmacy. I watch very little TV and when I do it’s pretty targeted – something like The Night Of that is worth every minute. And I work at home, so I don’t lose time commuting, and I can switch from being with my daughter to writing up the Melancon trade in a matter of seconds.


  2. Proudly displaying your “Best Softserve Ice Cream” award is like wearing an intramural champs t-shirt. Sure, congrats and all, but you’re still losing by 60 to the varsity squad. You should make a trip down to Baltimore to try the new Paulie Gees outpost and top it off with ice cream from The Charmery across the street.

  3. I’ll be voting for Gary Johnson and I dislike both mainstream candidates, so I have no dog in this fight. But I’m wondering if the purpose of these links is to be somewhat objective or are you actively, as is your right of course, using your voice to advocate for Clinton and/or against Trump. I could be wrong, but have you posted a link on Hillary in the past discrediting the many accusations of rape and sexual assault by women against her husband? Or one on Tim Kaine being personally against abortion because of his religion? Or one on Justice Ginsburg clearly violating her duty by trashing Trump? Those seem like issues that are normally important to you. But only anti-Republican articles tend to get posted.

    • I have not posted “anti-Republican” articles. I’ve posted current events stories on Trump. I’ve voted Republican many times in my life and have tended to favor their economic policies more than those of the Democrats’, although that hasn’t been true for several years now. I’ve even said before I consider Reagan one of our greatest Presidents (acknowledging his inaction on AIDS was a horrendous mistake). But Trump is not a traditional Republican; he’s actively courting the support of white supremacists, xenophobes, neo-Nazis, as well as the anti-science lunatic fringe.

      Kaine being against abortion personally is immaterial as he’s said he’s a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade, which is the part that matters to me. It certainly isn’t the same as Pence signing a law mandating funerals for aborted fetuses.

      As for Hillary “discrediting” the accusations, that’s not quite accurate either. She hasn’t actively credited them, but I also don’t see how that’s her role. Her husband – of whom I am neither a supporter nor a fan, given that he lied under oath to a grand jury – should not be part of her resume as a candidate, just as we should not (and almost never do) consider a wife as part of a male candidate’s resume.

      Johnson opposes mandatory vaccinations, so he’s just another crackpot putting some “liberty” bullshit over serious matters of public health. (Or he’s just pro-pandemic.) If you’re in a swing state, voting for him is a de facto vote for Trump in this election. I’m not in a swing state and I still wouldn’t vote for a third-party candidate, because I don’t want to be part of Trump winning the popular vote or even coming close to it. I want the U.S. to fully repudiate his brand of bigotry and hatred. We are better than that.

    • There is certainly some evidence that Hillary has discredited Bill’s accusers, although I agree that it’s hardly definitive or overly credible. For example, see

      You have provided links criticizing, off the top of my head, Jan Brewer, Mary Fallin, and Mike Pence fairly recently. It’s pretty laughable, but they are all establishment Republicans. So it’s not just Trump you’re attacking.

      I live in Massachusetts, so my vote is worthless. I respect all the time and energy you spend advocating for the pro-vaccine cause. It’s commendable and if I were a state legislator, I would vote for mandatory vaccination. But each of us prioritizes certain issues over others, and to me, that one isn’t as important as other issues, such as anti-interventionism and low taxes, especially when I highly doubt a President Clinton will get a bill like that on her desk. It’s a state issue. I’ve mostly been a strategic voter in my life, but I’m sick of the two-party system and want to vote for a candidate who agrees with most of my political beliefs.

    • Pence is Trump. A criticism of Pence’s record and policies is a criticism of the Trump ticket.

      You’re really reaching here, to be honest. I criticize policies, not people. If a Democratic governor tried to stop schools in his or her state from teaching evolution, I’d blast that policy just the same.

    • I stand by what I said before: that you overwhelmingly criticize Republican policies and politicians, when you easily could do the same for Democrats on issues we all know you care about. If that NY Times article is true, you are voting for a person who attempted to “destroy” the story of one accuser and engaged in an “aggressive” campaign against another–all to protect her husband’s and her political futures. You posted a link just last week on Trump’s lies; the Clintons, Hillary included, wrote the book on lying.

      As always, I respect your baseball work and the fact that you always answer mine (and others’) comments in a civil manner, despite some of the rudeness you have to put up with.

    • *my


  4. Lost in all the talk of Trump hoping Russia finds Hillary’s lost emails was something more important. Trump said he viewed the Crimea as Russian and would look to lift the sanctions of Russia from it’s 2014 takeover of the Ukrainian peninsula. Given how Russia has interfered in Georgian politics and other Eastern European countries and how Trump views NATO, it may only be a matter of time until Trump is turned into this century’s Neville Chamberlain.

    • Hey Leftist, Commie Addoeh –

      Russia should be our ally in the middle east against the terrorists. Also, NATO has backed them into a corner with virtually everyone border-country being a member of NATO. This is what Crimea was about, having a buffer.

      So for some reason you think Trump being anti-globalist is a bigger issue than Russia being able to blackmail/bribe a potential sitting president (Clinton) by threatening to release her incriminating emails, I call BS on that.

      By the way, this century’s Neville Chamberlain has been Obama, letting ISIS kill indiscriminately.

      Let me ask you a question, do you think the response would’ve been just as mild if there was a “right wing Christian” group going around murdering Muslims and cutting their heads off, while also committing atrocities in the US? Would it still be a “lone wolf” attack?

      Maybe Obama would just tell everyone to use chairs and fire extinguishers to fend off the evil Christians like he recommended for school shootings.

    • Wow, Mistro has gone full nutso this week.

    • and he inadvertently confirmed my suspicions that he’s the same as another pro-Trump troll I banned a few weeks ago.

    • I’m glad I was able to get a moniker from Mistro before he was banned. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

  5. Keith: You have a great head for logic. Please realize the reason no one has found any voter fraud is that no one is looking. Not one Secretary of State of other voting official in any US state has enough budget to look for voter fraud. So we don’t know if we have voter fraud or not.

    • All the more reason not to pass these laws. If no one is looking then no one will find evidence, and why pass laws to stop a problem no one can show exists?

    • Passing laws without taking the time to make sure they are needed, when passing them has a very real negative consequence, is a phenomenal amount of mental gymnastics to support something.

  6. “crackpot putting some “liberty” bullshit”

    Gotta say, a little disheartening to see you just toss this out there so cavalierly. You like to talk up how you’re big into both social and economic freedoms (though I recognize you’ve never actually said much publicly in favor of libertarians), but to be this callously dismissive of the one political camp that, in my opinion, does the best job of promoting those ideals unapologetically across many spectrums makes me want to question your bona fides a little in this area.

    • It wasn’t cavalier. We surrender some portion of our liberty as part of the social contract wherein we live under a government with some rules, not as lone savages in the wild who are always in fear of our lives or our property. One part of that social contract is that we will take a basic and extremely safe measure to prevent the spread of contagious and preventable diseases. If you put your notion of Liberty over that, you’re an anarchist, and, in my opinion, a crackpot.

    • Respect your view, but that’s a philosophical discussion for another day.

    • By the way, in case you couldn’t tell, I disagree with the notion of the dichotomy you present, that of a choice between a civil society with a “social contract” and sacrificed liberties versus “lone savages” living as anarchists but with maximum personal liberty. Of course, that’s a debate that’s been raging for millennia.

    • Yes, the debate is where to draw the line. If you believe whatsoever in the concept of a compelling state interest, surely the most basic is the interest in preventing completely preventable deaths of its citizens. If that does not rise to the level of compelling state interest, there is no such thing.

    • Let’s just say I’m more concerned with compelling individual interests than “compelling state interests.” I believe in the right of self-determination down to a very micro level. That said, I respect that a group of people – potentially a very sizeable one – is willing to establish a society where they’d prefer to sacrifice certain individual liberties to better support the “social contract” they want to live under, and more power to them on that front. People who more strongly prefer maximum individual liberty and don’t buy into the “social contract” should have the opportunity to live the way they choose as well. It’s a big planet, and there’s no reason one group should have to put up with the others’ “system” just by accidents of geographical birth.

    • OK, you’re more concerned with one than the other, I understand that. It’s revealing that you scare quote one concept but not the other, though — that tells me you’re not balancing the two very real ideas (as is necessary in the making of any law, and which all such debates hinge upon) but disdaining the notion that one of them is something to be considered seriously whatsoever. That, if it reflects your true beliefs, defines an extremist viewpoint.

    • I’m not “scare-quoting” (no pun intended) anything. To me – and I readily admit this may not apply to all or even most people – the idea of a “social contract” is much more abstract/nebulous/fleeting than “liberty” (that make you feel better?), hence the quotes. The social contract seems to ebb and flow with the zietgiest and may have rules/laws drawn up around it entirely disconnected from the vast majority of people who will be affected by it. Individual liberty, on the other hand, may take myriad forms but we can at least put forth a reasonable definition that it ends where another’s begins (recognizing there’s still some debate as to where those beginning and end lines are). To me, I’d rather be having the discussion about the lines that separate my individual rights from others than about me going down certain rabbit holes just to satisfy the whims of certain segments of society based on some abstract concept they want to live by. That you’re so eager to drop the “extremist” insinuation when you know so little about me is far more revealing about you and your character than anything I’ve said about myself.

    • How can you decry abstraction when everything you’ve said is an abstraction? And how is this:

      “I believe in the right of self-determination down to a very micro level.”

      not an expression of polar extremity? OK, fine, it’s your philosophy, so maybe take it for a walk. Just avoid, say, Scottish Rite hospitals in areas where herd immunity has been lost, because objectivism tends to get run over where the rubber meets the road.

    • “…when everything you’ve said is an abstraction…”

      Thanks for letting me know I’m wasting my time engaging in dialogue with you. Already had that suspicion, this just confirmed it. If you believe the things I’ve said an “abstraction,” this just says your grasp of the English language is too weak for you to converse intelligently with most people, much less someone like myself.

    • You took something concrete (vaccination policy) into the realm of abstraction (liberty, individual rights, etc.) and have yet to return, so I tried to engage you on an abstract level (state interest vs individual interest), thinking that’s the debate you wanted. I was happy to do so — abstractions underlay any law or public policy. Ideals are abstractions, and deserve discussion. You don’t even know when you’re not being insulted.

    • You weren’t trying to engage me on any level, abstract or otherwise. I never said or felt I was being insulted, just that you weren’t making a good-faith effort at dialogue. And it’s more than readily apparent now that you prefer sophistry to doing jus that, so I’m moving along. No hard feelings. Some people and/or topics just aren’t meant to be discussed.

  7. Cory Dirksen

    Is the issue with voter registration the idea of having to ahow ID or the cost of getting an ID. With identify theft very prevalent and voter fraud a real issue…wouldnt the prudent course of action be to allow free IDs? I fail to understand how asking for ID (which we ask for to fly, drive, drink and hundreds of other things) hurts minorities.

    • Because it takes time and money to get an ID. Even if the ID itself is free, the documentation needed (birth certificate, for example) is not.

      Further, the laws often have very specific ID requirements; for example, the Wisconsin law decreed that Wisconsin state ID was required. Ergo, many college students (with out-of-state IDs) and many others with ID from their previous place of residence were out of luck.

      Finally, I would note that just because a car or an airplane flight is a normal expense to you, doesn’t mean everyone can afford a car or plane flights.

    • But voter fraud is not an issue in the real world. This isn’t the era of Tammany Hall.

  8. Fleiter-
    People are indeed looking for voter fraud. The issue has been studied many times. Almost no instances of the sort of fraud that would be prevented by ID have ever been found. However, if you want to protect people’s voting rights by creating a requirement that they have a certain sort of documentation, go right ahead… just build into the law the necessary expenditures and time by the state to ensure that all people who should be able to vote are able to easily and cost free obtain that documentation. Since most of these laws instead put in place measures making it hard to obtain the documentation, they aren’t actually designed to protect against fraud.

    • Why should I take the time to get an ID and fill out a bunch of paperwork to exercise my right to the 2nd Amendment then? If you truly want to vote and are a citizen of the USA, you should have an ID.

      We keep hearing that it targets black people, which seems extremely racist, to assume that black people are either too dumb or too poor to get an ID.

  9. Regarding Steve King, I must have overlooked the article you linked to when a Black Democrat referred to Jews as termites just the other day.

    How dare King have a flag on his desk or decree that white men have accounted for most of the advances in modern human civilization. What terrible deeds!! If only he was an anti-Semite, then the owner of this website would have no reason to link to him.

    • I’ve deleted one of Mistro’s comments, and have now banned him from further commenting for repeatedly attacking me in his remarks. There’s no excuse for this, as plenty of other folks have disagreed with me without resorting to insults.

    • I didn’t link to that because it didn’t happen. A congressman referred to Jewish settlers on the West Bank of Palestine as “termites.” It’s offense and unhelpful, but not at all the same as referring to “Jews” in general as termites. This misrepresentation only further reinforces my decision to ban you.

  10. Mark Geoffriau

    If you disagree with Keith, better do it without resorting to insults, or you’ll be banned.

    If Keith disagrees with your opinion, he’ll call you a “crackpot.”

    • Mark: since you didn’t see the deleted comments, I’m not sure what point you think you’re making.

    • Mark Geoffriau

      So your position is that calling someone a crackpot is a good and reasonable argument, and not an insult?

    • I think mistro and mark are trying to highlight the problem with disagreeing with current democrats/globalists. If the discourse is impolite, you will be blocked, banned, deleted — Regardless of content.

      However, the democrats/globalists constantly label anyone they disagree with as a bigot, racist, crackpot, nutjob, etc. It seems like they should be able to be mocked for their views if the arguments are weak, which in most cases they are.

      I’m probably not explaining it as well as I can, but it’s kind of like what Milo takes to the extreme.

    • Mark Geoffriau

      That may or may not be an issue, Michael — but that’s reaching far beyond my intentions. I simply want to understand if Keith intends the discussion in these posts to operate under any kind of semi-consistent rules or guidelines, or if it’s just up to however Keith is feeling on a particular day.

      Either option is entirely within Keith’s rights; it is his site, after all. This is his house, he makes the rules, and we are but guests here. But if the rules are going to be inconsistently and capriciously applied, I’d at least like to be prepared for it.

    • I misunderstood your intent. My apologies, sir

    • Let’s not disingenuously pretend that there’s some vague, unclear standard here. Commenters are given plenty of leeway, and if they engage in repeated, personal attacks, then the banhammer comes out.

      The one “citation” you have in favor of your supposed point is that Keith called someone a crackpot. But, in fact, what he said was: “If you put your notion of Liberty over that, you’re an anarchist, and, in my opinion, a crackpot.” That’s clearly written in a way so as to blunt the “personal attack” element as much as is possible. It’s the difference between:

      “Mark Geoffrieu is stupid”


      “Frankly, I think that anyone who cannot understand the rules of the site–like Mark Geoffrieu–is, in my opinion, being stupid.”

      Mistro has been spouting deliberately provocative, insulting, and offensive stuff for weeks, and he was given all kinds of opportunity (and warning) to rein it in before being kicked for being an obvious troll.

    • But if the rules are going to be inconsistently and capriciously applied,

      If you could provide any evidence that this has been the case, I’d appreciate it. Sounds like the unsubstantiated ‘voter fraud’ claims to me.

    • Mark Geoffriau

      Nah, I’m not putting together a legal case for court. Pretty sure I’ve already gotten my answer.

    • Then I’ll answer it for you: You can’t. In the history of this site, I believe I’ve banned exactly five distinct commenters, counting Mistro and his other IDs as one person. All were banned for the same reason – repeated, vulgar, obscenity-laced insults directed at me. That is consistent application without caprice.

  11. Being provocative, insulting, and offensive is a common tactic on all sides. At the end what matters is the truth.

  12. Hi Keith-
    First of all, longtime fan of your blog. I hope Wilmington is still treating you well. I lived in Trolley Sq for three years before moving last year. Anyways, the night before reading this post, I actually sent a friend that same Katherine Miller piece and commented that her work was the biggest winner of the conventions for me. Look forward to Katherine’s coverage of the ensuing campaign. And glad to hear she reads The Dish.

    Music note- Have you listened to the Norwegian singer Aurora at all? First heard “Conqueror” back in January and loved it, then saw another great performance on Colbert last week that enticed me to giving her full album a listen. Worth the time imo. Peace.

    • Yes, I did hear that song when it came out. The chorus was catchy, but I found the song a little pop-disposable. Nothing wrong with it; just not my cup of tea.