Stick to baseball, 10/1/16.

My annual look at players I got wrong went up for Insiders on Thursday, and the list starts with the amazing season Kyle Hendricks has had. Earlier this week I wrote about the increasing production coming from MLB’s youngest position players, although I admit I don’t have a great explanation for the trend. I held my regular Klawchat here on Thursday.

Over at Paste, I reviewed 7 Ronin, a fantastic two-player game with a Seven Samurai theme that plays in under a half hour. It’s ninjas versus samurai for control of a small village, and even though the rules are asymmetrical the game is extremely balanced.

You can also preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon. Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

And now, the links…


  1. Is the D after Pete Ricketts’s name to signify he’s a Democrat? If so, he is a Republican.

    It happened back in July, but the Houston Chronicle, another long time Republican newspaper, endorsed Clint. The Chicago Tribune, another paper with a Republican lean, endorsed Johnson. Usual qualifications about Wikipedia aside, but they do have a good list of newspaper endorsements.,_2016

  2. Do you really think people who attempt to talk to strangers should die in a fire? What’s wrong with striking up a conversation with someone you don’t know. Anyone is free to decline to talk if they don’t want to.
    Or is this specific to talking to women?
    Someone got my attention while I was wearing headphones recently to ask me for spare change. Should he die in a fire too?

    • Do you really think people who attempt to talk to strangers should die in a fire?

      No, and I didn’t say that. Did you read the linked article?

  3. I did read the article. It was ridiculous.
    Especially this part:
    We talk less about the routine intrusions women experience from men in their everyday lives, even though this is the most common form of sexual violence.

    It does not mention anything more than attempting to talk to a woman. And that’s “sexual violence”??!!
    Talking is violence???

    Give me a fucking break.

    I agree that if someone is wearing headphones they probably don’t want to be disturded but why is it worse to do so with a women because you find her attractive than to do it with anyone else to ask for money.

    If one should die in a fire they both should.

    • Presumably you are being purposefully naive?

      The fear doesn’t come from ‘hi’, the fear and pre-emptive avoidance comes from not knowing what your reaction will be to politely being told, leave me alone… you have already ignored one barrier that has been put in place, what will you ignore next?

      The worrying element in your message is that you don’t acknowledge a contextual difference between a guy asking a guy for spare change, and a guy intruding on a women’s space to tell them you find them attractive… both might be bothersome, (typically) only one carries the threat of sexual violence (but don’t worry I am sure every unknown women you ‘compliment’ understands you aren’t a predator).

      Women don’t need your validation that you find them “attractive” – they could manage to live their lives perfectly happily without your recognition. Just leave strangers the hell alone.

  4. Hey she’s working out, she’s sweating, and she’s wearing headphones. I bet she wants to have a conversation!
    -Jim Gaffigan

  5. Rather than suggesting that people Google it themselves, I prefer to help out by using

  6. NH – “Just leave strangers the hell alone”. Seriously?? Honestly, I feel bad for you, if this is how you truly feel. You’ve never struck up a conversation with someone at a bar, in line at a store, or in any other public place? Some of the best interactions are with complete strangers. I’ve had people completely brighten my day, and I hope there’s times I’ve brightened others’ days, just with short, fun conversations, a small bit of help, or kind words.

    Just talking to someone does not carry the threat of sexual violence. That’s laughable. I never, ever want to live in a society where the norm is to “just leave strangers the hell alone.”

    • Drew, if someone’s wearing headphones, you’re intruding by striking up a conversation with them unless it’s to tell them that their shoe is untied or they dropped their keys or something. To butt in and say “I think you’re attractive”? That’s just selfish and oblivious.

    • And again – context… just context – may not matter in your world, does in mine.

      Is someone in a bar open to conversation, probably more so than someone walking down a street or sitting on a bus with headphones as the next guy just “has” to tell her that she is just so attractive… Is someone on a supermarket line open to a comment on the tomatoes they have in their basket, probably more so than telling them their ass looks great in those shorts…

      You hope there are times when you have brightened people’s days? Lets hope they outweigh the times you have terrified someone by commenting on how that top shows off their curves (if you can ignore context, I can imply whatever the hell I like about your throwaway remarks right?)

      Again, if you are utterly unable to determine the role of context in who / when you have conversations, I would repeat for your benefit Drew – just leave strangers the hell alone.

    • The entire issue is about giving unwanted attention to women. It’s more acute when they’re signaling that they do not desire the attention, such as by wearing headphones, but even if they’re not, a woman will likely interpret an unsolicited comment on her appearance as threatening. Whether you (the general you) like this or not is immaterial; all that matters is that women, as a class, are increasingly articulating this desire.

    • NH- I think you and the author of the article are the ones ignoring context.
      The article discusses the lengths women go to to avoid any interaction. It even goes so far to claim that interrupting a woman is a form of “sexual violence”.
      Because, of course, we all know if a man says hi to a woman, his logical next course of action is to hit her over the head with a brick and drag her into an alley and rape her.
      It’s just human nature right?
      That type of attitude is disgusting.
      It’s no different than being afraid of a Muslim sitting next to you on an airplane or crossing to the other side of the street if you see a black man walking toward you at night.

      We are not even talking about approaching a random stranger and saying “you have a nice ass. Can I wear it as a hat.”
      But even if someone is rude enough to say such a thing, saying they should die in a fire is bit much.
      Complimenting people you don’t know is protected speech right and not worthy of execution as Keith claims.

    • Complimenting people you don’t know is protected speech right

      If you mean by the First Amendment, then, no, not right, because this isn’t a First Amendment issue.

      It’s no different than being afraid of a Muslim sitting next to you on an airplane or crossing to the other side of the street if you see a black man walking toward you at night.

      Yes, it is, because accosting a woman to discuss her appearance is an action against her. The Muslim sitting next to you on an airplane has not acted; neither has the black man in your example (you didn’t specify that, say, he was brandishing a weapon, or walking into your path, as opposed to merely walking down the same street or sidewalk).

      How about this, Kordell: Don’t do it. Don’t bother women to pay them what you consider to be compliments. What’s the problem here?

    • Keith. You are missing the point.
      The point is that talking to somebody is NOT Equivalent to accosting somebody.
      Whether that person wants to be talked to or not, merely approaching someone for a conversation no matter the reason is not a crime.
      The reason I bring up speech is because the article mentions making it a crime, albeit in England.
      And, as I brought up before, merely interrupting a woman is NOT a form of sexual violence.
      My jaw dropped when I read that sentence it so absurd.
      I am not saying I would ever do such a thing but this attitude that people are taking is way over the top.

    • The point is that talking to somebody is NOT Equivalent to accosting somebody.

      You may have meant “assaulting” rather than “accosting;” the linked article is entirely about accosting a stranger.

      What you’re missing – aside from some empathy for women here – is that a stranger accosting a woman is in and of itself an aggressive act, one that a woman can (and perhaps should) interpret as a threat. And when a woman makes it clear that she does not wish to be accosted, such as by wearing headphones, you need to respect that, no matter how badly you want to tell her she’s hot.

    • Maybe I am missing something. I would never suggest anyone should be able to accost anyone for any reason.
      My take from the article, is that it wasn’t talking about accosting, which implies approaching in an aggressive manner, but approaching anyone for any reason in any manner no matter how polite is not acceptable.
      And it’s the article itself that describes such an interaction as a violent act. Which it clearly isn’t.
      I was only arguing in favor of perspective.
      And I am also not claiming that I would ever approach a stranger who clearly doesn’t want to be bothered but it happens to everyone. There is no reason to be so offended it

  7. I spent about a month in Germany a couple years ago, and I had a devil of a time finding public WiFi. Cafes and bars just don’t have it available for customers the way that we do here. The exception, of course, are Starbucks and McDonalds. Basically, it never became customary there (I think this is true in Continental Europe more generally). It’s interesting to see American companies try to roll it back.

    • I’ve always wondered about this–how these coffee places and Internet cafes can make money when they’re sometimes getting a dollar or two an hour out of someone who uses the place as their office, and maybe buys $10 worth of stuff (if that much) for the privilege.

    • I was in Paris for a couple weeks this summer, and people in the group I traveled with asked for wifi passwords at just about every restaurant. Without exception, they gave out the wifi password. Obviously, this is anecdotal evidence, but it seemed like they were used to getting the request.

      I would guess the key difference is that we clearly there for a meal with a large group of people, and it wasn’t one person walking in with a tablet or laptop with designs on taking a table for two hours and spending almost no money.

  8. Kordell – protected speech… oh man… The possibly sadder element is you appear to believe your inability to keep a thought inside your head is more important than letting a fellow human being go about their life unhindered by the fear of what you might do next.

    Why do you think some women are going to these lengths? The scenario you set out sadly does happen, and it happens enough that it isn’t an unwarranted fear. Sadly the men that do hit women over the head before dragging them down an alley don’t have a sign over their heads alerting women to that fact – so women need to be alert to the clues that men do give. The fact that you are willing to ignore the visual clues a headphone wearing women is giving you is a nice first step to alert that women that you are completely disrespectful of their space, and that, sadly, once again, they need to be wary of whatever you think is appropriate next. Instead of deciding that isn’t right, and a disgusting attitude, why not actually consider what your audience hears and feels?

    And strawman arguments on a Keith Law website… the reason your analogies aren’t the same is that those fears are actually irrational, but interesting that those are your analogies. There is enough evidence that men commit sexual violence against women to make that fear rational for women.

  9. I’m sorrry but you are wrong.
    The fear that if a man talks to you it means he is going to rape you is just as irrational as being afraid of a black man at night or a Muslim on an airplane.
    Sure, there are some men capable of dragging a woman into an alley and raping her but there are more black men who rob people and there more Muslim terrorists.
    But my biggest problem with that piece of shit article is the idiotic claim that merely interrupting a woman is form of “sexual violence.”
    What the fuck is wrong with these people?

    • I think people like you are what is wrong with these people.

    • I spent the majority of my career as a homicide prosecutor. If you really think that it is irrational for women to fear encounters with “strangers”, than you have no idea what you are talking about. And the fact that you think women should feel blessed and appreciative of your compliments as opposed to being cautious and reasonably skeptical, means that you are, as Keith put it, “what is wrong with these people”. Put in other words, women do not have some duty to interact with you. You are not special. You are just yet another arrogant, self-involved asshole who lacks even the semblance of humanity or empathy.

    • Thanks for the insight here – although maybe you could tone the language down? – but I’m curious: did you find many of these stranger homicides or near-stranger homicides? I know they happen, but I thought murder by a partner or family member was more common. I could have the wrong impression, though.

    • Sorry, I regretted the last sentence as soon a I hit submit. It just drives me a little crazy that we live in a society that allows for so much violence towards women, but a man seems outraged by the idea that he cannot flirt with women he doesn’t know whenever he chooses. I apologize.

      The stats and my anecdotal experiences bare out that a women he far more likely to be harmed by someone she knows than otherwise. But the cases that always haunted me most were the sexual assault/homicides that were perpetrated by strangers. Invariably, the perpetrator was always a man who felt slighted or rejected by the victim during an earlier encounter. However, you are correct, those cases tend to be the exception. Most of my homicides were examples of escalating domestic violence. As a father to a daughter, I struggle with how she will be forced to navigate day to day life in a world that seems so hell-bent on ignoring the obscenely high-rates of violence towards women.

      Finally, I would like to thank you for your consistent crusade to highlight the seriousness of domestic violence. People like to suggest it is comparable to something like a substance-abuse addiction, an ailment that can be remedied through treatment. The reality is that the recidivism rates for domestic violence are much more akin to child molestation.

  10. I do genuinely appreciate that I am wasting my time, but if people don’t stand up to this crap it gets perpetuated, and people begin to believe that their views are genuinely representative.

    At no time has anyone either in that article or on this thread said that “if a man talks to you it means he is going to rape you”. What has been said is that unwanted, sexualized comments to a complete stranger are a warning flag to that complete stranger. Most right minded people would think that any action that raises fear in another human being should be discouraged – but again, your right to make inappropriate, unwanted sexual comments to anyone you choose is clearly far more important than allowing people to simply go about their lives.

    Do you have any concept of how much sexual violence there is in this country – did you even take one second to look at how much sexual violence is reported, let alone how much goes unreported because of fear, in this country? There are more “black men who rob” and [sic] “there more Muslim terrorists” – your opinions aren’t facts, they are simply ugly, misguided opinions.

  11. Rival Brothers in Philly (which as an aside, serves bread from High Street) is limiting wifi. Personally, I like it but I’m relatively old and haven’t been a student for some time. Also, great coffee if you’re ever over Fitler Square way Keith.

  12. Wow, I left after making my post, and just got back from work. Didn’t think this discussion would be like this at all. I’m so surprised by the conversation between Keith, NH, and Kordell. I hope, truly hope, that everyone is just kind of talking past each other and missing each other’s point.

    My takeaway is that Kordell (and myself) are clearly not advocating terrible things like randomly saying “hey babe, your ass is hot”. That’s obviously unwanted, and certainly can be considered verbal assault. However, merely talking to someone in a friendly manner is normal.

    Kordell’s comment of fearing a black man at night or a Muslim on an airplane is very good, in my opinion. That mindset would be horridly close-minded, and would keep the person with that opinion in perpetual, yet irrational, fear. (Assuming one leaves the house at night and/or utilizes air travel.) In the same way, a woman fearing every man who speaks to her would also keep her in perpetual, irrational fear. Yet Keith and NH seem to feel this is the way it should be? This is I guess where I feel everyone must be speaking past each other, and not really understanding what the other means.

    I wonder if it’s a bit of a function of what part of the country we live in? I’m in the midwest. We’re friendly, open, nice people. Probably a bit different from riding subways in New York. Maybe that’s part of the disconnect. I dunno, but it’s so strange-I’m so understanding of Kordell’s comments, and so…confused I guess, by the comments of Keith and NH.

    • I seem to relate more with what both Drew and Kordell are saying but do think the others make valid points. It is intriguing how each side tends to present the “examples” in making their case. On the one hand, the assumption rests that the vast majority of interactions – where maybe an “interruption” was the catalyst – are pretty innocent and part of normal social functioning. On the other, the default is all the examples where a woman is clearly trying to seclude herself from interacting yet has it forced upon her, made all the worse if it’s an interruption that’s clearly a sexual advance of some kind. I don’t think most reasonable people have trouble acknowledging that kind of behavior needs to be rooted out at every turn, but tilting too far the other way and creating a world where people seem to have this perpetual, irrational fear or paranoia as Drew points out just seems like it’s way over the top.

  13. I’m not sure there is an argument that there is a perpetual or irrational fear. Yes, saying all attempts at conversation are sexual assault is likely a bit much. However, the article is largely talking about attempts to engage women on the street when they are involved in things like their daily commute. This isn’t an argument that you can’t make conversation with someone ever.

    Instead, this is the idea that women are, by and large, far more likely to be subject to forced interruptions and microaggressions on the street, and they are largely expected to tolerate this. As a result, they try to avoid unwanted interruptions. Furthermore, a woman does not know if these interruptions will escalate. Will the man on the street who stops her to say “hi” become annoyed or even angry if she doesn’t respond? Will he act on these feelings? I mean, if you’re a man, how many times have you been stopped by a larger stranger on the street who “just wants to say hi?” These are the types of interactions the article is talking about.

    There’s a lot of trying to dictate the line at where and when a woman is allowed to legitimately feel threatened or annoyed by an interaction (i.e., only when her headphones are in). Instead, it should be the woman/women
    navigating what makes them feel uncomfortable.

  14. Maybe part of why I’m struggling to relate is that grew up and have lived almost exclusively in either rural or exurban settings. These situations where the backdrop is that people are in relatively concentrated areas and all needing to go past each other to work, go to the grocery store, the park, etc. and there are so many opportunities for interruptions just based on proximity almost seems foreign to me. Most of my life has been spent where there is plenty of elbow room between you and the people around you and most of the times people are interacting they have put themselves in situations where they are almost welcoming dialogue from others.