Stick to baseball, 3/18/17.

Two Insider posts this week from Arizona, one on Padres and Dodgers prospects and one on Dodgers, Reds, and Rangers prospects. I’ll have one more post coming from this trip. I did not chat this week because I was out at games every day. The trip also meant I didn’t get to review a boardgame this week either.

You can preorder my upcoming book, Smart Baseball, on amazon, or from other sites via the Harper-Collins page for the book. The book now has two positive reviews out, one from Kirkus Reviews and one from Publishers Weekly.

Also, please sign up for my more-or-less weekly email newsletter.

And now, the links…


  1. thanks to those links, i’m too depressed to go to sleep.

  2. Let me start off by saying that I fully support laws requiring vaccinations with exceptions to those requiring them for medical reasons (e.g., compromised immune systems).

    But the question I always return to when discussing these laws is how do we enforce them. I’ve worked in a variety of schools and child care settings, in addition to sending my own children to multiple ones. How would a school enforce this? What do you do if a parent who refuses to vaccinate their child shows up and refuses to leave? What if the child arrives on a school bus? What if the kid comes in waving a doctor’s note that you suspect is forged or signed by some anti-vax quack?

    I imagine that passing these laws — even if enforcement is difficult — would provide legal options to anyone made sick by a child without vaccinations; being in violation of the law would certainly seem to make the parents civilly (and perhaps criminally) liable.

    But that doesn’t present those kids from getting sick in the first place. So how do we enforce it? If a parent shows up with their unvaccinated child, does the school call the police, have them arrest the parent, have the proper authorities takes legal custody of the child, administer the vaccines, and maintain this arrangement or repeat it every time another dose is scheduled? That seems like it could be traumatizing to a child. And while the culpability for that trauma ultimately lies with the parents, it still does not seem like the route we want to go.

    Maybe there is something I’m missing and, again, this is in no way an argument against the laws or what they attempt to accomplish. Just an acknowledgment of the on-the-ground difficulties of enforcement. Any thoughts on how to do so?

    • I want to expand a bit more on the issue of forged paperwork:

      Public schools and most larger private schools or daycare providers (especially corporate ones) could reasonably be expected to have a person or group of people charged with verifying the paperwork. But smaller cites — especially homecare based settings that might only have one or two employees — how would they do it? I worked for a small-ish daycare (9 total employees… though as an arm of a university we certainly could have leveraged resources there) and was charged with entering such information into our database. Some folks used a form that we provided, having the doctor check the appropriate boxes before signing and returning. Others used the office’s forms. I entered whatever each form said into the computer but honestly had no idea if the information was accurate. How could I? Even if I called the number, would you put it beyond these whackos to have someone ready to answer the call and pretend to be the doctor’s office? Should I have visited each office personally to verify that they were real AND that all the information was correct?

      We’re essentially taking parents at their word on these issues which means we’re highly susceptible to being lied to.

  3. Hi Keith- asking if you could edit the section on Price to briefly mention what his AAPS stands for? There’s a legitimate AAPS (American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences) that believes in peer reviewed research and sounds like the antithesis of the Price group, and wouldn’t want the two being confused. Thanks!

  4. Price’s position on the federal government mandating vaccines is correct as a matter of constitutional law – the federal government does not have “policy power” (i.e., virtually unfettered power to regulate health, safety, and morals). States do, which is why it’s up to them to require vaccinations (which he said he supports)

    • I’m usually the biggest defender of federalism, but I think the federal government should step in on things like vaccinations and the environment when the decisions of one state can harm the citizens of another. I agree though that’s it’s not entirely fair to pile on Price here as vaccinations have always (as far as I know) been a state issue and he does in fact support them.

    • My issue with price on this topic is that the crackpot group of which he’s a member doesn’t support mandatory vaccinations.

    • Well, there’s a 2014 report from the Congressional Research Service that suggests otherwise ( In the Executive Summary, it states “The Secretary of Health and Human Services has authority under the Public Health Service Act to issue regulations necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the states or from state to state.” It does go on to say that (as of 2014) there were no federal laws mandating vaccination, but the power exists should someone who, you know, actually believes in science is the head of HHS.

    • Jim, that’s not the same as power to mandate universal vaccination; there must be some tie-in to interstate commerce. The rationale that a child may at some point travel to another state would most likely be too disparate to justify a ban. But the federal government also (probably) could not say that a person may not travel to another state without a vaccine, as that would violate the constitutionally protected right to travel.

      To the person below who pointed out the typo of “policy power” rather than “police power,” you can blame that on autocorrect and not paying attention to my phone before I clicked “post.”

  5. The ultimate irony for Hayes was there for everyone to see yesterday. He made his school millions of dollars with his winning shot, and made himself nothing except a memory.

  6. On the question of criticism (perhaps some disclosure – I have a PhD in a cultural field), I am of two minds. On the one hand, many educated critics are trained in specific critical methods, methods that are akin to the scientific method in that they are agreed upon by experts in the field and considered essential by those same experts to learned discourse in that field. On the other hand, the issue of wealth and barriers to entry is real, and most cultural fields would be improved if more people were able to access them. And, I would probably allow that art criticism (for example) is not as high-stakes as science (though there’s lots of big money there), and that safeguarding science, medicine, and journalism is more important for society than deciding which burger restaurant is worth going to.

    But still, I worry about our general societal disregard for educated expertise. And cultural critics are experts, too.

  7. “Price’s position on the federal government mandating vaccines is correct as a matter of constitutional law – the federal government does not have “policy power””

    Thats certainly one opinion.

  8. Keith, thank you so much for the long read on Nigel Hayes. As a Wisconsin Alum, and a non-basketball fan, about the only time I watch college hoops is Wisconsin Games in the tourney. My wife loves football and baseball, but can’t really stand basketball. Nevertheless, she was on the couch with me watching Wisconsin beat Nova, while nursing our child. She saw the layup Hayes made at the end of the game and said “That was a beautiful play,” because, while she doesn’t like basketball, she knows athletics. Today, I was telling her about the column and she says “Great basketball player, smart, and good. Not often those things are all linked.”

  9. Pretty sure he meant police power.

  10. A Salty Scientist

    Not mentioned in the links, so I’ll mention it here–the President’s budget as proposed would be devastating to scientific research (link to one commentary, there are many others). Research funding has traditional enjoyed bipartisan support, so if this issue is important to you, please call your state representatives. Doubly so, for those with GOP representatives. I believe it is not being hyperbolic to state that the proposed cuts would result in a lost generation of scientists. As a a biologist at Flyover U who relies on NSF funding to perform basic research and train undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs, this absolutely means that my lab’s doors are at risk of closing.