Stick to baseball, 9/9/17.

I wrote two Insider pieces this week, naming ESPN’s 2017 Prospect of the Year (hint: it’s Vlad Jr.) and covering and on the strange saga of Juan Nicasio over the last ten days. I held a Klawchat on Thursday.

Last week, I wrote about the major Game of Thrones-themed boardgames for Vulture. My next boardgame review for Paste will come this week.

My book, Smart Baseball, is out and still selling well (or so I’m told); thanks to all of you who’ve already picked up a copy. And please sign up for my free email newsletter, which is back to more or less weekly at this point now that I’m not traveling for a bit.

And now, the links…

Boardgame news will return next week; I know of two significant Kickstarters to launch on Tuesday, but at least one of them is currently covered by an embargo so I can’t talk about it just yet.


  1. Not that this really changes the larger point about the destruction from Irma, but I don’t see in the linked article information supporting the headline that Richard Branson’s home was destroyed. The videos from his son Sam are from Virgin Gorda (not Necker where they live) and the twitter accounts of both father and son reference wide spread destruction but don’t seem to mention their house or the resort being destroyed nor show pictures of it.

  2. Regarding the Coates piece, you said “one of our two major political parties is going along with it ” which I think is generous. Some of our less progressive states weren’t just “going along,” they were pushing for more racism and threatening to sue over it:

    I don’t know how much longer I can live in this state…

    • Is it racist to be against DACA, especially when it’s probably unconstitutional (unless passed by Congress)?

    • Not all DACA opponents are racists, but all racists are DACA opponents.

      And your suggestion that it’s “probably” unconstitutional simply does not stand up to scrutiny. That’s a question for the courts, and the courts haven’t weighed in. If we had to guess, however, the weight of evidence is on the side of it being ok. There is a well-established precedent of presidents achieving policy goals through the choices they make about enforcement.

    • There is an injunction against DAPA–plenty of discussion in both the district court’s and Fifth Circuit’s rulings on why Obama went beyond his constitutional authority on that. SCOTUS tied 4-4 and Gorsuch has since been added. The same arguments apply to DACA. So I think it’s somewhat safe to say that yeah, it would probably be unconstitutional according to the courts. I also have my personal opinion and I think it’s unconstitutional. Obama said as much many times. That sort of issue should be handled by Comgress.

      Your policy goals point depends on whether Congress actually passed a law doing what DACA did or delegating that power to the president. They didn’t.

    • I’d be interested in seeing your source for Obama stating that DACA, specifically, was unconstitutional. While the fact that you believe it is unconstitutional is interesting, it isn’t really germane to the discussion. While it is entirely possibly that the current Supreme Court would strike the law down, it is by no means a foregone conclusion that the program is unconstitutional. (

      What it boils down to is “Is DACA legislation or is it prosecutorial discretion?” The former would be unconstitutional.The latter is the domain of the executive branch. There’s not an obvious answer to that, but my understanding of the evidence is that DACA hews closely to established executive precedent.

      Regarding the racist aspect of it, given that the program has been an unqualified success and that the POTUS, the USAG, and the AGs of the states have all acted to support racist causes, and that change in policy affects people of color disproportionately, I’m comfortable with the presumption of race as a motivation. Since the policy has been successful, if one were concerned with the constitutionality of it, one might lobby congress to pass a law and remove those constitutional questions, right?

    • Obviously Obama never said DACA itself was unconstitutional. No president would do that about one of his own executive orders. But he said over and over that unilateral action on immigration was not a power granted to him before he did just that.

      Unless you want completely open borders (personally I would be fine with that), immigration policy is inherently racist and/or xenophobic. Isn’t it?

    • immigration policy is inherently racist and/or xenophobic.

      I think much anti-immigrant sentiment is borne of economic insecurity; there was certainly anti-Italian (or maybe anti-southern European?) sentiment before WWII, and that’s not racial in nature. Some prejudice was probably anti-Catholic, but I think the threat of cheap labor also drove the protectionist movement.

    • It also happened before when Irish and Germans, mostly Catholics, emigrated to the US after the Great Famine. The questions asked then was could someone be both loyal to both the Pope and the Constitution, though the issue was probably more economic insecurity.

  3. Not sure if you’ve seen this already (it’s about a month old) but I found this Michael Lewis article for Vanity Fair about the U.S. DOE to be fascinating and terrifying. It felt like something I’d find in one of these links pieces (thanks for these by the way!).

  4. Regarding the school lunch article. My family almost always qualified for free or reduced lunches. In high school I had to go to the cafeteria every morning and pick up a paper card then walk the entire length of the school to get to my locker. I had to give the card to the cashier every day. I might as well have worn a sign that said “I am poor” on it. I don’t remember any of my friends making negative comments but then most of us were in the lower middle class or upper lower class. Oddly, have to pick up that card motivated me to get an education and work hard so that my kids never have to that experience. Now at my current school system all, kids are given a PIN number so that no one knows who is getting their meal for free.

    At the high school, my district quit taking federal lunch money and stopped following the lunch requirements. We still give kids that qualify free lunches. The cafeteria turned a small profit for the first time in years and the kids love the larger portions and expanded choices.

  5. Keith, there is a typo in your link regarding the New York Constitutional Convention. If the vote does not pass, the next opportunity to hold a Constitutional Convention would be 2037, not 2017.

  6. Hi again Keith. The link to the Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah conversation goes to an article on The Atlantic website. Google informs me that the correct URL is:

  7. you read jacobin. my god.

    • I linked to Jacobin; that doesn’t mean I read it. I also linked to National Review a few weeks ago, but I don’t read that (regularly) either.