Why can’t I let go?
A Good Thing – The Baseball-Reference Batting Leader Boards. A good while back, through the foulest trenches scarring the vast, foreboding landscape of the rebuild, I remarked that the next good Reds’ lineup would no longer need Joey Votto to be that Joey Votto. He is being paid like a premiere hitter but he doesn’t have to hit like one for the whole thing to go. I take exception to the underlaying logic, but that aside, it holds.
Jesse Winker and Nick Castellanos have been hitting back-to-back in the lineup for most of the season and for most of the season they have been only challenged by each other (and Fernando!) for the privilege of calling himself the best damn hitter in the National League.
Also a Cool Thing about that leaderboard is that Max Muncy, Shohei Ohtani, Austin Riley, Byron Buxton, and Winker (and Fernando!) are all on my fantasy team and running a red-hot second place on the heels of the back-to-back-to-back champs. The Cap City Goofballs are making a smokeshow of the standings!
A Politics and Sporps Thing – Good Dude on Twitter Aaron Bady roped a stand-up double into the gap with this thread about transphobia and sports.
The GOP’s war on trans athletes is about transphobia, yes, but I think it also very nicely demonstrates what so many people think youth sports are for: COMPETITION. Not a communal activity that brings people together; sports is a WAR for victory that trans kids are STEALING.
— Aaron Bady (@zunguzungu) June 8, 2021
I would file this in my “We Don’t Stand a Chance” folder if I could organize my pathological fixations in such a way. The rising tide of fascism around the world is a manifestation of the alignment of numerous corrosive strains of our culture. So many of these strains are not corrosive, of course, upon first inspection. When some dork begins a sports blog with something like “sports is actually a really bad thing” I know I instinctively roll my eyes (my eyeroll is post-ironic though and so much more authentic). “Stick to Sports” isn’t just an ignorant take, it is a limbic response. We can’t really help it. We want sports to be magical and transcendent and dramatic and all your politics is totally de-jamming the vibe.
But it is incumbent upon us to understand the role sports plays in our society writ large, isn’t it?