Politics Comes to Baseball

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, in all his two-faced glory, has just announced that this year's All-Star Game — which no one cares about, anyway — will be moved from Atlanta, the game's originally-scheduled site, to a venue yet to be determined.

Former President Donald Trump has already called for a boycott of baseball by his cult followers, who resemble Huey Long's cult followers in the 1930s — except that where Long's sycophants were confined to one state, Louisiana, Trump's can be found in every state (although more in some states than in others).

Republicans are also broadly hinting that they will now seek to revoke baseball's antitrust exemption. At least one union — the Major League Baseball Players Association — would be on the GOP's side for a change, if that happens.

Meanwhile, this affair has triggered a round of "dueling virtue signaling" that is far more cacophonous than the "Dueling Banjos" that the movie Deliverance gave us in the days of yore: FOX News — which can be relied on for an endless litany of such salvos — has irrelevantly pointed out that Major League Baseball signed a deal with Chinese-owned Tencent to stream MLB games last Wednesday (on reflection, maybe they should have signed the deal with 50 Cent instead?).

Certain people will never stop looking for communists under every bed.

While conflicting perspectives about exactly what the law that was signed by Georgia governor Brian Kemp actually does are being fired back and forth the red-and-blue divide, one thing's for certain: if the affluent, older white men who make up the core of those who buy tickets to Major League Baseball games — to an even greater extent than this is true in the NFL — heed Trump's advice and boycott, then with all due to apologies to Robert Burns, the best laid plans of Rob Manfred and those who pay his salary will indeed go "agley" (expansion is chief among these plans).

To all this add the statements that have been made by Atlanta-based "woke" companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, which is likely to trigger boycotts from the same deep-pocketed, superannuated, melanin-challenged types who are threatening to boycott baseball. Motley Fool should be giving out Pepsi as their number-one "Buy" tip — and maybe Pan Am can make a comeback; after all, their planes had no middle seats!

Some of us naive folks truly believe that sports exist to provide an escape from all the unpleasant things that are going on outside the sports world. Even a hockey fight or a "beanbrawl" in baseball is a lot better than a terrorist bombing in France or what the Saudis are doing in Yemen.

But then again, the 21st Century is not for the naive — or the faint-hearted.

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