Dodger Blues

Baseball is the “national pastime,” the most integrating—and the most integrated—of all professional sports. Now it sees fit to attack members of the nation’s largest religious group.

The Dodger Betrayal

As the daughter of a Dodgers minor-league team owner and the wife of a former Dodgers player, the team is in my blood. Yet as a Catholic I now find myself humiliated by their anti-Catholicism.

Don’t Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that … Read more

Fear God. Honor the President

In early March, several players on the World Series championship team the Washington Nationals—Ryan Zimmerman, Trea Turner, Kurt Suzuki, Patrick Corbin, and Daniel Hudson—played golf with President Trump at his private West Palm Beach resort after a morning workout at the team’s spring training facility. Unsurprisingly, the Nats players were pilloried by the President’s many … Read more

The Ultimate Ballfield

Major League Baseball has retired the number 42, in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color line and opened up that institution to all Americans.  Justly has the league set aside the anniversary of this event as Jackie Robinson Day, when all players on all teams wear his number. Much has been … Read more

Life, Like Baseball, Demands Order

Baseball, it should never be forgotten, is a game.  But it is not just a game.  Because of the way it employs life and death metaphors, its analogy with human drama is compelling if not totally convincing.  A runner may “die” on third, but not literally.  A batter may stay “alive” if he fouls off … Read more

Ozzie Guillen, Fidel Castro, and Baseball in Cuba

“I love Fidel Castro,” said Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen to Time magazine. “A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that [expletive] is still here.” Guillen “respects” the Cuban despot. Guillen has since apologized profusely for his comments, which infuriated Florida’s Cuban émigré community—and for good … Read more

Roger Maris and the Summer of 1961

Five years ago, I made the argument for Hoosiers as the greatest sports movie ever and lamented the absence of great baseball films. Hoosiers is still the gold standard, but a confession is in order: There is a great baseball movie; it ranks right up there in the cinematic sports pantheon; and on this golden … Read more

Like Lambs

I knew I wanted him the minute I laid eyes on him. He was comically rotund, with round, dark, knowing eyes and a fluffy fleece. He was a lamb. Not a real one, of course, but a large stuffed lamb, an Easter decoration or a child’s toy. There, in the grocery store, I stopped my … Read more

Racing toward Christmas

One of the first Christmas gifts I received this year was a speeding ticket. For years, I have made a hobby of collecting verbal warnings for driving too fast. I know I drive too fast. I am working on it. And I am getting pretty good at smiling, apologizing, and offering sympathetic and yet entirely … Read more

Mere Taste

At present, more rap stars have been killed than abortionists. I was sitting on an airport shuttle bus when I overheard two men in their thirties discussing the second murder of a rap singer. “People need to see that this isn’t just about music,” one said. I think I know what he means. Taste never … Read more

The Box Score Nears Extinction

  Over the past few months, my MLB Nighttime Viewing Program of Choice has slowly migrated from ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” (my favorite sports segment for many, many years) to the upstart MLB Network’s “MLB Tonight.” Part of this migratory process is directly attributable to the “live-look-ins” and significantly greater amounts of “live baseball” MLB Tonight includes … Read more

King of the Closers

Every year, as the country works its way through the Dog Days of Summer, I find my attention drawn more and more inextricably to baseball. Perhaps it’s because early July is about the time the races really become interesting, or perhaps it’s connected to the weather. Maybe it’s just a fortuitous combination of an increased level of daylight in the summer evenings … Read more

The Galarraga affair: a conservative’s dilemma

So MLB commish Bud Selig isn’t going to overturn that call and give Armando Galarraga his perfect game. What do we think of this decision? Sports media opinions are varied, both from pundits and fans. Me? As a baseball fan, political conservative, and reflexive traditionalist… I’m torn right down the middle. Conservative arguments in favor … Read more

“A terrible story that just keeps getting better and better.”

Gallons and gallons of ink (both real and electronic) have been spilled in the aftermath of last night’s Detroit-Cleveland baseball game, and the botched call that ruined Armando Galarraga’s shot at the 21st perfect game in baseball history. Emotions are running high, to say the least. Countless commentators — everyone from former players to former umpires to politicians — have … Read more

The Grunt Work of Grace

When my husband told me that he had hired a recovering drug addict to do some carpentry work in the house this past week, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The man needed work, my husband explained, he came highly recommended by a close friend, and he could get the job done as quickly as … Read more

The equipment bag goes in my trunk

Spring means baseball, and spring plus kids means Little League. And since I’m the kind of guy who presses down with his feet to counteract airplane turbulence, for me spring plus kids means coaching Little League. It’s now my fourth child going through the system, and the sixth or so bunch of kids I have … Read more

The Changing Language of Baseball

One of the things that has always fascinated me about baseball is the way it somehow manages to be ever-constant, yet also ever-changing. The general parameters of the game remain the same, so if I happened to stumble across ESPN Classic’s rebroadcast of Don Larsen’s shining moment, its connection to Mark Buehrle’s moment last year would be immediately recognizable. Yet … Read more

One Little Thing at a Time

My life is ridiculous. Do I need to tell you this, or can you reach that conclusion all on your own when I tell you that I am a homeschooling mother of eight who also works from home? Some days, the different roles I play meld seamlessly together. “Of course I can do this!” I … Read more

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