You Put Your Politics Into My Sports!

Listen to Anthony Fisher and Matt Welch talk about the bloody intersection between policy and sports on Sirius XM channel 121 at noon ET


What part about "illegal" don't you understand? ||| ESPN

Today on SiriusXM's Insight Hour (channel 121), instead of talking about how the political arena is a den of vituperative stupidity, we'll instead discuss starting at noon ET how the political arena has annexed waaaay to much of our sporting arenas. Along with resident Reason sports fanatic Anthony L. Fisher, I'll be talking about:

1) The betting, ethics, and joys of March Madness.

2) Why Cubs Manager Joe Maddon is a voice of libertarian sanity in a nanny state world run amok.

3) How the White Sox bungled take-your-kid-to-work-everyday day.

4) How baseball owners are bravely risking their own livelihoods (or not) by opposing Donald Trump.

We may also get to football concussions, and—if there aren't enough sports callers at 877-974-7487—how capital-L Libertarians (and the rest of us) should feel about #NeverTrumper conservatives seeking to hijack the nearest available Third Party to deny The Donald his riot-free prize. Turn on your satellite!

NEXT: The Upside of the Trump Insurgency: Nick Gillespie on Stossel Tonight!

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  1. My wife screams at the TV every time Bob Costas comes on. “SHUT UP, YOU SANCTIMONIOUS GUN-GRABBING PIECE OF SHIT!”

    I do love that woman.

    1. Costas, that narcissistic doofus, sported (and probably still sports) a horrible dye job. Laughing at his hair is fun.

    2. Seriously. Is there a more useless person in sports than Costas?

      1. He was the first broadcaster to increase female viewership.

        or so i’ve been told. its something like that. Costas helped usher in the “kinder, gentler side of sports”, and consequently he is loathed by everyone.

        1. To be fair, he was (is?) damn good at his job.

          Now, I could do without his politics. They all sound like they just took up political philosophy as a hobby.

          1. I’m going for was. He has become on those folks who takes himself far too seriously, who forgets that he’s covering sports – SPORTS – and who wants desperately to be seen as something far more than that.

      2. Tony Romo.

      3. Lovie Smith?

      1. Would he have any other kind?!

    3. Bob Costas has fancied himself a real journalist ever since that Pulitzer fell into his lap

  2. The Presidential seal is on that bracket.

    1. It will be in the Presidential Library some day. Or maybe part of a National Archives exhibit about the moral embarrassments of the 20th and 21st centuries.

      1. Has he even bothered to give a press conference yet this year?

        1. Why should he deign to show himself before us smallfolk? It’s not like he can run for the presidency again. I bet he doesn’t even get out of bed before 10 anymore, except on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are fun.

  3. ESPN – Salon with score updates.

    1. The Elite’s Sports Progressive Network

      1. Alternatively, Eastern Sports Pride Network

    2. I completely cut ESPN out of my diet. Lord me, they’re annoying.

  4. baseball owners are bravely risking their own livelihoods (or not) by opposing Donald Trump

    If baseball owners are against Trump then I’m for him.

    1. I’m going to read this on-air.

      1. Jesus, Matt, like Rhywun’s head needs to get any more swole up.

  5. 3) How the White Sox bungled take-your-kid-to-work-everyday day.

    This is such a strange story. I assume Williams spoke to LaRoche because other players had complained. The kid was there almost everyday, both home and on the road, and had his own locker! It is so peculiar. However, I am on the side of the White Sox, because Chipper Jones is on the side of LaRoche.

    1. Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman are also on the side of LaRoche.

      LaRoche was a class act while he was here in Washington, and I was definitely sorry the team let him go. The idea of walking out on $13M to spend more time with your son is just mind-boggling to me (though not a parent yet, maybe i’ll fee differently in August), but the man knows his priorities. I don’t begrudge him that.

      1. He will have to get by on the $71,000,000 he made before this year.

        1. baseball reference is awesome.

      2. I was kind of happy he left, I had a feeling he was going to regress terribly. But yes he seemed like a decent person.

        1. He was not good last year, and I am sure the Sox are happy to get out from under that thirteen million they owed him.

        2. Regress from hitting .207?!

          1. I saw his stats yesterday which only added to my ‘dude, you got that money hitting barely above two bucks and you leave?’

            This is borderline ‘I wish I had your problems’ stuff.

            1. Yep, it certainly falls under the “rich man’s problem” category.

          2. when he was a national he was good.

      3. I do not think it is as simple as “spending time with his son.” He had a handshake deal, apparently, with the White Sox that allowed his son to be with the team as often as he liked, and the kid (I think he is 13 or 14), was there everyday. He was in the locker room, and on road trips, etc.

        The White Sox management asked him to cut it back a bit, say, from 100% of the time to 25% of the time, and LaRoche said no, and quit.

        1. Yeah, he had a similar arrangement when he was in Washington

        2. Bah. Shouldn’t the kid be in school or something?

          $13 million over two years (was it?) at, say, 5% return is some coin to leave on the table over such a matter. Yeh, I get this whole bond with my son stuff and the handshake deal but man, that’s some decision.

        3. a handshake deal, apparently, with the White Sox that allowed his son to be with the team as often as he liked

          And who would expect a grown man to want his teenage kid at his side 100% of the time, when nobody else has done it when making the same request? Yes, I’m accusing LaRoche of misleading Williams.

      4. the man knows his priorities

        Fair enough but I wouldn’t want other people’s kids hanging around me every day at work either. One or two days a year is bad enough.

      5. His character, from what I gather, is unquestioned and it’s to be commended for sure.

        “But would it have been bad to say, ‘hey kid. Love ya. But you see, daddy still has a job and, well you see, the team is giving me all this crazy money and I’d, well, hey you know your mom loves to vacation at the Cadillac Ranch, right? That classy stuff doesn’t pay itself! So, lemme play this out and get this money that will afford us an even better lifestyle! It’s not like you’re banned or anything. You still get to be a part of this amazing job 99% of the population will never ever get to see and you’ve already seen a lot!”

        /ruffles kid’s hair.

        1. Sorry for the opening quotes in the wrong place.

      6. Kinda makes you understand why Papelbon tried to strangle Harper.

    2. It was not almost every day. It was every single moment dad was at the park.. Home AND road.

      The White Sox sucked ass 3 years running and the boss took away some perks. AKA, shape up or ship out. AKA, we finished in last place with you, we can finish in last place without you.

      I think it’s funny that LaRoche is being portrayed as a “family man” when it’s obvious he’s just a narcissistic pussy and a lousy teammate.

  6. i’d tune in to listen to Welch & Co. hem and haw about almost anything…

    …but i draw the line at baseball. Isn’t it the !@*(& off-season? is it ever the off-season for baseball people*?

    (*noted = all my friends who currently love baseball? were the kids who never played sports in highschool. Why that is, i don’t know. but it seems to be something that happens to dorks when they hit their 30s = they become baseball fanatics)

    You’d think there’d be *something* of broader appeal worth killing an hour on.

    Like = “Zumba = The New Forbidden Dance of Afghanistan“, or “Anne Frank House: Now a Theme-Park/Ride

    1. It’s spring training for MLB right now.

    2. Hey! Some of us dorks who didn’t play sports in high school have been baseball fans since well before our thirties, thank you very much!

    3. It is not the off season. Baseball is in spring training. That sport does have an absurdly long season though.

      1. “” Baseball is in spring training””

        Maybe you and Hugh should flip cards or something.

        1. These masturbation euphemisms are becoming etc etc.

      2. Is “spring training” what every other sport calls “preseason”, or is it something else?

    4. Why that is, i don’t know. but it seems to be something that happens to dorks when they hit their 30s = they become baseball fanatics


      1. You leave Fangraphs reader alone!

      2. It sure as hell isn’t because of the *action packed dynamism* of the game.

        1. The average MLB game features 18 minutes of action in a three hour game, compared to the fast-paced and action-packed NFL, which features an average of 11 minutes of action over a three hour game.

          1. Thus proving that baseball fans obsess about statistics and hate real sports.

            1. What exactly constitutes a real sport? A bunch of dudes in tights on a pile grinding on each other?

              1. A bunch of dudes in tights on a pile grinding on each other?

                between this and the masturbation comment, you’re getting a little creepy.

  7. …a den of vituperative stupidity

    Nice. I’m borrowing this.

    1. Great….the new Name for H&R?!

      1. Postrel’s been calling us that for years.

  8. Awkward silence

  9. Confession = yeah, i’m listening

    That guy doesn’t sound like he’s (originally) from Georgia

    but he raises good points about the craziness of the amateur-to-pro eligibility dynamics in the US

    I personally think there might be something to learn from the way the UK/EU does sports which from a mostly-outside perspective is more “free market”.

    They have those ‘farm leagues’. kids from the age of 16 are basically prepped to become pro soccer plays.

    I might not fully understand it, but my impression is that because there’s no real “big market” for college sports in the EU, that everything is run more like a business, and there’s a wider range of ’employment’

    1. Confession = yeah, i’m listening


      ::hangs head and awaits narrowed gaze from Swiss::

  10. So is the race still between Trump, Cruz and the other guy?

    1. Its a race between America and DOOM

  11. Matt advocates a slippery slope of permissiveness = first we allow baseball players to dip tobacco, next we’ll have airmen guarding nuclear weapons snorting crystal meth on the job

  12. I listened yesterday for the first time since I happened to be in the car. Nice to hear you extremists on air.

  13. I’m just glad Matt and Anthony got past the whole “kids in locker rooms” and “twigs and berries” comments without taking callers.

  14. Athletes who have endorsed Trump

    Clay Buchholz, Major League Baseball baseball player
    Zeb Colter, professional wrestling manager
    John Daly, professional golfer
    Johnny Damon, retired MLB player
    Ted DiBiase, former professional wrestler
    Mike Ditka, retired NFL player, coach and television commentator
    Bill Elliott, retired NASCAR driver
    Chase Elliott, NASCAR driver
    Hulk Hogan, former professional wrestler
    Frank Kaminsky, current NBA center/forward
    Bob Knight, Hall of Fame basketball coach
    Jerry Lawler, professional wrestler
    Matt Light, retired NFL offensive tackle
    Nick Mangold, All-Pro NFL center for the New York Jets
    Mark Martin, retired NASCAR driver
    Shawne Merriman, retired NFL linebacker
    Ryan Newman, NASCAR driver
    Paul O’Neill, retired MLB baseball player
    Tito Ortiz, former UFC light-heavyweight champion
    Terrell Owens, retired NFL wide receiver and television personality
    David Ragan, NASCAR driver
    John Rocker, retired MLB baseball player
    Dennis Rodman, retired professional basketball player and television personality
    Latrell Sprewell, retired NBA All-Star basketball player
    Mike Tyson, professional boxer
    Herschel Walker, retired NFL running back
    Chris Weidman, former UFC middleweight champion[

    I sense a lot of anger, WWE, and NASCAR

    1. I mean seriously….what does it say that the people who endorse you share certain…notable personality characteristics?

      – Mike Tyson, Dennis Rodman, John Rocker, Latrell Sprewell, Paul O’Neil, Bobby *@_#@#)@# Knight,…..??

      It sounds like a “Monsters of Anger Management”-World Tour

    2. One man’s anger is another woman’s social justice.

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