The Big Picture
Fifty days of Russia’s war on Ukraine have changed the world, with both sides and their proxies digging in for a long haul amid reports of increasingly more severe atrocities.
Anne Applebaum & Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed President Zelenskyy in Kyiv for The Atlantic.
With the propaganda war intensifying as quickly as the military conflict, Fox News’ Sean Hannity wasn’t able to get former president Trump to condemn Vladimir Putin.
7 April: It’s Opening Day, and an historic one, as Katanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the US Supreme Court. She will take her place as the first Black woman Justice, replacing Stephen Breyer when his term ends later this summer. As Democrats in the Senate broke into applause, most on the Republican side walked out of the chamber.
Meanwhile, the RNC voted to end the party’s participation in presidential debates.
CNN + is to shut down at the end of the month, leading to inevitable speculation about the future of Chris Wallace and other high-profile staffers.
But any media news this month was overshadowed by the unfolding saga over whether or not Elon Musk might end up as the owner of Twitter, amid reports of pressure on the Twitter board to agree to the purchase
Perfect timing for this Jonathan Haidt piece in The Atlantic about why the past 10 years have been “uniquely stupid.” The piece made it into former President Obama’s disinformation reading list ahead of his eagerly-anticipated speech at Stanford.
Sad news about long-time media critic Eric Boehlert.
Listen to his latest post at Press Run on ‘Why is the press rooting against Biden?’
Friday was one of those days that showed how baseball can be both a team game and a showcase for individual accomplishments.
As Tylor Megill and the New York Mets’ bullpen were combining for a no-hitter against the Phillies – only the second no-no, and first combined, in franchise history – a pitcher at the University of Maryland, Ryan Ramsey, was throwing a perfect game as the Terps beat Northwestern.
It was the first Maryland perfect game since 1959, and just the 20th nine-inning perfect game in NCAA Division 1 history.
At Citi Field, five pitchers – Megill, Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz – combined to blank the Phils for MLB’s first no-hitter of the season, their 159 total pitches being the most ever thrown in a nine-inning no-hitter. And all on Gary Cohen’s birthday.
The Mets had already announced that the anniversary of their only previous no-hitter, thrown by Johan Santana almost a decade ago, would be commemorated at their home game on May 31. It still seems pretty remarkable that a team that has boasted so many of the game’s great pitchers still only has two franchise no-hitters.
This is just insane; but then so much has been insane for so long…
Read post: Lawyers, Guns and Money
Meanwhile today, the talk is all about umpires – and one in particular…
Uh-oh… sounds like somebody at the Nationals’ press office has some ‘splaining to do.
It was apparently Military Appreciation Night..
This story is a terrific glimpse into history by Matt Monagan, which reads like it could have been written by WP Kinsella.
Today is the 75th Anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson made his first appearance for the Brooklyn Dodgers, a moment that not only changed the game, but changed America.
My friend Chris Lamb (whose excellent book ‘Blackout’ tells the story of Robinson’s first spring training) writes in USA Today that “If baseball really wants to honor Robinson it will acknowledge that both the game and the country have failed to live up to what he represented. Robinson represented the hopes for racial equality for millions of Black Americans. If there could be equality in baseball, there could be equality in education, housing, jobs, politics, and in the judicial system.”
Despite Robinson’s constant pleas up until his death in 1972 to see Black managers in the game, today there are still only two – Dusty Baker at the Astros and, appropriately enough, Dave Roberts at the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Doug Glanville writes at ESPN.com about the importance of sharing the story of Robinson’s life with successive generations, while Tyler Kepner writes in the New York Times on how the Baseball Hall of Fame is in the process of reconsidering race and inclusivity in how it marks individual accomplishments.
Kepner writes: “M.L.B. officially recognized the Negro leagues as major leagues in late 2020, and the Hall has grappled with how to acknowledge the efforts by some of its inductees to uphold the color line. It has kept up all of the plaques, choosing context over erasure: A sign near the gallery entryway now reminds visitors that “enshrinement reflects the perspective of the voters at the time of election.” The museum and the library, the sign adds, provide deeper analysis — the shining and the shameful — of the inductees’ careers.”
12 April: The Opening Day parade is back in downtown Cincinnati after a Covid-enforced two-year hiatus and Barry Larkin, perhaps the epitome of a hometown hero, is today’s Grand Marshal. The Reds open this afternoon against the Cleveland Guardians (must admit it still feels strange saying that for now).
Cam Miller is a Cincinnati writer, filmmaker and baseball historian and produces content for the Reds Hall of Fame. We chatted by email about why Opening Day is so important to the city.
9 April: As Opening Day gradually morphs into Opening Week, I’ve made my way to Cincinnati, where they used to know all about why Opening Day should be a public holiday. The trip took us through Wheeling, WV, former home of one of the most archetypal vintage minor league teams (although, really, aren’t they all?) the Stogies. Wheeling is one of those towns where to say it’s seen better days is a compliment, but even it’s better days were probably as hard as nails.
Today, of course, West Virginia is the realm of Sen Joe Manchin, who even his own constituents can’t seem to figure out, despite voting for him for state and national office for forty years. This weekend, a group known as West Virginia Rising is planning to blockade a coal plant in protest at Manchin’s opposition to climate legislation.
As for the Reds, they opened on the road at the defending champion Atlanta Braves, taking the first game 6-3 to spoil the hosts’ celebration. This was maybe the standout highlight, though…
Also on Friday, as glass ceilings were being broken elsewhere, this one is worth marking.
7 April: Opening Day, and an historic one, as Katanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the US Supreme Court. She will take her place as the first Black woman Justice, replacing Stephen Breyer when his term ends later this summer. As Democrats in the Senate broke into applause, most on the Republican side walked out of the chamber.
Meanwhile, today’s Yankees-Red Sox game was rained out so the Cubs-Brewers became the first game of the brand new season. I watched at a local sports bar with my friend Grey Maggiano, who since 2016 has been Pastor at Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore.