Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ugly uniform contest: The Padres win!

Men's San Diego Padres Majestic Camo Alternate Flex Base Authentic Collection Custom Jersey
Ugliest baseball uniform ever?

Players Weekend uniform

From today's NY Times:

The summer has always been baseball’s moment alone in the major sports landscape, without meaningful competition from the N.F.L., the N.B.A. or the N.H.L. As football rumbles ever closer to starting its season, Major League Baseball deserves credit for two August initiatives to increase its appeal...The Players Weekend uniforms are just the opposite: distinctive, not homogenized. The individual touches are charming, including the shoulder patch on which each player can write the name of someone important in his life. Anything like this, with potential appeal to young fans, can only help baseball grow...

Rob's comment:
Wrong! This is what happens when you let the people in the front office get "creative" with your product, like the infamous "New Coke" fiasco in days of yore. Baseball doesn't need to be "promoted" so energetically---or even significantly changed to attract young fans. Leave them alone. When they go to games with their folks, they will love it, along with the hot dogs and the cotton candy. It also sets a good example: thousands of grownups happily behaving themselves.

Leave baseball alone. It doesn't need changes, regardless of how well-intended. That it hasn't changed much in a hundred years is part of its charm. It doesn't need the designated hitter, goofy mascots, and instant replay to challenge calls. Don't like the call? Too fucking bad. Bad calls by umpires are part of the game. That teaches kids an important lesson: sometimes life is unfair, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

And please don't use Giants in those awful TV ads that have them mugging for the camera, especially when they're 40 games out of first place: The Giants join the Cute Movement.

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Standing up to political correctness and facing death threats, the Muslim apostate writers Ibn Warraq and Ayaan Hirsi Ali have honored our increasingly endangered Western heritage of free thought, which includes the right—indeed, the obligation—to subject religious dogma to criticism and reason. In a series of provocative books and personal testimonies over two decades, they have educated us about the historical and religious roots of the Islamist onslaught against democratic institutions.

In his 1995 book Why I Am Not a Muslim (modeled after Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian), Ibn Warraq reported that, as a young man thinking about abandoning his religious upbringing, he was inspired by the philosophical defenses of free speech of John Stuart Mill and Friedrich A. Hayek. Those mainstays of Western thought led Ibn Warraq eventually to take “an uncompromising and critical look at almost all the fundamental tenets of Islam.”

In a similar way, in her 2015 book Heretic, Ayaan Hirsi Ali recalls how she came to realize the price that she would have to pay for exercising her free-speech rights: “From the moment I first began to argue that there was an unavoidable connection between the religion I was raised in and the violence of organizations such as al-Qaida and the self-styled Islamic State...I have been subjected to a sustained effort to silence my voice.” 

In 2004, Theo van Gogh, Hirsi Ali’s collaborator on a Dutch film about Islam’s oppression of women, was stabbed to death on a street in Amsterdam, where she was then living. The Islamist killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, left a note warning that Hirsi Ali was next. She now travels with bodyguards, while Ibn Warraq writes under a pseudonym—prudent precautions, since apostasy remains a capital crime in 13 Muslim-majority nations, including Somalia and Pakistan, the native countries of the two writers.

Outrageously, Ibn Warraq and Hirsi Ali have found no sanctuary in America’s centers of higher learning, where they regularly find themselves denounced as “Islamophobes.” But they have shrugged off the calumnies and continued to think about the most serious threat facing the Western democracies since the end of the Cold War...

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