Appreciating this year's exceptional crop of MLB rookies

October 3, 2022


If you are a baseball fan, chances are you have marveled at several outstanding rookies this season. Julio Rodriguez mashed a ton of dingers during the Home Run Derby. Perhaps you caught Adley Rutschman gunning down a would-be base stealer or lining another double in the gap. Steven Kwan dominated a few early-season news cycles. Carlos Correa has put up a more-than-respectable 4.3 fWAR for Minnesota this year, but his replacement, rookie Jeremy Peña, has put up 3.3 fWAR for Houston. Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider have been wildly productive for Atlanta. The Mariners’ George Kirby has basically matched Gerrit Cole in fWAR — this year’s crop of rookies have been so good that I bet most baseball fans outside Seattle are largely ignorant of who Kirby is, even though in a normal season he’d be among the front runners for AL Rookie of the Year.

Riley Greene, Bobby Witt, Jr., and Oneil Cruz are all athletic marvels who are already helping their teams and have been slated as future All Stars for years. What can Joey Meneses do in a full season? Why are the Cardinals always able to develop guys like Brendan Donovan and Lars Nootbaar?

This is all good for baseball, but the player I want you to spend a few minutes considering is the one Fangraphs has pegged as the sixth-most productive position player rookie in MLB this year, even though he had only played 96 games as I write this, and every other player in the top 10 had appeared in at least 108 games: Jake McCarthy.

"Rick and Morty": A character study with sci-fi comedy dressing

September 25, 2022


I wouldn’t go so far as to say you should watch “Rick and Morty,” but if you’re unfamiliar, the one thing I would emphasize is that the series is a surprisingly poignant study of alienation and the importance of family and human connection. (I don’t believe there are significant “Rick and Morty” spoilers in the following.)

GOP : Yankees fans :: Donald Trump : George Steinbrenner

August 27, 2022


As I write this on Saturday evening, Donald Trump has not been indicted for possessing classified materials at his home after leaving the presidency, but whether it actually happens or not, based on what is currently known, there isn’t any reasonable explanation for why he had those documents. If he weren’t the presumptive front-runner to be a major political party’s presidential nominee, he might already have been indicted.

Furthermore, the worst people are talking themselves into the position that possessing a bunch of papers with government secrets isn’t all that bad and laying the groundwork for Trump’s supporters to adopt that line, too. Given his supporters’ dedication over the years, I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue defending Trump even if it turns out he was responsible for revealing the identities of American spies overseas in addition to culling material with embarrassing information about other world leaders.

The thing about the Trump cult is that they venerate him in predictable ways. I’ve come to think of them similarly to the people who hold up George Steinbrenner as a paragon of American sports ownership, and believe the Trump fandom will follow the same arc.