Sportswriters, MLB staffers, and the Commissioner of Baseball in particular must still be clutching their pearls. Saturday night 41,000 unmasked Braves fans screamed their un-masked and un-mandated lungs out, all while tomahawk-chopping their Atlanta Braves to victory. Atlanta was denied this year’s All-Star Game because Commissioner Manfred caved to craven political actors. Baseball, he said, can’t have a featured event in Georgia after it passed a voter ID law. Major League Baseball moved the event to Colorado. Colorado already had a similar voter law, but no matter; it’s all about optics, not facts.
In July, Texas Democrats slinked away to avoid a quorum on a Texas voter law. They took a private plane, took lots of selfies, and brought lots of beer. They came back with their tails between their legs, empty cases of beer, and a couple of cases of COVID. The new Texas voter law requiring ID passed in September. It was all about optics, not facts.
This year’s World Series matchup has the Atlanta Braves going up against the Houston Astros. It won’t be the Dodgers versus the Astros. That would have been a rematch of the 2017 World Series, where the Astros cheated their way to the Championship. That would have been big numbers for MLB; but alas, it’s Georgia and Texas instead. Yes, Mr. Commissioner, Georgia versus Texas. Neither state has a mask mandate. Neither state will have people deputized to check COVID “papers.” Vaccination rates in both states are about the same as in California. The difference is that here in California I see mothers with their children walking down the street, all with masks on. You can’t get into Dodger Stadium without showing your COVID “papers.” As our Jerry Wilson noted earlier this week, the Atlanta Braves are the MLB’s worst nightmare for these reasons; a Georgia vs. Texas series is just the icing on the cake.
Saturday night, the LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke tweeted the following:
“Hmm, wonder why Travis Tritt wasn’t on the field when he sang the National Anthem? The home of the tomahawk chop is also the home of the anti-vaxxer anthem singer”
Besides being a non sequitur, what does that statement have to do with baseball or the anthem? And Tritt’s objection isn’t the vaccine, it’s mandates. If you want to get the vaccine, get the vaccine. If you’ve had COVID and don’t want the vaccine – that’s your choice. Tritt isn’t anti-vaccine, he’s pro-freedom of choice.
I have little doubt that Plaschke is vaccinated. He is also old and overweight, yet he caught COVID and survived. He said his bout was “awful.” However, he was writing about it while he had it, then back at work pretty quickly for being old and overweight. I’m glad he’s back because he’s a talented writer, but he’s lying about a guy he doesn’t agree with and that’s unfortunate. Bill also posted a photo at a Waffle House yesterday, with an unmasked server. Weird, that freedom thing. If we listen to Biden, that server had the freedom to kill, Bill.
The next 10 days are going to be hard on the Thought Cops and COVID nannies. It will be harder for the pearl-clutching commissioner. No doubt, Manfred would move the Series out of Georgia and Texas, if he could. Fortunately, he can’t. The commissioner has to watch, as un-masked, un-mandated Braves fans tomahawk-chop for hours, and as Astros fans chomp down on Texas BBQ, not a mask in sight.
I hope the Braves win the Series. I hope the Series ends in Atlanta, with Commissioner Manfred in attendance, and while the final game is played, there are chops a-many. I hope that while the trophy ceremony is playing out and the commissioner is serenaded with a “chant,” the announcer looks into the camera and says: “I think they are saying, ‘Let’s Go, Brandon.’”