Sunday, May 25, 2014

Partner and serious capital ($$$) needed for authentic pub investment

Aren't you sick of walking into your local "Irish (or British) pub" and it basically being a typical bar that  happens to serve Guinness and Fish and Chips?  When I was in London, I visited numerous pubs and none of them had a menu that resembled Applebees or turned into a dance club at night.  Soccer dominates the television screens, patrons order their food at the bar, and cask beer is a delicious option.  Sure, the NFL, chicken wings, and Miller Lite are immensely popular, but there are already numerous establishments catering to those tastes.  A pub should be a pub.  Why do we have to Americanize something that is by its very nature un-American?

The inside of our favorite pub in London, The Champion
So, this leads to my idea.  Louisville (and many other places) need an AUTHENTIC British pub.  That means curry on the menu, those weird mint peas served with Fish and Chips, and traditional British breakfast served for Premier League matches.  There will be no late night DJ, girls in referee outfits, or bang bang shrimp.  The food will be of high quality and moderately priced, as will the drinks.  Basically, imagine extracting a pub from London and putting it in Louisville.  

The idea is on point, but now I need a location, a huge wooden bar, a chef, employees etc.  That means I need start-up money.  I am willing to make whoever can provide such funds an equal partner.  This is going to be fantastic.  Serious inquiries can be emailed to me at  

Friday, May 23, 2014

"My Skin is Against Me": Critical Race Theory & Baseball

Hello world,
Many (millions?) of you all may have noticed that I have not been blogging much at all recently.  This is partly due to typing three 20+ page papers/notes for school last semester.  Basically, I am typed-out.  However, I am going to share one of these school papers I wrote on here.  If you have any interest in baseball, race relations, or statistics, this will hopefully be of interest to you.  The class I wrote this paper for is called Critical Race Theory and is a very interesting area of study.

Due to the length, I am breaking up the sections into separate posts so you can read as many or as few as you would like:

Part I. Introduction

Part II. Baseball's White Elite

Part II. A. The Commissionership

Part II. B. General Managers and Ownership

Part II. C. "Color Blindness"

Part II. D. The Role of Minorities at the Top

Part II. E. Conclusion

Part III. Telling Baseball's Stories

Part III. A. Statistics Painted White: The Dominate Narrative

Part III. B. The Asterisk

Part III. B. i. Pre-integration player's statistics should be marked with an asterisk

Part III. B. ii. Statistical achievements of African American players who were subjected to racial abuse are under-valued in baseball's history.

Part III. C. Flaw in the "objective" Wins Above Replacement statistic

Part III. D. Conclusion

I hope fellow baseball and baseball history junkies (I do not like when people use "junkies" in this sense, but oh well) read, enjoy, and comment.

"My Skin is Against Me": Critical Race Theory & Baseball, Part III. D. Conclusion

D.  Conclusion
            Critical Race Theorists emphasize the importance of storytelling and developing a counter-narrative to oppose the dominate group narrative.  The current dominate narrative of baseball's greatest teams and players is supported by faulty "asterisks" and statistics.  Fan rankings, such as the EloRater, represent a widespread buying into the dominate narrative which tells of the superiority of  pre-integration players. 
            A proper counter-narrative disparages the dominate narrative by questioning both the objective and subjective aspects that support it.  By placing "asterisks" by the statistical records of pre-integration players, their lofty statistics are subjectively diminished.  Further, placing a "positive asterisk" by the statistics of African American players who were subjected to racial abuse emphasizes the difficulty of achieving such records.  Finally, a recalculation of advanced statistics that support the dominate group narrative, such as WAR, objectivity is given to the counter-narrative. 
            The story that emerges is one that properly tells the greatness of African American players in baseball's history.  Pre-integration white players are grouped with performance enhancing drug users in displaying that they were not playing in a fair game.  Racially-abused African American player records are shown to be even more remarkable than previously considered.  And even the great Babe Ruth's records are lessened, while it is objectively exhibited that Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were superior players. 

"My Skin is Against Me": Critical Race Theory & Baseball, Part III. C. Flaw in the "objective" Wins Above Replacement statistic

C.  Flaw in the "objective" Wins Above Replacement statistic
        The placement of an asterisk leaves a lot to subjectivity.  Whether there should be an asterisk, how much weight to give the asterisk, and what the asterisk means (if anything) are all relative to the observer.  On the other hand, modern day statisticians have been working on complex mathematical equations that compare players across all eras objectively.  
        Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is an estimation of the number of wins a player adds to his team in any given year.[i]  Basically, because you have player A on team B, as opposed to a replacement player (denied as a bottom-tiered major league/top-tiered minor league player), team B won X number of additional games than they would have otherwise.[ii]  For example, Miguel Cabrera had an estimated WAR of 7.5 in 2013.[iii]  Therefore, it is estimated that the 2013 Detroit Tigers won 7.5 more games with Miguel Cabrera than they would have had they called up their third baseman from Toledo (the Tiger's AAA team).
        WAR is a valuable tool when comparing any player's value to another.[iv]  WAR allows for shorter seasons, various size ballparks, "pitchers eras", contraction, and expansion by always comparing a player against a "replacement player" from the same year who was playing in the same number of games, with the same number of teams, etc.[v]  However, WAR has a fatal flaw when it comes to calculating the value of pre-integration players.  Pre-integration players "replacement player" is significantly worse than a post integration "replacement player" because the Major Leagues did not allow all of the best players to play. 
        For every African American player who began to play in the Major Leagues, there was one less roster spot to be occupied by a white player.  It follows that many players who were considered "replacement" caliber pre-integration were much worse, and many regular players were in fact, "replacement" level.  Thus, after integration, WAR compared players against a much better replacement player, and players would have to perform substantially better in order to get "wins above" what the replacement level player could produce.
        This hypothesis is supported by the significantly greater presence of pre-integration  players on all time WAR leader boards.[vi]  Six of the top ten players on the Career WAR Rankings (Ruth 183.6, Cy Young 168.4, Walter Johnson 165.6, Cobb 151.1, Speaker 133.6, and Wagner 131.0) all played their entire careers in segregated baseball.[vii]  Further, of the four post integration players listed in the top ten, two have been implicated as users of performance enhancing drugs (Barry Bonds 162.4 and Roger Clemens 140.3).[viii]  The two remaining PED-free, post integration players on the list are both African Americans (Willie Mays 156.2 and Hank Aaron 142.6).[ix]  Without the above criticism of the WAR calculation, an otherwise objective review of the top ten WAR players would yield a finding that the most valuable players of all time are, for the most part, white.  On the other hand, when accounting for the weaker "replacement player" for pre-integration players, pre-integration players WAR is diminished.
        WAR, as is currently calculated, provides supposedly objective evidence to the dominant group narrative of the superiority of pre-integration players.  However, a counter narrative emerges when the otherwise objective WAR calculation properly factors in a reduction based on the vastly inferior "replacement player" pre-integration players are compared to.  For this example, players who played their entire careers before 1947 have their career WAR total reduced by 30%[x], players who played before and after 1947 have their career WAR total reduced by 15%[xi], and players implicated in PED use are omitted.[xii]  The recalculated top ten career WAR players looks like this:
1)  Willie Mays                                                       156.2
2)  Hank Aaron                                                      142.6
3)  Babe Ruth                                                         128.5
4)  Cy Young                                                           117.9
5)  Walter Johnson                                                115.9
6)  Rickey Henderson                                           110.8
7)  Tom Seaver                                                       110.5
8)  Mickey Mantle                                                 109.7
9)  Stan Musial                                                      108.9
10)  Frank Robinson                                             107.2

        This is not a perfect ranking[xiii] but it exemplifies three important parts of a counter-narrative.  First, the greatest African American players are vastly under-rated in the number of wins they created for their teams within the traditional WAR calculation.  Second, many of the greatest post-integration white players (Seaver, Mantle etc.) are similarly under-rated.  Finally, Babe Ruth is not the greatest player of all time.  Ruth's maintaining third place on the list, despite a deduction, is a testament to his greatness; however, Mays and Aaron, whom played in baseball's true golden era, are markedly better in terms of career WAR.

[i] War Explained, Baseball Reference, (last visited April 13, 2014).
[ii] Id. (The advanced statistical formulas used to determine WAR are outside the scope of this article).
[iii] Miguel Cabrera, Baseball Reference, (last visited April 13, 2014).
[iv]  War Explained, Baseball Reference, (last visited April 13, 2014).
[v] Id.
[vi] Baseball Reference, Career Leaders& Records for Wins Above Replacement,, (last visited April 13, 2014).
[vii] Id. (years played in career can be seen by clicking on an individual players name)
[viii] Id.
[ix] Id.
[x] This is a somewhat ambiguous number.  30% is probably not a great enough reduction, but is used here to simplify the illustration.  A proper reduction will be left to sabermaticians.
[xi] See footnote 113.
[xii] This is not to say these players are undeserving, rather to keep the example limited to one factor.
[xiii] Most glaring is the lack of any Negro League legends. 

"My Skin is Against Me": Critical Race Theory & Baseball, Part III. B. ii. Statistical achievements of African American players who were subjected to racial abuse are under-valued in baseball's history.

ii)  Statistical achievements of African American players who were subjected to racial abuse are under-valued in baseball's history.
            All of the "asterisks" listed above connote a tarnishing of the record in which an asterisk has been affixed.  However, an asterisk can be used to represent any additional information about the information in which it is attached.  After integration, African American players were subjected to a wide array of physical and verbal abuse on and off of the diamond.[i]  For example, Jackie Robinson was frequently deliberately spiked by players sliding into second.[ii]  Additionally, Robinson and other African American players were frequently the targets of racial epithets and taunts.[iii]  These conditions made playing baseball in the Major Leagues much more difficult than it already was for the first African American players.[iv]
            In a bedrock Critical Race Theory article, Richard Delgado outlines the detrimental physical and psychological effects for the victims of racial abuse.[v]  In fact, Delgado posits that the victims of verbal racial abuse should be able to bring a tort claim against their abuser.[vi]  Hate speech, such as the type African Americans were exposed TO post-integration can harm the victim physically, emotionally, and fiscally.[vii]
            First, victims of hate speech develop feelings of humiliation, isolation, and self-hatred.[viii]  Further, African American victims of hate speech are more likely to have health problems related to high blood pressure and hyper-tension.[ix]  Finally, many victims of hate speech see their careers suffer.[x]  "The person who is timid, withdrawn, bitter, hypertense, or psychotic will almost certainly fare poorly in employment settings."[xi]
            For baseball players, "employment settings" are in the clubhouse and on the diamond.  Acts such as hitting a 90 mile per hour fastball and fielding a hard grounder are difficult enough without the harms of racial abuse.  Thriving is such conditions would seem to be next to impossible.  However, many early integration African American players succeeded at the highest levels on the sport.
            There is not a better example of an African America player thriving soon after integration than that of Jackie Robinson himself.  Racial abuse started for Robinson in Montreal, where he played in the Dodgers' farm system for a year before making the Major League squad in 1947.[xii]  The Montreal manager, Clay Hopper, begged Branch Rickey to not hire him to manage an integrated team.[xiii] Hopper even asked Rickey whether he really thought that "a nigger's a human being."[xiv]  The racial abuse and pressure led to detrimental physical and mental effects for Robinson including abdominal pain and Robinson fearing a nervous breakdown.[xv]  Despite this, Jackie Robinson won the Rookie Of The Year award in his very first season in the Major Leagues.[xvi]  Two years later, in 1949, Robinson was named the National League's Most Valuable Player.[xvii]  What were already impressive feats, are even more so when accounting for the racial abuse Robinson encountered.
            On field achievements, represented by awards and statistical records, do not tell the whole story for African American players who were subjected to racial abuse after integration.  Racial insults lead to mental, physical, and pecuniary harm while making it difficult to excel in a workplace.  When comparing player's achievements against one another, it is imperative to consider the added difficulty racially abused African Americans endured while playing.  Unlike an asterisk that denotes a tarnishing of a statistical record, a "positive asterisk" should accompany the records of African Americans who were subjected to racial abuse.  Such an asterisk would remind fans that the playing field was not even for all players, even after integration.

[i] Baseball:  Sixth Inning.
[ii] Richard Wormser, JACKIE ROBINSON INTEGRATES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL,, (last visited April 12, 2014).
[iii] Id.
[iv] Baseball: Sixth Inning.
[v] Richard Delgado, Words That Wound: A Tort Action for Racial Insult, Epithets, and Name-Calling, 17 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 133 (1982).
[vi] Id.
[vii] Id.
[viii] Id.
[ix] Id.
[x] Id. 
[xi] Id.
[xii] Baseball:  Sixth Inning
[xiii] Id.
[xiv] Id.
[xv] Id.
[xvi] Jackie Robinson, Baseball Reference, (last visited April, 12 2014).
[xvii] Id. 

"My Skin is Against Me": Critical Race Theory & Baseball, Part III. B. i. Pre-integration player's statistics should be marked with an asterisk

i)  Pre-integration player's statistics should be marked with an asterisk.
            Unfortunately, there is not nearly the support by fans to place an asterisk by the most tainted numbers in baseball's history: the statistical achievements of pre-integration players.  More specifically, pre-integration player's statistical achievements are not on par with those of post integration players and if there were any numbers that required asterisks it would be those of pre-integration players. 
            This counter-story would not be well received by the dominant group, whites, in baseball.  Iconic names such as Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, and Cy Young are perceived as some of the greatest players ever, despite not playing with any African Americans.  Further, Babe Ruth is considered by many[i]  to be the greatest player of all time.  The dominate group uses their non-asterisked statistics to advance this narrative.
            The counter story is to put an asterisk, either real or perceived, next to all of the statistics of pre-integration players.  Those players simply were not playing against the best competition, as current players are.  Black players were not excluded because of inferior play.  In fact, there is ample evidence that many of the negro league stars were on par with, if not better, than the major league players.
            First, Negro League teams frequently beat all white teams consisting of major league players in exhibition games.[ii]  It is estimated that all-black teams played all-white teams in exhibitions at least 438 times prior to integration; the black teams won 309 of these games and the white teams won just 129.[iii]  Further, John McGraw, a renowned pre-integration manager/racist,  died with a list of all of the black players he secretly wished he could have signed while a Major League manager.[iv]  By beating white teams and being secretly sought after by white managers, black baseball players were shown to be on par with, if not superior to, white players at the time.  In fact, many Negro League personal statistical achievements surpass those of white players.  Satchel Page estimated he won 2000 games, nearly four times Cy Young's major league record.[v]  The "black Babe Ruth" Josh Gibson, hit over 70 home runs in a single season and over 950 in his career, both of which easily surpass Major League records.[vi]
            The obvious argument against a counter story affixing an asterisk to pre-integration players is that the statistical achievements were earned within the rules as they were at the time.  However, the problem is that these statistical achievements are in the record book and are seemingly compared on an equal plane against those of post-integration players.  For example, the record books show Tony Gwynn and Nap Lajoie as having the exact same career batting average (.3382), good enough to be tied for 16th place all time.[vii]  However, because Gwynn played post integration, he played against better pitchers who were more likely to get him out and against better fielders, whom made it more difficult to get hits.  This is due to the overall level of play increasing with integration, players who were worthy to play in the major leagues were no longer excluded.  The quality of competition increased every time a black player signed with a major league team and took the spot of a lesser white player.  Stated simply, it was more difficult for a post-integration player to achieve statistical milestones; therefore, such achievements are more impressive than similar achievements by pre-integration players and should be treated as such.

[i] See, Supra Note II.
[ii] Baseball: Fifth Inning.
[iii] Id.
[iv] Id.
[v] Id.
[vi] Id.
[vii] Baseball Reference, Career Leaders& Records for Batting Average,, (last visited April 11, 2014). 

"My Skin is Against Me": Critical Race Theory & Baseball, Part III. B. The Asterisk

B.  The Asterisk
            Many baseball writers and fans believe there should be asterisks placed by records believed to be tainted in some way.[i]  This advocacy for the use of asterisks in the official record book is a tool used to strengthen the dominant group (white) narrative.  Almost always, the asterisk is mental, as opposed to the actual placement of an asterisk printed in the record book.  In baseball's history, there have been three primary instances when fans have advocated for the use of asterisks: when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's single season home run record, when Barry Bonds broke Mark McGwire's single season home run record, and when Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's career home run record.
            First, in 1961 Roger Maris hit 61 home runs and broke Babe Ruth's record (60) for most home runs hit in a single season.[ii]  However, it took Maris 161 games to break the record that Ruth set in a 154 game season.[iii]  There exists debate as to whether an asterisk ever was put next to Maris' record, but the debate over the asterisk raged on for decades.[iv]  Eventually, Commissioner Fay Vincent stepped in and removed the asterisk from the record books.[v]
            The uproar over the asterisk displays baseball fan's reverence to the record book.  Ruth's record was cherished and is still a part of baseball lore.  For many, the singular fact that Maris played more regular season games warranted a lessening of his achievement by the fixture of an asterisk. 
            Maris' record of 61 home runs in a single season stood until 1998 when Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs.[vi]  McGwire's record stood for only three years when Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs in 2001.[vii]  Not long after Bonds breaking the single season home run record, sports media began to report on the use of performance enhancing drugs in baseball.  Following these reports, Major League Baseball began drug testing players and implemented a performance enhancing drug ban.[viii]
            The pressure for an asterisks near Bonds' home run totals increased substantially after he broke Hank Aaron's career home run record in 2007.[ix]  In fact, Bonds' 756th home run ball (from the home run that broke Aaron's record) was sold for $750,000, brandished with an asterisk, and given the Baseball Hall of Fame.[x] 
            The proposition of asterisks reiterates the important role that statistics, especially records, play in the telling of baseball's history.  Statistics allow fans to compare players and teams across generations, because  the rules of baseball are essentially the same today as they were in 1900.   However, these instances where commentators and fans have proposed asterisks next to certain records display a inequality in this comparison.  Essentially, playing more games in a single season or using performance enhancing drugs that inflate statistics makes the otherwise (supposed) like comparisons different.

[i] Brad Berkowitz, The Sports Asterisk,, (last visited 04/07/14).
[ii] Charles A. Sullivan, The Under-Theorized Asterisk Footnote, 93 Geo. L.J. 1093, 1116 (2005).
[iii] Id. 
[iv] Id.
[v] Id.
[vi] Mark McGwire, Baseball Reference, (last visited 04/08/14).
[vii] Barry Bonds, Baseball Reference, (last visited 04/08/14).
[viii] MLB, Drug Policy Event Timeline, MLB.COM, (last visited April 9, 2014).
[ix] Barry Bonds,, (last visited April 9, 2014).
[x] Associated Press, Designer to brandish asterisk on ball; Hall of Fame to accept it, ESPN.COM, (Sept. 26, 2007).

"My Skin is Against Me": Critical Race Theory & Baseball, Part III. A. Statistics Painted White: The Dominate Narrative

A.  Statistics Painted White: The Dominate Narrative
            Major League Baseball's history, more so than any other sport, is told through box scores and statistics.[i]  Debates over the greatest players of all time frequently hinge on these supposedly objective historical numbers.[ii]  Of course, these debates do not end with a simple comparison of numbers.[iii]  Disagreements over the effects of the length of the season, performance enhancing drug use, the size of ballparks, and even the composition of the baseball muddle the supposed clarity of the record book.[iv]  Much like the law, subjectiveness inevitably enters the process of deciphering baseball's history and current state.
            Baseball[v] is embarking on a community-based project  to determine who the greatest baseball players of all time are.[vi]  The "Elo System" is implemented to determine who voters believe the greatest baseball players of all time to be.[vii]  By having voters (fans who log onto the site) choose whom they believe the better of  two statistically similar players, the rating system clearly reflects who baseball fans believe to be the greatest players.[viii]  Fans are free to use any subjective analysis they choose, however the system mitigates inaccuracies resulting from inaccuracies such as fans choosing players from their favorite teams.[ix]
            The results on the MLB EloRater support the notion that there exists a white-dominated narrative of baseball's greatest players.  First and foremost, because there are MLB statistical minimums in order to placed in the rankings, Negro League players are completely disregarded.[x]  However, pre-integration white players are very well represented on the list. 
            Predictably, despite never playing a single non-exhibition game with blacks, Babe Ruth is the highest rated positional player on the list.[xi]  Ruth's former teammate Lou Gehrig, who also played their entire career in segregated baseball, places second, ahead of the batter's list highest rated black player, Willie Mays.[xii]  Fourth place belongs to another white player, Ted Williams, whose career was played both in segregated and integrated baseball.[xiii]  Fifth on the batter's list is a second black player, Hank Aaron.[xiv]
            A few trends emerge after a study of the remaining members of the top 30 batters on the EloRater.  Over one third (11/30) of the top 30 are white players who played their entire careers before integration in 1947 (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby, Jimmie Foxx, Tris Speaker, Mel Ott, Eddie Collins, Hank Greenburg, Charlie Gehringer, and Al Simmons).[xv]  Including the four players (Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Johnny Mize, and Joe DiMaggio) whose careers spanned across integration, half of the fan-voted top 30 batters of all time played at least part of their career before African American players were allowed to play.[xvi]  There are only six African American players (Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr., and Ernie Banks) and one Latino (Roberto Clemente) in the top 30.
            The MLB EloRater top 30 pitchers of all time list displays an even greater discrepancy between white and African American players.  The top five pitchers are all pre-integration white players (Walter Johnson, Lefty Grove, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Pete Alexander).[xvii]   The is only one African American (Bob Gibson) and one Latino (Pedro Martinez) pitcher listed.[xviii] 
            The EloRater reflects the fans buying into the dominant group narrative.  That narrative tells the story of  the greatness of white players, especially pre-integration players.  Further, many pre-integration players and managers vile racism is masked, as only their achievements are highlighted.  This narrative is supported by  two flawed ideals.  First, there is no "asterisk" to tarnish inflated pre-integration records or to bolster statistics for African American players subjected to racial abuse.  Second, modern day advanced statistics incorrectly equate pre-integration statistics with post-integration statistics. 

[i] Baseball: 1st Inning
[ii] Id.
[iii] Id.
[iv] Id.
[v] Baseball is a popular online baseball statistical database.
[vi] MLB EloRater,, (Last visited April 5, 2014).
[vii] Id. (A complete explanation of the complicated mathematics used to determine which players are paired against one another is outside the scope of this article.)
[viii] Id.
[ix] Id. 
[x] Id.  (Although this omission is not mentioned in the description of the rating system)
[xi] MLB EloRater ratings,, (Last visited April 5, 2014).
[xii] Id.
[xiii] Id.
[xiv] Id.
[xv] Id.
[xvi] Id.
[xvii] Id.
[xviii] Id.