FILE - Cardboard cutouts of fans in the otherwise empty seats face the field during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays in Atlanta, in this Thursday, July 30, 2020, file photo. Georgia's new voting law _ which critics claim severely limits access to the ballot box, especially for people of color _ has prompted calls from as high as the White House to consider moving the midsummer classic out of Atlanta. The game is set for July 13 at Truist Park, the Braves' 41,000-seat stadium in suburban Cobb County.(AP Photo/John Amis, File)

Weekend winners

Shohei Ohtani. Dude tops 100 mph with nine pitches and hits one six miles. He's THA kid in every youth association we all played, who on days looks to be the best pitcher AND best hitter in the league. Wow.

Billy H. Congrats my man on winning the first-out, last-in contest with 1.1 points. Billy was the only one with 11th-seeded and Final Four-bound UCLA as the last double-digit seed standing. The 1.1 points were enough to topple the four entries that had 1 point for Illinois being the first one seed bounced.

Gonzaga. Monster shot at the end of the Final Four nightcap. (And one that saved CBS's bacon in terms of TV numbers, because while I believe the Final Four will be way down — maybe even historical — the only looming story lines of interest are a) brackets and b) potentially undefeated, and Gonzaga factors into both.) You know the rules, here's Weeds on the greatness of the Gonzaga-UCLA semifinal from Saturday night.

Jordan Spieth. Hard not to root for Jordan, who is generally one of the genuine and likable superstars in all of sports. That win in Texas was huge for his confidence heading into a place that has been his Alamo since double dunking at 12 a few years ago.

Stephan Jaeger. Dude won again on the Korn Ferry Tour and appears destined to get his PGA Tour card back. Way to go, Stephan, the former Baylor School and UTC star.


Weekend losers

The Braves. Egad, 41 Ks in three games. That's less than good.

The NBA. Seriously Kevin Durant got a $50,000 fine for laundry list of offensive marks, slurs and cusses. Heck, Meyers Leonard got a week suspension for a Jewish slur during a video game. KD threatened a man with violence and used all kids of lewd and homophobic remarks. Considering KD's reported $170 million net worth, for the everyday person with a net worth of say $100,000, that $50K fine is the equivalent of a $29.41 fine, or roughly a parking ticket from Republic downtown.  

Carlton Davis. The former Auburn and current Tampa Bay cornerback dropped an anti-Asian slur on social media, blamed his ignorance and then told everyone to move along. Will be interesting to see if he's punished or if the fight for equality continues short-sighted in that direction.

Paul Pierce. Wow, bold move to take to social media looking high as Ben Franklin's kite and with some scantily clad female accompaniment. Everyone to the main stage apparently. Wonder what the wife and kids had to say about that.

Rickie Fowler. Dudes struggles have turned to a place so bad — and almost impossible to predict — that his streak of 42 consecutive majors ends this week at Augusta. Or maybe he's protesting Georgia's voting law. Which leads us to —


All-Star voting

So, the MLB is pulling the All-Star game from Georgia because of the recent voting laws.


So many line items here. So, so many.

There's the economic story. Cobb County, where I grew up, is reporting it will lose $100 million in this deal. Side note: When I grew up there, my mom was the president of the Cobb County Republican women and it was arguably the most conservative county in the country. In the most recent election, Cobb was decidedly pro-Biden, as he carried more than 56.3% of Cobb's 393,746 votes counted.

That irony means Democrats hurting Democrats with this cancel culture.

And let's get to the terminology since that will come up shortly. This is not consequence culture. The people of Cobb did nothing here, but the cancel lands on them, especially those in the hotel industry since tens of thousands of rooms were going to be needed, a much-needed jolt to an industry that has been crippled.

Nevermind the MLB's total lack of understanding of the state's political alignments. Again, this directly hurts Cobb County and the city of Atlanta, which is far and away liberal and likely against the voting bill to begin with.

But this will galvanize the rural state representatives that already hate the far-left-swing of the mega-metropolis that is the Atlanta area and how it actually swung the state blue in 2020 and in the Senate runoff earlier this year.

So the MLB's decision will only force those rural elected officials to dig in, and they will dig in with a very effective line of reasoning to their constituents.    

But those are just the practical issues here.

I have seen a lot of folks say MLB is standing up for democracy here. Hogwash. Democracy is freedom of choice, freedom to differ on so many things.

Yes, Chas, I believe boycotting is every American's right and in some extreme situations depending on beliefs and specific issues can even be more of a duty.

But this is not a boycott by person or group. (Side note: If you really want to know what this is, it is either a) Rob Manfred felt Adam Silver was getting too far ahead in the woke commissioner race or b) MLB's attempt to score brownie points with labor. Know this: After the 2021 season, the CBA runs out and this will be the most important and difficult negotiation in the sport's history considering that owners lost $3 billion in revenue because of the pandemic.)  

So, in a lot of ways, this is fiscal blackmail by a group that seized the chance to bake sweet cookies with Labor wrapped in an MLB social justice jersey.  

Next, I'm not sure how many of the critics of this bill have even read the bill. Here's a very well-done story by NPR, which is not going to be confused with Fox News any time soon.

Has anyone pointed to any part of this bill other than the food and water being given close to polling stations? Yes, I can understand the uneasiness of the state having final say over local election commissions, but that is never mentioned. This is always couched as a racial issue, but with very few examples how other than the water.

And if we're going to pick and choose what moves from zero to cancellation — mind you after the original Delta statement was panned, every executive this side of Gordon Gekko has jumped to the front trying to be the wokest dude in a $5,000 suit — this quickly, what's next?

Seriously what's next? What issue or law the left doesn't like are they coming for next? Are they going to expand the Supreme Court, and if they don't like our response boycott our state, our event, our small business? Police issues?

And what happens when the woke decides they don't like justice decisions, are they going to flex their might for their far left causes then? What happens if the Chauvin trial turns out in a manner that does not suit, are the Twins not going to play? (Side question: The pre-emptive thoughts and fears of protests that will become riots if a guilty verdict is not issued in that trial make you wonder how fair a trial that cop is getting, no? From what we've all seen on the videos, we all have a strong belief he's guilty, but the looming fears or almost assured riots do not align with the scales of justice being blind my friends.)

Yes, MLB has every right to issue its All-Star game wherever it wants and for whatever reason it wants. It's a private organization.

And I am still waiting for a response to Gov. Kemp's assertions that even with the changes, Georgia's new voting laws are more open than New York's, so is the MLB making a stand there? Seriously, I think New York's voting laws — the state where MLB is headquartered — and Delaware's voting laws — President Biden's home state — are more stringent in a lot of ways than the new Georgia law.

Could it be politically self-serving for the Democrats, who know the swing-importance of Georgia in two years to focus there inside of traditional Red state stalwarts like New York and Delaware? Hmmmmm.

(Another side question: If MLB is taking a stand — a stand that so many on the left are supporting — and sports is the next protest avenue then why in the name of Yao Ming are we not boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing? Anyone? Bueller?)

(Another side question: As ESPN and its liberal folks are high-fiving this decision, let's see what they have to say about The Masters this week, which just happens to a) be in Georgia, b) be broadcast on ESPN for the first two rounds and c) would be played on the Moon before it moves from Augusta National for any reason.)

Simply put, in the grandest scheme of things, are we comfortable with billion-dollar companies controlling the laws — or attempting to control the laws — more than state-elected leaders?

That's more fascism than democracy friends.


This and that

— Speaking of the Masters, did anyone see Keith Olbermann lose it on social media over the weekend? Egads, dude used to be part of the biggest sports broadcasting team in the BID-ness when he and Dan Patrick were manning the Big Show on SportsCenter. Now, he's a loon.

— Speaking of the Masters, of course we're going to have the Masterfully Mastering the Masters challenge. You know the drill, and we'll expand on it tomorrow. Pick five golfers and the top four scores count. You get the number of points for the place those four finish. Low score wins. Who's in?

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall on Georgia's Saturday football efforts. And UGA coach Kirby Smart was asked about the politics in his home state. Yes, he's in a lose-lose because the school's big-money folks view things one way and Smart needs to be in the good graces of young Black players — on his roster and the ones he hopes to lure to be on his roster.


Today's questions

Weekend winners and losers. Go.
As for multiple choice Monday, well, describe your feeling about the Braves being swept by the Phillies in their season-opening series?

— Dude, it's three games;

— It's mildly concerning;

— Braves stink;

— Who cares, I'm protesting MLB because it's too political.

As fort today, April 5, let's review.

On this day in 1993, Chris Webber called timeout in the NCAA Finals against UNC.

On this day in 1987, Fox debuted "Married with Children" and "The Tracey Ullman Show." The former is all-time Fox program; the latter was the birthplace of The Simpsons, which also is an all-time Fox program.

Rushmore of Fox TV shows. Go.