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75% of baseball teams’ political donations went to conservative causes in 2012

Mar 29, 2013, 2:35 PM EDT

Republican and Democrat symbols

Via Nathaniel Rakich, here’s a report from the Sunlight Foundation chronicling political donations by Major League Baseball teams, as well as the league itself, in 2012. Shockingly, rich business owners who aren’t big fans of regulation and change spend the bulk of their dough on conservative causes: indeed, 75% of all political donations from teams, team executives and owners went right rather than left.

The league itself — via Major League Baseball’s political action committee — splits the half million dollars or so it spends on legislative races almost 50/50, Democrat/Republican.

Players don’t donate all that much, but when they do, they tend to go with the GOP as well:

Current players that donated to conservative candidates include White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham, Yankees designated hitter Travis Hafner, Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and San Diego Padres pitcher Huston Street. Tony Gwynn, Jr. of the Dodgers, and son of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, was the only player we found donating to liberal causes. But a few baseball legends serving as special assistants to their clubs also gave to Democrats, including Hank Aaron and Lou Brock …

Again, given the demographics of ballplayers, it’s not terribly shocking here.

Interesting stuff. Give it a read.

  1. paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    No thanks.

    I prefer my baseball as far away from politics as I can get it.

    • skeleteeth - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Everything is political. Even this post.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        No, everything is not political. Only people that want everyone else to think/believe what they do see everything in the world as political. People are political, not issues.

      • mrwillie - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:26 PM

        People who think everything is political are the people the rest of us folks dread having dinner conversations with.

    • illegalblues - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      don’t know why people complain about articles. you can always skip over the post.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        Wasn’t a complaint, just declining an invitation.

      • illegalblues - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        oh. good for you!

    • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      I completely disagree and I can’t believe you would even say that — given your responses on a variety of other posts. There’s a political aspect to everything. Disappointing.

      • forsch31 - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:56 PM

        Only if you view the world through extremist eyes.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        If by “extremist” you mean “not wearing blinders,” yes. To not see the political in things is to be oblivious (willfully or otherwise).

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        How so? Evolution isn’t political, it is a theory backed up by 100s of years of research and how we all came to be here….people make it political. Alcohol isn’t political, it is a drug that many people enjoy using, people make it political. Everything is something all by itself…and many of those things are around for a long time before people decide to start arguing about them and making them political. The fact that you can’t disentangle the nature of something from what humans twist it into for their own devices is disappointing.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:20 PM

        I am sorry. I did not mean to hurt your feelers there.

        As you noted, people are political, but there are no issues without people. You can’t stop being the political being you are. The notion that we can function objectively is false.

      • paperlions - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        I function outside of politics just fine thank you. I hold many notions, and none of them are politically driven. The fact that others use them for political gain doesn’t change the fact that the issues are not political.

        Just because you view everything through a political lens doesn’t mean that everyone does or that everything is political. Arguing that everything is political is like arguing that numbers are natural. Quantities are natural, numbers are artificial constructs that represent those naturally occurring quantities. Similarly, facts, phenomena, and knowledge exist outside of the political arena; the fact that people use those facts/phenomena/concepts/knowledge for political gain has no bearing on the political-free nature of the thing itself.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        You mean you *think* you function outside of politics just fine. You can’t possibly know facts/phenomena/etc outside of your perception of them — which is shaped by the social constructs and world view in which you were raised or adopted. You cannot know the thing itself outside of your frame of reference, which is political. You ascribe to a view that prefers objective knowledge and are dismissive of other views. That is a bias. Your problem with this is that in your objective view, biases are wrong, so you have to convince yourself that you function outside of bias. That does not make it accurate any more than the old notion that things were true because God made them so, however.

      • paperlions - Mar 30, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        Whatever. That is 100% hooey. Of course views are shaped by experiences….but that is the point, the view in and of itself does not change the nature of the thing you are perceiving and having a view does not immediately make that view political. Politics is about manipulation for power, just because a thing is used for a political purpose does not make the thing political, just the use of the thing….and the use of it and the thing itself are not one in the same.

        Sorry, but opinions based on data/fact/information that are shaped purely by that information are not biased….and if you really think that there are people that can not function that way then should be abandon modern health care and be amazed by the miracles around you there were devised despite people failing to follow the data.

        If you really believe that a persons views are constantly shaped by their upbringing/surroundings/experiences, then you have already defeated your own argument…just because the world you perceive does not allow for unbiased opinion/people does not mean they don’t exist….and you should be damned glad they do.

        Remember how you said ecology sounded nice and civil? You know why that is? Because anything that isn’t supported by data is stomped out/ignored/discarded. When the information doesn’t support your argument, you change your opinion/argument. There really is no other choice if you want to do science (which has a huge set of rules we follow to prevent us from lying to ourselves).

      • historiophiliac - Mar 30, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Wow. “stomped out/ignored/discarded” — yeah, *that’s* not manipulation for power. lol You participate in a system that requires adherence to set rules to opt in. If you don’t see politics in that, you are blinded by your bias.

      • paperlions - Mar 29, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        Sorry, historio….as an ecologist, I view the world through large time and spatial scales, the construct of society that is required to politicize things is so strange, foreign, and clearly unnecessary….I can’t even get my head around the futility that it represents.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 9:30 PM

        Seriously, you are viewing the world through scales that are socially constructed based on the beliefs and values of our times. 200 years ago, the measure was different and in another 200 it will change as well. There will be a change in the paradigm through which we view the natural world.

      • skeleteeth - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      • tuberippin - Mar 31, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        get a room, you two.

  2. kopy - Mar 29, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    How fortunate for Democrats and Republicans that they only have each other to compete against.

    • elmo - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      And how unfortunate for the rest of us not to have any better choices.

      • manchestermiracle - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        There are in fact many choices beyond the overwhelmingly dominant two parties, but the sad fact is that most people won’t take the time to find them. Voters allow mass media to present the choices to them and mass media merely presents those with the money to buy the ads.

        If you aren’t making the effort to go beyond TV ads to inform you, then you aren’t doing the country any favors. Folks want things easy and clean and democracy is neither.

      • elmo - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        I can appreciate encouraging people to seek out other options, but you seem to be implying that its voters’ fault that the two-party duopoly has a stranglehold on our political and media systems. I think that is totally wrong. Alternative parties are systematically excluded, from the top down.

  3. albertmn - Mar 29, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Not surprising. Owners are largely old, white, rich guys. Old, white, rich guys trend Republican.

    • wpjohnson - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      White guys tend to pay the large majority of income taxes. Without all these white guys, the country could not offer handouts to all those other people who contribute nothing to the system. Like it or not, that is the truth.

      • APBA Guy - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        No, that’s retarded. “Contribute nothing to the system” equals Romney’s 47% quote, which included uniformed enlisted men, school teachers, retired people, etc.

        You are completely delusional, about the tax system, the country, and the people who live and work here.

      • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        By “those who contribute nothing to the system,” I take it you mean the ones who work for very little so those they work for can pile up the profits in their own pockets and accuse the ones who created their wealth of contributing nothing to the system?


      • evanwins - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        Old Gator and APBA Guy:
        He could be referring to those who actually contribute nothing to the system, ya know, because there’s no shortage of that out there. Welfare recipients with 6 kids and what have you; you do realize that exists, right? And in abundance.

        And rich people, white or black, pay a majority of the taxes. You see, that’s how it works: the more you make, the more you pay.

        I’m willing to bet that if you had to write a six or seven figure check to the government you’d probably be a bit more concerned/involved/vocal about where that money goes.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        Most federal spending benefits old people, via Social Security and Medicare, and toward national defense. Which of these people contribute nothing to the system?

        Heck, even things that a conservative would consider welfare for lazy 47 percent — SNAP benefits, Medicaid, student loans — end up in the pockets of grocery stores (and food manufacturers), hospitals, and universities, respectively. It’s not like those programs are cash handouts.

        But most spending is Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. Oh, why bother. You don’t care.

    • barrywhererufrom - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      Democrats in the typical sterotype are…. individuals who raise taxes, use class warfare, and promise the world for people and pay for by raising other peoples taxes…wow now lets get real and get back to back to baseball..

      • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Naahhh, the rich only call it class warfare when the folks whose underpaid labor made their wealth try to fight back.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        What use is pointing out the stereotype? I mean, I disagree with it, and I could argue with the stereotype. By why would you make your CASE that way? Jews (like me), in the stereotype, are greedy. It’s not helpful to point this out.

        To answer your question: Barry Larkin is from Cincinnati.

  4. aceshigh11 - Mar 29, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Macho jocks who hate gay people (well, not lesbians…lesbians are ALWAYS cool to straight guys) and don’t want to pay any taxes donate to the Republican Party.

    That’s a shocking development, I tell you.

  5. mrwillie - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Baseball is my escape from a world where everything seems to have something to do with partisan politics. Thanks for trying to ruin that. I’ll stick to being concerned how well they hit or throw a little white ball, who they give their money to means not a damn thing to me.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      I can sure understand preferring ball slinging to mud slinging. But some people are also interested in learning where their dollars spent on over-priced beer at the ballpark end up, especially when they go to causes fighting against our best interests (though, we of course don’t all agree what those are).

    • 18thstreet - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Who they give their money to has everything to do with who pays for their stadiums: them or you. You should care.

  6. mtheparrothead - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:05 PM


    And lefties always like to put labels on people and assume they’re all the same. Sound familiar?

    • 18thstreet - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      Homer: New York is a hellhole. And you know how I feel about hellholes.
      Lisa: Dad, you can’t judge a place you’ve never been to.
      Bart: Yeah, that’s what people do in Russia.

  7. tmhofficial - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    Loved the site, but you should NOT have made the grave mistake of spouting off your (obviously) tainted views of politics on here. Who cares where they donated money to? And your whole thing about change or whatever was just foolish.

    Clearly, the writer here is Liberal, and I don’t think it was a wise business decision to bring politics to our favorite Baseball site. Shouldn’t this be an escape from that realm?

    I guess I’ll be moving along now. This sort of thing is ridiculous Craig. Bad choice.

    • carbydrash - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:17 PM


    • a125125125 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      “How dare tmhofficial respond to Craig’s political rantings! LEAVE CRAIG ALONE!”

      How many of the people on this site are related to noted Buffoon Craig Calcaterra? All of them? 90%? Anyone that sticks up for this obvious political baiting must be related to Craig…..or maybe… love with him.

      • carbydrash - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        HA HA! Awesome one! Man, you’re gonna be the next Bob Newhart with that kind of material kid!

    • nategearhart - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      A nitpick: what’s your issue with “… rich business owners who aren’t big fans of regulation and change…”? You DO realize that conservatives, by definition, don’t like change? Or did you think he was trying to sneak some Obama in on you?

      • 18thstreet - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        Yes, that’s why conservatives are such staunch defenders of the Clean Air Act and Roe v. Wade: they are opposed to change.

        Most labels are worthless.

      • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:19 PM

        Especially the little ones along the pillow seams that read Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law.

  8. sfm073 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    And yet they share merchandise and other forms of revenue. Isn’t that socialism?

    • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:20 PM

      Not to mention revenue. By those standards, Scrooge McLoria is a Maoist!

  9. phuckphilly99 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    …avid readers know he pulls this all the time. After all, it’s the NBC way!

    Sadly, three quarters of the stooges on here are incapable of forming any thoughts of their own and just tow the line. Ah, journalism. Gotta love it.

    • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      Slap! Tweak! Poke! Woooooohooohooohooohooo! Nyuknyuknyuknyuk!

  10. a125125125 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    This really chaps Craig’s a$$ doesn’t it? Also….love the stereotyping…..”rich business owners who aren’t big fans of regulation and change spend the bulk of their dough on conservative causes.” Stereotyping is stereotyping, Craig. It’s not accurate….it’s not good…..and it’s a lazy way to concoct a story.

  11. thomas844 - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Yes, those rich Conservatives are against all kinds of change. In fact, they protested the banning of the fake third-to-first move because any kind of change just disturbs their system greatly. Nice job only naming white Conservatives and only naming African American liberals, by the way. Trying to keep that stereotype going because as we know, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a black person to have any kind of conservative views. Craig, I love ya, but this is an overall pointless and thoughtless post.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Nice job only naming white Conservatives and only naming African American liberals, by the way.

      You do realize that grey, indented paragraph is a quote from a third party right? That Craig didn’t write that part? I thought that was understood, but more and more people constantly confuse what Craig is quoting and what Craig actually writes.

      • thomas844 - Mar 29, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        I realize that, but he is the one who included that specific excerpt of that specific article to further his point.

  12. wpjohnson - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Well, now, let’s see. Baseball owners, executives, and players pay a lot of income taxes. We can assume that, like all of us who pay income taxes, they are tired of all the freeloaders who are subsidized by the incompetent occupant of the White House and his minions. Why wouldn’t they, as with most who actually pay the taxes to keep the country afloat, support Republicans?

    • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      Which is why, after Bush and the Republicans got done running the country into the ground, the same folks woke up and threw them out on their asses.

      • Sorbet Te Charta Saccus - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        At which point, the country has been run beyond the ground, through the core of the Earth, and to the point where, no pun intended, we are on our way to China. Literally and figuratively.

      • barrywhererufrom - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:31 PM

        Let’s see Old Gator-Obama is making Bush look good..and trust me that isn’t easy. You have to love that terminal 8% unemployment…i know even after being in office for like almost 5 years its still Bush’s fault. Pretty cool when you have no accountablity for spending more in your presidency then any other president. Pretty cool when you give billions of dollars to Egypt to support Morsi the leader of Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt. You know that same Morsi who said our greatest allie in the regions descendants were from apes and pigs. Pretty cool when your Secretary of State blames a video for a death of four brave Americans in Benghazi-and then responds ‘what difference does it make’ when we find out they all knew it was a terrorist attack on 9-11. Yeah I know all these actions were Bush’s fault. Morons like yourself re-elected this Jackass and we are all suffering for it!

      • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:53 PM

        This is the part where barrywhereareufrom – the answer, of course, being the trailer park over behind the strip mall – scrolls back through all my posts since Obama first began running for the nomination and locates the ones where I ever said anything nice or complimentary about him. Okay, clown – ready, set, go!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Well, now, let’s see. Baseball owners, executives, and players pay a lot of income taxes.

      In a dollar amount, maybe they do. Unfortunately I bet many owners are like ex-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt who didn’t pay anything in federal income taxes for years thanks to owning the Dodgers.

      We can assume that, like all of us who pay income taxes, they are tired of all the freeloaders who are subsidized by the incompetent occupant of the White House and his minions.

      Just curious, but what freeloaders are you talking about here? By chance could you be speaking about a general group of people?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 29, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        In a dollar amount, maybe they do.

        Ugh, hit post to soon. Because on a % basis, many of them don’t pay more than the middle class does. Do we need to quote Warren Buffett discussing how he pays less of a % in taxes than his secretaries? Or any of the exec’s of Berkshire Hathaway? Or what about Romney talking about paying 13% income taxes?

  13. sportsdrenched - Mar 29, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    I hate politics…so I clicked on this story about politics.

    • thebadguyswon - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      I like politics. Not mixed with baseball, but reading the comments on stories like this is irresistible.

      • sportsdrenched - Mar 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        I agree on both account. Sometimes I just skip the story and read the comments. Great entertainment.

    • elmo - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      Personally, I wish they’d just close the comments section on some of these political posts.

      • manchestermiracle - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        Why is it that when someone is offended by something harmless they don’t just not look at it, but instead want to remove it from everyone’s view?

      • elmo - Mar 30, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Well, I was referring to the ones that get out of hand, nasty and personal. This one doesn’t seem so bad.

  14. Sorbet Te Charta Saccus - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Why are you people complaining about the political post? It has about as much to do with baseball as the following topics:

    Jamie McCourt’s house being for sale
    Derek Jeter keeping residence in Florida to avoid taxes
    Mike Trout eating 24 chicken wings from Dominos
    Rob Dibble being fired as a high school coach

    And those were just in the last 36 hours. If you think is ever going to be strictly baseball, with someone as eclectic as Craig writing the majority of the day-to-day articles, then you really need to wake up.

    • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      Or, better yet, if you find politics and baseball so disconcerting a mix, go find a nicely sterilized baseball blog where the delusion that a multi billion dollar enterprise like MLB has no connection with political or economic issues is maintained – partially by drugs, partially by stupidity, partially by organic brain damage. And stop coming over here to whine about the interjection of politics and economics into the discussions as though you owned or managed this blog.

  15. sportsfan69 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    A baseball player is a member of a union (MLBPA) and they don’t support the DNC?

    Take away their bargaining rights, let’s see if the players continue support the GOP.

    WOW! Don’t think for one minute, if the MLB owners could eliminate the MLBPA and the player’s bargaining rights, that the players would be getting compensated at their current levels. NOT!

    Baseball players really need to rethink about their political affiliation. It will be own financial downfall in the future.

    GOP = TOP 1% of Americans

    • manchestermiracle - Mar 30, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      GOP actually = top 2-4% + those unable to see they vote against their own economic interests. If you aren’t making at least a quarter mil a year you are a fool to vote Republican. Of course, the alternative (so far; I still hold out hope for a viable third-party) sucks, too, but most people choose a party based on hatred for the other. Kinda like how most elections are decided.

  16. wonkypenguin - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Craig – I sincerely and lovingly challenge you to add at least one pinkie/commie/liberal/ whatever else they call you jibe in every edition of ATH. Just one small one. Cuz it’s fun for us, your fellow pinkie/commie/liberals, to watch what happens next.

    Never take the high ground. The weather is SO MUCH NICER down here.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      The high ground is for people afraid to get a little muddy. Bah.

    • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      It’s like all the knuckledraggers come running over here from Yahoo! Blogs the minute they get word of a “political” comment on Circling the Bases, isn’t it?

  17. nobody78 - Mar 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Rich corporations donate an enormous amount to Democrats as well. Lots of big corporations, from Big Pharma to GE and Walmart, benefit from anti-competitive regulations and assorted tax breaks and spend millions of dollars on lobbyists in support of those regulations.

    Both parties work very, very hard to keep lining the pockets of the rich.

  18. historiophiliac - Mar 29, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    Where is Chris F? This is his kind of post. Shouldn’t he be all over this in ecstasy?

  19. chill1184 - Mar 29, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    The political system is nothing but a mindless shell game however the results are not surprising. Its funny though how conservatives still continue to fool people into thinking that they want the state off their backs. Its quite funny really

  20. louhudson23 - Mar 30, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    Pissing down my neck and telling me it is just “Trickle Down”……30 years of this failed policy….eradication of the Middle Class,erosion of infrastructure,halting of upward mobility,deterioration of our eco systems…..Mr. Buffett was correct,it has indeed failed ,and it is indeed to the detriment of our nation.Smart man Mr. Buffett….

  21. stlouis1baseball - Apr 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    And in other news…
    Grass is green, the sky is blue, water is wet, a hot plate is hot, and baseball is wonderful.

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