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Glenn Beck Leaving FOX; La Russa-Pujols Story Finally Near Death

The news that Glenn Beck is leaving FOX for—for other projects at FOX, I guess—is one of those things I simply will not make a comment on in either direction, as someone who does not want to incite political violence on a sports website. But I can say this: The less Beck is in the public eye, the less I have to hear about Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa's stint at Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally last summer. This—this is unalloyed good news. 

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Like Luke Scott's recent birther-flavored comments and, further back, Carlos Delgado's anti-war stance and the subsequent media hubbub, what bothered me most about the Beck/La Russa connection wasn't that baseball players have opinions, it's that baseball fans do. Sports communities like this one are themselves a social world, with positions and arguments and heated debates, but at their best there's always the underlying truism that, say, the people at Game Time are Blues hockey fans, and the people at Viva El Birdos, no matter what else they do in life, fans of Cardinals baseball. 

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When politics intrudes on an otherwise-innocuous discussion that social contract is broken. We're not just sports fans anymore, we're Democrats and Republicans and religious and atheist and one divisive thing against another, and that's just not something the infrastructure of sports-related smalltalk is built to handle, as anybody with a large extended family can confirm. 

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So best of luck, Glenn Beck, but whatever it is you're doing with the rest of your life, please keep baseball out of it. Sports websites are like dinner tables; arguing is fine, but civility can be strained permanently when it stops being about the food. 

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