Baseball with a uniquely French flavor | Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 9/22/21

With the World Series approaching, I miss baseball — in French, that is. Le lanceur est sur le monticule. Il lance la balle… (The pitcher is on the mound. He throws the …

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Baseball with a uniquely French flavor | Mann Overboard


With the World Series approaching, I miss baseball — in French, that is. Le lanceur est sur le monticule. Il lance la balle… (The pitcher is on the mound. He throws the ball). 

It was unique covering baseball as a young, French-speaking sportswriter in Montreal, where Les Expos played until 2004. They had the best record in baseball in 1994, but a players’ strike cancelled the World Series. Quel dommage. (What a shame.) The Expos soon became the Washington Nationals, sadly/malheureusement. 

In Montréal I also got to do the last interview legendary Jackie Robinson ever did. He was on the Expos’ broadcast team in the tolerant city he loved, and where he played his first season as a professional. I got to learn French for baseball terms. A knuckleball was a papillon (butterfly). Shortstop was arrêt-court. The distances on the outfield walls were in metres. It was wonderful and très unique. There are now reports Les Expos might return to the big leagues. Montreal has always been big league. 

— Clever business name, on a Kearney Street store that sells old glassware: La Bottle Me. 

— Shooting for pool: The Mountain View pool has been closed for a month. The Y, which took it over for the city, has hired a new pool director and exec Wendy Bart says it’s hoping to reopen it in early October. Great news.

— The Starkey Truth: It’s now been at least five years since a poster of Beatle timekeeper Ringo Starr has covered the front window of Pacific EyeCare. Time for a change? It don’t come easy. And no, a poster of Stevie Wonder would not be an appropriate replacement. 

I once briefly met Ringo backstage at a concert in Montreal, and George Harrison, too, in my post-sportswriter/rock-critic days. But not John and Paul, alas. 

Apologies for the namedropping, but speaking of famous rock drummers, I am reminded of seeing what was quite possibly the first video game to surface in Canada, circa 1973.

I was in Pink Floyd’s Montreal dressing room, and I was drawn to drummer Nick Mason. He was playing something he said was called Pong. I was transfixed and soon bought a Pong console.

— First time I’ve seen this in 15 years: A Marine honor guard as part of a military burial at the Fort Worden cemetery. Surprised the crowded place could fit any more soldiers. 

— Why would Irondale appear on Seattle station KIRO’s weather-forecast graphics and not PT? I’m guessing someone on the staff of the ABC affiliate is an Irondaler. 

— Thanks to the many readers who wrote to thank me for my column ripping the anti-vaxxers. I may have used insulting language in the piece, but I needed to vent. It was interesting to see two full-page ads last week in another Peninsula paper, signed by scores of local doctors and medical workers, many from Port Townsend, supporting Jefferson/Clallam health officer Allison Berry for banning the unvaccinated from entering restaurants and bars. Berry, who’s been threatened by anti-vaxxers, is nothing if not courageous. 

And besides medical workers, we also owe a big thanks to restaurant workers for the risks they’ve been taking with unvaxxed customers for months. From a letter to the Port Angeles almost-daily from a reader: “I am glad to know that restaurant staffs and our community will now have some added measure of safety thanks to the vaccine requirement and since the majority of our citizens are vaccinated, I am certain you will see an increase in business.” Hope so. 

— I miss volunteering at the Visitor Center, now COVID-shuttered. Where else could I meet someone using Google Earth to show me his neighborhood in Tasmania? 

— Quite a change: It’s hard to believe that Simu Liu, who stars in the Marvel hit movie “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings,” is the same unassuming, low-key guy who works in a car-rental agency in the genial Canadian series, “Kim’s Convenience” on Netflix. 

— Columnist Rick Lopez in the L.A. Times: “Please, unvaccinated dolts, if you won’t take the vax for yourself, do it for the horses and cows who have a shortage of deworming medicine.” Lopez again: “The problem is that the GOP, in California and the rest of the nation, is not a political party so much as a support group for grouchy saber rattlers.”

— Middle Age Riot tweets: “The biggest change in the 20 years since 9/11 is we no longer need to import our terrorists.” 

(PT humorist Bill Mann has been a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, Montreal Gazette, Oakland Tribune, and USA Today.) 


3 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • HarveyW

    Turns out the Vaccine causes paranoia and lack of understanding of objective science, Bill. You double down here, and don't know what you don't know.

    These are perspectives you will not hear from the tightly-controlled medical-industrial complex and complicit media. These health care workers are the “dolts” Mann and his ilk would have you treat as pariahs. As are the police, firefighters, and other first responders throughout North America making a stand to say no to vaccine mandates:

    State troopers, correctional officers, city firefighters and other public employees in Washington state who have filed a lawsuit to overturn Inslee’s directive;

    Police and firefighters in Los Angeles who have formed a resistance group against Covid vaccine mandates, with Fire Department Captain Cristian Granucci, a 31 year veteran, ready to lose his job rather than comply: “I’m done being silent.” (12 minutes)

    A firefighters union almost 500 strong, both vaxxed and unvaxxed, taking the city of Newark, NJ to court over vaccine mandates, joined by police and other trade unions in challenging that city (first 16 minutes);

    Toronto, Ontario police, firefighters and paramedics in this silent, powerful protest against mandatory vaccinations (1 minute).

    From the New and Improved Free Press.

    Then, on August 24, 2021 the Leader went a step further. Our local newspaper not only shut out civil, open discussion, it promoted demonization of and outright discrimination against the county residents it has been censoring:

    “These dolts should be considered pariahs because of ignorance and intransigence. They should not work in offices or schools, should not be allowed in public places without proof of vaccination… Why is it taking so long to completely shut these knuckle-draggers out of civilized society?”

    “Thanks, Spreadnecks, for our COVID miseries”—an admitted “rant” from columnist Bill Mann—was riddled with name-calling and inflammatory hate speech. With no science to support what is now a political narrative to demonize the healthy unvaccinated (see Stephen Schumacher’s letter below), Mann declared the “anti-vaxxers” in our community the enemy, a scourge responsible for the “miseries” that have befallen the good and righteous vaccinated.

    In response, at least six people sent letters to the editor (LTEs) that we are aware of. They are printed below. None of their letters appeared in the September 1st edition of the Leader. However a concerned letter from Stacey McCarthy was published.

    “This kind of talk is what incites violence…

    You have an opportunity to create a space for meaningful

    dialogue at a time when it is desperately needed.

    Instead you choose name calling…”

    Rather than embrace that opportunity for meaningful dialogue, the name-calling continued. The following week the Leader again chose to withhold all six letters below. Instead five letters were published on September 8th cheerleading Mann’s vile diatribe and calling for everyone to get the shots.

    A health professional whose letter was not printed called the paper to inquire about being censored. Publisher Donna Etchey assured him that the Leader prints all the LTEs they receive, a patent lie. His and the other letters continued to be withheld from publication in the weeks that followed. In their place, the paper ran more “just get the vax” letters.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2021 Report this

  • HarveyW


    "In the face of rising resistance, the powers-that-be grow ever-more desperate to push the shots. What better way than to falsely portray those resisting as a threat, dangerous to society? As history has shown, a population gripped by fear is easily convinced to target a disenfranchised subgroup as the enemy. It diverts the focus away from power-hungry controllers pulling levers and turning dials behind the curtain.

    Like most of the national media, local newspapers are simply bully pulpits for official propaganda. The Leader joins an agenda to vilify a segment of our population and instigate a segregated, two-tiered society—tearing apart community and country. To that end, it runs hit pieces that make a mockery of civil journalistic standards, while barring thoughtful opposing discourse from the public square.

    Here are six of the letters the Leader would not print. You may not agree with their perspectives. Do you agree that it serves our community to censor their voices?

    Editor, the Leader:

    Considering history, there are many examples of atrocities, both long ago and recent, in other countries and our own, where a minority group in the community was demonized, called unclean, dangerous and disease-spreading. We look back on those moments in history with horror.

    I don’t know if you can SEE it, but right now, we are demonizing a minority group in our community, calling them dirty, disease-spreading, “spreadnecks,” instituting segregation, firing them from their jobs, closing their businesses, destroying their lives. Can we see where this is heading? Do we continue on this path towards mob violence and segregation, or is this a community that believes in diversity, inclusion, tolerance and peace?

    May we help turn the tide towards a more beautiful world!

    Barclay Calvert, L.Ac.

    Port Townsend


    In response to Mann Overboard.

    Surely this unbalanced and hateful perspective can only be shared by very few folks in this town. I pray that this is the case. But moreso, I am simply amazed that the Leader would choose such a vile and immature piece to showcase. The only intent that I can think of to exhibit this column from Mann is to foment division and hatred. This does not in any way suggest journalistic integrity, but instead continues with a nefarious agenda that is promulgated through lies and deception and character assassination of anybody with a dissenting opinion. Anybody telling the truth.

    In agreeing with this type of juvenile rhetoric you are choosing to continue with a false reality of fake PCR tests and censorship of treatments in order to coerce an experimental, toxic, gene altering concoction on the masses. Jabs that are aptly named “clot shots”.

    If you are vaccinated then why should you be fearful of those who have done their research and have reached a different conclusion than you? Do you not see? This is straight out of the Nazi playbook, but instead now, we unvaxxed are the “unwashed” Jews. What will it be next? The 3 jab folks disparaging the 2 jabbers?

    The people that I know who Mr. Mann has termed the “knuckle draggers” are the thought leaders of our time. They are the true investigative journalists who are working on the side of humanity, not for some diabolical agenda. It should never be an “us versus them” mentality. You may even find that these “clueless” ones, the folks in this town that have their guiding star exquisitely aligned, will be here to offer advice in the upcoming days, months, should you need it. We have the facts…..

    Addy Thornton

    Port Townsend


    Editor, the Leader:

    Science has always been a continuing course of inquiry. A hypothesis is formed, tested, debated, reviewed and argued over until a consensus is reached. Then additional information is discovered and the debate continues. Science is never “settled”, or we might still be sailing ships off the edge of the world. The discussion is ended when differing opinions are no longer allowed by the majority. Censorship is a sure sign of a weak argument.

    We are now in a dangerous period when persuasion is displaced by propaganda. Hate speech is universally condemned, but here we have one of our Leader staff contributors spewing the same stuff we would expect to hear from a recently displaced President. Get ahold of yourself, Mann; you seem to have forgotten your role as a journalist. The Fourth Estate was always a check on power. Look under the rock that hides the information that may expose an uncomfortable truth. Whether your opinion is right or wrong, stifling debate is the antithesis of a robust community discussion in which people have the right and responsibility to explore ideas together. Please join the discussion.

    Sebastian Eggert

    Port Townsend


    On August 25th, 2021, the Leader reached an historic low with the publication of an ignorant, abusive screed disguised as a column by Bill Mann. His personal choice to play roulette with this experimental gene-based therapy is his business. Insisting everyone join him is not okay. I could go on at length about this man’s obvious lack of personal investigation into the current public policy-driven crisis that is disastrously transforming life as we know it.

    But I’d rather take on the real culprits here — the so-called ‘newspaper’— its publisher and editor. The ’newspaper’ which censors the voices of highly educated, well-informed community members who have spent many hundreds of hours researching data, documents and diverging expert opinion around the most important event in human history, yet chooses to give voluminous ink to a malicious, uninformed diatribe from a bitter guy who apparently believes what he hears on CNN.

    In the words of an elder British wisdom keeper: “In silencing the free speech of others, you’re silencing your own in this sense — if there is censorship of some free speech, then what is left is not free speech. It’s the freedom to conform to what is believed to be—by authority—acceptable opinion, belief and view.”

    This has become the modus operandi for the Leader. It is an unabashed gatekeeper for totalitarian electeds and their appointed bureaucrats. This is not a community service, and it does not serve the Leader itself. The much-deserved downward spiral of its reputation, revenue and ultimately, its existence, will be the subject of its epitaph.

    Annette Huenke

    Port Townsend


    “Mann Overboard”, for sure.

    Quite the unsurprising shock reading Mann’s excremental hit piece, which sadly & typically a mainstream paper would see fit to lend ink.

    Dehumanizing “the other” is a time-honored political & media technique for sowing fear & division. “Fear is the foundation of most governments.” – John Adams

    There’s eternally an enemy at the gates. If not, governments simply create them. The list is long: the godless heathens, barbarians, indians, commies, terrorists, both “left” & “right”, and now even an invisible one. As ever, the emperor has no clothes, as the subjects bow low to the new madness & nakedness with their own.

    The Leader has sunk to a new high of lows — which is saying something after 18 months of unilateral insinuations & censorship.

    Increasing numbers of physicians, nurses, orderlies, etc, have declined the jabs, and/or resigned; while a growing portion of regular folks, worldwide, are also refuseniks. And now so simple to turn the screws on “the new enemy” — as the PTB continue to lose control of their narratives.

    Well, here we go again. To whit:

    Hannah Arendt — “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.”

    Joseph Goebbels, the ace Nazi propagandist sums with three quotes:

    “Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.”

    “If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes accepted as truth.”

    “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

    A reread of the Nuremberg Trials & Codes is overdue, but for now a central, simple question — if you & we have no idea what’s in these “vaccines”, then what the hell is “informed consent”?’

    Alby Baker

    Port Townsend


    The Leader should be ashamed for running Bill Mann’s column “Thanks, Spreadnecks, for our COVID miseries.” Its form is the same as WWII propaganda that similarly demonized out-groups and advocated segregating them into camps. What else can one make of “They should not work in offices or schools, should not be allowed in public places” and “Why is it taking so long to completely shut these knuckle-draggers out of civilized society?”

    One factor delaying America’s descent into pure bio-fascism is its Bill of Rights. Since “the COVID virus doesn’t care about rights,” Mann pushes to “fire these Typhoid Marys and Harrys,” falsely fearing that the asymptomatic healthy are a threat to others just by existing and breathing… not caring that sick-until-proven-healthy is as tyrannical as guilty-until-proven-innocent.

    Beyond the evil form of his rant are the dubious claims Mann makes to justify his agenda. He equates polio vaccines with today’s barely-tested experimental mRNA shots that are already linked with 13,068 adverse-events deaths… more in half a year than all other vaccines combined during VAERS’ 31-year history. [As of 9/17/21, 15,386 Covid vaccine deaths have been reported to VAERS.]

    Mann complains “we have to wear masks again because of the boneheads,” but the real reason has nothing to do with the unvaxxed. Instead it is CDC data “showing that vaccinated individuals infected with delta may be able to transmit the virus as easily as those who are unvaccinated” and have “measurable viral loads similar to those who are unvaccinated,” which is the pretext for masks again being pushed.

    Mann blames the unvaxxed for “making innocent people sick, especially children,” despite pitiful vaccine ineffectiveness with antibody levels waning in 2-3 months used to justify the current push for twice-yearly booster re-vaccination. By contrast, natural immunity following CV infection is broad and enduring against all variants. Children are at minimal (not “especial”) risk, the CDC reporting only 385 deaths under age 18 in two years, with John Hopkins finding “a mortality rate of zero among children without a pre-existing medical condition such as leukemia.”

    Mann continually insults the intelligence of “these dolts”, baldly saying “Not being vaxxed is … an IQ test. Over 99 percent of current COVID cases are unvaxxed.” Mann fails his own test by misquoting the Surgeon General’s debunked claim that “99.5% of Covid deaths [not cases] are among the unvaccinated,” a made-up number counting old deaths before the vax was widely available, counting the vaxxed as unvaxxed prior to 2 weeks after their second shot, and counting vaxxed deaths using a much lower PCR Cycle Threshold than unvaxxed deaths. By contrast, England and Israel report 60% of their current deaths are vaccinated.

    The overall message is to scapegoat the vaccine hesitant as subhumans who “devastated … the population at large” so deserve discrimination and loss of livelihood. Shame on the Leader for promoting such blatant inflammatory hate speech while censoring all reasoned opposing viewpoints over the past year.

    Stephen Schumacher

    Port Townsend

    — sources for Stephen Schumacher letter —

    Tuesday, September 28, 2021 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    I've waded through a lot of verbiage here and much of it is misdirected junk. An exception is the following comment by Bill Mann: "— Thanks to the many readers who wrote to thank me for my column ripping the anti-vaxxers. I may have used insulting language in the piece, but I needed to vent. It was interesting to see two full-page ads last week in another Peninsula paper, signed by scores of local doctors and medical workers, many from Port Townsend, supporting Jefferson/Clallam health officer Allison Berry for banning the unvaccinated from entering restaurants and bars. Berry, who’s been threatened by anti-vaxxers, is nothing if not courageous."

    I also am pleased with the continuing effort of The Leader. We're lucky to have the paper.

    Thursday, September 30, 2021 Report this