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Opinion: Sotomayor hearings: Yankees or Mets? Time out for a little baseball

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After six long hours of questioning -- occasionally in complicated legalese -- Sen. Charles Schumer decided it was time for something lighter:

Like baseball.

Earlier today, Schumer asked Sonia Sotomayor, a proud Yankees fan, to talk a bit about her affection for the sport. Schumer, like Sotomayor, is a New Yorker. The Democratic senator joked that she could speak with more freedom about this subject than on most other topics.

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“I don’t think the Mets versus Yankees will come before the Supreme Court,” he cracked. “Although the Yankees could use all the help they could get right now.”

The Bronx-born Sotomayor said that she had loved the sport since childhood, when she watched games with her father, who died when she was 9.

“I grew up sitting next to my dad while he was alive watching baseball,” she said. “And it’s one of my fondest memories.”

Schumer also asked Sotomayor about her role in the 1995 players strike case between major league owners and players. Then a U.S. district judge, she helped end the strike, ruling against the owners in favor of the players.

And speaking of the strike, one of the witnesses scheduled for later this week is David Cone, a former major league pitcher who was a union representative during the strike.

-- Kate Linthicum

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