As a general rule there are few people who make it to their 40’s in Baseball.  Usually if you are still playing you are a hall of famer making your final rounds and hitting your final milestones such as Ichrio who picked up his 3000th major league hit while batting .292 in part time play for the 3rd place Miami Marlins.

Occasionally you get a hall of famer going out with a bang like David Ortiz who in his 20th and final major league season is leading the league in doubles, slugging, intentional walks (and double plays) and putting up triple crown number .320 (4th) 31HR (10th) 107 RBI (3rd) for a team tied for 1st place with 27 games to go.

And then there is Bartolo Colon

Colon is a year older than Ichrio and three years older than Ortiz and while a good pitcher over his career (230-161) 4.04 era and 2343 strikeouts would not be on anyone’s short list for the hall of fame.

But that being if there is one pitcher who has been invaluable to a team it’s been he.

On a team that’s in the playoff hunt 2nd place in their division and tied for the final wild card spot he has been the steady hand.  He’s gone 12-7 with a 3.35 ER in 27 starts and one relief app, leading the team in starts, 2nd in innings pitched (158.2) winning percentage and batters faced (660).

As the NY daily news put it 

Colon, a Dominican native who is the Mets’ oldest player, has ironically remained the healthiest piece of the pitching rotation in his Queens tenure, often serving as the linchpin of an injury-ridden, albeit younger staff. Colon re-signed with the Mets for one season after the team’s World Series run, and said he’s willing to fill any role the Mets need.

And he’s not only done it occasionally with style:

But has managed to set of all things a Major League record at the plate:

The first home run of Colon’s career came at 42 years, 349 days. Colon is the oldest player to hit his first career homer. He unseated Randy Johnson (40 years, 9 days), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Colon labeled the moment the biggest of his career.

his his first career home run at age 42

Bobby Mueller put it best

Bartolo Colon is aging well, perhaps not like a fine wine, but maybe a good whiskey. He’s been just as good this year as he was the last two years. He doesn’t strike out a ton of guys, but he walks very few, and isn’t killed by home runs. He doesn’t seem ready to hang up his spikes anytime soon and has acknowledged he would like to come back for the 2017 season. His contract is up at the end of the year, so he’ll be a free agent.

I don’t know how many years Colon has left. He would need five 15 win seasons to get to 300 meaning he would have to pitch two years Beyond Ryan’s age, but either way if the Mets make it to the post season and back to the world series this year a lot of the credit will go to Colon and the 7.2 million that the Mets spent on him will turn out to be the best investment they made all year.

Ruberry Black Sox
Ruberry in June with man in 1919 White Sox uniform

By John Ruberry

As this decade winds down you can look for many 100th anniversary articles. They’ll be a huge uptick of them next year to mark the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, followed by more on the armistice that concluded “the war to end all wars” in 1918. The execution of the czar and his family, as well as the fall of the Houses of Hohenzollern and Habsburg also occurred that year, events all directly related to World War I.

In 2019 baseball fans will mark 100 years since the Black Sox Scandal, when eight Chicago White Sox players conspired with gamblers to throw, that is, purposely lose the 1919 World Series.

“It never occurred to me that one man could start to play with the faith of fifty million people — with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Nick Carraway remarked about the scandal in The Great Gatsby.

That one man, although given a fictionalized name in Gatbsy, was Arnold Rothstein, the mastermind of the scandal, although one of the few things that historians agree upon is that its genesis came from Charles “Chick” Gandil, the first baseman for the 1919 South Siders.

What does the First World War have to do with Major League Baseball’s most notorious scandal. Plenty. In his book The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball, Charles Fountain looks back at “the war to end all wars” and goes back much further.

Comiskey statue, US Cellular Field
Comiskey statue, US
Cellular Field

The most famous member of the Black Sox of course was the illiterate–but, as Fountain explains, in no way dumb, left fielder Shoeless Joe Jackson. During the Great War Jackson was one of the baseball players who avoided military service by joining a defense industry factory baseball team where he made perhaps the same, if not more money than he did playing for owner Charles Comiskey’s White Sox. In recreating the setting of early 20th-century baseball, Fountain, a Northeastern University journalism professor, shows that there was plenty of money “out there” for players, as a third circuit, the Federal League, proved in 1914 and 1915 by luring players from the established National and American leagues with more lucrative contracts.

Another way to collect extra cash was to throw games, and Fountain spends an entire chapter on the now largely forgotten Hal Chase, a talented first baseman who was the first homegrown star of the New York Yankees, whom he dubs “the Prince of Fixers.”

There was more gambling cash involved in baseball than ever during World War I, as President Woodrow Wilson’s “work or fight” labor policy inadvertently led to the closing of most horse racing tracks for the duration of the conflict. Money for wagering wasn’t just going to idly sit in gamblers’ wallets until the war ended. While some minor baseball leagues suspended play during the war, the big leagues, despite shortened seasons in 1918 and 1919, were still in business. And so were the gamblers. The war, and Wilson, upset the economic balance of the underworld.

After the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series, or after the South Siders lost it, and despite an investigation by Comiskey that seemed to suggest some White Sox players weren’t playing, as how it was said back then, on-the-square, it would take an unrelated gambling incident for the scandal to break wide open in the final week of the 1920 season, as the White Sox were in a heated pennant race that they would lose to the Cleveland Indians. The fixers almost got away with it. As the eight Black Sox players were exposed, Fountain details the playing out of a longstanding feud between Comiskey and American League president Ban Johnson, one that nearly put the junior circuit out of business with the creation of a new 12-team National League. Of course the two-league majors survived, ruled by a man seemingly removed from the Old Testament, federal Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

As White Sox left the ranks of baseball’s elite in 1920, modern baseball, the post-dead ball era, began. No one knew it at the time, but the Golden Age of Sports, led by the New York Yankees’ Babe Ruth, had also arrived. Comiskey, who died in 1931, never put another contending team on the field, and the White Sox wouldn’t return to the Fall Classic until 1959–and the South Siders wouldn’t win it all until 2005. But the owner nicknamed “the Old Roman” was still able to cash in on the rollicking Roaring Twenties party; Comiskey Park was expanded in 1927, largely because of Ruth’s transformation of baseball.

Comiskey is treated somewhat sympathetically here, as someone who is more frugal than stingy.

Fountain’s effort succeeds not only as a baseball book but as an historical work. Which means you don’t have to be a fan of the national pastime to enjoy it.

John Ruberry, a lifelong White Sox fan, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Intern: Wonderful thing, pain. Without pain, no race could survive.
4th Doctor: I’m well aware of that.
Intern: Autonomic defence mechanism.

Doctor Who, The Hand of Fear 1976

Although the Red Sox have been on a rough patch lately there has been one constant factor this season.  David Ortiz is the reason they are in the race for the pennant.

Ortiz is 40 years old yet his numbers this season have been phenomenal:

He currently leads the league in doubles, slugging percentage, Extra base hits, total bases and intentional walks.

He also leads the league in some less known stats such as: adjusted batting runs, adjusted batting wins, OPS, OPS+slug, base out runs added, situational wins added,

And he is in the top 10 in all of these following categories

Batting avg 3rd
Home Runs 6th
RBI’s 2nd
On base percentage 2nd
Runs Created 2nd
Times on base 7th
At Bats per HR 3rd
Wins above replacement 10th
Offensive wins above replacement 3rd

This would be quite an accomplishment for a player in his prime, for a 40 year old player in what should be his final season, that’s ungodly.

Additionally he is being well compensated for these achievements. This year he is making $16,000,000 and while he has announced his retirement the team has a $10,000,000 option for next year if he was to change his mind.

That being the case an observer might think that postponing retirement for another year or two might be a wise decision after all he continues to be a productive player and baring injury it is highly likely that he will suddenly become a mediocre player in the next year or two.

Furthermore there is that $10,000,000 option. Even if he is hired by the Red Sox as a permanent batting instructor, by MLB in whatever capacity they choose, hired by ESPN or MLB network as an analyst and get endorsements high and low he will likely never see any like that kind of money ever again in his life.

But for all those numbers, including the dollar signs some things are just more important

“Big Papi” arrives at the stadium before any other player to start the long process of preparing for a game, particularly when it comes to his feet. He said he feels pain in his feet every day, and they are the main reason he guarantees he will never change his mind and come back for another season.

“Everything hurts,” he said. “It even hurts to think. Last time I reached second after a double, I almost called for a timeout so they would get me out of the game. I can barely run because my feet hurt so much. I am in severe pain.

“One often tries to live in the moment, and even when your body is saying no, you say yes, even when your body says not to. Only mental strength convinces you that you can continue. Mental strength tells you that you can keep at it. But the body is a machine; it will give out and will send you a bill.”

 

And David Ortiz is wise enough to know that no amount of cheers, honors or money will pay that bill for him and is acting accordingly.

That’s  an important lesson and I suspect more than one older pro athlete is nodding their head wishing that at the end of their career they were wise enough to do the same.

Dr Ray Stantz: Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve *worked* in the private sector. They expect results.

Ghostbusters 1984

Governor William J. Le Petomane:   We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph!  [pointing] I didn’t get a “harrumph” out of that guy!

Hedley Lamarr: Give the Governor harrumph!

Politician: Harrumph!

Governor William J. Le Petomane: You watch your ass.

Blazing Saddles 1974

In Yesterday’s piece Cause and Effect 1/2:   The Broken Clock at the NY Times …  I pointed to the comments section of the piece noting that the arguments against including conservatives in faculty would be familiar to any segregationist of the first half of the 20th century.  (Thus the Richard Russell quote above).  I also suggested that the NYT piece that I was quoting was not so much a warning about effect of the creation of a liberal echo chamber at universities by banning conservative thought but was an effect in itself brought about by a different cause.

What is that cause that has had the effect of the NYT suggesting that the university no longer become a bastion of segregation based on political opinion?  The ongoing education apocalypse  that has the potential to sweep away thousands of well paying jobs that are filled almost exclusively by liberals who would otherwise be almost unemployable.

I think the best way to illustrate this my point is to cite an expert on cause and effect and segregated employment the late Negro Leagues player Buck O’Neil.

O’Neill became nationally known because of Ken Burns Epic saga “Baseball” and one of the things he understood was that the effort to keep blacks out of the major leagues was not so much a question of superiority but a question of economics:

I could understand Cobb. Ty Cobb had what the black ballplayer had. The black ballplayer had to get out of the cotton field. He had to get out of the celery fields, and this was a vehicle to get him out. This was the same thing with Cobb. Cobb had to get out of Georgia. He had to fight his way out and this was why he had this great competitive spirit. And so what he’s saying against blacks was the same thing that I think every poor white man had against blacks. Because we were competition to him. We weren’t competition to the affluent, to the educated. No. But the other man… we were competition to him.

It must be remembered that it’s wasn’t like today where being the 25th man on a major league roster meant you were making six figures or being the 10th pitcher on a staff can make you a millionaire.  Until the 80’s most players worked in the off season and even you were a big star like Cobb and didn’t invest your money wisely as Cobb did (he bought plenty of stock in Coca Cola) you might be back in the coal mines or fields before you can say “waver wire.”  Those baseball roster spots were valuable and meant everything for a person who might otherwise face a life of manual labor.  O’Neil again:

For Jackie to play in the major leagues, that meant that one white boy wasn’t going to play. We had played against these fellas and they knew that we could play. And they knew if we were allowed to play, a lot of them wouldn’t play. See?

16 teams, 25 roster spots that’s 400 jobs, if 20% of those jobs went to black players that meant 80 white players would be back working real jobs, and that not even counting all those roster spots in the minor league that while not well paying were better than being a common laborer.

By an odd coincidence within three years of the Boston Red Sox becoming the last team to integrate (1959) the major leagues expanded twice after being static since 1900.  Suddenly there were 100 new major league roster spots to be filled and several hundred new minor league jobs available.

And that brings us back to the education apocalypse.

This has not been a good time for higher education you have students in safe and wealthy environments whining, outrageous claims about sexual assault that by comparison make Chicago & Detroit seem safe.  Activists making asses of themselves before the cameras, colleges claiming that it’s legit to hate white people protests all forming a backlash that is already causing layoffs 

And that’s even before we get to unsustainable student debt being built to obtain useless majors whose only possible application is in higher education itself.

Put simply, there are already a myriad of good reasons why even the liberal 50% of parents might look at the university system and decide it is bad investment for their kids.  If the conservative 50% of the potential customer pool of those institutions  decide to give higher ed a miss or restrict their choices to the few colleges where conservatives are not considered pariahs by their very existence the gravy train will end.

And if that means tolerating a few more conservatives professors and speakers on campus to keep the money coming until the current crop retires, well it’s better than risking the lot.

 

I submit and suggest that If we didn’t see the backlash against places like Mizzou which puts in danger the jobs of a profession which employs liberals at a 90%+ rate, we don’t see this type of piece in the New York Times.

This liberal soul searching is all about protecting  professors from gender studies to sociology who from a private sector that expects results and preserving their phony baloney jobs.

Harrumph! Harrumph!

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There is an old saying that the Definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.

On Friday Night that Yankees with two bases open in the bottom of the 8th of a tied game choose to pitch to David Ortiz

Yes you read that right

David Ortiz takes as much joy in punishing the New York Yankees today as he did 10 years ago.

Ortiz has played such an integral role in the rivalry with the Yankees in his 14 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, and he added another memorable moment Friday night with an eighth-inning two-run home run as the Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-2 in their first of 19 meetings this year.

Now I’m a Red Sox fan and I rejoice in a Big Papi game winning HR as much as the next New Englander, but as a baseball fan my only reaction to pitching to Ortiz in this situation is: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s walk off 12th inning HR in game four in 2004?

Did they forget David Ortiz’s game winning hit in the 14th in game 5 of the same series?

Did they forget Mr. Ortiz hitting a bases loaded two out grand slam in the ACLS vs the Tigers that tied the game two (despite a heroic effort by Tory Hunter) in 2013?

Did they forget the opinion of St. Louis Cardinal fans just before game six of the World Series in 2013?

Given that the decision to pitch to David Ortiz with First base open [game five double to give sox the early lead] was one of the most controversial decisions of the series to this point, I repeatedly asked those in line: If they were managing St. Louis would pitch to Ortiz with a base open. While a few of the people said “yes” the general consensus was; walk David Ortiz even if first base wasn’t open.

Ironically after I left this line I ran into a large group of Cardinal fans who declined to go on camera. I asked them my David Ortiz question. The Cardinal fans answered bluntly. They didn’t care if the bases are loaded and the game tied, They’d all give Ortiz a free pass each time up rather than risk pitching to him.

Cripes last year against the Cubs with the bases empty on a 3-0 count you actually had the sight of Ortiz walking to first base before the next pitch arrived because he KNEW they weren’t going to pitch to him.

The guy hit 37 HR and drove in over 100 runs last year. This isn’t 1968 with Mickey Mantle on his last legs getting gift HR’s from Denny McLain on his farewell tour, Ortiz is going out on top.

And even if you ignore all that history, Did the manager of the Yankees forget that yesterday when he came to the plate in the 8th inning with the go ahead run on base he was the current league leader in doubles)?

And you’re going to pitch to him in the bottom of the 8th of a tie game with a man on first in Fenway Park!?

I’ll give the last word to the Knight from Indiana Jones and the last Crusade:

This is the week of opening day and right now no matter how bad a start a team might have fans across the nation have hope that when the calendar turns to September their team will be in the hunt for a playoff spot.

The reality of course is that only five teams in each league will be in the post season, 3 division winners and two wild card teams, one of which will eliminated after a single playoff game. Thus for most teams and cities disappointment will be the rule.

To put this in perspective these are the games scheduled for September 28th 2016

Mariners vs Astros 2:10 PM
D-backs vs Nationals 7:05 PM
Red Sox vs Yankees 7:05 PM
Cubs vs Pirates 7:05 PM
Orioles vs Blue Jays 7:07 PM
Indians vs Tigers 7:10 PM
Mets vs Marlins 7:10 PM
Phillies vs Braves 7:10 PM
Twins vs Royals 7:15 PM
Brewers vs Rangers 8:05 PM
Rays vs White Sox 8:10 PM
Reds vs Cardinals 8:15 PM
Athletics vs Angels 10:05 PM
Dodgers vs Padres 10:10 PM
Rockies vs Giants 10:15 PM

By the time these games are played many if not most of the teams playing will be eliminated from playoff contention. Furthermore it is very likely that several teams who are fighting for a playoff birth will find themselves playing against teams that are mathematically eliminated.

Now ask yourself his question: How would you react if the teams who were eliminated simply decided to forfeit their games rather than play them?

After all, they have no chance of winning and their opponents do? Isn’t it unfair that they are taking away potential wins from a team that actually can do something for them? Is it unfair to the fans of the teams still in contention that these cellar dwelling teams might thwart their chances to advance?

Of course such a person making that argument would be laughed out of the park. You are only entitled to a win over an opponent no matter how weak. If you want that “W” you have to finish the game with more runs. Remember even the worst team in modern history the 1962 Mets, managed to win 40 games.

And that brings us to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

Both Donald Trump and my guy Ted Cruz have argued that John Kasich should drop out of the race for the GOP nomination on the grounds that he has no mathematical chance to get to 1237 delegates, but more importantly both Trump and Cruz have argued the Kasich is taking votes away from them.

That argument is nonsense.

It’s true that if Kasich wasn’t in the race and people had to choose between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz potential Kasich voters would likely choose one or the other. And if Kasich chooses to leave the race, I’d be quite delighted.

But those votes don’t “belong” to Donald Trump or Ted Cruz or even to John Kasich. Those votes belong to the voter who is casting them.

And if Mr. Trump or Senator Cruz wants the votes of people inclined to support Governor Kasich, they, like a team looking to earn a playoff spot has to earn them.

And that’s how it should be.
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It Ain’t over until it’s over

Yogi Berra

Of all the stories about Jackie Robinson that you might hear, the one that has stuck with me the most involves a moment of defeat.  A moment where he seemingly had no recourse but to accept defeat.

It was 3:58 PM on Oct 3rd 1951 and Bobby Thompson had just hit his “shot heard round the world” the Giants fans were going wild and as he circled the bases the Dodger players had all left the field, all that is but one.

In the Book:  Rickey and Robinson author Harvey Frommer describes the scene:

Now thousands were climbing out onto the field.  “Holy hell broke loose all over,” recalls former Giant Wes Westrum.  Only Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn defenders in the field remained at his position.  Hands on his hips, a scowl on his face,

In his own book The Man in the Crowd A fan’s notes on Four Generation of New York baseball Stanley Cohen recalls watching the game on TV with a friend who was confused by Robinson’s action.

“What’s he doing there?”  my friend wondered

“I think”, I said, “he’s making sure Thompson touches all the bases.”

He was right Frommer again:

He waited and watched to make sure that Thomson, trotting out the home run, touched every base.  “That was so characteristic of Jack,” observes Rachel Robinson.

Robinson knew that under the rules of baseball if Thompson missed a base he could be called out, he knew that it didn’t matter if the ball had cleared the fence, until that plate was touched the run hadn’t scored and the Dodgers didn’t lose and if he left the field before touching that plate the game remained tied and his Dodgers still has a chance.

And that brings us to today in Wisconsin and Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump is getting angry about the delegate counts now saying that having to get to the delegate count that everybody knew was necessary from day 1 is unfair.

It’s an amazing argument.  It’s an argument he didn’t make when he announced in June.  It’s an argument that he didn’t make in January or February.  Only now with the realities of math against him are we hearing how unfair it is.

One might say it’s analogous to a 17 man field running a marathon and the leader at the 22 mile mark saying he should get credit for finishing the race.

Now I’ll concede that the GOP establishment doesn’t like Trump. I share Donald Trump supporter’s disdain and distrust for the GOP establishment. Trump supports are probably right that they will use dirty tricks and shady deals to try to keep from the nomination.

But expecting that he earn the 1237 delegates before the convention to clinch the nomination or persuade that number to support him after he gets there isn’t one of them.

1237 is not dirty tricks.  That’s just Jackie making sure all the bases are touched before walking off the field.

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One final word on Trump’s appearance on Jake Tapper, it reminded me of a famous story about Mickey Mantle in 1968 his final season in the Majors.

The Date was September 19th 1968 The Yankees were losing to Detroit 6-1 in the their final game of the year at Tiger Stadium when Mickey Mantle came to the plate with one out in the 8th for the final time before the fans in Detroit.

In three plate appearance Mantle had a hit and two walks and had scored the only Yankees run on a bases loaded walk with two out in the 6th when he stepped into the batter box to face Denny McLain but while the Mick was having a better day then his team, in truth Mantle was, by this time was a shadow of his former self.

Only his 106 walks (2nd behind Carl Yastrzemski’s 119) gave any sign of the player he once was. In 1968 he would hit a career worst .237 driving in only 54 runs. And while his 18 home runs would lead that Yankees that season it would be his lowest power production in a season when he had played more than 100 games and had 400 plate appearances.

Meanwhile the man on the mound Denny McLain was on his way to one of the greatest seasons ever for a pitcher in the modern era. He would win the Cy Young AND MVP with a 31-6 record and a 1.96 ERA despite leading the league in Innings pitched (336) complete games (28) batters faced (1304) and ironically home runs surrendered (31).

Mantle had been a hero to McLain and with the game in hand decided he was going to let him make some history. I’ll let the Mick himself tell the story himself:

Mantle didn’t swing at that first pitch dead center over the plate that he knew was coming and describes the look Freehan gave him as if to say: “How did you not clobber that pitch?”

Forgetting all the circus that has come since, the bottom line is you don’t get a much fatter pitch in the game of politics than: “Do you denounce the KKK and David Duke?” and when Trump didn’t knock that fat pitch out of the park the look of disbelief on Jake Tapper’s face must have been very much like the look Bill Freehan gave Mantle that September day in Detroit.

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Either way thanks for reading and don’t be shy about letting us know what you think. One can’t improve without critique.

And it is a common saying that it is best first to catch the stag, and afterwards, when he has been caught, to skin him.

Henry De Bracton

I find myself constantly amazed at the insistence of partisans of Marco Rubio that not winning any primaries or caucuses is the path to the GOP nomination.

While it inspired a parody song out of me based on “Show Me” from the musical “My Fair Lady”  I think that Bill James in his 1985 Historical Baseball Abstract tells a story whose 100th anniversary this year illustrates the point better than my musical interlude.

In 1916 Hughie Jennings manager of the Detroit Tigers got a letter from a young man who claimed that he could strike out the Ty Cobb on three pitches anytime and anywhere.

Cobb by this time was the best hitter in Baseball.  By 1916 his twelfth season had already led the league in batting (including two seasons hitting over .400) nine times.  He lead the league in hits six times, on base percentage 5 times, stolen bases, RBI’s &runs 4  times, triples & doubles twice and Home Runs once including winning the Triple crown in 1909.

Despite this Jennings decided to risk the 1.80 train fare for the kid to come to Detroit to see what he had and when the 6′ 4″ kid turned up and was ready Cobb came to the plate.  I’ll Let Mr. James pick up the narrative from here:

Cobb hit his first pitch against the right field wall.  his second pitch went over the right field wall.  The third pitch went over the center field wall.  Cobb ws thinking they ought to keep this guy around to help him get into a groove.

“Well” said Jennings.  “What do you have to say?”

the Pitcher stared in hard at the batter’s box.  “You know, ” he said , “I don’t believe that’s Ty Cobb in there.”

Alas for the young man wishful thinking and confident talk was not enough to convince Jennings to grant the kid a roster spot.

That’s Marco Rubio all over.

Marco Rubio is a good young pol who has, except on the issue of illegal immigration, done well so far.  I do not doubt for a moment that he has an even brighter future ahead of him.

But when he boasts of his performance in the 2016 primary season, where despite many high profile endorsement he has failed to win a single race, he sounds like the young kid in this story boasting of his skill while throwing fat Pitches to Ty Cobb without getting a single one by him.

It makes him and his supporters look like fools, that’s bad, but it also means he takes us for fools as well.

That’s worse.

I’m a big fan of baseball simulation games, I got my first one when I was five years old, where you rolled a pair of dice to get a result on the back of real players cards (I still have a bunch of them) my 2nd was Gil Hodges Pennant fever which was one of the most underrated games in history. During the decades when I played in a league I played dynasty baseball which Is a spectacular game that I’d recommend to anyone.

In the PC era my favorite was the old Dos Tony LaRussa baseball II which I still play using DOSBOX as my old 3.5″ disks aren’t all that useful these day.

In the LaRussa game you can play a simulated season with the all time players of each team, when I draft in such a league my picks are consistent 1. Honus Wagner SS , 2. Yogi Berra C , 3. Brooks Robinson 3B 4. Pete Rose.

SS is the most important position, and Wagner has defense, speed and slugging percentage, Berra brings clutch hitting, a great arm and game calling skills. Robinson teamed with Wagner means that even with a mediocre pitching staff not much is getting by into left field.

And then there is Pete Rose.

Rose would seem an odd early pick, at every position he played there are people better than him who played it to choose from, he doesn’t have power and little speed.

But Pete Rose plays EVERY position except SS & C, he’s a hit machine and an on base machine.  If you need a hit he is the man you want up.  Take a look at the this stat from the Baseball reference page:

Times On Base s c a p y

1965 NL 286 (1st)
1966 NL 243 (6th)
1967 NL 235 (9th)
1968 NL 270 (1st)
1969 NL 311 (1st)
1970 NL 280 (2nd)
1971 NL 263 (4th)
1972 NL 278 (2nd)
1973 NL 301 (1st)
1974 NL 296 (1st)
1975 NL 310 (1st)
1976 NL 307 (1st)
1977 NL 275 (2nd)
1978 NL 263 (2nd)
1979 NL 305 (1st)
1980 NL 257 (2nd)
1981 NL 189 (1st)
1982 NL 245 (9th)
Career 5,929 (1st)

Pete Rose was in the top 10 in the league reaching base EVERY SINGLE YEAR HE PLAYED TILL AGE 41.

That’s incredible.

Rose was a winner.  In the 62 years before he came to Cincinnati the reds won 4 Pennants & 2 world series (including the thrown 1919 series).  In his first 16 years with the Reds 1963-1978  Cincinnati won 5 division titles 4 pennants and 2 world series.  In 1979 he joined the Philadelphia Phillies and played for them from 1979 to 1983.  In the 78 years before Rose came to the Phillies won 3 division titles  2 Pennants and no world series.

In his five years on the team they won 2 pennants and their first World Series EVAH!

Pete Rose played baseball the way it should be played, he made every team he every played on better, he was a tireless worker and no manager in his right mind would pass on the chance of having him on their team before age 40.  He is one of the greatest players of all time and you could make the case that he’s the best non power hitter of all time.

These are simple facts and can not be disputed rationally.

However none of those facts change the reality that Pete Rose bet on baseball, lied about betting on baseball and did this despite going to work every day passing a sign saying:  If you bet on baseball you will be banned.

These are also simple facts that can not be disputed rationally.

I completely understand how people are conflicted.  Rose was an incredible player.  No fan who ever bought a ticket to see him play left the park without getting his money’s worth, as I’ve already said any all time team without Pete Rose is a joke.

But if we were talking Mike Greenwell, Oil Can Boyd or even Jim Lomborg we wouldn’t even be discussing this.  We would be simply stating the rule as written and that would be it.  In fact I’d submit and suggest that as the all time hits leader and the player that he was it is even more vital to enforce the rules, even if it keeps him out of the Hall of Fame.

Pete Rose got the punishment he deserved, if he’s kept out of the Hall of Fame so be it and anyways being in or out of the Hall of Fame doesn’t make Rose any less the great player he was, doesn’t take away any of his batting titles, World series rings or a single hit from his totals.

Now if Baseball decides to eventually give him a pardon, say as an 80th or 75th birthday present I won’t get my knickers in an uproar but Pete Rose got the punishment he deserved and that’s that.

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Most ball games are lost, not won

Casey Stengel

The running Royals of Kansas City won the world series on November 1st in extra innings taking out the NY Mets in five games including three games when they came back late to tie the game and win it.

It’s was a short but exciting series but in the final game played the Mets gave me a flashback to 2003 or as we in Boston call it, the last year of the curse.

Pedro Martinez was on the mound in a game seven of the ACLS against the hated Yankees. The Red Sox were in the lead in the bottom of the 8th in NY but he looked winded. Little had a bullpen ready and when to the mound. Pedro Martinez being the bull that he was did what a pro player does, argued to keep the ball.

Little allowed himself to be persuaded, let Pedro stay, the Yankees tied the game and the Yankees would win the game with an Aaron Boone extra innings homer. It would be the last time the Curse would hang over the Red Sox before it was wiped out in blood.

 

Last night I saw it again.

Matt Harvey pitched a great 8 innings in a win or be eliminated game.  He was three outs away from sending the Mets back to Kansas City for game six.  Terry Collins had already decided to pull him, but Harvey went to Collins and pleaded his case to stay.  The fans in the stands chanted or him to stay, and on the TV broadcast the only words we were hearing was Jack Morris and game seven.

News flash:  Matt Harvey isn’t Jack Morris 

Unless his name is Lou Boudreau a manager can’t hit, field or run for his team.  What a baseball manager is paid to do is put the right players on the field at the right time to give the his team their best chance to win and that involves being willing to take the ball, the bat or the glove out of his hands when he doesn’t want to give them up.

Yesterday Collins didn’t do that, and to his credit he owned up to it:

“When you looked in this kid’s eyes, when he came off that inning, and I mean, he has been through a tough summer. He has been beaten down, and I just trusted him. I said, ‘You got it. You’ve earned this.’

“So it’s my fault. It’s not his. That’s who he is. I know better than that. I know that he wants the ball. He never wants to come out and he was pitching great. This was my fault.”

It was once said about Casey Stengel, the very first manager of the Mets ,that nobody was better at taking the ball out of a pitcher’s hands.   Alas when he was the man in charge he didn’t have a lot of hands worth putting a ball in.

Terry Collins has a good team, maybe even a great team being wise enough to take this lesson to heart will be the difference between being Stengel vs being Little.

 

By John Ruberry

This summer a wonderful story emerged from the South Side of Chicago, a part of the city which has gained international infamy for violence. The story was almost perfect. The Little League team from Jackie Robinson West Park, consisting entirely of African-Americans, became the Little League champions of the United States. They were runner-ups in the Little League World Series, falling to a South Korean team.

Baseball’s popularity among young blacks has been slipping since the 1970s. After a peak of 19 percent in 1986, the percentage of African-Americans playing Major League Baseball has dropped to 8 percent. The decline of organized inner-city youth baseball is certainly a factor in this athletic demographic shift.

Oh, one of the players for JRW, 12 year-old Jaheim Benton, was homeless. But after the Little League World Series, a donor gave his family a rent-free home for a year. The city held a victory parade for the team followed by a rally where Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Pat Quinn lauded their triumph. Jackie Robinson West met with President Obama at the White House. Chicago Magazine named JRW its Chicagoans of the Year.

On the their way to the Series, Jackie Robinson West crushed the local opposition, including a 43-2 stomping of the team from Evergreen Park, a predominantly white suburb near the territory of JRW.

But last week DNAinfo Chicago, in a detailed article, reported on the allegations from, Chris Janes, an official of the Evergreen Park team, that some of the JRW players didn’t live within the designated boundaries of its Little League territory. Bill Haley, the president of Jackie Robinson West, denies the allegations.

The evidence that Janes right is quite strong. US Rep. Robin Kelly Tweeted that three members of JRW lived in the suburban part of her Chicago area district. In its “Faces in the Crowd” feature, Sports Illustrated reported on another player who resided in the suburb of Homewood. Two other suburbs boasted of their own athlete on Jackie Robinson West, while other players lived outside of the JRW territory–but in the city, according to DNAinfo Chicago.

Little League International dismissed Janes’ charges that JRW was effectively a regional all-star team. Their response is that Jackie Robinson West provided the necessary documentation to prove residency for its players. However, for reasons that no one can explain, LLI doesn’t disclose the boundaries for each individual league. And some JRW parents counter their boys are from split families, with one parent residing within the league’s zone. But claiming residency in an area for the sole reason of being able to join a team is against LLI’s rules.

Local media has dutifully reported on Janes’ allegations, and JRW’s denial, but they haven’t delved into the the details of DNA Info Chicago’s story.

Perhaps they don’t want to dismantle that almost perfect story of black kids from a bad neighborhood becoming champions. Or maybe Chicago reporters are afraid of being labelled racist.

Ruberry brothers, author center, in their Little League days

But if Jackie Robinson West did cheat, team officials should be held accountable and the JRW national championship should be revoked.

Little League is a big business, LLI has a $60 million TV contract with ESPN that runs through 2022.

Call me old-fashioned, but youth sports are supposed to build character and more. My oldest brother was a Little League coach in New England. While his team was being clobbered during a game, opposing players taunted his youngsters with derogatory chants. My brother objected to the other team’s coach, telling him, “Hey, isn’t this game supposed to be educational?” Well if it was that day, some boys were clearly learning the wrong lesson.

Putting ringers on a team is the wrong lesson too.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

“If I had to choose between the two of them, I’d take Musial in left field, Musial on the base paths, Musial in the clubhouse, and Williams only with the wood in his hand. And Stan Musial could hit a little, too.”

Bill James 1985

When you follow media as much as I do you realize learn how much conventional is shaped by the media being East & West Coast centered.  For example a long time it was Axiomatic that Ted Williams was the greatest left fielder there was and to suggest otherwise, particularly if you were a Boston fan was blasphemy.  Bill James statement in 1985 in his Historical Baseball abstract that while Williams was the greatest hitter of all time that Stan Musial was the greatest left fielder of all time directly contradicted that conventional wisdom.  I wrote about this while he was alive  and touched on it when he died but I didn’t adequately illustrate the point.

It seems to me that while Williams star hasn’t faded in death (although David Oritz has proved conclusively that he rather than Williams is the Red Sox batter you want up with a playoff or a World Series game on the line)  Musial’s has, so to illustrate my point and describe just how good and how respected Stan Musial let me tell you about a man named George Crowe

George Crowe came up with the Boston Braves in 1952 backing up Earl Torgeson and then Joe Adcock until 1955 when Adcock’s broken arm game him the starting job for half a year.

In 1956 he was dealt to the Cincinnati Redlegs where he would back up Ted Kluszewski, but in 1957 injury would again give him a starting job and he would make the most of it having his finest season ever leading the Reds in homers with 32 home runs and RBI with 92 despite being 6th in games & plate appearances and at 36 the oldest starter on the team by more than 7 years but the 2nd oldest player on the roster.

All this meant his prospect for making the All Star team for the first time were excellent, particularly when the Cincinnati Enquirer pre-printed All Star ballots in their Sunday paper resulting in more than half the fan ballots coming from the city effectively stuffing the ballot.

The result 7 of the  Cincinnati Redlegs were voted in as Starters for the All Star game,

George Crowe was not among them.  Stan Musial was voted the Starting First Baseman for the National League.

That’s how good Stan Musial was and that how respected he was by the fans around the league & in Cincinnati, even with a stuffed ballot facing a guy having the best year of his entire Major league career you still couldn’t vote him off the All Star Team.

As for George Crowe, he would play one more year in Cincy before being traded to St. Louis and backing up Musial at first until then end of his career in 1961.  He would never approach the production he had in 1957 but ironically thanks to the Ballot shenanigans he would finally make the All Star Team thanks to commissioner Ford Frick swift action concerning the ballot stuffing.  Hank Aaron & Willie Mays were added to the team 1957 team and until the fans got the ballot back in 1970 managers, coaches and players and managers picked the All Star teams and in 1958 those players picked Crowe as the only position player from the Cincinnati backing up starting first baseman Stan Musial.

He did not play.

 

George Brett was OUT.

You have to understand this before we go any farther. George Brett was using an illegal bat when he hat that game winning HR off Goose Gossage. All the yelling & screaming and the commissioner ruling not withstanding

Brett used a bat that was illegal and therefore under the rules of baseball was rightly called out.

The question of if the rule concerning the amount of pine tar on the bat was a good rule is an entirely different question.

And that brings us to Dinesh D”Sousa.

If he in fact gave $20,000 via shadow donors he not only broke the law. He’s an idiot!

First of all there is no way he doesn’t know what the law is here.

Second of all he is doing it in a race with a dubious chance of success. Forgetting the morality of violating the law if you are going to cheat do it when you have an actual shot to win. Like the Democrats in NH

Third of all It’s of dubious value. You are talking $20,000 in a US Senate race,  that would be like building a grand conspiracy to allow 2 people to vote twice in an election as opposed to a more organized effort.

But most of all, we have just passed through a moment when the administration and the justice department has made it clear that they will not punish anyone over Benghazi or the IRS scandal.

Did D’Sousa really think that an administration willing to use the IRS against their political enemies who are acting legally would not use the Justice Department go after a political foe who made the single most popular film against Barack Obama in 2012 in the case of an actual violation of law?

It would not surprise me if there was no “there” there and this is all about sending a message to any who would oppose this administration and I argued just yesterday in my subscription commentary (Ironically recorded before I heard about the D’Sousa story) that the system of campaign finance rules we have is pretty much phony.

…but bottom line the quality of the law or how it is enforced on you compared to say Sen Menendez. We’re conservatives, we understand life isn’t fair. the law exists as it is and if you are going to play the game you have to play it by the rules, particularly when you know when the umpire crew is in the tank for the other team.

And this time the league President is definitely not going to overrule his umps.

Update: This tweet is entirely correct

but it doesn’t change the fact that if D’Sousa did this, he’s an idiot.

Update 2: Via Glenn Althouse is Exactly Right!

What’s the defense? That he’s a good person who meant well and enjoyed camaraderie with the beneficiary of his illegal acts? I don’t think campaign finance laws work that way, but maybe I’m wrong. Personally, I avoid campaign finance because I think the law is set up to snag people on all sorts of weird details. I’m troubled by that, because it means that you can’t run for office unless you have plenty of legal advice, so how do you begin to run for office? It’s really oppressive. But if there’s going to be oppression like that, it can’t be an out that you didn’t mean to violate any law, can it?

A person who decides to deal with poisonous snakes should damn well know they will bite you if you give them a chance. Cue Al Wilson.

Update 3: Ace notices coincidence, all the more reason to not give these guys an actual legit excuse to go after you.:

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I had some problems with my data card and only today have been able to recover the photos from my trip to Fenway on Wednesday so we will put off my review of Nightmare in Silver till next week to give you to close our Baseball season some photos of Boston, Fenway and the most loyal of fans.

Red Line to Green Line to Fenway.
fenway real 001

There were alternatives to my $12 subway trip, VERY expensive:

fenway real 007

But on the cheep or full price it’s still an iconic park

fenway real 011

An iconic sign

fenway real 019

Iconic Statues

fenway real 015

And now Iconic beards

fenway real 018

But the real icons of Boston, are not the media under the lights…

fenway real 028

…Or covering happenings at the park

fenway real 024

The Kenmore Subway:

fenway real 029

Or the even the police that are there to protect

fenway real 027

the Icons are the fans

fenway real 022

Who stood and camped in line to see their Sox and was rewarded with victory

fenway real 021

But I couldn’t stay for the game, after all it was a no scalp zone.

fenway real 023

and without that fedora the scalp is all I have although the beard certainly fits in.

Back in April when the RedSox Sellout streak ended I wrote this:

It appears the Boston Red Sox streak of sellouts is going to end this year. The Sox have a 6 state customer base, one of the most historic franchise in the nation and a ballpark that is not only one of the smallest in the majors but is itself an attraction in itself.

“It’s going to rest in peace sometime in April, I suspect,” Lucchino said of the streak, which began in 2003 and is the longest in U.S. pro sports history. “That’s not such a terrible thing. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment.”

But even that isn’t enough if you don’t put a worthwhile product on the field.

Sports Illustrated agreed, here is their projection from their baseball preview issue:

Boston Red Sox

2012 Record: 69-93, fifth in AL East

2013 Projection: 77-85, fifth in AL East

and they questioned the acquisition of Shane Victorino

Biggest Loss: Cody Ross

Ross was one of the few bright spots in Boston last year, a good-natured clubhouse presence who played solid defense in the outfield and produced at the plate: he slugged 22 homers, drove in 81 runs and had an OPS of .807. Yet the Sox essentially replaced him with Victorino, who will cost some $13 million more over the next three years (Ross signed a three year, $26 million deal with the Diamondbacks), who has a similar personality and plays even better defense, but, at the same age as Ross (32), had an OPS last season that was more than 100 points lower. In an offseason full of sensible changes, this seems to have been a questionable one.

In April I would have agreed to cover any Red Sox fan willing to bet on them to win the series and given them 100-1. If I had I’d be in worse shape than Obamacare.

That’s why you play the games

While the experts were all wrong there was at least one young lady who knew better and I met her in April.

An amazing thing happened at the Supermarket yesterday.

I was in the 12 items or less line when a family of three were behind me started talking to the cashier. I tend to hear all kinds of things that I store away but when the young lady named Catlin told her friend about her father talking about putting a TV in the shower for her it stopped me cold.

I had to turn and inquire:

“What about water on the set”

“It would be high”

“The water is going to splash off of you and up”

“We’re going to put plexiglass over the screen.”

As my head continued to spin I finally turned to this young 15 year old girl standing with her parents and asked the following question:

“Young lady, can you tell me one thing that is going to be on your television set that is so important, so critical and so unavailable in repeats that it can’t wait for a time when you are not wet and naked in the shower?”

She silenced me in three words:

“Red Sox Games”

How does any New Englander answer that?

I guess she knew better than me & SI I wonder how many Red Sox wins she watched in that shower this year?

I’ve never been so pleased to be dead wrong.

Oct 12th 2013:

In baseball no matter how much you score, no matter how impressive you look no matter how much in awe of you the sports casters are you can’t run out the clock, play the refs or stall, to win you have to get those 27 outs. No if ans or buts, if you don’t get the other guy out, you lose.

DaTechGuy:  Baseball the Conservative Sport

Oct 13th 2013

We’re going to play it to the final out….And once again our guys don’t quit until that last final out is made.

John Farrell Red Sox Manager: Oct 14 2013

Yesterday the Detroit Tigers Shut out the Boston Red Sox 1-0 in a one hit game where Boston drew more walks than a kennel with every spot filled.   Over and over they had base runners all over the place but simply could not get them in.

I had been convinced a pitcher like Anibal Sanchez who thew hard but was having 25+ pitch innings  early against patient hitters would start throwing hittable pitches by the 4th & 5th as the count got high.

He did not.

After the game Detroit’s Starter gave a very brief interview where he said one of the most intelligent things I’ve ever heard a young pitcher say.

He bluntly said that the Red Sox lineup can hurt you so he decided to stick to the corners, that’s why there were so many walks because he didn’t want any of his mistakes to be over the plate.

Normally a  pitcher who throws 95+ wants to show his machismo:  I’m going to challenge that batter because I’m a stud & it’s about me.

That’s the difference between age 22 & age 29.

If I am a AA manager working with young pitchers I’d find that short interview (which I wasn’t able to spot online) and make sure every pitcher on the staff watched it over and over again.

In National Review Online Harold Hutchison presents his case for what apparently is a great injustice in the sports world to be addressed. The horror of Gaylord Perry in the Hall of fame.

Apparently Perry should be out not only because of his blatant flaunting of the rules of baseball but apparently HE is the cause of the entire steroid era.

Steroids were banned from baseball in 1991, and federal law forbids them unless they’re prescribed by a doctor. But much of the steroid use between 1991 and 2006, before testing became common, was by players who when in high school, college, and the minor leagues in the 1970s and early 1980s saw Gaylord Perry get away with flouting the rules.

Consequences for cheating? If you do well enough, you make the Hall of Fame. MLB won’t do anything about it. The Steroid Era may get the headlines, and it may fuel the debate today, but the seeds were planted when baseball let Gaylord Perry get away with throwing the spitball.

The boldness of such a statement is astounding but lets first point out that if you want to worry about enforcing the rules, we need to reinstate the ruling of the umpires in the Pine Tar Game (George Brett was OUT!) and remove every Catcher in the Hall of Fame who on camera violated the rules concerning blocking the plate that is and has always been illegal.

But rather than argue minutia let’s get down to the real difference between the players taking Steroids and Gaylord Perry.

During the steroids era a large group of players, people in the clubhouse and too some degree management conspired to keep the entire steroids business quiet, much like the “gentleman’s agreement to keep black players out of the majors. There was no way for an individual manager during a game to protest, say a Homerun by Bonds or Canseco, based on juicing. There was no possible remedy for the opposing team for such an infraction.

Not so with Gaylord Perry.

Gaylord Perry pitched in the majors for 23 years. The last 10 of those years came after his autobiography.

He pitched every game watched by scorekeepers, scouts, broadcasters and sportswriters and because Perry Pitched in the Television era fans both in the stadium and at home, but most important of all these pitches were seen by two groups of interested parties.

Every single pitch Perry Threw both before and after his autobiography was thrown while four umpires stood on the field watching, and after 1974 they were thrown with the Umpires knowing what to watch for. They had a direct interest in catching Perry for violating the rules in front of their faces.

Even more significant every single pitch he threw was being watched by the manager and coaches of the teams he pitched against and the twenty-five men of the opposing roster. Every single one of them had an incentive to catch him and each had the ability to protest to the umpire if they saw Perry violate the rules.

Yet he was only ejected once for actually doctoring the ball and that after he had won 300 games.

In other words if Perry violated the rules of Baseball concerning the spitball there was a remedy available and that remedy existed between every single pitch of every single game that Perry appeared in.

While Perry may have doctored balls, I suspect his real weapon, particularly after 1974 was the other teams belief that he was doctoring balls. Greasing the opponent’s head was more effective than any amount of stuff he would ever put on the baseball.

Hutchison’s outrage not withstanding there is no credible case for ejecting Gaylord Perry from the Baseball Hall of Fame, but if Hutchinson piece is to be believed and Gaylord Perry was able to physically doctor the baseball while standing on a raised mound while being watched by 25 opposing players, half a dozen coaches, 4 umpires, scouts, scorekeepers, sportswriters, TV & Radio commentators and thousands of fans both at the park and at home while being recorded on camera without being seen then that’s an excellent case for his induction in the Magician’s Hall of Fame.

Me I think he belongs in the Psychology Hall of Fame instead.

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I was sure the Dominican Republic wasn’t going to win the World Baseball Classic, not because of their team, their team had talent to spare, and not because they had an easy schedule, (their opponents went a combined 15-20 in the tournament).

My conclusion was based on one simple fact, it is very hard, even for a great team to win 8 straight against even mediocre competition and even harder to win three straight against a good team (Puerto Rico lost only one game in the entire WBC to a team other than the DR (a 7-1 round 2 loss to the US).

but when it comes down to it there is one rule of Baseball that overrides all others, Pitching Pitching Pitching

Rays closer Fernando Rodney recorded a Classic-record seventh save by pitching the ninth inning on Tuesday. Previously unheralded starter Samuel Deduno of the Twins finished 2-0 with 17 strikeouts and a 0.69 ERA after firing five innings of scoreless, two-hit ball and whiffing five against the Puerto Ricans.

The Dominican Republic’s bullpen was lights-out for the tournament, which can be illustrated by the fact that the Dominicans won their last five games by a total of 10 runs, including a 4-1 victory over the feisty Kingdom of the Netherlands in a semifinal game here on Monday.

That doesn’t even tell the story adequately. In the eight games of the tourney the DR gave up a grand total of 14 RUNS. 14 runs in 71 innings 8 games is an ERA a 1.77 ERA for the SERIES.

And even THAT is deceiving because four of their pitchers who threw a combined 14 innings (19.7%) were responsible for 10 of those 14 runs (71.4%). Meaning the rest of the staff gave up 4 runs in 57 innings for an ERA of 0.63.

This is Gibson Koufax kind of stuff spread out among the entire staff and this is in a tournament with pick count limits.

Bottom line, the odds of going perfect for the series were slim but the DR came up with pitching that defied the odds and delivered a victory that the island can justly celebrate.

Just don’t expect these kinds of numbers in four years.

Nothing stays with a person like being humiliated. The most embarrassing moments of your life tend to cling to you. When recalled they can bring you pain years later.

The same thing happens with a nation. A national humiliation can stick with a country and shape the way it carries itself.

After World War 1 the Allies, hit Germany with humiliating reparations. Germany was not just defeated it was humbled and that humiliation created the opening for the rise of the Nazi Party promising to avenge that humiliation and for a time succeeding forcing the French to surrender in the same location where Germany had and occupying Paris.

The Six Day War was one of the most crushing defeats a military every experienced. Egypt was not only defeated but taken totally unaware. Even worse was the fact Egypt was mobilized and deployed, doubling the humiliation.

In 1973 when Egypt attacked during Yon Kippur that war was more than another attempt to destroy the Jews, it was an attempt to regain National Honor lost by their defeat. While the war ended in defeat again the early Egyptian victories made a huge difference to the Egyptian national psyche (and is the basis for the myth propagated by Egypt to this day that they won a war they lost.

Bottom line, nothing galvanizes a nation like Humiliation and the desire for revenge.

Which brings us to the World Baseball Classic and the Dominican Republic.

Forget the final, if you want to see the most critical game of the WBC this is it.

The Dominican Republic has gone undefeated so far in the WBC but for all their success there is still a bad taste in their mouth that needs to be cleansed.

Four years ago they were beaten and humiliated by a Dutch team that frankly on paper had no business being on the field with the most loaded team in the entire tournament.

Bob Menendez and the ladies not withstanding the favorite recreational activity in the DR is baseball, they live and breathe the sport like no place else. My Godfather goes there often and he has talked about the level of play there and the games, simply exciting.

For such a country to be defeated not once but TWICE by the dutch left a bad taste, and taste that this team wants to remove.

The last DR team was smug, this one is not, they have playing hard and tonight they have a chance to make their country forget the unfortunate history of 4 years ago..

It won’t be easy. There will be no taking these guys lightly. This Dutch team is heads and shoulders better than the last time around. Their speed is devastating and they proved themselves by eliminating a Cuban team that any major league team would have feared. Under normal circumstances no team would be ashamed to lose to these guys.

But this team has a mission to prove itself and avenge a national humiliation. To their credit I think they wanted this game most of all. I think they would rather beat this Dutch team than win it all and although I like this Dutch team and would rather see them win today I think the Dominicans is going to cut through them like a hot knife through butter

The Dominicans have won six straight, I don’t think they win 8, I’ve already talked about the math of baseball, even the best teams in history lost 1 in four games. It’s hard to be even a bad team three times in a row and Puerto Rico is a good team, if the Dominicans get to the finals I think Puerto Rico takes it all.

But that doesn’t matter. If the Dominican Players defeat the Netherlands tonight it will mean so much to the island that they’ll still return as heroes runner-up or no.

Of course if the Dutch win and go to the finals…it’s anybody’s game.

Yeah I”ve still got the Tewksbury GOP stuff uploading but lets just for a moment talk the WBC.

The number of upsets taking place in this series has been incredible.  The two teams that have been the most surprising?  The Dutch and the Italians.

The Dutch surprised everyone by advancing over more favored Korea in the first round, and in their first game in the second they defeated a Cuban team so good that same Cuban team crushed a Taipei Team 14-0 that had taken champion Japan to extra innings.

If the Dutch win one of their next two games their get to the final four.  If anyone told you this was a possibility two weeks ago they would have called you mad.

If there is anyone cheering louder for the Dutch than Dutchmen, it would be the Dominican team. They haven’t forgotten being humiliated by the Dutch and I suspect would LOVE a chance at revenge.

Meanwhile Italy in their first round not only upset Mexico with a 9th inning rally but absolutely massacred Canada via the Mercy Rule.  By virtue of Canada’s defeat of Mexico (in a game highlighted by a brawl)  They have clinched a trip to Miami for round two.

The idea that Italy could advance in a bracket containing The US, Canada and Mexico in baseball is so absurd that I can’t imagine anyone dreaming it could happen.

With a 2nd round that will feature The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico Italy’s odds would seem long, but at this point, any team underestimate them at their peril.

I’m a big baseball fan so when I woke up way too early I turned on the WBC where Brazil was playing China in their final pool A game.

With only the top two teams advancing in the pool and powerhouses Japan (2 WBC wins in 2 WBCs) and baseball powerhouse Cuba both dominating in their Bracket the Brazil China game had the potential to be a real snoozer if it hadn’t been for a change in the World Baseball Classic the last time around.

Under the rules adopted after the last WBC the team finishing 3rd is guaranteed a trip to the next WBC but the last place team has to survive a four team qualifying round.

A few days ago Brazil blew an 8th inning lead against defending champion Japan. Going into the 8th this morning they lead again held a two run lead against a much weaker Chinese team that was 0 for the tournament with runners in scoring position.

But in the 8th things fell apart. There is no question Ray Chang an 8 year AAA player is deservedly the hero with his bases loaded 2 RBI single on an 0-2 count

but lets not forget it shouldn’t have reached that point. Brazil gave up a single and three walks before Chang reached the plate. All in all team Brazil used four pitchers in that 8th inning, in addition to two hits Brazilian pitchers hit a batter and gave up 5 walks. The other three runs who scored for China all scored on bases loaded walks.

Meanwhile in the 9th inning after a lead-off single for Brazil China turned a perfect double play that actually produced a cheer from the hitherto emotionless Chinese General Secretary of Baseball in the Dugout.

You can argue that this isn’t at the level of Major League play (that’s true) but this game highlighted two bottom line facts of baseball that the lowest little league coach to the manager of the New York Yankees can not stress enough.

You need 27 outs to win in baseball

The Best Pitch is baseball isn’t a 99 mph fastball or a killer curve or even a dancing Knuckleball, it’s STRIKE ONE.

It doesn’t matter how weak the team you’re facing is, if you can’t do those two things you will lose.

Never forget that even the 1962 New York Mets won 40 times including 4 victories against the pennant winning San Francisco Giants

The World Baseball Classic has begun and we’ve had our first upset as the Netherlands shut out South Korea 5-0 today, however the more interesting game was Uber Underdog Brazil facing two time champion Japan.

Brazil was not expected to even make the tournament. It took two upset wins against Panama in Panama to get that slot.

Manager Barry Larkin’s team managed to take a lead at 3-2 lead against Champion Japan in Japan and was only 5 out away from an incredible upset when they came back with three in the 8th to win the game 5-3.

It highlights the fact you have to get those 27 outs to win in baseball, but it also emphasises that if you are going to beat a Champion, you can’t make basic mistakes.

And that brings us to the Mass GOP straw poll.

Today the Massachusetts GOP had a straw poll in Danvers won by State Rep. Daniel Winslow.

Any GOP candidate facing any democrat in a statewide election is a serious underdog in Massachusetts, considering said candidate is going to face a sitting congressman either Ed Markey or Stephen Lynch that is doubly so.

That means you can’t make stupid or rookie mistakes if you want to win such a race.

So can someone tell me why the GOP is holding their straw poll at a YACHT CLUB?

“America sent a message to the Republican party in November of 2012. And the message is we have to be inclusive, we have to be relevant to women, we have to be relevant to millennials, we have to be relevant to new Americans,” Winslow said. “So I think that the symbolism of being in a country club and requiring people to pay to vote is absolutely the wrong message to send.”

Now Straw Polls are usually fundraising devices so that’s not all that unusual but the following line from the GOP simply floored me.

“Well if they want to pay to host the event, they’re more than welcome to,” said Massachusetts Republican Party Chair Kirsten Hughes. She said the event was not a fundraiser and said the $10 per ballot was to cover the cost of the event — such as staffing and refreshments.

Basic math says that the 193 voters paid $1930 for the event. It what does it say that the Mass GOP found it necessary to charge admission to cover a $2000 bill? Both candidates for GOP Chairman in January boasted of their fundraising skills and reaching out to voters. Nothing says I’m a killer fundraiser like having to grab $10 a head to hold a straw poll (apparently they decided against a meat raffle because my local Knights of Columbus council had one yesterday). When you are facing connected insiders like Lynch & Markey, you want your candidate to run as a regular guy.

I don’t know who told the mass GOP “Nothing says regular guy to the voters like the words ‘Yacht Club'” but whoever did should stuffing envelopes from now on.

It’s only the top of the first so there is plenty of time, but you are an underdog playing the champs, you don’t have a margin of error for more of this.

*****

Olimometer 2.52

This pay week has 5 hours to go and I am just under $200 shy.

10 people @ $20 gives me that gigantic $300 paycheck. Personally I think if the mass GOP invested $300 a week in the site they would have gotten better advice. Hold the event elsewhere, Find a donor to cover the cost and if you want to charge admission to make sure nobody stuffs the ballot box donate the money to the Jimmy Fund.

If that advice wasn’t worth $200 I’d like to know what is?





The Greatest Left fielder in the History of baseball, Stan Musial died yesterday at the age of 92.

That many of you might not have heard of him is understandable.  He didn’t play in NY or Boston, he didn’t have feuds with the press, he didn’t have headlines with starlets nor was known for carousing.  He married in 1940 and stayed married 72 years until his wife death last may.

What he did was play and play hard in a career that started when he was signed in 1938 and ended with his retirement in 1963. He made a good living off of baseball saved his money, went into business and made more of it.

He was voted into the Hall of Fame in the first year he was eligible appearing on 93.2 percent of the ballots proving that at least 6.8% of the HOF voters in 1969 were out of their minds.

I wrote about him last February saying this:

For reasons I still can’t understand Stan Musial somehow doesn’t seem to get the respect among the greats of Baseball.

You don’t hear people speaking about his greatness outside of St. Louis. They don’t talk about his longevity, his hitting, his work ethic and the killer numbers he put up year after year.

Looking closer at America today I think I understand now

Stan the Man Musial was a shining example of hard word, decency, honesty and how to live a life well.

Which explains more than anything else, why he was not and could not be celebrated in the America of 2013. Musial was a walking talking indictment of Modern America just by being himself.

Today we are hearing a lot about the baseball sports writers sending a “strong message” concerning steroids with the HOF votes today.

Roger Clemens & Barry Bonds who might have been expected to breeze into the Hall of fame both failed to manage even 40% falling behind Tim Raines at 52% in his 6th year on the ballot clearly proving that as far as the BBWA voters are concerned steroids are a whole lot worse than cocaine. This should be no surprise as Mark McGuire in his 7th year on the ballot finished with only 16.9%

I think I’ll wait till next year to make a HOF judgement as it’s not unusual for people to withhold a 1st ballot vote based on any kind of scandal but to those who are talking about how it sends a “strong signal” I laugh at you.

Bonds and Clemens and all the other players who took performance did so to enhance or extend their careers. According to Baseball Reference.com during his last 10 years in baseball Clemens made over 100 Million dollars. Barry Bonds over his last 10 years made over $140 Million dollars.

And how many other players who you’ll never see on a HOF ballot walked away from the game with millions of dollars they otherwise would never have seen because of steroid use?

Meanwhile I suspect very few of the writers who voted have ever made seven figures during any year of their lives.

I think that marginal players given the choice of making millions for a few years with the drugs or not will take the dough every time. I suspect Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro et/al given the choice of being filthy rich for life and having the baseball writers of America vote against them vs being moderately well off and getting the writers votes, will take the money and laugh.

As for my ballot if I had one; I would have voted for Biggio, Lee Smith, Schilling, Edgar Martinez and Bernie Williams. Trammel & Morris would have been close calls for me and I’m curious how the financial business affected Schilling’s numbers.

On a side note I can’t believe Bernie Williams, Yankee though he is, didn’t even manage the 5% to stay on the ballot. As a Red Sox fan I would be afraid any time he came to the plate.

Update: Ed Morrissey has some thoughts

No matter what a stripper tells you, there is NO Sex in the Champagne room, None

Chris Rock No Sex (In the Champagne Room) 1999

This week’s subscription commentary is Titled Ralph Kiner and Sequestration. In it we talk about how people’s memory of Kiner as a player is vastly different then what people were saying when he played. Here is the Teaser to that commentary:

The full commentary is here. It’s available to subscribers and tip jar hitters only.

To get those codes simply hit DaTipJar




and I’ll send you the code as soon as I see the confirmation e-mail. If you don’t want to worry about ever missing a single video choose any subscription level




and I will e-mail you the codes every week as soon as the videos are uploaded and the posts are ready.

As I was finishing this post I was informed my mother is in intensive care, so please allow 24 hours for any e-mail containing the passcode for the video.

As the tangled web of Brett Kimberlin & Co continues to unravel thread by thread I’m already at the point where I’m wondering how we got to this place, that is: How did people on the left, online or otherwise reach the point where they are not only tied up with Brett Kimberlin & Company’s Machiavellian maneuvers but how they managed to believe despite evidence from credible sources that this was not a place to be?

Strangely enough the answer comes from a story with a lot of parallels, the story of Hal Chase a solid defensive first baseman in the early 20th century whose willingness to earn a few extra dollars throwing games were a precursor to the Black Sox scandal and Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis becoming commissioner of Baseball

(Note much of this information that will follow comes from the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract 1985 edition p329-p333.  This book has an incredible write up on the greatest players, position by position of the 20th century.  No baseball fan should be without it and I highly recommend  the spectacular write-ups on Yogi Berra & the comparison between Ted Williams & Stan Musial as well.)

First Baseman Hal Chase reached the majors in 1905 and almost instantly was proclaimed a star. As Bill James put it:

No one ever saw him play without being left gasping for adjectives

Magazines, fans and writers seemed all in agreement concerning his greatness and he was the focus of story after story throughout his career (and even appeared on some the Hall of Fame ballots)  but within 3 years of his debut charges that he was “laying down” as it was called started to appear in print.  These charges continue throughout his time in baseball and were made by such respected Baseball names as Frank Chance, (of Tinker to Evers to Chance fame) and George Stallings both who managed him.

In Cincinnati he was managed by Christy Mathewson THE most trusted and respected man in the game.   A man so honest that umpires would ask his help on close plays.  When such funny business arose with Chase Mathewson didn’t hesitate or equivocate.  He suspended him in August of 1918 for the rest of the season and the case went before the National League.

Lucky for Chase by the time he came to trial before  league WW 1 took  Mathewson to France.  Without Mathewson whose live testimony would have likely doomed him  Chase was able to successfully accuse players who testified in support of the charges of being part of a clique against him (sound familiar?) lied directly about past claims (sound familiar again?) and somehow managed to talk his way into acquittal. As Bill James put it on page 332 of his book:

He was free, then. It had all be brought out into the open, and he had gotten by with it. This seems to have had a liberating effect on Chase’s activities”

The rest is as they say history, looking at that history that led to the facilitating the throwing of a world series James writes that Chase had…

“something wonderfully masculine and persuasive drew men to him, and compelled them to believe not only that he was honest but that he was right, that he was something more than ordinary”

and that Chase was

“…one of those people…to whom lies and truth were all the same and who eventually was not always certain in his own mind when he was lying and when he was telling the truth. When it was alleged that he paid a teammate $25 after the teammate ha dlost a game he said it was just a gift. And me made people believe that.”

Take a close look at the Brett Kimberlin case and tell me you do not see this same dynamic being played out. You have a person, who has been marked by the courts, marked in a book about him and even in Time Magazine can a con man yet he due to some apparently considerable skills he has as a Lawyer or a talker, managed to:

And that’s not even touching on his “interesting” testimony during the Worthing case.

If you have been following this case at all get your hand on the book and read the full write-up about Hal Chance. It will seem very timely and then marvel at this final thought:

All Chase did, he got away with in a World before Radio lets alone Television and the Net.  The documentation on Kimberlin is available in an internet age and yet he and his associates are still getting away with it…

…so far

Update:  Missed a pair of links, added.

Update 2: Stacy McCain notes that Kimberlin might not be the only candidate (sans the defensive skill at first base) for Hal Chase status

This is an actual debate going on among those who have followed the Kimberlin story. There are some who think that Rauhauser is entirely cynical and that he keeps ginning up these crazy conspiracy theories in an effort to distract and confuse simpleminded people. There are others — and I am among them — who believe that Rauhauser is in the advanced stages of some degenerative neurological disorder and that his deranged rantings are symptomatic of his irreversible descent into paranoid psychosis.

Whether Neal Rauhauser is a scheming manipulator or the victim of a mental illness, however, there is no question that he is peddling falsehoods. One of the reasons I believe Rauhauser to be psychotic is because, if he were sane, he couldn’t possibly imagine that anyone would believe his lies.

Read the whole thing and for the record I also agree with this ending:

I agree with one thing that the “Not Brett Kimberlin” site said: “[T]hose responsible for this anarchy will likely serve long prison sentences.” And we know who they are.

Yup and that’s why they should be turning States evidence as I’ve suggested STAT!

Yesterday the WCRN team broadcast live from the Mall at Whitney Field: (Searstown to those who live in the area). Hank Stolz broadcast the Midday report live.

We’re reminding the people in Northern Worcester County that they can still catch every inning of every game of the Red Sox this season.

The Yankees are apparently infiltrating the area pretty well as evidenced by the sales at Lids:

I guess WCRN got here just in time!

Today WCRN will be at the Mall in force, John Weston of Conservatively Speaking will be live at the Mall from 7-9 AM


DaTechGuy on DaRadio will be live for the full two hours.

And this afternoon the RAVE Gary Rosen and Gary Vechhio will be live from the Mall until the pregame beginning at 6:30.

There will be prize all day and plenty of surprises come on down and say hello.

A few months ago the Red Sox in their infinite wisdom apparently decided that their 2007 World Series closer Jonathan Papelbon was a commodity too expensive to keep despite so he took his 219 career saves, 2.33 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, to Philadelphia where he has managed already to save more games than his replacement Alfredo Aceves has managed to get batters out in two appearances.

Meanwhile Mark Melancon has managed to prove that saving 20 games for a team that managed to lose 100 games (the 2011 Astros) is certainly not a qualification for closing out games for a team that is expected to contend.

Thus do the Red Sox for the second straight season start the year by being swept, but unlike 2011 they do it on the strength or lack thereof of their bullpen.

With Melancon apparently unable to close a game when there is actual pressure to do so and Aceves suddenly unable to even get a single batter out in the 9th inning the question remains, who can the Red Sox trust to close?

There are several untested arms they can through into the mix but what would be the best solution? I suggest the best solution might be a “caretaker” closer. Somebody who can do the job on a temporary basis for a few months or perhaps a single season while a more permanent solution is found.

But the question becomes who?

You would want a player who has experience in pressure situations, preferably someone with closing experience, yet someone who would understand that this was not a long terms gig. A person who can compete but does not feel the need to prove themselves to a new manager. A veteran player but someone who can give an inning or maybe more if called upon. yet someone who is likely not going to have arm problems throwing every day. A pitcher who has stuff that can absolutely baffle hitters but wouldn’t break the bank. Somebody grounded enough to handle playing in one of Baseballs most storied parks yet could win over the fan base.

If only there was that kind of pitcher someone who might not have been in Boston’s Plans back in say February but might just be willing to step up during the current crisis?

If I’m the Red Sox, I’m on the phone with Tim Wakefield today.

Today is one of the few times that I not only woke up with nothing to say but didn’t see anything in the AP wire that inspired me so it’s time to empty the brain of some thoughts:

First some reader/listener feedback:

A reader pointed to this post about stolen railroad track and suggested that instead of story about metal theft if might be a dry run for a terror attack. I hate to admit it but that never crossed my mind.

The solo show got high marks from people who have commented, I’m thinking I might do that at least once a month.

The appearance on Fox 25 and the NY Post article both got great reviews from readers and listeners.

Lombardi said that when you get in the end zone act like you’ve been there, before, but I think it’s ok to save the game ball the first time you make it.

I’d love to hear some guest suggestions btw.

Is Nancy Pelosi STILL blaming Bush for the current economy? I guarantee that if the economy remains in this state the Democrats will be blaming George Bush right up until Jan 20 2013, at which time they will Blame Sarah Palin

Or Herman Cain

or Tim Pawlenty

or Maybe even Mitt Romney

BTW will the Democratic Senate actually ever do ANYTHING?

Speaking of Palin in today’s LA Times there is a piece by Andrew Malcolm wich pointed out that Palin had her Paul Revere history right and the MSM has it wrong. Yes you read that right, in the LA Times! Do you realize how many liberals are going to be spitting up into their cereal this morning?

And Yet Morning Joe’s “News you can’t use” segment that didn’t find Anthony Weiner worthy of touching is going all out on Palin this morning. Don’t any of these people actually READ history?

There is also a hubbub about people editing the Paul Revere page on Wikipedia. Seriously anyone who uses Wikipedia as a primary source for anything is really foolish, Glenn Reynolds put it best years ago, on uncontroversial topics Wikipedia is ok, otherwise no.

Although last weeks show was fun, I really hope I don’t do another show that is filled with Weiner jokes, but Andrew Breitbart apparently has a HUGE scoop coming out today that will break it wide open.

I remember a few years ago I was at a library in the Museum of Science in Boston and looking at a book on Tornadoes, I was stunned to see that where I live is “Tornado Alley” as far as Massachusetts is concerned, I was even more stunned to see Nature confirm it this week.

Remember at the beginning of the season when everyone said the Yankees would not be a factor this year?

I also noticed that people were hitting Jeter for poor performance. Listen, I’ll bet that he will trade personal numbers for first place any day of the year. That’s what a leader does and why Red Sox fans like myself still fear him with the game on the line.

Hockey and Basketball should not still be played during June.

I’m not a fan of the Slutwalks but Jessica Valenti make an important point on Morning Joe concerning this today: “Would I be sitting here if they were called ’empowerment walks’?”

Speaking of Morning Joe again the anger over Edwards after the MSM tired to bury the story is laughable, but at least it wasn’t as bad as this quote from Scarborough:

“If you keep dropping using drones killing civilian men, women and children all you do is make more Terrorists”

he said this in the Anniversary of D-Day, the day will come when people forget it’s significance, but can you imagine if this show was on in 1944?: “If you keep dropping Bombs on German cities killing civilian men, women and children all you do is make more Nazi’s”

If like me you weren’t willing to wait till next week and watched Doctor Who from the British feed you now know who River Song really is. I sure hope that the “Good Man” she kills isn’t who we expect.

BTW if you don’t want to wait till Saturday in the US the clip of the big reveal is on Youtube here.

Speaking of Doctor Who I’ve been way behind in reviewing the Big Finish CD’s but they have been pretty good.

The 8th doctor stories are now going to be replaced by a 4th Doctor Series featuring Tom Baker, The new McGann stories are going to be folded into the main series again.

Sadly Elizabeth Sladen had agreed to do new audios with Baker just a few days before she died.

BTW the last 8th doctor Adventure To the Death written by Nick Briggs seams to have been specifically tailored to get the Doctor to the mindset to destroy both the Daleks and the Time Lords per the new series. Quite a season/series finale.

Speaking of season finales I sure hope the Big Bang series finales means that Raj gets to develop as a character. He is the only one that has not been allowed to grow.

Saw Hangover 2 with the family, it was not my first choice but it was funny. I think the series works because in addition to the weird comedy it is basically, like the first one, a detective story.

I suspect the new Green Lantern movie will be absolutely horrible, but as a Green Lantern fan since I was 13 how can I not go see it?

I’m still angry about the comic books out of SF, it is yet another version of the Big Lie.

BTW if you wonder why I’m so unwilling to trust the Arabs on the middle east it’s because of this event that took place 44 years ago this very day:

Gravely disappointed, desperate, the king (Hussein of Jordan) retorted with a warning of his own. If the fighting continued, Jordan would have no option but to corroborate Nasser’s charge of an Anglo-American conspiracy.

It was not an idle threat, as Hussein proved a half-hour later, when a phone call arrived from Cario “Will we say that the U.S. and Britain [are attacking] or just the United States?” asked Nasser, inquiring whether the British even had aircraft carriers. Hussein responded, “United States and England” agreed to issue a statement to that effect immediately. Nasser was heartened. “By God,” he exclaimed, “I will make an announcement and you will make an announcement and we will see to it that the Syrians will make an announcement that American and British airplanes are taking part against us from aircraft carriers. We will stress the matter. And we will drive the point home.” Six Days of War page 226

Remember King Hussein was OUR ALLY. The most pro-US arab country out there, and they were ready to sell us in a second for a political advantage. That’s why I don’t trust Jordan any more than the rest of them.

Confession is a lot like housecleaning. If you go often you will find that you tend to have less tolerance for small sins within yourself and will avoid them. Just like housecleaning, if you tend to excuse a dirty house it will remain dirty.

I confess I’m much better with Confession than with housecleaning.

A correction, last month I opined that the job numbers were skewed by the McDonalds hiring spree, I was one month early, it was THIS month that the McDonalds numbers kicked in. Mea Culpa.

It is a very odd thing to be recognized when I go places. As long as I have the hat people tend to know me.

I just can’t afford to go to the Smart Girl Politics event in St. Louis, I’m Hoping to go to Blogcon but the radio show will have to make more money before that happens, or I’ll have to be sponsored.

I really haven’t shaken the Tip Jar much but when it comes down to it, after expenses I’m taking in a whole lot less than I did on Unemployment and trips like the Palin hunt were expensive for me. I need a new Lawn Mower, and we use a Board and a stick to keep the Dryer door shut while it is running. If anyone is in a position to kick into the Tip Jar it will be much appreciated.

If you are in a position to kick in Big then I can run a ad on the radio show promoting a favorite charity of yours (provided said charity doesn’t conflict with Catholic moral Belief).

It’s nice of the Red Sox to make my show more valuable:

Fenway Park was not even half full when Adrian Gonzalez walked to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning last night. Raw, rainy weather and a six-run deficit against the Orioles had sent most of the fans scurrying for the streets.

The reason Baseball is and always will be superior to Hockey, Football and Basketball is that it’s that as Yogi said. It’s ain’t over till it’s over. You have to get those 27 outs and all the clock stalling isn’t going to cut it. You have to play the entire game.

The Red Sox have a huge payroll and should be fielding a great team and it’s a very long season. I wouldn’t bet them.

BTW did you notice every team in the east except for the O’s are over 500?

Catch EVERY Red Sox game this season on 830 AM WCRN!

I was at WCRN Night at McCoy Stadium for the

Morning Drive Host and former congressman Peter Blute threw out the first pitch and despite a flat tire in the parking lot it look like it would be a fun evening for baseball.

WCRNs Peter Blute goes to the Mound

Pawtucket starter Brandon Duckworth after allowing a few baserunners early settled down nicely taking only scattering the odd hit or walk and taking advantage of the outside strike that was called liberally during the evening. He was also helped by several nice plays that prevented any damage.

Meanwhile the Bisons starter Chris Schwinden breezed through a free swinging lineup the first time but was much shakier later on. The Sox scored on what should have been a single to right but the Bison’s Right Fielder tried to make a spectacular play, failed and let the ball roll to the wall and Tony Thomas roll to third, where he promptly scored on a grounder by Jose Iglesias that was misplayed and nearly resulted in a much bigger inning and a larger lead.

In the 7th Duckworth allowed Justin Turner to reach with two men out and Hideki Okajima came in from the pen. The fans were feeling very confident, rain was falling and with a World Series winner on the mound to get that third out it looked like me might have a rain shorted win.

Alas there is a reason why a Major league reliever starts in the minors and Okajima gave up a solid double to the left field corner to Pinch Hitter Zach Lutz, Turner never slowed and the game was tied.

Okajima Delivers in the 7th
Bison’s reliever Jose De La Torre had a very shaky and wild 7th loading the bases but the Paw Sox still over-anxious bats bailed him out. It would not be the last time.

The game continued into the 8th and after the Bison’s went down quickly in the top of the inning Bison’s pitcher De La Torrie quickly found himself in trouble again. A Ryan Kalish pop down the left field line deflected off the glove of shortstop Ruben Tejada, a play he might have made on a dry field. De La Torrie promptly followed up by an errant pickoff throw into right, Kalish hustled to third and with nobody out things looked good for the local nine.

With a pitcher who had been wild the inning before and shaken by a self-inflicted wound. All that was needed for Pawtucket to come away with a likely rain shortened win was a little patience at the plate. Alas there is a reason why it is called the Minor leagues. Rather than making De La Torrie pitch his way out of his mess the next two PawSox batters offered at the first two pitches they saw, the first grounded right at the pulled in Tejada and the second popped up to 2nd. With two outs and an intentional walk setting up an out at either first or second Duckworth’s fly to center which would have won the game earlier in the inning simply brought the inning and the game to a close as the tarp quickly came on the field.

Fans complained about the lost scoring opportunity but it didn’t stop them from being entertained either by the charm of the place, the regular promotions and contests that kept them engaged and the fan friendly atmosphere that simply permeates the park and exemplified by the management as a reward for braving a cold and rainy evening giving fans as they left a free general admission seat for Monday evening’s game.

That is the other side of minor league ball, you may see more mistakes but the fan is not an afterthought.

Join us tomorrow morning as we bring on a plethora of guests for the day.

We start with southern Belle Sister ToldJah in the first hour with Tom from Libertarian Leanings as well. We’ll talk Wisconsin and the budget fight and planned parenthood bringing out the best in the liberal new tone.

And if that isn’t enough in the second hour we’ll have Steve Foley of the Minority Report join us along with Andy from the Right Wing Gaming Room and comic Brian Henchey joining me and Tom for the Panel.

And if that isn’t enough as soon as we are done The Red Sox Host the Yankees at Fenway right on WCRN!

And even better the great talk starts at 6 a.m. with the Weston and Wesley review, followed by conservatively speaking at 7 a.m. and Carol Ann Brown at 9 a.m.

If you are somehow out of range of our 50,000 Watts of range remember you can listen in live here!

At baseball crank, (who I really need to link to more) they are asking what is the one sports event that you would want to go back and see.

His choice of game 7 (actually game 8) of the 1912 world series is a pretty good one (Giants Red Sox) the final game of one of the greatest world series ever played, but my choice is a less significant pair of games in the standing but more incredible in terms of drama.

In 1941 Ted Williams going into the final two games batting .3995 His manager offered to sit him since Major league Baseball rounds up, Williams was having none of it.

When he came to the plate the Catcher for the A’s (then in Philadelphia) informed him that Connie Mack (the manager/owner of the A’s) told the pitchers to “pitch to him” and not around him. Williams in the hottest spot he would be in outside of an airplane at war managed to go 6-8 in the double-header and get his average up to .406. Nobody has come within 15 points of him since, not Gwynn, not Boggs, not Brett, not Yaz, not Bonds, not Ichrio. not Carew not nobody.

And he did this in an 8 team league without expansion pitching.