There’s no sweeter phrase than “Play ball!” at this time of the year. For the frozen folks of the Wolverine State and elsewhere in the Rust Belt, the start of spring training games in Arizona and Florida this week means warm weather is a mere two or three months away.

But the past off-season brought the unsettling news that the geniuses of Major League Baseball are willing to tinker with how extra-inning games are played. Joe Torre, MLB’s chief baseball officer, has okayed a plan to let the lowest minor leagues automatically put a man on second base at the start of the 10th inning and thereafter.

Backers of the idea say it’s to shorten games so the teams’ benches and pitching staffs don’t get depleted in a marathon outing.

“It’s not fun to watch when you go through your whole pitching staff and wind up bringing a utility infielder in to pitch,” explained Torre, a former All-Star player and Yankees manager.

Well, I got news for you, Joe. It’s a lot more common for non-pitchers to take the mound in the eighth inning of a 16-3 blowout than in extra innings. Only a few games a year turn into death marches of 15 innings and more, and most bullpens can handle them pretty easily.

The idea of putting a guy on second to open extra innings originated in international baseball competition a few years ago. To which I say: So what? The next thing you know, some Supreme Court justices are going to cite international law in their decisions. (Yeah, some do that now. But not the good justices.)

Anyway, it’s time to stop babying the overpaid ballplayers. When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, not one of the Ten Commandments read, “Thou shalt not let a starter pitch more than seven innings.” And a decent middle reliever should be able to be effective for two or three innings. Limiting a strong, young pitcher to a single inning is counterproductive if he’s getting batters out.

It wasn’t uncommon for pitchers to throw extra-inning complete games in the deadball era, but great pitchers could gut it out in modern times, too.

In a classic match-up of two future Hall of Famers, Juan Marichal of the Giant’s and the Braves’ Warren Spahn pitched scoreless ball before Willie Mays belted a one-out homer in the bottom of  the 16th inning on July 2, 1963.

Spahn blamed his 1-0 loss on a screwball that “didn’t break worth a damn.” What nobody pointed to was his age. He was only 42 and still had more innings in him.

That’s why you play till the end

Tom Brady

Sunday night I was watching superbowl with my wife before going to work. Each time Atlanta made a big play she was beside herself and we were seeing a lot of tweets like this:

which required this response

By the third quarter a lot of people, particularly on the left were crowing as if the game was over.

and I felt compelled to edit my scheduled post for Monday morning before I left for work to say the following:

When I started this post in the Am on Sunday the question was can the Atlanta Falcons and Roger Goodell will be able to take sanctuary from Tom Brady but more importantly for the NFL will be a sanctuary from the political conflicts for those who love the game. As I update this in the 3rd quarter with Atlanta leading by 25 so Roger Goodell is likely dancing in the streets but more importantly Lady Gaga decided her songs were liberal enough so she decided to shut up and sing meaning that the NFL was able to get sanctuary from the left meaning football fans won’t have to take sanctuary from the game.

Frankly if Brady & the pats were not playing I wouldn’t give a damn and if it wasn’t Brady on that field I’d consider this game over.

And to most fans watching the game WAS already over:

then Atlanta came back in the third quarter to score again on Matt Ryan’s pass to Tevin Coleman to make the Falcons’ lead 28–3 and, like everybody else watching the Super Bowl, I said, “Well, that’s the game— Atlanta wins.”
Nobody has ever come back to win the Super Bowl after trailing by 25 points…
This is how stereotypes work, you see. It is entirely natural to believe that the future will resemble the past, because that’s what usually happens.

And to be fair assuming that the Falcons would hold on given the facts in evidence at the time was just as rational an exception as was the expectation by most football people before the game that the Patriots would win in.

However there was more than a full quarter of time left on the Clock and the 2016 New England Patriots didn’t need a long memory to recall what happens when you think a game is not over until it is:

Bill Belichick is thinking the opposite. His team already has taken the lead and if Seattle wants it they’ll have to take it back. He isn’t using a time out in the hopes of preserving time for Tom Brady to take back the lead, he’s counting on his defense to hold it.

And when the snap is made Malcolm Butler, the same fellow who stopped Kearse from scoring two plays earlier recognizes the play and muscles his way forward to intercept the ball and give the Patriots the ball on their own 1 yard line with 20 seconds to go.

But even then, no matter what the highlight reels are showing, the game is NOT over and the Patriots understand this.

There is little or no space for Brady to take a knee and if he is brought down in the end zone not only is it a safety making the score 28-26 but the same Seattle team that drove down the field at the end of the 2nd quarter would just have to get within field goal range for a chance to win.

Meanwhile Seattle was in the same spot New England was in a mere 46 seconds earlier. They had been kicked in the chest by a stunning reversal. But unlike New England who put it behind them and got down to business Seattle did not.

The Patriots realized that there was plenty of time left on the clock but more importantly despite the lead the Atlanta defense which had to this point, been playing far beyond their normal level had been on the field a lot and was tired.

So rather than going through the motions as if the game was already over they played as if the game was on the line.

That the Atlanta defense was winded and were not able to hold on was not a surprise, but there are two sides to the ball and the Atlanta Offense took the wrong lesson from history.

Back in 1864 When William Tecumseh Sherman was marching toward Atlanta with the Union Army of the west Confederate General Joe Johnson knowing that Sherman’s forces were his superior in number, resource and supply took a conservative approach, parrying his thrusts and giving ground when flanked, bending but not breaking. The rebel leadership in Richmond thought this approach too timid and replaced him with John Bell Hood who instead proceeded to leave his entrenchments and recklessly attack the superior enemy army.

Atlanta could have decided to play a conservative ground game, running down the clock, minimizing the chances of penalties or sacks and forcing the Patriots to burn time out in the hope of keeping enough clock for a Brady comeback. Even late in the game when the Patriots had closed the gap to a mere 8 points Atlanta had the ball deep in Patriots territory and only needed to hand off the ball a few times to set up a field goal that would have required not just a Touchdown & a two point conversion by the pats but a successful onside kick and a second score to tie or win the game.

They did not, instead they gave the far superior Patriot defense the chance to make plays and they did driving the falcons out of field goal range and forcing a punt giving Brady the ball with under 3 minutes to go. As the Bleacher report put it:

This would prove to be a critical series because the Falcons chose not to run the ball inside field-goal range. Had they done so, they might have killed some clock and added three points to their lead. Instead, the Patriots got another chance with just over two minutes remaining.

The Patriots, it turned out, only needed one more chance. Brady was making clutch throw after clutch throw at this point, and it only took 2 minutes and 33 seconds to drive 91 yards, ending with a one-yard touchdown run from White.

A pass from Brady to Amendola made for a successful two-point play, and the game was now tied.

The rest is history and while a few Falcons fans are taking it well

Like other Falcon fans, I’m still trying to figure out how Russians hacked Atlanta’s defense . . .

But the bottom line is the same thing that it was in 2014 and to paraphrase myself just after that game:

After 40 minutes, after Tevin Coleman caught a six yard TD pass from Matt Ryan, The Atlanta Falcons played as if the outcome of the game was already decided.

After 40 minutes, both before and after Tevin Coleman caught a six yard TD pass from Matt Ryan, the New England Patriots played as if the outcome of the game was in doubt.

I’ll give Brady the last word

That’s really all it takes, playing the game until it’s done.

Chicago’s South Side last autumn

By John Ruberry

Position wanted: Starting quarterback.

A dismal National Football League season will end tonight when between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots meet in the Super Bowl in Houston, after of course our national anthem is performed.

Oh, Da Tech Guy himself, a Patriots fan, may not agree of my “dismal” assessment. His team is in the Super Bowl, not mine, the Chicago Bears.

The Star Spangled Banner has been one of the major NFL stories this season, much to the chagrin to league brass because San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the anthem, which of course is performed before every game. A few members from roughly one-third of the other NFL teams followed his unpatriotic lead, along with some college and high school athletes. Kaepernick’s beef with the anthem is that he believes America stands for racial prejudice and police brutality, which are ideas you’ll find in the playbook of Black Lives Matters radicals, not the 49ers. Kaepernick, who is black but was raised by white parents, is a millionaire. Although NFL rules prohibit him from making it official until next month, Kaepernick will be a free agent next month, an ESPN reporter reported Friday. The timing is curious–I suspect that two days before the Super Bowl was chosen because of hyping of the game itself, and the revealing of the new NFL Hall of Fame inductees on Saturday, would bury the Kaepernick self-firing, as his anti-anthem, and yes, anti-America protests have been an embarrassment to the league.

TV ratings were down eight percent for the 2016 season, more so earlier on as the Kaepernick story was festering. While some liberal journalists chose to ignore the Kaepernick factor when reporting the ratings decline, pointing out that concerns over concussions, the lack of NFL star power, particularly in the first four weeks of the season when Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady was under suspension because of Deflategate, and viewers being more interested in the raucous presidential election were the real cause, an early October poll by Rasmussen found that nearly one-third of Americans said they’d be less likely to watch an NFL contest because of the anthem protests.

Soon the bidding war will begin for Kaepernick. Or maybe not. While he did take the 49ers to the Super Bowl four years ago, he performed poorly during his last two seasons; in 2016 Kaepernick was 1-10 as starter. I only watched him play once on television in ’16, on a snowy day against another rotten team, the Chicago Bears, Kaepernick completed just one pass out of five attempts with four yards gained. He was sacked five times.

The 49ers signed Kaepernick to win football games–not to be a radical.  The other 31 NFL teams will be looking to sign a winner as quarterback, not someone who gets sacked more times than the yards he passed for. Oh, some team will sign him, only because of his Super Bowl pedigree. But can Kaepernick survive training camp roster cuts?

NFL: Your long Colin Kaepernick nightmare may soon be over.

On a personal note, I will be rooting for the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. I usually line up behind the NFC champion, but because Tom Brady is under attack by leftists for not backing out of his friendship with President Donald Trump, I am part of the Patriots Nation today. Go Pats!

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Today is superbowl sunday and while doing my best to ignore Lady Gaga and the other anti-Trump nonsense I can’t help but notice they seem to dominate the coverage, likely because most people don’t give Atlanta a chance.

Given both the history and the work ethic of the Patriots Dynasty this is not a fault likely shared by the team. They understand that in a single game anything can happen, furthermore they know that the Atlanta Offense is explosive and while the Atlanta Defense is not highly rated they were able to stop two Superbowl Champion quarterbacks in their last two games.

Despite these concessions I am picking the Patriots and the reason for that is not only their superior defense and the possession of the greatest quarterback in the history of the game, but I give the ultimate credit to Roger Goodell and deflategate.

Now I’m sure many of you are thinking that I’m referring to the revenge factor that is often the subject of stories and analysis from Rush Limbaugh on down. It’s no coincidence that the title on the Boston Herald epaper supplement on the game is titled This Time It’s Personal and to be sure that has provided some motivation for a Patriots team that frankly needs little motivation than the potential of a championship.

But Ironically Roger Goodell has (thanks to an able assist from the Patriots backups who went 3-1 during the Tom Brady suspension) given the New England Patriots the single most critical advantage in the game.

Football, despite having the shortest season of the 4 major American sports is by far the sport most conducive to injury. Every single play involves physical contact and being hit. By the end of the season its said that everyone is in pain, it’s just a question of how much. Thus if you can avoid taking repeated hits it can make a huge difference. Franco Harris might have taken grief by running out of bounds for example but as NFL.com puts it while naming him the 3rd best running back in playoff history

Harris totaled 1,556 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns in the postseason. Those totals are second to only one other running back in NFL history (more on that guy later). Harris was a key component to the Steelers‘ dynasty, helping the team to four Super Bowl championships.

In Super Bowl IX, Harris rushed for 158 yards and a TD. He was named Super Bowl MVP. Harris also ran for 343 yards in that playoff stretch. That was a Steelers‘ record for rushing yards in a single postseason, until it was broken just this year by Le’Veon Bell. It’s clear that regardless of what is thought about his running style, Harris was a monster in the playoffs.

It’s also worth noting that in a 1996 profile the Baltimore sun noted that Harris was “without the disabilities of many former pro football players”, I suspect his avoidance of unnecessary hits had a lot to do with that.

Now Consider Tom Brady.  while he is a dedicated, one might even say obsessive when it comes to conditioning the fact remains that he is 39 years old, an age where the vast majority of players have been safely retired rather than putting impossible numbers (28 TD vs 2 Int this season) playing for their fifth ring in seven tries and finishing 2nd in the MVP vote to his opposite number Matt Ryan of the Falcons.

Brady may be spotting  Matt Ryan 8 years and the MVP award but thanks to Roger Goodell Brady has one thing that Matt Ryan does not:  Four extra games / weeks of rest, four weeks of not getting hit by opposing linemen, four weeks of not being chased out of the pocket and four weeks of not hitting the ground hard.  Brady is four weeks fresher, four weeks stronger and four weeks less in pain.

Furthermore thanks to the suspension both of his backups have been tested by fire and rest assured if something happens and Brady goes down you can be sure Bill Belichick will be ready with an offensive scheme designed for Jimmy Garoppolo’s strengths based just on practice but on game experience against actual NFL competition.

None of this is possible without Roger Goodell’s over the top excessive punishment of Brady and the Patriots for their Deflategate sins, so if Brady, Belichick and Robert Kraft take the podium as I suspect they will, they should thank Roger Goodell for making sure their 39 year old QB was one month fresher than the other guy.

There has been a lot of talk about who is more important Brady or Belichick as the Patriots, much to the delight of New Englanders and the dismay of the Anti-Trump crowd (excepting those in NE that is) reach their 7th Superbowl, but if you really want to understand how much Brady & Belichick each of them mean to each other, think Yogi Berra & Casey Stengel.

Unlike Belichick, Stengel has been a champion player but like Bill, as the man in charge he never had much success until he was paired with Berra. As he once said when asked about the secret of his success. “I never play a game without my man.”

Like Brady who had a year with a very good Drew Bledsoe, Berra had a Bill Dickey as a teammate and coach.

Of course there are differences, off the field Brady is known for his strict physical regimen, Yogi was an odd looking sort. Yogi was known for being a bad ball hitter with an odd style, Brady is considered methodical.

And both Brady

and Yogi

were popular with advertisers.

All four of them belong to teams that were hated for their success and both had success long into their tenures.

But when it comes down to it the real answer to the question oft asked is Belichick’s success only due to Brady will not be answered until either Brady or Belichick leaves.

When Stengel was fired Berra won two more world series titles under a different manager while Casey took over the expansion Mets and led them to new heights of ineptness.

It’s unlikely that Belichick will be going anywhere anytime soon and even less likely, thanks to the health regime of Brady that he will be replaced right away, but until we see either a Belichickless Patriots under Brady or a 40 something Tom Terrific playing elsewhere the answer to that question will have to remain speculation reserved for sports talk radio.

And we Pats fans will just have to settle for winning.

…because if there is one thing that they don’t need is for the New England Patriots and Tom Brady to have one more reason to think of themselves as underdogs, hated by the NFL and wanting revenge:

Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers … and … and?

The fourth playoff quarterback never appeared in the championship round teaser for the 2017 NFL Playoffs on NFL Network. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was the only quarterback left out.

Let the anti-NFL conspiracy theories commence.

It’s worth noting that if you go to the NFL network twitter feed or the NFL site this story is completely ignored.

Well we can’t assume the NFL has it in for the Patriots, it’s not as if they’re rescinding fines for opposing players body slamming members of the Patriots on the field and celebrating, oh wait.

What kind of message does this send to the rest of the league? For a guy that’s all about integrity, Roger Goodell certainly sends a weird message to the players.

In fairness it might not be about their hatred of the Patriots, it could be all about Brady & Kraft’s public friendship with the president elect, either way if I’m the Steelers I don’t need this right now.

Sunday morning begins with the left all a shutter over Donald Trump revealing that the absolute moral authority™ that the left conferred on him over his civil rights record 50 years ago has expired.

It’s a very Breitbartian response to the congressman who was never called to account for making false claims at the passage of Obamacare despite a $100K bounty for video or audio to support his claims of racism.

The media/left loud outrage was predictable as was Allahpundit’s willingness to join in this panic but in the end it changes nothing and all that the fuss will do is demonstrate Democrat importance.

As Batman said to the Joker in the original Dark Knight #3. “you’re playing the old game, today I’m taking no prisoners.


We’ve also heard a lot about how horrible it is that he said this with  Martin Luther King Day coming, but the fact is many of the left rejected King in life considering him an uncle tom and only embraced him after death when he was of use.  Furthermore given the  black community’s rush to re-segregate schools and dorms in the name of “diversity” and the Democrats embrace of it that they invoke King at all is frankly obscene.

If MLK was alive today he’d be ostracized in the same way as Clarence Thomas


For several weeks in the media we have seen story after story about GOP fears over the repeal of Obamacare and the press reporting that they are having 2nd thoughts.

Alas for the left that narrative has gone the way of the dodo

On a largely party line vote, the GOP controlled House passed a budget which will allow the party to repeal Obamacare using reconciliation, a process reserved for budget related items which cannot be filibustered in the Senate. The budget bill passed 227-198, with all Democrats and 9 Republicans voting against it.

That amounts to under 4% of the GOP defecting and largely because they (rightly) object to the level of spending. In the highly unlikely event that the same level defect from the senate, say a Rand Paul in protest to the spending, that will easily leave 50 votes to finish off Obamacare and don’t be surprised if a few democrats running for re-election in red states join in.

So I guess we can classify those stories as “fake news”.


For all those journalists still getting the vapors over Trump’s attack, here is an example of the actual mistreatment of journalists:

Hamas blocked journalists from filming a major protest against power cuts in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, detaining an Associated Press journalist at gunpoint and badly beating an Agence France-Presse photographer who refused to relinquish his camera.

The journalists sought to cover a demonstration against chronic electricity shortages in Gaza, which the AP described as “one of the largest unauthorized protests in the territory since the Islamic militant group took power a decade ago.”

Oddly the MSM doesn’t find this all that newsworthy, likely because Hamas opposes Trump.


Speaking of fake news lets also talks more fake hate crimes

Ann Doss Helms reports another fake hate crime in the Charlotte Observer. A kindergarten teacher was alleged to have committed the fake hate crime against a Muslim student. CAIR promoted the fake hate crime in its patented style, alleging a two-month reign of terror against the boy. The fake hate crime duly made the national news. Then came the investigation:

Police found no evidence to confirm a November report that a teacher bullied and assaulted a Muslim kindergartener at David Cox Road Elementary, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools reported Friday.

Principal Celeste Spears-Ellis notified parents that the accused teacher has returned to the classroom after the District Attorney’s Office found “no evidence of an assault other than the complainant’s report” and no grounds for criminal charges.

As a general rule if you have to fake hate crimes to make news odds are they aren’t happening.  And may I say that this bit (and the next) shows that Powerline has become a must read website


We’ve heard a lot about fake news let’s talk fake charities:

The Clinton Global Initiative has informed the New York Department of Labor that it intends to lay off its 22 employees on April 15, 2017. The reason given is “Discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative.” Here, via the The Great American Movement, is a link to the notice on the NY DOL web site.

It’s must be tough for a family of influence peddlers when they have no more influence to peddle.


It seems to me that this evaluation is correct:

THIS ISN’T A PROTEST, IT’S A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY: Inauguration Protesters Plan To Destroy Property And Disrupt Balls.

I think these people have decided the way to power and influence in the Democrat party is to destroy, I think they’ll look great in a DC jail and if Sessions decides to go after this stuff using RICO and start suing the folks funding these guys it could get interesting


I’ve been playing a lot of Civilization 6. It seems to me a radical departure from the previous versions. I really feel that I’m playing a different game rather than an update, not necessarily a better or worse one, but a different one. The real change is that I’ve been working in a two laptop system where one is dedicated to the game and the other to this work.


I’m an old comic book guy and at Christmas I picked up a bunch of stuff out of my kids folder for them along with six issues of Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Staki that I never cancelled. You would think after 20 years the quality might drop just a little, but it hasn’t. Along with Groo I’ll still pick them up and enjoy them.


Finally Yesterday Atlanta made mincemeat out of Seattle 36-20 and were celebrated as a powerhouse  while the Patriots pretty much treated the Texans the same in a 34-16 win and were greeted with stories about what is going wrong with them.  That’s how good the Pats are.

Incidentally The NFL should think it’s lucky stars for Tom Brady and the Patriots, the story of his suspension and their quest for Superbowl 5 along with the rise of the Cowboys, Atlanta and Aaron Rogers Packers have overshadowed the idiocy of Kaepernick et/al, but the real NFL news was San Diego telling the chargers to pound sand when asking for a new stadium. I think taxpayers are catching on to the scam.

I had no idea who Colin Kaepernick is until quite recently. It turns out he’s the 49rs quarterback guy who started kneeling on one knee at the national anthem, a sign of protest that I, former Catholic schoolgirl, find incongruously reverential,

Genuflection (or genuflexion), bending at least one knee to the ground, was from early times a gesture of deep respect for a superior. Genuflection (or genuflexion), bending at least one knee to the ground, was from early times a gesture of deep respect for a superior.

So much for that.

The quarterback apparently also {hearts} Fidel, unhesitantly repeating an old Castro propaganda point,

“One thing that Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here, even though we’re fully capable of doing that.”“One thing that Fidel Castro did do is they have the highest literacy rate because they invest more in their education system than they do in their prison system, which we do not do here, even though we’re fully capable of doing that.”

Never mind the fact that the budget of the U.S. Dept. of Education alone (not including local school districts’ budgets) is almost the size of Cuba’s entire Gross Domestic Product; never mind that the Dept. of Ed.’s $77billion is greater than the prison system’s $39billion annual price to taxpayers; never mind that Cuba’s so-called “literacy rate” is based on numbers provided by the Communist regime that are not independently verified; Fidel Castro

repeated incessantly that under him, Cubans are “the most cultured people in the world,” even the prostitutes, while redoing the excellent, definitive Don Quijote de la Mancha 4th Centenary edition by the Real Academia Española. Fidel had Hugo Chavez abridge it, remove the essay “Una novela para el siglo XXI” by long-time foe Mario Vargas Llosa, and replaced that essay with a short preface by José Saramago, a much friendlier Communist. The Communist regime can’t have “the most cultured people in the world” exposed to an essay which essence is that Don Quijote’s a free men’s novel.repeated incessantly that under him, Cubans are “the most cultured people in the world,” even the prostitutes, while redoing the excellent, definitive Don Quijote de la Mancha 4th Centenary edition by the Real Academia Española. Fidel had Hugo Chavez abridge it, remove the essay “Una novela para el siglo XXI” by long-time foe Mario Vargas Llosa, and replaced that essay with a short preface by José Saramago, a much friendlier Communist. The Communist regime can’t have “the most cultured people in the world” exposed to an essay which essence is that Don Quijote’s a free men’s novel.

Look, we all know about celebrity displays of ignorance and stupidity, to the point that by now it’s rather apparent that ignorance and stupidity are job requirements to celebrity status.

But by now, if ignorance were bliss, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick would likely be the happiest man in the world.
faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Blogger outside of Wrigley Field
Blogger outside of Wrigley Field

By John Ruberry

“Bias has always been a factor in journalism. It’s nearly impossible to remove. Humans have their thoughts, and keeping them out of your work is difficult. But 2016 saw the remaining veneer of credibility, thin as it was, stripped away and set on fire.” Derek Hunter, Townhall, October 23, 2016.

“A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” Albert Camus.

Both men are right.

I’ve known for many years that the mainstream media, consisting mostly of leftists, is biased, but I’ve also long suspected that these leftists have been colluding with the Democrats. Thanks to WikiLeaks we know that to be true.

The 2016 World Series, an intriguing matchup between the Chicago Cubs–of whom Hillary Clinton used to be a fan of–and the Cleveland Indians, begins Tuesday.

Which got me thinking: What if the self-righteous media guardians, umpires you might say, were in charge of baseball’s fall classic?

When the Chicago Clintons come to bat, their batters will earn a walk after three balls, Cleveland, Donald Trump’s team, will need five balls to gain a base on balls, and they’ll strike out after two strikes.

The media umpires, when the Clintons are in trouble, will take out their smartphones during the games and pass on actionable advice to their manager, who will quickly reply and request more pointers. Player after player for the Trumps will be ejected because the umpires will reveal decades-old sexual assault allegations just as the Cleveland team takes the field. Another Cleveland Trumps player will be ejected because he may not have paid federal income taxes. The umpires will claim it was only just then that they learned about about this tax issue.

Meanwhile charges that the Clintons are taking large cash payments from outsiders that could destroy the integrity of Major League Baseball are for the most part ignored–and not acted upon. And even though the umpires know that the Clintons destroyed evidence of their improprieties, they’ll deem it “old news.” The umpires will overlook the lies from the Clintons about their crimes.

When the fans in the ballpark complain, they’ll be rudely dismissed by the umpires as morons who don’t know how the contest is played.

But the truth is the public knows all too well that the game is rigged.

As Walter Cronkrite used to end his CBS Evening News broadcast, “That’s the way it is.”

And the way it is stinks. We need a new media.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Well David Ortiz has taken his last plate appearance in the major leagues thanks to the Red Sox failure to generate offense, the excellence of Cleveland’s defense and the inferiority of Red Sox pitching suggesting once again that without pitching and defense, even a David Ortiz is not enough to guarantee a team a world series.

I say his last plate appearance rather than his last at bats because neither of his two final plate appearances credited him with an at bat. He had a sacrifice fly which drove in a run on third and a walk to finish his Red Sox career.

I’d like to talk about the latter.

There were many moving tributes to David Ortiz during the year and after last night’s game many more but the final tribute to him came during the bottom of the 8th inning.

Ortiz came up as the tying run with a man on first. This was a critical moment in the game, a moment where if the Red Sox had managed to tie the game all bets were off. Terry Francona, the manager of Cleveland well knew that giving this Red Sox team a lifeline by a win might turn into disaster and David Ortiz was the man to create this disaster.

So with the game on the line what did Cleveland do? Intentionally walk him? They could not, because with first base full that would imply fear and the best way inspire confidence in an opponent in baseball is to imply fear.

No what happened is Cleveland’s pitcher threw four pitches, and not a single one was in a spot where David Ortiz could hit it. Even though walking Ortiz put the dangerous Hanley Ramirez at the plate who could easily give the Sox the lead with one swing (and managed to drive in one run with a single) it didn’t matter. The game was on the line and the Cleveland Indians had no intention of letting the best clutch hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox franchise, the hitter that carried the Red Sox fan base to one that expects success from one that anticipates failure on his own shoulders. The man who got the crowd into the game with a wave of his hands.

As I said there were many tributes to Ortiz this year and he likely at least one the Hall of Fame in five years and a shot at the MVP this year, but for my money the greatest tribute to Ortiz this year was the fact that at age 40, the Cleveland Indians decided that with game 3 on the line of a series they were already up 2-0 in David Ortiz would not get a pitch to hit.

I suspect the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, LA Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were very grateful for that decision.