Short of a World Series where Big Papi wins it with a come from behind walk off HR in his last major league appearance, the matchup of the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs is one that a Baseball fan like me dreams of. The Two ultimate long waiting underdogs, facing off in the world series with one of them guaranteed to end their streak of suffering.

The Question becomes, who is the true underdog who should be rooted for?

Let’s consider Cleveland: It has been 20 years since the Indians won the pennant and 68 years since the Indians won the world series. To put that in perspective the last time Cleveland won a world series:

  • Harry Truman was president
  • The Korean War had yet to start.
  • The State of Israel was five months old
  • ABC & CBS had just begun TV broadcasts the Ed Sullivan, CBS Evening News and Candid Camera had debuted (I Love Lucy was still 3 years away)
  • Key Largo and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre starring Humphrey Bogart were hits. Alfred Hitchcock was making his first movie in color (Rope), Zip a Dee doo Da would win the Oscar for best song and Edmund Gwenn would take home best supporting actor for his role as Santa Claus in Miracle on 48th street.
  • Alaska and Hawaii were still 11 years away from becoming US states

In terms of Baseball Ted Williams (AL) and Stan Musial (NL) were the league batting leaders Johnny Mize and Ralph Kiner tied for the NL HR lead while Joe Dimaggio led the AL and Dimaggio & Musial led their respective leagues in RBI’s. On the Mound Cleveland boasted Bob Feller who led the league in strikeouts, with teammate Bob Lemon right behind them and the ERA leader Gene Bearden who Led the AL in ERA. Bearden and Lemon would both win 20 games that year while Feller would have to settle for 19.

That Indians Roster also included Larry Doby the 1st Black player in the American League in his first full season and a rookie by the name of Satchel Page who had dominated the Negro Leagues for 20 years before putting up a 5-1 record with an ERA of 1.31 against a bunch of players young enough to be his sons.

Amazingly one member of this team is still alive 95 year old first baseman Eddie Robinson who batted .254 with 16 HR and 83 RBI that season and would scatter six singles for a .300 avg in the world series. He is likely to get more attention in the next week than he’s had in years.

As far as Titles Go LeBron James may have brought the NBA titles to Cleveland but before that you have to go to Jim Brown and the days before the Superbowl to see Cleveland win titles.

So Cleveland is definitely overdue and  in any other year Cleveland would be the clear sentimental favorite.

Except this year they are playing the Chicago Cubs.

To take things backwards, in terms of titles the City of Chicago has done better than Cleveland.  The Chicago Blackhawks have taken three Stanley Cups in the last 10 years and you only have to go back to the Reagan Administration to find the Chicago Bears last title when they Crushed the Patriots in the days before Tom Brady.  Even in baseball The White Sox broke their title deficit just a year after the Red Sox in 2005.

And of course if you’re an NBA fan there was this fellow named of Michael Jordan who before he started a career selling men’s underwear brought six titles to the Bulls in the 90’s.

But for the Cubs forget finding a living player (let alone a person alive) from their last world series championship in 1908, there isn’t a living member of the last pennant winner left,  as Lennie Merullo died last year at the age of 98.  In fact I’d wager you’d have a hard time finding a living child of a member of the 1908 Cubs

That Cubs Roster is full of Hall of Fame Players from Joe Tinker to Johnny Evers to Frank Chance at the plate but like the 48 Indians their bats didn’t lead the league,  Honus Wagner would just miss the  NL Triple Crown leading the lead in batting ( .354) and RBI’s (109) while coming in 2nd in the majors in Home runs with a massive 10 just behind Tim Jordan who would lead the league with 12.  In the AL Ty Cobb would do the same leading the league in batting ( .324) and RBI’s (108) but falling three HR behind teammate Sam Crawford who would lead the league with …7!

On  the Mound 3 finger Brown would have been the best pitcher in the league had it not been for some fellow name Christy Mathewson.  Brown would be 2nd in wins (29 vs 37) Shutouts (9 vs 11) fewest walks per 9 innings (1.412 vs 0.968) WL percentage (.763 vs .771) and ERA (1.47 vs 1.43) only in hits per 9 innings ( 6.167 vs 6.474) and Saves (both with 5) would Brown be the equal or better than Christy, but in the end his team would edge out Mathewson’s Giants and  Wagner’s Pirates by a single game to make it to the fifth world Series ever played.


But think about it 1908  back then

  • Teddy Roosevelt was still in the White House and not on Mount Rushmore
  • World War one was a full 6 years away
  • Milton Berle who would become the 1st TV star the year Cleveland would win the Series was BORN
  • The Biggest name in Film was DW Griffith
  • Thomas Edison was still involved in filmmaking
  • We were still fighting in the Philippines
  • The first radio broadcast of any type was 2 years old and the first US Broadcast License was a year away
  • The keel of the RMS Titanic was still a year away from being laid down
  • The Airplane was 5 years old
  • Most of Europe was still ruled by Kings
  • New Mexico and Arizona were still 4 years away from statehood and Oklahoma was a state less than a year

So to put it simply, if you judge things by baseball alone you might cheer for the Cubs as they have a huge title deficit, but if you judge by titles overall you have to cheer for Cleveland since, Lebron James notwithstanding their city championships have been few and far between.

But given their respective Crime rates both cities could use something to get their minds off their problem.

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.

So David Ortiz has played his last regular season game and ended said regular season career with a weak ground out to the pitcher.

While his finish was not spectacular let’s consider David Ortiz’s 2016 stats

Ortiz led the league in doubles with 48 (and that’s on two bad legs)
He led he league in RBI’s with 127
He led the league in extra base hits with 87 (finishing 8th all time btw)
He led the league with a .620 Slugging percentage (Ironically the only time he has led in this category in his career
He led the league with a 1.021 OPS (on base plus slugging)
He Led the league with 15 intentional walks

He finished 6th in Batting with a .315 avg
He finished 3rd in On Base percentage with .401
He finished 7th in total bases with 333
He finished 8th in Home runs with 38
He finished 8th in walks with 80
He finished 5th in runs created with 130
He finished 2nd in offensive win percentage at .756
He finished 5th in sacrifice flies with 7

and in more esoteric stats

He finished 2nd in adjusted OPS
He finished 2nd in adjusted batting runs
He finished 2nd in adjusted batting wins
He finished 5th in at bats per HR ratio
He finished 2nd in base outs runs added
He finished 3rd in win probability added
He finished 4th in situational wins added

And on the minus side was 4th in hitting into double plays with 22

For any normal player such a season would be considered spectacular.

For a 40 year old player with bad legs an feet in his final major league season that is spectacular.

No major league player in a career not ended by suspension (Joe Jackson) sudden death (Roberto Clemente) or Serious injury / disease (Sandy Koufax) has ever had a year like this to finish a career and of course there is still the playoffs to come.

I have no idea how the Red Sox or Ortiz will do in the playoffs, but even if the Tribe sweeps us in 3 and Ortiz goes 0-12 consier this.

While Curt Schilling deserves a fair share of the 2004 credit David Ortiz is the man who converted the Red Sox franchise and fans from a group of people waiting to see what would go wrong, to a franchise that believes it can win in any given year. He is a player that transformed fandom in this region.

I don’t expect to see another like him in my lifetime.

Keep your eye clear, and hit ’em where they ain’t

Willie Keeler

Four Years and six months ago I was in NH for a NRO event along with a lot of other bloggers and reporters after all of us watched one of the GOP primary debates that was notable for George Stephanopoulos suddenly asking Mitt Romney a question about contraception that had everyone, including Romney scratching their heads. It had not been an issue in the campaign nor in the country or years and while Roman Catholics will tell you artificial contraception is a sin to my knowledge Mormons have no problem with it.

That night everyone was talking about how weird the question but a few days later things became clear as the entire media jumped on this as an important issue.

You see many things were going badly in the economy, in foreign affairs and the folly of Obamacare were just starting to become apparent, the Democrats needed a distraction to protect the president so they pivoted bringing out an issue that had been settled for years to change the submit and hit republicans at the same time.

It’s sort of like the tactic used against Ted Williams in the 40’s called the Williams Shift repositioning players completely to change the dynamic of his hitting.

tedwilliamsshift It the same tactic used against David Ortiz today in an attempt to make those hits come with a little more difficulty.

While both Williams and Ortiz had occasional failures against the shift, in the end their skill levels were/are so superior that the shift could not stop them from hitting through it and as both demonstrated regularly if the ball is off the wall or out of the park no amount of shifting is going to make any difference.

Alas for the GOP Mitt Romney was no Ted Williams or David Ortiz. Romney being Romney and the GOP being the GOP, they fell hook line and sinker for this nonsense hitting directly into the shift and giving the media exactly what they wanted. It was one of a series of foolish and timid moves that turned what should have been a very easy election for the GOP into the disaster that the next four years of Barack Obama became.

Fast forward to 2016. Hillary Clinton has had the worst week in the history of history, the attempt to portray health questions as a conspiracy theory have failed. Leak after leak makes her look bad. The polls have gone south, Trump has bested her in a televised forum and thanks to his new campaign team has not only avoided mistakes but gotten positive press and cultural coverage that even playing the David Duke card has not been able to counter and if that’s not bad enough ISIS continues to advance, the refugee crisis continues to fester and Obamacare exchanges are dropping like flies What does one do if you are the palace guard for Democrats mainstream media?

Why you play the “shift” card and trot out birtherism.

The fact that Barack Obama has barely four months in office and that it’s an issue that nobody cares about doesn’t matter. The media needs to change the subject so suddenly the entire press corps decides there is no bigger issue to settle and they will not stop asking about it until Trump satisfies them.

In other words the shift is on and they are daring Trump to hit it over or through them counting on the fact that despite his media skills he is not enough of a Ted Williams or David Ortiz to successfully hit through the shift.

But while it’s true that Donald Trump is no Williams or Ortiz, he’s also no Mitt Romney and his new campaign team of Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon and Kelly Conway are not the normal GOP consultants advising him to hit into the shift and take their chances.

Instead Trump announced a press conference to address the issue, the MSM rushed to cover it live (something that they have been a lot less enthusiastic to do since he became the nominee) ready to take his statement and pound him with question after question, furthermore as he was apparently “running late” they continued to promote the event to ensure the maximum viewership when he did make his statement…

…and then this happened

The media found themselves giving their audience 20 minutes of military heroes endorsing Trump on live TV before he finally came on Camera to say

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it.”

Not only did Trump get the media to cover his endorsements but he got them to cover live his pronouncement that “birtherism” was a construct of the Hillary Clinton campaign. (a Statement spin not withstanding backed up by on CNN by a Clinton campaign manager but by a respected veteran journalist former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher.

A story repeated on the McClatchy site yesterday

“During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.,” Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

“During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama’s birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.

“At the time of Mr. Blumenthal’s conversation with me, there had been a few news articles published in various outlets reporting on rumors about Obama’s birthplace. While Mr. Blumenthal offered no concrete proof of Obama’s Kenyan birth, I felt that, as journalists, we had a responsibility to determine whether or not those rumors were true. They were not.”

Blumenthal, who worked in the White House with President Bill Clinton and later was employed by the Clinton Foundation, could not be reached Friday but said in an email to The Boston Globe, “This is false. Period.”

In other words the Trump campaign instead of hitting into the shift as he might have been inclined under the old management team, poked the ball into the empty left field for an easy double.

The fit this gave the entire MSM was epic which comes from a single miscalculation.

You don’t have to be a David Ortiz or a Ted Williams to beat the shift, you just have to be good enough to go the other way and hit the ball where they ain’t.

And Trump is.

Update: Don Surber adds a bit of Irony:

For a decade, the city wanted the grand post office turned into a hotel. Trump did it. Today was the opening of the hotel. That was the reason for the event — not to discuss birtherism, which was the Clinton Camp’s topic of the day.

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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.

Union station WAY after dark
Day one in denver (I don’t count yesterday when we got Union Station at 10:30 & to the Hotel at just before 11 PM Denver time) started with a trip to the Basilica for AM mass as DaWife snoozed. The Hotel operates a shuttle for free in a 3 mile radius so that really came in handy. If I had that last time I wouldn’t have ended up in the clash between the occupods & the police.

I took a lot of pictures after mass.

I’m still got a few folks on my indulgence list to take care of over the next few days.

After the shuttle took me back and the wife and I had breakfast Stop two was a walk to Coors field:

assorted denver 2 030

where I filmed this clip before dabattery died

The park was beautiful the seats spacious compared to fenway and incredibly comfortable. I loved that they have a “rockpile” bench seating was $1 for kids under 12 or elders over 55 ($4 otherwise) so even the poorest and particularly young kids can always see a game in person and I really loved the deal where they had a designated drive setup where if you pledged not to buy beer after the 4th inning you got a free soda (saving dawife & I 10 bucks on a day when it was 91 during the game and the fans made a beeline for areas in the shade.) but it was very odd to see a stadium with so many empty seats.

Alas for Colorado while they jumped into an early lead against the rangers their bull pen cracked at a critical moment turning a 5-1 lead after 5 into a 7-5 loss despite putting two on in the ninth. They had an interesting program where

We then stopped at the 1 up bar for a quick bite, the food was meh, but the arcade and pinball selection was excellent and if you are a fan of pintastic this location near coors field is a must visit.

The wife and I walked the 16th street mall a bit stopping at Tattered Covers book store for a souvenir for our oldest and to avoid a thunder storm before heading back to the hotel. On the way we were stopped by an earnest young girl asking us to sign a postcard for the gov on Utah asking him to oppose exploiting resources on federal land. The young lady must have approached me due to the fedora, grey sideburns & doctor who scarf and must have been startled to hear me tell her: “Sorry I support that kind of thing.”

The hotel has a fridge in the room so we hit a local supermarket via the hotel shuttle service before heading back to crash.

Now with all batteries charged the plan is to do a few things with the wife in the AM then start interviews with people coming for the school choice event as they arrive in the afternoon both for the site and the podcast.

I suspect with a lot of bloggers here the upload speeds (already kinda meh) are not going to improve so don’t be surprised if a lot of this stuff goes up back in MA but I’ll do what I can.

There will be a lot of expenses involved in a week in Denver not the least being missing a week’s pay from my job. If you’d like to help me cover them please consider hitting DaTipJar below

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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 once was a time when people who are sick of the deceit and the spin of political TV might turn on sports as an escape.

That time is past, at least when it concerns ESPN:

the evening’s telecast of “Four Days in October,” ESPN’s 2010 documentary about Boston’s stunning comeback from a 3-0 deficit against New York to reach, and eventually win, the World Series, was missing his crucial Game 6 performance.

The bloody sock game was one of the defining moments in the 2004 ALCS which is likely why MLB decided the anniversary of the game was worth marking.

It’s easy to look back now and think that, of course, Boston would win that game with one of the great postseason pitchers of all time on the mound. But think back to Game 1, when Schilling pitched through a torn tendon sheath and was shelled for six hits and six runs over three innings.
It was fair to wonder how things could change. A day before Game 6, the Red Sox’s medical team came up with a radical procedure in which team doctor Bill Morgan would suture Schilling’s loose ankle tendon back into the skin. To be sure, Morgan first tried the somewhat barbaric procedure on a cadaver.
Nobody outside of the Red Sox’s clubhouse knew about the impromptu procedure, so it was easy to think the worst when there was visible blood on Schilling’s sock that surfaced early in Game 6. In actuality, it was just a byproduct of the stitches pressing against the tendon. Not only could Schilling pitch, but he came out pitching well in Game 6, showcasing a nasty splitter.
“And it wasn’t overblown,” remembers outfielder Gabe Kapler. “When there was all that talk about, ‘Was that really blood?’, not only was it really blood, but what he endured and mentally overcame the way he did may never be done again. I don’t know that there’s ever going to be a procedure like that to get a guy ready to pitch again. It was a little bit, like, science fiction-y.”

I hadn’t watch ESPN since the firing of Curt Schilling over this transgender nonsense, but pulling a Stalin and making him an unperson should be over the line even for the most left leaning of sports fans, particularly in Boston.

But ESPN rules sports so apparently this didn’t happen

If ESPN can throw Schilling’s performance in game 6 down the memory hole how does any conservative athlete or potential athlete do anything but presume that ESPN is sending this message.

If you have the “wrong” opinions and choose to express them openly then be aware we will cover your accomplishments differently

…assuming we cover them at all.

I’ll give schilling the last word:

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:

Four years ago I told you a bit about a fellow by the name of Hal Chase, let me refresh your memory a bit.

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

While he was universally considered great word started getting out that he wasn’t above throwing games (or “laying down” as it was called at the time) and that was the buzz on him for years and while some managers and players talked about it nobody did a thing about it until he was managed by  Christy Mathewson.

Mathewson was so honest & trusted umpires would ask his help on close plays without objection from the opposing team.  So when Chase continued his business there Mathewson suspended him and the case went before the National League.

By the time the case was called however Mathewson was in France fighting World war one and Chase managed to make the case that those who backed the charges were part of a clique against him and was acquitted.

And thus the 1919 World Series was thrown.

Which brings us to Donald Trump.


It was less than a week ago that we saw this:

If you confront Trump or his supporters on any of these questions of inconsistency, they’re already shopping a new answer. You see, he’s been projecting an image. (AP)

Donald Trump’s chief lieutenants told skeptical Republican leaders Thursday that the GOP front-runner has been “projecting an image” so far in the 2016 primary season and “the part that he’s been playing is now evolving” in a way that will improve his standing among general election voters.


and heard this:

The most interesting thing Manafort said yesterday, incidentally, wasn’t the bit about Trump playing a part. I think it was this:

“Is Donald Trump running against the Republican National Committee?” asked Mr. Manafort, referring to the candidate’s unrelenting assault on what he calls the “crooked” nominating process. “The answer is he is not.”

“He gave us the mandate to bring together a team of professionals that could finish the job for him, but could also then begin to link in with the establishment institutions that are part of our party, what you represent, what the state parties represent,” he said, also alluding to think tanks and members of Congress. “We’ve started all those conversations,” said Manafort, adding of Mr. Trump, “He cares about the united team.”

Trump changing his “tone” on the trail for different audiences is one thing, Trump buddying up to “establishment institutions” within the party is another. Cruz is under pressure to do that too, but the whole point of Trump’s attack on Cruz lately is that he’s a phony outsider who’s taking full advantage of the establishment’s “rigged system.” Now here’s Manafort reassuring the RNC that he’s not running against them and even wants to “link in” with them.

As Jazz Shaw described it:

Getting past the absurd sounding phrase on the surface, it actually is pretty hard to accuse Trump of flip flopping. Why? Because aside from building a wall and taking care of veterans, Trump has taken both sides of pretty much every other issue at one point or another over his long career. That’s what’s confounding so many of his opponents: you just never know what the guy is going to say next.

Do you support position A or position B?

As I’ve always said, I support position A.

But last week you said B.

Yes, but last month I clearly said A, as I’ve always maintained.

But.. but…

Next question.

He’s also been free to fire off opinions on subjects which would completely sink any traditonal conservative and continue to march on down the campaign highway relatively unscathed.

Yet as Rush Limbaugh pointed out on Wednesday not only did Donald Trump win all five states that he was expected to win yesterday (which in itself was NBD) but he won EVERY COUNTRY of every state that voted on Tuesday.

What does this mean, simply this.

All of those stories concerning Trump as putting on an act have been out there for a week, it was covered heavily by the media and was in magazines and sites all over the place, but in every single county of Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania GOP voters decided that Trump’s inconsistency on issues and the idea that he is basically putting on a “performance” was not a reason to vote for someone else.

As Bill James put it on page 332 of an earlier version of his baseball abstract concerning Mr. Chase:

“He was free, then. It had all be brought out into the open, and he had gotten by with it.

In fairness that sentence would be a pretty good description of Hillary Clinton too, but I was under the impression that the GOP was supposed to be a party of objective truth vs relative truth.  I’ll give the last word to a man and God named Jesus Christ:

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37


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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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The third in my series noting the weakness of Donald Trump’s Sour Grapes arguments concerning Delegates.

In baseball there are many different ways to build a team. You can build one based on a park (Think of Fenway Park’s wall) you can build one based on player combinations, for example the Phillies of the 50’s had the ultimate fly ball pitcher, Robin Roberts with Richie Ashburn an outfielder with incredible range. The result was an awful lot of outs.

You can go with pitching, you can go with speed, you can go with defense, you can go with power, you can play the big bullpen but in the end every choice comes with a tradeoff.

The speed team may not have that big bat they need at the time they need it, the power team might not be able to advance that runner, the great hitting team might now have the men who can get to that grounder to protect the lead and the defensive specialists might not have to bat to get that extra run, the great bullpen might not have the starters to get to the seventh or the strong starting lineup might not have the horse to get those last three outs to wrap it up.

The presidential campaign has run the same way. The various candidates all had different plans to get to the finish line and each one had their trade offs from Chris Christe’s New Hampshire or bust to Jeb Bush’s superpac plan.

Donald Trump’s plan was unique, bypass the traditional party structure, the face to face campaigning and use his national celebrity to run a national campaign on a couple of big issues (immigration and the war on terror) and bypass the state parties altogether.

Regardless of any critique of Trump’s it is inarguable that this plan has been on the whole widely successful. Trump has won the most states, the most delegates and has outlasted 14 of his 16 opponents. Only Ted Cruz has come close winning 8 states but that pales to Trump’s 19. Trump has done a good job and no amount of saying otherwise makes it any less true

However like a baseball team with no speed Trump’s plan has drawbacks.

It’s looking very much like the Establishment GOP is doing it’s best on the state level to get delegates who are less likely to support Donald Trump once they are released, it’s also looking like Ted Cruz is doing his best to use his grassroot strength to get delegates favorable to him selected.

Donald Trump and his people are crying foul, but all this complaining ignores one thing, Trump choose to be in this situation.

You’ll remember during the lead-up to the Massachusetts primary Governor Baker ran his own slate for the GOP state committee, opposing tea party activists. A lot of us didn’t like it but he was within his rights to do so.

That type of process or a variation of it takes place in every single state in the union.

There was nothing stopping Donald Trump from getting involved in these races, in fact building up representation in the state parties might have been a rather wise use of his large stash of personal funds.

Trump decided not to do this. He kept his focus on the national campaign keeping his focus on the public at large rather than the party and for the most part, as I’ve said, it’s been successful.

Now if he manages to win the nomination outright that will the wisdom of the plan but is he ends up shy at the end of the primary season Trump will find his situation like a power hitting team having needing to get a runner to 2nd and having no speedster on the bench or anyone who can bunt available.

It won’t be because he is being cheated, it’s because he built his team a particular way and the game is tilting in a direction that doesn’t fit.

That’s not unfair, that’s just life.


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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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Missy (The Master): He’s trapped at the heart of the Dalek empire. He’s a prisoner of the creatures who hate him most in the universe. Between us and him is everything the deadliest race in all of history can throw at us. We, on the other hand, have a pointy stick. How do we start?
Clara: We assume we’re going to win.

Doctor Who: The Witches’ Familiar 2015

There are few thing I enjoy more than re-watching the 2004 ALCS series starting with the 9th inning of game 4.

Even twelve years later and with three world series in the bag. The 2004 ALCS is special. It brings a smile to the face and a tear to the eye and it all began with the greatest stolen base in Red Sox History:

and ended with Big Papi knocking it out.

Now for Red Sox fans like myself the great comeback of 2004 is particularly special because it was our first world series win. That first championship is always the greatest.

I’m sure this isn’t unique to Red Sox fans. 1969 was the first championship for the Met and the 1969 Miracle Mets as some might have forgotten came back from behind to take the East from the Chicago Cubs and then swept Atlanta to win their first pennant.

Yes that’s a young Nolan Ryan who was to win his only World Series Ring of his incredible career with those Miracle Mets.

And if you go back even further in 1951 the then NY Giants were 12 1/2 back in August and 4 1/2 games back with ten to play and managed to come back and take the Pennant.

Now All of these teams and comebacks are legendary and every baseball fan knows them. Do you know the reason why?

Because they are exceptions.

Nobody talks about the seasons when the Yankees dominated in the 90’s or the Reds in 1976 or the 1973 Oakland A’s not because they weren’t great teams but because thing happened as expected.

And that brings us to the election results tonight.

As of this writing Massachusetts, Georgia, Virginia and Alabama and Tennessee have all gone for Donald Trump and when CNN reported that GOP donors are getting together to get money together to stop him Jake Tapper just said “Why don’t they wait till after the inauguration?”

At the same time as the GOP Establishment is doing this many of my fellow conservative activists are talking about the same thing stopping Trump or suggesting that he’s in trouble to wit

Now as I’ve said over and Over I’m a Ted Cruz guy. I voted for him today and I urge all voters to vote for Ted as the best candidate to secure the border, stop Obamacare, I’m glad he’s leading in Texas and exit polls look good in Oklahoma which would be one more state than the MSM was projecting and I’d be delighted for him to come back and win the nomination.

But I understand that such a comeback would be in the same class as the 2004 Red Sox , the 1969 Mets and the 1951 Giants and have no intention of pretending otherwise and I hope the Ted Cruz campaign does the same because you can’t get to where you want to go unless you understand where you are.

Now I don’t expect the Establishment GOP to tell the truth but I’m really bothered to see my fellow conservative activists retreat to their safe spaces

Cue south Park


Election Day continues and with 3 hours to go we are still $47 shy of our $61 daily goal.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step so I see no reason why a journey to $61 can’t start with $14.

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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.


It’s Monday and we hope to reverse a slow weekend where we failed to make our quest for the $61 a day both day extending our annual deficit for the year at $1334 22 1/2 days behind the mark.

We would be delighted to reverse the trend of this weekend. To those who already have kicked in thank you so much. For those who can’t afford it, don’t worry about it but I do ask you to promote the site.

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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.

9th Doctor: This station is designed to explode the minute it reaches capacity.
Rose: Didn’t anyone notice? Isn’t there someone in London checking this sort of stuff?
Margaret: We’re in Cardiff. London doesn’t care. The South Wales coast could fall into the sea and they wouldn’t notice.

Doctor Who Boomtown 2005

One of the most important things that is constantly ignored by people trying to spin event for their gain is context such as what is currently going one by people who are trying to paint Ted Cruz as supporting Illegal Immigration & gay marriage.

The best way to expose this canard is to put things in their proper context and the best way I can think of doing that is taking a page out of Bill James book and talk about baseball.

Namely Carl Yastrzemski in 1968.

For those not familiar with either Baseball in general or Carl Yastrzemski in particular he was a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox who played from 1961 till 1983. Carl played Left field replacing the immortal Ted Williams while playing the occasional game in center field right field and even third base. With the coming of Jim Rice and the DH era he became a regular 1B and occasional DH in addition to Left Field duties

He was a far superior fielder to Williams winning seven Gold gloves over 23 seasons and also leading the league in outfield assists seven times, but it was his bat that helped him to 18 all star games 3 batting titles 5 on base titles two slugging titles 3 doubles titles and in 1967 became the last player to win the triple crown Hitting .326 with 44 Home Runs and 121 Runs batted in leading in all three categories and getting the Boston Redsox to the world series for the first time in 21 years.

Yaz would retire in 1983 and be promptly voted into the baseball hall of fame along with Johnny Bench both in their first year of eligibility. Yaz snagged 94.6% the 17th highest number of ballots all time but behind Bench that year who got 96.4%.

So pretty much in the 115 years of modern baseball it’s safe to say he was one of the greatest players of all time considered by many in the top 5 left fielders behind Stan Musial, Williams, Ricky Henderson and Barry Bonds and without question in the top 10.

But for the purpose of this piece let’s focus on his 1968 season, which followed his career year.

At first glance it would seem to be a disappointment. Yaz batted .301 a full .025 point drop from his previous year. He hit 23 home runs just over half his total of the prior year, and drove in 74 runs, a far cry from the 121 of the year before.

However let’s take a closer look at these number via a few Topps baseball card backs First in RBI’s

yaz rbi 1969

As you can see Yaz’s RBI’s total was good enough to put him 8th in the league tied with rookie Reggie Jackson and just behind Brooks Robinson but not near his teammate Ken Harrelson who led the league

Well how about those 23 meager Home Runs?

yaz hr

Yet it turns out Yaz 23 Home Runs while 2nd on the Red Sox behind Ken Harrleson’s 35 was good enough for 7th in the league just behind two members of the World Series winning Detroit Tigers (Norm Cash and Bill Freeman) and behind league leader Frank Howard’s 44.

Finally let’s look at his batting avg. How did a .301 average look in 1968? Turns out pretty damn good

yaz avg1969 1

Yup he lead the league in fact not only was he was the only man in the American league to hit over over .300 that year but only one other player even managed to get to .290

yaz avg1969 2.

But the best way to judge how good those stats were are to look at the MVP voting for the year

yaz mvp 1969

Yaz’s numbers were good enough to get him 9th place in the MVP voting in the year of the pitcher. Denny McLain of the World Series Champion Detroit Tigers would win the MVP and two other pitchers would finish tied for 5th in the voting (Luis Tiant & Dave McNally) ahead of him. Yaz would be 6th among position players behind HR leader Frank Howard, RBI leader Ken Harrelson & three Detroit Tigers batters, all who had the advantage of not facing Tiger pitching that year. In fact Yaz would be 1st in a stat not yet invented wins over replacement a full 2 runs against #2 player Brooks Robinson.

So all in all, while at first glance Carl Yastrzemski’s 1968 numbers were not that impressive, particularly compared to the year before based on relative numbers that year IN CONTEXT, he was easily one of the 10 best players in the league.

Now let’s consider Ted Cruz in context on Immigration the favorite attack of the Marco Rubio team, the one that really matters, amnesty.

First remember the reason for this attack from Rubio fans is to cancel out his own problems on the issue, as was evident even as he made appearance in early 2014.

While he touched on one of the elephants in the room (that one being the statue of one next to his podium) he didn’t have a word to say about the other, his support for the Senate Amnesty bill that has been the chief cause of his freefall in NH presidential polls.

Nevertheless his speech was well received and it remains to be seen if with such a large field of excellent GOP candidates to choose from, he will be able to recover his former standing. That pretty much depends on what happens with amnesty in the house.

If the House fails to pass the Amnesty bill then I suspect he will be given a mulligan and be able to make his case.

If however the house passes a bill, and such a bill gets to the president’s desk then Republicans in NH and elsewhere are unlikely to forget, or forgive

This was the cause for the Rubio Regeneration and his decision to stand with Ted Cruz on other issues in 2013

Alas for Rubio McCain was right, he DID get the credit, or rather the blame and now in every pol he falls into the 2nd tier of GOP contenders for 2016.
The field we used for this poll is not exactly the same as April- Ayotte and Cruz replaced Susana Martinez and Rick Perry, who had received little support. But at any rate it’s clear Marco Rubio has fallen precipitously, from 25% then to his current 7% standing.

And that’s why he is sticking with Ted Cruz this time.

While some (OK me) figure Rubio is young and was played, he’s not taking any chances. As long as Ted Cruz continues to fight Marco Rubio stands at his side.

It’s an odd situation, the MSM avoids mentioning or attacking Rubio on the subject saying bluntly he needs to get himself right with the tea party, almost as if they were working under the assumption that he is faking it but more likely because they will need to convince him to vote with them again if amnesty passes the house.

And on the other end while Rubio stands with Cruz in the Senate he isn’t making appearances before conservative groups like the Tea Party. His absence from the DC rally two weeks ago was no accident. He knew if he took that stage the chorus of boos would have been the story.


But more importantly than the whys about Marco Rubio’s tactics, what were people saying at the time


But as Congress arrives at a key moment in its work to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, the two stand at opposite ends of the debate on whether to allow the nation’s 11million unauthorized immigrants to become citizens. That divide mirrors the argument within the Republican Party over how to handle the immigration bill — and could end up propelling, or sinking, the two senators as they mull possible presidential runs in 2016.


That’s USA today in May of 2013 on Ted Cruz vs Marco rubio. They seem to think they weren’t on the same side, they’re not alone:

NBC Latino June 2013:

Cruz also spoke at Republican Congressman Steve King’s six hour anti-immigration reform press conference on Wednesday where he was greeted with cheers and claps as he maintained his hard stance against the bill. Congressman King was the legislator who introduced an amendment to repeal DACA and deport DREAMers.
In the Tea party rally, however, Senator Marco Rubio’s name wasn’t received so warmly at King’s rally. The once Tea-Party favorite faced a backlash from the crowd gathered in front of the Capitol. Audience members booed at any mention of Rubio’s name. Some attendees carried signs targeting the Florida Republican.

“Marco Rubio has not read his own bill” exclaimed Robert Rector, a researcher for the Heritage Foundation.

National Review notes Chuck Schumer didn’t think Cruz was for it:

Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who suggested that Cruz’s opposition to the bill had less to do with his desire for increased border security than with his opposition to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. (Cruz filed an amendment that would bar illegal immigrants from becoming citizens.) “I would like to point out the border security in the state of Texas is not some abstract concept,” Cruz said, before inviting Schumer and his other colleagues to come visit and see for themselves. “I believe Americans of goodwill, both Republicans and Democrats across this country want the U.S. government to get serious about securing the border.”

Let’s take a look at the vote concerning one Cruz amendment on immigration:

A Senate committee rejected an immigration-legislation amendment offered by Sen. Ted Cruz today that would have added significant security resources along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The amendment proposed tripling the number of Border Patrol agents stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border and quadrupling equipment, “including cameras, sensors, drones and helicopters,” within three years. And the 700 miles of border fence required by a 2006 law would need to be finished.

If the Department of Homeland Security failed to comply, 20 percent of its budget for the next year would be shifted as block grants to border states, giving state officials in Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico more funds for their own border security efforts. And another penalty: a 20 percent salary cut for the Secretary of Homeland Security and all other political appointees at the department.

The amendment was voted down 13-5, with Sen. John Cornyn supporting his fellow Republican after a brief pause during the roll call.

US News and World Report:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a newly elected Republican with a penchant for making headlines, filed an amendment that would bar undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States from ever earning citizenship…Cruz isn’t the only one throwing potential poison pills into the mix.

Poison Pill?

The New Yorker:

The long-awaited immigration-reform bill written by the haplessly named Gang of Eight in the United States Senate got buried this week, not unexpectedly, by a great mudslide of amendments—more than three hundred, at last count…Many were malicious. Senator Ted Cruz, of Texas, proposed that anyone who had ever lived illegally in the U.S. be barred for life from U.S. citizenship. The primary purpose of this overhaul, of course, is to offer the eleven million people believed to be living here illegally the chance to become legal—to give those who qualify a “pathway to citizenship.”

Malicious? Doesn’t sound like support for the bill to me


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), an almost certain “no” vote on the bill from the so-called gang of eight, filed an amendment on Tuesday to ban anyone who has been in the U.S. without status from becoming a citizen at any point…

Other Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have also proposed measures that would fundamentally change the bill. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) filed a whopping 77 amendments, while Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) filed 49.

Cruz told conservative commentator Sean Hannity in April that he has “deep concerns” about allowing undocumented immigrants to eventually become citizens.

Jeff sessions filed 49 Amendments to the gang of 8 bill? does that means he supported it too?

Fox Latino:

Supporters of the bill, mainly of the part of it that would legalize millions of undocumented immigrants, kept a steady drumbeat in defense of the measure though emails, websites and social media.In a press release, America’s Voice, a leading national group that advocates for more lenient immigration laws, singled out Cruz’s anti-citizenship amendment as particularly worrisome.

“This would not only destroy the path to citizenship in the Senate bill—the popular heart of an immigration reform solution—but also turn its back on 100 years of precedent in immigration policy,” said the release.

Apparently America’s voice didn’t think Cruz was a supporter of the bill.

Did you remember that Ted Cruz launched a petition against the gang of eight bill? KFYO said at the time:

We will see who has more pull in the Senate right now. Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz. The immigration bill could still be strengthened though. Or Rubio could bail on the Gang of Eight and join with Ted Cruz. Interesting to watch.

Hmmm Cruz vs Rubio here, he also sent an open letter concerning it to congress with his objections which were not just over the amendment:


Let’s assume that Joe’s Burger Shack has 100 employees and that at Joe’s Burger Shack, with 100 employees, business is doing relatively well, people are eating more hamburgers, and Joe decides he wants to hire 5 more people. If Joe and Joe’s Burger Shack decide they want to hire five more people, if Joe chooses to hire five U.S. citizens or if he chooses to hire five legal permanent residents–five legal immigrants–Joe faces a penalty of $25,000 for doing so–$5,000 apiece right off his bottom line to the IRS. In contrast, if Joe decides instead to hire five RPIs, who came here illegally among those 11 million who are here illegally but granted RPI legalization under the Gang of 8 bill, Joe pays a penalty of zero dollars.
Let me ask a simple, commonsense question. In this instance, who is Joe, the small business owner, going to hire? This bill creates an enormous incentive to hire those here illegally, and at the same time it does it by creating a statutory penalty for hiring U.S. citizens and for hiring legal immigrants. That makes no sense.


And talked to Byron York about it who wrote this:

So Cruz’s amendments were designed to 1) eliminate the legalization-first, security-later structure of the Gang of Eight bill while still creating a way to legalize those now here illegally; 2) increase certain types of legal immigration; and 3) remove what might be called the moral hazard of rewarding those who came here illegally with citizenship and federal benefits. “In introducing amendments, what I endeavored to do was improve that bill so that it actually fixes the problem,” Cruz told me. “I think an overwhelming majority of Americans in both parties wants to see our broken immigration system fixed, wants to see the problem solved, the border secured, and our remaining a nation that welcomes and celebrates legal immigrants. Given that bipartisan agreement outside of Washington, my objective was not to kill immigration reform but to amend the Gang of Eight bill so that it actually solves the problem rather than making the problem worse.”

Each of Cruz’s amendments was entirely defensible, but also entirely impossible in today’s climate. The Gang of Eight bill is a painstakingly-crafted proposal which Democrats would abandon immediately if any of Cruz’s ideas were incorporated in it. Schumer and his allies have a long list of deal-killers, and it includes every single one of Ted Cruz’s ideas.

As Politico reported Cruz said:

“If the objective is to fix the problem, the Democrats have to be willing to compromise.”

They were not and Cruz talked to Rush Limbaugh about it at the time on his show:

RUSH: Yeah, but you don’t expect that hold up, do you? I mean, within a day or two, Senator Schumer’s gonna find a camera and talk about how discriminatory it is. “Here we’ve just granted these people status! We’ve just allowed them to come out of the shadows, and it’s just unconscionable now that we don’t let them vote,” and so a whole new amendment might be made to eliminate the 13 years. Is stuff like that possible, because I don’t blame people who have a cynical view like that.CRUZ: You’re absolutely right. That is certainly coming. It’s why I’ve introduced a number of amendments to try to fix this mess. One amendment that I’ve talked about today on the floor of the Senate is an amendment to put real teeth in border security — this bill has no teeth in border security — to triple the border patrol, to increase fourfold the helicopters, fixed-wing assets, technology on the border, to put in place a strong biometric exit-entry system.

RUSH: Those were all voted down?

CRUZ: They have been, and critically, the most important piece is to say, “Secure the border first, before any legalization.”

And there was also this welfare tidbit

CRUZ: Well, you know, if there’s one thing Washington knows how to do, it’s come up with bogus cost estimates. I mean, we all remember when Obamacare was passed and we were told it would save money, and we’ve now discovered that it’s gonna cost trillions, and it’s only getting worse. You know, the CBO figures just focus on the immediate, short-term impact and not the long-term impact, and they just focus on the federal level. So, for example, the proponents of the Gang of Eight say that no one who is here illegally will be eligible for welfare. In the Judiciary Committee, I submitted an amendment — a very simple sentiment, just a couple of sentences — that said, “No one who is here illegally shall be eligible for any means-tested welfare federal, state, or local.” Every Democrat on the committee and the Republican members of the Gang of Eight all voted against it.

RUSH: Yes! Exactly!

CRUZ: It was very clarifying. When they go and say, “There’s no welfare,” why do they vote against a provision that would make it clear?

and let’s remember what was at state here:

RUSH: We’re talking to Senator Ted Cruz from Texas about the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. Senator Graham was on TV Sunday, basically said that we need to do this, just as you said, to get back in the good graces of the Hispanic community. And I think you’re right, the consultants are telling Republicans — you know, you can tell somebody anything. The fact they believe this is what’s frightening to me. Because where does this stop, Senator? If, for example, we gotta get back in the good graces of Hispanics, therefore we have to support amnesty and throw out what we believe, then what’s next for abortion? What’s next for gay marriage? What’s next for anything that we disagree with the Democrats on? Well, the gays don’t like you Republicans, and you’d better sign on to gay marriage or you’re never gonna get their support. I mean, it’s the same line of thinking and it has no end to it unless you play it all the way out and the Republican Party ceases to exist.

CRUZ: Rush, you’re exactly right. These same consultants advise on every one of those issues that Republicans give up our principles and become Democrats. You know, I’m always amused when the New York Times writes editorials trying to be helpful to Republicans and say, “This is the way Republicans can save themselves.” Look, the New York Times disagrees with us. They’re entitled to disagree with us, but it’s not like we should take their advice.

RUSH: Well, they don’t want to save us.

CRUZ: That’s exactly right. They want to destroy us.

Ted Cruz understood this in 2013 and still understands it today. Marco Rubio didn’t understand it then which is why he and his supporters are trying to rewrite history on Ted Cruz today. It’s just as nonsensical as claiming Carl Yastrzemski had a bad year in 1968 based on the stats.

Both claims are nonsense and the proof is just a google search away.

I’ll give the last words to Cruz himself

With one week to go I’m over $16,000 short of my goal for 2015.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

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.


The only pay I get for this work comes from you. My goal for 2015 is $22,000 and to date we’re only at $5500

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

I know it’s only the first week of the Baseball season but if you are a New England baseball fan you’ve got to like the way things have started:

Mookie Betts robbed Bryce Harper of a homer, stole two bases in one sequence and clubbed a three-run homer. David Ortiz added two hits, including a homer over the Green Monster in left-center. Catcher Sandy Leon, acquired from the Nationals late in Spring Training, produced three hits against his former team. Pablo Sandoval added two hits and had a nice play at third base in his first home game for Boston.

Now it’s highly unlikely that the Sox will be playing .700 baseball when he season is 70 games old rather than 7 but with the kind of offensive lineup this team has it wouldn’t surprise me to see them still in first place when June and July comes around nor would it be a shock to see them in the post season but it’s a long season and a lot can happen.

But for now as we wait for the snow piles in the parking lots to melt I’m going to enjoy things as they are.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT —  I don’t want to discuss Hillary Clinton.  I’m blogging this several hours ahead of post-time so I don’t know what Memeorandum’s top stories are, but I will predict that at the moment you are reading this, most of the top stories in your news feed are Hillary related.

I have nothing to say about Hillary except she’s a lying liar and I have no respect for her whatsoever.

Let’s talk about something else today, besides Hillary.

Let’s talk about baseball:  the all-American sport.  We’ve just come off opening week and my husband is already giving up on the Cubs.  He can’t help it; he’s been a Cubs fan his whole life and he’s used to never having a winning season.  Maybe the curse will be broken and they’ll have a good year.

We have satellite TV at our house and this year we ordered the Extra Innings baseball package, so now we can watch almost any game we want to.  So far it’s been a nifty little investment (albeit an expensive one).  As an added benefit, it means that much less time that I have to watch someone blather about Hillary Clinton on television.  And even better, my satellite baseball package doesn’t have that stupid, distracting strike-zone box superimposed in front of the batter like ESPN does.  I quit watching ESPN’s opening night game simply because that box irritated me to death.

Baseball is simply a joy to watch.  I love watching the game but I also love watching the fans and the players in the dugout.  Why is it that everyone at a baseball game looks like they’re having such a great time?   Even the players seem to radiate the pure joy of the game.

The most common complaint I hear about baseball is that it “moves too slow.”  I think that’s part of the joy of baseball; you have time to strategize the next play, anticipate what pitch might be coming next…is the runner on first going to try to steal?  Is the double-play option in effect?  Baseball is certainly not without its drama – just look at that 19-inning game last week!  Talk about drama!

As far as baseball writers go, they don’t get any better than Roger Angell.  His tribute to Derek Jeter was just poetry.

I could care less what Hillary Clinton has to say in the coming days; I do not care about her empty promises, her declarations about what America needs, her continuation of the ruination of this country, or her bumbling, philandering, scalawag of a husband.  For the next six or seven months, I will be watching baseball, which to me, celebrates all that is good and ever was good about America.

Maybe Hillary should watch more baseball.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

I completely approve of the four new inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz & Biggio without question deserved to get in.

Ironically Clemens & Bonds who both languish in the 30’s in terms of percentage due to steroids likely would have gotten in without them as both had Hall of fame careers before they dived into the drugs. I suspect the tens of millions of dollars they earned thanks to extended careers will make up for the lack of this additional honor.

There as been a lot of debate about who belongs in and who doesn’t. I’m not going to enter the debate, instead I’m just going to give what I think should be the rule of thumb for any Hall of Fame voter in any sport.

If you have to think if a candidate for a Hall of Fame belongs in said Hall of Fame, said candidate doesn’t.


Emptying my mind of some stray thoughts on Election 2014.

I might owe Scott Brown an apology, I thought he was doomed as a candidate as 2nd Amendment folks, pro-lifers and Rand Paul people who didn’t want another GOP senator in NH in 2016 talking up a rival would stay home but he recovered from some early mistakes, ran a smart campaign (with the exception of a single ad) and once again managed to take advantage of really dumb mistakes by an opponent in a year when Democrats are tanking.

On that same subject Martha Coakley has to stop running for higher office at times when Democrats are in the middle of shooting themselves in the foot.

I can’t really see what Charlie Baker is doing different this time around, that he is leading by so much really shocked me, however real change won’t come in Massachusetts until there we have more than 20% of the house seats and 10% of the senate.

I don’t understand Seth Mouton.  He has an excellent back story but I haven’t seen his campaign run a single positive ad defining himself, even Richard Tisei’s negative ads are a split a negative with a positive.

I’ve really got to laugh when they link Tisei to Ted Cruz.

Nobody actually expected Wendy Davis to win in Texas but Democrats raised an awful lot of money for a year because of her race.

The only way that Democrats are going to oppose voting methods that make voter fraud easy is for republicans to take advantage of those methods of fraud more effectively than they.

When people argue that voter fraud doesn’t exist they remind me of Sicilians who used to say there was no such thing as the mafia.  I still can’t keep a straight face when people say it.

It’s 10 years since the Red Sox won their first world series since 1918, the shine is still on it (of course winning two more since then certainly helps).

That being said has there ever been as great a post season as this one, every series, even the sweeps have been exciting?

Now that I think of it isn’t this a repeat of 100 years ago when the Giants and the Red Sox ruled the roost?  Hope that doesn’t mean that after 2018 we’ll have to wait four generations to win again.

All the empirical evidence screams Big Red Wave but I think a lot of conservatives like me were burned in 2012 and are gunshy about publicly saying it too loud, but when you have democrats using Both Clintons, Both Obamas and Biden in MASSACHUSETTS with under 20 days to go, you’re in trouble.

Final thought, to those who think Hillary Clinton will be a strong president, if she wasn’t willing to Obama in 2008 when his people were intimidating her delegates and stealing the Texas primary / Caucus what make you think she’ll stand up to anyone else?


PM Jim Hacker: Then there’s this business of the UN vote on Israel tonight, the US wants us to abstain.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: I’m sure it’s a question of maintaining our relationship with the Arabs, the power of Islam, Oil supplies.

Pm Jim Hacker: Humphrey I’m talking about what’s right and wrong.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well don’t let the Foreign Office Hear you?

Yes Prime Minister A Victory for Democracy 1986

The PR firm Burson Marsteller is rather upset about this article in the New York Observer that’s now splashed across Drudge:

Despite this appetite for controversy—and the juicy retainers that companies in trouble will pay—apparently even Burson-Marsteller has its limits. They refused to work with the democratic nation of Israel to help the tiny Jewish state improve its image. In turning down a potential $3.5 million engagement, Sigurd Grytten, Burson-Marsteller’s Managing Director said, “We will not deliver tender to such a project… we are running a commercial venture. If we accept this project, this will create a great amount of negative reactions … Israel is a particularly controversial project.” Representing Israel, apparently is worse than offending American Indians, anonymous smears, and shady defense contractors involved in extra-curricular killing.

In fact it made them angry enough that they called the Observer leading to this exchange:

In a telephone interview, he maintained that the firm does not have a policy in place that declines to represent Israel. After much back and forth, Mr. Cabrera was asked, “Yes or no, would you represent Israel?” He replied, “I’m not going to answer a hypothetical question.”

I certainly understand why they might do this, there is in fact only one Israel but an awful lot of Arab nations in terms of potential business so i might be a sound decision dollarwise.  It is however a bad idea for a business that does damage control for other business’ to need damage control itself for appearing anti-semitic.  So naturally they  produced a statement to defuse the story.  Unfortunately for them the statement from Burson-Marsteller dated Sept 26 2014

The opinion piece written by Ronn Torossian was not accurate. He creates the false impression that Burson-Marsteller currently has or has ever had a policy about whether or not to represent Israel. He writes as if he recently contacted a member of the firm and received confirmation about such a policy.

Here are the facts. This firm has no policy about whether or not to represent Israel. (emphasis mine)

…sounds an awful lot like this official statement from the Commissioner of Baseball Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis from July 17th 1942

Negroes are not barred Organized Baseball by the Commissioner and never have in my 21 years I have served as Commissioner. There is no rule in Organized baseball prohibiting their participation and never has been to my knowledge. If Durocher or any other manager, or all of them want to sign one or 25 Negro players, it’s all right with me.

and this statement later the same day from Bill Benswanger the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates

I agree with Judge Landis’ statement. There is not and never has been, to my knowledge, anything to ban Negroes from baseball. I know nothing of any agreement in the major leagues to ban Negroes. I have gone on record before on this matter and I hope I still have a free mind and a free conscience.

Gentlemen’s agreement anyone?

Despite the lack of such a policy concerning blacks in the majors Jackie Robinson would not play for the Brooklyn Dodgers until 1947 nearly five years after Landis’ statement and 3 years after Landis’ death.  As for the Pittsburgh Pirates 2nd Baseman Curt Roberts break the color barrier for them on April 13th 1954 twelve years after Mr. Benswanger’s statement and  eight years after he sold the team.

Perhaps Israel is lucky.  If Burson-Marsteller can’t handle damage control on this Observer story without sounding like Jim Crow era segregationists that doesn’t sound like the type of company one would want doing your PR

But that’s just me.

Update:  More here and here.


Olimometer 2.52

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The only thing Weaver knows about a curveball is that he couldn’t hit one.

Jim Palmer

Some groundbreaking news from the world of sports:

Becky Hammon, who is retiring this month from a 16-season playing career in the W.N.B.A., will join the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach next season, the N.B.A. team announced Tuesday.

Hammon, 37, becomes the second woman to serve on an N.B.A. coaching staff. The first was Lisa Boyer, who was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ staff in the 2001-02 season. Boyer, however, worked part time and was not paid by the team. Hammon has been hired to a full-time, paid position.

A lot of people will make a big fuss about this and the questions will come:  Will the players  look at her differently because she’s a woman (and as a fairly young and attractive woman at that)?  Will she get the respect of other coaches?  How much of a microscope will she be under?  Since he never played the NBA game can she coach at that level?

My thought is there is one answer to (almost) all of the questions involved:

Earl Weaver.

For those of you who don’t know Earl Weaver career as a manager started fairly young at age 38.  He managed 17 years for the Orioles winning one world series and losing three.

Weaver was known as a fiery and combative manager who was often ejected form games, nevertheless brought the best out of his players finishing his career with a .583 lifetime winning percentage and getting a spot in the baseball hall of fame as a manager.

As a player it was a different story.

Weaver was signed as an infielder in the 40’s but never managed to get above AA baseball before breaking in as a minor league manager in the mid 50’s.

Never once during that time was he capable of playing at a major league level.

It didn’t take long to discover that whatever he lacked as a player physically didn’t take one thing away from his ability to run a team.  He managed 12 seasons (11 1/2 really)  in the minors winning three championships before becoming first a  coach in Baltimore then manager.

And that brings us back to Becky Hammon.

Hammon has played basketball on the international and Olympic level in addition to her many years in the WNBA and there wasn’t a single solitary day during her entire career that she would have been a fit player for the NBA at any position on any team.  Anyone who tells you different is pushing an agenda.  If you don’t believe me consider what this WNBA star had to say on the subject when asked:

People ask me all the time, ‘Will there ever be a woman player in the NBA?…To be honest, no. There’s differences. The guys are too big and too strong; that’s just the way it is. 

However the job of a coach is not to be as big as Hasheem Thabeet or to be able to set a pick against Paul Pierce, nor to out rebound Robin Lopez, Block Zack Levine, outrun  nor to outrun Carmelo Anthony or defend Lebron James.

The job of a coach is to be able to observe and evaluate their players in order to help the be ready to set that pick, be in position for that rebound or block and train them to be ready to outrun or defend a better player, if not through their physical gifts then by guile and anticipation.  A coach needs to be able to read a game as it’s being played in order to help said players make adjustments to allow them to do what is necessary to win on a court.

Hammon had the advantage of observing the players on San Antonio closely for a year, she is familiar with their strengths and weaknesses.

I don’t claim for one moment to be familiar enough  with Becky Hammon to speak to her grasp of the game, but apparently a lot of people who are could see she was a student of basketball from way back:

We all figured it would be for the Colorado State women’s basketball program, her alma mater, the school she put on the map in the late 1990s with her sweet outside shot and clever ballhandling. In fact, there were even rumblings around Fort Collins back in the day that the CSU athletic department had made some sort of handshake, wink-wink deal with the dynamic local star: The moment you retire from playing, we’ll have an open spot in the athletic department — guaranteed.

The reason we all knew Hammon would become a coach is actually quite simple. She could see a play once and know all its options and offshoots, categorize them from most to least effective. And she could do this for every position on the court, instantly — as if the X’s and O’s had been coded into her DNA. Most of the time, the team’s coach approached Hammon for her insight — rarely was it the other way around.

The San Antonio Spurs just won an NBA title and are looking to repeat, nobody is going to tell me they would have hired this woman if they didn’t believe she would be a valuable asset to the team at an assistant coach level.  I see no reason why she should not succeed as the WNBA player I quoted above once said on a woman coaching in the NBA:

But when it comes to things of the mind — game-planning, coaching — there’s no reason why women can’t be in the mix or shouldn’t be in the mix.”

The woman who said that was Becky Hammon, it will be up to her to show if she is that theoretical woman.

I have a funny feeling that if she succeeds and someday gets a head coach position somewhere behind the pearly gates Earl Weaver will be smiling.

…assuming he wasn’t ejected from heaven for arguing with St. Peter that is.

Closing thought: while one can’t preclude the possibility that one of Earl Weaver’s players might have hit on him over his decades long career as a manager there is little doubt that Miss Hammon players would find her more attractive than Earl’s found him.  Hammon’s is no supermodel but she is, in my opinion cute, is certainly fit and she has a similar background and similar interests as the players she is coaching which would make her very compatible to any of them social setting.

It will be interesting to see if or when a player on that team might find himself listening to Hammon the coach while at the same time while thinking of Hammon the woman and how that situation is handled.

“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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There is a huge debate about baseball, as mentioned on live at five,  banning home plate collisions.

Baseball Icon Pete Rose is upset

“What are they going to do next, you can’t break up a double play?” Rose said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press after MLB announced its plan Wednesday. “You’re not allowed to pitch inside. The hitters wear more armor than the Humvees in Afghanistan. Now you’re not allowed to try to be safe at home plate?” Rose said. “What’s the game coming to? Evidently the guys making all these rules never played the game of baseball.”

And fans on twitter are outraged:




Apparently this decision is not final:

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, chairman of the rules committee, made the announcement at the winter meetings, saying the change would go into effect for next season if the players’ association approved.

But the fans continue to scoff:


Regular readers of this blog know I’m a baseball fan and I’m sure you’re wondering what my thoughts are they can be expressed in one simple exclamation!

Hasn’t anyone read the rules?

Blocking the Plate is illegal and always has been.

The rules of baseball ALREADY forbid a defensive player to obstruct an offensive player as Red Sox fans learned in gave three of the World Series at St. Louis even if it is accidental as one ESPN analyst put it at the time:


Well that doesn’t apply to the Catcher does it? Not only does it, the rules explicitly say so.

Rule 7.06

NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.

OK so the Catcher can’t block the plate without the ball, but what about WITH the ball? You can still have collisions when the runner barrels into him to jar the ball loose. Surely they need change the rules to account for that?

Actually, they don’t.


(a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. (emphasis mine) If the umpire declares the batter, batter-runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules.

This has always been the rule as Red Sox fans, and Yankee Fans will doubtless remember A-Rod during game six in 2004.

Fan anger not withstanding the rules of baseball already forbid a catcher from blocking the plate without the ball and the rules also forbid the runner from interference of the Catcher, ball in hand, trying to make the play. The reason fans think otherwise is because the rules were never enforced.

So the question becomes: Why haven’t the rules been enforced all these years?

The answer is simple: Spectacular plays at the plate play well on ESPN and sell DVD’s and tickets so everyone from owners to players were willing to pretend the rules didn’t say what they did.

Sounds a lot like our current immigration laws, ignored for the profit of others and the solution is to the problem is exactly the same.

Start enforcing the laws/rules as they written!


Olimometer 2.52

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Mr. Rickey, I thought when I signed the contract I signed for one thing. There is a ‘W’ column, and there is an ‘L’ column. I thought it was my obligation and duty to put as many as I could under that ‘W’ column.

Leo Durocher Nice Guys finish last.

Kirk: Mr. Spock, have you accounted for the variable mass of whales and water in your time re-entry program?

Spock: Mr. Scott cannot give me exact figures, Admiral, so… I will make a guess.

Kirk: A guess? You, Spock? That’s extraordinary!

Spock: [to Dr. McCoy] I don’t think he understands.

McCoy: No, Spock. He means that he feels safer about your guesses than most other people’s facts.

Star Trek IV 1986

I read (via Glenn) Tunku Varadarajan’s piece on Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar impending retirement a particular phrase jumped out at me.

In purely sporting terms, however, he is but a shadow of his old self, in which he shone as one of the three or four finest players cricket has produced in its long, languorous history. He is now merely a “good” or “better than average” player. Had he been only 24 and this proficient, he’d be an honest contender for a place on the national team. But he is now so much less good than he once was that, when he plays, the more dispassionate among us can see only an ugly gulf between Sachin’s apogee and his plateau.

Now I presume Mr. Varadarajan is a fan of Cricket in general & Mr Tendulkar in particular but that phrase in the middle of a piece on Mr. Tendulkar and graceful exits says more about Mr. Varadarajan that it does about Mr. Tendulkar and the team that plays him.

I freely admit that the source of my sparse knowledge of cricket  is an interest in the origins of baseball & my Doctor Who fandom (5th Doctor don’t you know) but I think I can explain the fallacy of this piece by quoting the Bill James Baseball Abstract (1985) page 359 where James critiques a negative evaluation of Brooks Robinson by another writer (full disclosure I’m a HUGE Brooks fan).

an analytical structure that reduces the player’s rank (of all time greats) for several years in a row, as it happened at the end of Robinson’s career, is irrational, because it assumes that the player is being used by a team for several seasons although he has negative value (not to mention that Robby was being used by a team that was winning 95 games a year). If a team is willing to play a player, then by definition that player must have value.

So if a player has value the question becomes: ‘What is that value’?  Is it as a draw selling tickets such as Babe Ruth for the Boston Braves? You’ve got to figure a legend like Tendulkar must sell tickets which can’t hurt when you have to sell tickets for a five day test.

But cash aside the real value of a player, if your goal is victory, is this measured by only one standard: Can I put a better player on the field who can help us win given the budget the team has?

And that’s where Brooks Robinson circa 1975 comes in.

That year Brooks had one of his worst years at the plate as a full time player.  In 539 at bats he hit only .201 with 6 homers and 54 RBIs a far cry from his 1964 MVP season when he hit .317 with 28 HR & 117 RBIs.

Yet his fielding stats were still impressive, his fielding percentage was a full 25 points above the league average at .979  range factors he would win his final gold glove at third and his WAR rating (wins above replacement) was 1.8  It was the lowest of his career but still positive meaning he had more value than a the player (Doug DeCinces) who would eventually replace him.

In 1976 & 77 his final years in the Majors as a part time aged 39 & 40 player Brooks Continued to out field DeCinces Aged 25 & 26 (.969 vs .941 in 76 & 1.000 vs .958 in 77) and didn’t have a lower range factor than him till his final year in the majors. But that defense couldn’t make up for a huge difference at the plate for those two years ( .211 Avg .307 slugging vs .234 Avg .357 slug in 76 & .149 Avg .255 slug vs .259 avg .433 slugging in 77) that finally caused him to be replaced.

What significant about those numbers is this:  DeCinces batting numbers in 76-77 those years are OK but nothing particularly special, one might even consider them below avg for a major league hitter but Brooks numbers at the plate were just plan awful.  Certainly not up to the standards of a player at the major league level.

If after 1975 Brooks Robinson produced merely average numbers at the plate such as he did in the 1972 season (.250 Avg with 8 HR 64 RBI and a slugging percentage of .342) he likely would have continued to start at third until his fielding numbers dropped or he decided he simply didn’t want to play anymore.

That brings back to Sachin Tendulkar Let me remind you of Mr. Varadarajan description of his current skills as a cricketer:

Had he been only 24 and this proficient, he’d be an honest contender for a place on the national team.

So Mr. Varadarajan doesn’t say Mr. Tendulkar skills have deteriorated to the point where he is a liability to his team. He doesn’t say he is still a good batsman but a liability in the field. No he says without equivocation that a 24-year-old with Mr. Tendulkar’s current skills would be an honest contender for the National Cricket Team of India.

For my readers who likely know little about cricket, A cricket team consists of 11 players not counting the bench.  There are 1.237 BILLION people in India. a large number of which likely dream of being on the National Cricket team when they were younger just as I dreamed of being Brooks Robinson as a kid.

I submit and suggest that if his skills are good enough to make the national team given the talent pool in India not only does he belong on the team but unless he just doesn’t want to play anymore he has no business retiring as he would be a solid player on any professional team in the country that would have him.

The problem here isn’t Mr. Tendulkar’s lack of skill but the expectations and others.

Mr. Varadarajan et/al might be disappointed that when Mr. Tendulkar he  goes to the Cricket Pitch he is no longer seeing the Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron of Cricket, but if they are seeing the Tony Oliva or Mike Napoli of Cricket neither they nor India’s team are being cheated.


Olimometer 2.52

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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.

This morning I went into Boston very early and caught the line of people hoping against all hope to score tickets to tonight’s game.

The person first in line had actually arrived on Monday. He had just finished one job and was about to start a new one giving him the free time to spend two night in line.

Several Hours later when the sun had risen I perused the line again to get commentary from as many people as possible

I was surprised at how many people came from so many different places all with a common goal to get in somehow.

Given that the decision to pitch to David Ortiz with First base open was one of the most controversial decisions of the series to this point, as repeatedly asked if 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.

On the other side of the park they were still conducting Fenway tours. I spoke to one of the attendants and they indicated they would continue to do so till 4 PM. I talked to a couple from Vancouver Washington who was attending one.

I couldn’t help but wonder if any of the fans waiting in that ticket line considered trying the tour instead and hoping to lose their escort & hide in the mens room to get in.

It turned out I wasn’t the only person who was doing some independent journalism. A young senior named Samantha was too.

There will be a lot to see at Fenway tonight. Hopefully all those who waited many hours in the hopes of seeing it person will be rewarded.

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.

As the Red Sox prepare to host the Detroit Tigers in game 1 of the ALCS I’ve found myself thinking of Baseball lately.

It’s a game where a person does not have to be in perfect shape to excel. Stand Michael Jordan, Deion Sanders Bo Jackson & Ernie Lombardi next to each other near the end of their careers and you might laugh to think of the nearly 300lb Lombardi in their company, but while all of them played professional baseball, only the slow Lombardi is enshrined in its Hall of Fame.

I loved the sport since I was a kid and adored the various face to face simulations from the long forgotten Gil Hodges Pennant Fever to Avalon Hill’s Status Pro Baseball and a table top face to face league I started 26 years ago still plays in my home town.

The more I think of the game and all the adjectives there are to describe it, there is one that comes to mind that I hadn’t thought of before.


Baseball is in many ways the perfect sport for conservatives and in many ways emphasizes conservative values better than any other. Consider:

Conservatives say: Produce and you are rewarded:

In baseball most players are signed out of high school and are paid as they develop rather than the college athlete who earns money for his school without financial return.

Conservative say: Be the best and you get more.

Baseball was the last of the sports to reward teams who didn’t win their division (wild card) and under it’s new system gives an advantage to ALL division winners over wild card teams.

Conservative’s believe Life is a long hard slog.

Baseball is a long season 162 games over 6 months teams regularly play six games a week it’s the longest and hardest in sports.

Conservative know You have to earn your success every day.

In baseball when you’re out of a game you can’t come back till the next one:

Conservatives believe you don’t do things for the sake of doing them:

In baseball there is no play clock there is time before each pitch, time to think and consider:

Conservatives understand while things are quiet you have to be ready for the unexpected:

In Baseball While there is plenty of time between pitches when the ball is hit things happen quickly and every person in the field has to be ready:

Conservatives understand the best man doesn’t always win

In baseball even the best teams lose and the worst teams win 25% of the time.

Conservatives understand everyone screws up sometime and you’ve got to take your medicine when you do

Baseball is the only sport with a stat “the Error” that says “you blew it” and that stat is part of the basic line score of every game.

Conservatives understand there are a lot of failures that precede success.

Baseball’s best hitters fail 7 times out of ten.

Conservatives know in life there are winners and losers and that’s just the way it is.

In Baseball: Not just teams but pitchers on teams have win-loss stats, there is a personal winner & loser in every game.

Conservatives understand that you have to be flexible enough to make adjustments one size doesn’t fit all.

In baseball small adjustments in the field make all the difference, a few feet to the left for an outfielder or infielder on a batter is the difference between a hit & an out.

Conservative believe in the work ethic.

In baseball you are expected to run out every grounder & hustle on every fly ball, if you don’t even the biggest star can pay for it.

Yes Baseball is as conservative as can be but of all the conservative principles baseball exemplifies there is one that stands over all:

In conservatism you are judged by what you do, not what you meant to do, not what you say you believe you have to actually do it.

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.


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It’s Saturday and I remain a full $187 away from my quest for the full paycheck.

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8 readers hitting DaTipJar for $24 gets it done.

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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.

One of the truths of Baseball is the best team doesn’t always win.

If you look at history the best record of all time in the Majors was held by the Chicago Cubs winning 116 games and losing only 36 a winning percentage of .736 an incredible number before losing the World Series in six games to the Crosstown rival Chicago White Sox.

If you want a more recent example The 1998 New York Yankees won 114 games and losing only 48 times in 162 games before sweeping the Padres in 4 to cruse to the world series. They won so many games that year I thought John Sterling would lose his voice.

But this only emphasizes the reality. The Cubs were the best team of all time, the Yankees team of 1998 was the image of domination, yet they both lost to inferior team on average better than once every four games.

Maybe someone has a bad outing, maybe someone gets hurt, maybe the other team gets hot, maybe someone makes a mistake but no matter how you slice it, there was a better than one in four chance that John Sterling would save his voice on any given day.

And that brings me to the Dominican Republic

the Dominican team has played 5 games so far and is perfect, with one day to go they have clinched a spot in the final four.

Meanwhile the Dutch who are already in the finals are currently 4-3 and in the same spot that Japan is and in the spot the Dominicans want to be.

By the time you get to the finals by definition the teams you will be facing will be the best ones left. Logic says Japan and the Dominican Republic are the teams to beat, but the law of baseball averages says they have the hardest road to travel.

In the final four one loss and you’re out. Either Puerto Rico, or the US will join them they have already lost 2 games each (and one each to the DR)

If you think just stats. The Dominicans are going to be the team to beat PERIOD!

But if you think baseball, I think they have the hardest road left to travel.

(Yeah I know you were expecting another CPAC post but man does not live by CPAC alone).

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.