Yesterday I wrote about Nolan Ryan greatness in reference to Chris Sale’s 300 Strikeout season. Today it hit me that Ryan is a great example of the follies of convention wisdom. The subject deserves a little more elaboration.

Of all the outs a pitcher can produce a strikeout is the most valuable, in my opinion even more than a double play. A runner can score on a double play, but without an error by the catcher a runner can’t score on a third strike nor can a runner advance on a strikeout without trying to steal a base. With no outs and runners on a strikeout makes an inning ending double play possible and with one a strikeout means that you don’t have to play your infield in, risking a hit getting through.

Nolan Ryan struck out 5714 in his career, he is the ultimate strikeout pitcher in baseball history and to understand just how good he was consider this.

While Ryan struck out 300 men five times in the AL since the DH was adopted he also struck out 300 men the year before (1972) for a total of six 300+ strikeout seasons including one at age 43 (1990). As you do ponder those numbers consider that Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Roger Clemens, Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton, Bert Blyleven, Chuck Finley, David Cone, Frank Tanana, Mike Mussina, CC Sabathia, Jim Bunning, Greg Maddux, Phil Niekro, Ferguson Jenkins, John Smoltz, and Cy Flipping Young, all on the top 24 all time strikeout leader list, never managed to do it once.

But believe it or not there was a time when people actually argued if Ryan was a great pitcher, let alone a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher, consider this from The Bill James Baseball abstract’s 1985 edition:

I may get kicked out of the sabermathmatics union for saying this but it seems to me we’ve got to start taking Ryan a little more seriously as a great pitcher. He has had six straight winning seasons (through 1984), which I didn’t expect either, but anyways he is now about twenty wins better than the teams he has pitched for. That doesn’t break any records but it is comparable to man of the pitchers listed here.

Remember when this was written Ryan had already been in the majors 18 years, had already won a world series, won 231 games, held the MLB record for most no hitters with five (he would throw two more) and was already the all time strikeout leader with over 3800k’s. In fact if he had retired that year he would still hold the record for no hitters and would be currently 4th all time in strikeouts (behind Randy Johnson 4875, Clemens 4672 and Steve Carlton 4136).

Yet here was one of the best minds in baseball stating in print that calling Nolan Ryan a great pitcher was a controversial opinion at at the time to many it was.

Of course while the experts argued the fans who saw him pitch got it. I watched him pitch at Fenway once. Everyone in the stands knew we were in the presence of greatness. He pitched deep into the game leaving behind a collection of dumbfounded hitters before giving the game to his bullpen who would give up the lead and then the game to the Red Sox to the delight of the fans.

It wasn’t until he became the grand old man of baseball that people would eventually come around and recognize Ryan for the all time great that he was. The writers got when he was eligible for the hall of fame in 1999 98.8% of the voters had him on their ballots tied with Tom Seaver for the highest percentage of votes all time. Only Ken Griffey Jr’s 99.3% in 2016 would beat it.

If you told Baseball expect’s in 1984 that this would be the case they’d have laughed you out of the room.

Nolan Ryan career is the best example of one of my favorite sayings. Conventional Wisdom is always right, up until the moment it isn’t.

I suspect we’ll have a lot of use for both this example and this saying over the next 7 years.


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You’re not paid to play, you’re paid to win

Bill Russell to Charlie Rose 2001

I was going to put up the first of two posts on DACA when I saw this and my jaw dropped.

CC Sabathia took issue with what he called a “weak” Red Sox attempt to bunt on him in the first inning of the Yankees’ 6-2 victory on Thursday at Yankee Stadium, the second consecutive matchup in which Boston has attempted to take advantage of the hurler’s troubled right knee.

Eduardo Nunez reached base after bunting a 1-1 fastball that Sabathia fielded, but threw wildly for an error. After two walks, Sabathia escaped the inning with a pair of strikeouts and shouted toward the visiting dugout, later saying that his words were intended for the entire team.

Here is Sabathia’s interview

My answer, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I think Eduardo Nunez answer to this was right on the money his job is to get on base, if Sabathia is not well enough or not fast enough to field his position and the Yankees put him out there that’s on them and him. Let’s not forget at end of his career Cy Young put on weight, the players of his era bunted on him too, only he didn’t whine about it. Nor did Yankees fan ever see Jim Abbott complain about having to field a ball sans right hand.

I’ll give the last words to Jim Rice

and Leo Durocher

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.

And in fairness to Sabathia, he did get the win in that game.

Personally if I was managing the Sox if Sabathia is having trouble fielding bunts I’d be having my players drop them all night long.

If you are looking for a distraction from the news of the day and a lot of people are these days, you’re in luck.  Major League Baseball is giving us a some division and wild card races this season that (unless you are a fan of the NL East) really fits the bill.

Let’s start in the American League East The first Boston Red Sox Team without David Ortiz in 15 years has managed to keep first place in the East despite injuries to Price and Pedroia and the Bust that was Pablo Sandoval who they finally released eating tens of millions in salary. However their arch rivals the New York Yankees are under five games out and with more than a 3rd of their remaining games against either the Yanks or teams currently in First place they will be hard pressed to keep themselves 16 games over .500 when the season comes to a close.

In the Central Cleveland continues to prove that last year’s Pennant wasn’t a fluke sitting five games up, but both Minnesota under 2nd Year manager Paul Molitor and the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals have no intention of going quietly. The next three weeks will be the key as the Tribe will be playing a 17 game where their opponents are Boston, the Yankees, Twins and Kansas City. If they get through that three week stretch still on top then Terry Francona has to feel really good about their chances for another shot at breaking their 69 year championship drought

In the west The Houston Astros are likely the only team breathing easy. With an 11.5 game lead in their division and only three games against a 1st place team before the last week of the season (and those against the Washington Nationals also sitting pretty and safe) it will take a massive collapse for Houston to fail to win their first division title since 2001 not to mention their first since joining the American League

AL Wild card: Wild is the way to describe this race. The Yankees currently hold the first wild card spot and two games behind them sits the Angels but seven count the SEVEN teams Minnesota, Kansas City, Baltimore, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Texas and Toronto, sit within 3.5 games of that final spot. but are as close to the Yankees as they are to the Red Sox. More teams will be playing more meaningful games this later in the season then we’ve seen in a long time.

In the National League East Washington sits in a similar position as Houston in the AL west. With a comfortable 13.5 game lead and schedule lacking in division leaders their have an entire two months to try to figure out how to get by the LA Dodgers in October

The NL Central is where the action is.  The World Champion Cubs (It’s still odd to write that) hold a slim 1.5 game lead over StL with Milwaukee and Pittsburgh both under five games out. While August isn’t so bad 18 of their games in Sept will be against teams chasing them. If they win that division they’ll have earned it.

In the West the only question left to answer is will the LA Dodgers break the record for most wins in a season.? They are already at 83 wins and if they only play .500 ball for the rest of the season would finish with 105.  With 26 games remaining against sub .500 teams a record breaking 117 wins is very possible and an earth shattering 120 while unlikely is not outside the realm of possibility. One caveat, the two teams that hold the 116 win record for a single season, one failed to get to the World Series and the other failed to win it.

NL Wild Card. Thanks to the Dodgers both the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondback have no prayer to win their division but with 66 wins each, enough to lead the central division in either league they share the wild card lead with only St. Louis, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh anywhere near close enough for a real challenge. The one fly in the ointment? Both teams have two series left with the record chasing Dodgers.

Put simply half way into August two thirds of major league clubs are still playing meaningful games so if you are a baseball fan watching a game this week you can expect some excellent baseball.

So great that Red Sox fans gave him a standing Ovation for robbing Hanley Ramirez of a Home Run:

 Red Sox fans know greatness when they see it.

That’s why Cleveland Indians center fielder Austin Jackson received a standing ovation from the Fenway Park faithful on Tuesday night after taking away a home run from Sox slugger Hanley Ramirez.

I was watching at the time it was the best catch I’ve ever seen in my life,

Basically he made the catch that Torii Hunter missed by 2 inches against David Ortiz back in 2014

If there was ever a play that deserved a standing ovation for an opposing player, it was that one, however Red Sox fans were rewarded for their good sportsmanship in the last of the 9th when Catcher Christian Vasquez hit a three run homer with two outs in the 9th to win the game for the Red Sox.

So all’s well that ends well

By John Ruberry

Deep in southwestern Germany in the Rhineland-Palatinate state lies the small village of Kallstadt, which has about 1,200 residents.

It is well-known for two reasons. It’s a stop on the German Wine Route and it’s the ancestral home of Henry J. Heinz, the founder of the H.J. Heinz Company, and President Donald J. Trump. In fact, Heinz and Trump’s grandfather, Kallstadt-born Friedrich Trump, were second cousins.

I was digging deep–very deep–on Netflix for something interesting to watch when I stumbled across Trump’s face on a movie poster for Kings of Kallstadt, a documentary by Simone Wendel, a Kallstadter. It was filmed in 2012 and released in 2014; her movie probably would have been forgotten outside of Rhineland-Palatinate had the Trump Train not steamrolled into Washington last year.

Much of the dialogue is in German–with subtitles of course.

There is a Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon feel within Kallstadt, because Wendel tells us that “the sun always shines and the wine never runs out.” And while Kallstadt has only 1,200 inhabitants it counts 1,600 members in its 27 clubs. “That amounts to 135 percent of love,” Wendel beams. Does Kallstadt have a Miss Kallstadt? No, it has a Wine Princess. No, make that two of them, which is a situation you might expect to find in the Andy Griffith Show’s Mayberry. Kallstadt’s culinary delicacy is saumagen, that is, stuffed sow’s stomach.

Yummy!

Trump is interviewed here, along with the family historian, Trump’s cousin John Walter. If you ever imagined what our president would be like if he was a modest accountant–that’s Walter. Because he’s a modest, albeit retired, accountant.

Fascinatingly, even before he officially entered the political world, the man who was then simply known as the King of New York felt compelled to bring up his troubled relationship with the media.

“Okay, I think (there are) a lot of misconceptions about me,” Trump explains to Wendel in a Trump Tower conference room. “I’m a lot nicer person than the press would have you think. I don’t want to ruin my image by telling you that, but I believe that.”

Not discussed in the film is what Donald and his father, Frederick, said about their heritage–the Trumps were Swedish–which the legions Trump-haters jumped on during the presidential campaign. But the Swedish fib is an understandable distortion of the truth. During World War I it was quite common for German-Americans to hide their ethnicity. I regularly run into people who tell me stories of a grandfather or great-grandfather who changed his name from say Muller, to Miller, after being hounded out of a town as Americans fought the Kaiser’s army. After World War II Trump’s grandmother, Elizabeth, and Frederick rented many apartments and sold many houses to Jewish New Yorkers, who understandably had extremely uncomfortable feelings about Germans.

“He had thought, ‘Gee whiz, I’m not going to be able to sell these homes if there are all these Jewish people,'” Walter told the now-failing New York Times last year about the dilemma of Trump’s dad.

More on Grandma Elizabeth in a bit.

“After the war, he’s still Swedish,” Walter continued. “It was just going, going, going.”

As for the Swedish tale, Donald repeated it for his best-seller, The Art Of The Deal. Frederick was still alive then. But by 1990 the Swedish stuff was dead lutefisk.

Outside Chicago’s Trump Tower in 2017

Friedrich Trump left Kallstadt at age 16 for America where he enjoyed great success in Seattle, Yukon, Alaska, and then New York. Walter tells Wendel that Grandfather Trump married Elizabeth Christ, a Kallstadter. She demanded that he sell his American properties and return to Kallstadt, which, in a story Trump confides to Walter that he never heard, Prince Leopold of Bavaria deported Friedrich. Yes, a Trump was deported! Friedrich died in 1918 in Queens, likely an early victim of that year’s flu pandemic. Elizabeth and Frederick then founded Elizabeth Trump and Son Company, now known as the Trump Organization.

Back to the almost present: a group of Kallstadters are invited as guests of New York’s German-American Steuben Parade. Trump was the parade’s grand marshal in 1999. They also visit Pittsburgh and the Heinz History Center, where amazingly, no members of the Heinz family meet them. Say what you will about Donald J. Trump, but he earnestly tries to make himself accessible except to those who are openly hostile to him. Trump could have easily dismissed Wendel’s request for an interview for her quaint little film. But Trump has alway been a salesman.

The Kallstadters attend a Pittsburgh Pirates game–big league baseball–but one cranky woman constantly complains that there is “no action” in the game.

But is there is a lot of action in a 0-0 soccer match, frau? Other than the brawls in the bleachers?

Then comes the Steuben Parade. As the Kallstadters–two of whom are carrying a giant model of a saumagen–and Walter gather on the route, an “Obama 2012” sign is seen from a window behind them.

Blogger in Washington State last year

Late in the film Wendel asks Trump if would like to visit Kallstadt. “When I’m over there I will certainly visit,” he replies. “Absolutely.”

The president will be in Germany next week for the G20 summit. No word of a Trump homecoming yet, along the lines of his visit to the birthplace of his mother in Scotland in 2008. Although Trump isn’t very popular in Kallstadt, at least according to media reports, since his political rise.

“Believe me,” Trump just might respond to such stories, “that’s just fake news, believe me.”

In addition to Netflix, Kings of Kallstadt is also available on Amazon. It’s an enjoyable, wunderbar, and yes, big league movie. Even if you hate Trump. Believe me.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Chances are I wouldn’t recognize Susan Slusser if she passed me by on the street. I’ve seen her photo online and her on local sports television a few times, but given how I’m the living embodiment of jokingly stating the reason retail workers wear nametags is so we can remember our own, it should come as no surprise I’d most likely miss her if she was tap dancing in front of me. In a duet with Stomper.

Ms. Slusser is a superb sports reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her main assignment since 1999 has been my beloved (albeit sometimes bedraggled) Oakland A’s. She writes with crisp, clean accuracy, covering the team’s ups and downs while drawing little if any attention to herself. It’s said the best referees and umpires are the ones you never notice due to their calling the game correctly. Similarly, in today’s world where reporting and opinion are far too often mixed in an unwieldy, unsatisfactory in both areas whole, Ms. Slusser is admirable in keeping the two separate, never tipping her hand or interjecting herself into the story. She is informative, in depth, and invisible.

Like most every media person in any field these days, Ms. Slusser has a social media presence. Unlike most every media person in any field these days, using said social media as something other than sheer self-promotion she engages with her readers, or at least the ones with a few synapses firing in coordinated fashion. I’ve exchanged a few tweets with her in recent months, and she has been unfailingly polite and informative. In like fashion, I have always addressed her with completely deserved compliments, respect, and consideration, often looking for a way to insert something she hopefully finds chuckle-worthy into the conversation. I gotta be me, after all.

I’m quite certain that Ms. Slusser and I voted for different Presidential candidates last November. Which is fine. Politics aren’t everything; I’d much rather chat about what the A’s are doing to address their defensive deficiencies or my beloved classic Christian rock artists. I don’t need to debate every policy and platform with everyone. Sometimes – most all of the time, in fact – I’d rather find common ground and not mix politics with everything else. I’d rather enjoy a ballgame. I also figured out quite some time ago that no one in Washington DC was refreshing any given blog site where I write fifty times a day, trembling with anticipation of my next great pronouncement so they’d know which policies and platforms to pursue. Something others, given their predilection for incessant self-righteous babble, have apparently yet to learn. But I digress.

There are many on my side of the political aisle who live for open combat with one and all in mainstream media. It works for them. It generates heat; it creates a scenario in which the fearless flamethrower, backed by gallant retweeters and such, speaks truth to power hiding behind corporate walls. Makes for great spectacle. Hail the conquering snarknado master!

If someone isn’t doing their job properly because of implied or overt bias, fine. Call them out. They deserve it. But with this duly noted, is it impossible to praise, and treat the same way you and I wish to be treated, reporters who regardless of their political beliefs do work of the highest quality? Or for that matter, members of any given profession?

Certainly engaging people as, well, people is far less exciting and attention-drawing than treating others as raw meat designated for tossing to your wolfpack fan club. But does the latter genuinely accomplish anything? Sure, you look like the tough guy or mucha macha chica on Twitter et al. You’ve also alienated, probably permanently, a whole lot of people you’re supposed to be trying to reach for your cause who, astonishing as it may seem, aren’t that interested in your totem pole positioning within their echo chamber. Why not for once try being respectful to another human being possessing the same dignity and worth as you? If it doesn’t work, you did the right thing. But if it does …

… you too can exchange tweets with the Susan Slussers of this world.

Well It’s a week later and there have been more developments in the WBC.

Cinderella is a pumpkin again…

Israel who shocked the world by winning their first 4 games of the world baseball classic (which made seven straight wins if you count the qualifier rounds finally turned into a pumpkin as the Dutch avenged their earlier defeat by thumping them 12-2 in an 8 inning mercy game while Japan finished them off with a 8-3 win. It was still an impressive run for the team who will finish no worse than 7th overall (6th if Puerto Rico beats Venezuela) whose world ranking is sure to rise and their trip to the 2nd round automatically qualifies them for 2021.

Cuba falls apart.

The vaunted Cuban team was outscored 23-7 losing all three of their 2nd round games including a 14-1 mercy defeat against Australia in a game that could have forced a 2nd round playoff. While it’s always a good thing to see a communist government embarrassed it’s kind of sad to see a country that has produced so many fine players humbled in this way. However like Israel they did make the 2nd round so they will be back in 2021 but will they have the talent to get back to their previous level? That remains to be seen.

Venezuela pines for Italy.

Team Venezuela had an odd path to the second round going 2-4 in round one with two wins against Italy while being beaten by Puerto Rico and Mexico, however without Italy to kick around round to has been a disaster with loses to the US and the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico’s win against the US knocked them out so today’s game is just for pride but the question remains can Omar Visquel’s injury plagued team edge out one of the favorites to go to the finals in their last game.

The Japan Dutch repeat

Four years ago Japan and the Dutch made it to Baseball’s final four and were beaten by Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, both teams earned a 2nd chance to change that result. Japan going a perfect 3-0 against their 2nd round foes and the Dutch crushing the Cubans to guarantee their trip to America. Last time around the Dutch fell to the Dominicans this time they will draw Puerto Rico which is likely to be no easier, however the Dutch team looks even better than last time so it will be no pushover for the runner ups for 2013. Meanwhile Japan will have to wait for the result of the US vs DR game later tonight to see who they will face and nobody should count out the 2 time champions.

Puerto Rico stands alone

The only real question for the PR squad that has gone undefeated in the classic is do they rest their stars in a meaningless game vs Venezuela? They have played excellent defense and offense and their pitching has done the job against some tough teams (although they almost blew it vs the US yesterday). The real question will be how they deal with the young and cocky Dutch who are no pushover in the semi final and do they hold back their best starter for the final against either Japan, the DR or the US? I’m glad I don’t have to make that call.

The last big game. US vs Dominican Republic

The Dominicans and the US face an elimination game tonight at 10 PM the winner will take on Japan in the final four the loser will go Home. The US finds themselves in this spot thanks to a digging a big hole in game one vs PR and their failure to get the tying run home in the 9th while the DR gave up fewer runs but couldn’t produce offense against the PR team (although in my mind an interesting strike zone cost them dearly as well). The DR will need to get by the US and Japan for another crack at the Puerto Rico squad (presuming they get by the Dutch) meanwhile the US is looking to return to the final four that they last made in 2009.

There are no easy games left for any of these teams but the odds on favorite would be for a DR vs PR rematch and one has to give the defending champs the edge there but it wouldn’t surprise me to see any of the final five teams walk away with the crown and in one respect both Puerto Rico and Japan have one disadvantage. There is no sport harder to keep up a winning streak in (even the 62 Mets won 40 games) Japan has one six straight to win it all they’ll need to win 8 while Puerto Rico will be in the same spot unless their meaningless game to Venezuela.

Either way from today through Wednesday the WBC will be the spot for the best baseball of the spring.

My wife’s illness has kept me so busy I missed the start of the world baseball classic. So here are some updates.

The Israeli Juggernaut

One doesn’t think of Israel as a baseball juggernaut but they dominated their group crushing little league powerhouse Chinese Taipei 15-7 while edging Korea in extra innings 2-11 and doubling up the Netherlands (who also advanced to round two) 4-2. With the exception of two innings including a weak 9th with a 12 run lead the Israeli wins were all about pitching.

Hank Greenberg would be proud.

The Rising Sun continues to Shine…

Japan continued its dominance in first round action going undefeated against China Australia and Cuba who also advanced to round 2.

They seem to be on a mission get their third title after failing to make the finals last time around.

while the rest of the orient is in free fall:

It’s been a bad WBC or oriental teams not from Japan. Mainland China continues its imitation of the 62 mets scoring only one run in three defeats. Chinese Taipei while averaging over six runs a game did no better as their pitching gave up double digit runs to both Israel and Korea while being edged by the Netherlands while the only team that South Korea, which made it to the final four the first year and the finals in the second and playing their 1st round games in front of a home crowd, only managed to score against the hapless Taipei pitching.

Meanwhile Pool C & D games started this week.

In pool C The returning 2013 champion Dominican republic made short work of Canada 9-2 while the US edged Columbia in an exciting game ended by a walk off single by Baltimore’s Adam Jones

This sets up a must win game for both Canada and Columba today at noon while the clash of the titans US vs the Dominican Republic takes place tonight at 6 pm.

And Red Sox fans if you’re wondering, no David Ortiz is not on the DR roster so this isn’t one last chance to see him play

In Pool D 2013 Runner up Puerto Rico absolutely crushed a Venezuela team no doubt weakened by the lack of food in the country 11-0 while Italy scored five times in a 9th where two Mexican pitchers gave up 5 hits and one walk with one error behind them without recording a single out before the home crowd giving them the a 10-9 win.

Italy brings that momentum with vs Venezuela at 3 pm today while Mexico will try to recover against a high scoring Puerto Rico team at 9:30 PM

Round 2  Tokyo

While this goes on Round Two action begins in Tokyo as Israel tries to prove their 1st round dominance was no fluke against Cuba at 10 PM while in the wee hours of the morning (7 AM sunday) the Dutch who have a history of surprises in the WBC face the Japanese.

The key game of the series will be on Tuesday at 6 AM when Japan meets Cuba again. It remains to be seen if either of the underdogs in this round the Dutch or Israeli who meet the day before at 6 AM, will be able to take advantage of the loss that one of the other baseball powerhouses will suffer.

Either way it looks to be a great World Baseball classic which has one thing over the spring training games currently being played in Florida and Arizona.

All these games mean something.

Some thoughts running through my head.

The weakness of the Democrat party doesn’t surprise me but their willingness to advertise their weakness does by things like this 

Democrats are warning Republicans not to repeal Obamacare. ”They will rue the day” they move in that direction,Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has stated ominously

Nothing says: I have no power and can’t stop you. Like ominous warnings, but what can we expect from a party with visuals like this?

In fairness to Democrats they don’t have Kelly Anne Conway who continues to prove her exceptional value shooting down leftist memes every single day:

Of course a woman who has fought the left and media for pro-life causes is going to know how to handle falsehoods thrown around like a baseball

Of course it’s not only going against Kelly Anne Conway that doesn’t end well:

Retailers enjoyed their best Christmas in more than a decade following the election of President Trump, and the return of enthusiasm and hope. Sales were up 4.1% to 4.9% over last year, CNBC reported.

Except at Macy’s, where sales were down 2.1% It will close 100 stores, and dump 10,000 workers.

If you really want to understand what went wrong, Macy’s stock peaked at $72.31 two weeks after dropping Donald Trump.

Today in the middle of a stock market boom their stock and a Christmas Season that went so well for others:

Macy’s shares recently changed hands at $32.60, down $3.24, or 9 percent.

If Macy’s wants to be a niche market than Trump voters will be happy to let them become one.

Speaking of Niche markets this one via GOP USA caught my eye.

 

Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken is among a couple of dozen restaurants across the country to sign onto a new “sanctuary restaurant” movement meant to offer safe workplaces for immigrants, Muslims and other communities they feel are under threat in the current political climate.

The movement is a joint project of ROC United, a national group that advocates for higher wages for restaurant workers, and Presente.org, whose mission is to “advance Latinx power” (Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina).

According to a news release Wednesday, sanctuary restaurants do not allow harassment of individuals based on immigrant or refugee status or race, religion, gender or sexual orientation; participate in peer networks to exchange ideas for protecting targeted workers; and agree to place prominent signs that state “SANCTUARY RESTAURANTS: A Place At the Table for Everyone” at their establishments.

 

Two things hit me, the idea that all a group has to do is feel threatened to make their list but if I was in charge of the IRS this would be an open invitation to investigate an employer and levy a large fine for disobeying federal law.

Of course given the left’s decision to use law and regulations as a club against their enemies I’ve never understood their willingness to set the precedent concerning openly ignoring them.

In a recent post I argued that the whole Hillary for Mayor business is all about the Clinton foundation lack of dollars but there is one other thing in play that I didn’t mention.

There are plenty of FOB who were expecting to cash in on a Hillary Clinton presidency, while smaller in scale at least some of those folks can still cash in if Clinton ends up Mayor of NY.

And of course if Hillary becomes Mayor of NYC there is no reason why Chelsea can’t follow her, sure she has no skills or talent but she also has none of the baggage of her mother and father so if you are a person who makes a living off of Clinton Inc, that’s a viable long term plan.

Locally I was very pleased to see this story:

The Planned Parenthood office on Main Street closed last month after operating in the space for six years.

The office, at 208 Main St., opened in 2010, and was routinely the subject of protests held by religious groups outside the office.

Yup praying to stop the murder of children, that’s what we do.

In a press release, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts President and CEO Jennifer Childs-Roshak said the state’s chapter decided to close the Somerville and Milford centers due to a “strategic decision” rather than a budgetary one.

I suspect once the federal dollars are turned off under a Trump administration we’ll see a lot more of this. Yet another bit of proof that the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Every time I see a story like this I wonder why the state of Israel doesn’t just wipe the Palestinians off the map:

It’s not as if they have the Christian command to turn the other cheek.

Incidentally there is an interested pair of stories that have gotten little attention, this:

Arab media is buzzing about a visit to Bahrain by a delegation of 28 religious American Jewish businessmen.

The visit was to explore opportunities from a free trade agreement between the US and Bahrain.

The delegation also is visiting Dubai, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

A Bahraini businessman said that the delegation’s visit was an opportunity to introduce them to a tolerant kingdom, adding that “the visit opened the way for economic and trade opportunities.”

Solomon Eisenberg, a member of the Jewish delegation, said that there was a need for direct dialogue, away from governments and media, between people of different faiths and origins

The visit included the Jews and Muslims singing and dancing together (which did not sit well with some Arabs on Twitter.)

followed by this from Bahrain’s house of representatives:

The Council reiterated Bahrain’s position of rejecting all forms of normalization, communications and establishing relationships with the rapist Israeli entity, and that any move and act opposed to Bahraini law, and the principles of the Bahraini people.he Council reiterated Bahrain’s position of rejecting all forms of normalization, communications and establishing relationships with the rapist Israeli entity, and that any move and act opposed to Bahraini law, and the principles of the Bahraini people.

Remind we why we treat these fools like anything other than Barbarians?

Some Sports on the radio this week there was a big fuss about some writer in Philly both calling Curt Schilling a “scumbag” and leaving him off the HOF ballot.  I have three thoughts on this.

First of all part of the discussion was that Wins as a stat was meaningless next to ERA, and others.  I totally disagree, we are long past the time when Connie Mack declared that the best result for him is a team that starts strong but finishes 4th since such a team  will draw enough to make a profit and you don’t have to give a guy a raise for something he didn’t do.  The whole reason why a player is signed by a team is for them to win, both games and championships.  Schilling’s greatness comes from the fact that he delivered and has the three rings to prove it.

Second If Curt Schilling was all in for Hillary vs a GOP stalwart the sports writers of America who these days are a bunch of MSNBC wannabees likely would carry him into the Hall of Fame on their shoulders.

Finally when it comes to the Hall of Fame I think there should be a two tiered system where only the greatest of the great make the highest level, or to put it another way, to my mind if you hear a players name and don’t immediately thing HOF, or have to think even for a moment if a player belongs in the HOF he doesn’t.

In Entertainment Newsbusters is as a rule an invaluable watch on the MSM and culture but I think this story was a bit much.

Christianity is once again the butt of the joke on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory – this time mocking prayer and Noah’s ark.Christianity is once again the butt of the joke on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory – this time mocking prayer and Noah’s ark.

I’m sorry but I’m a very conservative Christians and I didn’t find the jokes offensive in the least nor do I suspect did most Christians who watched it.  I understand the broken windows theory but let’s focus on the real thing rather than this penny ante stuff.

Finally let me sing the praises of the only original episode of Doctor Who not produced by Big Finish this year, the Christmas Special The Return of Doctor Mysterio.  Watching that show brought me back to the old days of Tom Baker when the show was meant for kids.  No big social agenda, no massive angst, just the Doctor foiling the monsters with a bit of laughter and fun on the side.

More please

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.