Saturday, August 30, 2008

Game 135: Little Man Comes Up Big

In Michael Bowden's first major league start, little man DP batted fourth (?) and went 4 for 4, helping fuel an 8-2 win. Tampa won again, while the Twins fell, pushing them 3 1/2 out in the wild card race.

Somebody stop me...

Via Ed Morrissey, right wing blogger:

"Now that almost a full day has passed since John McCain has named Sarah Palin as his running mate, we can already see the themes his political opponents will take in criticizing her. Irony runs through a number of these arguments, as most of them apply more to their own ticket than to the Republicans, and one in particular is just so despicable as to drop the jaw to the ground. Let’s take a tour of these, shall we?

It’s a desperation pick — he didn’t make up his mind until Thursday!

McCain did make his selection on Thursday, but apparently well before the Barack Obama speech that supposedly spooked him into foregoing Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty. What of it? When did Barack Obama make up his mind about Joe Biden? Biden had told reporters, “I’m not the guy” just days before finally getting picked as the running mate. Obama was desperate for anyone with foreign-policy gravitas after stumbling through the Caucasus crisis on his own. Paul Begala noted that it appeared Vladimir Putin had picked Obama’s running mate.

Besides, why would McCain be “desperate”? Most Republicans run well behind their Democratic opponents in the summer; McCain gained enormous ground on Obama and was ahead in polls of likely voters before the convention."

Stumbling through the Caucasus crisis on his own? What was Obama responsible for?

"Why would he put a small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?

This is a real laugher. By the same logic, why would the Democrats make a state legislator the actual president? The answer is that Obama is a US Senator of three years experience, and Palin is a governor of 20 months’ experience. Only Barack Obama has spent two of those three years not in the Senate doing his job but running for President. Before starting his bid, he had a grand total of less than 150 days in session in the Senate. Palin, on the other hand, has run her state for more than triple that time.

And let’s remember that Obama is running for the top job,"

Yes, Obama is running for the top job. He's been vetted for 18 months by the public and the media. Palin is running with a 72 year old cancer survivor. To question her readiness seems fair.

And don't insult our intelligence by saying Obama isn't doing his job. Both men have been AWOL.

"McCain can’t talk about experience any more — he’s shot himself in the foot!

Unfortunately for the critics, this argument doesn’t hold water, either. All four principals are running for the highest executive position in the federal government —indeed, the position in charge of the entire executive branch. How much executive experience does Obama have? None; he’s worked in corporate law, community organizing, and has eleven years as a legislator at various levels. Biden? He’s been a lawyer for three years and a Senator for 35 years, and has no executive experience at any level of government.

McCain at least has executive experience as a squadron commander in the US Navy, but Palin has the actual executive track record that the others lack. She has governed Alaska for 20 months, negotiated a pipeline deal with Canada (which gives her more formal diplomatic experience than either Obama or Biden), was commander-in-chief of Alaska’s National Guard, and so on. Even her more local-level experience is more applicable than Obama’s: she served two terms as mayor, an executive position, cutting taxes and running a small city. Obama served in the state legislature, with no executive responsibilities at all."

This is just silly. Palin's town has 5000 people in-there are more people at Wrigley Field for a Cubs game.

Negotiated a deal with Canada? Gee, I bet that was a toughie.


This, at least, qualifies as a legitimate concern, at least legitimate enough that the state legislature has decided to investigate it. Supposedly Palin fired the commissioner of public safety because he wouldn’t fire her brother-in-law, a state trooper who had becomed estranged from Palin’s sister. Mike Wooten only got a suspension, and last month, she allegedly dismissed Walt Monegan over his handling of the case. Palin says that wasn’t the reason, the legislature noted that Monegan’s was a political appointment and he served at the pleasure of the governor, and they have also stated on the record that Palin has been so cooperative that they will not need to issue subpoenas — which hardly sounds like a cover-up.

So what did Wooten do, anyway?

Troopers eventually investigated 13 issues and found four in which Wooten violated policy or broke the law or both:
• Wooten used a Taser on his stepson.
• He illegally shot a moose.
• He drank beer in his patrol car on one occasion.
• He told others his father-in-law would “eat a f’ing lead bullet” if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce.

Excuse me, but any of these four should have been a firing offense, let alone having done all four. He Tased his stepson? He threatened to shoot Palin’s father? No wonder the Palins hired their own investigator and pressed the issue so hard. But if this was the reason Palin cashiered Monegan, why did she bother to wait eighteen months after taking office to get rid of him?"

Good point. Clearly the trooper deserved to be fired. But an abuse of power is an abuse of power. Given the Republican track records in such things, she should fit right in.

"Palin’s pick insults more qualified Republican women like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Elizabeth Dole, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, etc etc etc.

I doubt any of these women feel “insulted” by McCain’s choice, but even if they did, so what? McCain didn’t want a Washington insider as a running mate. None of the known short-listers came from DC with the exception of Joe Lieberman, and Lieberman would have been a special case anyway. He wanted a partner for real reform, someone with a track record of taking risks to pursue change and to clean up politics. All of these women are insiders, and most of them have no executive experience at all — and all of them are Senators. Why copy the Biden pick?"

Because these others probably have positions on things like the Iraq War. You know, stuff like that.

"Sarah Palin wasn’t REALLY pregnant — it’s her daughter’s child.

This popped up on a Daily Kos diary and has unfortunately been repeated by bloggers who should know better. The rumor is a weird reversal of the John Edwards story, only this time, critics refute Palin’s maternity. Supposedly, so the story goes, the baby really was their eldest daughter’s (currently in high school), and not hers. The proof? At six months, Palin didn’t “look pregnant”, and supposedly her daughter had mono and took some time off from school. That’s it.
This is, simply, despicable. Babies born to teen mothers rarely have Down’s Syndrome anyway, whereas the possibility for that with a mother in her 40s is about 1 in 20. Athletic women sometimes do not show until late in the pregnancy. The whole rumor rests on the notion that the state’s most visible woman could carry out a fake pregnancy in front of the press while simultaneously hiding her daughter, and then pull a switcheroo — and for what possible purpose? To cover up a teen pregnancy, in this day and age? Give me a break."

Agreed. This is an evil meme. As evil as the slime being passed around Obama.

Please don't confuse comments and diaries from a site with the actual content of the site, though. That isn't fair.

And are you trying to tell me that Palin would have been considered with a grandchild out of wedlock? PUHleeze.

I've really got to stop doing this. I think I'm obsessed.

Bill Richardson on Barack Obama

"Fellow citizens-I am not known as a quiet man. But I hope you will allow me, for a moment, to bring quiet to this great hall.

Because at a time when young men and women are dying for our country overseas, America faces a question worthy of silent reflection. And the American people are watching to see how we answer it. What is the best measure of a person's capacity to protect this country? There are often moments of great importance that go unnoticed in the unruly course of history.

And six years ago, there was a moment of great clarity and foresight. And if the world had known to listen, perhaps today there would be less heartache and sorrow. In October 2002, on a small stage before a small crowd, Barack Obama gave a speech that was barely noticed at the time.

In the midst of great fervor-brought about by an administration that questioned the patriotism of anyone who disagreed with it-Barack Obama called the coming war what it was: "a war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics." He was right!

Barack's words were prescient and brave. "I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East-and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al-Qaida." He was right!

He said: "a successful war against Iraq would require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences." He was right!

Instead, Barack Obama urged President Bush-who's never in the mood to be urged in a direction other than his own folly-to finish the fight with bin Laden and Al-Qaida. He was right!

Six years ago, in this simple but forceful speech, Barack Obama did more than just challenge President Bush. He offered a detailed vision for foreign policy-including the vigorous enforcement of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty-condemnation of human rights abuses even among our allies-and a commitment to reconciliation between Pakistan and India. He was right!

At the same time, there was another voice. After 9/11, John McCain turned his sights toward Iraq-a country that had nothing to do with 9/11-and called for a full-scale invasion. Barack Obama foresaw chaos. John McCain said we'd be welcomed as liberators, and that Iraq would pay for its own rebuilding. John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right!

Barack Obama was among the first to call for a timetable for responsible withdrawal. But John McCain, to this day, condemns the idea. The Iraqis are calling for a withdrawal timetable, but John McCain would keep us in Iraq for 100 years. John McCain is wrong. Barack Obama is right.

And Barack Obama saw the foolishness of embracing Pakistan's Musharraf. John McCain thought we should support the dictator and let him take care of the Pakistani terrorists. Musharaff is now gone, and the terrorists are stronger than ever. John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.

With America fighting two wars, the 9/11 terrorists still at large, Iran pursuing nuclear weapons

and Russia in Georgia, America needs a president who gets it right the first time. That president will be Barack Obama. With a vision of foreign policy that has ranged far beyond Iraq, Barack Obama has found a kindred spirit in another leader of great strength and wisdom-Joe Biden.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we must fight the terrorists-not where we imagine them to be, but where we know them to be-like Afghanistan and Pakistan. We must lead a global effort to secure loose nuclear materials, not where we imagine them to be, but where we know them to be, in Russia, and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

It's time we had a president committed to fighting poverty in the Third World and ending the genocide in Darfur; who leads international efforts to stop global warming, strengthens our friendship with Mexico and Latin America, and stands behind Israel with full-time diplomacy to achieve peace in the Middle East; a president who ends the global scourge of AIDS in our time and sets an example of moral leadership by following our constitution, shutting down Guantanamo, and ending torture.

We must do all of this, not because we imagine these are American ideals, but because we know they are.

And ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe it's time to finish the job and get bin Laden. We don't need another four years of more of the same. It's time for the change America needs. This is the judgment and vision of Barack Obama. This is the preparation he has to be President of the United States. And this is the man we need to return our country into the goodwill of other nations and the grace of history. Thank you, and God bless our country."

This was Richardson's speech at the Democratic Convention.


OK, enough.

I could go on and on about Sarah Palin. I have spent part of my morning reading about her, and frankly, I can't stand it anymore.

John McCain has held George Bush's hand while he drove America into a ditch-financially, spiritually, morally, ethically, physically, and mentally. That is the first, last, and only reason I am voting against him.

Sarah Palin is a creationist? Seriously?

Palin? Really?

Five Republican (or Republican Leaning) Women More Qualified to Be Vice President Than Sarah Palin:

1. Meg Whitman
2. Carly Fiorina
3. Elizabeth Dole
4. Christine Todd Whitman
5. Kay Bailey Hutchinson

Shudder To Think...

According to BP's Will Carroll, Josh Beckett is heading to see renowned sports physician Dr. James Andrews.

If your blood just ran cold, that's because he's the guy who winds up doing a lot of Tommy John surgeries, and that should scare the heck out of any Red Sox fan.

Hopefully, it's nothing.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Attack of the Hairy Rosanna (Game 134)

This thumb drive has been through at least two laundry cycles, and yet the data still remains. Any errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling, are entirely my own, and not the result of getting Clorox in between the ones and zeroes.

I love technology.

Note to self: Remove drive from pants before going to sleep tonight, dummy.

Something interesting, believe it or not, has been happening on this blog. Someone, or something, named Rose, has obtained a google account and has begun commenting on a number of posts. The comments are, shall we say, odd-not entirely coherent. I thought that the whole comment verification thingy was supposed to prevent bots from leaving comments, but I would not be surprised if those crafty botmasters have found a way around that.

So, Rose, if you are a real person who finds my mixture of socialist rambling, useless whining, and constant Red Sox chatter interesting, you and your obviously vague grasp of English are welcome here. I can think of several hundred blogs that you would be better off reading instead of mine, but, like I said-I’ll take all the readers I can get. However, if you are, in fact, looking for Hairy Rosanna, that’s not here-that’s Throwaway.

And, Rose, if you are, in fact, a bot, I guess you’re welcome here, too. I don’t discriminate against digital forms of life.

Like many adults, I do have parts of my body that I would like to change the shape of, but, no, I would not like to give you my credit card number so you can send me herbal capsules full of moss and purified rainwater. I do have the need to make $5000 a month working part time, but I will not give you my credit card number so you can explain to me how I can get rich investing in real estate or selling fruit juice door to door. I do like to look at naked women, but the naked woman who shares my bed kind of prefers that I restrict my viewing of nakedness to hers, so I will not give you my credit card so that you can give me passwords to dozens of red hot porn sites. So thanks, but no thanks, Rose-whatever you’re selling, I’m not interested.

I dropped $250 or so on new brakes today, so I’m feeling a little lighter in the wallet, but while I was waiting and listening to old episodes of “Never Not Funny” and trying to ignore “Regis And Kelly”, “Rachael Ray”, and “The View”, ABC broke in with the news that McCain’s VP pick is somewhat of a dark horse, the woman from Alaska, Sarah Palin. I have not had a chance to read anything in depth about her yet, though I am sure there will be gallons of text to read by the time I get home tonight.

I was not interested enough to stop listening to Never Not Funny, at least not interested enough to listen to Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos talk about her, because I am convinced at least half of what they said would be either unfair, out of context, wrong, or all three. I do know that, similar to New Jersey, it seems that everyone in Alaskan state government, including the person who empties the trash at the end of the day, is hopelessly corrupt. I think I also read somewhere that she has a passel of kids-like enough to fill out a basketball team. This tells me a couple of things-she’s fertile, for one thing, and she’s more emotionally stable and organized than me, for another.

I’m pretty confident I will not learn anything about Sarah Palin that will cause me to vote for McCain. However charming and lovely a person she may be, I don’t think she will overcome the grave disagreements I have with John McCain’s policy positions. My son, who is a tween, asked me recently why I support Obama. I told him that, among other things, that I think a John McCain presidency dramatically increases the likelihood that he will be exposed to a military draft and forced to fight and die in a foreign land.

According to my phone, which still doesn’t believe in the Internet, Josh Beckett is going onto the DL, as is Sean Casey. Obviously, the Beckett loss is greater. If we can get a healthy, rested Becks back for the postseason, so much the better. It will be harder to win without him, because although he isn’t himself this year, there is a bit of an intimidation factor going on because of his 2007 greatness. I think we can win without him, but it won’t be any easier.

In Boston, Dice K shut out the White Sox 8-0. A Tampa win leaves the division lead at 4 1/2 for the Rays, and if Minnesota can hang on to a 8-2 lead, the wild card lead for Boston will remain at 2 1/2 games.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sudden Impact

I just had a thought. The Big Three automakers are telling us that it is going to take them 10 years or so to retool their factories to make more fuel efficient cars. If they started doing that when environmentalists were telling them they should do this during the mid 1990s, they’d be done by now.

Of course, the argument was always “that’s not what the market demands.” First of all, if it really takes you 10 years to retool your factories, shouldn’t you be thinking about what the market WILL demand, at least a little bit? And second of all, you don’t have any idea what the market really demands. I think Honda managed to sell a Civic or two during the mid 1990s.

You’ll hear that same argument about TV news-they always say they broadcast garbage because that’s what people want. (For example, at this time tomorrow my local TV affiliate will be “covering” Labor Day Weekend. Labor Day Weekend is not a news event. It’s a weekend. I don’t think they have any idea what people want. I think they could make serious news engaging, if they really tried.

According to my phone, which hasn’t lied to me yet, the Red Sox lost to the Yankees this afternoon, 3-2, scoring in the bottom of the ninth to win it. However, because my phone makes up for its truthfulness by a seeming Internetophobia, I don’t know anything more than that. I press the button on my phone for the Internet, and my phone hems, and haws, and mumbles, then gives me the electronic version of “what’s an Internet?”

This is not horribly tragic, I guess-every win is crucial to keep away from the dogs nipping at our collective heels-but a 2 out of 3 to finish off our Yankee Stadium play feels pretty good. I think this also shows us that Jon Lester is still sharp. The road gets no easier, as we go home to face the White Stockings tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Further Good News Pours In...

On Mythbusters, it turns out we did go to the moon after all.

In Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox are putting all kinds of hurt on the Yanks, a 7 run 8th including a GRAND SALAMI from our man DP putting Boston into a 11-2 advantage.

And on HBO, Hard Knocks is just starting.

While watching HK, Boston holds on for an 11-3 win. It got so far out of hand, they let Mike Timlin pitch!

The Mark Kotsay Era Begins

OF Mark Kotsay, 32, who has recovered from being a waste of otherwise useful carbon atoms last season to bat 289/340/418 this year, was traded to the Red Sox for single A outfielder Luis Sumoza. I suppose he'll serve as a pseudo Drew, while the real JD is rehabbing his most recent encounter with his old friend DL.

In the final Red Sox in the Stadium series in the history of ever, Boston got six adequate innings from Paul Byrd, and then took advantage of another Yankee starter not escaping the fifth (Sidney Ponson, who I guess disappointed me because he didn't look how I thought he did) to take a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

So Now We Have A President...

...If We Can Elect Him.

In the same sort of anticlimax involved in a team that is 13 games in front finally clinching the division, Barack Obama is now officially the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.

I don't know why you could possibly believe that the current band of malcontented power mad lunatics deserve four more years to bring America closer and closer to the abyss of irrelevance.

"The real power in America is held by a fast emerging new oligarchy of pimps and preachers who see no need for Democracy or fairness or even trees, except maybe the ones in their own yards, and they dont mind admitting it. They worship money and power and death. Their ideal solution to all the nation's problems would be another 100 year war."

-Hunter S. Thompson

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Game 131-The Battle of Evermore

In the Boogie Down, New Jack City, Gotham, the Center of the Universe, the Boston Red Sox chased Andy Pettite and stormed to a 7-3 win. Tim Wakefield, fresh off of the DL, pitched 5 shaky innings, allowing 8 hits but only allowing 3 runs, while the bullpen picks him up, throwing four innings of two hit, no run ball.

Every starter had a hit except DP, and the team got RBIs from Ellsbury, Youkilis, Bay, Crisp, and recent Pawtucket callup Jeff Bailey. (Apparently Sean Casey, along with Mike Lowell, is laid up with injuries.)

Childhood Banking Situations

“Childhood Banking Situations”. Ever have a phrase that seems to mean something, really doesn’t mean anything, but cracks you up nonetheless? Listening to Jimmy Pardo’s “Never Not Funny Season One”, the collected first season of his podcast (, one of the episodes began with this phrase, for reasons I don’t recall. But it cracked me up, and I still can’t say it without giggling.

Top Five Nonsense Phrases:

1.Aggressive Banana Divestiture
2.Wayward Scenic Propensities
3.Long Photographic Sucrose
4.Global Firework Architecture
5.Thermal Removal Security

Pardo’s podcast is available on ITunes, but it has gone to a subscription model. You can get the first 20 minutes for free, but to get the whole thing (about 90 minutes once a week) you need to pay $6.99 per month. The show consists of Pardo, his producer Matt, and one other comedian. The show is adult-there isn’t a chorus of profanity, but an occasional F bomb is dropped, and an occasional R rated story is told. But it is consistently amusing, occasionally hysterical, and well worth the money, to my mind. For $19.99, they will sell you the first 60 episodes as a download. I’ve been listening through them, and I’m currently up to Episode 20. They are very, very funny.

The brilliance of the show is that it really has no theme or purpose-just three and sometimes four people getting together and talking. It sounds dull, of course, but it is impossible to describe. There is tons of ribbing and teasing, and the punning and wordplay is constant-sharp, very bright standup comics riffing on each other. Plenty of 1980s music and television references are made, and somehow each episode flies by and leaves you wanting more. Very highly recommended.

According to my phone, which seldom lies to me, MLB has agreed to begin instant replay on home run calls. I am against it, and not because it will delay the game, although it probably will. I believe all sports are played by humans, and should be officiated by humans, period.

Now, my team has been screwed by bad calls by officials. (See ALCS, 1999.) Yes, it is important that we get the calls right, true. However, I firmly believe that this is part of the mystery of sport-sometimes you get the call, and sometimes you don’t. I don’t think we should use technology to alter this balance.

Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code 785 featured a powerful, moving sound file recorded by two Marines overseas that he morphed into Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name Of…” in a brilliant way. Powerful radio moment that no radio station would have the guts to broadcast in a hundred years. (Note to self: Add to the blogroll) (Also note to self: Tell Adam how perfectly that worked.)

Interesting how that song (“Killing…”) still holds up, probably ten years after the band broke up. Maybe it’s just Adam and I being almost the same age, but I can’t think of a better song for the place where he put it. Interesting also how a song whose refrain is “F^&k you, I wont do what you tell me/F^&k you, I wont do what you tell me,” still gives me chills at an age when I, frankly, do what they tell me. Repeatedly. Constantly.

Caller on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, referring to Guantanamo detainees: “regardless of whether or not we think they are bad guys, they are still human beings.” Exactly. If I had to sum up my views on the entire issue in one sentence, that’s it. They are human fucking beings. To treat someone otherwise as a matter of official or unofficial policy is monstrous beyond belief.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh, Grow Up.

Really? Hallmark is removing same sex greeting cards?

Way to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, guys.

Sure Fire Winner

With Boston one game in front in the Wild Card Chase (TM), the Red Sox are off today. The White Sox, who lead the Central, are currently involved in a suspended game with the Orioles, who used to be the St. Louis Browns. Minnesota, who trails the Wild Card by one, is in Seattle.

The Red Sox head into the Den of Iniquity, Yankee Bleeping Stadium, for three games with the Yankees starting tomorrow, and then home to face Chicago. Beckett, reportedly, is going to pitch against the White Sox Friday, though obviously that depends on his arm tingliness problem.

From the inimitable Aaron Gleeman, file under "Gee Golly"...

Dennis Eckersley 1990 73.1 0.61
Jonathan Papelbon 2007 68.1 0.92
Chris Hammond 2002 76.0 0.95
Joe Nathan 2008 55.0 0.98

These are all the pitchers who posted an ERA under 0.99 with more than 55 innings pitched in a season.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Very interesting.

Very interesting piece about hate and stereotypes.

Farmer Jed Rides Again/The Slow Torture of Gamecast

Handed a 4-2 advantage, the Dice Man promptly gave it right back to the Jays at the Rogers Centre today , giving up 1 in the fourth and then 2 in the sixth for a 5-4 deficit. Coco Crisp (?) (!) homered to tie in the seventh, and then Farmer Jed Lowrie manned up and clouted a homer to right to give Boston a 6-5 lead in the 11th. Now Metropolitan District Commission is on to try and save it, Boston having already spent their Papelbullet.

MDC walked Wells to open the inning, but has retired Lind and Overbay, so we're one out away from a desperately needed win.

In the mixed blessing department, Tampa is tied with Chicago in the fifth, and in the unmixed blessing department, Minnesota leads the Angles in the fifth .

MDC retired former Pirate and current Guy With a Pitcher's Name Jose Bautista on a swinging strikeout to end it, so we can, as they say, put it on the board. Yes.

Watching games via Gamecast is torturously slow-like watching really important paint dry.

If you told me in April that a crucial August game was going to unfold with a left side of the infield of Lowrie and Alex Cora, and an outfield of Crisp, Ellsbury, and Jason Bay, I would have told you to lie down because you obviously aren't well.

Dice K obviously gets a well deserved no decision here, and thus his record of the highest winning percentage in one season in Red Sox history of a pitcher with 15 or more decisions remains tied with Bob Stanley(1978), at 15-2 (.882). With his next win, he will own the record, assuming he doesn't lose again.

Of course, anything associated with 1978 gives chills to any Red Sox fan.