Archive for April 18th, 2006

Whither the Rocket?

The biggest story in baseball no one’s talking about – distracted as they are by Barry Bonds – is where Roger Clemens will play baseball this summer. So far, he’s been noncommittal about his future. He’s hinted he’s done. But anyone that knows Roger Clemens knows he’s going to play one last summer. He’s competitive, he’s arrogant, he loves the accolade. He’s also probably already driving his wife and kids crazy. So expect one more summer with the boys.

And I predict he’s going to play for the Boston Red Sox.

I know, I know. I’m a Sox fan. My prediction is biased you say, and you’re probably right. But I have reasons. Let’s look at the other teams Clemens is semi-publicly considering:

Texas

Why? It’s his hometown team. It’s where Nolan Ryan spent his last years in the game. How sweet would it be for the hometown boy to come home and help the club win its first world championship?

Why not? Because there’s no way in h*ll this team even makes the playoffs, let alone wins the championship. The problem, as always, is pitching. Millwood isn’t the answer, Padilla is set to implode at any moment. (Paying attention, Padilla owners?) The Texas heat and the cement-like infield in Arlington roasts home-town hurlers. Clemens probably wants to go out on top, not with a 6+ ERA.

New York Yankees

Why? Roger won his two rings with the Yanks. And don’t think he wants to be considered alongside the all-time Yankee greats like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mays. With the Yanks’ roster full of sluggers, he’d have an excellent opportunity to add substantially to his career wins’ list, currently holding steady at 341. And, as always, the Yanks could win it all this year. They are contenders.

Why not? The Yankees suck.

Seriously! The team is full of bloated contracts, has-been superstars, and immense egos. Reports have the Boss going senile, the team is preparing for sale, there’s no apparent franchise plan in place, and all the tough Yanks from the championship years of a decade ago are long gone. This is the team of Sheff and A-Rod. Even Jeter looks annoyed playing for the Yankees.

Houston

Why? Houston’s advantage is that it’s in Texas and the Houston ownership will basically bend over backwards to please Clemens. Want to play only in home games? No problem. Want to sleep in on the weekends? Sure thing, Roger. Want to rename Houston to “Clemensville” or “Rogertown”? Done. Why not “Rocket City”? (Seriously that would rock!)

Why not? Apparently the Astros “disrespected” Clemens for not offering him arbitration. Er…whatever the reason, it appears that Roger is done with Houston. Maybe he wants to play in a baseball town. Maybe he wants people to come to games after football mini-camp starts. Maybe the city is too polluted for him. Who knows. He’s done with Houston.

That leaves us…Boston

Why? Because it’s the only fan base in the US that actively loathes Roger Clemens. (That’s right, I’m not counting Toronto.) This is his chance to win them over, which he will if he picks Boston over New York and finishes his career where he started. I mean, the story practically writes itself, doesn’t it? “Wayward son wins championship and city’s heart.”

Clemens left the city in a huff, but he was mad with then-GM and alien robot, Dan Duquette. The current ownership group is classy, they patched up relations with Tommy Harper, Jim Rice, and Carlton Fisk, and they let Pesky dress up in a Sox uniform again after being banned by Duquette. And there’s boy genius, Theo! Theo convinced Schilling to sign with the Sox over Thanksgiving dinner – don’t you think he’s going to tweak Clemens’ buttons, too? And this team has a great shot this year – despite my weak prediction – unlike the Yanks, the Sox have starting pitching, a bullpen, and defense along with their bats.

But the main reason Clemens will sign with Boston is the clubhouse. More specifically, the ornery, arrogant, and tough-as-nails pitching tandem of Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett. These guys, for better or worse, are the inheritors of Clemens-style pitching and Clemens-style attitude. Can’t you see Beckett, Clemens, and Schilling side-by-side-by-side on the bench spitting sunflower seeds and scowling at the opposition? Who else would Roger Clemens want to sit next to for the rest of the summer?

The bad press continues to mount for Burns. At this point it’s almost ridiculous. The latest is a report from the Heritage Foundation that showed the Senator was guilty of “larding” up the agriculture budget, despite record-setting revenue in the industry. This report comes on the heels of the infamous ranking Burns received from Time for, well, this kind of behavior.

Does anybody still support Burns? If I were a Republican, I’d be throwing my support behind primary opponent, Bob Keenan. H*ll, when Conrad dons his orange jumpsuit, he’ll be the guy. Don’t you want to jump on the bandwagon early?

Apparently, no. Folks still support Burns. Why? Who knows. But this is the kind of support Burns gets:

I've known Conrad Burns since when he worked at the sales yards and I hauled cattle there. He was always known as an honest trader and your stock would not be "rustled." He has mud and manure on his boots, and Christian decency and honor and integrity in his heart.Now come the people who believe in murdering unborn babies and giving marriage away to the deviants, with their newfound sense of outrage, painting Burns to be sold out.

Did I call this yesterday, or what?

No doubt Burns’ office will spin this as another example of East-coast elites trying to bump the good Senator from office to pursue an immoral liberal agenda of killing babies and forcing children into homosexual relationships.

As if this weren’t enough fear-mongering, John H. Mellor of Broadus tries out the GOP version of the Abramoff scandal, again mentioning Baucus in the same breath as Burns and Abramoff. Again, it's not illegal to take money from a lobbyist or his clients. But it is to change your vote for $$. And Baucus isn’t under investigation, is he? Did I miss something?

Burns took money from Abramoff like he took from a lot of others, but, it didn't mean he sold anything. We all liked the kind of government he stood for. I guess you would have to suppose that if he sold his vote, then Max Baucus, who got money, must have sold out, too. Is that kind of like when the big unions or the AARP gives to the Democrats?

I say to you Montanans, and especially to you Christians, if you give the Senate back to the Democrats, there will be three immediate things that happen. Taxes will be raised, Godless, activist judges will again be appointed, and this country will once again be without defense. The country will again turn to the U.N. to run things — this outfit that has never brought about any "peace" in its 60 years of existence.

This kind of rhetoric plays well with people who are easily cowed. None of these allegations are correct of course. The fears evoked by this letter are rather petty. But this is the type of rhetoric we’re in for all summer long.

The ironic thing is that Burns and his supporters consistently criticize the Democratic candidates for not talking issues. But while the Democratic candidates debate and do discuss issues, Burns keeps releasing statements marked by their gibberish and paranoia. Is it any wonder that his bullsh*t-shoveling comrades do the same?

Speaking of Burns rhetoric, his claim that his Democrat opponents are banking on East-coast money looks pretty silly now, doesn’t it? Pogie discovered Burns received a healthy sum from Utah. Oh yeah, and of the $6 million Burns has raised for his campaign? Only $1m is from Montana.

Links…

Anti-gay group, “Coloradans for Marriage,” post all the great things about marriage. H*ll, even I could come up with more than this, and I’m married!

An out-of-work computer programmer spends his free time recreating the last inning of 1986 World Series’ game six in Nintendo’s RBI Baseball dubbed over with Vin Scully’s actual call of the game. Weirdly riveting, but not painful at all. Thanks to 2004.

Kevin Drum visits the downside of the “generals’ revolt” against Rumsfield: that military leaders may be trying to interfere in policy. He also brings up something that’s been nagging at me…isn’t a tad creepy how the military seems to be turning against the civilian government? Even if it is Bush?

Fed up with the d*mn socialists trying to centralize the economy? Join “Capitalism Represents Acceptable Policy.”

The Belgravia Dispatch analyzes the pre-Iraq administration rhetoric to the pre-Iran administration rhetoric. Do they think we’re that stupid? Apparently, yes. Or, more likely, they just don’t care what we think.

A Canadian’s perspective on the US’ Iran bluster: “…you are a rogue nation. You invade people based on lies. You have no credibility on Iran.” So even our closest allies are turning on us. Great job, George.

SCOTUS allows gay New Yorker to keep a website with a common misspelling of Jerry Falwell’s name, http://www.fallwell.com/, that protests Falwell’s treatment of gays and lesbians. Um, it seems wrong that Falwell can sue claiming someone using the name is infringing on a “trademark.” Shouldn’t satire or dissent be protected? Shouldn’t web addresses be first come, first serve?

Sen. Chuck Hegel has lost confidence in Rumsfield. When will he be sacked? 2008?

Michelle Malkin posts the personal contact information of some undergraduate anti-war activists who promptly receive obscene calls and death threats. When asked to remove the info, Malkin republished instead. You come up with your own tag line, I’m too disgusted.

A new sport: chess boxing. I am not making that up.

Creepy Bush quote from TPM: “I'm the decider, and I decide what's best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense.” Do we really want a guy who says “I’m the decider” making any decisions?

American Footprints analyzes the jockeying in the Iraqi government. Looks like we’re headed towards a dictatorship. Which is what the US government probably wants, because that’s preferable to a Shi’ite controlled democracy hostile to our interests. So much for those purple fingers.

A peek into the mind of Tom Cruise. Yikes!

Check out the latest and greatest foolproof hiding place for your cash! The “Brief Safe”! Thieves will “skid” in their tracks!




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