Archive for April 21st, 2006

Okay. I admit it. I am often irritated in Boston Globe sports columnists' periennial sour take on anything Red Sox. Take today's column by Bob Ryan, "Will ounce of prevention be the best medicine?" In the column, Ryan sees only future troubles in the Sox' second-best record in MLB, a paltry half-game behind the Mets. He cites the paucity of runs in the first few games won by the Sox, notably in last night's loss to Tampa Bay ace-in-waiting, Scott Kazmir, who allowed a single run in a 5-1 victory.

…there will be more than a few nights like Thursday, April 20, when the Red Sox were not much of a threat with bats in their hands against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays…the offense cannot continue like this if the Sox are going to be successful.

[snip]

There are limited sources of official offensive thunder and lightening on this team. You've got David Ortiz, you've got Manny, and, frankly, you don't even have a legitimate No. 5 hitter (last night it was Mike Lowell). If Manny doesn't start being Manny soon, Big Papi will start paying his price. Given the futile swings he had the last two nights [in which the Sox took the series against Tampa Bay, 2 games to 1], that may be happening already.

The complaint is that the team is built around pitching and defense, the philosophy espoused by Boston GM and wunderkind, Theo Epstein.

Cry me a river! Sure the Sox are 10th in the AL in runs scored this year, but they're first in team ERA. Yes. Read that again. First.

Consider this: leadoff man Coco Crisp has played in five games. Manny Ramirez, who hit 45 HRs with 144 RBIs last year had exactly one extra-base hit in the first 15 games, a double against Tampa Bay in the opening game of the recent three-game series.

Oh yeah, and tonight he's hit two home runs.

Cry me a river, indeed. If you had told me before the season started that Crisp would spend most of April on the DL, that Manny would get his first homer on April 21, Clement's ERA would be in the 7s, Foulke's knees acting up again, and no discernable fifth starter, I would have been happy with…what? Five wins in fifteen games?

Face it: the Sox haven't hit their stride yet.

But that's the nature of the Boston press. They're still living in a pre-2004 mindset. In fact the Sox' recent World Series victory was probably resented by only one man in all of New England: Globe columnist, Dan Shaughnessy. Why? Because he had a nice little side gig going from his book, "The Curse of the Bambino," which played so nicely with the media and got him a ton of appearances to explain why the Sox couldn't win. H*ll, he wrote a children's book about the curse!

Now? Based on the Amazon's reviews, no one's even read his book since 2005. Instead of brilliant baseball personality, now he's just some bitter crank.

Here's a story to better illustrate the Sox and the media:

Before the 1988 season, Boston signed closer Lee Smith for a then-gaudy 3-year $3+ million contract. (Those were the days.) Expectations were high that Lee would salvage a herefore atrocious bullpen. (And he did, saving 29 with a sub-3.00 ERA, helping the Sox to the playoffs.) But on his first game with the Sox, he blew a two- or three- run lead in the ninth and Boston lost.

Headline on the front page of the Boston Globe? "Wait 'til next year."

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Why hate Hillary?

In today's Billings Gazette, reader Daniel Hathaway asks a simple question

Seems strange that GOP should vilify Hillary Clinton

After hearing Sen. Burns' new political ad, I was struck with the question, why do the conservatives hate Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy so much?

I recognize Ted Kennedy had a scandal involving the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, and he is unabashedly liberal. However, I wish someone would enlighten me, and tell me specifically what Hillary did that was so terrible as to warrant their hatred of her. Her signature issue involving health care merely shows that she has compassion for the millions of Americans without access to medical care.

They are trying to vilify Hillary, but they have no specific issues, and she has done nothing illegal or immoral that I am aware of. Of course, there is the witch hunt that Ken Starr led, costing us many millions of dollars and led to nothing.

I've always wondered this, too. What did Hillary Clinton do to earn the enmity of so many conservatives? Clinton has pursued moderate to conservative policies while in the Senate. And while she played a larger political role than most First Ladies in American history, she did follow in the tradition of Dolly Madison and Elenor Roosevelt. Plus with her job experience and education she was more qualified to play a role in the White House than, well, our current president.

And it's a good question to ask, too, because it's likely she'll be gunning for the White House in 2008. She could be our next president!

The only reason I see for the Hillary-hate is some deep-rooted convictions in traditional-minded men that women should be docile, quiet, and passive. Hillary's outspoken demeanor, her naked ambition, her strong political canniness all play against their expectations. It's like they see her as a psychological freak, a twisted "he-girl" or something.

I say it's time we stop letting these paleo-conservatives dictate how we talk about our politicians. If you don't like H. Clinton's policies, fine. Name them and explain why they're bad. If you're going to spew misogynist garbage, I'm not listening.

Links…

Upcoming 60 Minutes will be about how the White House ignored WMD intelligence. I’m shocked, shocked!

A Fox News poll has Bush at a new low! Thirty-three percent approval! Holy smokes!

Salon’s Conason on attacking Iran: “Are They Nuts?

Oops! White House announcer calls Communist China by the wrong name, using the name of its archrival, Taiwan! D’oh!

A Globe story, ten years after winning the 1996 ALCS for the Yankees by pulling a Jeter fly ball into the stands for a home run, on Jeff Maier, now the all-time hits leader at Wesleyan.

If everything’s still on the table in regard to Iran, why stop at nukes? Let’s talk genocide. That’ll make us look determined! (Note to creep bob t: that was sarcasm.)

Do bloggers have “disproportionately large influence,” as a European research company concludes? Or not enough, as bloggers claim?

Plans for the staging of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the former Nazi death camp, Majdanek, were nixed after…well…after someone thought about it for like two seconds.

First there was Santorum, the Senator. Then there was Santorum, the substance. Now, there’s Santorum, the bling-bling. (Apologies to Dan Savage for stealing his words, but they’re so darn good!)

New White House CoS considering dumping former SCOTUS nominee, Harriet Miers. There’s a message here, isn’t there?

A WSJ editorial on bloggers: “But it looks to me as if the world of blogs may be filling up with people who for the previous 200 millennia of human existence kept their weird thoughts more or less to themselves. Now, they don't have to. They've got the Web. Now they can share.”

A series of stories about the Chinese President’s US visit, “That Pesky Freedom of Speech Thing.”

Matt Cooper, the Time reporter and only one who came out of the Plame affair looking better for it, was promoted to Political Editor of Time.com. Congrats, Matt. Good work was rewarded.

Here’s a finalist for the White House spokesman job that really embodies the president’s commitment to transparency and openness in government!




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