Category Archives: Chicago Cubs

My baseball postseason rooting interest

With the Mets eliminated, I still need to come up with a priority list of teams to root for:

1. Chicago Cubs (NL) – last won the World Series in 1908, so a win this year would be especially sweet.
2. Tampa Bay Rays (AL) – getting the Devil out of their name helped therm fend off the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
3. Philadelphia Phillies (NL) – I know personally the brother of the Phillies’ Hall of Fame announcer.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) – based entirely on one person – manager Joe Torre, who got out of the new Bronx Zoo just in time.
5. Milwaukee Brewers (NL) – yes, they took the Mets’ slot but that was really the NY tram’s fault. Anyway, they haven’t been in the postseason in over two decades, when they were in another league (AL).
6. Los Angeles Angels (AL) – don’t see them very often.
7. Chicago White Sox – knocked my father-in-law’s team, the Minnesota Twins, out of the playoff AND got off the WS schneide this century
8. Boston Red Sox (AL) – Boston, with its success in the NFL and NBA, not to mention MLB, needs to be taken down a peg. Or two. Or six.

You’ll note I’m leaning heavily National League. The AL has won TOO often.
ROG

Roger Answers Your Questions, Scott

Mr. Scooter Chronicles himself, Scott asks:

Have you ever seen a baseball game at Yankee Stadium? If yes, what are your thoughts on such a hallowed baseball ground seeing its last game?

Actually, not in a long time. The first time, I was a kid, and the Yankees beat the Washington Senators, The last time was probably in 1977 when I lived in Queens. Tearing down the stadium annoys me, because I don’t know why the current facility was inadequate. Oh, it doesn’t have those luxury seats, but after this week, who can afford to buy them anyway. Moreover, the funding is more corporate welfare foolishness.

Who do you think will win the World Series this year?

I picked the Cubs to lose the WS to Cleveland at the beginning of the season. About midseason, I switched to the Cubs over Tampa Bay, so I’ll stick with that. How annoying that my trip to the game was when the Cubs had hit a bad patch.

What do you think would be considered more historic: Obama being elected President, or Palin being elected Vice President?

Well, someone being elected President. If Palin were running for Prez and Obama were running for VP, it’d be Palin, but as it is, Obama. Besides, a woman had at least been NOMINATED before by a major party.

Do you think that the bailouts of financial companies will help the economy in the long run, destroy the idea of creating tax breaks for most of middle America, or see no real lasting effects on anyone?

Well, first off, I’m really ticked off about it. I listened to Henry Paulson, not once but twice on Sunday – Tom on NBC asked better questions than George did on ABC – and I got nothing but “Psst, it’s really bad. Do this or we’re doomed, trust me” without any real information.
I looked at the original language of the bill here and I was gobsmacked by Section 8: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Pardon my French, but WTF? Decisions non-reviewable? Gimme a BREAK!
I’m glad to see Democrats and republicans in Congress find some cojones, apparently because their constituents are hopping mad about this. Arthur at AmeriNZ found this example.
In answer to the question, the devil’s in the details. if there’s help for homeowners who are in their houses, limits on executive compensation and other measures, MAYBE things will turn around some.
And speaking of compensation, from Salon. “Regarding executive pay, Rep. Frank’s draft would mandate that any company selling assets into the program ‘meet appropriate standards for executive compensation,’ including limits on what could be deemed excessive or inappropriate, according to a copy seen by The Wall Street Journal. The government would also have the ability to ‘claw back’ incentive pay that was based on ‘earnings, gains, or other criteria that are later proven to be inaccurate.’ Mr. Paulson is resisting those efforts.
Astoundingly, Paulson plans to fight any efforts to limit executive pay because ‘he fears that provision would render the program moot, since many firms might choose not to participate.’
They might choose not to participate in a $700 billion plan designed to save them from a mess they were primarily responsible for causing? I don’t think I’m alone in finding that prospect irritating.”

On the other hand, someone at Pat Buchanan’s site posted this recently: “It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.” – Malcolm X
As the letter writer noted, “Sounds pretty damn close to me.”

When was the last time you felt good about voting for a political candidate (on any level of government) feeling that they truly were the right person for the job?

I worked for Tom Keefe for city court judge a few years back. I’d known him for years and he seems to be doing a good job.

What is your favorite “healthy” thing to snack on?

apples and cottage cheese.

What is your favorite “evil” thing to snack on?

Muffins – fruit muffins (blueberry, preferably).

What is your favorite movie comedy of all time?

It’s tricky, because Annie Hall is, but it’s not all that ha-ha funny. On a pure laugh meter it’d be either Airplane! or Young Frankenstein.

Other then Jeopardy!, what is your favorite game show?

I’m partial to the various forms of Pyramid and Password,
ROG

Did You Miss Me? Didn't Think So


One of the wonderful features about Blogger is that I can write posts and then have them publish on future dates. I was in Chicago from Tuesday through Saturday – more on that not just anon, but for a couple of weeks – and except for about an hour on Friday, when I could check my Gmail and AOL accounts and print my boarding ticket for my return flight, I had no access to the Internet, unless I wanted to spend 47 cents per minute. Note: I did not.

Writing ahead wasn’t all that difficult. What IS hard is getting started again. For me, there’s a blogging rhythm. If I’m posting every day, I’m probably writing at least every other day. When I came back from this trip, though, I needed to spend time with my wife and daughter, check my work e-mail (accessible from home, but not elsewhere remotely – 300 deleted on Sunday), mow the lawn (though I had mowed it Sunday or Monday before I left, the rain during the week, especially the remnants of Tropical Storm Hanna, made it necessary again), church and other tasks precludes blogging. Here’s something: my suitcase probably weighed 15 pounds on the way to the conference; it weighed 41.3 pounds on the way back, so I had to sort through all that conference swag, papers, and whatnot.

But it’s more about the momentum. A blogger in motion tends to stay in motion; a blogger at rest tends to stay at rest. I have PLENTY to write about. (Rose, BTW, has some ideas about what to blog about if you don’t.)

Oh, one thing about Chicago. I tend not to tell people I’m going away until I return. Since I changed my Blogger links, though, that was undermined. I knew in the first case it would be, so when it happened the second time, it was no big deal. Time #1 was when my colleague Amelia wrote: Blogging for Your SBDC – Roger and Amelia go to Chicago back on August 27, the cat was rather out of the bag. Then when Gordon mentions we went to a Cubs game together, well the jig was really up. As I tweeted (that’s what you do on Twitter), someone tweeted about a session I attended in Chicago in real time; I’m still disinclined.

A couple things about the Cubs game: someone from the Astros, Ty Wiggington, hit a two-run homer; he used to be with the Mets . Meanwhile, a Cubs runner was thrown out at the plate; a MOST unpopular call, and at least one Cubs fan in our section was very loud and vocal in his “appreciation” of the ump’s brain functions. But the very worst play: men on first and third for the Astros. Runner on first caught 30 feet from first base and caught in a pickle (rundown). So the runner at third heads for home. Instead of trying to tag the runner heading back to first, the middle infielder throws home, but muffs it. The one runner scores, and the other’s safe at second; Little Leaguers would have done it better. I had the Cubs going to the World series from the beginning of the season – ouch.

ROG

Roger Answers Your Questions, Gay Prof and Scott

Gay Prof offers:
My question: Do you have any theories about the best way to keep John McCain out of the White House?

I do, but unfortunately it’s illegal and probably immoral. Wait, there’s probably some ageist crack I could make, but I won’t.
Look, I don’t know why people vote against their own interests, except that they naively by into a bill of goods. The economic boom that we used to be in was helping the John McCains of the country a lot more than you and me. Literally, the rich get richer, with golden parachutes for CEOs of failing companies. I thought Charlie Gibson on ABC News asked George Stephanopoulos an odd question last week: with Barack backing out of public financing, was it “fair” for Barack to have so much more money vs. McCain. I laughed so hard I almost hurt myself again. The GOP has had a lot more $$ at its disposal for decades, and Obama’s money is coming mostly from the common people. Is it fair that the government tut-tut homeowners for getting into financial situations that government policies encouraged? I know this doesn’t answer the question, but I’m stumped to find out how is John McCain the ANSWER to any of our current woes.

Generous Scott adds: I don’t care if you don’t answer any of mine, but I certainly hope you can answer Gayprof’s and it be something that we can truly do to make it happen.
Well, I did answer GP’s, FWIW. And now I’ll answer yours:

1. Who do you think will play in the World Series this year, and who will win it?

One team will be a new team, i.e., one we haven’t seen much of before. I think before the season I picked the Cubs, so I’ll stick with them. Not so incidentally, I’m hoping to see them play in Wrigley for the very first time in September. I thought that Cleveland and Detroit would do better, but alas. So, I’m going with Tampa; it’ll probably be Boston, but I’ve bored with Boston sports teams (except the Celtics, who I picked to win in seven.) It’s been 100 years. don’t the Cubs get to win every CENTURY?

2. What do you think has been the best (so far) movie adaptation based on a comic book?

Superman. No, Spider-Man. Wait, I liked Spider-Man 2 more than the first one. I didn’t see the last Batman or the upcoming one, but saw several others – not those. I did like Iron Man, but not the first Fantastic Four.

3. What are you top five movies?

Always impossible. Annie Hall’s on there, and probably Groundhog Day. The others are so fluid, like my favorite songs list or even favorite album. It might include Casablanca, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Field of Dreams, The Iron Giant, Rear Window, the original Star Wars (“episode 4” – feh), Toy Story 2, West Side Story (which isn’t a great movie, but the music and choreography hold), The Wizard of Oz, Young Frankenstein, and about a dozen movies I’ve either forgotten or are of the genres named (Empire Strikes Back, Toy Story); it could be any of the Pixar films I’ve seen, e.g.

4. If Obama loses the Presidential election, do you think it will hurt race relations and the fight against racism, or do you think that his nomination was already a move in the right direction and that a loss won’t set it back?

Yes.

Oh, you want more.

One of those ongoing myths was that Barack Obama was embraced nationally by black folks out of the shoot. Look at any poll that came out in December 2007, and Obama’s losing big time to Hillary Clinton with black voters. Part of it, ironically was that he wasn’t considered black enough. (And Hillary Clinton was?) But when he won Iowa, black voters gave him another look, and he’s been winning the black vote handily ever since, starting in South Carolina. (Which is why Bill Clinton’s correct observation that Jesse Jackson won South Carolina irritated so many people; it wasn’t just that he was black, it was that he was a black that, since the white folks in Iowa liked him, actually had a chance to win.) All the things he’s endured since from what I think is a media obsession with Rev. Wright to the sniping at Michelle Obama to the Muslim thing – regularly, at least 7% of the electorate believes that Barack HUSSEIN Obama is Muslim (not that should matter if he were) has made him more attractive to many blacks, and probably to white liberals as well. Here’s what often happens in with black folks when one of their own is put upon; they become more loyal, recognizing the institutional racism involved.

So, if he loses, most older blacks will see it as the same-o same-o. I’m not sure the paradigm holds for younger blacks, especially those who identify as biracial. It’s not that they don’t see racism, it’s that they may see Barack’s nomination, to use a football metaphor, as field position. Maybe Barack doesn’t score the touchdown this time, but it makes someone else’s chances better the next time. Maybe.

5. What album in your collection would probably most surprise your friends?

That would almost certainly be my one Toby Keith album. Not crazy about his politics, but I got it it for free at a convention in Nashville, and I rather liked a couple songs, especially “Let’s Talk About Me.”
***
Someone, I wish I could remember who, said about Robert Mugabe: If Zimbabwe had oil, we would have invaded by now.

ROG