Saturday, September 30, 2017

The vote in Catalonia and a few other thoughts


We will look at some in the media who seem determined to turn Puerto Rico into President Trump's Katrina.......there is an important election in Catalonia calling for the separation of the province from Spain......we don't know what will happen but both sides are very passionate about it....Secretary Tillerson in China talking North Korea and trade.....the NFL continues to shoot itself in the foot.........it's time for all of this politics in your face to stop.......Babe Ruth hit # 60 in 1927...............and other stories.........




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2007: Congratulations to the Red Sox and a few thoughts about the length of games





What a great weekend for the fans of Boston. The Red Sox won the Series, the Patriots are still undefeated and Boston College is riding high!

Beyond the series sweeps of 2007, MLB needs to seriously do something about the length of post-season games. I love the fact that baseball does not have a clock but 4-hour 9-inning games are impossible to watch.

We used to play baseball in 3 hours or less. Why can't we do that anymore? MLB is getting as bad as college football!

Nevertheless, we salute the 2007 Red Sox!



2008: Happy for the Goose!



In the late 1970's, Goose Gossage was the best closer in baseball. His stuff was electric and intimidated the best of major league hitters.

In 2008, Gossage was elected to the Hall of Fame.   It was a very good selection. 



2007: Jimmy Rollins, great MVP choice



Back in 2007, we wrote about Jimmy Rollins winning the NL MVP. Rollins led the Phillies to a great comeback in the NL East!

Jimmy Rollins was one of the best players in the game and a good guy!




Hall of Fame: What about Clemens?



Roger Clemens was the big bombshell in the Mitchell Report.  Frankly, it caught me by surprise because there were no rumors about Clemens.  As I recall, all of the steroids talk had been about hitters, like Bonds or McGwire.

My guess is that Clemens is out for Hall of Fame considerations.  He will pay for what we now call "The Steroids Era".

Here is the tragedy:  Clemens would have made it without taking anything, as my friend Richard Baehr wrote:
"Some sportswriters have argued, prior to the release of the Mitchell report, that he was the best pitcher in baseball history.
A career won lost record of 354-184 over 24 seasons, and a career ERA of 3.12, more than one earned run per nine innings below the League Average for the years he pitched of 4.46, make for a pretty strong case for Clemens to be considered among the best ever.

Clemens posted his career low ERA in 2005, 1.87, less than half the National League average at age 42.

His ERA was also below 3 in 2004 and 2006.

These years, late in his career, are the ones the Mitchell report claims Clemens enhanced his performance.

But had Clemens retired five years ago, he was a certain inductee into the Hall on his first consideration." (The Hall of Fame Debate Begins Anew By Richard Baehr)
In other words, Clemens had a Hall of Fame career when he retired in 2003 after the Yankees-Marlins series.   He had the numbers to be a first ballot member.    

It's a shame that he came back and allegedly took whatever he took. It may have cost him the Hall of Fame!



Mark Fidrych (1954-2009)


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In 1976-77, Mark Fidrych was a young pitcher with the Detroit Tigers.

He pitched very well and with lots of flair.   He seemed destined for a wonderful pitching career.

Unfortunately, Fidrych couldn't overcome injuries and was out of baseball in 5 years.

The wonderful Mark Fidrych passed away at age 54 in 2009.

Big weekend for NFL



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Sunday big election in Catalonia



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2010: Pres BO needs to explain why a terrorist was put in a civilian court!




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We've said it before. We will say it again.

The war on terror is not a conventional war. We are not fighting an army with armored units or an air force.

We are instead fighting terrorists who kill ruthlessly and try to intimidate the public with horrific acts, such as blowing up an airplane landing in Detroit.

How do you fight these people?

You have to show them that you are serious and will fight back without hesitation.

We saw that from Pres Bush and VP Cheney.

So far, we have not seen that side of Pres BO!

Perhaps, we will see it in the future. We have not so far!

On Thursday, Pres BO said that "we are at war"!

OK.....When are we going to start acting like it?

We have not seen a president who will protect the country at any cost!

Let's look at how Pres BO initially reacted to this.

He waited a few days to make unspecific remarks about what they called an "isolated extremist".

He came back a few days later and admitted that the terrorist had connections to Al Qaeda.

Let's look at Pres BO's stubbornness over closing GITMO.

Shouldn't he admit that it was a stupid campaign promise and move on?

After all, most US voters do not want GITMO to close and have these terrorists held indefinitely on the mainland.

Also, Pres BO's promise to close GITMO did not prevent the recruiting of this young man. Or the killing at Ft Hood!

Also, what was "the recruiting tool" between 1993, the first attack on the World Trade Center, and 9-11?

Let's look at how the Obama administration is treating the Nigerian young man who tried to blow up an aircraft landing in Detroit.
Michael B. Mukasey was attorney general of the United States from 2007 to 2009. He does not understand Pres BO's decision to put this terrorist in our civilian courts:
"Holding Abdulmutallab for a time in military custody, regardless of where he is ultimately to be charged, would have been entirely lawful—even in the view of the current administration, which has taken the position that it needs no further legislative authority to hold dangerous detainees even for a lengthy period in the United States." (WSJ)

Some critics were calling for Pres BO to show anger or fire somebody.

We don't need fake passion or anger. We don't need dismissals for the sake of dismissals.

We need a president who understands that we are at war.

Frankly, a war president does not grant constitutional rights to terrorists who try to blow up airplanes and kill innocent people!


U.S.-Cuba relations take an interesting turn


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The State Department announced that U.S. embassy personnel would leave Cuba as a response to the recent sonic attacks. This was predictable and putting the safety of U.S. diplomats first. However, it was the second step, the travel warning, that will have a direct impact on Cuba.
This is from CNN:    
The US State Department is pulling out all families of employees and nonessential personnel from Cuba, after a string of mysterious attacks against US diplomats.
Several US officials tell CNN that 21 US diplomats and family members became ill after apparent sonic attacks. The American embassy will continue to operate with a 60% reduction in staff. 
The officials said the US will stop issuing visas in Cuba effective immediately because of the staff reductions and the decision is not described as a retaliatory measure. Officials say there will still be consular officials in the embassy available to assist US citizens in Cuba.
 
The State Department is also issuing a travel warning, urging Americans not to travel to Cuba because they could also be at risk as some of the attacks against diplomats have taken place at hotels where Americans stay, a senior State Department official told reporters Friday.
Over the last few years, the U.S. State Department has issued travel warnings to Mexico and it clearly hurt business in the resorts.
Cuba now faces two huge problems:
1) Hurricane Irma devastated many of the resorts used to bring in Europeans and American tourists; and,
2) A reduction of U.S. travelers to the island will mean less dollars at a time that the Castro regime needs every dollar it can gets its hands on.   
According to news reports, U.S. tourism in Cuba was over a U.S.$ 1 billion in 2016. Clearly, these dollars have helped the Castro regime to offset the dwindling support from Venezuela and the failure to create new sources of hard currency. A travel warning puts some of those dollars at risk.
How does Cuba recover from Cuba and a U.S. travel warning? It may not. I’m sure that Raul Castro can’t wait for retirement so that he can leave this grand mess to the next guy not named Castro.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

US-Cuba relations, Puerto Rico and other stories of the day




Guest: Fausta Rodriguez Wertz, the editor of Fausta's Blog............We will look at the decision to remove US staff from Cuba following the 'sonic attack' on US diplomats......we are still not sure who was behind the attack but it happened in Cuba and the target were US diplomats.......Puerto Rico is slowly recovering from a devastating hurricane......the Democrats and their friends in the media are desperately trying to turn into 'Trump's Katrina' but it won't work.........Mrs. Obama weighs in on the 2016 and the women who voted for Trump...........Willie Mays and the catch in game 1 of the 1954 World Series..........and other stories..........

click to listen:



..


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Friday's video commentary: US and Cuba relations



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'Will & Grace' back pure anti-Trump



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The 2017 Rangers will be remembered as the team that struck out way too much..



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Cuban doctors "working" overseas tired of being "slave labor"



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Happy # 82 Jerry Lee Lewis

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We remember Jerry Lee Lewis, one of the first rockers in rock history.   He recorded with Sun Records, or the same studio that featured a young Elvis.

His music was raw rock, a killer piano and lots of energy:







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Insanity from the left over Dr. Seuss



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1963: "My favorite Martian" made its US TV debut



Yes, it was a silly but very funny show.

"My favorite Martian" landed on TV on this day in 1963.   It was the story of a Martian who ended up in Los Angeles by mistake.    

Like so much of TV in the 1960's, it was simple, funny and did not set out to change the world.    It was all about entertaining the audience and keeping you glued to the TV for 30 minutes.

Fun show and that's all you need to say about it.






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"My Three Sons" made its debut this week in 1960



What can I say?   I used to love this show not realizing that I would have 3 sons someday.

The original series was about widower Steve Douglas raising  three sons with the help of the one and only Uncle Charlie.   

The show ran until 1972.   The family expanded when Douglas remarried and new characters came into the story.

By the way, McMurray died in 1991.  He had a long film career  before this show.     Don Grady, who played Robbie, died in 2012.     William Demarest, who played Uncle Charlie and served in World War I, died in 1983.    The other two sons are still living.

A great show now available for sale:



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What happened’ 2016: Michelle’s theme!



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Many years ago, The Beatles released a couple of soundtrack LP’s for the movie A Hard Day’s Night. The U.S. version included George Martin’s instrumental version of “This Boy”. It was called “Ringo’s theme“. 
A few weeks ago, Hillary Clinton wrote What Happened,  her explanation of why she lost the election that all the experts thought that she’d win.
Michelle Obama now has given us “Michelle’s theme” or version of what happened. She is blaming the women who voted for Trump:    
“Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice,” she said.
Mrs. Obama, who has stayed largely out of the political fray since leaving the White House, made the remark at a Boston conference.
 
She reflected on the 2016 election as an example of staying true to her “authentic self”.
“Quite frankly, we saw this in this election. As far as I’m concerned, any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice,” Mrs. Obama said on Wednesday during a question-and-answer session at Inbound, a marketing and sales conference in Boston.
My first reaction:  “Ain’t she sweet”, another Beatles song!
Mrs. Obama is the latest Democrat who is lying to her audience about what happened in 2016, refusing to explain how 1,000 Democrats lost their seats during her husband’s tenure.
Mrs. Obama did really well during the White House years. Her daughters attended an expensive school while her husband was standing with the teachers’ union rather than the black children of Washington DC.
The Obamas are now set for making post-presidency fortunes and probably enjoying all of those tax cuts that they criticized during the campaigns.
So the What Happened series moves on. Wonder who will write the next episode?  
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


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Happy # 68 to Steve Busby




Happy # 68 Steve Busby.    Some of us are old enough to remember Steve Busby the pitcher not just the man who called Rangers' games on TV and radio.  

Steve was born in Burbank, CA, and played at USC.    He broke with the Royals in 1972 pitching a complete game against Minnesota.  

In the early 1970's, or before injuries cut short his career, Busby seemed like a man headed for the Hall of Fame:   54 wins over first three full seasons along with 45 complete games and 2 no-hitters before he was 24!

In fact, Sporting News had him on the cover:  "Unlimited future"!

After baseball, Steve became an excellent radio and TV play by play analyst.





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1954: Willie Mays and "the catch"



Willie Mays took playing center field to a new level in game 1 of the 1954 World Series.   

He made an amazing over-the-shoulder catch of a shot hit by Cleveland Indians first baseman Vic Wertz.  

It would have likely been a triple or even an inside of the park depending on how the ball bounced around in deep centerfield.    Instead, it was a long out!

"The catch" started the legend of Willie Mays, from playing defense to being perhaps the most complete player ever.



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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursday's video commentary



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Now Mrs Obama has an explanation for 2016.



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The US economy hit that magic "3% GDP" number in the second quarter..



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Good day...appellate court put TX SB-4 into effect.



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President Trump and tax cuts, the NFL problem plus other stories



We will look at the continuing controversy over the NFL and the players.....this is a breakdown in authority not a civil rights issue.........President Trump and a new tax plan.........Mrs. Obama and her explanation of the 2016 loss.....Ted Williams and September 28, 1941 & 1960..............and other stories.........

Click to listen:




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The NFL and a breakdown in authority


A few days ago, I called my widowed mother for a friendly checkup. She likes politics and we started talking about the chaos in Berkeley. She asked a very simple question: Where are the administrators? Don’t they run the school?  
Over the weekend, we saw a bunch of NFL players kneel during the national anthem. I was angry, especially when they did it in London.   
Where are the authority figures? Who is throwing the flag when someone gets out of line?
According to Marc Thiessen, these players are doing a lot more than angering fans. They are also showing up their owners by refusing to live up to the contract that they voluntarily signed:    
The NFL’s game operations manual says that “all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem” and must “stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking” or face discipline “such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s).” 
The league regularly penalizes players for dancing in the end zone, but it allows players to violate the rules regarding the national anthem with impunity.
We remind you that the NFL did not allow the Dallas Cowboys to remember the policemen killed in Dallas in 2015. The NFL thought that it was too political.
On the other hand, having a failed quarterback sit on the sidelines protesting whatever he was protesting is okay!
In your face, owners? Who cares about the contract that we signed?
This is what happens when the authority figures “go wobbly.” The result is chaos in our schools and ratings issues in the NFL.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


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Happy # 75 Grant Jackson

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We say happy # 75 to Grant Jackson who was born in Florida.   

Jackson broke with the Phillies in 1965.    He had a very good year in 1969:  14-18 with 13 Complete games, a 3.38 ERA and 180 K's.    

In 1971, Grant was traded to the Orioles and Earl Weaver turned him into a bullpen specialist.   He saved 12 games for the AL East champions in 1974.     

In 1977, Jackson went to the Pirates and continued his great work out of the bullpen.   
He played for Pittsburgh when they beat Baltimore in the 1979 World Series.   In fact, he won game 7 and retired 7 Orioles to keep the Pirates in the game.   





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September 28 and the great Ted Williams

 


Ted Williams is featured twice on this day in history:


 1941:   “Batting .399955, Ted Williams elects to play in a doubleheader against the A’s on the final day of the season rather than to back into the coveted .400 average because the number is rounded up.  The ‘Splendor Splinter’ comes through by going 6-for-8 in the twin bill to finish the season with a .4057 mark (.406).”    

1960:   “In his last a major league appearance, an at-bat that will be immortalized by John Updike’s Hub fans bid Kid Adieu, Ted Williams homers off Orioles’ hurler Jack Fischer.    
The Boston writer’s explanation of why the 41-year old superstar did not acknowledge the Fenway faithful’s thunderous ovation is because “Gods do not answer letters”. “

Let me add this note:  Williams also hit .388 in 1957!  
Was Williams the greatest hitter ever?    He is #1 on my list and I never saw him play.



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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday's video: The NFL and protests



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Trudeau anti-Trumping no more:




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This is not your father's Dem party!



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When did US Supreme Court Justices start doing political commentary?



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The NFL controversy and the GOP Senate fails again plus other stories


We will look at the continuing controversy over NFL players taking a knee..........this is what a breakdown in authority looks like......these players voluntarily signed contracts that call on them to stand up respectfully for the national anthem...............the GOP Senate fails again............the only good news is that they still call it Obama Care and it is imploding..............Happy # 477 to the Jesuits.....Nolan Ryan 383 K's in 1973..........and other stories...........

Click to listen:




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1973: Nolan Ryan 383 K's in one season

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We remember Nolan Ryan on this day in 1973:     
Reese swung and missed at Ryan’s first two pitches, another two-strike opportunity for the right-hander. On Ryan’s 0-2 pitch…
“Swung on and missed! Nolan Ryan is the Major League strikeout king of all time! He walks off the mound, his teammates come over to greet him one by one, the fans stand cheering.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have seen one of the finest young men to ever wear a baseball uniform record one of the most incredible records in Major League history. Three hundred and eighty-three for Nolan Ryan!
“Fans are shaking hands with each other as if they’re all part of this great night, as if to say, ‘Yes, we saw it. We saw it all.’ ”
With their ace now the strikeout king, the Angels rewarded Ryan with the victory when pinch hitter Richie Scheinblum doubled home Tommy McCraw with the game-winner in the bottom of the 11th.
Ryan finished 1973 with a 21-16 record, 2.87 ERA and finished second in Cy Young Award voting to Jim Palmer. But it was the last pitch he threw that season that remains his most memorable.
1973 was an amazing year for Ryan:  2 no-hitters and his last pitch of the year got him 383 strikeouts.     





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A few ideas for NFL players and owners




Image result for nFL protest cartoons

On Monday night, Jerry Jones, a smart businessman who owns one of the richest sports teams in the world, tried to save the NFL with a kneel before the anthem and then standing up for the flag. He wanted to stand with the players for now but tell the fans that the anthem is no place for protest. 
Jerry Jones knows that the NFL is in a self-inflicted mess, as Selena Zito wrote:  
“We bleed black and gold here,” said Sean Parnell, a Pittsburgh native and former U.S. Army Airborne Ranger who served in the legendary 10th Mountain Division for six years, retiring as a captain.
“The Steelers are who we looked to as an example of achievement in the face of adversity, they were the ones who brought families and friends together every Sunday. They symbolized all that is good in us and it is hard to imagine a city in this country whose heart and soul is not more identified with their team than Pittsburghers are with the Steelers,” he said of what is affectionately called “Steeler Nation.”
But after the Steelers’ decision to not participate in the national anthem last Sunday, Parnell is not so sure about the strength of that nation.
Replace “Steelers” with “Cowboys” and you will  understand why Mr. Jones is worried.  
I would like to make a suggestion to Mr. Jones and the NFL Players Union: Put your money where your mouth is! 
In other words, take the initiative and start addressing some of the problems in the inner cities that cheer you every week.    
Let’s start with public schools. They are not serving African American kids very well, as we read over and over again:   
In America’s public high schools, 45% of black students and 43% of Hispanics (as compared to 22% of whites) drop out before their classes graduate. Dropout rates are especially high in urban areas with large minority populations, including such academic basket cases as the District of Columbia (57%), Trenton (59%), Camden (61.4%), Baltimore (65.4%), Cleveland (65.9%), and Detroit (75.1%).
Of those black and Hispanic students who do manage to earn a diploma, a large percentage are functionally illiterate. Black high-school graduates perform, on average, at a level that is four academic years below that of their white counterparts. 
Of all graduates in the class of 2011, only 11% of blacks and 15% of Hispanics were proficient in math, as compared to 42% of whites. Similarly, just 13% of blacks and 4% of Hispanics were proficient in reading, versus 40% of whites. 
As political science professor Lydia Segal notes in her book, Battling Corruption in America’s Public Schools: 
“It is in cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Philadelphia where the largest numbers of children cannot read, write, and compute at acceptable levels and where racial gaps between whites and blacks and Latinos are widest. It is in large cities that minority boys in particular, trapped in poor schools, have the greatest chance of flunking out and getting sucked into the downward spiral of crime and prison.”
It’s the same old song, as the Four Tops used to sing.
Well, what about standing up for these kids? The NFL players union should create scholarships so that some of these youngsters can be saved in private or religious schools.   
Let’s go to the absence of fathers. This is a problem that NFL players may be directly familiar with. Well, how about NFL players visiting the inner cities every week and talking about the devastating consequences of growing up without a father figure:    
Economics professor Walter E. Williams writes: “According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children and 3 percent of white children were born to unwed mothers.” 
In mid-1960s America, the nation’s out-of-wedlock birth rate (which stood at 7.7 percent at the time) began a rapid and relentless climb across all demographic lines, a climb that would continue unabated until 1994, when the Welfare Reform Act helped put the brakes on that trend. 
Today the overall American illegitimacy rate is about 40.7 percent (29.1 percent for non-Hispanic whites). For blacks, it is about 72 percent—approximately three times the level of black illegitimacy that existed when the War on Poverty began in 1964.
On this issue, we are not asking NFL players to spend money but rather some time. Spend an afternoon or evening in the community talking to and reminding young men that there is more to fatherhood than getting a girl pregnant.
So let NFL Players Union take the lead and put this issue of the anthem behind them. Otherwise, politics means turning off fans and that means less people watching and that means less money for the players and the aforementioned Mr. Jones.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter

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