Friday, December 31, 2021

Everybody was talking Madden in Mexico


(My new American Thinker post)

We just flew home from a vacation in Mexico.    Unlike the thousands who cross the border on a daily basis, my Mexican born wife (legal resident) and me (Naturalized U.S. citizen) had to take a COVID test 24 hours before the flight home.  Thankfully, we are negative and the testing facility was rather well run.   We did not have to wait long as I hear is happening up here.   

It's weird, but my two biggest fears a few days ago were a positive COVID test and staying in Mexico plus a flight cancellation.   So my wife kept checking her phone and gave me the best news:   "El vuelo no esta cancelado" or the flight is not cancelled.  Can't tell you how good that sounded as we were fighting the incredible traffic jam going to the airport.

Yes, there was a lot of controversy about the virus.  

We attended a huge December 24th family gathering and three issues were forbidden by a family decree distributed by email:   religion, the Mexican president, or COVID.  

I didn't understand the one about religion but the other two are hugely controversial.   At one point, a family member said:   "You think you guys are polarized in the U.S. check out Mexico."  Another one said something about a crazy Mexican Fauci but not sure who he was talking about.

What do the guys talk about when religion, COVID, and the Mexican president are off the table?   Can you believe John Madden?  It turns out that the other men at the meeting were very fond of the late Raiders' coach and NFL analyst.

On the flight back, I read this great article by Christopher Jacobs:    

For most of the 1970s, football fans knew John Madden as the coach who “couldn’t win the big one.” Hired as coach by Raiders owner Al Davis at age 32, Madden fielded successful teams throughout his tenure; after all, he won more than three-quarters of the games he coached. But circumstances always seemed to conspire against Madden and his teams, as when the Pittsburgh Steelers used the last-second “Immaculate Reception” to beat his Raiders in 1972.

Two years after Madden’s Raiders won Super Bowl XI over the Minnesota Vikings -- finally removing the proverbial monkey off his back -- he shocked the football world by retiring at the young age of 42. 

Then he went into the TV booth and became of the face of CBS' coverage.

Like most of the guys at the aforementioned party, I remember Coach Madden losing all of those post season games, including the one 1972 crazy finish against the Raiders.  There were several Raiders' fans in the crowd who reminded me that the referee missed the play and replay would have reversed the call.   I don't know about that but I guess that the Raiders were hugely popular south of the border too.   And his work on TV was very popular too because many guys catch the game in English by cable TV.

So rest in peace, Coach.  Talking about Madden had us chatting about something other than President Lopez-Obrador, who turns people on or off, not much different than President Trump does up here.   

Hope you had a good Christmas holiday and that your food was as good as what we had.  

Who knew that Coach Madden would keep us away from religion, the Mexican president, and COVID?

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Happy # 86 Sandy Koufax

The great Sandy Koufax was born on this day in Brooklyn, NY and we wish him a very happy birthday.

Koufax is arguably the greatest lefty ever.   His numbers tell the story even taking account the arm injuries that forced him to retire early.   

Nevertheless, his stats from 1961 to 1966 are unique in modern baseball.    

In other words, he was the most dominant pitcher during those six seasons:   

Overall, he pitched 4 no hitters including a perfect game in 1965;

He won 165 games with a 2.76 ERA;

No one could touch him in the 1963 and 1965 World Series; 

Cy Young in 1963, 1965 & 1966; and last but not least,

NL MVP in 1963.

Sadly, arm injuries forced him to retire after 1966 or age 32.    

On a personal level, he broke my heart when he beat the Twins in game 7 of the 1965 World Series.    We ran home from school to watch that game and LA beat Minnesota behind Koufax's 2-0 performance.

A few years ago, I read this great book about Koufax.

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Happy # 84 Paul Stookey of Peter Paul & Mary

We wish a very happy birthday to Paul Stookey of the legendary folk group, Peter, Paul & Mary:
"In 1961, Stookey was the emcee, comedian and occasional singer at Gaslight, a club in Greenwich Village. One night, he was approached by Albert Grossman, a manager, who asked him if he was interested in joining a new folk trio. He initially said that he wasn't, but afterMary Travers and Peter Yarrow went to his apartment and the three sang together, Peter, Paul and Mary was born."
And the rest is music history.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Happy # 75 Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull - As Tears Go By (1967, Vinyl) | Discogs
We remember Marianne Faithfull who was born in London on this day in 1946.  She was Mick Jagger's girlfriend many years ago. 

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones wrote "As tears go by".   It became Marianne's biggest hit!

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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Happy # 75 Edgar Winter

Image result for edgar winter images
Edgar Winter was born in Beaumont, Texas, on this day in 1946.      

According to his official site,  Edgar brought together Dan Hartman, Ronnie Montrose and Chuck Ruff to form The Edgar Winter Group in 1972.   The band had hits like:  "Frankenstein"  and "Free Ride"

Back in the 1970's, he was quite a rocker.

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Happy # 75 to Bill Lee, a.k.a. "The Spaceman"

The eccentric but very good lefty Bill Lee was born in Burbank, CA, on this day in 1946.

As a pitcher, he was a rare left hander who could pitch in Fenway Park.   

He pitched most of his career with Boston and finished with Montreal:  119 wins, 3.72 ERA and 72 complete games.

Lee's pitching style was to kill you with a variety of "junk pitches" that had hitters speaking to themselves on the way back to the dugouts.

Off the field, Lee was also "The Spaceman" because of all his famous quotes.   He wasn't Yogi Berra but he had a few:  

"I would change policy, bring back natural grass and nickel beer. 
Baseball is the belly-button of our society. 
Straighten out baseball, and you straighten out the rest of the world."

My biggest memory is game 7 of the 1975 World Series.   He threw one of those junk pitches to Tony Perez and it was the 3-run HR that put Cincinnati back in the game.

He was fun to watch on and off the field.    A baseball character when it was just fun to be a character.

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Monday, December 27, 2021

Are you ready for "Happy New Year"

Let me wish you a very happy New Year.  

I hope that you and your family have a very happy and prosperous New Year.

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Sunday, December 26, 2021

Happy # 74 to Carlton Fisk

We remember Carlton Fisk who was born in Vermont on this day in 1947.

We remember him for that 12th inning home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.   I saw that live on TV and it was a great moment and game.

Beyond that, Fisk also had a great career:   .269 career batting average, 2,356 hits, 376 HR and 1,330 RBI.

On May 8, 1984 Fisk caught all 25 innings in a 7-6 victory over Milwaukee.    Isn't that like playing 3 games in one day?   A week later, he hit for the cycle!

His best season was 1985:   37 HR and 105 RBI.

Great catcher and ambassador for the game of baseball.

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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Happy # 63 Rickey Henderson

We say happy birthday to Rickey Henderson.    He was born in Chicago on this day in 1958 but grew up in Oakland, California.    

Rickey made his debut in 1979 going 2-for-4 against Texas.   His career took off in 1980 stealing 396 bases over 4 seasons.   In 1985, he was traded to the Yankees but came back to the A's in 1989.   Henderson was with the A's when they won 3 straight AL pennants, 1989-90-91, and Toronto when they won the World Series in 1993.

Overall, he hit .279, with 3,055 hits.   He is the all time leader in runs scored (2,295) and stolen bases (1,406).

Henderson was the greatest lead off hitter in baseball history.    In 2009, Rickey was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Over the years, Henderson was a character on and off the field.

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Friday, December 24, 2021


Image result for merry religious christmas images

Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.  

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Thursday, December 23, 2021

We remember Dave May (1943-2012)

Image result for dave may brewers images
Dave May was born in Delaware on this day in 1943.   He broke with the Orioles in 1967 but had a very difficult time getting playing time on a team that had Frank Robinson in right, Paul Blair in center and Don Buford in left.    He was also behind Marv Rettmund and Curt Motton, a couple of other very promising young players.

In 1970, May was traded to Milwaukee and that's where he enjoyed some good seasons.   His best year was 1973:  .303 average, 25 HR & 93 RBI.  

Nevertheless, he will always be the answer to a great trivia question.    After 1974, Dave May was traded to Atlanta for Hank Aaron.

May retired after the 1978 and died in 2012.    He was a fun player to watch as I recall.

P.S.  You can listen to my show.  If you like our posts, please look for ”Donate” on the right column of the blog page.

Happy # 79 Jerry Koosman

Image result for jerry koosman images
Jerry Koosman was born in Appleton, Minnesota, on this day in 1942.   He broke with the Mets in 1967 and was part of that young pitching staff that included Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan, 

He won 19 in 1968 and 17 in 1969, or the year that the Mets beat the Orioles in the World Series.   

Koosman was 140-137 with the Mets with a 3.09 ERA & 109 complete games, or an indication that he pitched well with a lot of bad teams.    He was traded to the Twins and won 39 games in 3 seasons.

Overall, Koosman won 222 with a career 3.36 ERA.    Wonder how many games he would have won with better teams?   My guess is that it would have at least 275 games and we'd be talking about Koosman in the Hall of Fame.

Great left hander!

P.S.  You can listen to my show.  If you like our posts, please look for ”Donate” on the right column of the blog page.



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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Merry Christmas!

Image result for retro nativity images

We have heard this story many times but it is still meaningful and beautiful:
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (Luke 2:8-20) 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Monday, December 20, 2021

The week in review with Bill Katz the editor of Urgent Agenda

The week in review with Bill Katz the editor of Urgent Agenda 12/20 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics

Guest: Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda.........Senator Manchin said NO and the Democrats are not happy.........The Biden-Harris presidency is in crisis.....The war over mandates.....New York cancellations and impact on business....More madness from colleges......Big stories and surprises of 2021..........and more to listen:

Monday's video: Manchin a NO" on BBB

Monday's video: 
Manchin a "NO" on BBB 
Click to watch

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Merry Christmas and enjoy your holiday

 (My new American Thinker post)

We are going away for a couple of weeks and want to thank American Thinker and our readers for a fun 2021.   
Enjoy this wonderful holiday with your family.   
This is a message for all of you from Father Gerald E. Murray the pastor at Holy Family Church.     Father Murray was with St. Vincent de Paul in New York when he wrote this message for National Review.  I guess that some things get better with time.   I think that you will agree:
A monsignor friend of mine is known to walk up the stairs of his rectory saying out loud, “Filled with joy, filled with joy.”
His reminder to himself and anyone in earshot is that joy is the central reality of Christian life.
Amidst the many problems and difficulties of everyday life in this world, faith teaches us to rejoice in God’s goodness.
At Christmas, God makes it easy to rejoice once again. Past and present seem to be one: the Virgin and Child at Bethlehem, the Christmas tree and crèche scene in our home growing up, our present-day preparations to celebrate another Christmas.
Christmas morning is certainly a time of great joy for children. Think back to those happy days.
The anticipation of finding under the tree exactly what we asked for was almost always fulfilled, unless Santa decided otherwise in his wisdom, as our parents were quick to tell us as we opened a box containing a shirt or a sweater.
Be grateful for what you have, they said, which is surely good advice.
Anyway, we will have soon have a chance to thank the Baby Jesus at Mass, so get dressed now!
Gratitude indeed is the root of our joy:
We recognize God’s goodness, experienced in a small but very important way through giving and receiving Christmas gifts, and we rejoice.
Joy in the soul is a foretaste of Heavenly beatitude.
Joy at Christmas is the fruit of knowing deep down that the birth of the Child Jesus changes everything for all time.
The cold and darkness of the long night of waiting has passed as the Sun of Justice shines upon creation.
Pope Benedict XVI recently called for prayers in these words:
But let us also think of those, especially young people, who have lost the sense of authentic joy, and who seek it in vain where it is impossible to find: in the exasperated race for self-affirmation and success, in false amusements, in consumerism, in moments of drunkenness, in the artificial paradise of drugs and of other forms of alienation.
This reads as though the pope has been spending time going through Page Six of the New York Post.
But in fact he does not need to be reminded of the inanities and self-destructive acts of mankind, as typified (but not exclusively, to be sure) in the lives of celebrities.
We are all to some extent, in one way or another, at some point (or points) in our lives, on the wrong track going downhill.
What can get us out of this spiral of despair?
Joy. To know joy exists, and that it is within our reach, can be sufficient motivation to exit the fast lane and find that path that the Wise Men took to reach Bethlehem, and the Child.
May joy draw us out of ourselves and lead us to kneel in awe before the tiny Child who makes all things new....."
What more can I say?   Father Murray said it all.   
This is going to be a strange Christmas season.   My mother passed away in May and thus I won't have my parents around.  It will be very strange to say Feliz Navidad or eat some of the Cuban food without them.  My consolation is that my parents are together again looking down at the growing family with pride.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.   See in '22!

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, click send drop a dime here.

Happy # 74 to Gigliola Cinquetti

Gigliola Cinquetti was born on this day in Verona, Veneto, Italy in 1947.  Gigliola received attention at the young age of 16.   She triumphed at the annual San Remo Song Contest in early 1964.  A few weeks later, she swept the awards at Eurovision.

My introduction to Gigliola was listening to an LP that she recorded with Los Panchos, the great trio of Spanish music.

Have a nice day Gigliola!

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, click send drop a dime here.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

South Texas Christmas memories plus more with George Rodriguez

South Texas Christmas memories plus more with George Rodriguez 12/19 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics

Guests: George Rodriguez, South Texas conservative.........memories of Christmas in South the latest Texas politics..................
and other to listen:

Enough with the impeachments already

 (My new American Thinker post)

Most of us were sitting in front of the TV or listening to the radio as I was on this day in 1998.  I went jogging and heard the final vote about a mile from home.  It was historic: a U.S. president impeached:

After nearly 14 hours of debate, the House of Representatives approves two articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, charging him with lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. Clinton, the second president in American history to be impeached, vowed to finish his term.

As you may remember, the whole thing was about Monica Lewinski, the famous intern who did whatever she did in the Oval Office.  Of course, there was a more serious side to the whole encounter with the president.  The Starr Report outlined a case based on perjury, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering, and abuse of power.  There were also some explicit details of the sexual relationship between the president and the intern.

It was enough to do the unthinkable: cover my young sons' ears when I was watching the nightly news.  Wonder how many other dads did the same thing?

Along with the impeachment, President Clinton ordered the bombing of Iraq.  It was crazy: images of the U.S. Air Force dropping bombs on one side of the screen and a busload of Democrats showing up at the White House to show their support for the embattled president.  Bizarre was the word.

It was the first impeachment since President Andrew Johnson in 1868, 130 years earlier.  I remember talking to my late father and wishing we'd never see another impeachment again.  Unfortunately, President Clinton and most of the principals of that impeachment got to see two more Trump impeachments, both outrageously political and partisan.

So I got to see three impeachments in 23 years.  I'm hoping we don't see another one for a very long time.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, click send drop a dime here.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

A Christmas 2021 chat with Frank Burke

A Christmas 2021 chat with Frank Burke 12/18 by Silvio Canto Jr | Politics

Guest:      Frank Burke, businessman and author.....We will look at Christmas 2021.........and other to listen:

Saturday’s video: Hispanics an politics

Saturday’s video: 
Hispanics and politics 
Click to watch

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).  If you like our posts, click send drop a dime here.


Everybody is talking about Democrats and Hispanics going separate ways

 (My new American Thinker)

Over the last few months, talking about Hispanics is suddenly in the news.   Maybe that Wall Street Journal poll got everybody talking, with a 37-37 tie for who should run Congress.  Maybe Rudy Teixeira, the man who invented the demographics argument, is now pulling back his prediction about Hispanics creating a permanent majority or the Californization of the U.S.    

Let's add another voice to the choir.   This is from Eric Levitz:   

This winter, Democratic strategists have many causes for discontent. Inflation is eroding Joe Biden’s approval rating and his party’s standing in 2022 midterm polls. The president’s stalled agenda is dispiriting progressive activists and keeping the media’s focus on Democratic disarray. In recent polls, Donald Trump is holding his own in a hypothetical 2024 rematch.   

But it’s possible that no political development worries blue America’s operatives more than Hispanic voters’ rightward drift.

Biden’s approval rating has declined with just about every demographic. But no racial or ethnic group has soured on the president more than Hispanics, according to FiveThirtyEight’s aggregation of all available polls.

To say the least, all this talk about Hispanics and Democrats has come to the attention of Univision Dallas.   On Thursday night, I recorded a segment for their weekend "Al punto," a political discussion show that I've visited before.

The moderator asked me about the aforementioned WSJ and some of the other polls.  This is what I told him.

The best evidence of the problem is Texas.   I've referred to this concerning the elections in Arlington and Ft. Worth, a couple of big cities with huge Hispanic populations that elected GOP mayors easily.   In November, a Hispanic GOP defeated a Hispanic Democrat in a San Antonio district taken for granted by the Democrats.   

And the border has become Exhibit A of the Democrats' collapse.   

Last, but not least, Robert O'Rourke is down 15 against Governor Greg Abbott.  Beto is in such bad shape that his only hope is that we get another ice storm and the lights go out.

Yes, it's for real that Hispanics are souring on the Democrats.   I guess that's what happens when your message is for San Francisco rather than Texas.

To paraphrase Elvis, "...There's nothing left to do but go our separate ways And pick up all the pieces left behind us "

Well, romance and politics do have a lot of common, i.e. love, hate and people change when the other party gets really weird.   

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