10/07/2013 archive

2013 Junior League Division Series: Sox @ Rays Game 3

This Series may not go much father either if the BoSox can put it away on the road at Tropicana Field, the last domed stadium in the Majors.

Friday the Sox fell behind the Rays in the 2nd on a solo shot and went 2 down in the 4th after another.  The Sox came roaring back in the Bottom of the inning on a Single, a Double, a 1 Out 2 RBI Double, a 2 Out RBI Single, a 2 Out RBI Double, a Passed Ball that should have ended the inning, and another RBI Single.  Not that it mattered much, the Sox put the nail in the coffin in the 5th with a 1 Out Double, an intentional Walk, a 2 RBI Double, another intentional Walk, and a 2 Out RBI Single.  Amazingly the Rays left Moore in there until the 8th when the BoSox added 4 more meaningless runs on a Single, a Steal, an RBI Single, another Single, a Walk, Walked in a Run, an RBI Double Play, and an RBI Single.  Red Sox 12 – 2, lead Series 1 – 0.

Saturday Boston was pretty much just as dominant.  They scored 2 in the 1st on a Single, a Steal and an error, a 1 Out RBI Sacrifice, and a solo shot.  They never lost that lead.  In the 2nd the Rays got 1 back with a Walk, a Single, and an RBI Sacrifice.  In the Sox 3rd there was a Leadoff Double, an RBI Double, a Single, a RBI Sacrifice, and an inning ending Double Play.  In the 4th they added another on a leadoff Walk, an error, and an RBI Triple.  The Rays pulled within 2 in the 5th with a Double, a HBP, and a 2 RBI Double.  The Sox answered in the Bottom of the 5th with a Single and an RBI Double.  The Rays scored their last in the 6th on a Single, a Sacrifice, and an RBI Single.  The BoSox padded their score with a Run in the 8th with a solo shot.  BoSox 7 – 4, 2 – 0 for the Series.

The Sox will be sending Clay Buchholz (12 – 1, 1.74 ERA R) against Alex Cobb (11 – 3, 2.76 ERA R) who is playing against his home town team.  The game is at 6 pm ET on TBS.

2013 Senior League Division Series: Cards @ Pirates Game 4

Time to put up the rally squirrel-

The Cardinals are in a bad way.  With the Pirates’ 7 – 1 victory on Friday at Busch Stadium they gained home field advantage and that puts them in position today to close out the Series at PNC Park.

Friday Gerrit Cole threw 99+ mph fireballs into the 6th inning with the sole blot a solo shot by Yadier Molina in the 5th and a meaningless 1 Out Double by Beltran in the 1st.

On the other hand the Cards sucked early and often starting in the 2nd when Cole helped his own cause with an RBI Single.  The Pirates scored again in the 3rd with a 2 RBI Homer by Alverez and added 2 more runs in the 5th on back to back 1 Out Doubles that chased Lynn and an RBI Single off Marness.  They completed their scoring with a 2 Out RBI Single in the 7th and a solo shot in the 8th.  7 – 1 Pirates, Series tied at 1.

Sunday at PNC Park Pittsburg got off to an early 2 – 0 lead in the 1st with a 1 Out Walk, a Single, a runner advancing error, and a 2 RBI Single.  The Cards tied it up in the 5th with a Single, a Walk, a 2 Out Double Steal, and a 2 RBI Single.  The Pirates took the lead again in the 6th witha lead off Walk, a meaningless 1 Out Double, an intentional Walk, and an RBI Sacrifice.  The Cards tied it up again in the 8th with a solo shot, but the Pirates put it away in the Bottom of the 8th on a Double, a 1 Out Walk, and 2 RBI Singles.  5 – 3 Pirates who lead the Series 2 – 1.

Today it’s win or go home for the Cardinals away at PNC Park.  They will be sending Michael Wacha (4 – 1, 2.78 ERA R) who almost threw a No-No against the Nationals in his last start against Charlie Morton (7 – 4, 3.26 ERA R).  In his last start against the Cardinals he injured his left foot.

This game will be broadcast at 3 pm ET on TBS.

2013 Junior League Division Series: Oakland @ Detroit Game 3

Rule #1- Never take untested equipment on the road.  It will fail and you won’t have the tools you need to fix it in the field.

So what do we know after this weekend?  Detroit got a split in Oakland  which is a bigger deal than it seems because they now have home field advantage, needing only 2 games at Comerica Park to advance to the Junior League Championship Series.

At that it could have been better. In Game 1 Max Scherzer looked pretty unbeatable until Yoenis Cespedes hit a 2 RBI Home Run in the 7th.  Detroit’s damage was already done with 3 runs in the 1st (Leadoff Double, HBP, RBI Single, Double Play (runner advances), RBI Double).  Some people say Oakland threatened to tie it up in the 8th, but a 1 Out Walk does not a threat make.  Detroit 3 – 2, 1 – 0 in the Series.

Everyone expected great things from Justin Verlander (only 20 game winner in the Majors this seaon) but he got trapped in a boring Pitcher’s Duel with the unheralded rookie Sonny Gray.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But he got pulled for Smyly in the 8th and in the bottom of the 9th Smyly loaded them up and was replaced by Porchello who promptly gave up the walk off, game winning RBI Single in what was a ‘must win’ for the Athletics.  Oakland 1 – 0, Series tied at 1.

Today Anibal Sanchez (14 – 8, 2.57 ERA R) faces Jarrod Parker (12 – 8, 3.97 ERA R) in the 1 pm ET game which will be carried exclusively on MLB Network which kind of sucks if you’re a fan and don’t get it.  The best I can offer you is the New York Times Gameview as a poor substitute.

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting thea Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: The Boehner Bunglers

The federal government is shut down, we’re about to hit the debt ceiling (with disastrous economic consequences), and no resolution is in sight. How did this happen?

The main answer, which only the most pathologically “balanced” reporting can deny, is the radicalization of the Republican Party. As Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein put it last year in their book, “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” the G.O.P. has become “an insurgent outlier – ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”

But there’s one more important piece of the story. Conservative leaders are indeed ideologically extreme, but they’re also deeply incompetent. So much so, in fact, that the Dunning-Kruger effect – the truly incompetent can’t even recognize their own incompetence – reigns supreme.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Republicans Discover Government, Promptly Convene ‘Imperial Congress’

Picture a lone Republican running through the darkened hallways of power, paraphrasing Soylent Green‘s climactic line as he shouts the news to his peers:

“It’s people! The Federal government is people!”

That insight seemed to strike Hill Republicans last week, if only briefly: Our government is made up of people helping other people. But don’t count on seeing a new era of conciliation or a new embrace of democratic processes. Instead Republicans seemed to renew their commitment to the principle that only one branch of government — their branch — should control it.

Call it the Imperial Congress, and this week it tried to invent a new form of governance.

Michael Smerconish: What Do Socialists Think of Obamacare?

You know who should be angry about Obamacare? Real socialists. The tea party opponents of the Affordable Care Act promised them a government incursion that the new law does not deliver.

Think back to the rallies of 2009 and 2010. All those signs mocking President Obama with the word socialist emblazoned upon them were as common as Gadsden (“Don’t Tread on Me”) flags. But the health-care exchanges that launched Tuesday bear no resemblance to what Merriam-Webster defines as “a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies.”

And actual socialists have noticed.

E. J. Dionne Jr.: The Tea Party’s Last Stand

If the nation is lucky, this October will mark the beginning of the end of the tea party.

It is suffering from extreme miscalculation and a foolish misreading of its opponents’ intentions. This, in turn, has created a moment of enlightenment, an opening to see things that were once missed.

Many Republicans, of course, saw the disaster coming in advance of the shutdown. But they were terrified to take on a movement that is fortified by money, energy and the backing of a bloviating brigade of talk-show hosts. The assumption was that the tea party had become invincible inside the GOP.

Robert Kuttner: What if Obamacare Is Popular?

Public opinion seems to be moving against the Republicans. The question is no longer whether they will continue their suicidal gambit but when they will cave and on what terms.

Weirdly, by threatening to shut the government unless Obama killed the Affordable Care act, they got the opposite of what they sought. The rest of the government is closed, and Obamacare is open for business.

And, while Republicans and movement conservatives have spent the better part of a year demonizing Obama’s health reform, the more people become familiar with it, the more people will appreciate it — leaving the Republican alarmism with no clothes.

Michael Winship: Playing Chicken with Food Safety

The other day there was this guy in a chicken suit on Pennsylvania Avenue protesting outside the White House. Silly, but the reason the chicken and other demonstrators had crossed the avenue was to deliver a petition of more than half a million names, speaking out against new rules the US Department of Agriculture wants to put into effect – bad rules that would transfer much of the work inspecting pork and chicken and turkey meat from trained government inspectors to the processing companies themselves. Talk about putting the fox in the henhouse! [..]

Add to this the controversy over growth-enhancing drugs and hormones, the danger of genetically modified foods, the cruelty of big business factory farms: how can measures like these sound like good ideas to anyone other than those who would put profits above public health? It’s called “runaway capitalism,” and the time has come to stop this free market fundamentalism gone amok.

It’s enough to make you sick.

On This Day In History October 7

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 7 is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 85 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1955, Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg reads his poem “Howl” at a poetry reading at Six Gallery in San Francisco.

Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet who vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression. In the 1950s, Ginsberg was a leading figure of the Beat Generation, an anarchic group of young men and women who joined poetry, song, sex, wine and illicit drugs with passionate political ideas that championed personal freedoms. Ginsberg’s epic poem Howl, in which he celebrates his fellow “angel-headed hipsters” and excoriates what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States, is one of the classic poems of the Beat Generation  The poem, dedicated to writer Carl Solomon, has a memorable opening:

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by

madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn

looking for an angry fix…

In October 1955, Ginsberg and five other unknown poets gave a free reading at an experimental art gallery in San Francisco. Ginsberg’s Howl electrified the audience. According to fellow poet Michael McClure, it was clear “that a barrier had been broken, that a human voice and body had been hurled against the harsh wall of America and its supporting armies and navies and academies and institutions and ownership systems and power support bases.” In 1957, Howl attracted widespread publicity when it became the subject of an obscenity trial in which a San Francisco prosecutor argued it contained “filthy, vulgar, obscene, and disgusting language.” The poem seemed especially outrageous in 1950s America because it depicted both heterosexual and homosexual sex at a time when sodomy laws made homosexual acts a crime in every U.S. state. Howl reflected Ginsberg’s own bisexuality and his homosexual relationships with a number of men, including Peter Orlovsky, his lifelong partner. Judge Clayton W. Horn ruled that Howl was not obscene, adding, “Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemisms?”

In Howl and in his other poetry, Ginsberg drew inspiration from the epic, free verse style of the 19th century American poet Walt Whitman. Both wrote passionately about the promise (and betrayal) of American democracy; the central importance of erotic experience; and the spiritual quest for the truth of everyday existence. J. D. McClatchy, editor of the Yale Review called Ginsberg “the best-known American poet of his generation, as much a social force as a literary phenomenon.” McClatchy added that Ginsberg, like Whitman, “was a bard in the old manner – outsized, darkly prophetic, part exuberance, part prayer, part rant. His work is finally a history of our era’s psyche, with all its contradictory urges.”

Ginsberg was a practicing Buddhist who studied Eastern religious disciplines extensively. One of his most influential teachers was the Tibetan Buddhist, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa, founder of the Naropa Institute, now Naropa University at Boulder, Colorado. At Trungpa’s urging, Ginsberg and poet Anne Waldman started a poetry school there in 1974 which they called the “Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics”. In spite of his attraction to Eastern religions, the journalist Jane Kramer argues that Ginsberg, like Whitman, adhered to an “American brand of mysticism” that was, in her words, “rooted in humanism and in a romantic and visionary ideal of harmony among men.” Ginsberg’s political activism was consistent with his religious beliefs. He took part in decades of non-violent political protest against everything from the Vietnam War to the War on Drugs. The literary critic, Helen Vendler, described Ginsberg as “tirelessly persistent in protesting censorship, imperial politics, and persecution of the powerless.” His achievements as a writer as well as his notoriety as an activist gained him honors from established institutions. Ginsberg’s book of poems, The Fall of America, won the National Book Award for poetry in 1974. Other honors included the National Arts Club gold medal and his induction into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, both in 1979. In 1995, Ginsberg won a Pulitzer Prize for his book, Cosmopolitan Greetings: Poems 1986-1992.

Sunday Train: A Nation of Cycleways vs Level of Service

Sacramento Kings fans rejoice! The California State Legislature has passed and Governor Brown has signed a measure paving the way for a new downtown Sacramento Arena, potentially keeping the Kings from high-tailing it to Seattle!

What does this have to do with sustainable transport? More than someone would think who only read the headlines. The bill as passed involves several changes to the evaluation of projects that will benefit sustainable transport projects, including:

Provisions of SB 743 will:


–Remove parking and aesthetics standards as grounds for legal challenges against developments in urban infill areas near transit stops.


–Modernize the statewide measurements against which traffic impacts are assessed and resolved, allowing developers to offset the impacts by building near mass transit stations.


–Expand an exemption from CEQA litigation for mixed residential/commercial projects located within transit priority areas where a full environmental impact review has already been completed.

The first of these three reforms reduces the opportunity to block a project on the grounds that it does not provide sufficient subsidy to motorists in the form of parking. The third of the three reforms reduces one of the disadvantages that mixed-use Transit-Oriented-Development faces compared to greenfield sprawl development.

But it is the second of the three reforms that is the real lede: within a half mile of a transit service that meets a quality of service threshold, it is no longer necessary to prove that the project maintains the same “Level of Service” to automobiles alone as an aspect of “Environmental Quality”.