No other sport celebrates its history better than baseball. It was a great sense of relief after 9/11 and you’d think Major League Baseball would have seen the 10th anniversary of those events in a more sensible light than it did. Now, while Keith Olbermann can be overbearing, I think he has this one spot on.


Really, Selig, Really?


We lose.

If it wasn’t clear just how nausea inducing the campaign season has been, I would direct you to the now oft-seen video of Rand Paul supporters shoveling, jostling and stepping on the head of a woman who disagreed with them.

It’s funny that with the advent of the news networks, various news channels on cable, online magazine, all those avenues for information, the voter attention span has shrunk. The authors of many a misspelled placard at Tea Party events would have you believe that the world went into the dumper only when President Obama took office. This is, of course, crap as we have been failing for some time before that. “Taking my country back” has been getting heard with regularity this year. Nobody seems to answer with to what, the 1940s?

Now, the partiers concern me. Locally, the republican and democratic party bosses pick their guys prior to the primaries and then kvetch about low voter turnout. Who wants to turn out when the result is foretold. If I am a Buffalo area republican, I’m upset that the GOP doesn’t try, neither in the city or the state for that matter. If I’m a Buffalo area democrat, I’m upset that the party doesn’t try harder.

Being upset with the process is a fine thing, engaging in informed discourse is a great thing too, except that isn’t happening. The short attention span induced by funneled soundbites has produced a curious lot. I really don’t give a rat’s ass if you are an outsider or an insider, just that if you are going to do something once you are elected and if so, what?

I wonder how many tea party boosters know how many Amendments are in danger. I used to believe that Vice President Cheney was inspiring fear for saying things like “you need to vote for us to ensure safety,” but he is positively huggable compared to the double standards being put out by this crop. Check this out. Yeah, it’s Olbermann, but everything is accurately sourced:


I’m fond of minority opinions, owning quite a few myself. But I guess I’m saying to be careful what you wish for. A colleague of mine espoused the need to shake things up when selecting a candidate. I need a little more, some gravitas, some assurance of some progress. My central problem with the Tea Party folks, especially the GOP splinter portion is that they are resentful that they aren’t in power and that has the GOP in Congress especially swinging to the hard right. Ultimately, I believe stuff gets done when everybody is even stubbornly collaborating. The voices of the better angels can shout the extremes of the devils as it were.

But when candidates are more concerned with the proclivities of the opposition instead of the considerable problems that lie ahead, I got an issue (okay, I have volumes). If I’m Andrew Cuomo and annointed by my party, I roll out the plan to make New York better. If I’m Carl Paladino, I shine the biggest flash light I can find on Cuomo’s record as HUD secretary.

But that is asking too much apparently. I’ll stop here as I have to return to my mailbox to throw out the waste glossy paper coming from various candidates in the district.

I keep getting the postings on Facebook to pledge to vote (which is right up there with dedicating my status in terms of pointless activism) and I will. Always have and always will, just once again I know that the result will be something along the lines of “we lose.”

“…and my head hurts”

The words of the prophet Yosemite Sam ring in my head this noon, not just because I burdened with a summer cold because a coworker can’t tell the difference between allergies and cold, but for a variety of pesky reasons:

Beck-a-palooza, Beck-th Fare, Beckstock, et al. The gathering of the there but for the grace of God go I society was a little hard for my cerebral cortex. The idea that a middle aged white guy is going to reclaim the civil rights movement seems a little repugnant to this middle aged white guy. I have no problem with polite disagreement and minority opinions, hell that was the dinner table for awhile, but the politics of division and fearmongering is something to be scared of. My honor was fine, I don’t need a guy like Beck coming at me with the minute wax to shine it up. The never-ending newscycle and the need for Fox, MSNBC, and even CNN to fill programming hours and these folks bending over backwards in a ceaseless attempt to sound like Howard Beale (look it up). Olbermann, who writes a great baseball blog, can be over the top, but merits my respect more so because he actually admits when he is wrong. Beck argues with himself in the name of ratings. It doesn’t achieve any greater dialogue, just warps our collective attention span. Easily manipulated poll data has conservatives growing, God doing well in the primaries, bleah! It’s all so much blather and hardly any information.

We’re a sound byte world and it is spooky to me how few people accept that as gospel. Real life allows for the use of more than 140 characters, but it concerns me how few folks read beyond that. Reclaiming Honor? What the hell does that mean? and why were there so many people at the Lincoln Memorial gathered around listening to Beck and Sarah Palin play to cameras at an event that was a campaign event, despite what anybody says, all that was omitted was which campaigns would benefit most from the million loafer march. Entire speeches were given in short-term memory slighted pronouns.

A twitter poster who I know a bit was upset that President Obama was not making a public pronouncement on the day as yesterday marked the 47th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech as well. Think Glenn was using that, just a little. For that, I say good for the President. I’m glad he is above battling media opportunities. There is too much work to be done to trapped in a blather-off with News Corp.’s talking head.

The tone of the discussions have changed in recent years. I remember seeing news footage of John Wayne talking about President Kennedy and saying “I didn’t vote for him, but I hope he does a good job.” Civility from the Duke, no less. That seems to have been lost as many of the minions as yesterday’s rally were there solely because Glenn told them to come, they are against his policies, but have none of their own, so they wrap up in garments printed with stuff like “taking my country back.” From who? Where did it go? Yesterday’s tomfoolery added nothing to the discourse of where we are as a nation, didn’t reclaim honor or civil rights, it was a made for tv event on a nice day in DC. That is all it was.

Full disclosure, I am a progressive leaning independent. I think there are an awful lot of smart republicans and democrats, a lot of placeholders and more than just a few self-serving assholes. I think when the boy scouts are encouraged to boo the President, something is wrong. By the same token, I think President Bush got some shots he didn’t deserve either. It’s fine to disagree or not know everything, that when this stuff works.

These are complex problems in complex times and you need more than 140 characters (and a few nouns) to talk them through.

The Prop 8 Battle

I have been sort of pundit-ed out lately preferring to dabble in facts for awhile before the mid terms get serious. I’ve been trying to keep on an eye peeled on how Bass Pro decided on how they weren’t going to put out after nine years of dates, how the state government hasn’t learned a thing, how the county is rearranging the deck chairs on our fiscal Titanic and so on. In the middle of all that, a Federal Judge in California (A G.W. Bush appointee no less) decided that Proposition 8, the one banning gay marriage was unconstitutional.

Somebody doing something because it is the right thing to do. I wasn’t sure if that existed. A few folks in my social sphere are slightly to the right of Attila the Hun on such matters and mentioned how marriage is done in the church. With half of all marriages ending in divorce these days, the sanctity argument rings a little hallow. I swallow the obvious response, but the license comes from city hall. Not to mention, that we don’t all go to the same church. I’m going to play a bit from Keith Olbermann in just a second (quiet, conservatives, this one is apolitical) because he said something, probably better than I could, about it being why are so many people opposed?

Hell, in the 60s, there were 19 states (I looked) where blacks and whites couldn’t have married, which would have been bad news for my three lovely people.

Set your bias aside and watch this, it was done as the initial decision came down, but is worthy of another look in light of the judge’s decision tonight.

We could really stand to take better care of each other.

We as a people seem to be against happy. If my former spouse and her partner could legally marry, I’m pretty sure the planet will continue spinning, the Buffalo Common Council will obfuscate and the Buffalo Sabres will just frustrate. This all mystifies me. Such a law really wouldn’t change a thing in the grand scheme, we would all get the freedoms we talk about but never use. Yet, invariably another appeal will probably be filed, as money, courtime will be wasted on ensuring that the portion of the population afraid of what is not happening in their own home gripes and complains, as we continue to so afraid of what we don’t know about.


Safe? Really?

Yeah, I don’t think so. Hate to see a perfect game get blown on a botched last out of the game call like that. The image is from Fox Sports Net in Detroit and it captures what veteran ump Jim Joyce knows, that he messed up on a epic scale.

His name might just replace Don Denkinger for the worst mistake ever. I don’t know how I feel about the steps being bandied about this morning. It would have been good for Joyce to talk to the other umps as maybe he was listening for the thwack of the ball hitting the webbing of Armando Galarraga’s glove instead of watching where Galarraga caught it.

I was following the updates through Keith Olbermann’s Baseball Nerd blog off and on. If Commissioner Bud Selig reverses the call and declares a perfect game, does it feel the same? Is something like that cheapened or forever asterisked because of the way the game ended? I guess Selig won’t change anything as that would entail having an opinion. And I don’t know the answers there.

From Olbermann, “What you do, Jim, is to put baseball etiquette and umpire pride on the shelf for a moment. Even if you’re sure, you consult with your colleagues. Even if you have no doubt, you listen to Jim Leyland. Hell, ask the runner Jason Donald.

In fact, you do what Frank Pulli did, 11 years ago this past Monday. He was in Florida and Cliff Floyd banged one off the visual obstacle course that was the scoreboard in left. Above the line it’s a homer, otherwise it’s a double. There were more lines on the scoreboard than on a volleyball court or a parcheesi board. Frank says to himself, I want to get this right, so he went over to a tv camera and asked to look at the replay. Mind you, this is nearly a decade before they passed replay, but Frank didn’t care. The call counted, not the rule. The integrity of the game was not supported by adhering to the protocol, it was undermined by it.

Frank Pulli invented, ad hoc, tv replay. And he got grief for it, from commentators, from his bosses. But he got the call (double, not homer) correct.”

From http://keitholbermann.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/06/youre_blankin_out_give_him_the.html.

I don’t know about that. The one thing I take away is that Galarraga didn’t have a nutty and Joyce took responsibility for his mistake. Both things are applicable. Tigers manager Jim Leyland had a “Conversation” with Joyce. People basically acted like adults.

That alone is commendable. Again, though, if this got reversed, do you take the 1985 World Series from the Royals? But, the Pine Tar game did get overturned so there is precedent for such things, so hard to know.

As I write this I hear the Tigers got Galarraga and Joyce together for a warm and fuzzy moment before today’s game.

The Michigan lawmakers should calm down and I sort of think so should the Olbermanns of the world. The human element has been a part of the game forever as it is a game. Maybe instant replay should be expanded for plays at a base instead of just home runs, maybe the umpires should be encouraged to talk to one another. Joyce admitted he blew it. Galarraga got a new car, a corvette, from a Tigers sponsor for being a good guy.

Everybody knows how the game should have ended, but stuff happened and we learn from it. Let’s quit looking back and move forward.

That’s Countdown

Indabuff hipped me to this little piece of footage. Equal opportunity mocker Jon Stewart takes on the extremes of Keith Olbermann in a pointed “Commentary.” Olbermann has the good sense to respond with some agreement. I used to like Olbermann when he and Dan Patrick anchored “Sportscenter.” They were in their heyday, the best of the wisecracking anchor teams. I weaned myself off most of the nightly pundit shows after the Presidential election as they turned into name calling on all the channels with nothing ever really substantively discussed.