Thursday, October 29, 2015

Big Inning

Worse Than Expected

I've seen too many of the televised carnivals we call presidential debates to have particularly high expectations for them. But even low expectations were too high for what took place last night, as the trio of CNBC "moderators" (John Harwood, Becky Quick, and Carl Quintanilla) didn't make the slightest pretense of wanting to ask serious questions that might help voters make a rational decision.

What they intended to do was undermine all of the Republican contenders, because in the view of the progressive liberal media (but I repeat myself), that is their job. Republicans in general and conservatives in particular have "dangerous," "extreme" views that cannot be allowed a fair hearing.

What actually happened, though, wasn't what they had planned. My favorite moment...

So far in this cycle I have contributed to the Fiorina and Rubio campaigns, but that moment was enough to get me to make a small donation to Senator Cruz's campaign this morning.

I spent some time trying to decide on what would be the most effective metaphor to describe the carnage...

We could go with the classic "train wreck" metaphor, as the progressive website ThinkProgress did...

...or we could use the modern favorite "dumpster fire" instead.
At least one progressive commentator did just that.

Of course, given the almost unprecedented level of awfulness on display, perhaps a more historical metaphor would be most appropriate...

"Oh, the humanity!"

Despite the best efforts of the moderators, I thought most of the participants did well.
It was nice for a change to not have every question be focused on Trump, and Rubio probably had the best night, but only Jeb Bush did real damage to himself.

The sooner we get down to Rubio, Fiorina, Carson, Cruz, and Trump on the stage, the better the debates will be. Time for the also-rans to cash out and go home...

Things That Make Me Happy: Friendship Edition

Game 2 of the 2015 World Series was played last night at a sold-out Kauffman Stadium. As they did in the American League Championship Series, my beloved Kansas City Royals took a 2-0 series lead by defeating the New York Mets 7-1.

The game began as a classic pitcher's duel. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was tough, as expected, cruising through the first four innings while only allowing a single hit. When the bottom of the 5th inning began, the Mets led 1-0. Then the Royals offense batted around against deGrom, scoring four runs on a walk, five singles, and a runner-advancing groundout. The key hit was a two-run single by 1B Eric Hosmer, who now has 15 RBIs on 12 hits this postseason.


There was only one candidate for pitching star of the game, because the Royals only used one pitcher: Johnny Cueto, a day after learning his close friend Edinson Volquez's father had died the same day Volquez started Game 1, threw a two-hit complete game, allowing only a single run.

"I dedicated that game to Volquez's dad and the whole family..."

Cueto's gem was a rare feat. How rare? The last pitcher to hurl a complete-game two-hitter in the World Series was Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer Greg Maddux 20 years ago versus the Cleveland Indians. The last American League pitcher to throw a complete game of any kind in the World Series was Jack Morris of the Minnesota Twins against the Braves four years earlier.

After today's travel day, the series resumes Friday night at Citi Field in New York. The pitching match-up is expected to feature young stars Yordano Ventura (age 24) for the Royals versus Noah Syndergaard (age 23) for the Mets.

In the meantime, though, I join with lifelong Royals fans everywhere in savoring this moment for all its worth.

National Cat Day

Today is National Cat Day, which for some odd reason is neither a Federal holiday nor a Catholic Feast Day. Still, my roommates elected to celebrate in the traditional manner: Bugging me to get up and feed them at the crack of dawn, coughing up some hairballs, and eventually...

"How come you never let me sleep on the couch like that?'

Because you shed worse than they do. Duh.


From the eccentric and marvelous webcomic xkcd, by Randall Munroe, which you should read every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as I do.

Until Next Time...

As a lover of the English language, I am inordinately fond of puns and other forms of wordplay. Thus, no one who knows me would be surprised by this Tweet I posted not long after Johnny Cueto completed his gem:

For the benighted, the reference is to Chuck Berry's best-known song, "Johnny B. Goode," called "The Rock and Roll National Anthem" by George Thorogood (who closed his shows with the song for many years).

By the same token, no one who reads this blog regularly will be surprised that today's send-off is Berry's original 1958 recording of his signature hit. Enjoy...

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