Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ups and Downs

Empire State of Mind

There was precisely ZERO drama generated by yesterday's New York Primary. Things went just as you would have expected them to.

"Everything you cherish will be burned to the ground!"

On the Democrat side, black-eyed skank Hillary Clinton got 57.9 percent of the vote, and increased her delegate lead over hapless Bernie Sanders.

It is New York, and there are Democrats involved, so of course there are charges of shenanigans being lodged. And of course they will eventually result in absolutely nothing happening to change the desired outcome.

"Kiss my ass, conservatives!"
On the Republican side, asshat Donald Trump won with 60.4 percent. Comically, his media enablers spent the evening explaining how Trump's win meant New York would be "in play" in the fall if Trump is the nominee, even though he got a quarter of a million fewer votes than even Bernie Sanders did. Hillary basically doubled Trump's total. The idea that Trump could compete in New York in a general election is lunacy.

Despite all his huffing and puffing about "the will of the people," Trump isn't even close to winning a majority of GOP primary voters, and his high unfavorability numbers basically mean he'd be doomed in the general election.

As for fairness, Trump got 523,038 votes last night and received 89 delegates. Marco Rubio got 636,653 votes in the Florida Primary and got zero delegates, and he got only
3 delegates for his 502,223 votes in the Texas Primary. Somehow, all the Trump backers screaming about "rigged" primaries and "We The People" being thwarted probably aren't going to object to that inequity in outcomes.


Actually, it isn't...Trump boosters are not known for their intellectual consistency or adherence to principles...

God Bless America

For the life of me, I have never understood the mindset of those who decline to exercise their right to vote. I have heard all of the arguments on behalf of that point of view, but to me they are meretricious nonsense, nothing more than rationalizations by people too lazy to do what good citizenship calls for.

Susan B. Anthony was an abolitionist and
a tireless campaigner for the rights of women.
In particular she was a key figure in the women's suffrage movement.

During the debates over it's passage and eventual ratification, the 19th Amendment was popularly referred to as the "Anthony Amendment."

Anthony is buried in her home town of Rochester, New York. Whenever an election takes place there, people decorate her headstone in tribute. I don't need to know who these people are or how they voted to know that they're my kind of Americans, and that I'm proud to be their fellow citizen. Well done, Rochester...


My beloved Kansas City Royals were back in action last night after Monday's travel day, opening a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium against the Detroit Tigers. Despite leading 8-2 after five innings, the Royals bullpen struggled again, and we needed to use All-Star closer Wade Davis to preserve a tense 8-6 victory.

"The Tigers are VERY patient hitters."
As he has all season, RHP Yordano Ventura struggled with his pitch efficiency, departing after just five innings for the second time in his three starts.

The Royals won both of those previous starts, but Yordano was not the pitcher of record. Last night's early offensive outburst ensured that he would get his first win of the season.


Most of that early offense was supplied by All-Star C Salvador Perez, who drove in a career-high five runs with a two-run double and a three-run home run. Both hits came with two out in the inning.

The series continues tonight in what could be quite a pitcher's duel. The Tigers will start RHP Jordan Zimmerman, 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, while Royals RHP Ian Kennedy is also 2-0, averaging a strikeout per inning with a 0.66 ERA.

Requiescat in Pace

Milt as a Baltimore Oriole
Milt Pappas, a major league pitcher whose heyday was during my own formative years as a baseball fan, died yesterday at his home in Beecher, Illinois. He was 76 years old.

A very good pitcher, Pappas made three All-Star teams and was the American League's starting pitcher for the 1965 game. He pitched a no-hitter in 1972, a season in which he finished third in the National League Cy Young Award voting.

Pappas was overshadowed by other pitchers of his era, but his 209-164 (.560) record over 17 seasons is nothing to sneeze at.

Milt with the Reds the year after "The Trade"

He pitched 129 complete games and threw 43 shutouts, numbers most modern pitchers will never approach.
Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, for instance, pitched six more seasons than Pappas but only threw 109 complete games with 35 shutouts.

It is Milt's unfortunate legacy to be best remembered as part of the Cincinnati Reds' infamous trade of Hall of Famer Frank Robinson. Robinson went on to star for several years with the Orioles, but even though Milt just missed becoming one of the few pitchers to win 100 games in each league, he never had the sort of success that could make people forget the Robinson trade.

"You always did have a soft spot for those good-but-not-great players."

I still do, in fact...guys like Chris Young, for instance...


From the pen of Chip Bok, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Among the great tragedies that befell Russia as a result of the 1917 Revolution, the departure of artistic talents was among the worst. Being forced to leave one's own country, probably never to return, would be a hardship for most people, but I imagine it would be particularly difficult for creative artists. It was also a tremendous loss for the Russian people, who were deprived of some of their greatest talents.

Vladimir Horowitz, one of the greatest pianists who ever lived, experienced considerable hardship during the Russian civil war that eventually led to the establishment of the USSR in 1922. Horowitz left in 1925, on the pretext of studying in Germany, and did not return home for more than six decades.

On April 20, 1986 Horowitz returned to his native Russia for the first time in 61 years,
to play a concert in the Grand Hall at the Moscow State Conservatory. As you might expect, it was a transcendent and emotional evening for both Horowitz and his rapt audience, many of whom were often reduced to tears during his performance.

The historic concert was recorded, of course, and it is one of my most cherished classical albums. Many
of the pieces he played that evening are short enough that I was able to use them during journal time in my classroom. My students always commented on the exuberant response the audience had at the conclusion of each piece, which gave me a chance to tell the story
of the concert and its significance.

As I have mentioned on other occasions, I really enjoy live recordings, and an excellent live classical performance is every bit as stirring as a live performance of any other sort of music. The drama generated by one 83-year-old man and his piano that evening is simply amazing.

Today's send-off is Horowitz's masterful performance of Robert Schumann's famous Träumerei, which he played for one of his three encores (which were followed by six curtain calls). Enjoy...

No comments:

Post a Comment