‘You compete with your neighbor, relentlessly ...’:
So it wasn’t just a passing reference casually muttered at a Back Bay restaurant and later downplayed. Manny’s agent now openly says the obvious: Manny yearns to play for the Yanks.
... But they’re not biting. Poor Manny. ... A good account of the Manny maneuver
-- and the never-ending feud between the Sox and Yanks -- in the NYT. Warning: The NYT report is infected by Babe silliness, obviously contracted from when Dan Shaughnessy wrote in their pages. ... With a day to assess the Sox move, Hub Blog has rendered a verdict: I’m impressed. Bold and brassy. The 2004 war to end all wars has begun. ... Glad WMD spy didn’t bite into the cyanide capsule as ordered.
We need him in Manhattan next year, lurking in bars and acquiring valuable intelligence data.
-- Reader No. 1 sends in a report from Peter Gammons
about how Manny asked to be sent/waived to the Yanks. The Sox obliged. Or tried to oblige. Good for them. ... Reader No. 1 adds:
"I doubt the club is trying to send Manny a message because Manny doesn't pick up messages. But it is a message, first for the fans, second to to Pedro -- don't look for $17 mil in 2005 from us (consider this his motivation for performance next year) and finally to Nomar - if we have to choose one star to keep, we'd like to keep you."
FYI: John Ellis
has some good posts on both the Sox and Yanks. Was it really only Monday that they let Little go? ... Events are moving fast. The battle for Middle Earth is building to a climax. ... The rabid Boston Dirt Dogs
have been unleashed from hell.
Capuano just said ‘boo’:
Armchair Gen. Savin Hill wrote in yesterday regarding the Islamic Society of Boston saga
: “Correct me if I'm wrong... but can I assume no one in Boston will say ‘boo’ about one of the largest mosques in the country being built here -- by people who are clearly fellow travelers?” ... No sooner said than done: U.S Rep. Capuano just said ‘boo.’
‘Vietnam It Isn’t’ and ‘It’s No Vietnam’: Richard Cohen
on ‘Vietnam It Isn’t.’ Tom Friedman
on ‘It’s No Vietnam.’ ...
From Friedman: “Many liberals oppose this war because they can't believe that someone as radically conservative as George W. Bush could be mounting such a radically liberal war. Some, though, just don't believe the Bush team will do it right. The latter has been my concern.”
Mine, too. They’ve made so many blunders, alienated so many people, etc. Still, a positive outcome would make it all worth it. They better not blow it now that we're in it up to our necks.
What a gamble: Wow.
Within 24 hours we'll know if this new Sox management are geniuses -- or buffoons. This one will go down in history, either way.
-- The Celts looked awesome
last night in the opener. It's only the opener, yes, I know. But they were actually running the ball and dominating the center. Haven't seen that in years. Exciting to watch. Amazing they could put this together only days after the Antoine trade. More, please.
P.S. -- Maybe Jim O'Brien should be interviewed for the Sox manager's position. He's analytical and flexible -- and obviously has a great touch with players.
The Wicked Witch of the West and Saddam?:
Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but it sure sounds like the artsy Left is bending over backward to find a way to justify how Fascists really aren’t Fascists deep down. From a CSM review of a play
that twists around the confrontation between the witches in the ‘Wizard of Oz’:
" ‘Wicked’ begins when the two witches meet as unlikely roommates at college. Maguire's novel goes back even further, before Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) was born. In his dark vision, Oz is a fascist state where a portion of the population has been deprived of its rights and finally dehumanized and enslaved. Elphaba -- an intelligent, passionate idealist -- turns revolutionary and is forced underground to fight. Glinda represents those who believe the Wizard's party line.”
Oz must be George Bush. It goes on about WW of the W’s green skin:
“ ‘There's racial elements that are there, subversive stuff about the tone of our society and how we treat people who are different from us,’ says Menzel. ‘People who come to the show are really moved by this woman who overcomes these obstacles.’ ”
" ‘My character teaches Glinda (the good witch) honesty and truth and that taking the long road might be harder but more fulfilling,’ Menzel says.”
I’ll stand 100 percent corrected if I’ve misinterpreted a fine novel I’ve never read and a play I’ve never seen. ... Ah, what the hell. It's all relative.
Update -- 10.30.03
-- Yes, I know the novel was written well before recent events. But its politicized logic has relevence today as it pertains to critics demonizing the wrong people while ignoring the obvious demons. Thanks to those who emailed in. (I had sent out some feelers last night to determine if I was overanalyzing this. The general response: No, but ...)
'Talk about a new look':
I know I shouldn’t, but I’m psyched. The Celts open tonight.
The early season hopes seem to be riding on one person: Vin Baker.
Who would have thunk it?
‘Wahhabism in America’: Andrew Sullivan
(scroll up) and Dan Kennedy
(scroll down) make note of the Herald’s series
on the Islamic extremists’ connections with the Islamic Society of Boston. ... To me, there’s no doubt: The society wants to have it both ways. They pull the old Islam-Is-A-Religion-of-Peace spiel and then invite Hitlerite speakers to their conferences and to serve on their boards. Names appear on society documents. Then names disappear on society documents after questions are asked. They say one thing here. They say another thing elsewhere. They talk of peace. They talk of killing Jews. On and on and on it goes. ... Bottom line: Yet another example of Islam in crisis. Read Bernard Lewis’
‘The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror’ to find out why this schizoid mentality has sadly taken root. ... And it’s spreading. The hate these people espouse should be exposed and confronted at every opportunity. ... Gotta admire U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano
for not flinching at the obvious two-faced truths about the society. Mayor Menino is in full don’t-blame-me/they-have-votes mode. ... Here's part 2
of the series. Love the 'administrative oversight' part.
‘How could we be so wrong?’: Joshua S. Burek
, a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School and Christian Science Monitor staff member, pens a tale of his serving on a jury. Definitely read until the heart-breaking end. It’s shattering. ...
‘Change isn’t bad ...’:
A tip of the hat to a competitor, Joan Vennochi.
Great column. She’s fighting the good fight against the Boston Angst Syndrome. Life will go on. ... Paul Grogan, head of the Boston Foundation, has an interesting observation on Corporate Boston past and today’s Boston. Perhaps we should be a little more appreciative for what John Hancock and Bank of Boston did for the city. (Forget the dang FleetBoston, for Boston really lost its last big bank in the 1999 merger.) But the real economic action today is taking place in the broom closets MIT calls ‘offices’ and in the small boutique finance houses and in the labs paid for by Germans and Swiss, whose accents you can hear more of on the streets of Boston. Don’t forget the mischief makers out by 495. ... There are aspects of old Boston I’ll miss (like true Boston accents and crullers) and aspects I won’t miss (like Billy). I’ll take the changes, though grudgingly at times.
-- Remember: The boycott of Dunkin' Donuts
commenced on Saturday.
‘An incessant run of competing ads for Viagra and Levitra’:
Hub Blog’s WMD spy in New York decided to live another day and watch the Series from within the bowels of the beast -- with his daughter at his side and asking uncomfortable questions about home runs. From WMD spy:
“Okay here is another topic for hub blog to explore. I am trying to watch the baseball games with my six year old daughter and there is an incessant run of competing ads for Viagra and Levitra. One guy hitting homers every time at bat. The other guy pumping the football through the hanging tire while his frisky babe watches from the side lines....subtle- very subtle.... By the end of it, my daughter asked me if Viagra makes you hit home runs. You cannot even turn off the commercials and just watch the game because they have VIAGRA written large on the backstop. I am very sorry for the impotent of the world but do they need to spoil the fun of baseball for kids? Can't they advertise during porno movies or something? Perhaps I am over-analyzing this but it seems like another symptom of the self absorbed baby-boomer ME ME ME generation. They cannot leave Baseball for little kids to enjoy; it’s gotta be usurped as adult entertainment for a frustrated under-performing generation who expresses their virility through ‘Hummers’ and ‘Viking’ stoves.”
Hub Blog’s response:
Don’t blame it all on Baby Boomers. Maybe only, oh, 80 percent. And don’t forget the aircraft-carrier kitchen ‘islands.’
‘Zimmer said he simply had enough of Steinbrenner’: Fascinating.
George doesn’t even have to lift a finger to start the house-cleaning process along. ... Hub Blog is of two minds about all of this, as it applies to the Sox: 1.) Sox management, in the past, has been the real bane of the franchise -- and the ultimate reason for the 85-years World Series drought. The new management needs to move carefully to oust Grady, for the old management’s self-inflicted wounds are still relatively fresh in players and fans’ minds. 2.) This is a good day to dump Grady, with all hell breaking loose in NY. ... Unlike the old Yawkey/Crazy Widow/Harrington regime, I cling to a hope that the new management actually reaches out to players to soothe their inevitable anger and fears that we’re returning to the old days. Not that the players should be running the team or that management should strive to be liked. Rather, they have to respect and keep in mind there’s a very raw sense of history here. ... Otherwise, striking the blow under the cover of turmoil in NY isn't a bad idea, showing both teams are simultaneously serious about what it takes to win. ... Hope Manny et gang are paying close attention to what's happening in NY. The grass isn't that
much greener on the other side of the Iron Curtain fence.
‘In the German press the picture of the United States has been ...’:
Next time some weenie tells you how the European press is sooooooo much better than ours, refer them to the Davids Medienkritik blog.
At a recent conference at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, German newspaper correspondents tell all about the ‘mechanisms of anti-Americanism in their editing.’ (Scroll down for the English translation.) ... Good for the Boston Globe reporter (unnamed) who apparently didn’t take the self-righteous Euro guff at the conference. ... Everything is sooooooo much better in Europe. How much better? Why, they’re practically dancing in the streets
over the superiority of their non-crass democracy. ... Via Instapundit.
‘They had seemed so close to overcoming everything ...’:
Sounds like a description of the Sox, right? No, it’s about the Yanks,
who lost the series last night. ... Before Sept. 11, 2001, there would have been a wave of happiness wafting across New England over this (except in the NY colony of Connecticut and colonized portions of Vermont). But a funny thing has happened: Many Bostonians now root for the Yanks against the non-Northeast upstarts. ... Gotta grudgingly stand by your fellow Northeasterners, as David Brooks has noted.
... Is George stupid enough to fire Joe Torre? Hmmmmm. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
-- Too good too be true. Torre looks safe.
Everyone else, though, has his head on the block. King George doesn't like to lose. ... This Hub Blog vulture doesn't spot any carcass worth picking over. ... Something to learn here for the Sox? Maybe that management shouldn't give a rat's doo-doo for what the players and manager want? Don't know. Fun to watch from a distance, though. The Yanks have a highly dysfunctional upstairs, too, albeit with this difference: They win.
‘The cruller is no more. ...’:
Dunkin’ Donuts has forfeited any remaining local loyalty by forsaking its local roots.
Now it’s truly just another chain. This merely makes the long-building schism more complete. Time to move on. ... Remember when pharmacies sold donuts in greasy brown paper bags every Sunday? Prediction: Someone will hop on this obvious retro void and make a mint making fresh, local donuts -- and crullers. ... Thanks to Politica Obscura
for the heads up on this one, even though he didn’t post on it, for some curious reason. Maybe he’s just too drained from the relentless local bad news of the past week. ...
... Now that I’m in a real rotten mood, I’m going to slam anything in sight. Like John Grisham. Started to read his latest book, ‘The Summons.’ It sucked. First book in a long time I put down without completing. Never liked his cardboard-characters trash anyway. ... So it's back to Cape Cod writer Bernard Cornwell’s
blood-and-guts historical novels. Already read ‘Archer’s Tale,’ now reading the follow-up, ‘Vagabond.’ The third book in the grail series, ‘Heretic,’ lies patiently on the Hub Blog dining-room table, awaiting quick devouring. ... Notice: Cornwell is coming out with another ‘Sharpe’ book next April! ... P.S
-- Honey Dew Donuts
just won’t cut it as a replacement. Just a Dunkin' Donuts wannabe. ... And screw Krispy Kreme
-- the Olive Garden of donuts. ... No more chain donuts! Boycott ‘em all!
Time for an exorcism, Part II: Boston Dirt Dogs
are all over Grady’s disastrous comments about ghosts
. ... But remember this Michael Holley column.
There’s a lot of truth in it. I fear a meltdown next year -- part of it due to this year’s overachieving play, part of it nervous breakdown.
-- The one-week anniversary of the game was Thursday. Yesterday was the one-week anniversary of the citywide wake. Today is the one-week anniversary of the series' opening-game funeral mass in NY. It all seems so long ago already.
-- Here's what I'm talking about in terms of the meltdown risks.
Not that the players should be calling the shots. But there's a classic Sox management-player divide at work here. Hope management can finesse this one better than the old clowns upstairs.
‘Hardly a card-carrying member of the James Carroll branch of Catholicism’: John Farrell
snags an excellent link
about yet another issue Catholic leaders were silent about when they should have been loud and clear about where they stood. ... Warning: Do not read if you’re trying to rekindle your enthusiasm for the Church in the wake of the pedophile scandal.
'Decade of the buses,' Part II:
Reader Com Man writes in about an earlier post
on our dreadful MBTA leaders obviously angling for governmental relations jobs with GM:
"I'm glad to see you weighing in on the "decade of the buses" controversy. I agree with your points, and I'd add that the main problem with bus lines is that it's too easy to add stops to them. If a handful of voters ask for a bus stop in front of a grocery, drugstore, or apartment building, they're probably going to get their way. The bus trip becomes longer, and people who can afford alternatives are even less likely to take it. Buses are ideal for the elderly, handicapped, and others who have trouble walking several blocks to a subway stop or negotiating the stairs and ramps to get to a subway platform. But they can never be ideal for people in a hurry."
Time for an exorcism. Grady must go:
Grady Little makes some good points in this article
about fan intensity in Boston. But I have a question: Do we really want a manager at the helm who believes in the curse? Good-bye, Grady. Haunt us and others all you want.
‘Time to reload and retool... ‘:
From Reader No. 1 on Lucchino and Grady (see above link):
“A very interesting interview this morning on Dennis & Callahan with Larry Lucchino - he has had a regular Thursday morning 8 AM slot on the show for 2 years now. Larry unsurprisingly said at the outside it would be ‘inappropriate’ to discuss Grady's fate but equally unsurprisingly he had to talk around the subject that won't go away (at least on WEEI). So here is one listener's summary of telling observations (quotes are as I remember them, I don't think there's a transcript anywhere):
“1. Lucchino was not surprised at this morning's Globe report that Grady might not want to return as manager, citing a spring training 2003 conversation as precedent.
“2. Lucchino suggested that people management is 75% of the baseball manager's work and in-game management about 25%.
“3. In describing Earl Weaver as a manager he most respected, Lucchino noted that Weaver avoided 'sentimental management.'
"Point 2 is in Grady's favor. Points 1 and 3 seemed not. There is a pretty clear framework being built here. As Bruce Allen
suggests in today's Boston Sports Media, Grady can step down with his good achievements acknowledged and we can all move on. That's fair: there would be no honor or satisfaction in throwing the guy to the wolves.
"The new guy, whoever he is, will be up against a very significant phenomenon of Red Sox overachievement. The excellent Baseball Prospectus
website published a study this week which shows statistically just how far above expectations the 2003 Red Sox performed. The upshot: the odds do not favor repeat performances by Varitek, Nixon, Ortiz and Mueller. Time to reload and retool... this page also contains an analysis asking 'How unlikely was the Red Sox collapse?' in last Thursday's game. The answer: 14 out of 15 teams in a similar situation hold on for the win. Sorry Grad. ..."
Hub Blog note:
Didn't hear the interview. But a Herald colleague did. He said Lucchino was also complaining about the prominence of this Herald story splashed across Page 1
this morning. As my colleague said, 'Hey, all we did was give him the full Herald treatment. What did he expect? The story was accurate.'
‘A few last comments by WMD spy as the cyanide takes hold’:
From your favorite soon-be-useless Manhattan-based spy:
“(A Boston friend in NY) heard and I have subsequently heard yankees fans say ‘who cares if we win the world series, we beat the red sox.’ Ouch. I heard another yankee fan say. ‘This is not the world series. We played that last week. This is a try out for all those young Marlins players in front of George Steinbrenner who's gonna buy 'em up in the off season.’ The 2004 war has
Somehow I don’t think WMD spy bit too hard into the cyanide capsule as ordered. He's talking about next year.
A vote of confidence in Vin Baker?:
Hub Blog doesn’t like this Celts deal.
Not at all. It’s like the twisted Gods planned this to get angry minds off the Sox. Reader No. 1 doesn’t like it either:
“Danny Ainge has made many statements with this deal:
“1. A vote of confidence in Vin Baker (as he'll succeed Walker at power forward).
“2. A vote of confidence in the young pointguards. (Note: Marcus Banks had an assist/TO ratio of 3-2 last year vs 3-1 for former Celt JR Bremer; Mike James is a little better than 2-1 and comparable to Tony Delk last year).
“3. A vote of no-confidence in Tony Battie's knees. The Celts just picked up the remaining four years of LaFrentz's Baker-like contract of 5 years/$69 million, and you don't have a backup center on the bench earning that money (unless something major goes wrong, ie Vin Baker's problem last year).
“4. An unsurprising vote of no-confidence in the 3-point-dominated game that Jim O'Brien rigged together the last year and a half for the Celts. Whether this translates into a vote of no-confidence for O'Brien himself, we shall see... from this seat, he has done a remarkable job putting together working, mostly winning lineups from what Cedric Maxwell once described as "the island of misfit toys."
“5. He is trying to keep Paul Pierce happy. I doubt Pierce is happy to lose Walker (Antoine had pretty much conceded team leadership to Pierce over the past year). Having Pierce's former Kansas teammate LaFrentz come aboard might ease the pain... we shall see. ...
“Conclusion #1: this Celtic team will struggle to make the playoffs and won't go far if they manage to slip in. ...
“Conclusion #2: a Celtic team that doesn't show measurable improvement this coming year will lead to a season-ticket-holder exodus (after last summer's hellacious price increases, not a few longtime fans are saying ‘I'll give them this year to see how it goes.’)
“Question for Ainge and the ownership: how exactly does trading Walker and Delk for a non-physical center, a completely unknown quantity (Jiri Welsch), a salary-cap-throw-in (Chris Mills) and what will surely be a draft pick in the #25-30 range next year improve the Celtics?”
Hub Blog’s reaction:
Ainge and the new ownership have bet a lot on this deal. A lot. With ticket prices where they are, they had better be right. The team was at least fun.
High alert, fellow Sidewalk Superintendents of Boston!:
The Menino administration is pegging its 2004 convention beautification plans at $25 million.
Good. ... But here’s a nightmare right out of the 1950s: Transit officials are pushing buses as ‘the future’ over light rail and subways.
They just don’t get it. They never will. ... Oh, they say they’re not trying to replace rail with buses, but look at the promises they’re trying to break and the constant rhetoric about the superiority of newfangled buses. To them, it’s always about money, new gizmos aside. They have never figured out -- or accepted -- that buses are a poor man’s subway. The poor don’t want them. The rich won’t ride them. When are they going to figure this out? ...
... Maybe some clever pro-rail group should do a slanted study on how transit-system jobs, both management and union, actually increase when they’re tied to rail vs. buses -- and how taxpayers will resist budget cuts (and therefore layoffs) if they hit their cherished rail service? Tie the issue to the hacks’ jobs, and you’ll start to hear them singing a different tune. ... Hey, maybe a slanted jobs study isn’t necessary. For it’s probably true. ...
Drive around the 'burbs and look at all the abandoned rail lines, depressing reminders of the 1950s/1960s folly of investing in roads/buses over rails/subways. They're doing it again. Another monumental transportation blunder in the making. The nightmare won't go away.
-- Two readers wrote in about how I'm praising road repairs (Menino) and condemning roads/buses over rail/subways (MBTA). ... Hey, listen, the mayor is talking abut cleaning up/repairing existing
roads that need repairs. The MBTA is talking about a policy that will scale back rail and create a demand for more
roads. ... Figure it out yourself. It has something to do with regretting the loss of rail lines past. And regretting the loss of rail lines future. Same thing in my book.
Magic in the air?:
A miracle: You Know Who
writes a smart piece about the Sox without mentioning You Know Who. The best part is this quote from our president: “(B)ut we don't make front office decisions based on a referendum of the fans. I don't feel comfortable talking about fan reaction. There's always a severe emotional reaction." ... Things are continuing to change over on Yawkey Way, one hopes. They seem to have a good feel for keeping the sentimental Curse and angry Yankees Suck fans at bay.
‘It’s now chic to dine at your hotel’: That’s the trend in Madrid.
That’s probably the trend elsewhere. Strange, Boston never really abandoned the old concept of fine dining at hotels. ... Another example of being retro hip without even trying, stemming from the fact we’re so damn stubborn in everything we do. We’ll take the trend credit though!
‘This is not the season for reactionaries’:
Excellent warning-bell column from Michael Holley
. His point: calm down. Think. Don’t react. The new ownership team really does have a delicate task facing it. Cooler heads need to prevail in the never ending battle against both the sentimental Curse fans and the angry Yankees Suck fans. ... My greatest fear is ownership will handle it poorly, just like the old regime, and players will lose their newfound attachment to the town and franchise. ... Tony Massarotti
also has an excellent scorecard on the Sox -- with a surprising end. Read. ... OK, OK. Hub Blog is having fun along with everyone else bashing Grady Little. But let’s get that out of our system, too. ... The point is: win.
P.S. -- A good sign the new ownership gets it: Lucchino and Theo are unbowed.
... The more I think of it, the more I like that zany press conference the owners held after Game 3. They signaled to the team they had their support. ... I'm also impressed with the way the owners showed up at Fenway yesterday and mingled with the players. Can you imagine the old owners doing that? Never. ... Something's different -- even magical, if you will -- in the air. And I like it.
Update - 10-20-03
-- Reader No. 1 writes in:
“I second your affirmation of (Holley's) column. Holley is the rare Globe sports columnist with perspective and, one suspects, the ability to admit he might be wrong or not know everything. ... On the other hand, Joe Torre's experience with the Yankees (a different kind of pressurecooker than Boston, but a pressurecooker nonetheless) suggests that it's possible to be both decisive on the field and good at the human aspects of the game.
“Holley actually makes a point which few have jumped on, that might be even worse than the Pedro decision: letting Wakefield go more than an inning when he had Williamson available (and Derek Lowe, if it had come to that) ...
“There is a problem with the Tony Massarotti analysis of the Pedro decision, although I give Tony credit for sticking up for Grady and sticking up for himself in response to Glenn Ordway's bullying on The Big Show Friday afternoon. Pedro's ability to throw at 94-95 mph in the 8th inning is completely irrelevant to what was happening in the 7th and 8th: he wasn't moving the ball around effectively and he was getting pulled hellaciously to right field by lefthanded hitters, which was patently obvious to anyone watching the game. If anything, the speed is a danger sign: Pedro was trying to get through the game through sheer force of will and it wasn't working.
“Food for thought: the Sox lost all 4 games started by their top 2 pitchers in the Yankee series and 5 of 7 in the playoffs. The team won 4 out of 5 games in the postseason started by the lower half of the rotation (Wakefield/Burkett).”
Need immediate bucking up?:
No, not that 'Cowboy up' bucking up type. The New England bucking up type.
... Try out the pumpkin fudge at the Dairy Fresh Candies, 57 Salem St., North End. I don't know how they do it. Combining fudge with pumpkin. Out of this world. ... While you're at it, check out out Galleria Umberto, Hanover Street, an easy to miss place 'cause it looks like a circa 1950s dive, largely because it's a circa 1950s dive. Definitely not another Under the Tuscan Sun BS joint. ... They have the cheapest, greasiest Sicilian pizza and anarcini in the city. They're so good the place is open only 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday thru Saturdays. The boldness! The lines today were nearly out the door but moved fast. The prices are 1970s/1980s: Slice of pizza, arancini, bottled water -- $4.50. Bring your own water -- and the price drops by a third. No kidding. ... Message brought to you by the Massachusetts Psychologists Association: "Always there for YOU every FALL."
FYI: Still suffering pangs of depression. But not letting it get in the way. Not too much.
'I know it was you, Grady. You broke my heart':
You gotta check out the Boston Dirt Dogs.
... Theo Corleone: 'Grady, you're nothing to me now. You're not a manager, you're not a friend.' ... Oh, God. It's good to laugh again. ... Keep going to the end where Grady gets strangled.
The uptight, misguided pettiness: Dan Kennedy
zeroes in on a subject that pains and annoys at the same time: Mitt’s often uptight, misguided pettiness, picking fights where there should be no fights. (Dan has the links to the Lehigh and McGrory columns mentioned; Wayne Woodlief also wrote about it the other day but I can't find the link.) ... The administration’s communications strategy reminds me of those who simply can’t disengage from their argumentative mode, as I mentioned the other week about the argument over ‘imminent threat’ vs. ‘grave and gathering storm.’
... We all have the argumentative gene in us, but, really, the Kennedy cheap-shot
antics and the why-they-should-call-it-Liberty-Tunnel comments are just over the top. ... Are there too many people on the staff with Joe Malone chips on their shoulders? You gotta wonder. But Mitt has been sticking his foot in his own mouth too.
‘Biting the cyanide capsule ...’:
No orchestrated Self-pitying Bambino Campaign here. But last night won’t let go. The Herald newsroom was like a day-long wake today. A lot of Don’t Get Me Going looks. Others report the same thing throughout Boston. In the spirit of "getting it out of our system," here are some emails from Hub Blog readers. After reading these, Hub Blog’s advice: Get over it.
From Hub Blog’s once-useful-but-soon-to-be-useless Manhattan-based WMD spy (read prior posts below):
“Barbarians over the gate. gloating over their victory. ... surrounded....WMD spy is biting the cyanide capsule..... "
From Armchair Gen. Savin Hill:
“At 2 a.m. on Oct. 17, less than two hours after the game, the phone rings. It's my Colombian friend calling from Colombia. Yes, the country. Her first words: ‘Why did Grady leave Pedro in? What was he thinking? You have to show respect to the Yankees -- there's a reason why they win World Series.’ She said the rest of Colombia is wondering too.”
From Reader PO:
“I had a dream a few days ago. I met an ape on the street and I asked him what he would do in the 8th inning if Pedro pitched seven innings of good baseball. This dumb beast answered that he would pitch Timlin in the 8th and Williamson in the 9th. My dream continued. I asked a petri dish filled with slime mold the same question, and, alas, this lowest form of life answered that he would pitch Timlin in the 8th and Williamson in the 9th. I have nothing left to say.”
Oh, it hurts. Dark flashbacks hit you out of nowhere, driving you into a dark mood. Fending off depression. But we’ll get over it.
‘There is a trail of breadcrumbs leading to Lucchino's office’:
Reader No. 1 is also looking ahead. From Reader No. 1:
“ ‘And so a new generation of New Englanders has learned the risk of rooting for the Red Sox...’ says the Bard Dan Shaughnessy ... but no Dan, the risk isn't that the team will break your heart. The risk is that they will have to endure recycling of Red Sox fan misery in your columns for years to come.
“Dan's penchant for overstatement once again gets the better of him. This was NOT ‘perhaps the most painful game in franchise history’; nothing so far has beaten #1-Game Six in 1986, #2-Bucky Bleepin Dent. It was simply a bitter, bitter defeat for a team with a lot of lovable overachievers whose performance returned to the mean in the past two weeks.
“That said, Grady obviously left Pedro in too long (there's a broken glass in my trashcan at home to prove it). The Boston Dirt Dogs
sum it up without mentioning a candy bar named after a former major leaguer. At the end of the day, Grady is a Good Baseball Man, with everything that implies. You can't put a major league manager on double-secret-probation, or send him to a remedial clinic for managing pitch counts; you either have to live with him or without him. The Lucchino-Henry group has so far done a fine job of making the right decisions (eg renovating Fenway, changing over the front office) without looking like they knuckled under to the bloodthirsty shut-ins. There is a trail of breadcrumbs leading to Lucchino's office; check out these comments
from a year ago from the CEO on the manager.
“This season had enough pleasant surprises to forestall the tough, tough questions to be faced this offseason. It could be argued that the worst thing to happen to Dan Duquette was having the 1995 band of overachievers win a division in his 2nd year on the job; it led to a false perception of how close that team was to being a champion, the importation of over-the-hill retreads like Heathcliff Slocumb and Kevin Mitchell, de-emphasis of the farm system which has hurt the club for years, not to mention the departure of Roger Clemens.
“The 2003 Red Sox are a better team than the 95 edition, but still not close enough (if I were a betting man, I would have taken the Marlins' line drive hitters and BB-throwing starters over the Sox).
"There are some major choices to be made here. Does Theo clean house in anticipation of the 2004 free agency season (Pedro, Nomar, Lowe, Varitek?) Or does John Henry find another $20 million under the sofa cushions to get a new first baseman, Greg Maddox and, dare I say it, change Roger's mind on retirement? (Now THAT would be an incredible way for Clemens to wind up his career...)”
‘Give yourself the pleasure of mortifying their malignant joy’: Daniel Drezner
posted this quote from Adam Smith for Cubs fans. It applies to Sox fans this morning:
“Are you in adversity? Do not mourn in the darkness of solitude, do not regulate your sorrow according to the indulgent sympathy of your intimate friends; return, as soon as possible, to the day-light of the world and of society. Live with strangers, with those who know nothing, or care nothing about your misfortune; do not even shun the company of enemies; but give yourself the pleasure of mortifying their malignant joy, by making them feel how little you are affected by your calamity, and how much you are above it.”
I love that last line, so I'll repeat it: "But give yourself the pleasure of mortifying their malignant joy, by making them feel how little you are affected by your calamity, and how much you are above it.”
Of course, some people aren’t above it, for they make a career by wallowing in it.
... Drezner piece via Instapundit.
... John Ellis definitely isn't a wallower. He's already thinking ahead.
... Rebuilding the pitching staff is going to be an awesome chore. ... What a series.
'You Sox fans need a f%&$ing shrink!':
T-minus 55 minutes and counting. ... The last word from Hub Blog's Manhattan-based WMD spy, who says Yanks fans are scared:
"Dear Hub Blog,
"Yankees fans think Red Sox Nation is crazy, and they are scared. After game 5 loss, I told a crowd of Yankee fans that we had them right where we wanted them. If we had won game 5, and gone ahead 3 - 2, then we would have been setting ourselves up for a GAME 6 loss in New York. This of course would have sparked flashbacks, ‘86 post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic. Instead, we opted to lose 5, win 6, and have the momentum for the inevitable game 7. A Yakee fan responed, 'You Sox fans need a f%&$ing shrink!' Another Yankee fan looking at our shaved head sox on the TV said they looked like a scene out of one-flew over the cuckoo's nest. Pedro....pointing to his head and screaming at the Yankee bullpen... throwing a 70 year old man to the ground...may actually be nuts. So you put it all together and New Yorkers think that the Red Sox and their fans are insane. This scares the Yankees. Red Sox nation is too whacked to remember history. Red Sox nation cannot rationally calculate the odds. The Red Sox believe that they can win! Go Sox! Down with the Empire! On to the World Series!
"Signed, WMD Spy"
P.S. Thanks to everyone else who wrote in. I just didn't have time to post them all.
‘There could be no other suitable ending’:
From the WaPo on tonight’s game
: “Give us the winningest franchise in baseball against its most angst-ridden, the Rocket and Pedro on the mound, a smackdown-style rematch of that wild and woolly Game 3 five days before. Give us a winner, and make it memorable -- as if that will be hard to do.” ... Smack-down style rematch. I like it. ... Oh, I forgot. We’re supposed to be embarrassed by Game 3. Never mind. ... Let ‘em hate us! ...
The most infamous fan in Chicago history.
Talk about having the lead on your obituary already written. Poor guy. ... No time for sympathy! Leave the wounded behind.
... Over the hill, men! Over the hill!
‘Nomar's future might be a factor’:
Reader No. 1 chimes in with an email (‘Keep your Sox on’). From Reader No. 1:
“It's not supposed to end like this, and it isn't over yet. The Globe headline was surprisingly optimistic. Amazing that it took newspaper columnists, especially in this town, so long to acknowledge that Nomar's future might be a factor in his slump.
“But there's more to it than that. Might Nomar's cloudy future with the Red Sox (end of 2004 free agency) be weighing heavily on his mind? If the Sox don't win the World Series, it's a 100% certainty that Theo deals Nomar this offseason. If the Sox do win the World Series, take it down to 49.9998%. The starting rotation has to be rebuilt in the next 3 years and ownership cannot pay $50 million a year to 3 players.
“Not incidentally, there are two very powerful arguments against Southern California native Nomar as a future LA Dodger or San Diego Padre:
“1. Mo Vaughn's signing with the Angels. Few players needed the fan intensity to perform as much as the Hit Dog. Going to laid-back Anaheim destroyed his career.
“2. A-Rod signing with the Rangers. He'll be a Hall of Famer but never a champion, not least because his owner has tied up 33% of the payroll in one player.
“Nomar knows both of these arguments. I really miss Ted Williams at a time like this; Nomar could surely benefit from a profanity-laced long-distance call from Florida describing how to fix his swing. Not to continue in a Shaughnessy-esque vein, but watching the heroes of summer (Ortiz, Millar, Mueller) return to the mean the past week has been a little like watching the climactic scenes of ‘Damn Yankees’ in slow-motion. On the positive side, gold stars to Todd Walker (who has shown what you can do when you're playing for your professional life), Nixon and Varitek (the original dirt dogs).
“It has to end differently. Being a Red Sox fan means there's always hope, even when there isn't!!!”
Hub Blog’s response:
The last graf is indeed a little too Shaughnessy-esque for my tastes, but good future-looking analysis about Nomar.
‘He's got something up his sleeve’:
I had the same thought about Flemmi’s copping a plea to save his neck. Here’s the Herald story
and the Globe story
on what should have been -- had it not occurred in the middle of the ALC series -- the talk of the town. The corruption of the local FBI was complete. ... Don’t forget: The Head of the Charles is coming up! ... Ah, Boston. The town of confounding images.
Can this erratic team pull it off?:
Hub Blog was one of those who didn’t think the Sox would get this far because of their erratic play all season. A friend last night told me that’s why he’s still somewhat optimistic: They’re erratic. ... Nomar? Hello? Are you there?
P.S. Hub Blog erred yesterday. You Know Who
did write a column yesterday, leading off with references to ‘blame’ and ‘shame,’ of course. Today, You Know Who
is back, force-feeding us more Bambino lore (he gets David Wells to say he believes in the curse) and that we’re not really such a bad town (he quotes David Wells on that, too). Perfection: The Curse and They Still Like Us all in one. Stripped down of such fluff, it otherwise isn’t a wretched column.
Zimmer scores! ... Bruins win Stanley Cup!: A mini-classic by Cosmo.
... All in good fun. Here's Joe on Zim.
‘I went to my hometown paper ...’:
Hub Blog’s Manhattan-based WMD spy reports in:
“Dear Hub Blog,
“I went to my hometown paper to read about last night's great game and what do I see? Look at the lead from the Globe
. They are just going out of their way to appear ‘above the fray’ and impartial. The coverage in the NY Post was better! The Post blasted Musinna ('Moose Drops Bomb on Yanks’
) and the Yankees offense and lavished praise on Wakefield and Varitek. Only the Globe is still wallowing in guilt about Game 3 in order to suck up to their New York Times masters. Lead sentence on Boston.com at 9:45 am.: ‘As Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield demonstrated again last night, there is a way to throw a purpose pitch other than planting it in the back of an opposing hitter. (Today's Globe)’ ”
Hub Blog’s reaction:
Actually, the lead of the Globe story mentions this weekend’s ‘embarrassing hiccup’ and then wrings its hands about Game 3. Even more pathetic. ...
... Oh, yes, of course, sure, we should all feel collective ‘embarrassment’ as Bostonians. Pedro and Manny got big fines. They deserved it. But at least they’re not facing time in the hoosegow. From the NY Post: ‘Book ‘em’.
From the Herald: ‘Bullpen pair to face music after series.’
Question: Now just who's supposed to be embarrassed?
... Read David Brooks’ column in the item below. Notice the boorish behavior of Yanks fans in NYC last week. ... The Evil Empire can't be defeated by Mr. Nice Guys, folks. ... Let 'em hate us.
David Brooks has a great column in defense of winning and losing ugly
in the Northeast -- and why this rivalry is so great. ... P.S.: Shhhhh. You know who is taking a day off.
Yes!: Let 'em hate us.
... They hated the Yankees as they won, right? ... Let 'em hate us! ...
FYI: A couple people have noted the time I posted this item -- and expressed wonder (and concern) I could declare victory so early. Reason: The postings are attached with WC times. I've been too lazy to figure out how to change the settings.
‘Here,’ ‘here,’ ‘here’:
No, this is not a British parliamentary debate. It’s Dan Shaughnessy using the word ‘here’ nine times in this morning’s Globe column
and his NYT column
to explain Saturday’s happenings. I.e. ‘Here’ as in Boston, I presume; somehow he never explains why he uses the word ‘here’ in this context nine times. I have my suspicions: He’s distancing himself from Boston. And the unexplained ‘here’ must be some sort of curse! ... He’s playing both sides of the fence: NY (his new suck-up masters) and Boston. ... I write this while the Sox are ahead 3-1. I have no idea if the Sox will win. But I also have the feeling that Dan, after what he wrote this morning, is turning pale at the thought of the Sox pulling it out. ... But it doesn’t matter what happens tonight, win or lose. Dan abandoned the Sox this morning at a crucial moment. Total turncoat. ... Here are two paragraphs that stand out to me:
1.) “Which begs the question: How come Sox stars behave like babies when they are here, then mature when they go someplace else?”
2.) “He got away with it because he’s Pedro. And the Sox front office enables him, just as they do Manny Ramirez. Just as they did with Roger when he was here and Yaz when he was here and Ted when he was here.”
Just as Yaz and Ted were ‘here’? Two of the most beloved Sox players who never left ‘here’? The guy is desperate -- and illogical. ... Again: Notice the frequent use of the words ‘here,’ obviously written for the NYT crowd to emphasize ‘here,’ as in the dateline ‘Boston.' ... What does he mean by 'mature'? Is Boston 'immature'? ... Dan can’t stand the idea of the Sox winning or losing in a way that doesn’t fit into his sentimental Protect My Career/ Book Sales schtick. ... The fact is he abandoned the Sox and bashed ‘here,’ Boston, and in enemy-held territory: What a schmuck. He just hung himself. ... Repeat: We lost ugly Saturday. No doubt. But put it behind us. And, for God’s sake, stand by Pedro and the team. ... Dan and 1940 France. So true.
'For all you spineless wimps with a compunction for surrender':
Now we're getting places -- comparing Dan 'Abandon Ship' Shaughnessy et gang to France 1940. From a reader:
"Great job blogging the playoff series...
"Those who wish the Red Sox to show sorrow and humility remind me of the folks who want US Presidents to go before the UN to apologize for all the horrible things the US has done to the world.
"For all you spineless wimps with a compunction for surrender, a pleasant reminder that Paris is just a plane ride away (go though the Ted Williams tunnel, it will get you to Logan quicker).
"Signed, Sox Fan (I'll be there tonight....please God, let them win.)"
Hope God answers the reader's prayers. But I'm not going to grovel before false Vichy gods and curses. Remember the Bruins of the '70s? They were despised, hated, etc. And, they won. Same with the Celts in the '80s. They were much more unpopular around the country than Boston fans care to admit. Do the Sox have to be popular and pitied in Madison, Wisc., to make an eventual triumph satisfying? Screw that.
'Isn't it cute, little Boston wants to win':
Now I'm getting pissed. I'm getting bombarded by emails from people saying we ought to feel some sort of collective guilt about what happened Saturday at Fenway. A friend just told me he's "reassessing'' whether to remain a Red Sox fan. To which I say: What wimps!
The game was ugly. But get over it. Reread this NY Post column
about why Saturday was a great day for the game. Also, here's a letter from Hub Blog's WMD spy in Manhattan:
"Dear Hub Blog,
"The Red Sox-Yankees match is like a fight between two brothers. Before game three, New Yorkers had a condescending big brother attitude towards Boston. 'Isn't it cute, little Boston wants to win'; There was a smug sense that New York would keep the Sox at arm's length, win the series without getting their school clothes dirty, pat the little sox on their heads, and move on to another World Series. But Kid Pedro, recognizing that he's about to get whipped again, picked up a big stick, hit big bro across the back, and knocked him to the ground. Was it a cheap shot? Yup. But now Big Brother knows he's in a real fight and Little Brother is not going to go down easy.
"Signed, NYC WMD spy"
‘Menino rips NY, demands apology’:
Good for Mayor Menino
for pushing back. And good for Don Zimmer.
Too bad Pedro didn’t offer more conciliatory words -- and even an apology. But Dan Shaughnessy?
His Boston inferiority complex is showing. Maybe he’s expecting a more permanent shot at writing for the NYT
. ... FYI: Dan’s now suggesting there must be something in the air that makes players act more classy outside Boston. A new curse, Dan? ... In a strange way, Dan’s annoying mood-catching, flavor-of-the-day schtick has contributed mightly to the current ugly, self-pitying mood of ‘Red Sox Nation.’ For Chist’s sake, his whole career is now wrapped up in the lame oh-woe-is-us act.
-- A Hub Blog spy in Manhattan is reporting in about massive whiney indignation in NY. ... Time to draw up the gates and man the ramparts. They all hate us! ... Dan Shaughnessy shall be locked out with his new NY fans. Let's see how he likes it. ... Maybe winning ugly is the only way to do it!. ... Pour that cheap-shot boiling oil over the side!
-- We have Dan ‘Abandon Ship’ Shaughnessy -- and so we have to leave it to two NY Post columnists to put the game into perspective (and call into question whether New Yorkers are as whiney as reported by my WMD spy).
From the first column
: “The rain started early, and it kept coming down, right through the Giants-Patriots fiasco in Foxboro, right through batting practice at Fenway, keeping everyone chatty, keeping the craziest story in this crazy Red Sox-Yankees history alive, stoking smoldering embers, driving everyone ever closer to the edge. ...”
From the second
: “There was a cut nose, a gashed hand and - according to police reports - cleat marks on a back. But there was no black eye for baseball due to ALCS Game 3, regardless of how many knee-jerk pundits say so. ...Because that is what Saturday was about. Passion. And drama. And theatre. Sure, there were a lot of men behaving badly. So what? Passion brings out bad behavior. This was Yanks vs. Red Sox. Roger Clemens vs. Pedro Martinez. The Curse vs. The Empire. This was unforgettable.”
Knee-jerk pundits? Gee, who do you think he's talking about?
‘These fans have been great to me’:
Next time some loud-mouth starts off on Roger Clemens, remember this article and quotes
. He was a class act last night. The throw at Manny was obviously a formal warning shot not meant to hit. Manny overreacted. Pedro didn't acquit himself well either. Consensus of Hub Blog friends to last night’s game: We lost ugly. ... It’s 7:45 p.m., and the consensus of Hub Blog friends all day has been: Let the game tonight get washed out. Put last night behind us. Hope I’m wrong if it doesn’t get washed out. ... Speaking of Sox fans, the vast majority are not into the ‘Yankees suck’ BS types. How do I know this? Some friends went to the game last night. A life-long Sox fan, one was appalled at the behavior of three nearby dopes who kept chanting ‘Roger, Rogggger, Rogggggggger!’ -- after it was long clear Roger had bested Pedro. She said all the fans near her (Bostonians, all) were disgusted by the drunken antics that seemed to only fuel Roger's determination. ... Let the games resume!
-- Actaully, the game was just called. Thanks goodness. It'll allow everyone to calm down.
‘Coherently challenged theoryspeak’:
After poets who fawn over themselves (and journalists who fawn over the self-fawners), haute bourgeois architects have to rank up there as the most annoying charlatans around. Tom Wolfe
has great fun with the ‘coherently challenged’ in the New York Times. Can’t wait for the second installment. ...
‘We're not going to embarrass the city’:
The city plans major street paving/patching/beautification efforts
before the Dem convention next summer. Reaction: Good. Sort of a shame it takes a big event to do this. But it will be good for the city. ... Reminds me of my 2001 stay in Yaounde, Cameroon, which hosted a big Francophone Summit. The city was all spiffed up -- and never looked better. Classic Third World neglect-to-action scramble. Not that Boston is Yaounde.
-- What does “button up” Cambridge Street mean? Very curious to know, from a very selfish standpoint. Hope it means an accelerated completion date. But I can’t see how that can be done. The street -- underneath which is an abandoned subway tunnel and gas-light piping dating back to the 1800s -- is now a mess.
Following those NY and Boston signs:
No, this is not an astrological post about the Sox-Yanks game today. Instead, it’s a post about common ground between the two cities, to wit: All the confounding and often inaccurate street signs motorists have to endure. From the NYT piece
on NY signage: “Some people believe that scientists will one day invent a supercomputer to estimate the number of signs marking the way to the Ari Halberstam Memorial Ramp.” ... Of course, New York’s confusing street signs to get off the island have nothing over Boston’s mind-blowing array of cow-path mayhem everywhere. ...
What is it about Northeasterners, signs and giving simple directions? ... Can’t wait to give bad directions to delegates at next summer’s Dem convention!
‘Imminent threat’ vs. ‘grave and gathering danger’:
It’s like sitting at dinner table when two argumentative guests get into an argument about who started the argument and neither will let go until the other concedes defeat in the argument -- and so the argument never ends. Reading Andrew Sullivan this morning
reminds me of this. ...
‘European constitutionalism speaks with a Paris accent’:
George Will has lately come across as someone whose time has passed. But maybe not. This is a great column.
After Valery Giscard D’Estaing’s mildly condescending visit to Harvard the other day
, Will stuffs Val, without mentioning him, perhaps without even knowing or caring what Val had to say in Cambridge. From George:
“Europe likes to think of itself as ancient Athens, supplying wisdom to muscular America, the modern Sparta. But it is more illuminating to think of today’s tensions as arising from differences between two 18th-century cities, Philadelphia and Paris.”
Paris still doesn’t accept 1776 as a legitimate and successful experiment in revolution. Why? It has something to do, needless to say, with French pretentiousness about their allegedly superior ability to tackle 'complex' issues. ... Now if we can only get George off his Cubs schtick.
Update -- Mark Steyn
has more on European constitutionalism and the reaction of Europe's leading political/media class to Arnold's victory in California. ... (Via Instapundit
Who is John Kerry?:
A classic paragraph from the Washington Post
for those of us trying to figure out who John Kerry is: “Kerry, for example, is advised by two pollsters, two media and advertising experts, and two speechwriting consultants. He also has two inner circles: one composed of hired hands in Washington; the other of old friends, family members and longtime loyalists in Boston.” ... Read the entire article. The split-personality campaign is a total mess, the WaPo story all but says.
‘Ballpark Frank goes Hollywood’:
Oh, no. They think they’ve discovered who Ballpark Frank is out in LA. ... The LA Times’ T.J. Simers
(registration required) is very disappointed to find that the Frank McCourt who’s trying to buy the LA Dodgers is not the Frank McCourt who wrote “Angela’s Ashes.” To the contrary, Simers finds:
“The McCourt the Dodgers might be getting is a loser, a land developer who failed in his bid to buy the Red Sox and then build a new Fenway Park in one of his parking lots. ...
“I did some more reading about McCourt, you know, the one who's a loser, and he caused a big uproar in Boston. Some newspaper accounts suggest he was a community leader trying to develop the South Boston waterfront. Other newspaper accounts painted a picture of a money-grubber who talked about helping the better good, while doing nothing more than trying to help his own bank account.
“ ‘For a power broker who takes great pride in keeping clear of the press,’ wrote Boston Herald reporter Peter Gelzinis on June 24, 2001, ‘Frank McCourt has been playing us as masterfully as Clapton plays guitar.’
“Or this from the Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi on Aug. 24, 2001: ‘Frank McCourt, saint, will quickly turn into Frank McCourt, sinner, if he is not selling Southie the truth.’ ”
For background: Cosmo Macero
has been all over Boston’s very own Frank McCourt trying to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cosmo and the Los Angeles Times
had the story yesterday. Today, Cosmo is back again in the Herald
, with a little help from yours truly, advancing the story. ... Can Frank really pull it off this time? Hey, Arnie just got elected governor of California. The Sox beat the Yanks last night. Why not?
What’s he doing here?: Valéry Giscard d’Estaing
was in Boston yesterday, talking down to Harvard students and Americans, saying how his job was infinitely more difficult than what America’s Founding Fathers faced, etc., etc. And, oh, he did a better job.
‘Why I voted for Schwarzenegger’:
Gotta read Mickey
this morning. His ‘potential bias disclosure’ is a gem of honest writing. The whole thing is a gem of honest writing, right up to and including his ‘Mercedes-like policy’ note at the end. He’s one of a kind.
No, no, no, no, no:
We do NOT want a Sox-Cubs series
. First, it smacks of Ken Burns sentimentality. Second, the Humiliation Factor would be too great. Someone has to lose. Cubs fans could take it. Sox fans couldn’t. The risks are too great. ... Let's just get by the Yanks, the first fantasy hurdle.
A welcome crackdown on the chowderheads
... A Herald spy tells me the chants outside Fenway, after the game the other night, went from ‘Go Sox’ to ‘Yankees suck’ to ‘Show me your tits’ in a matter of seconds. Reasons enough for arrests.
'Their negative energy spilled in a hundred different directions': They're lashing out in every direction in Oakland.
-- Reader John writes in: "I gotta tell you. I watched the replay of Lowe over and over last night after the game, and if he made an obscene gesture toward their dugout, it must have been in hyper-slo-mo time, because I couldn't catch a thing -- it looked to me like he was just jumping up and down and wheeled his arms around like a kid."
Hub Blog's response:
You know, if Oakland doesn't have a inferiority complex toward Boston yet, it should. The Snow Bowl. Now this. ... A curse! Yes! That's it! ... What should we tie it to? What can we make up? ... OK, so I'm testing the waters for a new shameless book title. ... (We'll just ignore AL championships in '88 and '90
'cause they don't fit into our curse rubric.)
Do we really have to go to work, mom?: Bruce Allen
has absolutely everything you need to know about the Sox. Don’t miss it. ... Check out the photo gallery
on the right. If you’re lucky, you’ll get one of the two-fisted champagne Pedro shots. ... The I’m-A-Bigger-Fan-Than-Anyone-Else Syndrome infected the clowns over in the Fenway last night.
Agree with the woman who said: “This is ridiculous. ... They're terrorizing these cab drivers for no reason. It just doesn't make sense.” Keep in mind these cab drivers are barely making ends meet -- and these chumps somehow think their show-off enthusiasm can justify trashing someone's very livelihood? Over what? To prove what? ... Exile them to New England’s secret penal camps for morons in northern Maine!
: Sounds like this past weekend’s BloggerCon in Cambridge -- complete with appearances by blogger heavies from around the country -- was a success. Christopher Lydon
has a lot on it, including the mini-scoop the NYT is very tentatively and cautiously exploring the idea of starting a blog. When and if it does, many NYT wannabees will follow. Here’s Doc Searls’
roundup on BloggerCon, as well as Dave Winer’s
. FYI: Glenn Reynolds was the subject of intervention over the weekend.
... Yours truly, Hub Blog, was toiling in ink-related work this weekend and couldn't attend. Would have liked to hear what was said. I'm intrigued with the idea of people starting their own 'Net radio stations. Of course, see Chris Lydon and Doc Searls for more on the subject.
More from the anti-anti-American Frenchmen:
George Will interviews Bernard-Henri Levy
, whose analysis of the French intellectual and political landscape hits near the bull's-eye. From Will:
“The (French) left's anti-Americanism, which Levy calls ‘a routine of resentment,’ is a faded, almost perfunctory residue of a failed prophecy -- Marxist puerilities, the dated nature of which is not disguised by recasting the caricature of America in the vocabulary of anti-globalization. The right's anti-Americanism is more serious and passionate, for two reasons: It is an echo of fascism, which actually has more residual vitality than Marxism does. And the loathing of America, although morally obtuse, is at least a recoil against what America really is.”
Disagree a bit (well, more than a bit) about the left’s staying power, particularly in light of its current dominance of the European press and the way it’s been playing into the right’s hands by gleefully stoking anti-Americanism. The two have converged -- and the left doesn’t have a clue about its role in the sordid relationship. Still, I get Levy’s point.
‘Juvenile King Kong Spreads Panic in Boston’:
Here’s a quickie philosophical analysis of Little Joe’s Great Escape
, covered widely around the world. Some headlines: "Juvenile King Kong Spreads Panic in Boston," from The Mirror of London; "Teen Was Helpless Against Raging Ape," from The New York Daily News. Personally, I think the Herald’s headline deserved mention: "Gorilla goes bananas." Hub Blog’s brother thought that was a dandy too, but thought we should have gone with the more direct pun, "Gorilla goes ape." ... If you want to read a classic novel about journalism and the exquisite fun of tabloids, check out Arnold Sawislak’s “Dwarf Rapes Nun; Flees in UFO,” over at Amazon.com.
I’d give you the direct link, but it never works. So just type in “Dwarf Rapes Nun’’ in Amazon's book-search field.
‘With this one offensive remark,’ Part II:
So it was Maria who pulled the trigger.
No surprise. If they had just donned their Thinking Caps and peered through the Looking Mirror, they might have figured out this no-brainer before they started trashing her uncle.
‘With this one offensive remark ...’:
The Herald editorial
nails it on the Romney administration’s very own l’affaire Arnold/Ted: “With this one offensive remark, Romney has lost significant ground.” ... Here are the Herald
stories. ... What amazes is the too-clever-by-half cynicism of the aides who came up with the strategy, noting how Romney didn’t bring up the Kennedy issues in their Senate battle but, well, they might as well bring 'em up now. ... Also, did they bother to ask: Do you think Arnold will appreciate our defending him by smearing a member of his own family? Oh, yeah, right. I’m sure Arnold -- and Maria -- gave a big thumbs up to that brilliant strategy. ... Fear not, Arnold! The Massachusetts Keystone Cops are coming to your rescue! ...
... In case you missed the obvious irony: Many of those righteously lambasting Romney are now mysteriously mum on the same outrageous smear tactics being hurled at Arnold. ...
P.S. -- It should go without saying: Check out Mickey Kaus
for more on California's three-ring circus.
P.S. P.S. -- There's part of me who doesn't believe Romney's aides concocted the strategy on their own. Too convenient an excuse. Then again, Romney did
resist (to his great credit) using personal-life smear tactics against Kennedy in the Senate campaign. The quick phone call to Kennedy says something about Romney's personal desire to bury the story.
‘Mystic River is the rare American movie ...’:
The NYT heaps praise on Clint Eastwood’s Boston-set “Mystic River.”
Sean Penn’s character “is not only one of the best performances of the year, but also one of the definitive pieces of screen acting in the last half-century, the culmination of a realist tradition that began in the old Actor's Studio and begat Brando, Dean, Pacino and De Niro.” Now that’s high praise. ... Can’t wait to see the flick, which opens next week in Boston. The book by local writer Dennis Lehane is terrific.
THE LETTERS ARE TOO BIG, MARC:
Another Herald staffer starts a blog. A BIG blog.
With BIG words. He’s yet another business-desk colleague. ... Glad to have him joining the fun and club. ... When’s it all going to come crashing down? ... Knock on wood. ... 'Misanthropicity'? Another BIG word.
P.S. Speaking of Herald bloggers, the evil Cosmo
is smacked down.
Adrian Walker, gutsy journalist: Adrian Walker
goes where no other journalist dares go, except yours truly, who can’t find his friggin’ past post, due to blogger archive woes, on the same subject with roughly the same view. ... Hub Blog doesn’t believe people are whining about the late-night bar hours during the Dem 2004 Convention. Clearly, reporters (oops, delegates) need to take out other reporters (oops, delegates) flying into the city from across the country for the big shindig next summer to show off the bars (oops, the city). ... For Christ’s sake, it’s only one week. ... Notice how Mayor Menino is ducking the issue, as the trial balloon is lifted in another instance of a good idea slowly getting shot down. Or perhaps not. We'll see. Hey, mayor, you brought the damn thing here! ... But, alas, all politics are local, even when your 'strong' mayor brags about how this will show we’re a “world-class city” and then buckles under the awesome pressure of a couple city councilors. Ugh. ... The immoral majority is with you, mayor!
'France in Free Fall':
Ah, my day is made. French bashing
by French intellecutuals (via Instapundit
). ... France goes through these intellectual spasms now and then, so we'll have to wait and see what actually sticks. But, as I once said, sooner or later their strident anti-Americanism was bound to be turned inside out -- and entangle the French themselves -- once their can't-get-out-of-a paper-bag intellectuals discovered the fundamental illogic of it. ... This is one philosophical hangover they richly deserve.
Covering non-profits in the business pages:
I happen to know Dan Cook
, who recently resigned as editor of the Portland (Or.) Business Journal over the spiking of a story/interview his paper was about to publish about the local Planned Parenthood chapter. Read the article till the end, where it reprints an email interview conducted by the reporter with the head of the local PP chapter. The questions are pretty standard fare when it comes to doing business stories on non-profit health care companies -- expansion plans, new types of service, reaching out to male customers, federal funding, the political and financial fallouts from the bombings of other PP clinics, how the local chapter stacks up financially with PP's other units etc. ... Imagine if the Herald, Globe or the Portland paper's own sister-publication, the Boston Business Journal
, decided not to cover the business dealings of Massachusetts' hopsitals, HMOs and health clinics -- the vast majority of them non-profits -- just because they were non-profits. ... Dan, a good man, got blindsided on this one. The publisher ought to get the boot, pronto.