The Prince of New York’s 2008 Baseball Guide

Just ordered The Prince of New York’s 2008 Baseball Guide.  Paul (Lebowitz, aka The Prince of New York) has forgotten more about baseball than most of us will ever know, so despite ribbing him it had better be good, I guarantee from having read his blog for awhile it will be.  Plus let’s face it, the book is a small price to pay to encourage a fine independent sportswriter and allow him to ply his trade.  Pick up your own copy.


Who Is The Greatest?

The way I see it, it’s a great thing to be the man who hit the most home runs, but it’s a greater thing to be the man who did the most with the home runs he hit.

Hank Aaron, I Had a Hammer

Played in China

There is growing talk of a boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in protest of the brutal repression of Tibet, which the Dalai Lama calls “cultural genocide”:

The Dalai Lama called Sunday for an international investigation into China’s crackdown against protesters in Tibet, which he said is facing a “cultural genocide” and where his exiled government said 80 people were killed in the violence.

The demonstrations were the fiercest challenge to Beijing’s rule in the region in nearly two decades, leading to sympathy protests elsewhere and embarrassing China ahead of the Olympic Games.

China’s actions ‘cultural genocide’? – China-

Of course Major League Baseball is ignoring the unfolding tragedy, blinded by the vision of billions of Chinese wearing overpriced official logo gear:

Perhaps no emerging nation presents the potential for economic benefits like one with 1.3 billion possible baseball fans. Selig, having lived through the Cold War, noted the symbolism of the flags of the United States and China flying together beyond the center-field bleachers.

The Official Site of Major League Baseball

The thought of that old Cold Warrior Selig with his cap over his greedy heart singing the national anthem of still communist China makes me mist up.  (Wasn’t it Selig who coined the phrase “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”?  Who writes this schlock for  Oh, nevermind.)  He was probably scheming on a deal for Tibetian bats.

As anyone who has read this blog very long knows, I am a strong advocate of the internationalization of baseball.  This is one thing Selig has actually got right.  There are, however, significant issues to be faced which I’m sure has never entered his amoral equations. Shall human rights be ignored?  How do you deal with international conflict? The Olympics have never adequately resolved these and a host of other issues.  Is it reasonable to expect MLB will?

Or will they just take the money and look the other way, like they did with steroids, another issue already familiar to the international athletic community? 

One thing is for certain: MLB is as facile as the Chinese government with strong arm tactics, and, as we’ve seen here on MLBlogs, as comfortable with suppression of freedom of expression.  So perhaps communist China is the perfect cultural fit for MLB.  Tell the Dalai Lama he is welcome in the Red Sox Nation.

Machiavelli Be Damned

You have to hand it to the Clintons, they are diabolically clever.  Having realized that the mathematical possibility of winning the nomination outright are nil, they have apparently decided that the cost of the presidency is holding their nose and putting Obama on the ticket: as the vice president.  This stratagem leverages the Democratic throng clamoring for a “Dream Ticket”–with Clinton on top of the ticket, of course.

Never mind that he has won the most delegates and the math favors him.  Obama will be the bad guy if he doesn’t embrace the “compromise” that resolves the party’s conundrum.  This is an exquisite variation of the triangulation the Clintons are infamous for, although I’m sure to Obama right now it feels more like strangulation.

For the Clintons, what does it matter?  With a “two fer”, the vice president is essentially irrelevant to their presidency anyway.  As Maureen Dowd notes:

If he thinks Hillary has cut him down to size lately, he’d better imagine what his life would be like as the Clintons’ vice president

Maureen Dowd, The Monster Mash – New York Times

Machiavelli has nothing on the Clintons.  They didn’t learn from him, he foresaw them.

The irony is it is precisely this sort of political ruthless cleverness that one side believes is absolutely necessary to confront a hostile world, whereas the other side proclaims a better world can be forged.  Which is right?

That is the underlying philosophical question of the election, meaning we will be deciding whether we Americans at the beginning of the millennium believe our cup is half fool or morally empty.


NOTE:  I know this post has nothing to do with baseball from your perspective, but it does from mine.  The irony is I started blogging about baseball because I knew this would be the election of a lifetime and figured I would only get myself into trouble blogging about politics.  Who knew?

Actually, my interest in history and politics has always been offset by my passion for baseball.  At times when I became so misanthropic from my study of history or the shenanigans of politics, I turned to baseball for refuge.  I must confess to being somewhat alarmed that because of blogging they are now becoming intertwined.  I have been paying close attention for over a year and a half now, and it has finally reached the point I have to write about politics as a matter of therapy.  I can always rationalize they started this when Congress started holding hearings on baseball.

You can find all my political and historical writings at New World Wanderings, the natural evolution of my defunct project, The Jamestown Site.  Feel free to drop by and comment, and be sure and leave your blog url when you do!

Bumba Vomits the World

The title of this post is taken from an African creation myth in which a being called Bumba retches up the earth, moon and stars, and eventually men.  Like all creation myths, one can argue with the facts without abrogating the meaning.

After a winter of lies, damned lies, and, not statistics, but baseball players themselves, it is easy to succumb to the cynicism latent in the African Bumba myth.  After all, our heroes have proven to be what we knew they were all along, deep down.  The Mitchell Report vomited up men in all their frailty and evil.  Another persistent theme in creation myths is the creator running like **** to get away from his ultimate creation, man.  Even in the Biblical creation God posts armed guards at the gates to keep the little ******* from re-entering paradise.

Yet every spring man does re-enter heaven when he crosses that chalked line onto the geometrically perfect diamond where baseball is played.

She’s Baaaaccccckkkkk!

Just when you thought it was safe to go to MLBlogs home page, Ms. Milano comes out of blogging hibernation to grace us all with her profound insight.  I guess I didn’t really need a new Modal V-Neck over the winter (certainly not for fifty bucks).  Maybe she’s got bats for sale.  Or baseball gloves.  Wonder if she’s got any balls for sale?  I hear the twinkies who run MLBlogs could use a pair.

Nah, just what you’d expect on a baseball site: women’s clothing.  As if the Victoria’s Secret catalog and SI Swimsuit issues weren’t enough–and they don’t even pretend to be legitimate bloggers!

Be sure and drop by with your dollars and a lot of comment love.  That way the twinkies don’t have to impersonate so many legitimate commenters.  Everyone should enjoy the show.  “And now for your entertainment pleasure, the sexy Alyssssssssaaaaaaaa!”  Be sure and tip your waitresses!

How to Hang Yourself for Dummies

As Russell at Arizona Via Slough so aptly pointed out, in my last post I missed the irony in the latest Clemens self-demolition derby:  as I had noted previously, the entire issue regarding whether Captain America had attended the Canseco party was a complete canard created by his attorney, a logical sleight-of-hand designed to divert attention from the substantial charges.  I was actually surprised (silly me) that Congress took the bait and spent a considerable amount of time focused on the party.

Earth to Roger: have you ever noticed that people have a propensity to bring cameras to social events where celebrities are present?

Tip for Hangsters: Hire Rusty Hardin as your attorney.  Guys like that make the big bucks thinking about things like the fact that people have a propensity to bring cameras to social events where celebrities are present.  This clown has ill-served Clemens at every turn.  He should have advised Clemens from the onset to say two words:  “No comment.”  Makes you wonder who Clemens’ personal physician is, Dr. Kevorkian?

Assuming those photos exist–and the admission by Clemens lawyer makes me think they do–Clemens is indisputably guilty of perjury, the irony being it was Clemens who made attendance at the party the crux of his defense.  No party -> No conversation -> No steroids.  Looks good on a whiteboard.  Too bad it was a whitewash.

Clemens did more than lied to Congress: he made a fool of Congress.  How ridiculous does Burton look now waving videotapes purportedly proving Clemens was not at the party and assailing McNamee?  He made them look gullible and stupid.  Clemens is toast.

I’ll give you some free advice, Roger: come clean.  Do an Andy Pettitte.  Throw yourself on the mercy of the court.  Apologize to the baseball public. It is over.

You hung yourself, you dummy.