Archive for September, 2011

Biting Satirical Cartoon for the Day

Posted on September 30th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

freefood

Thanks to Consumerist….

(Oh, and with the exception of from-the-goodness-of-his-heart blogs such as this.)

Would the Sox Really Be that Dumb?

Posted on September 30th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Terry Francona’s a great manager. He managed the pants off the over-rated Joe Torre in 2004, and he’s done a terrific job with the team throughout his Sox tenure.

So would Sox management really fire him, just because of one wonderfully historic, record-setting collapse?

Looks that way

And the really great part about this? It would complete the transformation of the Sox—evidenced so far in things like massive overpaying for terrible free agents, team underperformance, soaring ticket prices, John Henry building a hideous McMansion—into the George Steinbrenner Yankees of the 1980s….

Quote of the Day

Posted on September 29th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

“2011 Red Sox Will Challenge 1927 Yankees for Title of Greatest Team in Major League History”

Eric Ortiz writing for NESN on Jan. 2, 2011

Progress—and Problems—With Sharks

Posted on September 29th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

When a baby great white shark—still about four feet long—with a fishing hook in its mouth washed up on Venice Beach in California, a local man held it down, removed the hook, then dragged it back into the surf so that it would have a shot at survival.

What a cool story. I wish more people were that enlightened.

Unfortunately, it pales next to this Daily Mail story about Florida charter fisherman Mark Quartiano, who boasts about having caught and killed some 100, 000 sharks.

‘I tell people that I have hunted 20,000 sharks but that doesn’t include the pregnant ones that I have fished.
‘Last week I caught two Tiger Sharks that had 90 babies between them.”

Tiger sharks, by the way, are endangered.

Quartiano says that he won’t be daunted by animal rights protestors who go home and eat shrimp and steak, calling them “hypocrites.” That is, of course, self-serving idiocy. There’s an enormous difference between eating farm animals and slaughtering endangered species—most of which kills, I’m sure, aren’t even eaten.

Here’s a picture of Quartiano with three four sharks. I can’t identify the one on the left or the baby whose mouth Quartiano is propping open. But the one in the middle is, obviously, a hammerhead, and the one on the right, that creature of once-astonishing beauty, is a thresher shark. None of these sharks attack humans (not that that would justify fishing for them anyway).

Killing 20, 000 to 100, 000 sharks? For entertainment and profit?

I don’t know how some people live with themselves.

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And to the AP writers and Daily Mail editors who write and publish this crap? Can you please stop glamorizing these people who capture and kill sharks? Frankly, it’s not that hard and it’s not that courageous. You’re well-protected in a boat with lots of weapons, and by the time these sharks get hauled onboard, they’re mostly dead anyway. This guy’s not a hero to be romanticized, and these sharks aren’t “man-eaters” or “monster fish.” They’re beautiful, rare and important animals, and someday, I hope, there will come a time when we look back at people like Mark Quartiano and wonder, What were we thinking?

“You Can’t Say We Were a Good Team”

Posted on September 29th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Don’t worry, David Ortiz, I won’t—and on one else will either. Not after the Red Sox last night completed “the greatest choke” in the history of baseball (thank you, Dan Shaughnessy), if not the world.

I mean, just look at what happened last night. Your best closer—even if he is kind of a jerk one of the most unpleasant players in baseball—gives up two runs with two outs and no one on in the bottom of the ninth. And that’s after you have a guy thrown out at home because of bad base running and David Ortiz thrown out at second because his steroids ran out of bad base running.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the Rays come back from a 7-0 deficit—7-0!—to win 8-7 in 12 innings.

That, said Alex Rodriguez afterward, is why “baseball is the greatest game,” in an apparent homage to my book on the 1978 Red Sox collapse and Yankee victory.

Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez had perhaps the most bizarre thing to say about the events. “God has a plan. And it wasn’t God’s plan for us to be in the playoffs.”

Well, at first blush that sounds pretty stupid. Because God, one has to believe, is not a macro-manager, and has better things to do than determine playoff teams.

But the comment becomes more interesting if you consider the possibility that Gonzalez isn’t just a dumb jock blaming God for his team’s ineptitude. Maybe Gonzalez is right. Maybe God didn’t want the Red Sox in the playoffs. Because maybe…maybe…God is a Yankee fan!

There’s abundant evidence in the historical record to support that.

Or maybe, when Tampa took the word “devil” out of their name, God perked up His ears and decided to reward them. That’s also possible.

Look, I’m sorry; it’s early in the morning (5:49!) and my head hasn’t cleared yet, and I’m sure that if this were later in the day I’d have some greater kindness perspective. But Sox fans have been tough to take in the last seven years. I think this’ll be good for you. Really.

That Sox

Posted on September 27th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

Well, they’ve done it: The Red Sox have sufficiently choked to the point where they are now tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the wild card playoff spot.

I won’t lie: This is heaven.

A reporter for the New York Times alleges that “Yankee fans feel sympathy, for once, for their Red Sox brethren.”

This is a baldfaced lie.

I’m sorry, Sox fans. But we don’t feel sympathy. Just like you wouldn’t feel sympathy for Yankee fans if the Yanks blew the biggest September lead in the history of baseball. (Not that the Yankees would actually do that.) We are enjoying this immensely. This—defeatist, demoralized, degraded, debased—this is the Sox of old. Not those upstarts of 2004 and 2007—that wasn’t Sox reality. But a team that breaks the hearts of its fans in ways that leave permanent bruises? That’s the kind of Red Sox team that a true fan can appreciate.

Think of it as getting in touch with your history….

The Yankees have two more games against the Rays which you desperately need us to win. Go ahead—beg. Maybe we’ll win ‘em. Maybe we won’t!

My own hope is that Joe Girardi gives his division-winning starters plenty of rest. They’ve earned it. Heck, try out some rookies! See what they’re capable of.

Remember: You’ve still got the Patriots….

Yet Another Reason Why Dogs are Better than Cats

Posted on September 26th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

When Willow the missing cat was presented to its owners after a five-year absence, it bit their little girl, who burst into tears.

Stupid cat.

Dogs, on the other hand, surf.

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Monday Morning Zen

Posted on September 26th, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Sunset on Fishers Island

Sunset on Fishers Island

You’re Welcome, Boston

Posted on September 22nd, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

You know you’d be out of the wild card slot if it weren’t for the Yankees….

Meanwhile, your fans are booing you off the field.

I am not booing you. I love you. This September collapse is one for the ages, and I’m enjoying every bit of it…

More on Ron Susskind and Larry Summers

Posted on September 19th, 2011 in Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

The Times today reviews Ron Susskind’s history of the economic policymaking of the Obama administration, and boy, does it sound brutal to Larry Summers.

Summers, according to the Times, is “characterized by colleagues in these pages as a bullying know-it-all who acted as a kind of gatekeeper to the Oval Office on things economic.”

Summers addressed that portrayal in an email to the Washington Post the other day:

Summers, who left the administration last year, said, “The hearsay attributed to me is a combination of fiction, distortion, and words taken out of context. I can’t speak to what others have told Mr. Suskind, but I have always believed that the president has led this country with determined, steady and practical leadership.

So…these are two very different impressions. One Larry Summers is gracious, respectful, and fair. The other: bullying know-it-all.

Which one is more accurate? (What do you think?) Let me put it this way: It would be inconsistent of Summers to be gracious, respectful and fair.

Sam Spektor posted a terrific link to a New York magazine conversation about the book featuring editor Adam Moss and columnist Frank Rich.

Here’s Moss:

Summers is portrayed as an egotistical nut job, single-mindedly determined to get Bernanke’s job; when he doesn’t get it, he goes bananas. He is supposed to be a conduit for the collective advice of the team, but undermines his colleagues, only passing along advice and information that supports his positions. I was kind of stunned how many officials were willing to go on the record against him.

Larry Summers as Fed chair? The most powerful unelected official in the world? America and everyone else dodged a bullet there.

You know, as a general matter I hate to say “I told you so,” or lament that more people have not read one of my books. But anyone who read Harvard Rules could have predicted this outcome with certitude. As I watched Larry Summers try to rise from the ashes of his Harvard ouster in 2007 and 2008, I was alarmed that his PR campaign seemed to be working, and distressed that Barack Obama, so smart in so many ways, was buying it—a tragic mistake.

(It does point up something I’ve noted for years, one of the less-frequently observed but important things to know about Larry Summers, which the Harvard Corporation experienced, but probably wasn’t aware of, in the year 2000: He has a talent for sucking up when he wants to, and can present a highly misleading portrait of himself when he does—a portrait which vanishes the second he gets what he wants.)

Here’s some more Moss:

In the end, nobody’s talking to Summers — not even his crony Geithner. Furious that Geithner didn’t recommend him for Bernanke’s job, he stands Geithner up at a dinner for all the former Treasury secretaries — Summers is the only living former secretary not there. Geithner says, “Larry would rather be in Davos than at dinner with me.” At least according to Suskind, the only person who could stand Summers was Obama, which — in Suskind’s telling — was a misjudgment that had a rather profound effect on the first chunk of Obama’s presidency.

To be fair, Summers would rather be in Davos than have dinner with anyone. (Except maybe Sheryl Sandberg.) So Geithner, who doesn’t sound so great himself, shouldn’t take that personally.

And then there’s the issue of the women in the White House—Elizabeth Warren, Christy Romer and Sheila Bair come to mind—who seem consistently marginalized by Geithner and Summers, perhaps because they’re not particularly interested in bailing out working for the big banks and perhaps because they’re less obsessed with personal power than Geithner and Summers seem to be. For whatever reason, Romer is walking back her remarks now, downplaying the tensions. I wish she’d stick to her guns. There are too many red flags here not to believe that the men on the economic team pretty systematically isolated the women, and given how impressive those women are, and the fact that they represented a challenge to the banks uber alles philosophy of the men, that’s really a loss for the country.

Frankly, I’d rather have an economic team of Warren, Romer and Bair than one of Geithner and Summers.

Of course, as Frank Rich points out, the buck really does stop with Obama, and how do we who admire the man reconcile that admiration with our disappointment at the self-serving, egotistical economists whom he hired and allowed to hijack his economic agenda? (Including, apparently—Jesus, will we never be rid of him—Bob Rubin.)

Here’s Rich;

I have sympathy for [Obama], too, and I have heard him express that (charming and genuinely modest) amazement that he ended up sitting in the White House, the most unlikely president imaginable. His turning to Rubin during the transition — as he hired his economic team — may have been out of some understandable human insecurity. Or was it because he’s too easily impressed by the type of elite he met at Harvard?

Really, he should have read my book…