Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fire Jerry Manuel

I'm not a Mets fan. But if I was I would be calling for Jerry Manuel's head right now. This man should not be the manager of the team after that 9th inning.

This is not the same man who managed this team last year. It just can't be. He's showing no energy out there. His lineup decisions are confusing and mind boggling and his in game substitutions are even worse. To top all of that off, what on earth was he thinking tonight? Why did it take him 3 pitches to realize that Mariano Rivera was on deck? It was baseball 101. You had to intentionally walk Jeter there. What the eventual outcome ended up being is irrelevant. Even if you were dumb enough to think Cervelli would have pinch hit for Mariano Rivera you still walk Jeter just to get Mariano out of the game. Did he explain himself in the post game?

What he'll end up doing tomorrow is benching Daniel Murphy when what he should be doing is letting someone else manage this team.

As always, leave a comment here, on twitter or by e-mail.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mark Sanford saga continues

Goodbye Mark Sanford. Any aspirations he had for 2012 are now long gone. He's going to be term limited out of his current job next year and just destroyed his political life. It really is amazing watching these guys one after the other just commit career suicide.

By now I'm sure you are all aware of how this saga began. First he was missing. Then he was hiking the Appalachian Trail (on National nude hiking day by the way....can't make this stuff up). His phone got tracked down by a cellphone tower near Atlanta. The SUV he took was found at an airport in Columbia, SC. Then we find out he's in Argentina. To top it all off while all this is going on his wife and staff weren't worried at all. If that didn't ring alarm bells for you then God help anyone that is ever around you in case of an emergency.

So yet another politician who had an affair and will get brought down because of it. Only if we started to bring down politicians who sucked at their jobs in other fashion too. An affair shouldn't be the only way to take down an elected official. That's another post for later this week.

If you haven't seen his announcement from earlier is is.

I get a little extra enjoyment out of this every time someone from the right gets tangled up in something like this. All the Republican party does is preach about morality and the sanctity of marriage. Don't get me wrong...there are enough Democratic politicians that have been tangled up in something like this too, but their party is going around on being the morality police.

I want to send out some Kudos to Media Matters. See anything wrong with this picture?

Yes, Fox "News" is playing some mind games with its audience again. Somehow Mark Sanford is now a member of the Democratic Party? As Media Matters points out, this isn't the first time they've done something like this either.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart had some fun with this Sanford story last night. I can only imagine what tonight's episode will be like.

Governor Mark Sanford Is Missing(04:04)
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Governor Mark Sanford Is Missing
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Fled Sanford(02:28)
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Fled Sanford
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Not to be outdone...Stephen Colbert crowned a new Governor of South Carolina
Governor Alert - The Search for Mark Sanford
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Governor Alert - The Search for Mark Sanford
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

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Monday, June 22, 2009

What is going on with Governor Sanford?

10:29 PM EDIT: CNN Producer Peter Hamby and ABC News White House Correspondent Jake Tapper both tweeted a little while ago reporting that the Governor's staff is now saying that he is hiking the Appalachian Trail. I'm not buying it. Something is up. We'll find out soon enough. As South Carolina resident @teresakopec said via twitter a little while ago:
As wife of an App Trail hiker myself, you notice when your husband is packing tent & gear to hike for four days. Just sayin'

I'm with her. In the meantime people are having a lot of fun at the Governor's expense already. Genius work from @capecodgirl:

This one is good too:

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Original Post:
If you follow politics at all you have heard the name Mark Sanford. He is a 2nd term Republican Governor from South Carolina and a vocal critic of the current administration. He's also been long mentioned as a possible 2012 GOP nominee for President. He led an unsuccessful fight against the bailout. Well, his story took a little strange turn Thursday.

Governor Sanford is "missing." He was last seen this past Thursday when the South Carolina stage legislature overturned 10 of his vetoes. Ouch. Talk about a rough day at the office.

His staff claims that he notified them before leaving. His spokesman Joel Sawyer released a statement saying:
"Gov. Sanford is taking some time away from the office this week to recharge after the stimulus battle and the legislative session and to work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside."

Do you know what that means? Yeah, me neither.

The spokesman went on to say in another release:
"governor let his staff know where he was going before he left last week and said he would check in"

I'm still puzzled. His wife, who is on vacation with her kids said the following:
"He was writing something and wanted some space to get away from the kids,"

The AP quotes her saying:
She said she didn't know where he was, but wasn't concerned.

The Same AP article says:
Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said he's been told the governor's staff is in contact with the second-term Republican, but Sanford's wife said she hasn't heard from him in several days, including Father's Day.

So let me get this straight? The Governor of a state wants to get away from his work after a tough fight and just disappears? Why didn't he just go vacation with his family? This was Father's Day weekend right?

The Governor's spokesman in a statement to CNN added:
“Obviously, that's going to be somewhat out of the question this time given the attention this particular absence has gotten. Before leaving last week, he let staff know his whereabouts and that he'd be difficult to reach. Should any emergencies arise between the times in which he checks in, our staff would obviously be in contact with other state officials as the situation warrants before making any decisions.”

Is it just me or is every statement and quote making this story even stranger?

Found this passage in that same CNN article:
State Sen. Jake Knotts, a fellow Republican and opponent of Sanford, told CNN that South Carolina law enforcement officials informed him Saturday that the governor had taken a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division vehicle on Thursday and had not yet returned.

"I found out that he was taking frequent trips at odd times of the night in a SLED car with no security," Knotts said. "He would be driving. I got wind that he had taken another one of these types of capers last Thursday, and that nobody knew who he was with.

Knotts added: "On Saturday, I still was getting wind that he had not shown back up and nobody knew where he was."

Knotts said a SLED official told him on Monday that Sanford still had not returned.

"He needs to transfer the power and let the lieutenant governor, which the constitution requires, let him be the person that makes the decisions." Knotts said. "My concern was 'Who would be in charge should an emergency arrive for the safety of the people and citizens of the state?'"

Ok..let's recap. The senator is missing, supposedly in touch with his Chief of Staff. Didn't notify his wife, the Lt. Governor or other senior state officials including close friends where he was going? Plus he took off in a police car?

Authorities are ruling out foul play because it turns out Sanford does this often....just not for this long.

MSNBC reported earlier today that a cellphone tower near Atlanta picked up a signal from his phone.

Someone has been tweeting from his account.

Wherever he is (let the guesses begin) and whatever he's doing (again...throw out a few guesses) it is safe to assume his 2012 hopes are done. I mean if this guy can't handle the pressures of being Governor of South Carolina, being President might be a few rungs out his reach. Just look at these headlines:

S.C. Relocates Its Governor
Where in the World is the Governor of South Carolina?
South Carolina governor goes missing
South Carolina Governor Disappears, No One Fazed

Stay Tuned...

You can reach me via Twitter or e-mail.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Politics and Cricket: Pakistan wins the Twenty20 World Cup

It is easy to dismiss as sports as just that....sports. Fun and games even when competed at the highest of competitive levels. But that attitude couldn't be farther from reality. Sports in the real world hold a far bigger significance.

Pakistan's convincing win in today's World Twenty20 final was the latest example of that. Their 3 biggest contributors to a win at this tournament (Shahid Afridi, the captain Younis Khan and Umer Gul) all hail from the war torn N.W.F.P region. Pakistan cricket is facing some major hurldes in the aftermath of the Lahore attack. They are facing the prospect of a long layoff from home games with war waging on the western front and the everliving possibility of one on the eastern one. While most of the cricket world looks at it as recent events Pakistan cricket has faced isolation for a long time before that. As Osman Samiuddin pointed out yesterday,
"consider how Pakistan came into this tournament. They had played a piffling 10 Tests and 50 ODIs since the beginning of 2007; no other side was that undercooked."

This problem dates back to the 90s as the hypocrisy of the western world continues to live on; even when it is in sports. While they refuse to tour Pakistan over "security threats" they continue to expect countries especially ones that generate a lot of revenue for them like Pakistan does to tour them. The 7/7 bombings in London were during a cricket tour that went uninterrupted. When the conflict with the IRA was ongoing once again cricket went uninterrupted in England.

This team has been through a great deal of turmoil in recent years. Few can forget the disastrous 2007 World Cup where they were eliminated in the first round after an embarrassing loss to the lowly Irish team. If that defeat wasn't enough their coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room the very next morning.

All throughout this tournament Pakistan played in front of packed stadiums full of Pakistani supporters in England but the home crowd continues to face a long prospect of living without cricket. England which is sure to profit from it wants Pakistan to play "home games" all across the country. The irony in that invitation are many. Doesn't England consider itself a terror target? Hasn't it for years? For years we've listened to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown talk about the need for the "war on terror" because of those threats.

One can't downplay the significance of today's win. Pakistan once again shows the world that the sport needs it as much if not more then the country needs it. It holds arguably the most passionate fans of any sport in any country. The TV money Pakistan brings in is huge for a country of its size. Pakistan keeps producing charismatic stars that the sporting world very much needs. Shahid "Boom Boom" Afridi is as exciting an athlete to watch as any around the world.

Cricket will return to Pakistan and I am pretty sure it will be a lot sooner then people think. The economics of it will up pushing the issue soon enough. In the mean time though Pakistan cricket needs to keep going and having a lot more repeats of today. Winning cures all. The rest of it will sort itself out just like it always does in sports.

I was a 7 year old with a math final exam the next day when Imran's cornered tigers pulled out that win in 1992 after an improbable run yet those images are still fresh in my mind.

There have been plenty of disappointment over the many years since then but the victory from today will rank right up there.

Just some quick thoughts for now. I'll have another entry out tonight or tomorrow in regards to the future of Pakistani cricket.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

The PGA Tour (and its refund policy) is a joke.

The PGA Tour is a joke. From what I am hearing on the radio (credit to the caller who called in Mike'd up on WFAN in New York) tickets to the US Open for today cost $150 (and sadly that is not the worst offense I'm mentioning). As you might be aware it has been raining all day today in the NYC area. Here is where the joke begins.

Take a look at this note on the US Open's website (screenshot below):

U.S Open Tickets

Thursday tickets will not be refunded or exchanged. Play will resume Friday at 7:30 AM, weather permitting. Only Friday tickets will be accepted.

Are you serious? What PR genius came up with that policy? I'm sure there were a lot of kids who chipped in and got their fathers tickets as gifts for Father's Day. Way to go PGA Tour. Enjoy that cash...must feel like taking candy from a baby. There were 156 players in the field. Only 78 of them even made it to the course before rain came and stopped play for the day. But somehow people who bought tickets are out of luck? I'm sorry...even by New York standards that is highway robbery. We kill baseball teams, the Yankees in particular for opening their gates and taking hours before calling off a game because of rain while capitalizing on the concession sales but this is far worse.

I'm as big a golf fan as any around. But this sports and the organization that runs it just doesn't help itself. The "spectator guide" for the "People's Open" says:

No Cell Phones - including any cell phones with
photographic capabilities
No PDAs and/or other Portable E-mail Devices
No Cameras and/or Camcorders

For years it has been easy to crack a joke about golf and referring it to being nothing but out of shape, uptight white men. And well...lets just say that the PGA Tour seem to wanna do much about its reputation with one stupid rule after another. Here's a little P.R more fan friendly. Simple concept...might wanna think about that.

Now I understand that you can only fit so many people on the course...and that is fine. Just refund the money to those who had tickets to today while accommodating as many as you can with tickets to tomorrow.

Mike Francesa is on the case now and promises to make it a big deal on his show tomorrow. Tune in. The biggest radio voice in the NY sports market will probably make the PGA crack a little bit on this otherwise the PR nightmare they face in this town this weekend will be around for a long time. Tune in tomorrow to Francesa's show on WFAN (660 am in NYC and surrounding areas), simulcast around the country on the Yes Network or The show runs from 1:00 PM to 6:20 Eastern time.

Hopefully the PGA Tour smartens up tonight. Meanwhile if you were one of the people that tickets today (or even if you didn't) flood the PGA Tour with messages via twitter and other means.

The United States Golf Association
P.O. Box 708
Far Hills, N.J. 07931
Fax: 908-234-9687

PGA Tour
PGA TOUR 100 PGA TOUR Boulevard
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
(904) 285-3700

PGA TOUR 126 East 56th Street
Suite 1600
New York, NY 10022

US Open
800) 698-0661.

Bethpage Black
(516) 249-0153)

P.S Looks like the Yankees heard Mike Francesa's US Open. They had been in a rain delay for 5 and a half hours. As you might know that the Yankees have been really strict this year when it comes to letting fans slip down below into the empty seats. Well shortly after Mr. Francesa's rant the Yankees announced at the stadium that fans could go down below and fill empty seats. Coincidence?

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

New York Yankees fans make me laugh.

New York Yankees fans make me laugh. Is there a bigger group of more annoying people anywhere on earth? Any Yankee fan gloating tonight is either dumb, lying to themselves, or just way too young and naive to know better. You just got swept by your biggest rivals and should've lost tonight if not for an absolute gift. You didn't win this game....Luis Castillo lost it. Your boy wonder Joba Chamberlain sucked it up yet again. Your bullpen and closer sucked it up again. Get over yourselves. Your team needs a lot of work. Watch the Clip:

If anyone finds the SNY, WFAN and WCBS880 clips anywhere please let me know.
P.S New York Yankees fans suck.

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