Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday's throwdowns

THE LATEST MIDDLE EAST CRISIS: can tell Israel's opponents in this don't have much to say; they're now yammering on about process, not content:
"Israel's military is using video confiscated from people on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla to justify opening fire during its deadly raid on the ships, drawing sharp criticism Thursday from foreign correspondents who say some of the footage was shot by journalists."

So they can't say much about the content of the videos (save to complain Israel is supposedly being "selective" in its use of it), because it appears to back up Israel's case. So instead, they want to argue about how Israel got them. That's usually a sign of folks who don't have much to go on...

So, gosh, another ho-hum game last night in Detroit between the Tigers and Indians, which at least Detroit won 3-0, right? Well...wrong; as all know by now, it was a perfect game, but it wasn't.
I don't know what can be said about this. On the one hand, my inclination earlier today was to say...well, that's baseball. What makes baseball unique is the human element in it; that it relies on umpires, who generally are very good at what they do and get most calls right. But once in a while they blow one, and inevitably that's going to happen in a big situation. But that's always been baseball. That can happen, it's always been part of it, and baseball fans have (sometimes reluctantly) accepted it. But on the other this particular instance, replays show that the runner was out at first on that last play. Gallarraga caught the ball cleanly, and got to the bag before the runner. That made 3 outs. It would have been a perfect game, save for that call. The replay is conclusive. So you know what?

Commissioner Bud Selig today should reverse that call, and award Armando Gallarraga a perfect game. It would simply make official what we all know to be true.

Meanwhile...the Texas Rangers won last night too, beating the White Sox 9-5. Keys: Scott Feldman pitched decently, getting lots of ground ball outs. The Rangers need him. And it looks like Ranger bats are coming alive, as both Josh Hamilton and Michael Young are hitting well, and the bottom of the batting order is hitting better (see for example Matt Treanor).

So once again the Obama Team proves what we've said here over and over again: President Obama and his advisers are not nearly as smart as many Democrats and those in the news media claimed:
"...a series of recent missteps just keeps getting worse for Barack Obama’s political operation, already under fire from inside the party for losing its golden touch. The second-guessing of the White House political shop — which is coming in part from top House Democrats — was sparked anew late Wednesday by news that the White House tried and failed to coax another Democratic Senate candidate out of making his race by dangling administration jobs in front of him. In a possible repeat of the Joe Sestak episode in Pennsylvania, insurgent U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff of Colorado said deputy White House chief of staff Jim Messina reached out to him — with a wince-inducing e-mail that is now public — with three possible jobs in September 2009. Obama wanted to keep him out of a race against Sen. Michael Bennet, the White House’s favored candidate. Taken together, the Sestak and Romanoff cases suggest a White House team that is one part Dick Daley, one part Barney Fife. They undercut Obama’s reputation on two fronts. Trying to put the fix in to deny Democratic voters the chance to choose for themselves who their Senate nominees should be is hardly consistent with the idea of “Yes, we can” grass-roots empowerment that is central to Obama’s brand. And bungling that fix is at odds with the Obama team’s image — built around the likes of Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Obama himself — as shrewd political operatives who know the game and always win it."