Another cog in the wheel known as the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to combat the Extreme Left-Wing Media.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Georgia bride faked abduction

I'm happy to report that I was wrong. If you had asked me yesterday, I would have guessed that the woman was dead and the boyfriend/fiance was the culprit in the case of the missing woman in Georgia. Turns out the woman faked her abduction. Sadly the last few years have taught us to look at the boyfriend/husband first in these cases.

Lucky guy found out she was nuts before he said "I do." Most guys find out afterwards.

If you don't laugh at this you're already dead (or in the KKK)

Bob Byrd is reconsidering his choice of HMO.

H/T to SondraK

No comment. Just like the picture

Friday, April 29, 2005

How advise and consent should work.

Here is a columnist who gets and explains how the system should work.

Central to the reason we elect presidents is public confidence in their ability to pick the people to carry out the policies that they enunciate. That is, after all, a major reason voters chose Bush over John Kerry.

Even if political realities did not require presidents to pick supporters to staff their administrations, it would be ludicrous to expect them to tap people who disagreed with them on policy. Moreover, voters made a conscious choice about what kind of people they want in power by voting for Bush.

Check your surroundings before you offer "constructive criticism"

Check your surroundings before you offer "constructive criticism."

Some people have all the luck

When I dig up a tree I run into roots and rocks. Here is a story of a couple guys who did much better.

I have a feeling this going to result in a lot of yards being torn up.


Turns out they stole the money. Oops.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

So, now it isn't a hate crime?

Best man charged with setting Hampton newlyweds' house on fire.

He would not say what the motive was, but said it was not racially driven. Del. Thomas Gear, R-Hampton, the bride's father, had feared the blaze could have been a hate crime.

Well, excuse me, but just the fact that the idiot who set the fire was the best man does not mean it wasn't a crime of hate. This speaks volumes of how stupid hate crime legislation is. Is one murder more hateful than another? Is this act of arson less hateful now that it turns out to have been set by a "friend?"

No liberal bias in the media?

People who just give a passing glance to the morning news to see if it is going to rain don't understand media bias. The bias is not just how the news is presented but also shown in the decision over what stories to pursue or emphasize. Here is a pop quiz from WIZBANG demonstrating how obvious the bias is if you compare stories:

Of late, I've been finding myself trying to guess which stories will garner media attention, and those which will slip through the cracks. And of late, I've been doing worse and worse.

So, here's an idea: I'm going to put out a News Director quiz. I'll describe two stories, and you get to guess which one is more news-worthy.

1. A) An ambassador nominee is accused of yelling at subordinates decades ago.
B) A former National Security Advisor pleads guilty to stealing and destroying highly classified documents from the National Archives.

Check out the rest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Why is this a problem?

Something just seems wrong about this story.

Five prison guards who worked security details at last summer's Democratic National Convention have been disciplined for drinking on the bus ride home, state corrections officials said.

Is having a couple beers while off-duty riding in a bus such a big deal? I hope there is more to the story because as it stands it doesn't make sense.

Need something else stupid to waste time doing?

Try this. Pretty darn addicting. Who would have guessed that Bill Clinton was also a computer programmer?

H/T to SondraK

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Who has an ethics problem?

Tom Delay has been attacked in recent months over allegations of not adhering to House ethics rules involving some trips he took. Most of the attacks have been comments to the media and calls for him to step down. However, while going after him for his alleged missteps (like letting lobbyists pay for trips) the Dems resisted an actual investigation. Now I think we know why. There has been a flurry of congressmen from both parties refiling paperwork to clean up their own house.

If there is any issue or position where we see bi-partisanship it is the areas of ethical lapses and arrogance. Both houses of congress and both political parties are so full of a sense of self-importance that most of them don't believe rules apply to them.

H/T to Betsy's Page for the link.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Mark Stein on confirming Bolton

I know reasonable people who have bought into the Democrat/media smears of John Bolton and now accept as fact that Mr. Bolton is just not diplomatic enough to serve as our Ambassador to the United Nations. Well, Mark Stein weighs in and explains much better than I could why Bolton's firmness is just what the U.N. needs. Here's a sample:

The rap against John Bolton is that he gets annoyed with do-nothing bureaucrats. If that's enough to disqualify you from government service, then 70 percent of citizens who've visited the DMV . . . are ineligible. Sinking Bolton means handing a huge psychological victory to a U.N. bureaucracy eager for any distraction from its own mess. The Democrats' interest in derailing Bush foreign policy is crude but understandable. But why would even the wimpiest Republican ''moderate'' want to help them out?

Read the rest.

H/T to Betsy's Page for the link.

NFL Draft

Overall I would give the Browns a B- on the draft this past weekend. The team had so many needs they would have needed to trade down a couple time to get additional picks to have any chance at an A grade.

First round, 3rd pick overall: Braylon Edwards, WR from that hated school up north. Surprisingly, this is the fifth time we have used a first round pick for a player from that school. NFL is obviously a different level but in college Edwards was a game changing kind of receiver. Just ask MSU about that. Makes some spectacular plays but drops some very catchable balls. As stated in the first paragraph I would have preferred to trade down. However, it is hard to criticize trades not made since there is no way to know what may have been offered.

Second round, 34th pick overall: Brodney Pool, FS Oklahoma. I believe Pool was not expected to still be around and was taken as the ever popular "best available." He is a junior who declared for the draft early. ESPN's Mel Kiper said he could possibly been a top ten pick next year if he had waited.

Third round, 67th pick: Charlie Frye, QB Akron. Local kid. Is he another in the recent line of Mid-America QB's (Pennington, Roethlisberger, Leftwich). I don't expect an immediate impact out of Frye. Give him a playbook, a chair in the film room, and a clipboard for game day. Trent Dilfer's job this season is to keep Frye on the bench. Oddly enough, though he throws with his right hand he writes with his left hand.

Fourth round, 103rd pick: Antonio Perkins, CB Oklahoma. A surprising pick. Second pick from the Oklahoma secondary. Believe his main contribution this season will be as a special teams player. Holds or shares a couple NCAA punt return records (at least until Ted Ginn Jr. takes those records from him).

Fifth round, 139th pick: David McMillan, DE Kansas. If someone is still available at this point in the draft it is because of question marks. In McMillan's case the issues are size and whether he has the desire to put the work in to build up. My guess is his NFL future will consist of watching it on Sundays.

Sixth round, 176th pick: Nick Speegle, LB, New Mexico. Considered a good tackler with decent speed.

Sixth round, 203rd pick: Andrew Hoffman, DT, Virginia. Luke McKown was traded to Tampa Bay for this pick. Will compete for the nose tackle job in Cleveland new 3-4 defense.

Seventh round, 217, Jon Dunn, OT Virginia Tech. At 6'7" 328, Dunn could develop into an imposing right tackle. Maybe this is why he was still available:
Could not complete agility tests at the combine due to a left pectoral muscle strain and a right quadriceps muscle strain.

Overall I don't have a major problem with this draft. Problem is, with as bad as this team was plus the Savage/Crennell purge they could have had 5 more picks and still not been able to fill all the holes. Hopefully, this will be my last word on the Browns for a few months. Any news in the interim would be bad news (arrests/injuries) and we don't need anymore of that.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Another Hollywood halfwit

Maggie Gyllenhaall (who I'll admit is so famous that I've never heard of her) is now added to the list of folks who won't get any of my money. Here are the comments she made in New York regarding the 9/11 attacks.

"I think what's good about the movie is that it deals with 9/11 in such a subtle, open way that I think it allows it to be more complicated than just 'Oh, look at these poor New Yorkers and how hard it was for them,' because I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way," said Gyllenhaal.

I wonder if she got that thought from Noam Chomsky or Michael Moore?

Honest politician?

I don't know much about Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) but if this comment is truly indicative of his position on government spending then he sounds like my kind of politician. He was explaining his vote against Financial Literacy Month.

“Given Congress' appetite for pork barrel spending and penchant for deficits, we’re in no position to lecture anybody on financial literacy,” said Flake. “Perhaps we should have included a provision in the bill requiring Congress to practice what it preaches.”

Friday, April 22, 2005

Why does the Bolton situation matter?

I previously discussed the delay in Senate confirmation of John Bolton to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation. Nothing substantive has happened since then except various bloggers excoriated Voinovich for his actions. I got to thinking about just why is the right side of the blogosphere so up in arms about this nomination? It isn't because of a strong concern for the United Nations. Most of us realize the U.N. has never been and likely never will be an effective organization. The U.N. could cease to exist and it wouldn't matter. No, I think the anger has more to do with a feeling of wasted effort. Many people contributed their time and money to achieve and maintain a majority in the House and Senate. Over the last few years, despite a slim Republican majority the Democrats successfully obstructed progress. So in this last election the goal was to reach a larger margin of senators. After reaching this goal the Republicans in the Senate are continuing to behave as though they are in the minority.

Ed Morrissey from Captain's Quarters has been pushing the idea of not contributing a dime to any campaign unless they end the tyranny of the minority party. Here he is talking about the failure to fight for judicial nominees but same principle applies to the Bolton nomination.

"Not. One. Dime. The next time Ken Mehlman sends you a request for money, that's the message he needs to get back. We ponied up in 2004, and in 2002, and in 2000. The GOP not only has not delivered, its current leadership won't even try. Frist and Rick Santorum claim they don't have the votes. Balderdash -- they don't have the leadership to get the votes. I'm not going to fund or support people who won't try to win, especially when the issue is so important." Read the rest.

I'm fully supporting the "Not. One. Dime." position. However, not sure what effect that will have since I wouldn't send them a penny let alone a dime. It's like the block on your tax return that asks if you want money wasted on presidential campaigns. Do you know anyone dumb enough to say yes? I don't.

What do we want? We want them to do what they were elected and get paid to do. VOTE! Bolton, Owens, Brown, etc. deserve a vote. If the loons want to filibuster, make them actually stand there and talk until they can't talk anymore. Then vote! In the past when racists like Byrd filibustered against the Civil Rights Act it just exposed them. Now we have been letting them get away with threatening to filibuster.

Ouch, that's gotta hurt

Javelin Impales South Sound Student

That's why I don't like West coast trips

After two innings the Indians were leading 5 to nothing. Looking good. End of the 7th when I went to sleep they were still leading by two runs. I wake up this morning to see that they lost in extra innings. Arrrgh! What a way to start the day on a positive note.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Guilty is step one. Sentencing is next.

This is an example of the justice system working.

Sargeant convicted in attack on fellow troops


It's only unethical if Delay does it???

How is this different than what Tom Delay is accused of doing?

Stephanie Tubbs Jones, an Ohio Democrat who sits on the House ethics committee, took a 2001 trip to Puerto Rico that was paid for by a registered lobbyist firm — an apparent violation of the chamber's ethics rules — according to documents that she filed with the House clerk.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Family pride is something to behold

I'll probably spend and extra couple years in purgatory for this but some things are too funny to resist.

If the picture isn't showing in the middle, the click on the link in the first sentence to go to IMAO to see what I'm laughing about.

In related news, Pope Benedict XVI's older brother thinks his kid brother is too old for the job.

Here is a "Man bites dog" type story.

Vietnam veteran spits on Jane Fonda. Jane Fonda was a fool and a communist propoganda tool during the Vietnam War. In no way would I ever spend a penny on her movies, books or workout videos. However, I don't endorse people sinking to that level to express their anger with her. My guess is she already had a good idea what most vets think of her. All this guy did was validate the incorrect image some on the left have of our military.

Tell me again, why did I vote for Voinovich?

John Bolton was nominated by the president to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. This is one of the positions requiring confirmation by the U.S. Senate. As with the hearings on Condaleeza Rice for Secretary of State and Alberto Gonzalez for Attorney General the process degenerated from reasonable debate of qualifications to sleaze and slander. On most of these hearings the Republicans allowed the Dems to make fools of themselves while attempting to tarnish the reputations of the nominees. Bolton's nomination has been placed on hold because Senator Voinovich is "concerned" about some of the silly allegations. What makes Voinovich's actions reprehensible is the fact that he didn't bother attending the hearings. Please feel free to call his office.
DC: (202)224-3353 or Cincinnati: (513) 684-3265 Good luck getting through, apparently I'm not the only constituent unhappy with him.

Lots of people weighing in:
Ankle Biting Pundits
Michelle Malkin
Beltway Buzz
Captain's Quarters

Random thoughts

* When looking for a new home, consider what percentage of your life you want to spend cutting grass.

* If you can't score with bases loaded and no outs you don't deserve to win (and they didn't).

* I think based on who (lamestream media) doesn't like the selection of Cardinal Ratzinger as pope I'm even more pleased with the choice. Professor Bainbridge describes media reaction best by referring to this old joke:
It reminds me of the old joke about how the NY Times would cover Armageddon:

World to end. Women, minorities hardest hit
He has extensive coverage of media reaction to Pope Benedict XVI check it out.

* I don't like it when the Indians make west coast trips. I don't normally get their games on television. However, they somehow made it into ESPN's lineup for the 10:30 PM start out in California (no Yankee's game to show???). Going to be pretty tired tomorrow.

Anyway got to go finish cutting the grass.

Early season stats and "on-pace-fors"

Every baseball season some players will have stretches where they far outperform their career norms. If it happens in July no one notices. If they are fortuitous enough to start the season on a hot streak it jumps out and leads to speculation of "what if he keeps it up?" Well, Aaron Gleeman of The Hardball Times did a column looking at some of the players who are tearing it up early this season. Interesting read. Here's a sample:

After walking just 46 times in 154 games last season, Derek Jeter has already drawn a league-leading dozen free passes in 14 games this year. That puts him on a pace for about 150 walks. Jeter has walked more than 75 times in a season just once in his career, way back in 1999.

Click here for rest of article.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI

Well, what do I know? I insisted to my wife yesterday that the media "favorite" never gets selected by the Cardinals to serve as the next pope. The media was talking up Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Besides, I said, he's 78 years old. After the last few years with John Paul the Great being sickly they will go with someone a little younger.

The cardinals assembled and quickly chose the man I said had no chance of being selected. He picked Benedict XVI as his papal name.

Pope Benedict XVI is expected to closely follow the path laid out by his immediate predecessor, John Paul the Great. He was probably as closely aligned with Pope John Paul II as any of the cardinals. They got to know each other during the Second Vatican Council in the 60's and during his papacy Cardinal Ratzinger was his closeest confidant. Both his supporters and detractors point to his conservatism. I think people are misreading him based on his previous positions as Dean of the College of Cardinals and Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Let us all pray for Pope Benedict XVI and the Holy Catholic Church!

Other links:
Who was Benedict the XV
He already has a fan club?
Pope Benedict XVI bio

Monday, April 18, 2005

Scouting report from the opposition

When your opponent can make this observation,

NOT SO HARD: Twins starter Joe Mays said he threw 62 fastballs among 72 pitches. “Their hitters weren’t making adjustments, so we weren’t going to change anything,” Mays said.

You have to wonder what your hitting coach (Eddie Murray) is doing. I know, a coach can only do so much. But when a team starts in a collective slump it's a coach's job to calm them down and get them to take some pitches.

New Pope time

All the Cardinals under 80 years of age (except 3 too ill to attend) are getting together this week to choose a new Pope. Fox news online has links to several articles explaining the process.

I would caution people not to bother listening to network news to get inside scoop on who will be picked. Many are touting Cardinal Ratzinger as the leading candidate. The man is 78 years old. I'm not convinced the choice will be a young cardinal but I am fairly certain that after seeing Pope John Paul II frail and sickly for the last years of his papacy that the choice will be someone younger than 78. Also, this is a process that seems to abhor a favorite. There is an old saying "He who enters the conclave a pope departs as a cardinal."

Keep the voters in your prayers. More importantly, pray for strength of spirit for the one chosen to serve as the next Pope!

Yankees in last! Steinbrenner erupts! Read all about it!

At 4 wins and 8 losses, the New York Yankees are tied with Tampa Bay for last place in the AL East. Even though the team I follow (Cleveland Indians) is no longer in the same division as the Yankees, I still feel a stronger sense of rivalry with them than our new divisional opponents. George Steinbrenner is learning that 200 million dollars doesn't buy as much as it used to buy. Here is an article about Steinbrenner's statement after yesterday's loss. Now if I were a cynic (okay, since I am a cynic), I might come to the conclusion that the outburst is intentionally coinciding with Tampa Bay coming to town so Steinbrenner can pretend his speech spurred the team on to victory. Is Torre's job safe if the Devil Rays take two of three this week?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Tillman not only athlete to enlist

Pat Tillman got considerable notice (and rightfully so) for giving up his professional football career and enlisting in the Army as a Ranger. Here is a story of a minor league baseball player who gave up his baseball career and enlisted in the Marine Corps.

When Tony Stevens signed up for the Marines three years ago, his listed occupation was probably not something a recruiter would notice too often. Stevens was a Minor League shortstop for the Twins' Double-A affiliate in New Britain.

What's the filibuster fight all about?

Most people are being misled about the filibuster fight. A traditional filibuster was basically a way for a senator in the minority on an issue to continue the discussion with the hopes of changing minds. An example would be Robert "KKK" Byrd's unsuccessful filibuster of the Civil Rights Act in the 1960's. In the past few years, filibusters have been a tactic used to completely avoid voting on federal judges. Here is an article which explains the issue.

Myth No. 1:Filibuster of judges is a sacred tradition.
Fact: The filibuster is nowhere in the Constitution. It is not among the "checks and balances" our Founding Fathers created. It did not even exist until the 1830s, and the "tradition" involves legislation, not judicial appointments. The filibuster was used to defend slavery and oppose the Civil Rights Act — hardly noble purposes. The current obstruction of judges is no "traditional" filibuster: it is the first time in more than 200 years that either party has filibustered to keep judges with majority support off the federal bench.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Worst president ever

As if he were worried that Chester Arthur might overtake him, Jimmy Carter spoke out again this week. He, of course, attacked his usual target - the United States of America.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Thursday harshly criticized his own country and other wealthy states for being stingy with foreign aid and said in rich countries “We really don’t give a damn.”

What a loon! He is wrong in so many ways. We are the most generous nation in the world. If anything we give too much foreign aid considering our current debt status.

The Astute Blogger weighs in on Carter and foreign aid.

Friday, April 15, 2005

A look back at what the "EXPERTS" told us about Iraq

Victor Davis Hanson should be required reading. His column today recounts some of the experts' predictions about Iraq.

I hate Doug Flutie!

I've been to litterally hundreds of baseball games and have never had a home run or foul ball come my way.

Doug Flutie snared Tino Martinez' hard-hit foul ball in the second inning from his seat three rows off the field on the right field line. The 1984 Heisman Trophy winner, who was wearing his glove, told NESN's Eric Frede that it was his fourth straight game at which he caught a foul ball.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Way to make a good first impression!

Say you're going to a job interview for a high paying job. You know in advance that the interview is going to include aptitude tests, a physical exam and drug testing. What do you do to relax? Maybe smoke a joint(or several)? Sad thing is some idiot GM's will still draft these idiots.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tom Delay

I've hesitated in weighing in on the various attacks on Congressman Delay for alleged ethics violations. However, it has reached the point where "fellow Republicans" during interviews have been conceding that Delay is ethically challenged. Now, the Republicans they quote are ones like Christopher Shays of Connecticut. My own theory for the hatred of Delay is the fact that he isn't some mealy mouthed lawyer and he doesn't mince words. Some mock Rep. Delay by calling him the "Exterminator" a reference to his owning a pest control business before entering politics. Personally, I think we need less lawyers in Congress and more people who have held jobs and run companies. I guarantee you that someone like Delay, who has seen the negative effect of excessive regulation, would not come up with hurtful legislation like Sarbanes-Oxley.

Here are a couple other peoples comments:
Ben Stein
Tony Blankley
Don Surber pointed out an article from Drudge which shows that while Delay is being hounded many other politicians also have relatives on the payroll.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Congressional correspondence

A while back I was on my high-horse and contacted my congressman about the political grandstanding involved in the hearings over steroid use in professional baseball. What do you know, in today's mail I got a letter responding to my concerns. I suppose I'd be more impressed if my name and the name of the street where I live were spelled correctly on the letter. His biggest mistake was the final sentence of the letter.

"Please continue to keep me informed of your concerns."

He doesn't realize what he's asking for.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

What a comeback!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Having lost their first two games of the season, things were looking bleak for the Indians this afternoon as the White Sox busted out to an early five to nothing lead. In the middle innings Cleveland chipped away for a couple runs. However, they still trailed by three runs entering the ninth. Shingo Takatsu came in and did his best Mariano Rivera impersonation allowing the Tribe to tie up the game at five runs a piece. Coco Crisp, Casey Blake and Ronnie Belliard all homered in the ninth. No score in the tenth for either team and then Cleveland lit up Luis Vizcaino for six runs. Now Chicago heads to Minnesota with a tired pen. What a great finish to the game! Read all about it.

This could hurt his dating chances

Sometimes being a young, rich, good-looking athlete isn't enough to get a date.

Lawsuit claims Vick gave woman sexually transmitted disease

He has just limited his dating pool to those woman who don't follow the news.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Indians giving advantage to other teams?

I think this guy is kidding.
Threaten Boycott of Roid-free Squad

(h/t RWN)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

It's just one game

Like fans of half the teams out there, I'm left saying "It's just one game" to reassure myself after seeing the Indians lose the first game of the season. After waiting six months for the season to start it is disappointing to lose but one game does not a season make. Worst part of losing the opener is they don't play the next day. Good effort by Jake Westbrook unfortunately Mark Buerhle was just a little better yesterday. Wow, games go fast when they don't hit the ball (1 hour & 51 minutes). Jhonny Peralta recorded his first "O" (the "O" stands for Omar would have made the play) and is on pace for 162 errors. This is the third time the Tribe and White Sox played 1-0 games on opening day, Bob Feller won the two previous times. Speaking of Rapid Robert, I saw him last week in Winter Haven throwing the ball around. At 86 he seems to be going strong.

Oh yeah, I guess there was some basketball game yesterday. Hopefully, now with that behind us maybe ESPN can put some more effort into covering the more important sport of baseball.

Why do we need to scrap the tax code? Here's why.

Some (especially the scoundrels in Congress who derive their power from the tax system) state it is too hard to overhaul the tax system and really it only needs tweaking. BS! The whole tax code is rife with special exemptions and loopholes none of which realize the benefit which was touted when enacted. Here is just one example: Big-Game Hunting Brings Big Tax Breaks.

(h/t Betsy's Page for the link)

PS: If you visit Betsy's Page you will find a neat story about Betsy taking her class on a tour of the Pentagon and running into Secretary Rumsfeld.

Why is this guy not in jail?

Read this and explain why this guy isn't in jail. Also, if this crook worked in a Republican administration and pulled off (okay bungled) a heist like that you can be sure it would have been the lead story in the evening news.

UPDATE: The Washington Times editorial page weighed in and made a point I wish I had. Martha Stewart and Sandy Berger both lied to federal investigators. Which one should have gone to jail? The one who lied about a stock tip or the one who lied about destroying classified documents stolen from the national archives in order to deceive the 9/11 Commission????

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sanchez is first player dumb enough to get caught doing steroids

Alex Sanchez of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays was suspended for the first ten days of the upcoming major league season for violating the new steroid policy. It just figures, first guy caught is a guy who can't hit. It makes one wonder if the Tigers knew something when they cut him a few weeks ago. That's right, they knew he couldn't hit.

Spring training trip

We're back from Florida. Here are some quick thoughts on Spring training and the trip.

- If you get a chance, go on down for Spring training. It is like watching major leaguers in quaint minor league settings at minor league prices. By the late innings you are watching mostly minor leaguers so get there early.

- If you get a chance to go to Disney World (or get forced by your spouse to take the family) DON'T. Too damn expensive and too damn crowded. Skip it!

- The BP station at the Williamsburg, Kentucky exit gives out free coffee at 3 AM.

- Every major road within 50 miles of Orlando is under construction. Reaching 10 MPH was considered a major milestone.

- Over the course of the last week or so we traveled about 2,500 miles and used just over 100 gallons of gas. If gas is 50 cents higher than it was 6 months ago then that means the trip cost about an extra 50 bucks. Don't get me wrong, I want cheaper gas (or milk, or whatever), but 50 dollars difference for over 2,500 miles isn't that big a deal.

- There are a lot of lousy drivers going north and south on I-75. You can usually identify them by the "MICHIGAN" printed on the top of their license plates.

- I kept telling myself that Spring training performance means nothing. Small sample size, yada, yada, yada. Having said that, several things stood out.

1. Andrew Jones is locked on. Wow! He hit two laser shots well over the outfield wall at Chain O'Lakes Park.

2. I've frequently maligned Ronnie Belliard's defense but he made a play on every ball hit his way this Spring including several spectacular ones. However, his double play partner, Jhonny Peralta seemed to have limited range at shortstop. I see a lot of grounders going between Peralta and Boone this season.

3. The Indians have a very strong bench. It will be difficult keeping Jose Hernandez out of the roster after he had a great camp. A side note, my eight year old made a comment in the first inning of Thursday's game that "if the next guy gets on then Hernandez could hit a grand slam." Before the next guy made an out and ended the inning, I informed him that Hernandez wasn't really much of a power hitter. Well, Hernandez lead off the second inning with a homer. Then as if determined to make me look even less reliable he went on to hit two more homers. In my defense, Hernandez did say afterwards that he never previously hit three homers in a game at any level.

4. Jorge Cantu did not get the Devil Rays second base job by default after Robbie Alomar retired. He earned it on merit. He will go cheap and be a bargain in some fantasy leagues. I only saw him in one game but he looked ready.

5. The way the schedule worked we ended up catching three games against the Tigers. Not impressed. Their big off-season addition (Ordonez) didn't play in any of them.

6. Thursday's game reaffirmed why baseball is the best sport. It had everything. The game started with lousy pitching in the first inning as the Tigers took a 5 run lead. The game also featured good pitching as the Tigers were held hitless for seven innings. The game had it's share of offense as the Tribe clawed back to take the lead. The game had drama as the Tigers tied the game in the top of the ninth with a homer off of Riske. And finally the game had a happy ending as Cleveland loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth and then won the game with a sacrifice fly.

All in all, it was a great trip.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pope John Paul II has died!

Rest easy good shepherd. At 9:37 today, the man born Karol Wojtyla passed from his earthly bonds. I urge all to keep him in your prayers, I'm sure we'll remain in his. A great man who lead the Catholic church for 27 years, this pontiff will be remembered not just for spreading Catholicism but for reaching out to close the schism with other denominations of Christians. Additionally, John Paul II acknowledged the fact that christianity stems naturally from Judiasm. He made many visits to synagoges as well as a more notable visit to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. He was known as a very prolific writer and has many books in print. However, he has volumes of unpublished writings which will be reviewed over the coming decades. Like evaluating the reign of other world leaders, this pontificate will not be properly understood for many years.

Here are a few links:
A photo essay from CNN. (h/t Michelle Malkin she has other links).
The Times Online
Captain's Quarters take.
A timeline of his life.
Lastly, someone has to fill these very big shoes. Pray for a replacement who is at least half the man John Paul II was. FOX has bio sketches of a few leading candidates. Bear in mind, being called a candidate usually takes a Cardinal out of consideration. Years ago Pope John Paul II wrote instructions on handling a vacancy.