Friday, October 26, 2007

 

Don NO!

We were a little bit sports-heavy here at RT this week (between World Series, Rudy Giuliani -- and the usual Pigskins Previews), so I hesitate to post another one. However, as a New Yorker -- and a general observer of various cultural/historical moments, I have to make this point.

Don Mattingly would be the absolute worst choice to be Yankees manager. I'm glad that Brian Cashman appears to be wavering on this. Do I base my views on any sort of great baseball knowledge? Not really -- though the fact that he has NO experience as a manager should be a factor.

No, my objection goes to a point I made once before: Mattingly IS the "curse" of the Yankees. He is the best player the Yankees have ever had WHO NEVER WON ANYTHING. I made this point in one of my earliest RT posts. Time has proven my point even more: The Yankees haven't gotten out of the first round of the playoffs since Mattingly returned to the team as a coach.

And, circumstantial evidence suggests that this is not just a coincidence. Aside from starting pitching problems, what differentiates the Yankees of the last four seasons ('04-'07) from their dynastic brethren of '96-'03? The answer is patient clutch pitching. Failure to get that clutch two-strike, two-out hit has doomed the Yankees in recent years. Who was the hitting coach in three of those four years. Yep, Mr. Donnie Baseball -- the man who came up to the major leagues just when the Yankees concluded a four World Series/two championships-in-six-year-run. The team wouldn't make it back to the Fall Classic until the year after Mattingly's last year.

He returned in '04. The rest is history.

In a game where superstition accounts for quite a lot, Don Mattingly is the black cat, the broken mirror and the crack in the sidewalk all rolled into one.

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RAG on NPR

Geez, twice in less than a week!

Wednesday, I was back on News & Notes. Despite the description of the show on the NPR site, Donna Brazile, Farai Chideya and I never got around to talking about the Louisiana governor's race (odd, considering Donna is from there). Instead, we talked about Barack Obama and the black vote (in the context of the South Carolina primary) -- and the California wildfires.

Have a fun listen.

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The Huckabee Backlash

Just as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee started making a move on the leaders in Iowa, it seems like the inevitable backlash has begun. And what is so surprising is its intensity.

It started early this week with this rather sardonic Rich Lowry column, with cool lines like,
Without organization, money or an agenda, Huckabee is very unlikely to win the nomination. A presidential candidate has to be more than a performer. As one top social conservative says, He’s not running for Toastmasters.”
No offense, Rich, but maybe I missed where the other GOP candidates had an "agenda" that was that different from each other.

Anyway, that was followed by Quinn Hillyer's tough piece -- especially on ethics -- in The American Spectator. (Huckabee's campaign responded here.)

Now, John Fund chronicles the views of various "movement" conservatives on the "other Man from Hope," including stalwarts such as Phyllis Schlafly. And Pat Toomey of the Club For Growth is appalled even about the idea of Huckabee as a VP pick (an idea RT helped float a few weeks back).

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It's also interesting, to say the least, to wonder how it is that all of these articles appear at about the same time. One would think that there was some sort of coordinated feeding of unflattering stories about Huckabee.

Nah, couldn't be that, right?

I'm not exactly carrying a particular brief for Huckabee, but, except perhaps for Ron Paul, has there been nearly as much concentrated insta-piling on of a candidate who is still in single digits nationally? And, yeah, his line in the debate last week about how most of the signers of the Constitution were clergymen was seriously dumb. But, that just underscores my point even more: Is there so much to fear from Mike Huckabee that there is suddenly a conservative swarm against him?

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Open Thread

Down in Annapolis today, so let's go open a bit early.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

 

Pigskin Pick'em - Week 7 Results AND Week 8 Picks

Another two-fer Thursday, in honor of David Stefanini pulling his second weekly win of the season in week 7:

David Stefanini - 11
Robert A. George - 10
EdMcGon - 9
bl - 9
J. Mark English - 7
Bill Barker - 6

Year to date results (with weekly wins in parentheses):

David Stefanini(2) - 63
EdMcGon(1) - 58
Robert A. George(1.5) - 57
J. Mark English(1) - 52
bl(1) - 44
Bill Barker - 40
FunkyPundit(0.5) - 33
SoloD - 28
Dave O'Leary - 21
Rigel - 17
Mike - 8

Normally, this is where I brag about how great my picks will be this week. Unfortunately, I have a cold, so I really don't feel like my usual overconfident self. So here they are, my picks in red:

Indianapolis Colts at Carolina Panthers: The Colts may fall into this trap game, but I won't pick it.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears: The last time these two teams played in Detroit, and the Lions had to score 34 points in the fourth quarter to win. I don't expect them to do that again, especially not in Chicago.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: This game could get ugly. The Steelers are a BIG step above the Bengals.
New York Giants at Miami Dolphins: Welcome to London. Dolphin fans, try not to leave your lunch there.
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings: Which Eagle team will show up this week? My gut says the "bad" Eagles show up.
Cleveland Browns at St. Louis Rams: The Rams may surprise someone. And I will be wrong that week. Until then...
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans: As much as I would love to make the Raider homer pick, the Titans are too good to pick against. The Raiders need to develop more before I can pick them in a game like this.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets: This game could go either way, but neither of these teams is going anywhere this year. At least the Bills seem to be moving in a positive direction.
Houston Texans at San Diego Chargers: Expect the Chargers to be a little more motivated to win this one for fire-ravaged south California.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The battle of the two best teams in Florida. I have to lean towards the Bucs with Jeff Garcia over the Jags with Quinn Gray.
Washington Redskins at New England Patriots: The Skins are about to be skinned.
New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers: I think the 49ers will find the Saints to be a little easier than their last four opponents.
Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos: Denver's biggest weakness? Run defense. Green Bay's biggest offensive weakness? The running game. Expect Favre to throw this one away.

Pigskin Pick'em Rules:
1. Pick the straight-up winners of all this weeks NFL games (excluding any Thursday games). Picks will be accepted in the comments section of the following websites:
Politics and Pigskins, Ragged Thots, and American Legends. All picks must be posted by 1 pm Eastern Time on Sunday (otherwise known as "The Barker Rule"), or by the kickoff of the first NFL Saturday game on weeks when that happens.
2. The winner gets...bragging rights! (you weren't expecting money, were you?)
3. And new for this year: I will be keeping a running tally for the season, so the person who gets the most picks correct for the whole season, including the playoffs, gets...even BIGGER bragging rights! (and still no money)

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

 

Rocky Mountain Way

Lest there be any doubt on where I stand on the World Series: Unlike the mayor, not only do I support any team playing the Boston Red Sox, I love the pluck and fire of the guys from Colorado!

Go Rockies!!!

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

 

Rudy's Ultimate Betrayal

Red Sox fan.

'Nuff said.

And worst of all -- he announced the news to reporters without even having the decency to tell the Yankees first.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the New Hampshire primary.

Right.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

 

RAG on NPR

I made my second appearance on Michel Martin's "Tell Me More" on Friday. The Democrats' problems running Congress was the main topic.

Tentative plans to appear on "News And Notes" later this week as well.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

 

The GOP 2008 Convention Keynote Speaker

The gentleman from Louisiana, Mr. Bobby Jindal.

Immigrant prodigy, minority elected in Southern state -- and, oh yes, a Republican succeeding the Democratic female governor who many residents blame for the Katrina fiasco.

This is a story that Republicans might want shared with a larger audience.

(Thanks to long-time RT reader ERA for the heads up.)

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