Remember, when some obscure college professor you've never heard of says something offensive, he's the voice of liberals and Democrats everywhere. But Ted Nugent is just a kook; pay him no mind.
More healthy kids, or more failed occupation? Will Democrats everywhere have the sack to run on this point in 2008? Also, Kevin Drum notes the selfishness inherent in so much health care debate.
Mascottery: Mr. Met removed from the field, hopefully sent to jail.
Bad News Hughes has a book out. Go buy it.
Michael Jackson, aka the Beer Hunter, R.I.P. The members of the Lunar Alcoholic Society are mourning.
Love these epic Kermit-Cookie confrontations. I wonder how much this reflects the relationship between Jim Henson and Frank Oz.
For this year's ballpark trip, I seized the opportunity to visit my man Otis and take in the new stadium in St. Louis.
Was this effectively a preview of the new ballpark in DC? I kind of hope not, but we could do worse. The new Busch is a nice enough stadium, and it's much less a Baseball-Centric Maximized Entertainment Experience™ than that stupid little bandbox in Houston. It's not without its flaws, though. There's a distinct difference between "inside" and "outside"--when you're out on the concourse, you can't really see the field at all, like in the old cookie-cutter stadiums like RFK. The new parks in Philly and Seattle feel much more open and airy, and you can keep an eye on the game while grabbing a beer. There also seemed to be a lack of distinctive food options, though I may well have just missed out on that. The stands I saw had typical ballpark fare, and I did note one concession with barbecue.
There's a lot to like, though. While you're out on the concourse, there are good views of the surrounding neighborhood and the St. Louis arch. We could see Al Hrabosky's Ballpark Saloon, which looks like it's a half-block long. Between the second and third levels behind home plate hangs the old scoreboard from the previous Busch Stadium, with the same scores from the last day of the 2005 season (I recognized Phillies 9, Nationals 3). Just upstairs from our seats in left field, there's a bar with a good dozen varieties of quality beer. If you were willing to wait in line, you could have your picture taken with the 2006 World Series trophy. And it's true: the Cardinals have really great fans; more people in the stands were wearing home team gear than anywhere I've ever been.
"A bad day at the ballpark beats a good day at the office," I'm fond of saying, and I'd be pretty pleased if I could call a ballpark like the new Busch my "third place." I just can't put it up there with the likes of Wrigley or the Yard, though. Miscellaneous thoughts and the ritual "Carl & Otis at the ballpark" photo after the jump.
As for the game itself: When we caught SportsCenter later that night, they remarked that coming into the game, Tim Hudson was 95-1 in games in which he was staked to a lead of three runs or more. And now he is 95-2. The Cards' half of the 5th was just one base hit after another, capped by Rolen's double and So Taguchi's pinch-hit sac fly that plated the effective winning run. Isringhausen did his best to make it interesting in the 9th, though it wasn't entirely his fault--Rolen made a great stop on a Francoeur grounder, but zinged it past Pujols, and luckily for the Cards it went into the stands. If it had rolled down the line, Teixeira could have scored from first and tied the game. Instead it was second and third and the slumping but still formidable Andruw Jones at the plate, but Isringhausen struck him out to end it.
For all the praise of Cardinals fans, we sure couldn't get them to chant "Larrr-ry" at Chipper Jones.
I paid $2.50 for an extremely crappy scorecard. Tiny boxes, tons of ads, and no spaces to put the pitchers. Continued evidence that there are some things MLB owners just don't get: you'd think they could make some of their most devoted fans happy by producing a scorecard that doesn't suck.
I bought the girls a kid-sized Pujols t-shirt, and a Fredbird doll, which Catie slept with last night. I'm annoyed at myself for not getting a Junction Jack doll in Houston last year; they'd have quite the little mascot collection going (they already have a Screech, of course).
Other St. Louis amusements: we attended the Festival of Nations and ate lots of yummy ethnic food, stopped by the Missouri History Museum, and hit The Lot music festival, where we enjoyed a set by the heretofore unknown Jonathan Cour (who did a stirring version of the Postal Service's "The District Sleeps Alone" along with his own quality material). Alas, we still did not go to the place that serves pig-snout sandwiches. One day.
Front-runners for next year's trip: Cincinnati, Chicago Sox, and Denver. Feel free to offer up your tickets or couch in the comments!
Very nice post by Dave Neiwert on being a stay-at-home dad. It's written in response to suggestions from some on the right that such fathers are somehow not masculine enough, and presumably unfit for discussing manly matters such as going to war in the Middle East for basically no reason. Predicatbly, some others on the right have responded to Dave's piece by saying he's somehow "protesting too much." These people would be at home in the world of Mike Judge's "Idiocracy."
Teh sports: Capital Punishment visits the Negro Leageus Baseball Museum. If you're like me, every time there's a marraige proposal on the JumboTron, you've kind of wanted to see something like this.
Teh music: John Denver = awesome. You read that right.
You know what strikes me as odd about this game, looking at the box score? (Odd, aside from, you know, the Rangers scoring a crapload of runs.) The Rangers made only one substitution, taking out Michael Young after 5 AB. You'd think after they'd built an 11-run lead, and with the second game coming up, they'd put some of their bench guys in there.
Yeah, good thing nobody listens to us dirty fucking hippies when it comes to the war in Iraq. Even today, the highly serious people are trotting out the same ol' arguments. Also, the war sucks, and the war sucks. And we put too many people in jail and spend too much money on it.
Look, I'm freakin' tired and stressed out. My apologies for this LFF being so poorly written (not that it's normally high prose). Just go read everything Digby's ever written. And if you don't read Cardboard Gods, perhaps you should.
UPDATE: Of late, when my posts show up in my Bloglines feed, link texts don't show up at all. So the first paragraph up there looks like this:
Yeah, good thing nobody listens to us
when it comes to the war in Iraq. Even today, the highly serious people are
I subscribe to over 90 blogs (yeah, I'm a dork and a goof-off), and FoolBlog is the only one that seems to have this problem. Anyone know what's going on?
Teh politics: Methinks the presidential candidates are spending way too much time and effort trying to sound tough, and it's frankly counter-productive. Also, our senator Jim Webb continues to be awesome.
I realize my daughter may kill me someday for posting this, but right now it's a chance I'm willing to take.
Teh politics: Boy howdy, President Bush is sure fond of vetoing bills that sound pretty good. Remember this next November, when we're hearing how the Democratic Congress didn't accomplish anything.
Teh sports: Cal Ripken was inducted into the Hall of Fame last weekend, and I'm somewhat incredulous that there are Nats fans who think the Post shouldn't have spent much effort covering it. Plenty of people, like this guy, followed Cal's career during all those years Washington, you know, didn't have a team.
About those Nats, I wish they'd actually done something at the trade deadline. One or two decent drafts doesn't mean you don't still need help.
Crazy-ass skateboarding video. Not for the squeamish, even if you know the guy was more or less OK.
I look forward to the Mighty Wurlitzer telling us how inappropriate it is to attempt to assign blame and point fingers while families are still grieving. That translates as "Let's not investigate this so that everyone will forget about it, and the conservatives who are by and large responsible can get away with it." Screw that. This country needs a wake-up call, and maybe this was it.
How about a bad beat story? Everybody loves those.
I played the free game at Sully's last night, and I had a very nice run of flushes and full houses to put together a big stack. I marshalled it well and kept rolling through the final table. When we got to heads-up, I was trailing, but not by much.
I'm on the big blind (10K), my opponent calls, and I check with J-7. The flop is 7-8-9, and we both check. The turn is a 10. Straight! Winner! I'm gonna rake! I play it cool and check; he bets 20K and I call. I figure I'll check-raise him on the river and make a killing.
So what's the worst possible thing that can happen on the river? It's a freakin' jack, and suddenly my jack-high straight that was going to put me in the lead is sitting out there for any idiot who happens to be in the hand. I check, and he bets 30K. I call, because I'm not about to be pushed out of what figures to be a split pot.
Hey, look at that. He has a queen.
So in a matter of seconds I go from thinking I'll win a huge pot, to thinking it's a split pot and a waste of time, to losing half my stack. It was all over about two hands later.
This is my third second-place finish at the free bar game; I have yet to win one. I really thought last night was going to be it. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.