Sunday, May 28, 2006

Bonds Hits No. 715 to Pass Babe Ruth.

Barry Bonds has moved past Babe Ruth and into second place on major league baseball's all-time home run list by hitting his 715th home run. The historic blast was a two-run bomb to the center field bleachers at Lefty O'Doul Stadium (hat tip to Miss Templeton) in the bottom of the fourth inning off of former Red Sox disaster Byung-Hyun Kim, with the Colorado Rockies leading 6-0. Bonds now trails Henry Aaron who hit 755 from 1954-1976 with the Braves and Brewers (and also trails Sadaharu Oh who hit 868 in his career with the Tokyo Giants in the Japanese Central league for the all-time professional record).

Added Red Sox note: The Sox nearly squandered a 5-0 lead as Terry Francona stupidly took starter Tim Wakefield out after the 8th inning. Relievers Rudy Seanez and Julian Tavarez threw up all over the mound with walks and wild pitches aplenty, and a perfect throw from left fielder Willie Harris to cut down speedster Joey Gathright at the plate on a two-out single by Carl Crawford was needed to stop the collapse. Final score: 5-4 Red Sox. The Sox now head north to play a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Curt Schilling Gets 200th Career Win. 78-15?

Curt Schilling earned his 200th career win last night as the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-4. Schilling, who is now 8-2 on the season, allowed four runs and eight hits while striking out seven. Trot Nixon had a big bases-loaded double to drive in two runs after an intentional walk to David Ortiz as part of the Red Sox four-run second inning to help Schilling's cause. The lineup was a strange one that had third baseman turned first baseman Kevin Youkilis playing left field for Manny Ramirez (sore back), and that had JT Snow, who has had little playing time this season, at first base. Alex Cora replaced regular shortstop Alex Gonzalez as well, in what appeared to be manager Terry Francona's attempt to imitate former manager Jim-Why Williams. All turned out well despite the strange moves. The win was the third in a row in the four-game series for the Sox. The series finale gets underway this afternoon with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield matched up against tall (6-foot-9) lefty Mark Hendrickson.

In other Sox news, lefty David Wells, who took a line drive off his right knee in Friday night's game, claims he may not have to miss his next scheduled start, as his MRI revealed nothing more serious than a bruise. And outfielder Coco Crisp, who is rehabbing with the AAA Pawtucket affiliate, may be back in action this week. Now Terry Francona just needs to find a place to play him. Wily Mo Pena has done a good job in center field, and, even though he still strikes out too much, has been hitting well, and driving in runs. Other questions: Will Crisp go back to the leadoff spot? If so, what to do with Kevin Youkilis, who has done a fantastic job there? If not, where DO you bat Crisp?

3:00 PM Update: Coco was activated for today's game and is batting leadoff and playing center field. Wily Mo Pena has been placed on the disabled list with a bad wrist. Manny is out for the second straight game, adding a knee problem to his back twinges. Willie Harris is playing left field in his place this afternoon. Kevin Youkilis is back at first base and batting cleanup. Also, ace setup man Mike Timlin has also been placed on the DL with a strained shoulder. Young righty fireballer Manny Delcarmen has been recalled from Pawtucket to take Timlin's place on the roster. That seems to be all for now...The Sox just went ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning on Trot Nixon's bases-loaded walk...

Unrelated note: 78-15 was the Senate vote to confirm former NSA head General Hayden (R - Nazi) to become the new head of the CIA. Nice. Not that it would have made a difference even if all the Democrats voted against him, but when the Preznit has a 29% approval rating, you don't continue to lay down and keep giving the fool a blank check every time he demands one. And what about the seven Senators who didn't cast a vote in this matter? What could these assholes have had to do that was more important than this on Friday? And people wonder why I'm a political pessimist...

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Bush Orders FBI to Stand Down in Jefferson Bribery Bust.

While the connection window is still open, I'm going to make up for some lost time with my take on the story of William Jefferson's bribery bust, it's relationship to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R - Slob) and Preznit Flight Suit Fantasy telling the FBI to stand down. Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

WASHINGTON - President Bush stepped into a confrontation between the Justice Department and Congress on Thursday, ordering that documents seized in an FBI raid on a lawmaker's office be sealed for 45 days.

His spokesman also labeled as "false, false, false" charges that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' department had tried to intimidate Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

In an effort to defuse an intensifying, election-year dispute between the Republican-led Congress and his administration, Bush, facing growing complaints from lawmakers in both parties that he has abused presidential powers, called for a cooling-off period.

"Our government has not faced such a dilemma in more than two centuries," he said in a statement. "Yet after days of discussions, it is clear these differences will require more time to be worked out."

Bush granted one of Hastert's demands, directing the FBI to surrender documents and computerized records taken last weekend from the office of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La. He ordered Solicitor General Paul Clement, who has a separate office in the Justice Department, to take custody of them.

The president said
(apparently with a straight face...) no one is above the law and that he continued to support the investigation of Jefferson. The eight-term congressman is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars to facilitate a telephone investment deal in Africa.

"Those who violate the law — including a member of Congress — should and will be held to account," the president said. "This investigation will go forward and justice will be served."

Gonzales said the move provides "time to reach a permanent solution that allows this investigation to continue while accommodating the concerns of certain members of Congress."

The FBI said it would comply with Bush's order.

Jefferson called the order "a good first step but ultimately, the answer would be to return the documents."

The time-out came five days after the FBI, acting on a search warrant signed a week ago by a federal judge, raided Jefferson's office as part of the bribery investigation.

In an affidavit supporting the search warrant, the FBI said it had videotaped Jefferson last summer taking $100,000 in bribe money and that agents had found $90,000 of that cash stuffed in a freezer in his home.

Okay, that's enough. First of all, why on Earth, Mars, Venus or any other planet would you, if your money was legitimate, hide it in a goddamned freezer? I'd never heard of Jefferson (D - Idiot) before, but, unless he has one hell of a good excuse for hiding his money in such a Goodfellas manner, he looks guilty as hell and should resign immediately. Hastert looks like he is in bad trouble too as the Abramoff mess looks as if it is going to crush him. ABC News should call the fat bastard's bluff and force him to defend himself in a public forum. Unfortunately, with Dubya stepping in like this, such a prospect appears as likely as my taking Keira Knightley out on the town for a night of dinner and dancing...

Second, why, when the Preznit is pushing for NSA Spy-Nazi General Hayden to become head of the CIA to more effectively snoop into the personal lives of every American citizen, are we seeing this crooked son of a bitch bend over backwards to help a Congressman break the law? Apparently, to paraphrase Leona Helmsley, the laws are "only for the little people".

I guess it just goes to show that, even with the good news of the Lay-Skilling conviction, we still have a lot of work to do to make these rotten excuses for leaders wake up to the fact that they work for us, not the other way around.

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Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling Found Guilty in Enron Trial!

This story is too hot to ignore, even with my lousy connection. By now you've probably heard that Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were found guilty today in the Enron trial. Good times! Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:

HOUSTON - Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted of conspiracy and fraud Thursday by a federal jury that laid blame for one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history squarely on Enron Corp.'s two former top executives.

Jurors found that the men, who received tens of millions in pay and stock options, repeatedly lied to cover up accounting tricks and business failures that led to the company's 2001 demise. The collapse wiped out more than $60 billion in market value, almost $2.1 billion in pension plans and 5,600 jobs.

The verdict came in the sixth day of deliberations following a criminal trial that lasted nearly four months. Lay was also convicted of bank fraud and making false statements to banks in a separate, non-jury trial before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake related to Lay's personal finances.

Lay was convicted on all six counts of conspiracy, securities and wire fraud against him in the corporate trial and all four in the personal banking trial. Former Chief Executive Skilling was convicted on 19 of the 28 counts in the corporate trial, including one count of insider trading, and acquitted on the remaining nine.

Lake set sentencing for Sept. 11. The charges against Lay, who is 64, carry a maximum penalty in prison of 45 years for the corporate trial and 120 years in the personal banking trial. The charges against Skilling, 52, carry a maximum penalty of 185 years in prison.

The sentencing will come five years almost to the day after Skilling sold 500,000 shares of Enron stock for $15.5 million, for which he was convicted of insider trading.

Wow! Theoretically, Lay is looking at 165 years and Skilling is looking at 185! Sort of makes one wish that humans had lifespans of 250 years, doesn't it? Maybe now the date 9/11 will come to have a different meaning -- one that signified that justice was done in bringing these rotten sons of bitches to their knees for the crimes they committed.

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Wage-Slavery Organization Softball Update. Red Sox Update.

Wage-Slavery Organization Softball

Seeing as how I'm still otherly abled vis-a-vis my connection, and due to some recent family obligations I haven't had a lot of time to scroll through the news (stuff like NSA spy Nazi General Hayden becoming head of the CIA and whatnot) I figured I;d take the lazy way out and throw out a sample of my most recent wage-slavery organization softball team game recap in this early morning post. From Tuesday night's victory:

Hola Nighthawks,

We are now 2-0 on the young season after yesterday’s 8-4 victory over Vandelay Industries as the Medway VFW field. After giving up a single run in the top of the first inning, our bats answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame to take a lead we would never relinquish.

Randy Pendexter led off the inning with a double and scored on Mike Rose’s hit. Rositi then scored when Dave Hall hit a slicing drive down the left field line for a two-run inside the park home run. Two more runs came across in the second inning on consecutive hits by John Barranco, Gary Bastarache and Brian Labossiere.

After a scoreless third, Vandelay came back with a single run in the top of the fourth to make it 5-2. We answered back with two more runs in the bottom of the inning on a leadoff single by yours truly, a double down the left field line by Kathy Cantara and base hits by John Barranco and Brian Labossiere to make it 7-2. Vandelay struck back with another run in the top of the fifth to make it 7-3. Our final run came in the bottom of the sixth courtesy of hits by Dan Glickman and Keith and Kathy Cantara. Vandelay scored another run in the top of the seventh for the 8-4 final score.

Fact: Derrek Lee of the Chicago Cubs won the National League batting title last year with a .335 batting average. Derrek also struck out 109 times while doing so. The 109 whiffs now place Lee as the batter with the most strikeouts ever for a player who led his league in batting average. Lee displaces Dave Parker who hit .338 with 107 strikeouts in 1977 for the Pittsburgh Pirates. As a side note, Babe Ruth is the only player who ever led his league in batting average and strikeouts in the same season. He accomplished this in 1924 when he hit .378 with 81 strikeouts as a member of the Yankees.

Offensive stars were Dave Hall with his inside the park homer, and Kathy Cantara who added a single to the big double she smacked in the second inning.

Gary "GB" Bastarache started on the mound and kept the Vandelay bats off balance for most of the game. The defensive play of the game came, when, at one point with Vandelay runners on first and third, a single to right ended up in Dan Glickman’s glove. Dan threw toward third to get the runner from first and his throw glanced off the runner and went right to Mike Rose at third, who applied the tag for the out. Just like they drew it up on the board!

Late in the game, GB, playing second base while Mike Rose took over on the mound, went out to shallow right for a popup, only to be greeted by a hard-charging Dan Glickman, also in hot pursuit of the ball. The two managed to avoid a catastrophic collision at the last second, as GB held on to the ball as he went to the ground, and reports only a slight bit of discomfort with his right thumb.

A special kudo goes to Eric Wornham who pulled double duty having also played in the early Knuckledraggers - Bar Tab Legends game to help out one of the short-handed teams.

View From The Bar: After the victory, we headed back to the friendlier confines of Cornell’s for some cold brews, pizza and chicken tenders. Dario "I’m not an effing school teacher" Palombo was at the side door to greet me after he apparently trudged through the woods to park his car, just as I pulled into one of the three easy access parking spaces that happened to be freed up.

Tovah was there to greet us as we made our entrances, and we soon spied the six-foot-two blonde from the Soccer Moms/Desperate Housewives from last season. We tried to nudge John Barranco to go back over to her for him to demonstrate his improved massage technique, but Johnny was pretending to be shy. Too bad John. The memory of Dario’s brother Paul stealing your thunder last summer must still be a stinging point. Maybe next week?

Ryan Deluca of the Blue Devils brought up what seems to be an emerging problem in the early part of the season. Apparently the youth soccer league has been running overtime and this caused Ryan’s game to begin late and the game ended in a tie. It seems that the guy running that show is a piece of rework, and I’ve been told that we had a hard time getting him to get his act off the field before our first game last week. It appears, from the tone of the conversation, that a Code Red is in store for this chump if he keeps this nonsense up.

Item! Mike Rose and Linda Picard are engaged to be married! Congratulations to the happy couple. Rumor has it that Dario has, once again, been asked to be a flower girl. Also, a late shout of congratulations to Brian Labossiere and his wife Nicole, who got married a few weeks ago and celebrated the nuptials with a trip to Cancun.

Wednesday Morning Random Ten:
Buried Alive By Love - H.I.M.
You Kill Me - Glenn Hughes
Sick of Myself - Matthew Sweet
Beautiful Emptiness - After Forever
Anger - Elis
Arcadia - Ten
Days of Confusion - Starbreaker
The Carpenter - Nightwish
Desecration of Souls - Mercyful Fate
Spirit World - John Norum

Well, that seems to be all for now. The next game is scheduled for Thursday June 1st at 5:45 at Cornell’s against the Berzerkers.



Red Sox Update

The Red Sox lost to the hated New York Yankees last night at Fenway Park 8-6 to drop two out of three in this series. The Sox knocked Randy Johnson around again, getting to him for five runs and nine hits in his five innings, including a two-run homer by Manny Ramirez (one of two he hit in the game). Unfortunately, Sox starter Matt Clement was plagued by his usual inconsistency as the Yanks got to him for all eight of their runs before manager Terry Francona woke up from his nap and removed Clement in the middle of the fifth inning.

The Sox are still in first place by 1/2 game over the Pinstripes. They welcome the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for a four-game series that begins tonight and runs through the weekend.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Findings in Human Evolution.

There is new information the examination of human evolution and how it relates to the divergence between us and chimpanzees. Reuters News excerpt:

LONDON (Reuters) - Humans' evolutionary split from their closest relatives, chimpanzees, may have been more complicated, taken longer and probably occurred more recently than previously thought, scientists said on Wednesday.

After comparing the genomes, or genetic codes, of the two species they suggest the initial split took place no more than 6.3 million years ago and probably less than 5.4 million years ago. The process of separation may have taken about 4 million years and there could have been some inter-breeding before the final break.

"The study gave unexpected results about how we separated from our closest relatives, the chimpanzees," said David Reich of the Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School's Department of Genetics in Massachusetts.

Instead of analyzing genetic differences between humans and chimpanzees, Reich and researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT looked at variations in the degree of divergence between the two in different regions of the genomes.

The analysis, published in the journal Nature, shows some regions in the human genome are older than others which means they trace back to different times in the common ancestral population of the two species.

This apparently means that the split wasn't a "clean" one, but rather that the two species, as they diverged, most likely continued to intermingle. That would have likely resulted in a fertile hybrid that has been long since lost in the shadows of time. This is a truly fascinating possibility, one that will likely rankle the minds of people like the one profiled in my previous post.

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Pat Robertson - God's Weatherman.

I'm back for a brief post while I have my "Slowski" access going. Let's see, Pat Robertson has now shifted his particular brand of religious insanity to matters climatalogical with his new claim that God told him that the American coastline will be struck by storms and maybe even a tsunami this year. AOL News excerpt:

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (May 18) - In another in a series of notable pronouncements, religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says God told him storms and possibly a tsunami will hit America's coastline this year.

Robertson said the revelations about this year's weather came to him during his annual personal prayer retreat in January.

"If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," Robertson said May 8. On Wednesday, he added, "There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest."

Robertson has come under intense criticism in recent months for suggesting that American agents should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip.

Why does anybody pay attention to this lunatic? It's not bad enough that he mocks and calls for the elimination of the leaders of nations he chooses to dislike, but now he claims to be able to predict the weather. The surprise here is that he didn't come out and blame these upcoming events on gay marriage.

The funny thing, if this type of thing can be regarded as funny, is that a scenario such as this is supported by the Global Warming model. If the Earth is truly warming, the moisture that evaporates into the atmosphere from the polar ice caps has to go somewhere, and indeed, it has. My neck of the woods just endured 18 inches of rain in eight days. Too bad Al Gore was such a phony bastard...

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Salute to Julio Franco. Red Sox -Yankees Action in the Bronx.

Hola amigos. I'm still having intermittent success with my connection, so while I have contact I figure I might as well make the most of it by posting something. Here goes...

As part of my daily web surfing I always stop off at, and while there I usually check out Bartcop Sports. I occasionally play the Guess the Athlete game that is usually featured every week, and I usually do well at guessing the baseball players. However, this week I was late in tuning in and had to endure Patriots2K being the first to identify Julio Franco, now a 47-year-old utility man for the New York Mets, but pictured in a pose for a baseball card as a Cleveland Indian (circa 1983?).

Well, I had to do something, so I added some useless Franco trivia to the mix. Franco has, since 1978 when he began his professional baseball career, managed to get 3,921 base hits entering this season.

Here's the rundown:

* 618 hits from 1978-1982 as a Philadelphia Phillies farmhand.
* 2,521 hits in the Major Leagues as a member of the Phillies, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves (Franco did appear in one game with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999 with no hits).
* 316 hits in two Mexican League seasons with the Mexico City Tigres. In 1999 he had 138 hits and a .423 batting average. In 2001 he had 178 hits and a .437 batting mark.
* 286 hits in the Japanese Pacific League as a member of the Chiba Lotte Orions (145 in 1995 and 141 in 1998).
* 156 hits as a member of the Samsung club in Korea in 2000.
* 16 hits in six Division Series with the Indians and the Braves.
* Six hits in the 2001 NL Championship Series with the Braves.
* Two hits in his two All-Star Game appearances.

Franco started the 2006 season 79 hits shy of the 4,000 mark. It seems unlikely that he'll get there this season (his last four seasons with the Braves saw him get 96, 58, 99 and 64 respectively. His primary defensive position these days is first base, and since the Mets have Carlos Delgado locked in over there, it appears most of Franco's time will be spent as a pinch-hitter. But since Franco has stated a desire to play until he is 50 (he turns 48 in August), it is likely that he will achieve this milestone, albeit to little fanfare. Too bad. He is truly baseball's wandering warrior.

The Red Sox just went head 3-2 in the first game of a three-game series against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium in the third inning. The Sox have won five of their last six. Sox starter Josh Beckett got behind early giving up a two-run homer to Jason Giambi, but is starting to settle down. Randy Johnson's wildness, Alex Rodriguez's sloppy defense and a timely hit from Manny Ramirez contributed to the sudden change in events. But this one is far from over so stay tuned!