October 21, 2005

Mired in Miers

Posted in Random at 2:48 pm by antonello

From the NY Times via Dahlia Lithwick :

“You know, she’s a very gracious and funny person,” said Joshua B. Bolten, the director of the Office of Management and Budget whom Ms. Miers succeeded as deputy White House chief of staff in 2003. “I was racking my brain trying to think of something specific.”

In the next breath, Mr. Bolten recalled relaxing with her at Camp David. “She is a very good bowler,” he said. “For someone her size, she actually gets a lot of action out of the pins.”


October 20, 2005

Miers, a decoy?

Posted in Politics at 4:42 pm by antonello

A hypothetical scenario? 

With all of turmoil surrounding the administation, it was unlikely that Democrats would let any Bush candidate sail through a nomination process. A response could be to bring forward a clearly unqualified nominee with the expectation that the nominee would not be confirmed.   This leaves open an opportunity to bring a much more extreme nominee, who in comparison seems far more competent than Miers to Democrats and moderate Republicans as well as sating the more conservative wing of the Party.

An Ugly Precedent

Posted in Politics at 4:30 pm by antonello

From the NY Times today:

With this latest development in Florida combined with the recent concessions by the UAW, the health insurance crisis smolders.  As long as health insurance is a patchy blanket provided by private employers the crisis will only become more severe. 

Allowing Florida to limit contributions will not limit health costs.  Indeed, Medicare is routinely significantly cheaper than private insurance alternatives. 

It is only a matter of time before large manufacturers like GM and Delphi will encourage some sort of national health insurance.  An anathema to the right, no doubt, but some public / private partnership will happen; it’s a matter of time. 

October 19, 2005

Where Would I Not Tread?

Posted in Random at 3:26 pm by antonello

The North Korean government is currently giving out visas to American citizens for visiting the country

This is not an appealing place for me to go.  It does make me ask myself: what place would I least like to visit?  Top 5 list anyone?

October 12, 2005

Yanked out

Posted in Baseball at 4:19 pm by antonello

A day late, but still relevant. 

The Yankees loss on Monday was an inning after inning of wasted opportunities.  While you can get all het up about Joe West’s inteference call on Cano, the Bombers didn’t have it when it counted.  A-Rod and Matsui continued playing horrendously; Matsui stranded 8, and A-Rod weakly grounded into a double play that pretty much ended the season.

A-Rod has been getting a good deal of abuse for his implosion in the ALDS.  No doubt the man was not at his best. He never became the lethal, feared presence in the line-up the way Ortiz is, and his error in Game 2 was a turning point in the game, perhaps in the series. Yet to deny his tremendous season and to forget that last year’s ALDS (.421 AVG .476 OBP .737 SLG 2 SB) in favor of his failure here continues the trend of smearing Rodriguez at every possible opportunity.  Jeter hit .200 in last year’s ALCS, but it didn’t wipe out Jeter’s other successes. 

Sportswriting has a strange way of perpetuating certain stories, regardless of whether it is still true or actually substantaied by evidence.  The White Sox and smallball seem like another example of that.  There have been several articles explaining why this isn’t the case, yet Fox continues to on about it.  I yield to Nate Silver writing in Baseball Prospectus last week:

The White Sox are also an odd hybrid of a lineup. They’re far more dependant upon home runs than the press clippings would have you believe–about 40% of their run output on the season–and it’s hard to think of two players who less embody the speed and defense ethos than Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski do.

Bravo, Mr Silver, bravo.  I highly doubt this to penetrate the analysis over the next week, but we can dream 

The Team That Plays Together Stays Together

Posted in Random at 4:18 pm by antonello

The Vikings do their forebearers proud.

October 10, 2005

To Read

Posted in Random at 4:15 pm by antonello

This one.

October 7, 2005

The Ig Nobel Prize

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:04 pm by antonello

The Igs

October 3, 2005


Posted in Baseball at 7:55 pm by antonello

The 8 teams have been settled.  While the weekend promised a weekend of scintillating playoff possibilities, the final results were the least satisfying.  I suppose the possibility of Sox / Yanks rematch looms large, but I for one am unsure I could handle the agita.  Quick predictions

Sox v Sox

In the battle of Hose, the Red have to edge the Pale.  While the Chisox have downright effective defense and a damn good starting staff, the patient offense of the Red Sox will win out.  Of particular interest is which Schilling comes to play, though I was fascinated to see in Nate Silver’s article on Baseball Prospectus that Schilling’s BABIP for the season was .383. That says to me that Schilling may yet return to form for the run, which, I think, would be just what the Red Sox need to move onto the ALCS.  Boston in 4

Yanks vs Angels

This is not the match-up I was hoping for as a Yankee fan.  The Angels have played the Yankees well this year.  That said, the Yankees of the last month have been an entirely different team. For NYY, this series comes down to whether the Yankees offense can create enough runs to keep pressure off their pitchers and deliver leads to Gordon and Rivera.  The Angels have a very competent staff, but other than Guerrero, not much which strikes the Fear.  Yanks in 5 with a very tight game 5, with some starter coming in for relief . 

Cardinals v Padres

Cardinals in 4.  Peavy pitches one helluva game, but the Friars don’t have enough to give the Cardinals much of a fight.  Carpenter is ineffective leading questions about whether the Cardinals will be able to handle the NLCS.


Braves v Astros

Houston in 4.  Houston’s pitching will overwhelm a young Braves team.   Ensberg explodes for a big series, Killer B’s are quiet.