Congratulations to the Phillies!

Now, I’m not going to say “I told you so”, but to every other baseball writer in the known universe (well, except Gammons, Stark and Crasnick), I say “Congratulations to the Phillies!”

Honestly, I had no real insight to why I picked the Phillies beyond a feel I had about the team (yeah, that is very anti-SABR and FJM would hate me), but here they are, celebrating on the field at Citizens’ Bank Park. I’m glad Philly won because after living in the city, I know that the city really needs something to feel good about, an the Phillies are definitely worth celebrating. And special congratulations to Jamie Moyer (as I told myself at the start of the playoffs, I’ll be picking up a Moyer t-shirt), who gets his World Series ring at the age of 46.


This election can’t come soon enough … and I mean it this time

I’ve caught some flak for the tone of my voter suppression post, and to an extent, I agree. I was definitely caught up in the partisan rhetoric, and I probably hate that more than I hate voter suppression. It is that partisan garbage that is what is tearing this country apart, and instead of trying to rise above that and just making sure that people know what to do if challenged, I got all partisan upside your head. That, itself, is wrong. This isn’t about parties and divisions, this is about your right to vote as an American, liberal or conservative. 

So, remember:

  • Your vote is guaranteed.
  • Be sure to get a provisional ballot if challenged.
  • Bring ID.
  • Contact 1-866-OUR-VOTE and/or the local media if you are hassled or challenged, inside or outside the polling place.

And don’t get caught up with all the partisan nonsense. It just makes this country come apart even more, and doesn’t add to, well, anything. It is YOUR VOTE, not a party’s.

Sarah Palin, the hypocrite, also likes to “spread the wealth”

Hmmm. Who is the socialist now, Ms. Palin?

A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”

The Republicans really need to vet their candidates, eh?

Don’t let Republican thugs stop you from voting

I’m getting really fed up with Republican attempts to suppress voting. For a party that claims to profess to “loving freedom”, they seem to revel in the idea of preventing honest Americans from voting, a right guaranteed in the Constitution. Not only do they put the onus on the citizen to prove themselves, but they also spread lies about what happens when you are challenged.

The fact is NO ONE CAN TAKE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE AWAY. No one. Not that GOP thug waiting at the door of the polling place. Not the person at the table when you check in. NO ONE. If someone challenges you, you challenge them right now. Make sure they are an official challenge and ask to see ID. Take their name and address down so you can report them. Demand a provisional ballot right away and report this fascist behavior to the local media so they know that people want to take your rights away. You can also contact the Voter Suppression Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Do not take “No” for an answer. If you want to be sure that you are OK, bring your ID and a utility bill (or the like) to prove your identity but this is NOT needed to cast a provisional ballot. Do not doubt the desire of the right to stop you from votingThis is your country, not theirs, and although they will try anything to stop voter turnout, you have the power to tell them to take their challenge and shove it.

The Intellectual Thicket Endorsements

Yes, I know you’ve all be responding “undecided” to the pollsters until you could see who I support, so without further ado …

(Note: This works for all the races in Winters, CA, where I vote).

President/Vice President of the USA: Barack Obama/Joe Biden (D):

If this isn’t a “gimme”, I don’t know what is. The last month has shown us that Obama has the temperament and intelligence to be a strong leader, while John McCain, well, sort of looks crazy. Beyond that, this country needs a fresh start after the 8 years that have been the disastrous Bush Administration.

U.S. Representative (District 1): Mike Thompson (D): My endorsement here is mostly because Rep. Thompson’s office was very responsive when I was having trouble with passport issues. I appreciated the help from my local representative to the House.

State Representative: Lois Wolk (D)

Rep. to State Assembly: Mariko Yamada (D)

Proposition 1A (High Speed Rail): Yes: OK, it might be overly ambitious in the economic times we find ourselves, but we need grand projects like this to get us out of the Eisenhower highway mentality.

Proposition 2 (Cage-free Farm Animals): Yes: I think it is easy to see why paying a few cents more per egg is worth letting a chicken live in a space bigger than a sheet of paper.

Proposition 3 (Children’s Hospital $): No: One of the many “give us money” propositions that pop up each year that are unnecessary and not well-thought-out.

Proposition 4 (Waiting Period for Minors seeking Abortions): No: Not only is this just an attempt to end-run Roe v. Wade, it is also dangerous and illogical.

Proposition 5 (Nonviolent Offenders Rehabilitation Act): Yes: Reduce jail time for minor non-violent drug offenses? Heck, we need to go whole hog and decriminalize a lot of this stuff. This of the money we’d save if we weren’t jailing everyone who is caught with pot.

Proposition 6 ($ for Law Enforcement): No: See Prop. 3

Proposition 7 (Renewal Energy by 2025): No: Surprised? Well, the law is cumbersome and not well-conceived. Also, when the Green Party is against something like this, we know it has problems.

Proposition 8 (Same Sex Marriage Ban): NO:

Talk about insanity. Let’s not start taking away people’s rights, OK?

Proposition 9 (Victim’s Rights): No: Unnecessary legislation that mostly already exists.

Proposition 10 (Alternative Fuels): No: Again, surprised? This is the “Pickens” proposition for Natural Gas, which oddly, is what T. Boone Pickens owns a great deal of. I suppose in the business world, we would call this “synergy” eh? Sierra Club opposes this, so, again, something must be fishy.

Proposition 11 (Redistricting California): Yes: Here is where I break away from most liberals in California. I am for changing the way redistricting occurs mostly because we need a method that at least attempts to take control from the party system. I’d be more for this if it got rid of all party-based criteria to begin with, but that is a pipedream.

Proposition 12 (Veterans’ Funds): Yes: California has voted “yes” for this since 1922, so who am I to argue?

That was even worse for the Phils

So, I reran the Diamond Mind Online simulations of the Rays-Phils World Series with the new knowledge of the Rays rotation order, and well, Joe Maddon might be onto something.

This time, the Rays easily dispatched the Phils 4-1. The MVP was Evan Longoria, who crushed Phillies when it counted. Akonori Iwamura also had a good series, hitting over .400.

Quick Game Summaries:

Game 1: Philadelphia 4 – Tampa 0

  • W: Cole Hamels (9 IP/0 ER/8 K); L: Kazmir (6 IP/3 ER/8 K)
  • Jimmy Rollins: 2/5, RBI; Victorino 3/4, RBI. Hamels was dominant.
Game 2: Tampa 5 – Philadelphia 4
  • W: Chad Bradford; L: Chad Durbin; Sv: David Price.
  • Starters: Brett Myers 7 IP/0 ER/8 K; James Shields 7 IP/3 ER/10 K. The Philly bullpen imploded in the 8th, giving up a 2R pinch-hit HR to Rocco Baldelli.
  • B.J. Upton 2/4, RBI; Jayson Werth 1/4, 2 RBI; Pat Burrell 1/4 HR; Shane Victorino 1/4 HR
Game 3: Tampa 6 – Philadelphia 2
  • W: Matt Garza (6.2 IP/2 ER/7 K); L: Jamie Moyer (4.2 IP/5 ER/4 K); Sv: David Price
  • Akinori Iwamura 4/5, 2R; B.J. Upton 3/5, RBI; Dioner Navarro 1/3, 2 RBI; Victorino and Chase Utley, 2 H each. Moyer came unglued in the 5th, throwing 2 WP.
Game 4: Tampa 9 – Philadelphia 6 (Tampa leads 3-1)
  • W: Andrew Sonnanstine (5.1 IP/5 ER/5 K); L: Joe Blanton (2.0 IP/6 ER/1 K)
  • 2 IP of 0 ER relief from J.A. Happ and Ryan Madson; 3 IP of 1 ER relief from Grant Balfour.
  • Evan Longoria 2/3, 2 HR, 5 RBI; Carlos Pena 2/4, 3R, 3 RBI, HR; Iwamura 2/4; HR for Howard in 9th. Blanton was terrible.
Game 5: Tampa 3 – Philadelphia 1 (Tampa wins Series 4-1)
  • W: Kazmir (6.1 IP/1 ER/13 K); L: Cole Hamels (7 IP/3 ER/10 K); Sv: David Price
  • Longoria 2/4 RBI; Iwamura 2/5; Upton 2/5; Rollins 2/5; Feliz 1/4 HR. Kazmir struck out the first 11 batters he faced. Hamels was good, but not good enough.
If anything can be culled from this is that Philadelphia might strike its way out of the championship. The K totals for the Tampa starters: 8, 10, 7, 5, 13. Not pretty.

Simulated Phils don’t fare as well as I’d like

So, in my quest to not make my World Series pick based on gut and heart alone, I decided to simulate the World Series using Diamond Mind Online. Unfortunately for the Phillies, it doesn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

Tampa won the series 4-3 for their first World Series championship. The Series MVP was none other than James Shields, who won games 3 and 7.

NOTE 10/20/08: Of course, the minute I did this, I read that Kazmir will start game 1. I will redo the sims considering Tampa’s revised rotation. Bah!

For your entertainment, here are the summaries of the 7 game series (remember, games 1,2,6,7 in Tampa and games 3-5 in Philadelphia):

Game 1: Tampa 6 – Philadelphia 4 (Tampa leads 1-0)

  • W: Edwin Jackson; L: Chad Durbin; Sv: David Price
  • Summary: Philly starter Cole Hamels was not at his sharpest, giving up 4 ER in 5.1 IP with 5K. Tampa starter Andrew Sonnanstine didn’t fare much better, surrendering 4 ER in 6.1 IP with 4K. Ryan Howard did put the Phillies ahead at one point with a HR, while Greg Dobbs went 2/4. However, that was no match for B.J. Upton, who went 3/4 with 2 HR and 4 RBI.
Game 2: Philadelphia 7 – Tampa 4 (Tied 1-1)
  • W: Brett Myers; L: Scott Kazmir
  • Summary: Brett Myers took over as the Philadelphia ace, throwing 6.1 innings with 3 ER and 7 K, holding Tampa off balance. On the flipside, Scott Kazmir imploded in the first inning, giving up 4 ER, but he did end up hanging around for 5 innings, giving up 5 ER with 3 BB and 6 K. Philly closer Brad Lidge gave up a 9th inning HR to Evan Longoria, too. Shane Victorino got 2 H and scored 2 R, while Pedro Feliz drove in 2 on 0 H.
Game 3: Tampa 4 – Philadelphia 2 (Tampa leads 2-1)
  • W: James Shields; L: Ryan Madson: Sv: David Price
  • Summary: James Shields was nearly outpitched by Jamie Moyer, both going 6 IP and giving up 2 ER (with Shields striking out 5 to Moyer’s 0), but Shields came out with the win when Ryan Madson gave up a PH HR to Eric Hinske. Chad Bradford added 2 innings of 0 H, 2K relief. The only real offense for Philly consisted of Pedro Feliz’s HR as they floundered at home.
Game 4: Tampa 5 – Philadelphia 3 (Tampa lead 3-1)
  • W: Chad Bradford; L: Chad Durbin; Sv: David Price
  • Summary: The Philadelphia bullpen blew another game, this time Chad Durbin did the damage, giving up a big 2 run hit to Jason Bartlett in the top of the 9th. Evan Longoria hit a HR earlier off Philly starter Joe Blanton, who went 6 innings and gave up 2 ER with 4 K. Matt Garza was good, but not great, allowing 3 ER in 6 IP with 4 K, while David Price racked up his third save. The Phillies got 2 RBI from Pat Burrell and 2 H from Shane Victorino.
Game 5: Philadelphia 10 – Tampa 2 (Tampa leads 3-2)
  • W: Cole Hamels; L: Andrew Sonnanstine
  • Summary: This was the type of game that Philly hoped it would get at home, it only took 2 games to get there. Ryan Howard also finally decided to show up, going 3/4 with 3 RBI and a HR. Jayson Werth added 2 RBI, 3 H and a HR, while Pedro Feliz went deep for his own 2R HR. Cole Hamels pitched well, striking out 11 over 6 IP with 1 ER and Sonnanstine fared poorly, giving up 5 ER in 4 IP. Carlos Pena was one bright spot for Tampa, going 2/4 with 2 doubles.
Game 6: Philadelphia 4 – Tampa 2 (Tied 3-3)
  • W: Brett Myers; L: Scott Kazmir; Sv: Brad Lidge
  • Summary: Scott Kazmir got bombed again, lasting only 4.2 IP, yielding 4 ER with 7 BB and 5 K. The biggest hit was Geoff Jenkins grand slam after Kazmir walked the bases loaded. Pedro Feliz also went 3/4. Brett Myers again pitched well, 6 IP with 2 ER and 5K. Carl Crawford went 2/4 and Longoria drove in a run in the losing effort.
Game 7: Tampa 4 – Philadelphia 1 (Tampa wins 4-3)
  • W: James Shields; L: Jamie Moyer; Sv: Chad Bradford
  • Summary: James Shields decided to take Tampa all the way to the top, coming 2 outs from a CG, striking out 7 and allowing only 1 ER. Chad Bradford came in to get the save and finish Tampa’s World Series run. The big hit was Rocco Baldelli’s 2R HR off Jamie Moyer, who performed admirably, allowing 3 ER in 6 IP with 2K. Philadelphia did get on base a lot, with Burrell, Utley and Victorino all getting 2 H, but none would score except for Burrell on a solo HR. If anything killed the Phillies chances to win the Series is Jimmy Rollins inability to get on base most of the Series.
So, there you have it. My heart says Philly will win, but Tampa does seem like a better team on paper. In any case, sounds like an exciting series.