Saturday, August 8, 2009

Smorgasbord Saturday

A little politics, a little history, and a whole lot of baseball in today's smorgasbord...

First off, there has been some superb Minnick/health care reform coverage in the blogosphere of late and though I hope to write about it soon, here are two links in the meantime: Ridenbaugh on Minnick, competition, and health care and MountainGoat Report says Minnick was right on health care once upon a time, though no longer.

If the commentary meeting the news that Eunice Kennedy Shriver is in critical condition in a Massachusetts hospital is any indication of the state of politics today, this country is viscerally divided. Yesterday in a post I was reading about the series of strokes suffered by Eunice, those leaving comments wished her well and went so far as to say she deserves to be covered by health insurance, largely because they believe she is in some way better than most because of her conservative husband Sargent Shriver, but her brother, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D), does not. It is horribly unfortunate that those who oppose health care reform in this country must say such horrendous things about Ted Kennedy, a man fighting for his life. It is even more unfortunate that Eunice Kennedy Shriver, while "critically ill" and hospitalized, is still being overshadowed by those Kennedy boys. Eunice is one of the three remaining siblings of that second generation of Kennedys that included President Kennedy and presidential hopeful and Senator Bobby Kennedy. Apparently the entire family is at her side, including her son-in-law the Governor of California. Eunice is the eldest of the remaining Kennedys and just as talented and public service-minded as her political brothers. If this is the end for Eunice, may she go quickly and surrounded by those who love her.

An article on Ted Kennedy and his role in the campaign and election of President Obama caught my eye recently and I've been meaning to post this link. Check it out.

Media Matters appears to be keeping the heat on CNN and Lou Dobbs for Dobbs' continued fueling of the birther fire and the New York Times fired Ben Stein. These both seem to indicate that the general anger toward the mainstream media from middle of the road Americans is being answered. The right hates the liberal-leaning outlets like MSNBC and the left hates the right wing media like World Net Daily and Fox News, these are indisputable, but what seems to be lost in these battles are the opinions of moderate, centrist American viewers. It's good to see those who spread mistruths and in the case of Dobbs outright conspiracies being reigned in.

David Ortiz held his own steroid press conference today and it, like those that have come before, left quite a few questions. Ortiz contends that in 2003 when he participated in the voluntary and supposedly confidential drug survey to determine the actual perimeters of the steroid problem in Major League Baseball that he was taking various vitamin supplements and did not willingly consume a performance enhancing drug. Unfortunately for baseball and Ortiz, the fans have more or less looked away from this news which was first revealed by the New York Times a few weeks ago. Fans of the game have taken all they really can as the reaches of steroid influence in baseball come to light. Despite calls from Hall of Fame players like Hank Aaron, Major League Baseball has stated they do not have in their possession the list of 104 players who failed the drug test in 2003 and cannot release such a list due to this and the fact that any release of information would be going against court orders. It is unfortunate that these names are leaking out at the rate they are, often when such news is least expected, and damaging the image of the game.

In this afternoon's match up on Fox between the Red Sox and the Yankees, David Ortiz is being booed at Yankee Stadium at about the same rate as Ortiz is usually booed by Yankees fans. On the West coast, Manny seems to be booed everywhere except Dodger Stadium. Like I said, the steroid revelations that are all too often these days are doing nothing positive for the game's image.

Quite surprisingly, the Red Sox designated John Smoltz for assignment Friday after his disastrous start against the Yankees Thursday night. The talk around baseball is that John Smoltz may have just pitched his final game. Unfortunately, Braves fans that once idolized John Smoltz aren't feeling much sympathy for the pitcher with this news. The speculation surrounding Smoltz and whether or not he'd even be able to pitch when he returned from shoulder surgery is precisely why the Braves didn't offer him the money he wanted for this season. The Red Sox offered him the money he was looking for and the promise of more if he did come back from surgery and take the mound. It really seemed then that he was sore over the Braves thinking he'd never pitch again, but now that the Red Sox have designated him for assignment it doesn't seem the Braves were all that far off. And yet the reason people aren't feeling sorry for John Smoltz right now, a guy who a year ago in this situation would have been well thought of and highly sympathized with, is 100% greed. Smoltz was a lifer with the Braves. You don't sign with another team for your final year over a monetary value and hope your fans like you just the same.

A few more articles I would have liked to point to today, but this smorgasbord is already two hours in the making!

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