Nighty-Night, White Sox

So the Chicago White Sox finally managed to mathematically eliminate themselves last night by losing to the Oakland A’s. Way to back into it, guys. Holding the door to the post-season open to the Twins. I didn’t think such politeness was such a feature of the South Side, and of the Good Guys Wearing Black.

What a frustrating year. When the Sox were firing on all cylinders in midsummer, they were playing the kind of baseball I love: dominant pitching and defense, a little small-ball mixed in with a dramatic game-winning home run once in a while. But such consistency is beyond these guys apparently.

We can be grateful, though, that that former Macy’s balloon Manny Ramirez completely embarrassed himself with his lack of hitting in the final weeks. No temptation to sign him again, I trust. Brush up on your Japanese, Manny.

So this team might get broken apart when the season ends, which would be a shame. I like the make-up of the team. But I doubt they’ll let Paulie Konerko go. He’s such the complete face of the franchise that he should be carried off on a shield after giving up his final iota of strength. I hope they keep AJ, who always makes it interesting. Bobby Jenks? Yeah, probably time for him to move on; he’s had five seasons to show himself as not-a-headcase since the World Series, and with his other injuries, I’d say it’s time to look for another closer.

As a cap to the season, I’d like to offer a prayer for Sox fans to repeat to themselves when they kneel down by their beds tonight. Posted on Bardball last week, but that was premature. Or at least completely realistic.

Now we lay us down to sleep.
Who really thought that we could sweep?

We thought we had a chance at Central,
If Ozzie kept from going mental.

God, forgive us of our sins
And tell us why you made the Twins.

Tell us why we let go Thome,
Then brought in that dreadlocked phony.

Thank you for our newfound heroes,
For Edwin Jackson, Alex Rios,

Thank you for our older guard,
Thanks for Paulie going yard.

Please keep the squad from getting creaky.
Make sure A.J. keeps playing sneaky.

Now we’ll watch the Hawks and Bears,
Trying to ignore our fears

Of Kenny really signing Manny
And Ozzie going to Miami.

Tea Partiers Come Closer to Catching the Car They’re Barking After

From what I gather on some of the political websites, there’s been some kind of tectonic shift in American politics, now that some “Tea Party” candidates have ousted Republican favorites in some Senate and House Primaries. Katie, bar the door, and all that….

I haven’t paid any attention to the Tea Party movement for more than a year. At one time, they seemed like a genuine force to be reckoned with. But as certain “leaders” have emerged, they strike me as little more than telegenic nihilists. Not informed about how government operates, not interested that there can be more than one side to an argument, not particularly honest with the people whose emotions they have stoked and manipulated. They argue that having no government would almost be better than having the government we have now. (If you really think that having no government would create some kind of Rousseau-ian paradise, go visit places with failed governments like Yemen or Sudan, then come back and report.)

Hey, they wanna “throw da bums out”, that’s fine. That’s why we have the system.

But what kind of makes me sick is the way this is treated in the media, like these people are like Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys, swooping down at this particular time in history to reclaim this country. That’s the rhetoric of the movement, but now the trope is worming its way into news coverage about it.

This morning on NPR’s “Morning Edition” (which I was only half listening to), the reporter described the Tea Party movement as a robust threat to the Republican establishment. It was done in such an awestruck and admiring manner, that I had to think to myself:

“Would a serious movement from the left, challenging Democratic incumbents, have received such a glowing report? Or would a “Coffee Party” (or whatever) be treated as a ragtag bunch of crazies that want power and won’t know what to do with it when they get it?”

I think you know the answer. Which all goes back to the way the supposedly liberal elements of the media establishment are still an establishment, and treat conservative power with way more deference and analysis than it deserves. Conservative power is about one thing only: Power. Not good governance, not justice, not equality, not the future of the country. Just power, and holding onto it.

I’m not saying the Democrats can be trusted to act in ways that advance those ideals, or that they don’t crave power like a junkie. It’s just that I get tired of the media giving these Tea Party dress-up whores so much credit, and their government suitors any credibility. IT often looks like the Tea Partiers have stolen the keys to the family van, and are sitting up in a tree taunting the Republican officeholders, and the officeholders are making lots of cooing noises and waving candy hoping to get the keys back. Billionaires are funding the Tea Party movement and pulling the strings behind the candidates, and any doofuses in tri-corner hats who think that these backers have the fate of the average citizen in mind deserves the paddling he’s going to get.

It’s only going to get interesting again when some of these “reformers” get elected to office. But then, that’s me. I’m a cynic, but not a nihilist.

Bud Selig, on Bardball

I wrote this a couple weeks ago, but never posted it here. Thought some of you might like it.


Tons of money for the owners.
Ignorance of player-dopers.

More exploitative contract bids
For dirt-poor Caribbean kids.

A baseball classic for the world
Where U.S. players rarely hurled.

With anti-trust still holding fast,
Small-market teams still finish last.

Now, Milwaukee celebrates this schwanz
With a Selig statute cast in bronze.