Sunday, November 04, 2007

Picking My Brain 07-11-04

I'm concerned that the Mets are going to go after A-Rod. (That's Alex Rodriguez, a third baseman, and the highest paid player in baseball. If the Yankees wanted to keep him, they would have to fork over $350,000,000. (Did you know that the only reason his contract with the Yankees was as high as it was is because he insisted that he wanted to get paid twice as much as the next highest paid player? And now he thinks he deserves more?) I don't want him to wear a Mets uniform next year. Can he deliver on the home runs and RBIs? Of course he can, I have no doubt of that in my mind. It's just that he's not a team player, he's just a hired gun. And I don't think any player is worth that much money, especially when he chokes in the post season. A-Rod's post-season performance has been historically lacking. And the goal is to win the World Series, not just get ot the playoffs. The Mets should concentrate instead on fixing their pitching propblem, especially in the bullpen. We'll see what happens when the Winter Meetings come along.

I find it hard to believe that the nominee to be our nation's next Attorney General not only refuses to acknowledge that the interrogation technique known as "waterboarding" is torture (as several former Judge Advocates General said in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committe Chairman Pat Leahy), but that the Senate will likely confirm him thanks to such numbnuts as Sen Diane Feinstein and Sen Chuck Schumer (my own Senator). Just because the guy is from New York and was recommended by Schumer himself to the president is no excuse to stick by him anyway. The guy's clearly trying to keep the Bush Administration in the clear using bogus logic. He's using circular reasoning. "We don't torture. If waterboarding is torture, then we don't do it because we don't torture. But I can't tell you if waterboarding is torture." But when pressed if waterboarding was itself torture, he would respond, "If it is torutre, then we don't do it, because we don't torture." But notice that he's not saying we don't torture. (BTW, those are not precise quotes, just paraphrases of his reasoning. He may have actually said something close to that, but that's the gist.) Of course, if we truly never did waterboard anyone during our interrogations, then it would have very simple to say, "Waterboarding very definitely is torture, and we don't do it because it is." But he didn't. He said that if it is torture, then we're not doing it. That's not the same. Call your Senators and ask them to block this nomination, even though Bush would just recess appoint him anyway. Let him. Let it be another albatross around the Republicans' necks.

Finally, Barry Bonds, the man who used performance-enhancing drugs to break Hank Aaron's all-time MLB Home Run record told an interviewer that he would not go to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony if they display his record-breaking baseball with the asterisk branded on it by the man who bought it on e-bay and asked the fans what to do with it. He still feels that he did nothing wrong, and that he did not use any illegal substances. He has admitted that he has used a substance which he says was flaxseed oil, but that is only what the guy who gave it to him said it was, and Bonds didn't question it. Other players, however, who were given the same substance knew it was illegal. Bonds' ignorance was willful but not exculpatory. The record is still tainted, and Bonds is living in denial if he thinks otherwise.

My own feeling? Sure, induct him into the Hall of Fame, but only after he's dead. Same as for Pete Rose. Keep Rose's "lifetime ban" just that - his entire lifetime. Once Rose dies, they can put a plaque in there for him, too. But neither man should live to see the day when they are honored by being placed into the Hall of Fame. If we're lucky, maybe both men's accomplishments will have been surpassed by the time they die, and there won't be any need to induct them.

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