Anyway, here we go:
* Admittedly, I’m not a fan of Salon.com “sports” columnist King Kaufman. It’s nothing personal and sometimes I believe he has decent insight, but because he doesn’t go in the clubhouse or locker room and never has to face the subjects he writes about, well, what’s the point?
Regardless, I am a semi-regular reader of his work, which means I must like something about it. Like this story where Kaufman applauds the voters of Seattle for not agreeing to corporate welfare – why should taxpayers foot the bill for stadiums and arenas they will likely be priced out of?
Certainly my point of view is trite, but no one has ever answered the question. Why do regular folks have to foot the bill for multi-millionaires just for the pleasure to watch a game or to line someone else's pockets?
Take, for instance, the situation in my hometown where a business group and some local government types want to build a convention center and hotel next the town square. Sure, they keep repeating about how it’s a guaranteed success and will re-shape the town, but for some reason they can’t do it without a handout from the taxpayers.
If it’s supposed to be such as success as they say it is, how come they can’t put out their own money for the project?
Again, it’s trite and basic, but how come no one will answer why they need my money?
* Rich Hofmann is the columnist with all of the answers… well, not really, but of everyone in the Philadelphia sports media, Rich is far and away the smartest guy out there (sorry, Marcus). I’m not sure if that’s a compliment for Rich or a knock on me for not getting out there and meeting more people, but it’s always a treat to read what kind of stuff ol’ Rich comes up with.
Anyway, in this one Rich writes that the Phillies might be better served getting someone to hold their late-inning leads rather than a hitter to help them score 10 runs when six will do.
The idea, of course, is “protection” for Ryan Howard in the middle of the lineup. But really, how much protection does Howard need? He hit 58 home runs with 149 RBIs – what difference would someone like Alfonso Soriano make?
How about this: Howard could strike out less than 181 times next season. If he does that he’ll be such a huge threat that the Phillies will have to get him some “protection” because no one will want to pitch to him.
* On another note, Howard was in Japan and ate some sushi with Chase Utley. He didn’t hold his nose and plop it in his mouth and chew with his eyes closed or anything.
He also hit a lot of home runs.
I imagine the sushi in Fukuoka is a lot different than the stuff we get at the Ginmiya House here in Lancaster.
* Slate, the online magazine, examines if U2 or REM were the top ‘80s band. Without even reading the story I’ll say it’s U2 and not because I think they are particularly good or Bono is the noble rocker or whatever. It’s because REM is awful.
REM’s awfulness didn’t used to be the case, of course. In fact, there were a handful of years at the end of the 1980s to the early ‘90s when they were as important as any band out there. They were almost to the same level as The Clash or The Ramones in terms of influence of other bands, but then it all went terribly wrong.
What happened? Well, for starters it seems as if they started believing their press clippings. Seriously, how huge are the egos in that band if they honestly believed they could replace their drummer with a machine? Were they kidding? Why didn’t they just do the honorable thing and break up?
The Beatles broke up and their music became more important. The same goes for The Clash and a few other lesser-known bands of that ilk. Yes, if REM was a self-respecting band aware of its legacy they would have broken up when they were still relevant. Instead, for the past decade they’ve been just another corporate rock band putting out records every other year because they have a contract and an incorporated structure.
In other words, REM is a corporation and there is nothing particularly inspiring or interesting about bands that become that hypocritical.
In other words, U2 wins by default despite the fact that they are actually viable even though they are nothing more than a greatest-hits group.
* Mike Radano hasn't updated his blog in quite a while. What gives?
* Finally, Philadelphian and “60 Minutes” correspondent Ed Bradley died of complications of leukemia today. I was never a regular viewer of “60 Minutes” though I really like the show, however, I always thought Ed Bradley was extremely cool.
Actually, Bradley was one of those famous people that if I ever got to chance to meet I had a question or topic of conversation at the ready – jazz and John Coltrane. As a DJ spinning records at WDAS back in the ‘60s, I’m sure Bradley would have been illuminating on the subject.
Unfortunately, the opportunity never happened.
Nevertheless, the beauty of this age of history is that Bradley’s legacy will always be available for us to watch. For that, we’re lucky.