Monday, February 29, 2016

Dump Trump: Why I'm Un-Enrolling from Donald

Danville, Kentucky -- I'm no stranger to disappointment. I was there when Goldwater's failure ushered in the Great Society in '64. I was there when the GM Plant was shuttered by NAFTA in '95. I was there in 2012 when the San Francisco Giants stole my city's last best hope at a World Series title in my lifetime. I am here now, at the moment when Donald Trump's betrayal of my Danville values is complete.

I'm the father of two wonderful young men. I want the country they inherit from me and my ex-wives to be stronger and better than the country I inherited from my parents.

Enter Donald Trump. The first politician since Jessie Ventura whose message resonated with folks like me. Trump wasn't afraid to be divorced. He wasn't afraid to talk about our country losing on trade, like the backstabbing Democrats who brought us NAFTA and the Romney Republicans who care more about wooing illegal immigrants than taking care of the unemployed and America's vets. Donald's America-first message has rung like a clarion call from sea to shining sea, from the coal country hills of West Virginia to the lead-filled water reservoirs of Flint. America was finally going to be great again.

Yet, how can America be great again when Trump can't even make vokda great again?

This past summer, I snatched up several bottles of Trump Vodka off Ebay using my son's debit card. I've been drinking bottles and bottles of the stuff for months, and I'm no closer to success than I was before. I'm still divorced and in debt, only now I smell like a cheap Manhattan cocktail lounge. Trump Vodka is not like moonshine bubbles, my own failed foray into  the alcohol business. Moonshine bubbles was an idea behind its time. Trump Vodka is an idea for a time when Americans aspire to be like Russians. What kind of successful American businessman fails at selling a Russian drink? Trump's line of vodka products was pitched to folks like me as "success distilled," when all it did was distill just what a failure Donald is. The failure of Trump Vodka has left my faith in Donald both shaken and stirred.

My faith in Donald might still be salvaged if it weren't for the unforgivable, Titanic-scale catastrophe of Trump University. Folks, college is a total scam. It's a place where liberals gather to make people that love America hate America or liberals. None of my buddies that went to college had any luck getting a job. Well, Trump University was set to be different. Young students and old students could gather and learn real estate. I finally had a school my son could learn something, unlike his preferred locations USC, Cal Berkeley and Stanford.

My son was also a star baseball player. I wanted him to go to a school where he'd be prepared for life with skills from a guy like Trump and get his jersey retired in a rented out storefront that once housed a Blockbuster and now housed my son's college. Or so I dreamed. In 2010 I put the finishing touches on my son's application. With the small five figure payment, my son was ready to begin his career at Trump University.

Enter betrayal. Trump University closed in 2010. I found out today my son doesn't have an actual degree from Trump University in Real Estate. My son couldn't even bother to go to class. It turns out he had been wasting his time at Stanford all along. He has a stats degree and supports Bernie Sanders now.

Why Donald? Why did you close down such a great school? I know you are telling the truth about the Better Business Bureau giving your wonderful school an "A" rating and not the "D-" the actual group claims your school received. I know the New York Attorney General is out to squash start up universities to protect the monopoly NYU, Syracuse, CUNY, SUNY, and the dozens of other schools in New York have in the market.

I want someone that doesn't give up on her projects. I would love to still have a Trump. I want someone that Donald Trump would date if they weren't his daughter. Hell, just give me who we all know Donald wants: Ivanka Trump for President.

Affordable Electricity: In Defense of Mike Pelfrey

Danville, Kentucky -- Our society takes electricity for granted. It keeps our houses warm in winter, and cools them down in summer. Electricity keeps the freezer icy so we can have chilled Fireball on demand. Electricity brought us the gift of Buffalo Wild Wings, and its techno-utopian panoply of massive plasma-screen televisions; so that no man would be forced to miss out on a pivotal sporting event while using the facilities. Each successive generation of Americans tries to guarantee that the country we bestow upon the next generation is even greater than the one we inherited from our mothers and fathers. My generation is able to simultaneously utilize a Buffalo Wild Wings restroom and watch a baseball game, thanks to the wisdom of previous generations of Americans and the miracle of affordable electricity.

Affordable electricity: a phrase that perfectly describes right-handed pitcher Mike Pelfrey, yet seems quaint in the age of Obama and his energy-strangling regulations. Mike Pelfrey, who once donned the lightning-yellow attire of the Wichita State Shockers, knows all about electricity.

Pelfrey Will Shock his Doubters

Make no mistake: a brief look at Pelfrey's resume and his pitching arsenal reveals a man that is both electric and affordable. Financially speaking, 2 years and 16 million dollars is a small price to pay for a man that will anchor a Detroit rotation that was woefully over-reliant on untested farmhands like Buck Farmer, Kyle Ryan, and Shane Greene last season. Signing Pelfrey is a slick depth move that will give youngbloods like Matt Boyd and Michael Fulmer time to cut their teeth in the minor leagues.

His arsenal is impressive as well. With his Tommy John surgery now further back in the rear-view mirror, his velocity was up last season. He throws his fastball hard and his offspeed pitches soft, featuring a wicked splitter and sinker that keeps hitters off balanceMr. Pelfrey stands to be a major beneficiary of the recently-improved Tigers defense as well.

In spite of the signing's obvious logic, the acquisition of Mike Pelfrey by the Detroit Tigers has become one of the most maligned moves of the offseason, with the basement-dwellers at Fangraphs calling it the #9 worst move of the offseason. Eno Sarris and his disciples disparage the Pelf's xFIP, claiming that his Ks are declining faster than Rubio's chances at becoming the Republican nominee.
Metrics don't like him; people who watch the game with their own two eyeballs do. I'm a longtime fan of Pelf, and considered him All-Star worthy last year. The Tiger scouts know what they saw when they told Al Avila to sign him. Even Dartmouth nerd Brad Ausmus got it right when he said the Pelfrey signing was based on "the eye test."

It would be a mistake more grave than hosting a private email server to believe that Pelfrey has nothing to contribute to the 2016 Tigers. Like the 2016 Tigers, the 2015 Twins were pronounced dead on arrival by the pre-season projections. When the 2015 Twins defied the proclamations of nerds and outperformed their projections, it was in no small part due to Pelfrey's suave stylings and steady leadership. Thanks to Pelfrey's contributions the 2015 Twins had a winning record and were playoff contenders, finishing second-place in the AL Central after every analyst (other than me) pegged them as a last-place team. There isn't an arm in the league you'd rather have on your side if your season depends on proving the nerds wrong.

Mike is a Man of Character with a Proven Track Record

Not only can Pelfrey beat the odds: he can beat the Royals.

The 2016 Tigers need to beat the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals™ if they want to contend. Fortunately for the Tigers, Mike Pelfrey has been able to do what David Price, Matt Harvey and Jacob DeGrom couldn't do: beat the Royals. The Twins were undefeated in Mr. Pelfrey's 3 starts versus Kansas City last season, including a merciless shutout against the team that would eventually take the crown. Compare that to supposed ace Chris Sale; the White Sox lost both his starts versus the Royals last season. The path to the AL Central pennant runs through Kansas City, an aggressive hitting team that doesn't strikeout or walk. Against a team like that, you need a guy like Pelfrey who can produce weak contact and let the defense do the rest.

More important than Pelfrey's velocity or his ground-ball percentage is his fortitude. Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas -- a city I like to think of as the Detroit of the Heartland because of its manufacturing acumen -- Mr. Pelfrey is a man who knows rust, weathered iron, and billowing smoke stacks like the back of his hand. He's an underdog man from an underdog city. He will fit in well playing in the Motor City. This is a man who has stayed true to his roots; he was a Met, but there are no New York Values here -- just good old fashioned Mid West decency and work ethic.

Work ethic is perhaps the singularly most discounted factor in an era of STEAMER, ZiPs, and FIP. A man's K% or HR/FB ratio may regress, but work ethic doesn't. Hard work is what made America great, and it is what will make America great again. In lesser countries, wantonly consuming electricity with countless televisions in a sports bar would be considered excessive. But in America, it is my God given right to drunkenly bumble into a restroom full of flat screen TVs that are covered in the buffalo-sauce fingerprints of the great men who came before me. I believe in Buffalo Wild Wings. I believe in America. I believe in Mike Pelfrey.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Make the First Lady Great Again: Why Melania Trump Will Change the World

Danville, Kentucky -- I've seen my fair share of divorces. I married my high school sweetheart, got divorced, then tried to marry her again. I took another wife, got divorced, then brawled with her new husband in the parking lot of an Applebee's. My would-be third wife left me -- at an Olive Garden. When I go to the polls this November, I'll be voting for America to divorce establishment politics.

Like a man who isn't willing to cut ties with an unfaithful wife, Americans have held out hope that the marriage between voters and the corrupt Washington Cartel can be salvaged. In fairness to the average American voter, these politicians really did sell themselves as good partners. They promised us the world: loyal service to their constituents, balanced budgets, economic growth, jobs, education, opportunity, and lower taxes. Like many divorces, these promises were broken and now America has to foot the bill and pay the alimony.

People stay in unhealthy relationships for many reasons. Some people stay together for the kids' sake. Some people stay together out of financial necessity. Some people stay together because they wrongly believe that their spouse will change. Sometimes they stay together because you're lazy and don't want to do the paperwork. Other times people stay together because you got hitched to a Filipino woman using an online wedding service, and you're not sure how to get divorced in a foreign language.

The American people are finally waking up to the reality of their failed marriage with the Washington Cartel. And they're angry. An uprising of irate blue-collar folk, betrayed by globalization and government, are registering their fury by sweeping Donald Trump to landslide victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Americans want a divorce from corrupt business-as-usual politics, and they want Donald Trump to serve the papers.

There isn't a better man for the job. Trump knows when to cut his losses and start anew. Some politicians are afraid to end marriages for PR reasons. Trump isn't. And because of Trump's willingness to divorce, America will soon have the greatest First Lady of all time: Melania Trump.

The American First Lady has declined in prestige.

Barbara Bush, the most Machiavellian mother to ever reside in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, overshadowed her low-energy husband.

As First Lady, Clinton brought us Hillarycare and NAFTA. While in the White House, she made upheaval, scandal, and controversy the norm.

Laura Bush's husband, George, is the brother of Jeb Bush. I can think of no greater qualification short of Ted Cruz being a Canadian.

As First Lady, Michelle Obama has expanded the nanny state and tried to prevent America's youth from exercising their God-given right to eat junk food and not exercise.

Melania will change all this and restore honor to the office of American First Lady.

Melania has class. She has style and poise that America hasn't seen since the days of Jackie Kennedy, combined with the sensibility and discerning taste of Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan. Nancy was Reagan's second wife; The Great Communicator wasn't afraid to divorce, just like the Donald.

Establishment liberals and conservatives say Trump is racist and that his strict immigration policies will destroy America's moral authority in the world. Folks, Trump is not anti-immigrant. He's anti-illegal-job-stealing immigrant. Donald's marriage to Melania disproves the idea that Trump hates all non-Americans; it's not clear if she even speaks American.

As a LEGAL IMMIGRANT from Slovenia, she has made invaluable contributions to the American economy by appearing on fashion magazine covers and in medical insurance commercials. She has single-handedly stimulated New York's economy and created jobs by buying million-dollar cakes and hosting extravagant, lavish parties.

Our next First Lady is Marie Antoinette for a new generation. Melania isn't just a super-model. She's a role model for all American women and mothers. She will make the American First Lady great again.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Dying with Dignity: Why the Detroit Lions Should Quit

Danville, Kentucky -- I am firm believer in never giving up; in putting your heart into something until you have nothing left to give. I believe in taking no days off, holding nothing back, putting it all on the line, going all-in, and leaving it all on the field. Yet, even I, know that sometimes, you have to fold: cut your losses, and quit while you can.

Rax Roast Beef knew when to quit. Folks, let me tell you about one of my favorite restaurants of all time. I'm a Danville man, born and raised. Rax -- based in blue-collar Ironton, Ohio -- used to be a staple beef-joint in the rust belt. Folks traveling through West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky during the glorious '80s knew that Rax was the best eating a man could get when home was behind and the open road ahead.

Rax embodied the spirit of the 80s. Thanks to Reagan, it was morning in America again. Americans were working hard and being rewarded for it; we were free to spend our disposable income on heaping stacks of beef and melted cheddar cheese, thanks to low taxes and small government. Every baked potato served by Rax came with not only luscious toppings, but also a feeling of optimism and boundless opportunity. It was a great family atmosphere; I used to take the wife and my children there every Sunday afternoon to eat a Deluxe Ham melt and watch the Bengals game.

At Rax's peak, it was an unparalleled fast-food phenom. 504 locations in 38 states, and even expansion into the international market. Yet, all good things must pass. Thanks to globalization, even the reawakening of the 80s gave way to the crushing disappointment of the 90s. By 1996, two years after the arrival of NAFTA, Rax filed for bankruptcy. Rax, a mom-and-pop fast-food chain, just couldn't compete with mega-franchises like Arby's and Wendy's. Many jobs were lost, and the Mid West was never the same. In spite of its colossal implosion, I respect Rax. They knew when to quit, and because of it, the franchise has down-scaled but persevered.

If only the Detroit Lions knew when to quit, like Rax did. There may not be a franchise in sports history that has inflicted as much pain on its fans as the Detroit Lions. I'm a Bengals fan, but I've seen firsthand the misery that this franchise breeds amongst its followers. My uncle, a life-long Lions fan and native of Flint, watches the team year in and year out, yearning for a championship, but always disappointed.

One of the oldest franchises in the NFL, with a loyal and long-suffering fan base. No playoff wins since 1991, when George H.W. was president and Jeb was just a starry-eyed youngster looking for his shot. No Super Bowl appearances in franchise history. And thanks to a disastrous off-season, nothing to look forward to in 2016.

Why the Lions are Hopeless

Two events this off-season have caused me to abandon all hope for this franchise.

First, the Fords have failed to take care of their own.

Joique Bell was the single most inspirational story of the Detroit Lions over the past half-decade. Born in humble circumstances in nearby Benton Harbor, Michigan, his untapped raw potential caught the eye of discerning scouts. He went on to play for Division II school Wayne State University, in mid-town Detroit. It wasn't glamorous. While a student at Wayne State, Joique was broke. There was no special treatment for athletes or fancy living facilities:
While preparing for his senior season at Wayne State, he had to survive an apartment so rough, his mother offered him $500 to move out. Rent was $150.
"I had to live in this (expletive) dungeon," Bell says. "It was triflin'. Dirt would just come off the floor. There was a pink shower, but the bottom of it was just black. It was the nastiest thing I've ever seen.
"My mom was crying because it was so filthy."
Bell went on to win the Harlon Hill Trophy – Division II's version of the Heisman – that year. (via MLive)
To make ends meet, Joique worked as a security guard for the Lions at Ford Field. He bounced around the NFL, notably getting cut by Bill Belichick, before landing on the Lions. Playing for his hometown team, Joique had great success and was a fan favorite. Bell was the go-to guy when the ball needed to be pounded across the goal-line, a master of lowering his shoulder and grinding his way to touchdowns. His uplifting life narrative was a source of pride and inspiration for a city that was down on its luck and needed a hero. Joique was just like his city: young, scrappy, and hungry.

Joique, the kid who beat the odds and became a star, was unceremoniously cut by the Lions on February 16th, 2016. That's not how you treat family.

Second, Martha Ford's betrayal of the city's proudest son might actually be only the second most depressing thing to happen to the Lions this off-season. The only thing harsher than the Michigan winter was the news that Calvin Johnson, an all-time great receiver and franchise cornerstone, was debating retirement.

The parallels to Barry Sanders' premature retirement are striking: a future hall-of-famer with years of productivity ahead of him, hanging the cleats early, leaving the Lions in disarray as he walks out the door.

Calvin Johnson has one thing going for him: he knows when to quit. Football is a brutal sport, that breaks the bodies of even the most mighty athletes. Why risk his well-being and health to play for an irrelevant team? Can you blame Calvin? This Danville man can't.

The writing is on the wall for the Lions. The ownership cuts the most likable players and drives the most talented ones out of the league. The Lions' divisional competition is not getting any less formidable. Adrian Peterson and the Vikings aren't going anywhere. Aaron Rodgers and his miraculous hail-mary throwing abilities aren't going anywhere. It's hard to chart a Detroit Lions path to the playoffs when they have to fill a Calvin Johnson-sized hole in the roster. Not under the current ownership.

The Fords have always been a family that brings both great joy and great despair. The Fords brought us the Model-T and the assembly-line; but they also brought us offshoring and the desolation of rust-belt economies after the 2008 economic collapse. As owners of the Lions, they brought us Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, only to drive these legends away from the franchise with their incompetence and mismanagement. The Fords brought us affordable automobiles; but they are also the family that brought us mass employee layoffs, and also drafted Joey Harrington; the promising young QB whose spirit was slowly broken by playing for an aimless franchise.


The weight of the Lions' sorrowful history can only lead me to draw one conclusion: the Fords should terminate this lowly franchise. Dissolve the Detroit Lions organization. Make a new expansion team in Mexico City, or London. Or just send the team to Vietnam, with the rest of Detroit's manufacturing jobs. If the team can't win playoff games, has never appeared in a Super Bowl, and can't retain inspirational and legendary talents like Joique and Megatron, then the team doesn't deserve to exist. The loss of this franchise will hurt Detroit-area football fans initially, but it will save them from heartache in the long run.

Those who remember the hey-day of Rax know where its surviving locations can be found. I still frequent a dusty old Rax in Parkersburg, West Virginia, from time to time. When I eat there alone, if I close my eyes and let the savory notes of roast beef linger on my tongue, I can almost feel the hope of the Reagan administration again.

Similarly, we will always have the fond memories of the undeniably good moments of the Lions franchise: Barry's 2,000 yard rushing season. Calvin breaking Jerry Rice's record for receiving yards in a single season. The unsung competence and consistency of longtime kicker Jason Hanson. The tragic comedy of 0-16 season in 2008. Third-string quarterback Mike McMahon leading the team to its first victory in Week 14 vs the Minnesota Vikings in 2001. The Matt Stafford-led 4th quarter comebacks of 2011.

Don't let the Lions become like Jeb Bush: trudging through failure after failure, endlessly prolonging their inevitable defeat, by refusing to gracefully bow out. It's time for the Lions to die with dignity. Only then will it be morning in Detroit again.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Leonardo DiCaprio is the Best at Being the Second Best Actor

Danville, Kentucky -- The 1961 Reds were the baseball equivalent of a great appetizer. The 40s and 50s were a mostly uneventful period in Reds history, aside from the All-Star Game voting scandal of '57. The good people of Northern Kentucky and Southern Ohio were yearning for the return of baseball glory to their homeland. The 1961 Reds never reached the zenith of the Jimmy Maloney era Reds or the Big Red Machine, but they gave Reds Nation a reason to be passionate about baseball again and foreshadowed the triumphs to come. For years, baseball fans in the greater Cincinnati area were left with the equivalent of crumbs and table scraps. The '61 Reds, led by slugger Frank Robinson's 124 RBI, burst onto the scene and delivered the equivalent of Spiced Panko Onion Rings to the watering mouths of Reds Nation.

New appetizer at Chilis. Highly recommend.
The '61 Red-Legs won 93 games and the National League pennant, but ultimately faltered in the World Series against the New York Yankees. The '62 team was even better: winning 98 games, but finishing in 3rd place and thus missing the postseason altogether.

When the '62 Reds were by many measures a better squad than the '61 version but achieved an inferior result, it confused young Will Hart. How could such a deserving group of guys be snubbed? Yet, when the '62 Reds spent October listening to the newly-released Peter, Paul and Mary album instead of playing World Series baseball, you didn't hear Bill Henry whining. Hank Foiles didn't have a resentful sense of entitlement to the N.L. pennant even though his team was clearly outperformed by two other N.L. teams. Gus Bell didn't demand that the Reds be given the pennant the next year just because they put in a great effort in '62 while achieving no recognition.

Folks, Leonardo DiCaprio is the type of guy who expects to win the pennant after finishing in 3rd place. Nobody would deny that Leo has put in some great work as an actor. His sublime performance in Catch Me if You Can is the reason that film is one of my favorite airline-themed movies. Clearly the man has turned in some performances good enough to win Best Actor.

Yet, Leo's rendition of Hugh Glass in The Revenant is not one of those performances. Growing a beard and grunting does not an Oscar-worthy performance make, or my Uncle Cletus would've won an award years ago. This is Leo's weakest work in quite some time. Incomprehensibly moaning while vomiting and spitting on your beard is not acting. That's just a typical Saturday night at Golden Corral.

I'm not much of a movie blogger, but Leo fails the eye test. The man has been beaten time and time again by superior actors. You could go through every one of Leo's Best Actor nominations and see why he was undeserving of the win given the competition he was stacked up against. The Academy owes him nothing and shouldn't appease his ego by giving him a de-facto lifetime achievement award for the stinker of a performance he delivered as man-bear-Leo in The Revenant. In addition, awards are not given out based on how much hardship an actor endured while making the film. Yes, Leo slept in an actual horse carcass for The Revenant. Yet, Mark Hamill once slept in the corpse of a Tauntaun, but he never got a nod from the academy. When Michael Moore won an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine, it was because liberals in the academy liked his movie, not because he grew up in Flint.

The academy has a race problem. But is also has a droid problem. No non-human robots received nominations in any acting categories. That's why BB-8, the fiesty astromech droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is my pick for Best Actor. The little rascal has moxie. BB-8's excited electronic whistling and the energetic motions of his dome-shaped head convey more emotion than Leo's deranged groans every could. Whose heart doesn't sink when BB-8 learns his pilot buddy Poe Dameron might be dead, causing BB-8's head to droop in defeated sorrow? Who doesn't get tingly feelings of warmth in their chest when the little roller excitedly tails Rey through the desert, like a loyal puppy dog following their best friend? One glance into BB-8's single glossy black eye reveals a wider spectrum of affective depth than any Leo character. If the goal of the Oscars is to reward outstanding performances that provoke emotion and identification with their audience, not recognizing BB-8 amounts to a criminal snub. The soccer ball shaped droid stole every scene it was in, delivering the film's true break-out performance. After all the heartbreak and divorce I've been through, BB-8 still gives me butterflies.

The Academy could give the award to Leo. Or the Academy could celebrate diversity by recognizing the accomplishments of the BB unit that has stolen hearts from all across the galaxy. It's too late to reward either Leo or the Cincinnati Reds for their past brilliance. But it's not too late for the Academy to get on the right side of history by awarding the performances that actually deserve it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Take A Chance on Me: Why Lincecum and Guthrie Deserve A Shot

Danville, Kentucky - Good jobs are hard to come by these days, with TPP killing jobs across the country and immigrants stealing the rest. Even worse, hard-work and success are no longer a reliable predictor of employment. The MLB is no exception. Undeserving losers like Jeff Samardzija (11-13) have been handed mega-contracts while proven winners like Alfredo Simon (13-12) wait in line for Obamacare unemployment benefits, like misfit toys without a home.

You'd figure the last two World Series Champions would have a better eye for undervalued talent, but even the World Champion Kansas City Royals™ and San Francisco Giants are foolishly letting two of the best arms in the game walk away from their teams like Uncle Joe Biden walked away from a shot at the democratic nomination.

When fans reflect on the 2014 and 2015 World Series, they'll inevitably remember the transcendent feats of heroism: Madison Bumgarner's utter domination, Alex Gordon's moon-shots, and Wade Davis' ruthless termination of multiple Mets hitters. Yet, equally important were the silent workhorses who got their teams there in the first place. Two of these workhorses are withering on the vine of free agency: Tim Lincecum and Jeremy Guthrie, the true heroes of the 2014 World Series.

There would not have been a Giants victory in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series if Tim Lincecum didn't save the bullpen by selflessly pitching in relief during Game 2. And it is doubtful that the Royals would've snuck into the playoffs via the Wild Card in 2014 without Guthrie's 13-11 win/loss record and steady veteran leadership.

Guthrie, delivering veteran presence in his natural habitat.
Both of these men have impressive resumes. They eat innings like Ted Cruz eats poutine and Canadian Bacon. Guthrie is a 12-year veteran of the big leagues, who won 28 games between 2013 and 2014, while also providing invaluable clubhouse presence to the young-guns in the KC locker-room. When Game 7 of the 2014 World Series rolled around, Ned Yost trusted J-Guts with the ball. Jeremy is a great guy off the field too, who does what he can to give back to the Kansas City community. Jeremy has been with the Royals through good times and bad times -- the franchise owes him their loyalty.

Tim Lincecum, still only 31 years old, is the face of the San Francisco Giants franchise; the common denominator between their World Series victories in 2010, 2012, and 2014. He's a tosser of multiple no-hitters, a 4x All Star, 3x World Series Champion, and a 2x Cy Young award winner. In 2014, after throwing a no-hitter, Tim consented to pitch out of the bullpen during the post-season -- because that was where the team needed him most. Tim has been willing to do whatever it takes to help his team -- his team should be willing to do whatever it takes to help him. If the Giants want to win in 2016, they'll need to keep Timmy the Freak around.

What MLB team could look me in the eyes and say that these good men would not improve their rotation?

Signing one of these fine arms won't give your team a boost in the PECOTA ratings. It won't endear you to Eno Sarris. But the star-power, added depth, and innings-eating reliability they provide might just give your rotation a shot to pitch in October. It's time to let these workhorses out of the stable.
Jeremy also doubles as a ball boy.

Guthrie bombed.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Trump for Supreme Court

Donald Trump is the right man for yet another job
Danville, Kentucky- 86 months of hell. Some would call that my second marriage plus 85 months. But that apt title now belongs to the Presidency of Barack Obama. From Benghazi to the Iran deal from Hillary Clinton emailing to having Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Obama's presidency has been a disaster.

For the first time since the first victory of America's premiere signing competition, we have a moment like this: greatness. Obama is now left with a vacancy on the highest court. He can choose to sell out and nominate someone like Elena Kagan- a Harvard educated lawyer. Or he can nominate someone with real life experience.

Nate Silver thinking of how to get out of the election prediction game
Donald Trump is not a name many are mentioning because the lamestream media doesn't understand what Trump would do. The same media that once said Trump had no chance to win the Presidency hasn't even thought about Trump for the Supreme Court. Time to start thinking. Time to have Donald Trump enter the bench.

We need someone from outside the mainstream. The Supreme Court is filled with a bunch of lawyers. These lawyers spend all day debating and reading laws. They don't actually understand the law is meant to help us win. The Supreme Court has not even considered that NAFTA violates the constitution. The Supreme Court is too busy dealing with obscure issues to make sure we win again. How is a court that is afraid to take my lawsuit against Applebee's ever going to take on China?

Most importantly, we need a justice that understands Ted Cruz cannot be President. Folks, it's simple: Ted Cruz is a Canadian. The Constitution merely wants the President of the United States of America to be born in the United States of America. Yet, these justices aren't even talking about the issue. I searched Ask Jeeves and not a single mention of any justice and Ted Cruz birth. Folks, we saw what Donald Trump did for illegal immigration. Before Trump, we didn't even talk about illegal immigration. Well, if Donald Trump is on the Supreme Court, all the justices will be talking about why Ted Cruz can't be President. Trump wins. He'll get Ted Cruz to be declared unconstitutional for President, and he'll get Ted Cruz to pay for the lawsuit.

Donald Trump breaking the news to Ted Cruz that Donald Trump won't let a Canadian take the oath

I know many of you find this insane. I understand exactly where you are coming from, dear readers. If Donald is on the Supreme Court you think, how can he be President? Simple, by winning. If Donald is on the Supreme Court and keeps running, he'd be on the court to ignore a rule barring him from holding two federal offices. We know Trump can build this kind of dominance of American politics because he knows how to build things, like when he built an ice skating rink in Central Park.

The time for choosing has come. Obama's legacy is at stake. The fate of our court and country is on the line. It's time to call Donald Trump.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Heartbern: Why Sanders Must Be Stopped

Danville, Kentucky -- It was the summer of 1994. They say that in ballparks around the country, you could smell history being written on the breezy August winds. It was a summer so magical, I did something I thought I'd never do: root for a team from the grungy liberal elitist Pacific Northwest. Ken Griffey Jr., a man more American than hot dogs and pickle relish, was on pace to break Roger Maris' home run record of 61 in a single season. By the time August rolled around, The Kid was nearing 40 dingers, and I was enthralled. I dropped everything, withdrew my life savings, and spent it on a train to Seattle and Mariners tickets. I wanted to see as many Griffey dingers as I could. I wanted to see history be made.

Like many good things in America, collective bargaining ruined it. On August 11th, the players went on strike. Griffey threw away his chance at glory. I threw away my livelihood for a chance to see Griffey throw away his chance at glory. I remember screaming at the top of my lungs in despair, crying into the vast void of the Seattle night sky, like a certain socialist from Vermont once bellowed about U.S. imperialism in front of a congressional chamber more empty than a Jeb Bush rally.

It wasn't just my savings that I threw away that summer. I left my eldest son, Will Hart Jr., when he needed me most. By the time I crawled back to Danville with my tail between my legs, my son had already left for college. I tried calling him via telephone and writing letters, but he never replied. The next time I saw my son, he was a man I no longer recognized. He had a statistics degree and was married to a literature professor at a waspy school in Rhode Island.

Folks, I've been going out on a limb lately. I've tried to redeem myself. I haven't always been the best father to my two sons. I've gotten into altercations with their baseball coaches. My public drunkenness at recruiting dinners cost them both scholarships and the respect of waitresses across the greater-Lexington area. I'm ashamed of that, and I have to live with that. But I was given a second chance recently.

Having not seen my eldest son since a Thanksgiving dinner argument about Mike Leake's ZiPs projections gone terribly wrong, I decided to swallow my pride and reach out to him. I wanted to be a part of his life again.

At first, it was great. Initially, we haggled over where to meet. I suggested Arby's. My son suggested Panera, which I vetoed faster than Obama vetoed the job-creating Keystone pipeline. We finally agreed upon Fazzoli's, a staple of Kentuckian cuisine.

Getting a chance to reacquaint myself with my eldest son over sumptuous linguine and buttery breadsticks was wonderful. So much had changed since we last spoke. Baseball implemented instant replay, McDonald's started to serve breakfast all day, and our worst suspicions about Chipotle were confirmed. I remembered how much I had in common with my son. We agreed to forgive and forget. I apologized for abandoning him in the summer of 1994. I then apologized for being belligerent in my hatred of sabermetrics and vegetarianism.

It was then that my son said something I'll never forgive. Folks, Will Hart Jr. is a Bernie Bro. All that time around his wife from Rhode Island has stunted his cognitive development worse than Common Core ever could.

It was socialism and union thugs like Bernie Sanders that ruined Griffey's chance at glory and the summer of '94. My son didn't know what I knew about Bernie -- and why should he? Whereas your garden-variety Bernie Bro. has only been paying attention to Mr. Sanders since December of 2014, I've been watching his cruel Stalinist experiments in Vermont for many years. While the mayor of Burlington in the 80s, Bernie's crony socialism and corrupt efforts at urban revitalization caused my Cincinnati Reds to create a minor-league affiliate in Vermont, rather than more deserving areas in blue-collar Kentucky. The Cincinnati Reds celebrated American family values and Midwestern grit. The Vermont Reds are a celebration of the Red Menace.

The creation of a minor-league affiliate in my neighborhood would've brought economic resurgence and opportunity to the good people of Danville. But Bernie stole it. Bernie's politics are a perversion of everything Americans hold dear.

I want to like Bernie. I am ready for the first Jewish president, so that the visionary dreams of Seinfeld and Larry David can finally be realized. Bernie's message on free trade resonates with me. He speaks eloquently about the dangers of the job-killing TPP. He recognizes the threat trade deals pose to the economic well-being of rust-belt men like myself. Yet, he won't go far enough. He won't attack Secretary Clinton for emailing on the job. He won't truly attempt to reverse globalization by building a wall.

When I walk into a Buffalo Wild Wings and see no less than twenty six big screen televisions playing all 19 ESPN networks, I see the American Dream realized. When Bernie Sanders walks into a Buffalo Wild Wings and sees no less than twenty six big screen televisions playing all 19 ESPN networks, he sees the corrupting influence of super PACs and Citizens United. When I walk into a 7-11 convenience store and see a kid filling up a 2 gallon jug full of Mountain Dew, I see the beauty of free enterprise and capitalism incarnate. When Bernie does the same, he can think only of taking my hard-earned money to pay for this kid's dental care.

Folks, I walked out of that Fazzoli's and haven't talked to Will Hart Jr. since. The winter of 2016 has been much less magical than the summer of 1994. Griffey never did break the home run record, just like I may never be the loving and supportive father that my son deserved. Hopefully, my son will learn to not put faith in me; I'll only disappoint him. My son has been Berned one too many times.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Trump Will Win New Hampshire and Iowa is Stupid

Danville, Kentucky -- Sometimes, it takes a minor setback for a major comeback.

I won't lie, folks. I was devastated when the state of Iowa (dead to me) betrayed Donald. I was also betrayed. My Iowa source -- my eyes on the ground -- fed me false info. My buddy from Algona told me Trump was a lock. He said the "Make America Great Again" hats were flying off the shelves, and that his buddies at the local watering hole thought Rubio was a Minnesota Timberwolf and Cruz was a roid-raging DH from the Seattle Mariners. I should've known he hadn't forgotten that disagreement we had over a bet on the '95 Daytona 500. As I attempt to find consolation at the bottom of this bottle of Jim Beam Fire, here are my thoughts about the results of the Iowa Caucus and the upcoming New Hampshire battle.

First, I'm not convinced Trump lost Iowa. We may have just witnessed the greatest usurpation of participatory democracy since this past summer when the MLB autocrats overturned the majoritarian consensus that Eric Hosmer should represent the American League at 1st base in the All Star Game. Cruz is playing dirty. Dirtier than Bush's vote-stealing supercomputers that helped him hoodwink Lieutenant John Kerry in 2004. Dirtier than the Kennedy clan in '60. Dirtier than the water in Flint. Cruz deliberately tried to siphon votes from one of the last good men standing, Dr. Ben Carson.

Second, losing Iowa doesn't hurt Trump. Iowa is like a groundhog that sees its shadow and predicts 2 more months of retrograde Mercury. Only losers win Iowa -- see: Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. Only winners lose Iowa -- see: Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. The people of Iowa can't be trusted to make important decisions. They just picked a Canadian to be the Republican nominee for President of the United States. Trump will do better in states where folks don't try to fuel their cars with corn.

Meanwhile, Trump's biggest competition is on the ropes. Cruz's Iowa win will soon be nullified once he is convicted for fraud, or disqualified because of his Canadian anchor baby citizenship.

Jeb Bush has no shot. The man can't even get a clap. If George W. Bush is the power-slugging Justin Upton, Jeb is Melvin Upton, the anemic slap-hitter who can't maintain a serviceable batting average or drive in runs. New Hampshire may be a waspy liberal elitist enclave, but they want home runs, not singles.

The other governors are irrelevant. Christie and Kasich will inadvertently help Donald by clawing at the golden boy Rubio till he is brought to their level.

Marco Rubio can't win New Hampshire. New Hampshire cares about winning. America cares about winning. America doesn't celebrate 3rd place participation awards like Marco Rubio. Marco is one of the poor Americans so used to losing that he thinks 3rd place is winning. This will change when Trump makes America great again. For Rubio to learn how to win again, he must lose to a winner like Trump.

Trump will win New Hampshire for one simple reason. He is the most genuine candidate in the race, on either side. Bernie Sanders, the Stalinist from Vermont, loves to rant about the need for campaign finance reform, lamenting the influence of big money on our elections. Yet, Bernie still takes donations from hard-working Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck. If he truly cared about keeping money out of politics, he'd self-fund his campaign like Trump.

New Hampshire is also the home of "Animal House." That film is about sticking it to the foolish dean. Trump is sticking it to the men who doubt him. Nate Silver and co. are already back-pedaling their back-pedaling -- Nate originally said Trump was a fad due to burnout, then acknowledged his longevity and staying power, and is now jumping off the bandwagon again. Well Mr. Silver, there will be plenty of room on the Trump-wagon when you flip-flop again. The fact that Nate Silver and the 538 nerds are jumping ship on Trump makes me more confident than ever that we will make America great again.