The Spectacle Blog

The Philadelphia Phillies Are No Longer The Worst Team in MLB

By on 8.9.15 | 1:44AM

How about those Philadelphia Phillies?

Scarcely a month ago I would have never entertained posing such a question.

All the All-Star Break, the Phillies were 29-62 with the worst record in MLB.

Since the All-Star Break, the Phillies have the best record in MLB at 15-5. With tonight's 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres, the Phillies have done the seemingly impossible - they have climbed out of last place in the NL East. Now it's the Miami Marlins who possess this ignominious distinction having lost 9 of their 10 games and 5-18 since the All-Star Break.

OK, the Phillies aren't going to play baseball in October. But they can finish the season a whole lot better than they started it.

Thoughts on Bernie Sanders Being Forced Off Stage by Black Lives Matter Agitators - UPDATE

By on 8.8.15 | 9:52PM

Bernie Sanders was forced to exit the stage of his own rally in Seattle by Black Lives Matter agitators.

They would also disrupted Sanders and Martin O'Malley during their appearance at the Netroots Convention in Phoenix last month and cut considerably into their speaking time.

What I find interesting is how The Left is gloating over the Republican Party row over Donald Trump. In his usual smug form, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone claims that Republicans, Fox News, talk radio and the conservative blogosphere have created a monster that's now turning on them. Could Taibbi please tell me exactly how many Republican presidential candidates have been forced off the stage of their own rallies?

I Am Bad Luck for Dodger Pitchers & Their Scoreless Inning Streaks

By on 8.7.15 | 10:53PM

I was looking forward to watching tonight's Dodgers-Pirates game because Clayton Kershaw was coming into his start having thrown 37 consecutive scoreless innings. 

On his very first pitch, Kershaw gave up a gopher ball to Pirates leadoff hitter Gregory Polanco.

Kershaw was not sharp tonight giving up four runs on nine hits over six innings.

The Dodgers lost to the Pirates 5-4 in 10 innings.

It would seem that I am bad luck to Dodgers pitchers and their scoreless innings streak. A couple of weekends ago, I saw Zack Greinke's scoreless innings streak at end at 45 against the New York Mets.

Orel Hershiser set the MLB record with 59 consecutive scoreless innings pitched in 1988 while with the Dodgers. That broke the late Dodgers legend Don Drysdale's 58 consecutive scoreless innings pitched 20 years earlier.

Carly Fiorina vs. Chris Matthews & It’s Not Even Close

By on 8.7.15 | 10:17PM

I don't watch a lot of MSNBC, but when I read that Carly Fiorina had overmatched Chris Matthews I just had to watch.

Folks, it's not even close. Matthews was simply no match for Fiorina. 

If you haven't watched this video savor every moment of it. 

If this doesn't convince you Fiorina is ready to play on the main stage then nothing will.

Red Sox Trade Mike Napoli Back to The Rangers

By on 8.7.15 | 7:51PM

The Boston Red Sox were not that active during the trade deadline only dealing outfielder Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Angels.

Tonight, the Red Sox have traded Mike Napoli back to the Texas Rangers. It is not known what the Sox will receive in return.

After beginning his career with the Angels, Napoli spent two seasons with the Rangers where he became a huge fan favorite. Napoli was part of the 2011 AL pennant winning team and was selected to his lone AL All-Star Team in 2012.

Napoli signed a three-year contract with the Red Sox prior to the 2013 season and was an integral part of the 2013 World Series champions. However this season Napoli struggled hitting only .207 with 13 HR and 40 RBI in 98 games with the last place Red Sox. 

Napoli will no doubt be well received back in Texas and he will be happy to be in a pennant race. He will become a free agent at the end of the season. The Rangers have won four in a row and 7 of their last 10 games. They are only 2 1/2 games back of the Toronto Blue Jays for the second AL Wild Card spot. 

The Perils of Being a Blogger in Bangladesh

By on 8.7.15 | 7:30PM

Last May, I wrote about the hacking death of Bangladeshi blogger Ananta Bijoy Das by Islamists. Das was the third blogger to be executed by Islamists in 2015.

Well, now make it four. Islamists have murdered 40-year old Niloy Neel. Here is what the BBC has to say about it:

The BBC’s Akbar Hossain in Dhaka says Mr Neel had filed a police report expressing fear for his life, but his complaints had not been not followed up.

Police said about six attackers had tricked their way into Mr Neel’s home by saying they were looking to rent a flat.

“Two of them then took him to a room and then slaughtered him there,” deputy police commissioner Muntashirul Islam said.

“His wife was in the flat but she was confined to another room.”

There Was Also an Election Debate in Canada Last Night

By on 8.7.15 | 6:14PM

Republican presidential candidates weren’t the only group of politicians having a debate last night.

While the GOP White House aspirants sparred, the leaders of Canada’s four political parties gathered in Toronto to have their first English language debate of Canada’s 2015 election, which was called less than a week ago. I cannot ever recall a leaders debate taking place this early in the campaign. Represented on stage were Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservatives, the leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition Thomas Mulcair of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Justin Trudeau of the Liberals, as well as Elizabeth May of the Green Party.

Fox News/Facebook Cleveland GOP Debate Post-Mortem

By on 8.6.15 | 11:33PM

So here is my summary of the now just completed GOP debate in Cleveland which aired this evening on Fox News.

John Kasich - Hometown favorite. I'm not sure if his defense of Medicaid expansion will go over well outside Ohio. He could have also done without kissing up to Trump. But good answer on the gay marriage question.

Rand Paul - He went after both Trump and Christie and paid the price for it. Although I agree with him that neither guns nor marriages should be registered in DC. 

Ted Cruz - Didn't get called on much but put in a solid, competent performance. Praised Egyptian President al-Sisi for his courage and said we should move our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Mike Huckabee - Got some laughs from the audience especially the zinger about Hillary which everyone thought would be about Trump. But otherwise he didn't make much of a contribution to the debate.

Jeb Bush - Handled himself well on stage. Answered tough questions on illegal immigration, Common Core and abortion as well as his brief interaction with Donald Trump with ease. 

I Will Be Live Tweeting The GOP Main Debate

By on 8.6.15 | 8:09PM

For anyone who is interested I will be live tweeting tonight's GOP Debate at #GOPDebate.

If you are so inclined, you can follow me on Twitter @aargold24.

Following the debate, I will resume a tradition I began in 2012 by writing a debate post-mortem here at The Spectacle Blog.

Fiorina Fares Best in GOP Happy Hour Debate

By on 8.6.15 | 8:01PM

I watched the so-called GOP Happy Hour Debate on FNC earlier this evening. 

Please note I did this while on an elliptical machine. So, yes, I am quite exercised about the whole thing.

Of the seven second-tier candidates, I think only Carly Fiorina has any opportunity for growth. 

Jim Gilmore and George Pataki repeatedly reminded us they were Governors on 9/11, but what have they done since? Lindsey Graham looked like he had just woke up from an afternoon nap. Meanwhile, Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry sounded too much like their stump speeches. In the case of Santorum and Perry, we've seen their act before and I don't think they've added much despite some fine moments from Santorum (like when he mentioned his father saying, "America was the worth the wait," in his comments on illegal immigration) and Perry's best efforts (I did like his line about Hillary being good at e-mail). 

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