The Spectacle Blog

Royals Win 1st World Series in 30 Years

By on 11.2.15 | 1:07AM

It took 12 innings, but the Kansas City Royals have done it. They have won their first World Series title since 1985 with a 7-2 victory over the New York Mets in Game 5.

The Mets had a 2-0 lead going into the ninth with Matt Harvey only giving up four hits. Mets manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen had told Harvey he was out, but he talked them into leaving him in the game. Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain and gave up a double to Eric Hosmer which scored Cain. It was then that Collins removed Harvey in favor of closer Jeurys Familia who had already blown two save opportunities in this World Series. It's not Familia pitched badly. He got Mike Moustakas to ground out to first, but that advanced Hosmer to third. With the infield brought in, Salvador Perez grounded out to David Wright who held Hosmer at third. But then Hosmer made a mad dash for home and reached safely when Mets first baseman Lucas Duda made an errant throw home. While Duda was not charged with an error, Familia was chraged with his third blown save and the game was tied just the same.

Welcome to the Ball

By on 11.2.15 | 1:05AM

It took until past midnight. And their glass slippers have cleats attached. But, America, meet your new Cinderella team, the Kansas City Royals. They’re never out of the game, no matter how long they trail. They put the ball in play and don’t wait for the three-run home run while piling up the Ks. They have a bullpen that’s tougher than real bulls. They catch and throw with the best. They come from a small market town, closer to the Ozarks than to the Great White Way. But today they’re champions of the baseball world. And no one out of the five boroughs who watched this very entertaining World Series would deny that they are the best team on the planet. Congrats to Ned Yost and the boys. I’m sure they’ll have a very enjoyable winter.

Fred Thompson, R.I.P.

By on 11.1.15 | 7:02PM

Actor, attorney, former U.S. Senator and one-time GOP presidential hopeful Fred Thompson has passed away following a recurrence of lymphoma. He was 73.

Thompson first came to national fame during the Watergate hearings in 1973 after he learned the existence of President Nixon's White House tapes. The existence of these tapes was confirmed when Thompson asked Nixon White House aide Alexander Butterfield about them and Butterfield confirmed their existence.

Erdogan Regains Power in Turkish Elections

By on 11.1.15 | 6:24PM

Five months after losing their parliamentary majority to the Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice & Development Party (AKP) has regained power in new parliamentary elections.

Of course, it could be said that the AKP never truly lost power as it prevented the HDP from officially taking power. There is no doubt that increased tensions with Syria played a big factor especially with Russia's overt presence in the region. You might recall that Russian aircraft entered Turkish airspace last month which were met by two Turkish F16s.

Then there were the bombings in Ankara nine days later which claimed the lives of nearly 100 people. The Turkish government blamed the attacks on both ISIS and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). These seems implausible given that the PKK has been actively fighting ISIS for over a year now. As I wrote at the time:

Al Molinaro, R.I.P.

By on 11.1.15 | 3:35PM

Actor Al Molinaro passed away at the age of 96 on Friday due to gall stones.

Molinaro is best known to TV audiences for his portrayal of Murray the Cop on The Odd Couple and Big Al Delvecchio on Happy Days and its shortlived spin-off Joanie & Chachi. I was most familiar with the latter role and his trademark phrase, "Yup! Yup! Yup!"

Molinaro took a somewhat unusual path to acting. For many years while living in California, Molinaro ran a collection agency and would eventually get involved in real estate. These ventures would made him independently wealthy. Upon achieving this wealth, Molinaro would pursue his dream of acting and his dream came true.

He also did many TV commercials as you can see here with Super Bowl champion William "The Refrigerator" Perry.


True Art of the Deal

By on 10.31.15 | 8:00AM

Along with Jeffrey Lord I have been saying for over a year that Donald Trump should be taken very seriously as a candidate for president. He is affable, intelligent, accomplished, even amusing. Moreover, as he would say, he is a high-energy candidate. He has performed stupendously on the campaign trail and in the debates. He will approach the convention with more votes than anyone else. Then the man who wrote The Art of the Deal will be looking for a deal. The deal will have to be plausible and constructive. What will it be? Well, allow me to offer a suggestion.

Thoughts on The RNC Suspending Ties with NBC

By on 10.30.15 | 4:13PM

RNC Chair Reince Priebus has suspended the committee's relationship with NBC in a letter to the aptly named Andrew Lack, the network's news chief, following the debacle that was the CNBC debate on Tuesday. There was surely a lack of respect for the candidates by the moderator and panelists assembled for that show trial of a debate.

With the likes of Mark Levin calling for Priebus' head, there was little else he could do. The announcement affects the debate scheduled for February 26, 2016 in Houston. The debate was to be held in conjunction with National Review. It is a critical debate as it would take place only four days before the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses in a dozen states.

RNC Cancels Feb NBC Debate

By on 10.30.15 | 2:59PM

In the continuing fallout over the hyper-partisan and incompetent job done by CNBC (owned by NBC) moderators, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has "suspended the partnership" with NBC News. This probably ends NBC's participation, and perhaps the participation of Telemundo as well, but some debate will still happen on February 26th, and probably still at the University of Houston.

Priebus is facing tremendous criticism for implementing debate rules that some candidates, such as Ben Carson, thought were "not good for the process." Campaigns are also unhappy that the debates are taking place in states that vote fairly late in the primary season and thus are not where candidates want to be spending their time.

Priebus should refuse to let NBC back in for a debate this cycle, if only to impose a slight modicum of discipline on the networks to tell their moderators to at least pretend to be neutral and simply looking to create a discussion that will inform the American voting public.

Had to Call It Something

By on 10.30.15 | 1:40PM

One of the commenters on my “Sign of Decay” blog item correctly points out that what we’re calling candidate debates are in fact not debates, as anyone who has seen a real debate knows. (Those encounters back in the day between William F. Buckley Jr. and John Kenneth Galbraith were great fun — the forensic equivalent of the Ali-Frazier fights.) So why are these current simultaneous candidate press conferences called debates when no one is debating anyone else? Chirping at one another from time to time, but hardly debating.

Another Sign of Decay

By on 10.30.15 | 10:52AM

I’m surprised and disappointed. The L.A. Times is reporting that Nielson, the TV rating folks, claim more people watched the Tuesday night Republican debate than watched a really swell World Series game on at the same time (full disclosure — I’m pulling for the Royals). If this is correct — i.e. if Nielson’s sample is representative and its measuring technology sound (not everyone agrees they are) — then this is yet another sign of intellectual and moral decay in the land of the not-as-free-as-we-used-to-be and the home of the Atlanta Braves.

It’s an occasion of great sadness to imagine that more Americanos would rather watch a bunch of politicians fencing with and being hectored by a bunch of left-stream journalists than enjoy baseball’s fall championship showcase. This hit me with the same force as the jolt I endured on learning that sushi is available in some Major League ball parks. Enough to make a grown man weep.