The Spectacle Blog

Saloon Series — Gin and Regulation: A Lesson in a Bottle

By on 10.29.15 | 8:34AM

There is a bottle that sits on my desk which serves as irrefutable proof that less regulation is better than more. 

Pull the stopper top and a remarkable aroma plumes forth. “I’d wear this as cologne,” a colleague remarked. He’s a clean-cut fellow, mind you, not a gutter dipsomaniac. “That’s really nice,” exclaimed another.

This 90-proof liquor’s scents come from juniper, cucumber, lemon, sage, lavender, black pepper, red bell peppers and pimento. It is Uncle Val’s Peppered Gin, made by 35 Maple Street Spirits in Sonoma, Calif.

Gin, you ask? Is that not the water-clear hooch from the United Kingdom that smells like pine needles? Yes, often gins are made in the London Dry style (think Beefeater). But gin need not ooze juniper.

Nationals to Name Bud Black New Manager

By on 10.28.15 | 11:39PM

It appears that Bud Black will be named the new manager of the Washington Nationals

Black, a former big league pitcher who was a member of the 1985 World Series champion Kansas City Royals, managed the San Diego Padres from 2007 until June 2015 when he was dismissed. The Padres only had two winning seasons under Black and never reached the post-season. They would miss the NL Wild Card in 2007 and would collapse at the end of the 2010 season.

But the Nationals have the kind of talent he could have only dreamed of in San Diego (saving for the free agent and trade acquistions the team made last off-season). The Nats wanted an experienced manager who had a good rapport with players. With this in mind, the final two candidates were Black and ex-Giants, Cubs and Reds manager Dusty Baker. 

Cueto Tosses Complete Game Two-Hitter to Give Royals 2-0 Lead in World Series

By on 10.28.15 | 11:11PM

I spent a majority of the evening watching, tweeting and writing about tonight's GOP debate.

But I peeked in on Game 2 of the World Series during the commercials and watched the final couple of innings at the conclusion of the debate.

Johnny Cueto has been very inconsistent with the Royals, but tonight he was in top form tossing a complete game, two-hitter en route to a 7-1 victory over the New York Mets. Cueto becomes the first AL pitcher to throw a complete game in the World Series since Jack Morris threw 10 innings in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Morris' complete game gave the Twins a World Series triumph against the Atlanta Braves. As for the Royals, they now have a 2-0 lead in the Series. 

So much for my prediction that the Mets would win in five. The series will resume in New York on Friday. 

CNBC Colorado GOP Debate Post-Mortem

By on 10.28.15 | 11:01PM

I have just finished live tweeting the CNBC GOP Debate in Boulder, Colorado. Here is my post-mortem.

Before I begin with the candidates let me say that the triumvirate of John Harwood, Carlos Quintanilla and Becky Quick was absolutely awful. They could barely conceal their contempt for the Republican candidates on stage. They might as well have wearing Hillary buttons.

Say what you will about FOX and CNN's debate coverage. They are both leagues ahead of CNBC.

John Kasich - He doesn't do angry well. His criticisms of Trump and Carson fell flat. Again, he doesn't make such an impact when he's debating outside of Ohio.

Mike Huckabee - He spoke well when called upon and displayed his usual humor. His talk about preventative medicine was interesting as well. But I don't think he'll stop social conservatives from seeking out Carson just yet.

Jeb Bush - Aside from his fantasy football record, he had little to brag about. He came off like a scolding school teacher when he criticized Marco Rubio's Senate attendance record. 

The Genesis of Phil Collins’ Comeback

By on 10.28.15 | 4:40PM

Phil Collins has announced he will record new music for the first time since 2002 and will soon embark on a world tour. After releasing an album of Motown covers in 2010, Collins announced his retirement.

So why is he back? What was The Genesis of decision?

Collins, who turns 65 in January, told The Guardian, “My kids are now 10 and 14 and they want to see what their dad does. They were in nappies when I was last on the road. They love my music and I’d like to take them out so they can enjoy it.”

In other words, Collins needs to show his kids that people think he's cool.

Who knows? Maybe it's gonna get better.

The Happy, The Sad & The Weird of Game 1 of the Mets-Royals World Series

By on 10.28.15 | 4:21PM

I know Larry has already said his peace on Game 1 of the Mets-Royals World Series, but there was so much kitchen sink that it warrants further comment.

Alcides Escobar's Inside-The-Park HR Was The First Since 1929

Prior to Escobar ripping the first pitch in the general direction of Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes, there had been 9 other inside-the-park home runs in World Series history, but none since 1929 when Philadephia A's centerfielder Mule Haas hit a three-run inside-the-park home run off Chicago Cubs reliever Art Nehf in the 7th inning of Game 4 of that Fall Classic.

I Will Be Live Tweeting Tonight’s GOP Main Debate Even If It Means Missing Most of Game 2 of The World Series

By on 10.28.15 | 2:47PM

Tonight, I will be live tweeting tonight's GOP Main Debate which airs on CNBC at 8 p.m. EST.

This means I will be missing most of Game 2 of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets. But hey I've made similar sacrifices. The last GOP debate took place on my birthday. If I can sacrifice some of my birthday then I can certainly sacrifice some baseball especially if Carly Fiorina makes a fool out of Donald Trump again.

What I won't be doing is live tweeting the undercard debate between Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki. No offense to those who might be fans of theirs, but unless one of them physically transforms into Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan there is really nothing that will come out of that debate worthy of comment.

My twitter handle is @aargold24 and I will be live tweeting at #gopdebate. Following the debate, I will post a port-mortem here at The Spectacle.

KC and Baseball Winners Tuesday Night

By on 10.28.15 | 1:50PM

Even with a brief power outage, an overlong game, and competition from the opening night of the NBA’s regular season, the Kansas City Royals and Fox Sports were big winners Tuesday night.

The Royals won a well-played, competitive, and thoroughly entertaining first game of the 2015 World Series 5-4 in 14 innings. TV ratings for Fox Sports’ telecast of the game were the highest for a World Series opener since 2009. And this against the opening last night of the regular NBA season.

The game was a thriller from the outset when Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar hit a stand-up, inside-the-park home run off Mets pitcher Matt Harvey’s first pitch. Escobar’s romp was aided when Mets outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto perfectly executed the I got it/you take it play in left.

Tonight’s festivities at KC’s Kauffman Stadium will be called Bad Hair Night, as KC’s Johnny Cueto will go up against the Mets’ Jacob deGrom. (Baseball fans require no explanation.)

Democrats Receive Over 99% of Professorial Support at Elite Liberal Arts Academies

By on 10.27.15 | 5:58PM

The stats are in, and, man, are they predictable.

FEC released a report this month revealing the giving of professors, from the 50 top-rated liberal arts colleges, to current presidential campaigns. As one would aptly surmise, the stereotype of liberal academia proves true. Campaign donations from the professors of these 50 institutions flow overwhelmingly into the coffers of Democratic frontrunners--Bernie Sanders. and Hillary Clinton .. 99.51% to be exact, with only 1 out of 47 donating professors even funding a Republican campaign.

Robert Paquette, Professor of History at Hamilton College, was the lone conservative in this study having donated $150 to Carly Fiorina’s . campaign. This is only a miniscule fragment when compared to the amounts surrendered over to the Democratic contenders by the other profs: $8,417 to Sanders and $20,875 to Clinton.

Why Trump’s Poll Numbers Are Falling in Iowa

By on 10.27.15 | 5:04PM

Donald Trump is baffled as to why his poll numbers are suddenly falling in Iowa in favor of Ben Carson. On Sunday, during an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday he said, "I don't understand Iowa because frankly, I just left and we had tremendous crowds and tremendous enthusiasm." By today, Trump told the folks at MSNBC's Morning Joe, "I don't get it," as he plans to head back to Iowa today.

Since October 22nd, Trump's poll numbers against Carson in Iowa have been falling and I think it's pretty obvious why. That day Trump sent out a tweet which read:

"@mygreenhippo #BenCarson is now leading in the #polls in #Iowa. Too much #Monsanto in the #corn creates issues in the brain? #Trump #GOP"