The Spectacle Blog

Angels Clinch AL West

By on 9.18.14 | 9:15AM

The Los Angeles Angels will make their first post-season appearance since 2009 having clinched the AL West last night.

They clinched a tie with a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on a combined one-hit shutout by C.J. Wilson, Joe Smith and Huston Street. For a time, it appeared their celebrations would have to wait until Thursday. Jeff Samardzija struck out 10 batters over 8 innings and the A's had a 1-0 lead over the lowly Texas Rangers going into the 9th. But the A's bullpen imploded. Jimmy Doolittle, Jesse Chavez and Fernando Abad gave up six runs in the ninth and the Angels completed their ascent of the AL West.

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Biden: The Least Anti-Semitic Member of the Obama Administration

By on 9.17.14 | 4:51PM

Vice-President Biden's use of the term "shylock" is but the latest in a long line of verbal gaffes he has made over the years. But at least he knows he was wrong to have said that and has owned up to it.

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Orioles & Nationals Clinch; Could There Be a Beltway World Series?

By on 9.17.14 | 12:06AM

Within the space of about 30 minutes, the Washington Nationals clinched the NL East while the Baltimore Orioles clinched the AL East.

The Nats shut out the Atlanta Braves 3-0 at Turner Field. Tanner Roark, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen combined on a five-hit shutout. Ian Desmond drove two of Washington's three runs.

It is the Nats' second NL East title in three years. Washington and Atlanta fought tooth and nail for the NL East in the first half of the season, but the Nats took over first place on July 21st and never looked back. The Nats went 33-20 while the Braves went 21-32 over the same period. 

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British PM Cameron: “ISIS Not Muslim, But Monsters.”

By on 9.16.14 | 12:58AM

Last week President Obama declared that "ISIS isn't Islamic."

Now British Prime Minister David Cameron declares "ISIS isn't Muslim, but monsters."

Cameron made the comment in response to the beheading of British aid worker David Haines by ISIS over the weekend. 

Obama and Cameron can take the Islam out of ISIS all they want. All they have done is divorce themselves from reality, insult our intelligence and reveal their cowardice.

No wonder Obama and Cameron get on so famously.

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IRS Chief: ‘Wherever we can, we follow the law.’

By on 9.15.14 | 10:45AM

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee — again — to answer for how his agency is handling enforcement of Obamacare. In the course of questioning, he made this statement, giving an interesting revelation of the agency’s mentality:

“Wherever we can, we follow the law.”

“Wherever we can”? Sometimes it’s simply impossible for a federal agency to follow the law? Yet the IRS is authorized to nail any citizen who violates tax law, knowingly or unknowingly, and frequently takes full advantage of that authority.

Maybe I’ll tell that to the IRS next time I file my taxes. “I followed the law whenever I could, but sometimes, I just couldn’t — please excuse me.”

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When Smokey Sang The Star Spangled Banner

By on 9.14.14 | 6:51PM

The Star Spangled Banner  is 200 years old. Two centuries since Francis Scott Key wrote this poem during the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812.

It did not become our national anthem until 1931, but in the past eight decades it has been sung in public by thousands of people.

My favorite rendition was performed by Smokey Robinson at Fenway Park before Game 5 of the 1986 World Series.

I love the way how, at the climax of the song, he segues into America The Beautiful. 

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Mark Sanford Breaks It Off With Fiancée

By on 9.13.14 | 6:52PM

Well, that's no good. On Facebook, Sanford is blaming his legal troubles. When I say "blaming," I mean writing at the cringe-inducing length of well over two thousand words.

I remember when things were looking up for the old boy. Here, from Robert Stacy McCain, is the classic account of his comeback, which makes for better reading than Sanford's online tell-all.

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Saturday Caption 9/13/14

By on 9.13.14 | 10:10AM

Use all your skill and creativity to tell us in the comment section what these two gentlemen might be talking about.

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Bob Crewe, R.I.P.

By on 9.12.14 | 10:38PM

Songwriter and record producer Bob Crewe passed away yesterday. A cause of death has not been released. Some press accounts say Crewe was 82 while others say he was 83. 

If you're a fan of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons then you're a fan of Bob Crewe. Along with Bob Gaudio, Crewe co-wrote some of The Four Seasons' biggest hits - "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", "Rag Doll" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You". "The Sun Doesn't Shine (Anymore)" and "Silence is Golden" were two Crewe-Gaudio compositions originally recorded by The Four Seasons, but became big hits for The Walker Brothers and The Tremeloes, respectively.

Crewe would also collaborate with Sandy Linzer and Denny Rendell on another Four Seasons hit "Let's Hang On". In the mid-1970's, Crewe and Kenny Nolan would write Frankie Valli's solo hit "My Eyes Adored You" as well as "Lady Marmalade" for LaBelle which would later become a hit for Christina Aguliera. 

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