The Spectacle Blog

Royals Will Make First Post-Season Appearance Since 1985

By on 9.26.14 | 11:42PM

The Kansas City Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1 and with that victory will make their first post-season appearance in 29 years. It is the longest such drought in any of the four major professional sports. 

Their last post-season appearance occurred when they won the World Series in 1985. That year the Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.

Like the 1985 Royals, the 2014 edition have strong pitching and defense with an anemic offense. Their ace is James Shields and their bullpen is anchored by the one two punch of Wade Davis and Greg Holland. However, their best offensive player is Alex Gordon who hit a modest .265 with 19 HR and 74 RBI this season. 

Despite their lack of offense, the Royals are only a game back of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central and could still win the division. If not, the Royals will either face the Oakland A's or the Seattle Mariners in the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday. 

After the Royals clinched, the TV cameras turned to a smiling George Brett. 

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D’Backs Fire Kirk Gibson

By on 9.26.14 | 11:06PM

Six months ago I picked the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the World Series.

The D'Backs will finish the 2014 season with the worst record in MLB.

Today, the D'Backs fired manager Kirk Gibson.

In 2011, Gibson led Arizona to the NL West title, but the D'Backs have underachieved ever since. 

The writing was on the wall the moment back in May when  the D'Backs hired Tony La Russa to be Chief Baseball Officer. 

Earlier this month, Kevin Towers was dismissed as GM. It was only a matter of time before Gibby would follow him out the door.

Yesterday, the D'Backs named Dave Stewart their new GM. Stewart, of course, was La Russa's ace on those great Oakland A's in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Could firing Gibson be La Russa and Stewart's way of getting back at him for taking Dennis Eckersley deep in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series?

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Another Act of Workplace Violence? Recent Muslim Convert Beheads Woman in Oklahoma

By on 9.26.14 | 4:36PM

Now it's come here.

Yesterday, in Moore, Oklahoma, a man beheaded a woman at a food processing plant from which he had just been fired. He also stabbed another woman multiple times, but she is expected to recover from her injuries. The man was eventually stopped when he was shot by the food processing plant's COO, who is also a reserve county deputy.

The man has been identified as Alton Nolen (a.k.a. Jah'Keem Yisrael). The deceased woman has been identified as Colleen Hufford, who was 54 years old. The woman who survived her injuries has been identified as Traci Johnson.

The FBI has told local authorities that Yisrael has no connection to ISIS. Even if he isn't connected to them, he surely adopted their tactics.

If this can happen in smalltown America then imagine what could happen in the big cities.

Will the Obama Administration classify this as yet another act of workplace violence?

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Derek Jeter Hits Walk Off Single in Final Yankee Stadium At Bat

By on 9.25.14 | 10:36PM

When Derek Jeter reached base on a fielder's choice in the seventh inning I had a feeling this wasn't the way it was going to end during his last game at Yankee Stadium. Sure it drove in a run, but it wasn't a story book ending.

The Yankees had a 5-2 lead going into the ninth against the Orioles. Hiroki Kuroda was masterful, but Joe Girardi opted to bring in closer David Robertson. The normally reliable Robertson gave up home runs to Adam Jones and Steve Pearce. The game was tied 5-5.

Jeter was due up third in the bottom of the ninth. 

Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought in Evan Meek. Jose Pirela led off the inning with a single. Brett Gardner sacrificed pinch runner Antoan Richardson to second. 

Then up came Jeter. 

First base was open. Showalter did not dare order Meek to put him on. Jeter hit Meek's first pitch to favorite spot in right field for a walk off single. Meek might not have inherited the Earth, but he did give up the winning run.

The Yankees won 6-5.

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Iraqi PM: ISIS Plotting to Attacks Subways in U.S. & Paris

By on 9.25.14 | 5:00PM

Iraq's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says his country's intelligence service has informed him there is a plot by ISIS to attacks subways in the U.S. and in Paris in the wake of American and French missile strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

For its part, the Obama Administration won't confirm these reports.

Well, I see the NYPD isn't taking any chances and has boosted its presence on the MTA and throughout the city.

I wouldn't be surprised to see more inspections at MBTA stations. Perhaps I'll see one on my way home.

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Giants Claim NL Wild Card Spot (With Some Help From The Reds)

By on 9.25.14 | 4:18PM

The San Francisco Giants have officially claimed one of the two NL Wild Card spots, but they needed the help of the Cincinnati Reds to do so. The Reds beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 in an afternoon game at the Great American Ballpark to cap off what proved to be a heartbreaking season for the Brew Crew. I will have more to say about the Brewers once the NL Central is settled.

The fact the Giants needed some other team to help them clinch a Wild Card berth has been emblematic of how their season has been since early June. On June 8th, the Giants were 43-21 and owned the best record in MLB. Since then, the Giants have gone 42-52. The Giants were terrible from the middle of June to the middle of August going 20-36 over that two month stretch. In the midst of that stretch, the Dodgers overtook first place in the NL West for good. The Giants have played better of late. Since August 13th, the Giants are 22-16. Still, they are playing at nowhere near the level they were in the first two months of the season.

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Holder to Announce Resignation as AG

By on 9.25.14 | 11:24AM

From the Department of It's About Goddamn Time, Eric Holder is expected to announce his resignation as Attorney General later today.

It's hard to say what was more egregious? His conduct during Fast & Furious? Calling Americans "a nation of cowards" where it concerned race relations? His probe on FNC's James Rosen? Quashing the conviction of the Black Panthers intimidating voters in Philadelphia? Challenging the Arizona immigration law in court despite having only "glanced" at it? His demagoguery on voter ID? Wanting to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in NYC? That any criticism of him and President Obama is racially motivated? Take your pick.

I know most conservatives aren't enamored of Lindsey Graham, but to truly get a measure of Holder's incompetence their exchange in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2009 is very much required viewing.

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Eric Holder to Resign

By on 9.25.14 | 10:53AM

Eric Holder will step down as Attorney General.

One wonders whether Barack Obama can find someone even worse.

No doubt he will propose someone with an intent on having him/her confirmed during the lame duck session of Congress in order to avoid facing the likely GOP majority in 2015.

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Dodgers Win Back to Back NL West Titles

By on 9.25.14 | 1:18AM

I just saw the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 9-1 to earn their second straight NL West title.

Clayton Kershaw threw eight innings, struck out 11 and didn't walk anybody en route to his major league leading 21st win of the season. He now has a miniscule ERA of 1.77. For good measure, Kershaw even tripled to tie the game in the fifth. Kershaw is a shoo-in to win his third NL Cy Young in four years and might become the first NL pitcher to win the MVP since Bob Gibson did it in 1968. That's some pretty darn good company. 

The Dodgers scored four runs in the sixth on a solo HR by Yasiel Puig, a two-run double by Carl Crawford and a single by Juan Uribe. The ex-Giant would single in two more runs in the eighth. Catcher A.J. Ellis joined the party by driving in a run on a fielder's choice. Puig drove in another run with a bases loaded walk. 

The Giants tried to rally in the seventh, but Puig threw out Gregor Blanco as he tried to run from first to third. 

The bearded ex-Giant Brian Wilson recorded the final three outs to cap off the night. 

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Hollande & Cameron Legitimize Iran

By on 9.25.14 | 12:01AM

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has had a very good week at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Yesterday, Rouhani had an audience with French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday and on Wednesday he met with British Prime Minister David Cameron who characterized their meeting as "historic."

Apparently, Hollande and Cameron are impressed by Rouhani's rhetoric. But how is Iran any different today than it was when Ahmadinejad was President. Honestly, it doesn't matter who Iran's President is because be it Rouhani, Ahmadinejad or anyone else they serve at the pleasure of the Mullahs. 

It's only a matter of time before Rouhani meets with President Obama. With this in mind, I believe there will be a nuclear agreement between the Obama Administration and Iran within the next 12 months. 


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