The Spectacle Blog

Correa & Bryant Win AL/NL Rookie of the Year Honors

By on 11.16.15 | 10:58PM

Although neither man began Opening Day 2015 on the major league roster, Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant easily won AL & NL Rookie of the Year honors, respectively.

Correa didn't make his big league debut until June. In only 99 games for Houston, Correa hit .279 with 22 home runs and 68 RBI and was a key contributor to the Astros first post-season berth in a decade. At 21, Correa is just scratching the surface. 

Meanwhile, Bryant hit .275 with 26 home runs and 99 RBI in 151 games. Although he struck out a NL leading 199 times, he did make the NL All-Star Team and reached the post-season with the Cubs. Like Correa, we are going to hear a lot from Bryant in the years to come. 


P.F. Sloan, R.I.P.

By on 11.16.15 | 10:46PM

Songwriter and musician P.F. Sloan has passed away of pancreatic cancer at the age of 70.

Sloan co-wrote a series of hit songs with Steve Barri during the 1960's and early 1970's most notably Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction", "Unless You Care" by Terry Black and "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers. Sloan & Barri on several songs which became hits for The Grass Roots - "Where Were When I Needed You", "Let's Live For Today" and "Things I Should Have Said." In addition to songwriting, Sloan was also respected session player and was associated with The Wrecking Crew.

Given the events which have taken place in Paris, "Eve of Destruction" takes on a new meaning 50 years after it was written.

Thoughts on the Red Sox Acquiring Craig Kimbrel

By on 11.16.15 | 10:21PM

This actually happened on Friday night, but with the Paris attacks I've put writing about this on the backburner.

The Boston Red Sox acquired Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres for four prospects. 

Kimbrel will replace Koji Uehara as the team's closer. Uehara took over as closer in 2013 and was a key part of their World Series title run. Uehara saved 25 games for a mediocre Red Sox team in 2015, but his season ended in August with a broken wrist. 

Despite Uehara's effectiveness, he is 40 while Kimbrel is 27. 

Kimbrel began his career with the Atlanta Braves winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2011. He led the NL in saves every season between 2011-2014. On Opening Day, the Braves traded Kimbrel to the San Diego Padres. Kimbrel saved 39 games for a mediocre Padres team. He has 225 saves for his career. 

Talking Points Memo Expands Obama’s “America Winning” Quote & Makes Him Look Even Worse

By on 11.16.15 | 9:58PM

President Obama raised eyebrows at the G-20 Summit in Turkey when he said, "I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership, or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with."

The liberal website Talking Points Memo tried to defend Obama's comments by expanding them, but in the process only made him look worse:

What I do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow in the abstract make America look tough. Or make me look tough.

And maybe part of the reason is because every few months I go to Walter Reed and I see a 25 year old kid who is paralyzed or who has lost his limbs and some of those are people I've ordered into battle.

The Say Hey Kid, Yogi, Spielberg & Babs Among Those to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

By on 11.16.15 | 4:51PM

The 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients have been announced.

They include the likes of Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand and James Taylor. I imagine that's for being good Democrats than anything else. Well, as long as it keeps JT out of Paris.

Other recipients include Stephen Sondheim, Itzhak Perlman, Gloria Estefan, former Democrat Congressman & 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton.

The two names on the list which excite me the most are Willie Mays and the late Yogi Berra who passed away in September.

Sadly, Yogi won't be hand for the ceremony which takes place at the White House on November 24th. He won't be able to tell President Obama to take the fork in the road.

But perhaps the Say Hey Kid can bring the crowd to its feet as he did in the 1954 World Series.

Nick Bockwinkel, R.I.P.

By on 11.16.15 | 4:13PM

Former professional wrestler Nick Bockwinkel has passed away at the age of 80 of complications of Alzheimer's.

Bockwinkel played football at the University of Oklahoma when a knee injury derailed his career. Instead, he followed in his father Warren's footsteps and he became a professional wrestler in 1954 beginning a career that would last more than three decades.

Bockwinkel is best known as the four time American Wrestling Association (AWA) World Heavyweight Champion. Based in Minneapolis, the AWA was run by Verne Gagne, the man who he first beat for the title 40 years ago this month, who also passed away earlier this year.

Trump is to The Left of France’s Socialist Minister of the Interior on Shutting Down Mosques

By on 11.16.15 | 3:01PM

Donald Trump says this country has to consider shutting down mosques.

Not surprisingly, the Left is outraged. Madeleine Davies of writes, "The United States should fight violent religious extremism with prejudiced religious oppression, according to presidential candidate Donald Trump." Amber Phillips of The WaPo declares, "Talking about mosques in the wake of the Paris attacks is just the latest iteration of this kind of thing from Trump. He has often gone further on these matters than many other in his own party — and found a devoted base of people who eat it up."

But then what to make of Bernard Cazeneuve, France's Minister of the Interior and member of the Socialist Party?

Harvard University Evacuated After E-Mailed Bomb Threat

By on 11.16.15 | 2:25PM

Several buildings at Harvard University as well as much of Harvard Yard have been evacuated following an e-mail threat of a bomb on campus.

Two other colleges here in Massachusetts - Cape Cod Community College and Fitchburg State College - were also evacuated following bomb threats.

Chances are it is a hoax. Bomb threats at schools aren't that uncommon. I remember one when I attended high school in Thunder Bay, Ontario. There will always be people who cause mischief. But given the Paris bombings, nobody is taking any chances.

After Paris, Obama Will Not Change Tactics on ISIS

By on 11.16.15 | 1:20PM

Obviously, President Obama has had a tough weekend, what with a terrorist attack on a major ally and then a long flight to Turkey for the G20, so I suppose we can give him a pass on his foot-stomping tantrum this morning at the world summit in response to questions about how the US will respond to a freshly motivated Islamic State. 

But why would we do that?

Although the attacks in Paris came just hours after the President claimed ISIS was "decapitated" and "contained," and although even liberal allies in the New York Times and elsewhere are calling for a greater focus on defeating, not just controlling the advance of ISIS on the Arab penninsula, Barack Obama spent most of his first G20 press conference insisting that there would be no change to US policy

Obama Does Have Religious Tests For His Compassion

By on 11.16.15 | 1:01PM

While at the G-20 summit in Turkey, President Obama said that giving priority to Syrian Christians over Syrian Muslims is "shameful.":

And when I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who's fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that's shameful. That's not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.

These remarks appeared to have been aimed mainly at Ted Cruz who said over the weekend, "There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror."