The Spectacle Blog
To the surprise of no one, the Washington Nationals have fired manager Matt Williams.
Widely expected not only to run away with the NL East, but a favorite to win the World Series, the Nationals went 83-79 in 2015 finishing 7 games back of the New York Mets.
After winning NL Manager of the Year in 2014, Williams began to come under fire for his use of the bullpen in the 2014 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants. He did not learn from those mistakes this season, was ineffective in communicating with his players and did not see reliever Jonathan Papelbon try to choke likely NL MVP Bryce Harper in the dugout just over a week ago.
Friday, everyone from the New Yorker to the White House was in a tizzy over comments Jeb Bush made about the Oregon community college shooting at a campaign event. Apparently, according to reporter Ryan Lizza, who was at the event, Jeb Bush . took a casual moment away from his campaign speech to address the tragic event with the words, "stuff happens."
This morning, Hillary Clinton asked reporters "who can be more of an outsider than a woman President?"
Apparently, voters agree, at least in Iowa. Just not with Hillary on which woman that is, exactly. Today's NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll shows Carly Fiorina . leading Hillary Clinton among likely voters in Iowa by a striking fourteen points.
That bears strongly for Carly even amongst her Republican peers. A showing against Clinton makes her an asset for a final ticket even if her uptick fades. She's showing signs of staying in the race, and as a formidable opponent.
Hillary Clinton is expected to unveil a four point gun control plan today in New Hampshire. The proposals include a) take executive action if Congress fails to close the gun show and Internet sales loophole b) tighten existing background checks c) Bar domestic abusers from buying and possessing firearms and d) remove liability protection from gun manufacturers.
The final proposal is a specific dig at Bernie Sanders as he voted in favor of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005 which gave gun manufacturers immunity from liability while then Senator Clinton voted against the bill.
Although most of my attention was focused on the Angels-Rangers game, I did check into the Red Sox-Indians to hear Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy broadcast together for the last time.
After Mookie Betts grounded out for the final out of the game (the Sox lost 3-1), the Red Sox came out of the dugout en masse to salute Orsillo who replied by putting his hand over his heart. He signed off by saying, "Don Orsillo rounding third and heading home." Meanwhile, RemDawg was too choked up to speak.
I don't understand why the Red Sox saw fit to break up RemDawg and Orsillo. Yes, the ratings were down. That's because the team sucked for most of the year. That's not the announcing team's fault. If anything, they made things bearable. They focused on the game, but gave us some laughs and put some smiles on our faces. What's wrong with that?
It took until the last day of the season, but the Texas Rangers finally clinched the AL West with a 9-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
Twenty-four hours ago, the Rangers blew a four run lead in the ninth inning against the Angels.
During the game I tweeted, "If I'm a Rangers fan, I want Cole Hamels pitching 9 innings. Their bullpen is on fumes."
Cole Hamels pitched a complete game for the Texas Rangers. After giving up a two-run home run to Albert Pujols in the first, Hamels didn't give up a hit after the second inning.
The Rangers took a lead in the 5th on a two-run home run by Adrian Beltre. After the Angels took out Garrett Richards, the Rangers scored six runs off the Angels bullpen in the 7th.
You can now make the argument that the Rangers acquiring Cole Hamels is as big as the Blue Jays acquiring Troy Tulowitzki and David Price and the Mets acquiring Yoenis Cespedes. The Rangers won Hamels' last 10 starts going back to August 17th. If not for Hamels, the Rangers don't reach the post-season.
When I arrived home from the Bernie Sanders rally (there will hopefully be a column on this Monday) I tuned into the MLB Network to see the Houston Astros-Arizona Diamondbacks game.
Instead, I see Max Scherzer on the mound pitching against the New York Mets with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. It was right then and there I realized that Scherzer was one out away from his second no-hitter of the 2015 season. He got Curtis Granderson to pop out to Yunel Escobar and the Washington Nationals effectively ended their season on a positive note. It doesn't quite make up for missing the post-season, but it is a feel good moment for the team and a triumph for Scherzer. He struck out 17 batters and at one point fanned nine consecutive hitters.
You might recall that I wrote about ex-Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters dark side when it comes to Israel and Jews a couple of years ago.
Well, Waters is at it again. This time he is directing his anger towards Jon Bon Jovi who is performing in Israel for the first time tomorrow. Waters wrote an open letter to Bon Jovi in Salon in which he declared that Bon Jovi "stands shoulder to shoulder with the settler who burned the baby."
In that case, Roger Waters stands shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinian who slit the throat of a baby.
Yesterday's Oregon shooting is a tale of tragedy and terror, but as with many tales of tragedy and terror, there are aspects of heroism and love.
The Oregon shooter wanted the media to mention his name, which is the very reason we have not here, nor will we. But there is one name you should know, that has emerged in the media coverage of yesterday's events: Chris Mintz. Chris Mintz is a hero. And Chris Mintz deserves coverage.
When Chris Mintz heard gunfire at Oregon's Umpqua Community College on Thursday, his thoughts were not of himself.
Instead, he thought first of protecting others. Then he thought of his 6-year-old son, Tyrik.
Nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire at the College on Thursday. Nine others were injured.
When the shooting broke out, Mintz, 30, an military veteran and a former high school football player in Randleman, North Carolina, tried to save the lives of others.