Culture

My 2015 MLB Post-Season Predictions

By on 10.5.15 | 4:41PM

The 2015 MLB post-season begins tomorrow night with the AL Wild Card game between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. Here are my predictions for that game and the rest of the 2015 post-season

AMERICAN LEAGUE

AL Wild Card Game - Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

Winner: New York Yankees

 

American League Division Series #1 (Best 3 out of 5): New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals

Winner: Yankees in four

 

American League Division Series #2 (Best 3 out of 5): Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Winner: Rangers in five

 

American League Championship Series (Best 4 out of 7): New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers

Winner: Rangers in six

ALCS MVP: Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers

 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

NL Wild Card Game - Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Winner: Chicago Cubs

 

Now That The Washington Nationals Have Fired Matt Williams as Manager, They Should Also Fire GM Mike Rizzo

By on 10.5.15 | 3:13PM

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.

Pope Francis Met With Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis

By on 9.30.15 | 3:54PM

I haven't quite figured this Pope out yet, and that's probably a good thing. You're supposed to feel that way about a religious leader who challenges you to think differently about the way you operate. And this Pope in particular, in turns surprises and shocks me. 

Dodgers Clinch 3rd Straight NL West Title on a Clayton Kershaw One-Hitter

By on 9.30.15 | 3:21PM

The Dodgers will face the New York Mets in the NLDS beginning October 9th. At this point, it has yet to be determined if Game 1 will take place in New York and Los Angeles. It will depend who finishes with the better overall record. At the moment the Mets are one game better than the Dodgers in terms of their won-loss record which would mean the NLDS would begin at Citi Field. The Mets and Dodgers have faced each other in the playoffs twice previously. The Dodgers beat the Mets in the 1988 NLCS while the Mets beat the Dodgers in the 2006 NLDS.

For two straight seasons, the Dodgers post-season dreams were crushed by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 NLCS and the 2014 NLDS. The Cardinals could clinch the NL Central today with their MLB leading 100th victory. It is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the Dodgers might have to once get past the Cardinals again in order to win their first NL pennant since 1988.

Frankie Ford, R.I.P.

By on 9.29.15 | 3:50PM

Singer Frankie Ford has passed away yesterday following a lengthy illness at the age of 76.

Ford is best known for his 1959 hit "Sea Cruise" which made him a teen idol. "Sea Cruise" was written and originally recorded by New Orleans music legend Huey "Piano" Smith. In fact, Ford's vocals are sung over Smith's arrangement. You can watch the video below complete with an introduction from Dick Clark sponsored by Beech Nut spearmint gum.

He would also have a minor hit with a cover of Joe Jones' "You Talk Too Much".

Although Ford never topped the charts again, he spent more than 50 years performing both in his native New Orleans as well as on the Oldies circuit until illness forced him abandon his career in 2013.

Five Things You Might Have Missed About Pope Francis’s Visit

By on 9.24.15 | 12:44PM

The news media seems content to use Pope Francis's visit as a way to hammer on Republicans who, to them, "oppose" the Pope's agenda, including environmentalism, support for immigration and solving income inequality. Now, while that assumption is objectively incorrect — most Republicans aren't opposed to such things, just the government's role (and, by extension, the government's presumed effectiveness) in solving such problems — coverage of Papal activities that don't conveniently fit with the media narrative of "today's progressive Pope" has fallen by the wayside.

Far from the liberal prophet he's been proclaimed to be since stepping foot on American soil, the Pope, who will make some 18 speeches in the course of his visit, has encouraged deep and critical thinking about both the cultural and political state of the American nation. Here are a few details of the Pope's visit that have somehow escaped the roving eye of the Fourth Estate, but might put much of what the Pope has said on his visit into context:

Thirsty Thursday: Wyoming Whiskey

By on 9.10.15 | 8:45PM

This week, we’re reviewing Wyoming Whiskey, a craft whiskey that claims to be from the first legal distillery operating in Wyoming since prohibition. Following a trend of craft spirits, the whiskey is made from “all locally sourced ingredients,” including mountain spring water (sourced from the nearby Big Horn Basin). Its mash is corn, wheat and malted barley. 

After the initial stages of distilling, the whiskey is aged for five years in new, white oak charred barrels, just as you would expect from a true Kentucky bourbon or Tennessee whiskey.  It is bottled at 44 ABV, in honor of Wyoming being the 44th state admitted to the union (88 proof). The whiskey is supposed to be evocative of the Old West, and as such, begs to be drunk straight from a shot glass – no frills. In practice, this is a whiskey you can sip and enjoy slowly in a classic cocktail, but we recommend you enjoy it straight or neat.

Culture Vultures

Where Have All the Rock Stars Gone?

By 8.31.15

Saturday night, I sat — for six hours — in the pouring rain at Wrigley Field while a string of vintage punk rock bands — Urge Overkill, Naked Raygun, and Cheap Trick — intro'ed for the Foo Fighters, playing the sold out stadium on their Sonic Highways tour. The Foo Fighters themselves played for a straight two and a half of those hours, with an emotional Dave Grohl giving a determined and stellar rock performance to honor the city that first showed him the value of a good amp and a loud guitar.

Sunday night, I sat through what seemed like six hours of Twitter bickering.

I expected to show up this morning and pen a thousand words on the "controversial performances" and "nipple slips" and "terrifyingly inaccurate stereotypes of the Catholic Church" that rolled over my screen between bouts of strobe lighting and angry political outbursts, but all I could think, as I watched Miley Cyrus twerk around, arhythmically, in what looked like a suit made of giant plastic M&Ms, was… when did "rock stars" get so boring

Who Is Really Crazy, ‘End the Fed,’ or the Fed Itself?

By on 8.28.15 | 3:54PM

Caleb Howe is reporting live from the Jackson Hole Summit, a major financial summit that is attracting the world's greatest thinkers on money and economics. Look for Caleb's posts throughout the weekend.

On Friday morning at the Jackson Hole Summit, Judy Shelton of the Sound Money Project and Atlas Network spoke on the subject of the gold standard and addressed the perception that people who even dare to mention it are lunatics or, as The American Spectator noted earlier today, Quixotic. Shelton's presentation focused in the main on the numbers and the policies. Dr. Shelton pointed out that the Fed can't seem to face up to a simple, apparent, easily understood fact: Their policies aren't working.

Special Report

Happy Anniversary #GamerGate, Love Adam Baldwin

By 8.27.15

Today marks the one year anniversary of #GamerGate, an online phenomenon that has permanently altered the world of online journalism and the landscape of media ethics. It has had an impact, as well, on politics and public policy. For an introduction to #GamerGate, please see Mytheos Holt’s primer on #GamerGate from yesterday. Today we post a tribute from a Hollywood veteran of this freedom fight.

One year ago, I coined the hashtag #GamerGate on Twitter. I couldn’t have imagined then the controversy that would follow. Ever since, I’ve been near the center of an online conversation that's transforming an industry I’ve long admired, and worked within.

In helping to catalyze that conversation, my hopes turned to opening the eyes of young consumers: the people who help support the video game industry, as well as many careers in Hollywood. They’ve long been incredibly passionate, devoted friends and lovers of the art that we create — playgrounds where people can live out their dreams and aspirations after long days on the job. 

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