Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 12, 2006
BLOG: Quick Links 1/12/06

The site has had some technical problems and may continue to for the next day or so (I'm moving to a new server). This was posted Thursday morning.

*Chris Lynch compares the Hall of Fame voting process to the UN and the Nobel Prize. Via Ducksnorts.

*Faith and Fear in Flushing asks why Jim Bunning is in the Hall of Fame and Jerry Koosman isn't. Via Repoz. As I've written before, Bunning is a fairly weak Hall of Famer and shouldn't have been voted in, given the large number of comparable pitchers who are on the outs (I'd take Luis Tiant over Bunning any day of the week, let alone Blyleven). But the real reasons are obvious. First, W-L record: Bunning and Koosman won a nearly identical number of games, 224 to 222, but Koosman lost 25 more games. Second, strikeouts: Koosman's career high was 200, while Bunning struck out 200 six times and 250 or more three times. Third, the shape of their careers: Bunning won in double figures 11 years in a row, and between 1964 and 1967 his average record was 19-12 with a 2.48 ERA and 248 Ks in 298 innings. Koosman's best years were more broken up: he had three straight losing records from 1971-73, went 11-35 in 1977-78, and 4-13 in 1981. It's all somewhat unfair, but the fact is, the Hall has always rewarded players who concentrate their best seasons together.

*Ramesh Ponnuru notes the media's haste to characterize Judge Alito's views on executive power based on only the thinnest of evidence, persumably just to fit him into a preconceived storyline about Bush.

*I loved this line from Dahlia Lithwick characterizing the theme of Alito's opening statement: "My family was too poor to afford a judicial philosophy."

*The professor who suggested this question for Alito clearly missed the memo on the Democrats' talking points:

I'd also ask him if he would be willing to sell any shares of stock that might cause him to recuse himself (and instead reinvest them in mutual funds that do not require recusal based on underlying investments).

*Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden need to be reminded that in hearings, unlike in football, time of possession is not a winning metric.

*When you say "Ted," you put your mind on hold . . .

*Patterico catches the LA Times misleading readers into thinking that Alito is the fifth vote to overturn Roe (a claim repeated yesterday by Dick Durbin). If only.

*Stuart Buck on Alito and presidential signing statements.

*John Miller's latest NRO analysis has the 2006 Senate races a stalemate other than a likely GOP pickup of an open seat in MN and three "tossups," those being one Dem-held open seat (NJ), one GOP Senator (Santorum in PA), and one semi-GOP Senator (Chaffee in RI). In other words, if the Dems win all three tossups and the other races stay where Miller has them now, the GOP nets a loss of one seat, and only on the issues where Chaffee votes Republican.
This isn't great news for the GOP, of course; the map strongly favors Republicans in 2006, and will favor the Dems in 2008 & 2010 (since they won few close races in 2002 & 2004), so this will be the last chance for some time to pick up Senate seats on which the Democrats have a tenuous hold. But it's also a reminder that the Democrats have a lot of ground to gain if they expect to change the Republican lock on the Senate majority for the remainder of Bush's term.

*Jon Henke makes an excellent point about how all the money that flowed directly from Jack Abramoff was to Republicans, but Abramoff sent a lot of money indirectly the way of both parties. Typically, the Democrats are making a big deal about the direct/indirect distinction in defending their own, while counting the indirect money as part of what went to the GOP. I agree with Henke that the people who got money directly are in more trouble, but everyone will have some explaining to do. But at the end of the day, there's no real scandal in taking contributions from the guy - the real scandals are in the personal benefits (trips, etc.) and in ties to favors done for Abramoff clients. After all, there's no truer example of "everybody does it" than the fact that everybody takes money from favor-seekers.

*There has to be more to this story, doesn't there? Of course, I could see him joking about this. But it would be utterly typical of Bush national security controversies if there are reasons why Bush can't publicly disclose his reasons, and the critics get another free shot at him unanswered.

*Harry Belafonte, toady for tyrants. And soon to share a stage with Hillary Clinton. The Democrats should be careful with the whole guilt-by-association business.

*Long Mark Steyn column that pretty well summarizes his theory of why much of Western Europe, Russia and Japan is headed for demographic and cultural suicide.

*Can you bully your way to Oscar glory?

*Hoover and FDR's secret plan to invade Canada.

*Rachel Corrie's family abducted by Palestinian terrorists. Oh, the irony.

*Henke again, on real wages. Essential reading.

*I agree 100% with this and this.

*Well imgaine my surprise, Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty. Via Jane Galt. This line from Upton Sinclair well summarizes the benefits of being in the Hollywood and cultural Left in this country:

It is much better copy as a naïve defense of Sacco and Vanzetti because this is what all my foreign readers expect, and they are 90% of my public.
Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:00 AM | Blog 2006-14 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

That Canadian invasion article was pretty facsinating. Still, us Canadians still hold a perfect record in repelling American invasions.

Bring it on!

Posted by: Ed from Ottawa at January 13, 2006 1:29 PM

We were all set to conquer Canada, but then we realized that Quebec was part of the package :-).

I agree about HoF/UN/Nobel voting. Great institutions that have lost their way.

Posted by: rbj at January 13, 2006 2:17 PM

The financial books of the UN are kept secret and thus scandals like the oil for food scandal are bred. The BWAA votes for the Hall of Fame are secret and thus we get two votes for Greg Jefferies.

(1) UN general assembly votes are not secret.
(2) the United Nations publishes an audited set of financial statements every year just like everyone else.

I don't have the remotest sympathy for the UN, and I'd love to see more transparency in the BBWAA vote, but the analogy just doesn't work.

Posted by: Chris at January 14, 2006 12:40 AM
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