Liar’s Baseball?

Michael Lewis, author of the classic Liar’s Poker, has a new book out that tracks Billy Beane and his efforts to build a successful and affordable team over the course of the 2002 season. I have not yet read the book, so I can’t recommend it, but I’ll be sure to read it before I pick up Hillary Clinton’s new addition to the literary world.

Ever Hear of Vietnam?

Couple of quick comments to this article about a speech given by Ted Sorensen (registration required):
1. Most importantly, why is it newsworthy? Does the Times provide equal coverage to speeches in favor of the war that are given by former Eisenhower speechwriters?
2. He conveniently forgets Vietnam. I suppose that was LBJ’s fault, or better yet, Nixon’s?
3. He states, “He added, “It will be the law of the jungle in which every warlord has his own weapons of mass destruction, and the first or biggest bomb wins.” But, wasn’t part of the reason we went to war with Iraq to avoid this?

Politics: Background on Bob Graham

The Sunday Washington Post Magazine had an extensive article here on presidential candidate Sen. Bob Graham. (I didn’t know that his half-brother was Phil Graham, of Washington Post and Katherine Graham fame.) Scary to think about it, but I do believe Graham has a point — while Bush has been successful, to date, in bringing the war to the terrorists, I have a nagging feeling that we still are too vulnerable to another attack. That being said, I’m not sure I buy the conventional wisdom that another terrorist attack would make Bush politically vulnerable. Rather, I suspect it may actually drive up his ratings for three reasons: (1) Bush has shown he can handle such events with true leadership, (2) I suspect the public recognizes that Bush is doing a lot to protect us and another attack would underscore why we need him in office and (3) natural, patriotic instinct.

RELIGION: Fr. McFarland’s Continuing Missteps at Holy Cross

As the Crank, I’m an alum of Holy Cross and feel some obligation to comment on the Chris Matthews controversy. I don’t think there is much to say other than the obvious: Fr. McFarland has done a disservice to a great institution by his treatment of a strong supporter of the school. I actually agree with McFarland about the decision to honor Chris Matthews — if the school limited candidates for honorary degrees to only those individuals who agree with the Catholic Church’s teachings on every topic, graduation ceremonies would be very short (which wouldn’t be a bad thing!). However, certainly someone who has done as much for the school as Mr. Millard (sending 8 kids to the school, previously serving as chairman of the board of trustees, etc.) deserves better treatment. Add this to the growing list of complaints many alums have with McFarland; it seems as if not a year can pass without him handling a matter poorly. It will be interesting to see the impact this has on fundraising, esp. on the individual large dollar donations.


I’d like to thank the Crank for the chance to add to this terrific blog. Hopefully, he’ll find my postings to be almost as entertaining and enjoyable as I find his.
First, the name: Mets fans will recognize it immediately. As to the rest of the readers, Kiner’s Korner was a post-Mets-game interview show hosted, at times with great difficulty, by Ralph Kiner in which he interviewed one of the stars of the day’s ballgame. Given that this was during the mid-to-late 1970s, a dark era for the franchise, it was frequently discouraging. I still remember John Stearns stating after an August ballgame that, “If each of us goes out there each game and gives it his all, we have a chance to play .500 baseball for the rest of the season.” As I said, those were dark days.
Second, I probably won’t add much diversification with my postings. I, too, am a Patriot League-educated, politically-conservative lawyer and Mets fan. I currently live in New England, however, so I might add an occasional bashing of the Boston Globe.

Two Announcements

Now that the new site’s been up and running a week, I have two major announcements:
The first, which I made last week over at the Projo discussion boards, is that I am ending my affiliation with the Providence Journal. I enjoyed my time writing for Projo, and I have nothing but good to say about Projo sports editor Art Martone, who offered me a spot to keep writing about baseball when Bill Simmons’ Boston Sports Guy site closed down in May of 2001. Art remains one of the voices of reason in baseball writing, and of course I’ll keep checking out his columns.
I intend to eventually load all my columns from Projo and the BSG site into the archives here, and put links to many of them up on the front page; there’s already a bunch loaded, including many of my Hall of Fame columns. I’ll still write longer column-length posts here when I have the time, but as long-time readers are aware, I’ve found it harder ever since September 11 to confine my interests to just baseball. In fact, I started writing columns, back in college, mostly as a writer on politics and world affairs (the sports columnist job on the school paper was taken already by Bill Simmons when I got there). Of course, the world has changed a lot since I was a college student writing columns calling for war with Saddam . . . if I really get ambitious some day I may break out the old WordPerfect for DOS floppies and dig up one or two of those old columns.
By the way, for those of you who are fans of my baseball writing but want to avoid the political stuff – or vice versa – you can do so by clicking on the “Categories” in the left-hand column; I believe you can actually bookmark them.
Second, this site – following the lead of successful blogs like the Volokh site, Asymmetrical Information, Oxblog, The American Scene, The Buck Stops Here, and others, will now be a group blog. While there are obviously some advantages to getting all the credit for a site yourself, this is another move that will assure more content, and more continuous content, on the site even when my work and family commitments don’t leave me time for writing (and thus avoid long silences like the one Dr. Manhattan is now enduring; come back, Doc!).
I am very pleased to introduce my first two co-bloggers, who have chosen to remain pseudonymous. I’ll leave it to them to do their introductions, but they will be writing under the names “The Mad Hibernian” and “Kiner’s Korner.” What I will say is that both are lawyers, both are Mets fans, and both are likely to bring a similar perspective to issues of war and politics to the table to ensure a consistent tone for the content at this site.