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Archive for August 30th, 2016

Ted Williams born this day in 1918

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(My new American Thinker post)

1941 was the year of DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak, the last summer of peace and Ted Williams ended up with a .406 batting average.

It is remarkable to go back and see Williams’ consistency:

The eventual seventeen-time All-Star began the season going one-for-one with a 1.000 batting average.
Over the rest of the season, his average never fell below .308, and was almost always over .400.

In fact, on July 24, it stood at .397. It would never again fall below .400. Williams wrapped up 1941 at 185-456, good for an average of .406.

While Williams’ batting average garnered all of the attention in 1941, he also led the league in home runs (37), base on balls (147), runs (135), slugging average (.735), and on base percentage (.551).

But here is the best part of the story. This is where this goes from another baseball story to a triumph of character.
This is where Ted Williams’ talent and tenacity was displayed, as remembered in this article by Bill Pennington years ago:

Inside his room at Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Hotel on Saturday, Sept. 27, 1941, Ted Williams was jumpy and impatient.

That might have been an apt description of the mercurial Williams at most times, but on this evening he had good cause for his unease.

His batting average stood at .39955 with a season-finale doubleheader to be played the next day at Shibe Park, home of Connie Mack’s Athletics. Since batting averages are rounded to the next decimal, Williams could have sat out the final two games and still officially crested baseball’s imposing .400 barrier.

At the time, Williams said, “If I’m going to be a .400 hitter, I want more than my toenails on the line.”

So he went 6 for 8 and crashed through the .400 barrier.
As we learned later, Williams had many character flaws.He wasn’t the nicest guy in the clubhouse or with the media. He couldn’t even return a salute to the fans at Fenway who cheered his last at bat, a home run, naturally.
Nevertheless, his performance in the last game of 1941 is a lesson for us all. He could have sat out the double header and hit .400, or the rounded version of .3995. Instead, he put everything on the line and came out with a .406 average.
Love him or hate him, I have to love that he was not afraid to put everything on the line.
As the son of Cuban immigrants, I know a bit out putting everything on the line. I watched my parents do that several times. Maybe that’s why I admire that quality in Ted Williams so much.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

Written by scantojr

August 30, 2016 at 10:30 pm

August 30, 1965: The day that Casey Stengel retired

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Let’s remember Casey Stengel, who retired on this day in 1965:

“Stengel’s real fame came as a manager. Though he had only middling success with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1934-1936) and Boston Braves (1938-1943), he managed to score a job with the New York Yankees in 1949 to replace the retiring Joe McCarthy, the winningest manager in major league history. Where he had previously managed only struggling teams, Stengel now had a roster of great players at his disposal. He made great use of platooning players, sitting right-handed hitters against right-handed pitchers and vice versa. 
His record of 1149 wins versus 696 losses with the Yankees over the next 12 seasons was among the greatest in managerial history, and included 10 American League pennants and seven World Series victories. 
After a heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates, however, the Yankees replaced the 70-year-old skipper with Ralph Houk, believing Stengel was simply too old to manage. 
Stengel responded: “I’ll never make the mistake of being 70 again.””

He was quite a character as well as an amazing manager.  

I think that people were quick to say that he had a great team.  However, he had a good sense for managing a pitching staff.  He almost invented the platoon system and pitching situations, i.e. lefty pitching to lefty.

Casey was great.  

Written by scantojr

August 30, 2016 at 10:00 pm

September 1968: The Bee Gees and “I’ve gotta get a message to you”

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August 30, 2016 at 9:30 pm

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Sergio Mendes and “Fool on the hill”: The best cover of a Beatles song

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August 30, 2016 at 9:00 pm

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A few thoughts about Colin Kaepernick and a few other stories with George Rodriguez

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August 30, 2016 at 8:00 pm

What is the Clinton Foundation doing in Colombia?

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(My new American Thinker post)

Our friend Fausta Rodriguez Wertz has been on this story for a week.   

It begs the question: What was The Clinton Foundation looking for in Colombia? 

Here is a bit of the very complicated story

Fondo Acceso was founded in 2010 by Bill Clinton, the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, and the Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra. The Clinton Foundation and the SLIM Foundation committed $10 million each to the fund.

The Clinton Foundation is a 50 percent shareholder in the company, according to its tax records. Numerous Clinton Foundation and Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership officials are listed as Fondo Acceso directors in Colombian corporate filings.

The fund has reportedly distributed $1.5 million to Alimentos SAS, a fruit-pulping company, and $250,000 to the telecommunications firm Fontel SA in exchange for shareholding agreements. The Clinton Foundation and CGEP have declined to release a full list of Fondo Acceso’s investments.

What exactly is the point of having President Clinton in business in Colombia with a Mexican telecommunications billionaire and a Canadian mining magnate? Why all the secrecy? Why was the website takend down?

I have a few other questions:

1) Did they do this to avoid regulations in Colombia or the U.S.? Or to create a fund to go around U.S. oversight or campaign laws?

2) Why didn’t President Clinton create the fund to boost business in the U.S.? For example, how about a fund to invest in our inner cities? Why promote investment in other places when our cities are desperately lacking in jobs?

3) Did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have any role in this?

According to Fausta, Hillary Clinton’s timeline is interesting — or maybe Clintonian:

2008: Hillary Clinton campaigns for president, is against the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

2009: Hillary Clinton becomes Secretary of State. She starts lobbying members of Congress for approval of the CFTA, as revealed on emails released on February 2016.

2010: Bill Clinton, Carlos Slim, and Frank Giustra (who pledged $100 million to the Foundation) open Fondo Acceso. Previously, in June 2005, Gold Service International, a South American business group, paid Bill Clinton $800,000 to deliver four speeches in South America. Gold Service was pushing for the free trade agreement, which would help boost Colombian exports to the United States, and Clinton was supportive of the policy.

The Clinton apologists will say that this is all coincidence, as they always do. My answer to the Clinton apologists is to remind them of Ian Fleming’s line about coincidence:  

“Once is happenstance. 
Twice is coincidence. 
Three times is enemy action” 

Finally, am I the only one who finds Mrs. Clinton’s change of heart about the Colombia Free Trade Agreement just a bit too cute?   

This is especially relevant because she was for the Trans Pacific Partnership until she was against it. Can we believe anything that this woman says? Will she flip as President Clinton to take care of some donation that someone gave to the Clinton Foundation?

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.


Written by scantojr

August 30, 2016 at 7:32 am