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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A six pack of what's on my mind

* I notice the world’s oldest person died on Monday. That seems to happen a lot.

* New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was the beneficiary on Monday of my least favorite rule in baseball -- what I call the “blow the lead but get the ‘W’ anyway” rule. Rivera entered the game in the top of ninth inning -- with the Yankees leading Baltimore, 6-5 -- and he accomplished exactly one thing: He let the Orioles tie the game. He gave up a two-out single to Baltimore’s Brian Roberts that scored Tike Redman from second base. Rivera finished the half-inning and left the mound with the score knotted at 6. The Yankees then scored a run in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-6 win, and because Rivera was the last Yankee pitcher to stand on the mound, he got credit for the win. How silly. A winning pitcher should do something to contribute to his team’s victory. All Rivera did was put the Yankees in danger of losing by giving away their lead. In games like this, there simply should be no winning pitcher.

* Not to make light of an apparent tragedy, but if there ever is a movie made about this Utah mine collapse, I sure hope they get crumudgeonly old character actor George Kennedy to play Bob Murray, the mine co-owner who seems to be on CNN about 10 times every hour. I think these guys were separated at birth.

* I see the nation’s hurricane forecasters have egg on their faces -- again. For the second consecutive year, they have, in the middle of the season, lowered their number of expected Atlantic storms because very few have formed and they realize there’s not enough time left for their original predictions to hold up. Worse, though, is that they totally botched the forecast for Hurricane Flossie, the Pacific storm now headed toward Hawaii. On Saturday and Sunday, they said Flossie would weaken from a powerful Category 4 storm to a relatively harmless Category 1 as it moved west and that it would stay well south of Hawaii’s Big Island. By Monday, realizing the error of their ways, they modified their forecast to say Flossie probably will be a Category 3 storm when it reaches the Big Island’s longitude and may get close enough to the island to do damage. Screwing up a long-range forecast three months ahead of time is one thing; but botching a hurricane prediction when the storm actually is bearing down on a populated area is downright irresponsible. People’s lives are at stake, and those people have a right to expect a reasonable amount of accuracy from professionals who are paid to understand and accurately predict the weather.

* I own more than 1,000 CDs and about 700 LPs, but I find myself listening to three of those albums more than any of the others these days, and they’re all from 1984-85: Dire Straits’ “Brothers In Arms,” Don Henely’s “Building the Perfect Beast” and Sting’s “The Dream of the Blue Turtles.” If any of these are collecting dust on a shelf in your home, I highly recommend you revisit them. And if you’ve never heard them, do yourself a favor and get your hands on them. You’ll be glad you did. The mid-1980s were a far better time for music then most critics will admit. It wasn’t all Michael Jackson and Madonna.

* And lastly, congrats to my college friends Gil and Ellen, and their son Sam, who are on the brink of buying their first house. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so glad it’s finally happening.



Blogger Gil said...

Thanks for the mention. It's a done deal now!

August 14, 2007 at 3:32 PM 

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