XM MLB Chat

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Distrust of US media reaches record high-Gallup

9/29, "Distrust in US Media edges up to record high," Gallup, by L. Morales
  • via Poynter.org/Romenesko

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Crowd thanks Cito Gaston in Toronto

Pre-game ceremony for Cito's last home game with the Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays beat Yankees 8-4. Reuters 1 and 3, Getty 2.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bob DuPuy, National Baseball Hall of Fame Board member, quits post at MLB

9/28, AP: "Bob DuPuy resigned Tuesday as Major League Baseball’s chief operating officer following 8 1/2 years as commissioner Bud Selig’s top aide. The move is effective Oct. 31, and Selig doesn’t currently intend to replace him.
  • DuPuy was Selig’s outside lawyer when he became executive vice president for administration in 1998. He was promoted to president in March 2002 and replaced Paul Beeston....

DuPuy first attracted attention in baseball when he negotiated the $280 million collusion settlement with the union in 1989 after arbitrators found

  • owners violated their labor contract by acting in concert to not sign free agents after the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons....

He was Selig’s primary lawyer from 1992-98 after the Brewers owner helped lead a revolt that led to commissioner Fay Vincent’s resignation."...

To ensure MLB's investigation into performance enhancing substances would be objective, Selig named Bob DuPuy's law firm to assist. Photo above of DuPuy from their web site.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

El Diario journalists now wear bullet proof vests, cartel owns politicians, only 3% of drug-related murders ever get to court in Mexico

9/24, On the Media: "After one of its photographers was gunned down by members of a drug cartel, the Ciudad Juarez edition of the newspaper El Diario ran a front page editorial asking "What do you want from us?". El Diario editor Gerardo Rodriguez explains."... "BOB GARFIELD: From WNYC in New York, this is NPR's On the Media. I'm Bob Garfield.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: And I'm Brooke Gladstone. Mexico’s ongoing drug war has taken 28,000 lives since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began a militarized campaign against the cartels in 2006. Among the casualties are

  • at least 30 journalists killed or disappeared.

Last Sunday, after the murderer of staff photographer Luis Carlos Santiago, the newspaper El Diario of Ciudad Juarez printed an editorial on its front page titled What do You Want from Us?, a query both angry and plaintive directed at the cartels.

On Wednesday, Calderon announced a plan to help protect journalists, but that’s likely to be of limited solace because

  • there’s no trustworthy authority in Juarez.

Gerardo Rodriguez is an editor for El Diario. Welcome to the show.

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Thank you.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: So can you tell me exactly what your editorial said?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: It’s asking the leaders of the Plaza, and this is the territories that are run by island cartels, that in this war between them and the government we are in the middle, under fire, and we're not getting a clear message why are they killing our journalists.

  • Armando Rodriguez was a police reporter who got killed less than two years ago in front of his house, killed in front of his daughter.

His crime has not been solved, even though we have promises from the presidency. And then Luis, last week.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: The photographer.

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Yes. He was shot in the middle of the day in a mall. And then the killer ran and, and chased his companion, which he’s also a graphic reporter for our newspaper. Both were wearing their IDs for the newspaper. The other photographer is, is alive, but he’s in a secret location.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Is it true that in Juarez

  • only about 2 percent of these drug-related murders are actually solved?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Yes, it is.

  • Only 3 percent get ever to courts, and less than those are solved.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: So the paper’s editorial read, quote, “It is impossible for us to do our job under these conditions. Tell us, then, what do you expect from us as a newspaper?” You didn't really expect the cartels to respond with a bill of particulars, did you?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Well, of course, we are not expecting a direct message. This is written in an ironic manner. It used to be that they would call the TV stations and the newsrooms, and they would threaten. But now, without any notice or without us knowing why, they are killing our reporters. And we just don't think a story is worth life.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: You say that there was a certain ironic intent in your editorial, but it reads like a real cry of the heart.

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Yes.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: What was your actual intention?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: To send a message, you know, that we,

  • The cartels are not just criminal. You know,
  • sometimes they're politicians.

We're recognizing this fact, which everybody talks about in Mexico

BROOKE GLADSTONE: So who do you think the principal target for El Diario’s message was? Was it the cartels, the Mexican authorities, the American authorities?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: They just gave asylum for the first time to a Mexican reporter here in the United States, and he’s from Juarez. And so, it seems that

  • the United States authorities are recognizing this now. We've been waiting for that for a long time.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: You've said that you hope that this story will get a lot of play in the American media. What do you think they can do to help?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Well, not just in American media. We've received calls from everywhere, and London, Canada, Latin America, from people who tell us that we are very courageous to publish the feeling of the people of Juarez. We're very angry, very sad.

  • We don't know who to go to. We're just frustrated.

Also, let me tell you, yesterday a lot of

so they killed two criminals with their own hands, you know, just cut them in a vigilante style. They just took their law into their own hands.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: What would be the ideal response to your editorial?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Well, I hope that the people understand that this war is being fought over our city, a place where a lot of things go from south to north and from north to the south, and that’s not going to stop. The use of drugs are increasing in the United States. We're all responsible for what’s going in Juarez. The criminal cartels are worldwide, and there is not a unilateral solution for this. It’s not a Mexican problem. It’s an international problem.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Do you see a future for reporters in Mexico reporting on the drug trade, or do you think that there’s simply nowhere to go from here?

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: Our reporters are very courageous.

  • They're using bulletproof vests now,

And they're very courageous. The people in Mexico are very courageous.

Mexican society is getting fed up with this violence, and even though right now I'm hopeless, I think that things are changing.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Gerardo, thank you very much.

GERARDO RODRIGUEZ: You’re welcome.

BROOKE GLADSTONE: Gerardo Rodriguez is an editor for El Diario in Ciudad Juarez."

via Poynter.org/Romenesko, "On the Media, Transcript of "Mexico's El Diario Pleads with Drug Cartels," 9/24/10

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NOAA fisheries enforcement corruption finally gets attention, millions in graft diverted for NOAA personnel personal use, travel, 'rewards'

9/24, "Feds find abuse of power in prosecuting fishermen," Newsday by Mark Harrington released the latest in a series of reports finding fisheries lawyers and enforcement officers abused their power in prosecuting fishermen and dealers like (Warren) Kremin, who lives in Rockland County. Among the most recent charges were
  • cases of excessive fines and prosecutions that all but mandated costly settlements.

"The problems identified by the inspector general are unacceptable, were allowed to persist for too long and will end on my watch," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said Thursday in announcing a series of measures to end the abuses.

For Kremin, whose business partner committed suicide and

  • who lost his grandfather's business, Joseph H. Carter Co., at Fulton Fish Market, the revelations were only the start of making things right.

His case was settled for $150,000 but he wants a new trial and restitution. "I would like to see justice prevail," he said.

Last month, at a meeting arranged by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) at the Shinnecock Commercial Dock in Hampton Bays, Kremin detailed his story to Jane Lubchenco, who heads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  • Friday, Schumer sent a letter demanding that Kremin's case be reviewed by a special master appointed by Locke to review allegations of past abuse.

"The inspector general's final report is a shocking indictment of the way fisheries enforcement agents were running roughshod in the Northeast region," Schumer said Friday.

In the new report, one fisherman explained the alleged tactics of an unnamed fisheries attorney pushing a settlement.

"[He] said that if you don't pay $27,000 right now, if you want to go in front of one of my judges, you'll be paying $120,000 to $140,000.

  • I settled for 25,000 bucks. I was scared to death.
  • They wouldn't give me the boat back."

Bonnie Bradie, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, which supports the local industry, said it was about time federal regulators listened to fishermen's complaints."We've been screaming for years the enforcement is unfair and prejudicial," she said.

  • The National Weather Service Employees Organization, which represents the federal workers, (NOAA, ed) called the report "flawed and politically motivated" and the workers "scapegoats."

"The attorneys did their jobs. They enforced the laws, assessed penalties according to NOAA's guidelines

*continuing, Newsday): "But locals attest to the findings. Mark Phillips, a Greenport fisherman, says he was hit with a $100,000 fine 20 years ago for fishing over the Canadian border, a charge he easily refuted with satellite records.

  • Still, it cost him $5,000 for a lawyer to fight the charges, which were dropped.

"The $100,000 fine would have put me out of business," he said Tom Kokell, a Northport fisherman hit with a $120,000 fine and a license suspension for overfishing fluke in 2007, ultimately settled for a $65,000 fine

  • but near insolvency forced him to stop making payments.

"If regulators don't listen to congressmen and senators, who are we kidding," Kokell said.

  • "Nothing's going to change. You just get so disgusted."
####
  • comment to Newsday article

""connorsmom -- The feds are doing this because they can --

####

  • Through NOAA,

the Obama administration has implemented a 'stock market' for fishermen, 'shares' of fish must be 'bought, sold, or traded.'

"a fisheries law enforcement system that has been found by the
  • U.S. Commerce Department's own Inspector General’s office to have subjected the fleet to
  • vindictive treatment and excessive fines used by the agents and lawyers to finance
  • foreign travel and daily operating expenses.

The longtime federal fisheries police chief, Dale Jones was put on paid administrative leave in April following the first report by Inspector General Todd Zinser,

  • but Jones remains on the NOAA payroll to the tune of $150,000 a year.

"We will be lining up to protest law enforcement abuse of funds, the blatant arrogance and abuse of Dr. Lubchenco and her ENGO (environment non-government organization) driven agenda, the continued employment of Dale Jones and every other abuse our regulators have punished our industry with over 33 years of corruption and egregious behavior,"

  • the organizers said of the protest in a prepared statement."...
6/28/10, "Getting help from the press," Gloucester Times, Nancy Gaines, Lubchenco founded a group to train global warming scientists to use media to shape government policy. NOAA built a $49 million slush fund obtained by pressuring fishermen which the federal employees used for their own enjoyment, travel, personal vehicles. This is on top of their $5 billion budget. No one has been fired or even punished for the crimes. Obama's NOAA chief Lubchenco will not allow it.
  • (In a recent investigation of NOAA, the US Inspector General was met by a lack of cooperation from NOAA counsel Lois Schiffer, a Lubchenco hire).
9/27, American Thinker on NOAA proceedings, nice to have some of the corruption acknowledged, but it appears nothing will change, criminals will continue to be paid on behalf of chump US taxpayers. Obama's NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco did not attend the meeting:
  • AT, "Dr. Lubchenco did not attend the meeting with Secretary Locke.
Why not? I have been told on good authority that Dr. Lubchenco has repeatedly told members of Congress that she takes direction from President Obama. She did release a statement supporting the Fact Sheet.

(Commerce) Secretary Locke may be a lame duck. If so, where does that leave his commitments?"

We are scolded that we are bad, must shut up and throw our hard earned money out the window on the off chance that millions of terrorists will like us better. That even if they burn our money, we must still shut up. And whom does the US government strangle, whom do we put out of business in an open crime with unapologetic thugs still on the payroll?
  • American fishermen. And plenty of people think this is fine and view themselves as the 'compassionate' ones. ed.
Above photo of Scottish fishermen who are also being eliminated by bureaucrats who never have to worry about their next paycheck or about making a profit. Or even about being honest. from BBC article, 9/30/10.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Josh Bertaccini wins Mad Dog Radio Host contest

9/24, "On-air personality Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, who headlines Sirius XM's Mad Dog Radio sports talk channel, has selected West Orange native Josh Bertaccini as the winner of his "So You Think You Can Talk Sports?" contest.

  • Bertaccini, who lives in Aberdeen, S.D., will headline his own national Mad Dog Radio program, hosting eight three-hour shows on the channel this fall.

Debuting Saturday, Bertaccini's show will air each Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. and each Sunday from 8 to 11 a.m. Listeners nationwide can tune in to hear him on Mad Dog Radio, Sirius channel 123 and XM channel 144.

"Growing up, sports radio was always my dream career," said Bertaccini. "I've always wondered what it would be like if I ever got to do it nationally, and I finally get that chance. I truthfully couldn't be any more excited about the opportunity."

  • Recently, I was able to grab five minutes with the budding national celebrity, Bertaccini, to ask him a few questions, Jersey boy to Jersey boy.

Q. Why did you enter the contest?

Q. You have a sports talk show in South Dakota. What kind of sports do they talk about out there? Caribou wrestling? Cow tipping?

  • People in Dakota love everything people love on the East and West Coast … basketball, football, baseball. Hockey's a little bigger here but not huge. I've still yet to tip a cow.

Q. Any metropolitan influences on your radio path or career, besides Mad Dog?

  • Ian Eagle and Joe Benigno, for sure. I used to listen to those guys every day growing up in West Orange. I don't know who else, maybe Thomas Edison or Bruce Springsteen?

Q. How did a kid from New Jersey get to South Dakota anyway?

  • My wife is from North Dakota and broadcasting is a crazy ride.

Q. Speaking of the Garden State, can we expect any New Jersey attitude on your 24 hours of airtime on Sirius?

  • I would certainly hope so, otherwise … fuhgeddaboudit!!!""
From NorthJersey.com, Bergen Record, "Jersey native wins 'Mad Dog' contest," by Ray Edel
  • via RadioDailyNews

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Predicting the Yankees will reach the post season in 2010 vs predicting the Red Sox would lose in 2004

  • I heard a pundit on Yankee radio during Saturday's game say,
  • "I guarantee the Yankees will go to the playoffs."
With only 7 games left, the alternative is quite likely. I remember in 2004 when the Red Sox lost the first 3 games of the ALCS, pundits and apparently a team owner thought it was all over, calling it "a bitter pill". (I understand it was a historic comeback, but there are always variables including the situation the Yankees now face. Being 2009 'world champs' doesn't guarantee anything):
  • "I'll reserve comment on that subject for internal discusion.
  • It's a bitter pill for Red Sox Nation and the Red Sox organization.""...
Everyone assumed the Red Sox were going to lose. The opposite happened. So, I see no guarantee the Yankees will make this post season. "This time, the Red Sox really had them worried. The Sox and their fans were certain of it. They finally had the Yankees on the run. The Sox were better. Even thewiseguys in
  • Las Vegas made Boston a favorite in the American League Championship Series.

But the Red Sox have been beaten senseless by those damn Yankees again, and the psychological toll threatens to shake the faith of a long-suffering Nation. How much more can New Englanders take?

The Yankees stripped the Red Sox of all dignity last night, pummeling six Boston pitchers en route to a hideous, 19-8 victory, which gives them a 3-0 lead.

So there. For the 86th consecutive autumn,

No baseball team in history has recovered from a 3-0 deficit and this most-promising Sox season in 18 years could be officially over tonight. Mercy.

Sox manager Terry Francona said, ''I can't bail. I won't bail on these guys. It was disappointing for everybody, but we're not done. I expect us to come out there tomorrow and play our [butts] off."

The first Fenway game of this much-hyped series could not have been more disastrous for Boston. The Sox embarrassed themselves with poor base running, inept pitching, and dubious managerial decisions. By any measure, it was an ignominious defeat as the locals succumbed without much trace of competition or honor. At least the 2003 team, the Grady Bunch, took the Yankees to the limit. That the Sox could play this poorly after the yearlong competition (on and off the field) between the century-old rivals, staggers the New England mind

Asked to comment on the level of disappointment, Lucchino said, "I'll reserve comment on that subject for internal discusion. It's a bitter pill for Red Sox Nation and the Red Sox organization."

Remember, this was really supposed to be the year. From the highest levels of management, a decision was made to fire all the guns at once. The Sox went out and got Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke, fired and hired a manager, waived Manny Ramirez, tried to trade for Alex Rodrigurez (who scored five runs for the Yankees last night), and traded the beloved Nomar Garciaparra. They beat the Yankees 11 times in 19 meetings and felt it was time to dethrone their New York nemeses.

It was all good in August, September, and into mid-October when the champagne flowed on the streets around Fenway after the sweep of the Angels in the Division Series. Sox fans had a lot of fun looking at that photo of Jason Varitek stuffing his catcher's mitt into the face of A-Rod in the July 24 brawl at Fenway.

Last night, Varitek stood helplessly while A-Rod kept crossing the plate. He also watched

  • Hideki Matsui hit two homers, two doubles and a single in the rout. Oh, and the game was played on the one-year anniversary of the Game 7 defeat in New York last year in the ALCS.

At least the Sox competed last year. In three games this series, they have led for only one inning -- 4-3 at the end of the second last night. Ever the models of professionalism, the Yankees have pummeled the ragtag Red Sox in every manner possible.

The Yankees struck 22 hits, including eight doubles, breaking all kinds of playoff records. Meanwhile, the Franconamen ran themselves out of a couple of innings, threw to the wrong base, got doubled off first base unnecessarily, dropped a popup, and sent a soft parade of pathetic pitchers to the mound. Fenway fans were booing the hometown team by the fifth inning and mock cheers rained down on the Sox in the late innings. The majority of the 35,126 had gone home by the time Bill Mueller flied to Bernie Williams in center to end it at 12:25 this morning. The game lasted 4 hours 20 minutes, the longest nine-inning postseason contest in big league history....

The Cowsills, chart-toppers from the 1960s, were reunited for the national anthem, a "Mighty Wind" moment in this ALCS. After "The Star-Spangled Banner," the Rhode Island natives broke into their 1969 hit, "Hair," an obvious tribute to Johnny Damon, Pedro Martinez, Ramirez, Bronson Arroyo, and all the other members of Boston's Hair Club for Men. When the singing stopped, Sox legends Dominic DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr and Johnny Pesky made ceremonial first pitches. The teammates delivered letter-high strikes.

  • DiMaggio, Doerr, and Pesky should have stayed on the mound for the Red Sox. The 80-something men certainly would have been as effective as the six pitchers who went to the hill. Sam Malone would have been another alternative.

Arroyo's first 30 pitches produced only one out and that was a 410-foot liner to center. A-Rod doubled home Derek Jeter for the game's first run, then

  • Matsui (the emerging series MVP) made it 3-0 with a two-run homer to right.

Ramirez ran the Sox out of a rally in the first, but Trot Nixon's two-run homer kick-started a four-run inning in the second. Damon broke his 0-for-9 series slump with an RBI single to make it 3-3, then the Sox took their only lead of the series when Damon scored on an error by Jeter.

Staked to the 4-3 lead, Arroyo immediately coughed it up, yielding a prodigious homer to A-Rod to start the third. After another walk and another double, Arroyo was yanked and replaced by Ramiro Mendoza, the Jose Offerman of hurlers. Mendoza has been entrusted with nothing but mopup in his Boston tenure. It showed. He gave up an RBI single, then balked home a run. The Yankees led, 6-4.

  • Making the second relief appearance of his career, Javier Vazquez replaced Brown to start the third (George Steinbrenner paid those two $25 million this year). Orlando Cabrera's bases-loaded double tied the game at 6-6.

The Yankees answered with five in the fourth. Mendoza took the air out of the ballpark by hitting No. 9 batter Miguel Cairo to start the inning.

  • That was all for the embedded reliever.

Curtis Leskanic was next. With two on and one out, fans chanted, "Who's your dealer?" as Sheffield walked to the plate. He hit a 1-and-0 pitch over the wall and it was 9-6. Boos rained down on the Red Sox. Yet another Matsui double brought Francona out of the dugout and Tim Wakefield -- today's scheduled starter -- was summoned.

More bleeding. Wakefield surrendered a two-run triple to Ruben Sierra (after a curious intentional walk to hitless Jorge Posada) and it was 11-6 in the fourth. A couple of more doubles by the relentless A-Rod and Sheffield made it 13-6 after five.

Then it got embarrassing. The Yanks poured it on with two in the fifth and four in the seventh and two more in the ninth.

The final score was 19-8. Might as well have been 19-18."
  • Someone else on radio is frequently ridiculed for saying, "there's no predicting baseball," and of course he's right. ed.
P.S. I very much hope Girardi is gone from the Yankees after this year, speaking as a fan. He was good in 2009, but 2010 has seen the re-emergence of the 2008 Girardi and worse. I despise him. ed.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Continuing tyranny

The likelihood that Selig will extend his grip on the world of baseball 9/25, "Bob DuPuy, who essentially has served as the No. 2-ranked executive in MLB for the past eight years as president and chief operating officer, is expected to move out of his current role...."He's on his way out," a team official said....
  • DuPuy had been seen by some within baseball as a
  • possible successor to Selig....

Selig's contract is set to expire in two years, and although Selig has indicated he intends to retire at that time,

from ESPN.com, "Sources: Bob DuPuy 'on his way out,'" by Buster Olney
  • Selig's endless grip will work out well for umpires, baseball writers, the existing baseball awards structure, and at least one possible future award recipient for whom Selig has already started to campaign. Awards are very important to him. ed.
via BTF

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Mexico building wall on border with Guatemala, 500,000 immigrants affected. Who will boycott Mexico?

Guatemala City, 9/15/10, IPS: "According to the head of customs for Mexico's tax administration, Raúl Díaz, in order to stop boats carrying contraband, the southern Mexican state of Chiapas is building a wall along the border river Suchiate, similar to the one the United States is building along its southern border with Mexico.
  • "It could also prevent the free passage of illegal immigrants," admitted the Mexican official.
Smugglers use the Suchiate River to move products across an international border without paying duty taxes, but at the same time,
  • thousands of Central and South Americans cross the river in their attempts to reach the United States in search of opportunity -- and without the required documents.
Some 500,000 migrants cross Mexican territory without permission each year, according to Mexico's National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH). The intention to build a border wall has triggered a wave of opposition from civil society and government organisations, with charges that it is a "senseless" measure that will not succeed in preventing undocumented migrants from crossing the border on their way north.
  • "We are watching the Mexican government's initiative with concern because the migrants are in a situation of highest vulnerability, as demonstrated by the massacre in Tamaulipas, where five Guatemalans died," Erick Maldonado, executive secretary of Guatemala's National Council on Migrants, told IPS.
The cruelty to which undocumented migrants are often subjected was laid bare Aug. 23, when 72 people coming from Guatemala, as well as El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil, were brutally murdered in San Fernando, a town in the eastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas. They were presumably killed by the Los Zetas drug cartel, which is also involved in kidnapping and exploiting migrants.
  • In addition, a total of 9,758 kidnappings of migrants were reported in Mexico from September 2008 to February 2009, according to the CNDH.
Putting up a wall on the Guatemala-Mexico border "is going to make the migrants' situation worse, because to meet their needs they are always going to find blind points where there are no migration or security controls, which implies greater risks," said Maldonado. The vulnerability of the Latin Americans, and especially Central Americans, who emigrate "without papers" to the United States has remained at the forefront in recent months, not only because of intense violence like the Tamaulipas massacre, but also because of government measures taken to fight illegal migration. Law SB1070, enacted Apr. 23 by the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona, authorises police to inquire into the immigration status of any person based on "reasonable suspicion." "... "B. For any lawful contact stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation."...Reference, KETLaw.com (continuing, IPS): "Critics say the legislation leads to racial profiling and violations of civil liberties. The long line of obstacles that migrants face on their way to the United States gets longer with the
  • construction of the wall on the Mexico-Guatemala border.
However, the authorities in Guatemala have yet to receive any information from the Mexican government about the wall.
  • Nevertheless, Maldonado expressed his concern this week to Mexico's migration representative in Guatemala, Alejandro Martínez.
Opposition to the project has even reached the highest circles: "Walls we can jump over; they are not a solution to the problem," was the terse comment from the vice-president of Guatemala, Rafael Espada.
  • The Chiapas state's intention to build a wall in some ways echoes the United States' controversial construction of the 1,126-kilometre wall along its southern border river -- known as Río Grande in the U.S.; Río Bravo in Mexico -- to prevent entry of undocumented immigrants....
Erick Zúñiga, mayor of the western Guatemalan municipality of Ayutla, better known as Tecún Umán, bordering Mexico, said the
  • state of Chiapas has already begun construction of the barrier, which he said "looks like a wall to prevent the Suchiate River from flooding."
In any case, said the mayor, "no wall will prevent migration. It won't stop people from crossing because they are going in search of job opportunities and a future for their families." " via mention on Steve Malzberg show

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New 1050AM ESPN NY program director comes from WMVP ESPN 1000 Chicago

9/23, "WEPN/1050 ESPN is going within the company for a new program director. Justin Craig, program director at WMVP/ESPN 1000 in Chicago, is headed for New York and their sister station.

Craig, who fills the hole left by former program director Aaron Spielberg exiting, will assume his job in mid-October. Scott Masteller had been the interim PD.

"Justin brings 20 years of experience and a proven track record to ESPN New York. [His] creativity and leadership helped ESPN 1000 place No. 1 in the key male 25-54 demographic several times in the Chicago market," Dave Roberts, 1050 GM, said in a statement.
Craig's resume extends to ESPN Radio where he was a producer of Mike and Mike in the Morning, and one of the program directors for overnights and weekend programming."
  • via RadioDailyNews

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Donald Trump and Amare Stoudemire at Yankee game 9/23

At the Stadium before Thursday night's Rays-Yankee game, which the Yankees lost. getty

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lance Berkman gets first Yankee home run and John Sterling call

Update: Oct. 19, ALCS game 4, bottom of the second vs Texas Bombers,
  • Berkman hit what an umpire first ruled a home run, but on review it was called foul. When it was first ruled fair, John Sterling on radio did give exactly the same call as he did for Berkman's first Yankee home run, described below.
In the bottom of the 5th, Tampa Bay v Yankees, Lance Berkman gets his first home run as a Yankee (and the Yankees' first run of the game). John Sterling makes the call on radio:
  • "Sir Lancelot rides to the rescue!"
  • "C'est lui! C'est lui!"
UPDATE, 9/26, Researched by JohnSterling.blogspot.com, the reference is from Broadway show, "Camelot," in which Sir Lancelot sings a song called, "C'est Moi," meaning "it's me." Sterling's "C'est lui," in French means, "It's him," referring to Berkman.

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Tarp on the field in the Bronx v Rays

Bottom of the third v Tampa Bay, 1-0 Rays, Wed., 9/22, getty

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Joe Mauer doused in AL Central celebration

Joe Mauer doused by Twins team mates after clinching AL central, 9/21/10. ap

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Peter Gammons with Mike Francesa 9/21

Peter Gammons with Mike Francesa on WFAN, 9/21. Discuss Steinbrenner monument ceremony, Girardi's general short temper resembling that of 2008, how Long Beach State produces good infielders like Longoria and Tulowitzki, how Bud Selig is under pressure from umpires labor union so can't make changes quickly.

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Commenter notes TV viewership not stadium attendance key to future of NFL

9/20, Neil DeMause notes NFL stadium attendance is down and on course to make lows not seen since 1998. Dave Kohl notes NFL tv viewing is doing quite well. "The NFL needs to rethink the way to make money,
  • they make the most from television, internet and media
  • not the actual stadium ticket sales.
Posted by kombayn on September 20, 2010 08:19 PM"

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fans watch video tribute to Mr. Steinbrenner on evening his monument is dedicated at the Stadium

  • Fans watch tribute, Yankee team walks toward monument ceremony,
Steinbrenner family poses in front of monument of Mr. Steinbrenner, Mr. Steinbrenner's granddaughter Haley Swindell sings God Bless America during 7th inning of tonight's game v Tampa Bay. top 3 getty, last reuters

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Girardi not playing to win the division, says home field advantage is secondary to team health

9/20, "Joe Girardi began his Sunday at Camden Yards managing as if it were the first game of spring training and the final score didn't really matter to him.
  • Nearly four hours later, he was managing as frantically as if it were the seventh game of the World Series.

Sometime between noon, when he posted a lineup card that was more like a surrender flag --

when Ty Wigginton's liner into the right center-field gap brought a merciful end to a game that had become torture for Yankees fans, the Win At All Costs alarm went off in Girardi's overactive mind.

  • What had earlier looked like a throwaway game became one the New York Yankees' skipper absolutely had to have.

And ultimately, it became a crushing, deflating loss to the Baltimore Orioles, heading into a crucial four-game series.

Before you knew what was going on, Rodriguez, who had been given the day off as part of Girardi's "Keep Alex Fresh" campaign, was at the plate

  • and Teixeira, who was held out for the second straight day due to lingering pain from hand and foot injuries, found himself not only pinch-hitting, but playing the field.

Not only that, but Girardi was pulling hitters in the middle of at-bats -- he yanked Pena for Marcus Thames after Pena already had a 1-1 count against him in the 11th,

  • compromising his team in the field

(Thames wound up playing left in the crucial bottom of the 11th).-- and despite having rookie Ivan Nova scheduled to open a truly important series with the Tampa Bay Rays Monday night at Yankee Stadium, depleting his bullpen in a futile effort.

  • In the final analysis, just about every one of those moves misfired.

A-Rod and Teixeira walked. Thames, deprived of one key strike, struck out, and

  • more damagingly, may have allowed Luke Scott to get to second base on a hit that
  • Brett Gardner, the man he replaced, might have limited to a single.

Scott wound up scoring from second on Wigginton's shot off David Robertson and when it was all over, and you realized that the Rays had lost, too, you were left with one overriding question:

  • Were all of those machinations and maneuvers really necessary?

In fairness to Girardi, he never could have predicted that Mariano Rivera, entrusted with a 3-2 lead against a team he had not blown a save against in his 16 previous chances, would surrender a game-tying home run to Scott leading off the ninth....

His (Pettitte's) six innings of three-hit, one-run ball were the best part of a terribly unsatisfying day in which the Yankees not only ended a nine-game road trip on a down note, but more importantly,

  • squandered a chance to put another crucial game between themselves and Tampa Bay, which comes to the Bronx still a mere half-game back....

The day was actually more puzzling than troubling, considering Girardi's mantra for the past couple of days, which has been that getting his guys healthy for the postseason -- especially Teixeira, Rodriguez and Nick Swisher --

  • is more important than just about anything else,
  • including finishing atop the AL East.

"I've said all along you can't risk the health of your players just for home-field advantage, it doesn't make a lot of sense,'' Girardi said on Friday. "We're still playing to win every game, but I don't think you change your principles. I think if you could have one or the other,

So why, then, did he decide to abandon that certainly reasonable philosophy for a goal as modest as winning a game against the last-place Baltimore Orioles? To borrow the man's own line, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

A-Rod, of course, was barely in the game and still technically had his day of rest. But how can you say at noon that Teixeira will benefit greatly from yet another day off -- and then yank that day off out from under him four hours later? By Tex's own admission, he has been playing in a great deal of pain from both his broken right pinkie toe and the deep bone bruise on his right thumb. What was the point of negating the effect of his respite,

  • especially

when it was obvious Buck Showalter, at the very least Girardi's equal as a strategist,

  • was going to walk Teixeira anyway,
  • and that you were going to have to send him out into the field for who could predict
  • how many innings?...

Showalter admittedly took a chance walking not just Teixeira but Derek Jeter, too, preferring to load the bases and pitch to the slow-footed Lance Berkman. That, too, could have backfired but

  • Showalter got exactly what he wanted when Berkman bounced into a rally-killing double play....

The one who fell the hardest was the Yankees' manager, who in trying too hard to win this one, may have made it that much harder for his team to win the next four.

GAME NOTES: After being groomed first as the next Rivera, later as a starter and most recently, as the eighth-inning set-up man, Joba Chamberlain was yesterday reduced to a one-batter specialist. He did his job, coming on to strike out Jones in the seventh before giving way to Boone Logan. ... Kerry Wood had a rare bad outing, allowing the Orioles to pull within a run in the eighth by allowing two hits, including Felix Pie's pinch-hit RBI single. The run was charged to Logan, who was pulled after allowing a bunt single to Corey Patterson leading off the inning. ...

  • Swisher, who proclaimed himself at full speed after getting two hits Saturday night, was quiet after Sunday's game, in which he went 0-for-5 including three strikeouts." ...

"Skipper ruins Andy Pettitte's return," Wallace Matthews, ESPNNewYork.com, 9/20

  • ####
An MLB announcer had a different headline, more thrilling for some, 9/19:

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TBS promos MLB post season in midtown NYC subways

9/20, "Riders on the New York City subway's 60-second Times Square shuttle run will discover something new during their commute starting next month when the first-ever advertiser-sponsored, in-car video campaign kicks off, The Post has learned.
  • The video-only spots, to promote TBS's coverage of Major League Baseball's first round post-season series and the second round National League Championship Series, will be shown on 10-inch video monitors inside the cars,
under the deal between the TV network and the MTA, which is expected to be announced today. There will be four monitors in each of the four-car trains showing the TBS-provided video content, which will include game action clips, promos and match-up information.
  • In addition, the TBS deal with the transit agency will include wrapping the trains with its MLB post-season campaign.

TBS' first-round, or the Division Series, for both leagues starts Oct. 6. The NLCS on TBS commences Oct. 15."

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Current review of labor market shows journalism a dying industry

9/18, Newsweek: The state of Kansas will no longer fund high school studies in what is called journalism. "Earlier this month, the state’s Department of Education decided to stop funding high-school instruction in the subject. Schools are free to raise their own money, but that’s not a path officials would recommend.
  • After a review of labor-market data, the state deemed journalism
  • a dying industry
  • unfit for public funds,
which are meant for “high-demand, high-skill or high-wage” jobs."
  • via RadioDailyNews

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

South Africa considers jailing journalists for inaccurate statements-BBC

9/18, BBC, "Hundreds of demonstrators have marched in Johannesburg, South Africa, against new measures they fear will muzzle the country's media.
  • They criticised plans to introduce a "protection of information" bill and a new media tribunal, to
  • punish journalists who step out of line.

Helen Zille, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, said the proposals are worse than apartheid-era measures.

The protection of information bill would allow the government to classify material that is

  • currently not secret.

The media tribunal, which would be answerable to parliament, would have the power

  • to jail or fine journalists for inaccurate reporting.

Ms Zille - once herself a prominent journalist - has described the tribunal as a

The ANC says new legislation is needed to make journalists legally accountable for inaccurate reporting. Its policy conference next week is

  • expected to focus heavily on policies to regulate the media.

With divisions in its party ranks, measures to tighten control of the press appear to be popular with many ANC members."

9/13/10, ANC general council wants to silence party whistleblowers

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Ground Zero mosque developer in dispute with NYC over value of site, withholding property taxes

The Ground Zero mosque developers have withheld property tax because they don't agree the land is valued at the amount assessed by the city. While this was going on and $224,000 in property taxes were in arrears, NY Mayor Bloomberg carried on an extensive media blitz, including tearfulness, on behalf of these people and how important it was they should have this land. We were scolded by Bloomberg, told we should have 'shame' for ourselves. So important was this group to him that he staged a dramatic speech on their behalf in front of the Statue of Liberty, becoming choked up while trying to make basic elements were not in place for the group to develop or perhaps even maintain ownership of the land. While the Statue of Liberty was being used as a sales aid for this supposedly wonderful group, we shameful Americans were not aware that in the 1990's $2 million hard earned US tax dollars were given to Imam Rauf by our politicians. The money was supposed to be used to repair his buildings in New Jersey but repairs were never made. 9/18, AP, "Questions about the (Ground Zero mosque) project's finances have indeed lingered. The investment partnership that owns the property, led by El-Gamal, quickly fell more than

The city's finance department confirmed Friday that El-Gamal had begun resolving that debt Wednesday, turning over a check for a little more than

  • $35,000 and signing on to an eight-installment payment plan to pay the rest.

El-Gamal said in a statement that the failure to pay was due to a dispute with the city over the assessed value of the property —

via Atlas Shrugs photo Getty

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Janet Napolitano with Diamondbacks celebrating new uniforms, 11/06

November 9, 2006, Department of Homeland Security's Janet Napolitano holds up new Arizona Diamondbacks shirt on day it was introduced, 11/09/2006. Napolitano was then Governor of Arizona. With Conor Jackson, left, and Eric Byrnes, right. photo, Arizona Diamondbacks.

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