Philadelphia again scores highest homicide rate among big cities
- At the same time, fewer murders are getting solved."...
Filling in for Tim McCarver for the first two games of the American League Championship Series, Francona was insightful and genuinely funny, both valuable commodities in broadcasting. He laughed at his own clichés and was unafraid to question managers' strategy. He drew raves from fans and critics (Yahoo! Sports baseball writer Jeff Passan tweeted, "Is Terry Francona Wally Pipping Tim McCarver?"). Francona won't be Pipp-ing McCarver, but the former Boston manager has been hired by ESPN to replace new Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine on Sunday Night Baseball. He'll also be seen on Baseball Tonight. Though I imagine he'll be back in baseball sooner than later, Francona has a chance to be very good if he works at the job."Tweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon
Maddux signed a five-year, $28 million contract with Atlanta, a deal that fell a staggering $6 million shy of the offer the Yankees had presented to Maddux. The final proposal to Maddux by Yankees even included a $9 million signing bonus.
Maddux becomes the game's second-highest-paid pitcher per year, behind David Cone, who signed a three-year, $18 million deal with the Royals on Tuesday.
The failure to acquire Maddux meant the Yankees had been utterly shut out in their effort to sign -- they had hoped to stockpile -- the best pitching available in the free-agent marketplace. Cone signed with the Royals; Doug Drabek will pitch for the Astros; Jose Guzman opted for the Cubs. All had been extended offers by the Yankees. Chris Bosio and Greg Swindell, two more pitchers whom the Yankees entertained notions of pursuing, signed with other clubs, as well.
"This one hurts," said Gene Michael, the general manager of the Yankees, who did manage to trade for Jim Abbott on Sunday. "He's the best one out there. I never thought I could say this. But he's a steal at $28 million. He's a steal."...
"The acquisition of Greg Maddux gives us the most formidable rotation in all of baseball," said Atlanta General Manager John Schuerholz.
The Braves, who won the pennant in 1991 and 1992, now are equipped with a starting rotation that includes Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Steve Avery. The Braves are so loaded with pitching that they traded left-handed starter Charlie Leibrandt to the Rangers within a half an hour of their Maddux announcement.
"Greg, above all, wanted to win," said his agent, Scott Boras. "The Braves offered him the most substantial degree of assurity of taking the World Series."
The signing ends months of wild, weird and occasionally bitter negotiating, which included painful relations with the Cubs and a well-chronicled and elaborate showcasing of the New York metropolitan area. Maddux saw Broadway musicals, had conversations with Donald Trump and all the while was considering what would have been the most lucrative contract ever signed by a pitcher. "It was not about using the New York Yankees," said Boras.
The Yankees, though, were devastated by the reversal. For more than a solid week, the organization had poured its energy into its courtship of Maddux. Michael traveled to Las Vegas, Nev., to play golf with Maddux and rekindle the relationship that had begun when Michael was with the Cubs in the early 1980's.
The Yankees then followed up with a proposal for five years and $30 million. In an instant it was inflated to $34 million. On Monday, Michael left the club here and traveled to New York to tour North Jersey neighborhoods with Maddux and then take the right-hander and his wife, Kathy, to dinner at the Post House
It wasn't enough, and that fact became clear today over a stretch of six hours. The Yankees, who had been given a counterproposal of $37.5 million on Tuesday only to have Boras tell them within hours that it was not longer binding because of Atlanta's re-emergence in the picture, began today with the intent to redo their offer to make it more appealing.
The Yankees wouldn't go to $37.5, but they would, in a maneuver that followed one used by the Royals to sign Cone, offer Maddux a $9 million signing bonus.
In the end it meant nothing. Boras, who insists his client was prepared to become a Yankee after Michael's sightseeing tour, had extracted a $28 million proposal from the Braves. Maddux would not come to New York, not for the restructured $34 million or the extra $6 million it represented. Molloy's first telephone call back here came within minutes of Maddux's signing....
The Yankees finally made their pitch to the Colorado Rockies to get their third baseman back. The Yankees left Charlie Hayes unprotected for the expansion draft, and the Rockies grabbed him as the third player picked in the draft.
Today the Yankees met with Rockies officials and offered Hensley Meulens, the player the Yankees had hoped one of the expansion teams would have selected. The Rockies' response: Don't be silly, we could have drafted him.
The Rockies countered by asking for Sterling Hitchcock and Sam Militello, two impressive young pitchers, plus Russell Davis, a minor league third baseman. The Yankees said no to all three. The meeting ended shortly afterward." via Jeff Sullivan, sbnation
"The Braves had been to the World Series in both 1991 and 1992. The Yankees had won 71 and 76 games in those years, respectively. Maddux wanted to win, so he gave up guaranteed money to join a proven winner."...
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12/21/11, "Mets cut Florida farm team," NY Post, Mike Puma, via NY Radio Message Board
This year on Christmas Eve, Samuels died. She was 69.
No cause of death was immediately announced. Her body was discovered after she failed to report for her 10 a.m. Saturday show at Sirius XM radio and the company asked police to go to her Woodside, Queens, home.
On the radio, Samuels was exactly what much of the country thinks New York sounds like. She had a city accent she never tried to hide or soften, even when her bosses suggested it would prevent her from ever getting a radio job outside the city.
“This is who I am,” she said.
Samuels was a self-described progressive who often threw curveballs. She was a long-standing critic of President Obama, saying she didn’t believe he ever really had progressive credentials.
Her periodic unpredictability didn’t serve her well in today’s party-line talk radio, but helped give her a long run in the earlier, looser talk era.Her criticism of conservatives often extended to her fellow radio hosts, but she would add that she liked a number of them personally. She became close friends with conservative host and writer Matt Drudge,
Mainelli said he exchanged messages with her on Friday, at which time she said she would be doing both her Saturday and Sunday shows live this weekend.
“I am stunned,” Jay Diamond, her one-time WABC colleague, wrote on the New York Radio Message Board. “She sometimes got mad at me, but I loved her, and we were friends to the end. The world of radio, and the world in general, will miss this great talent, and great human being.”
Aside from politics, Samuels would devote long segments to cultural matters like books, music, a movie she saw or the merits and demerits of wearing foundation garments.
Her own politics ran back to the activist movements of the 1960s, about which she often talked. Her radio career began around
She moved to WABC in the late 1980s and remained there on different shifts for about 15 years. She was fired three times and rehired twice.
After WABC she struggled at times to stay in the city, taking a job in a laundromat while keeping her hand in radio at Sirius XM.
A very private person off the air, Samuels left no immediate survivors.
But the local radio world was saddened. To the end, said Mainelli, she was “the same as she had always been - lively, full of curiosity, and happy, all existential things considered.”" via Drudge
Ed. note: As a listener of Ms. Samuels from WBAI through WABC, I recall discussion of her laundromat employment which was before and during her WBAI days when she was poor, not after leaving WABC as the article states. She made and saved a lot of money at WABC so wasn't poor after leaving there.
"Bob Grant, the talk radio host, who was a colleague at WABC, said Ms. Samuels was “funny, smart and original.”
“What I admired about her was, she wasn’t afraid. With all these right-wingers around,” he said, referring to her view of him as well, “she just said what she had to.”"
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The Pennsylvania State Police arrested Gray just before 2am December 12 during a traffic stop.
He was allegedly at the home of Joe Amendola, the eccentric lawyer defending Sandusky against allegations he molested 10 boys over the course of several years.
According to TMZ, Mr Amendola invited Gray and several other reporters over to his house to watch the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game.
The reporters, reportedly, were all vying for exclusive interviews with Sandusky, who has only further raised public suspicious about himself in two awkward media appearances, says TMZ. ...
During the party at Mr Amendola's State College house, TMZ claims Gray got 'really drunk.'
Around midnight, he got in his car to drive back to his hotel and was stopped by police.
He was released on bail after his arrest.
NBC has not commented on the case and neither has Gray.
Gray is a national correspondent for the network who has covered stories across the country.
According to a report in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, Mr Amendola wants Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, to appear in an exclusive network interview.
Gray and the other reporters were likely trying to win favors to get them the air time, TMZ says." via RadioDailyNews. photo msnbc via UK Daily MailTweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon
"New York has paid the tax in all nine years since it began, $206 million of the $227 million raised under the penalty for high payrolls. The only other teams to pay have been the Red Sox (a total of $18.8 million), Detroit ($1.3 million) and the Los Angeles Angels ($927,000).
The Yankees pay at a 40 percent rate on the amount of their payroll over $178 million, a figure that includes the average annual values of contracts plus benefits. Boston, which exceeded the threshold for the second straight year, pays at a 30 percent rate. For purposes of the tax, New York's final payroll was $212.7 million and Boston's was $189.4 million.
Under the new labor contract, the Yankees' rate would increase to 42.5 percent next year and 50 percent in 2013 if they continue to exceed the threshold, and Boston's rate would go up to 40 percent next season.
But if in any year a team goes under the threshold, its rate decreases to 17.5 percent the next time it pays the tax.
As an added incentive for the high-spenders to decrease payroll, if they get under the threshold they will become eligible to get back some of the money they contribute in revenue sharing. The tax threshold stays at $178 million through 2013, then goes to $189 million in each of the following three years."...Tweet Stumbleupon StumbleUpon
The problem with that is that (Hassan) Shibly is a political speaker. A Hindu priest or Christian pastor won’t counter the poisonous propaganda that Shibly spews to our impressionable young minds. An informed counter-jihad speaker such as Robert Spencer, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan or I myself must be given a chance to speak, so as to counter the lies of Hamas-tied CAIR.
Hamas-linked CAIR should not be speaking at all, but if the public school shills insist on presenting jihadi views, they must provide freedom lovers with the same opportunity.
Meanwhile, the email exchanges between CAIR and Steinbrenner High School are revealing. Miliziano wrote this in a November 14 email: “Every year I invite a representative from CAIR to speak to our AP World History Students.” After CAIR-Tampa responded favorably, Miliziano wrote again: “Over the years I have had many speakers from CAIR come to my classes, and it has been such a good learning experience for the students.”
Miliziano said that she “regularly asks” Shibly to speak. This is despite the fact that Shibly has a track record of defending jihad terrorist groups and acting as an apologist for the worldwide jihad and Islamic supremacism. Following the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, Shibly granted legitimacy to the jihad terrorist group Hezb’allah by characterizing it as a “resistance movement” that provides valued social services to the Lebanese people. “They’re absolutely not a terrorist organization,” Shibly said, and “any war against them is illegitimate.”
Yet Miliziano refused to respond to parents’ requests to vet the notorious Mr. Shibly. Instead, she attacked the parents who complained. She even called parents’ concerns about CAIR “baseless and Islamophobic.” Yet although it presents itself as a civil rights group, CAIR actually has many links to Islamic supremacist and jihad terror groups. CAIR’s cofounders Omar Ahmad and Niwad Awad attended a Hamas planning meeting in Philadelphia in 1993 where they conspired with Hamas operatives to raise funds for Hamas. And several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various jihad-related crimes.
This should be grounds for Miliziano’s immediate dismissal. Freedom lovers should urge Steinbrenner’s principal, Brenda Grasso, to fire Miliziano at once, demand equal time for freedom fighters, while calling upon Steinbrenner High cease and desist from inviting Muslim Brotherhood groups to speak to public school students. Call for Ms. Miliziano’s removal. Demand equal time for freedom fighters. Brenda Grasso’s email is email@example.com.
One parent of a Steinbrenner student, whose child went through Shibly’s indoctrination, wrote me that his daughter told him that Shibly said that “only 4% or 6% of Muslims were terrorists,” and that his presentation was so positive toward Islam as to be “borderline proselytizing.”
This parent went to Steinbrenner the morning of December 5 and spoke to Kelly King, the Assistant Principal for Curriculum. King confirmed that the speaker who addressed his daughter’s class was indeed a representative from Hamas-linked CAIR. “I explained to Ms. King,” wrote the parent, “that I strongly objected to CAIR being involved in the school, and recited some of CAIR’s more infamous highlights. She replied that the presentation was part of a history of religion unit in their history class. I told her that I have no problem with students being taught the history of Islam, but if the school was going to have a speaker do that, they should invite an Imam, not a representative from a religious based political organization, particularly one with such a dubious history.”
In response, King equated “a Christian pastor to a PAC” and ultimately referred the parent to Miliziano, who said that she regularly invited Shibly to give presentations, and “that the statements I had made about CAIR were baseless and Islamophobic,” even though the parent had expressly told her that he had no problem with the school bringing in an imam to discuss the history of Islam. When the parent tried to explain to her that “the school was associating itself with a religious-based political organization that propagandizes for Islam & Sharia, and are terrorist apologists,” Miliziano
And despite Miliziano’s assurances that a Hindu priest and a Christian pastor would address the class, so far only Shibly has done so.
1/7/12, "Pamela Geller, Big Government Column: Hamas-linked CAIR in Your Kid’s Classroom," Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs
(continuing, Atlas): "However, now we have been able to identify one school -- Steinbrenner High School -- where a representative of CAIR spoke to students. An informed source tells me it was the notorious Hassan Shibly.
Shibly has a track record of defending jihad terrorist groups and acting as an apologist for the worldwide jihad and Islamic supremacism.
Following the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, Shibly granted legitimacy to Hezb'allah by characterizing it as a "resistance movement" that provides valued social services to the Lebanese people. "They're absolutely not a terrorist organization," Shibly said, and "any war against them is illegitimate" -- more on that here.
Nonetheless, he was welcomed into the school and spoke to several classes throughout the day,
The email exchanges between CAIR and Steinbrenner High School are revealing. Kelly Miliziano, a World History teacher at Steinbrenner, wrote this in a November 14 email:
After CAIR-Tampa responded favorably, Miliziano wrote again: "Over the years I have had many speakers from CAIR come to my classes, and it has been such a good learning experience for the students." She added: "I would prefer to have a speaker for each period of the day so that students can really interact with the speaker and ask questions.""Every year"? "Many speakers from CAIR"? "Each period of the day"? Hamas-linked groups are regularly talking to high school students? Unindicted co-conspirators in the largest terror funding trial in our nation's history are being given a platform to mislead impressionable teenagers? Miliziano suggested topics that would have given CAIR a magnificent platform to spread their disinformation among the students:
These are important subjects for students to study, but Hamas-tied CAIR is the last place where they can find out the truth about them. Is this what our public schools are doing with our children -- subjecting them to indoctrination and propaganda? That is child abuse. Where are the counter voices? Where are the voices of freedom?
Steinbrenner High School officials should have known that CAIR is a Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas-linked organization that is dedicated to spreading disinformation about Islam and terror, opposing anti-terror activity, and defaming freedom fighters. CAIR was one of the many Islamic groups that were named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas jihad funding trial. They are in the top five of the AFDI Threats to Freedom Index.
Read more: the rest....
Milizano "preferred to have a speaker for each period of the day so that students can really interact with the speaker and ask questions."...Hillsborough County Public Schools
MaryEllen Elia, Superintendent
901 E Kennedy Blvd P.O. Box 3408 Tampa, Fl 33601 USA
12/4/11, "Child Abuse: Hamas-Linked CAIR Poisoning Minds of High School Students," Pamela Geller
1. In an email to the high school: It seems you've invited "a group with known links to terrorist organizaton, Hamas, to speak propaganda to an entrapped audience. At the very least if world history is important that you invite also a Jewish Rabbi and a Christian...."
2. Steinbrenner High School should give equal time to someone else to explain more about CAIR's activities.
"Thanks to Pamela for bringing this to our attention, Hamas has no business anywhere near children. Its hard enough for adults to deal with propaganda but its almost impossible for children. USF in Tampa had a professor which resigned to become the president of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Now its my understanding USF is pursuing Arab billionaires to send their kids to their school and donate money and buildings."
"What are the chances of the school inviting Tim Tebow as a speaker? ...The concept of Orwellian thought police is not too far fetched at all. This crew is good."
The investment follows "several months of negotiations", a company statement to the Saudi stock exchange said.
The prince, who is one of the world's richest men, owns stakes in many well-known companies, including News Corporation.
"Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact," Prince Alwaleed said."
10/12/2001, "$10 Million? NYC Says No Thanks," CBSnews.com
"A Saudi prince who gave the city a relief check for $10 million, then said U.S. policies were partly to blame for the World Trade Center attack, received a stinging rebuke from the mayor and a rejection of his donation. ... During his visit to the wreckage Thursday, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal called the Sept. 11 terrorist attack "a tremendous crime" and said the suspected mastermind, Osama bin Laden, "does not belong to Islam." "We are here to tell America and to tell New York that Saudi Arabia is with the United States wholeheartedly," he said. But in a written statement handed out by his publicist, the prince said: "At times like this one, we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack. I believe the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause."
Giuliani, who had attended a memorial service with Alwaleed and accepted his $10-million offer to help victims' families, had a harsh response when he learned about the statement. "There is no moral equivalent for this attack," Giuliani said. "The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification when they slaughtered 5,000, 6,000 innocent people. Not only are those statements wrong, they're part of the problem." Sunny Mindel, the mayor's communications director, told The Associated Press: "We are not going to accept the check — period." The prince, an outspoken member of the Saudi royal family, is a major investor in American companies and was No. 6 on Forbes magazine's 2001 list of the world's richest men, with a worth of $20 billion."...ap photo
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But it hasn’t. It has barely made a sound here.
Are we bored by such stories, or is it that if there’s no big-time sports teams and rooting and perhaps rioting interests in the mix, we don’t care as much, or even at all?
Dodd, until late last month when he very quietly resigned, was for 19 years the president and CEO of the AAU, a kingdom that does good, and in too many sneaker company-controlled cases, bad, for tens of thousands of sports-playing boys and girls throughout the country.
Dodd, as of last week, became the latest to be publicly accused of using his position in sports to target, lure, then sexually abuse male children in his charge, starting in the 1980s.
Last Sunday it pursued the Dodd story, providing the on-camera testimony of Ralph West, now 43, who as a kid played AAU basketball in Memphis in a program headed by Dodd. Although West claimed that he wasn’t good enough to make a team that produces college and NBA stars, “I somehow made the team” — Dodd’s team.
West said that Dodd first went out of his way to befriend him as both a religious and sports mentor, then sexually pursued him, even providing him his own motel rooms during AAU road trips — rooms Dodd would enter to sexually assault him. Eventually, said West, he barricaded himself in his rooms.
Apparently moved to act by the accusers of Sandusky, West presented OTL an email he sent to AAU’s compliance office, dated Nov. 7,
West and a childhood friend who was contacted by OTL, also claimed that while at Dodd’s home as kids, they helped him move a file cabinet they found loaded with child porn and piles of waist-down photos of kids he coached.
Another former AAU player of Dodd’s testified, anonymously, on OTL to much the same, adding that as a 15-year-old in Dodd’s care, his drink was spiked by Dodd to try to ensure his sexual compliance.
Dodd, 63, did not return OTL’s phone calls and emails, and would not speak with correspondent Tom Farrey who went to Dodd’s Florida home.
However, 15 minutes later, according to Farrey, Dodd emailed that he has cancer and that he retired from the AAU on Nov. 29. Yet, no public announcement had been made that the president and CEO of the AAU had retired. And not until OTL called the AAU’s No. 2 man was that confirmed.
OTL also reported that the AAU, based in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Disney World property — Disney owns ESPN — the previous week
But on the day after OTL called the AAU about Dodd — and before OTL’s report first aired — the AAU contacted authorities in Memphis to alert them that “serious allegations” have been made against Dodd.
Thus, the stench of a cover-up — saving face before saving kids from sexual predators — is again on the wind.
A week later, this story, I figured, would have made significant news.
We better not become inured to such stories just because there are plenty more where these come from. And the perverse practicality of pedophiles exploiting sports to bait children is far too normal among the abnormal to be disregarded as aberrational.
And, unless the perps operated within big-time college programs, the depravity of such crimes, alleged or proven, is too great to treat with a shrug or with the new and hollow standard,
"As if a parking garage tax controversy, an SEC probe, and crimes against typography weren't enough, a former welding inspector at their new stadium says he won't go to there because he's afraid it'll fall down:
What [Roy] Fastabend said he found shocked him.
Engineering specifications ignored. Contractors cutting corners to save time and money. He even caught a fellow inspector falsifying records and signing off on welds he never examined.
"If people knew what was going on there or how they did things, I mean, I won't go to that stadium, I won't take my kids to that place," Fastabend told CBS4's Jim DeFede in an exclusive interview. "Sadly, it looks beautiful but there are questions."
Marlins execs say that the inspector caught faking records was fired, and the team has now belatedly begun reinspecting all the welds to be sure they're legit. So with any luck, this will pass like the New York Yankees' crumbling concrete controversy, and the only catastrophic failure in Miami in coming years
12/13/11, "Roy Fastabend has been a welder for 35 years and a certified inspector for the last fifteen. It was his job to make sure the columns and beams connected to the retractable roof at the Marlins Stadium were constructed and welded correctly."
"The Boston Red Sox this week formally requested that Fenway Park be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in order to get $40 million in federal tax credits on the just-completed renovations to the soon-to-be-100-year-old stadium. (This is different from the $40 million in state tax credits the Sox are getting for the same work.)
Over in Wrigleyville, the Cubs say they are hamstrung by a City Council decision to give landmark designation to parts of 97-year-old Wrigley — including the marquee, ivy, scoreboard, and bleachers. Not only does the local distinction not come with federal tax dollars, but the Cubs say the landmark status is a factor in their failure to follow the Fenway rebuilding model.
“If you’re going to restore and maintain the facility, you’re going to have to take parts of it down and rebuild it,’’ the Cubs’ president of business operations, Crane Kenney, said in 2008. “Landmarking authorization doesn’t let you do that.”
Of course, the national register isn't actually landmark status (which Fenway doesn't have), and Chicago landmarks law doesn't actually prevent renovations so long as "historic" architectural features are retained, but why ruin a good story? Though it does take away a bit from the contrast between the two teams when the Times reveals that "the Cubs have discussed a listing in the National Register, but will not pursue it until after Wrigley has been renovated" ...
Meanwhile, back in Chicago, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts spent $20 million this week to buy a McDonald's across the street from Wrigley. That would fit well with a Fenway-style redo of Wrigley — the Sox bought several buildings adjacent to Fenway for office and kitchen operations, though those weren't across the street from the stadium as the McDonald's building is from Wrigley. Still, it looks like Ricketts intends on spending some more time trying to squeeze some stadium cash out of the city of Chicago
12/15/11, "Fenway and Wrigley Find Two Sides to Landmark Status," NY Times Bats blog
"Ricketts should be working on the landmarks commission and the board of aldermen to okay his designs, then, instead of lobbying the governor and mayor for cash. I find it really hard to believe that Chicago officials wouldn't approve a Fenway-style renovation of Wrigley, so long as the historic parts of the stadium are preserved.
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