The Twins dealt pitcher Francisco Liriano to the White Sox on Saturday, just in time for him to return to Minneapolis for three games beginning tonight. It sounds like he will take the mound against the Twins tomorrow night. Which Frankie will that be? The commanding strikeout maniac or the unsure hurler with no control of his pitches? Your guess is as good as mine.
By all accounts Liriano has been a good teammate in the clubhouse and an all-around nice guy. When he is on his game he is an outstanding pitcher, I've seen it myself on more than one occasion. He has also been frustratingly erratic, not only from start to start, but even within games.
Given the start in the first playoff game at Target Field in the 2010 ALDS, Liriano got through the first 5.1 innings without giving up a run to the Yankees before suddenly melting down and coughing up four runs and the lead. It was disappointing, but not exactly a shock. There were too many other games just like that.
I've been hard on Liriano in the past for his inconsistency, but it was nothing personal. The White Sox management seems to think they have a few ideas on how to help him become more consistent and for Francisco's sake I hope they are right and he moves on to have the career to match his physical talents. And that's despite the fact that it would benefit the already typically insufferable White Sox fans out there. The things I have to put up with to be a nice guy. ;)
Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who suggested his comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East. Romney's campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterized.
Don't back down on that, Mitt, because it's true.
Palestinian culture, if that's what you can actually call it, is thoroughly corrupted by the fantasy that they will someday destroy the State of Israel. It is a culture of death that teaches its children to hate Jews and celebrate suicide murderers. If Palestinians would turn that energy away from destroying Israel and toward building a better life for their children, they would have a much greater chance to be economically successful.
They won't do it though. Their worship of hatred and death runs too deep in them right now. I doubt that harsh but honest words from any American politician can break through that, but better those than soothing words that enable the fantasy to live on.
Rest in Peace, Sally Ride. She will be remembered as the first American woman in space, but to me she represented the realization of a new age in space exploration, one where civilians would participate along with those who had taken the traditional "Right Stuff" path. The Shuttle program never fully lived up to its promise, but that was not through any fault of hers. In fact, her contributions were important in wringing what value and meaning we could from the Shuttle era. Her life was cut too short, but it was one well lived. RIP, Sally.
Drought? What drought? Our dry weather pattern broke last week with a couple of batches of rain that added up to 1" or more. Over the weekend and into today we had a few more bands come through the forecast says there's a chance of rain every day through the end of the week. Other parts of the state that also needed some rain have been similarly blessed. I haven't seen anything official yet, but anecdotes from relatives in SE Minnesota point to good crops in what is looking like a tough year for other parts of the country.
Speaking ill of the dead is still not well received in these parts, so it's a bit surprising to hear it coming from a mild-mannered guy like ex-Viking "Benchwarmer Bob" Lurtsema. Chalk this up to "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."
Not everybody was a fan of Mike Lynn, the former Vikings general manger who died Saturday, July 21, at age 76.
"I'd run through a wall for Jim Finks," retired Vikings defensive lineman Bob Lurtsema said Monday. "For Mike Lynn, I'd run through him. That's the difference."
Finks would have been a tough act for anyone to follow, but there's no doubt that Lynn seemed to go out of his way to piss off people.
The extent of the fallout from the St. Paul crime lab revelations is still unclear. Potentially thousands of settled cases could be reviewed, however many of those deal with small-time amounts of drugs and probably won't be in anybody's interest to retry. Time will tell. In another story on the same subject, I spotted this tidbit(emphasis mine):
The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors accredits state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension labs in St. Paul and Bemidji, the Minneapolis police lab, the Hennepin County sheriff's lab and a lab at Target Corp. The organization accredits 388 U.S. labs and five internationally.
Target Corp. has an accredited crime lab? Yes it does. A quick check shows it is accredited in "Digital and Multimedia Evidence and Latent Prints," which makes perfect sense from a loss prevention standpoint.
Rumor has it that the Twins are willing to deal pitcher Fransico Liriano and some teams are interested. Make that, were interested. Last night's dismal outing against the White Sox may have put the kibosh on that. Liriano's line: 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 3 HR. There's no doubt that he has talent, but 10 and 15 strikout performances don't really matter if your momentary lapses of reason still cost you the games. The man's a head case, and after six years it is quite clear that the Twins don't have what it takes to fix him. If there is a team out there that thinks they have a Liriano Whisperer then Twins GM Terry Ryan should see if he can get a couple of cheeseburgers for him to tide him over while he ponders other trades. Whatever the Twins do, they shouldn't drop a 1-year, $12.5 million contract on him. Uh-uh, no way.
The sun is out now and the humidity is something less than rain forest level, so maybe I'll get out in the garden this afternoon and clean things up a bit for a picture. Stay tuned.
The head of the St. Paul Police Department crime lab acknowledged Tuesday that the lab does not follow any written procedures when testing evidence for illegal drugs and does not require lab analysts to attend trainings on how to conduct drug testing.
Sgt. Shay Shackle made the remarks during testimony at a Dakota County District Court hearing to decide whether to allow drug testing by the crime lab to be admitted as evidence in a drug possession case. Defense attorneys for Matthew Jensen, 29, of Rochester, who was charged with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance in July 2009, have asked a Dakota County District Court judge to throw out the drug evidence because they say the lab's results are not reliable.
The decision could affect the evidence used in thousands of drug convictions. The St. Paul crime lab processes up to 50 cases per day for Dakota, Washington, and Ramsey Counties. The problems at the lab date back years. Shackle, who was promoted to crime lab director in 2001, said he does not recall the lab ever having written procedures for drug testing.
I'll watch the shows every so often, but I've never bought into that whole TV "CSI" schtick. You know, the kind where the tech comes up and says "The hyperspectrometer radiographic interpolater found a skin cell in the stadium parking lot and confirmed it's our suspect's." Followed by the boss man or woman going, "We've got the bastard now."
That's a bunch of crap. But there is such a thing as solid forensic science and it seems to me that the only way to do that is to have verifiable standards and procedures to ensure that testing and equipment maintenance is done properly.
Read the whole thing, but the parts about possible equipment contamination and the assumption by the director of the lab that cleaning and maintenance were being performed properly almost made me swoon.
Good grief, the results from that crime lab are sending people to jail and they can't take the time to create and follow written procedures?
The StarTribune website has an old White Castle ad from the July 20, 1933 edition of the Minneapolis Star posted up on its news history blog. At first glance, it seems like a fairly ordinary kind of special where you buy some and get some more free. In this case, buy two hamburgers and get three more free. What I find interesting though, is this language in the ad:
With the 10c you pay the regular price for 2 Hamburgers-you get 3 FREE, which we charge off as advertising to acquaint you with the superiority of White Castle Hamburgers. Incidentally you will see how clean and elegant is the interior of a White Castle. Then you will continue to be a White Castle customer and that will repay us for making this special inducement to once visit one of our many White Castles, which you will find in 16 metropolitan centers throughout the country.
Alrighty then, thanks for the explanation.
Was all that really necessary though? Did they anticipate that without it, the Twin Citians of the day would squint their eyes at that ad and wonder just what those White Castle folks were trying to pull by giving away free food? "Martha! Those White Castle people are giving away 3 hamburgers if you buy 2. They're up to something sneaky, I just know it!"
Well, maybe. Now that I think about it my grandmother on Mom's side might have been that suspicious type. It was the Depression and times were hard. She had to be wary of all sorts of con men, legal or not, who were hard-pressed and anxious to separate her from her money. Suspicion was a survival skill.
I used to fault her just a little for how suspicious and tight she was long after the Depression was over. I think I understand her a little better now.
According to a report from the Minnesota State Patrol, a 2006 Chevrolet Impala driven by Louise Ericksen, 72, of Baudette was traveling southbound on Minnesota Highway 72 in Beltrami County, about six miles north of Blackduck , just before 10:30 a.m. when the car crossed the centerline and went into the east ditch.
While driving on the slope of the ditch, the car struck a no-passing sign with its driver’s side rear-door area, breaking the door window. According to the Patrol report, passenger Kendall Erickson, 15, of Baudette, was sleeping in the rear seat and as the car bounced along rough terrain in the ditch, she was ejected out the broken window.
The driver made it back onto the pavement and she and her 18-year-old front seat passenger tooled on down the road for a little bit before they realized they were light one back seat passenger. They turned around and found the girl standing by the road with only minor injuries.
Thankfully they were only minor injuries. Obviously something like that could have been much worse, not to mention fatal.
I'm trying to imagine what would go through my mind as I watched the car I had been sleeping in just moments before cruise on down the road as I lay in a ditch. I'm pretty sure it would be along the lines of "WTF?" or something similar.
And what would you think as the car returns back down the road to you? What do you say after they pull up?
Perhaps I'll have more later this weekend, but having spent some time looking into all of the attacks on Romney over his role at Bain Capital, let me sum it up for now with this:
That's it. Bullshit.
Look, if the people exerting so much energy into turning Mitt Romney into a male version of Cruella de Vil, and failing at that, would seriously look at their own filthy rich patrons with the same amount of vigor, they would immediately burst into flames. Seriously, WHOOSH!
Naturally, they don't of course. And these hysterical attacks on Romney over his time at Bain Capital aren't truly serious either. They aren't designed to stick as facts, they are designed to poison the well. To distract from Barack Obama's own pathetic leadership and actual disastrous record.
Whether this will work over the long term is hard to tell, but in the meantime enjoy watching the birth of the Bainers.
So I guess the word "Obamacare" is beyond the pale now. In the wake of Mitt Romney's speech to the NAACP yesterday, all sorts of people are saying so. This strikes me as a bit odd, seeing how his supporters constantly claim that it is President Obama's "legacy" and "signature achievement." You would think he would want his name all over it then. I think we can once again turn to Michael Tomasky to sum up the progressive talking point here:
But he wasn’t a race-baiter until yesterday. That speech wasn’t to the NAACP. It was to Rush Limbaugh. It was to Tea Party Nation. It was to Fox News. Oh, he said some nice things. And sure, let’s give him one point for going there at all. But listen: You don’t go into the NAACP and use the word “Obamacare” and think that you’re not going to hear some boos. It’s a heavily loaded word, and Romney and his people know very well that liberals and the president’s supporters consider it an insult.
Huh. A "heavily loaded word" and an "insult," eh? You know, I bet some redneck racist out there wants that word on a sticker so he can slap it on the bumper of his pickup. But where would he find such a thing?
Yes, my friends, that link goes to nothing less than store.barackobama.com, where you can not only buy bumper stickers with the word "Obamacare" on them, you can get the button as well.(h/t Darleen)
That's how freakin' pathetic Democratic talking points, and some Democrats themselves, have become. Phony outrage. Phony charges of racism. Phony accusations of insults. All attempts to distract people from the biggest phony of them all, President Obama, and just what a massive disaster he has been.