Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Obama-ana + A Little Baseball

More Obama, but a different tip: fivethirtyeight's Poblano has been producing some of the most accurate polls on the primary race. It looks very close, but according to Poblano, McCain right now is beating both Obama and Clinton in the overall race and state-by-state breakdowns. With increases in the percentage of black voters, pro-Obama latino voters, or younger voters, Obama could substantially increase his chances of winning the popular vote and the electoral college vote.


Then there's this article, by the Washington Post's Kevin Merida, on the racist abuse some of Obama's staffers have faced when campaigning for the Senator. Are you surprised? Are you also surprised that the establishment media will hardly report on this? I thought not....


The Daily Howler's Bob Somerby highlights two very good articles on Obama's and Clinton's supporters, one by Post reporter Darryl Fears (who does respond to email quickly, and is very polite), and one by the New York Times's former anti-Goreist, Katherine "Kit" Q. Seelye. He also critiques the ever-deplorable Richard Cohen, about whom the less said, the better.


Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Fausto Carmona reacts after throwing a complete game, 5-hit, 3-0 shutout over the Toronto Blue Jays in the first game of their baseball double-header in Cleveland on Monday, May 12,  2008.  Shifting gears again, I am following the baseball season. The Cardinals are hovering near the top of their division, with the Chicago Cubs in first place and the Houston Astros close behind. The Milwaukee Brewers have also been decent enough. This was supposed to be Chicago's year, and the Cardinals were thought to be middling at best, but the young players, clustering around the club's lone star, Albert Pujols, have proved to be more than up to the challenge of keeping pace with the Cubs. The league's other top teams, the Florida Marlins (how having shed some of their best players do they do it?) and Arizona Diamondbacks, have similar records. The beauty-laden Mets have been a real disappointment. No hitting, spotty pitching, a general lackadaisical approach to their games.

In the AL, the team I'm watching is Cleveland, whose starting pitchers have thrown shutouts in at least 1/3rd of the team's games so far. In fact, they've thrown about 32 innings so far, with big, young righty Francisco Carmona (above, AP Amy Sancetta), throwing a complete game, 5-hit, 3-0 shutout in the first game of a double header yesterday against the Toronto Blue Jays, and CC Sabathia, last year's Cy Young winner, pitches tomorrow. Boston, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (when are they going to shed this tongue-freezer of a name?), and for a change, Baltimore (!) and Tampa Bay are among the best teams. The Yankees, in 4th place in their division, aren't so far off the lead, but they haven't looked like contenders at any point so far. Would Joe Torre not have at least gotten them to the same record?

Jumping back 40 years, here's a classic, the Cardinals' sublime Bob Gibson, striking out 17 batters to set a new World Series record, in the opening game of the 1968 World Series, against the Detroit Tigers (which Detroit won). That was the year Gibson posted his peerless 1.12 ERA, the lowest since the deadball era, and 13 shutouts. Watching him pitch this game, you see why; but how did he ever lose 9 games?

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