Dodgers-Rays World Series Recap

Summary: This was one of those seasons where there was an unbeatable team, and it was their year. The last time it was this way in MLB was in 2018, when the Red Sox won it. Most of us didn’t know at the time that the Red Sox were using electronic devices to illegally steal signs, so that removes some legitimacy from their title. If they were so great, why did they cheat?

I don’t see any such issues with the Dodgers in 2020. They were clearly the best team, and did it the right way, since after Game 2 against the Padres in the NLDS. They have young pitching & players, so they’ll probably be back. The Rays went as far as they could go on a payroll of $58.3M. You need MUCH more to win it all in this era. Maybe Cash should have stayed with Snell a bit longer, but it felt inevitable that the final outcome would have been the same.

The Tommy Pham-Jake Cronenworth deal to the Padres for Hunter Renfroe was mandated last winter by ownership to stay under $60M in team payroll for 2020. It was a cheap-ass move, and it finally caught up with the Rays in the World Series. They couldn’t score runs, and were always a bat or two short against the Dodgers. Andrew Friedman won this World Series when he acquired Mookie Betts, David Price & Brustar Graterol in the off-season.

Game 4 of the 2020 World Series had the most unbelievable & exciting finish in baseball history. Francisco Cabrera in 1992, pinch-hitting for the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the NLCS is the only thing close, and it wasn’t as amazing as this. Here’s that heart-stopping baseball moment, with the classic call by Sean McDonough.

To be able to quickly & precisely analyze the action, here are a few of my MLB viewing secrets. First, I mute the Fox broadcast because everyone sucks except John Smoltz, and even he was overwhelmed at the end of Game 4. I had the sound on for that, but 95% of the time I’m watching, it’s muted. This takes Joe Buck out-of-play, which always helps, and I’m especially grateful when I see ‘Ken Rosenthal reporting’ on the silent screen.

Secondly, I don’t watch a lot of the game anymore. I have alternate channels for commercial breaks, and often I’ll stick with that instead of going back to the game. I don’t want to watch the Dodgers pile on runs early, I’ve seen enough of that as a Padres fan, so for Game 4 I watched Bullitt (1968), and made the game my alternate channel during commercials. Great movie.

I prefer to have two alternate channels, in case of overlapping commercial breaks. A classic Columbo episode I hadn’t seen before helped during Game 4. If I miss something important in the middle, I can review the highlights & boxscore on the internet. With these tools at my fingertips, the game isn’t such an exhausting & emotional roller coaster. I’m relaxed & in-tune at the end when it’s all the drama, and all the chips are on the table. All this helps a sports blogger comment intelligently on the action. I don’t have the advantage of access, like so many of these flunkies I’ve mentioned, so I have to be A LOT better than them to have an impact.

I thought Dave Roberts managed his bullpen poorly at times, making this series longer that it should have gone. If Brustar Graterol starts the 9th in Game 4, he has to face at least two batters. Having Kenley Jansen ready if Graterol faltered, was the winning manager move for Dave Roberts in Game 4. The Padres had rocked Jansen a few times earlier in the season, and Roberts knew he was shaky. That was a high-leverage situation in which the manager MUST go with his best pitcher. Graterol is the Dodgers’ best reliever, and he had 0.1 IP in Game 4, on 7 pitches.

Rays manager Kevin Cash doesn’t make these types of mistakes because he’s not tied to a high-$$ closer, or sentimental about ‘his guys’ to a point where it clouds his judgment. Cash is perhaps too analytical, and not trusting enough of his guys. Both extremes can get your team beat, and it’s a razor’s edge. Instead of the Dodgers taking a 3-1 lead, and the Series basically over, they put themselves in a dogfight after they gave it away in the 9th.

The final losing nuance was that Kenley Jansen didn’t back-up home plate on the GW play, which makes him fortunate he doesn’t close for the Yankees. West Coast media is far more relaxed & understanding. When you do that for Steinbrenner, he goes directly to the NY media, “If that fat toad can’t get off the mound and back-up home plate, then blah, blah, blah… rant, rant, rant…” In contrast, Dave Roberts quietly never went to Jansen again in the Series, and that was that.

The Rays had a chance after winning that wild & amazing Game 4, but when Manny Margot got nailed trying to steal home in the 4th inning of Game 5, that turned the Series back to the Dodgers. It was a bad play, so don’t believe any of the media hype that excused it as a good attempt. Runners at 1st & 3rd, 2 out, Rays down 4-2, with Kevin Kiermaier at the plate against Kershaw. The upside if Margot makes it is the Rays are still down a run.

It’s the runner on 1st, and potential run at the plate that mattered more in terms of winning the game. Kiermaier is the heart & soul of the Rays, so what Margot is saying is that he doesn’t trust their team leader to do the job. If Margot stays put and Kiermaier homers, it’s 5-4 Rays.

The Rays were REALLY upset with Margot over this, and that’s why he had to say to the media it was 100% his decision. It hurt the team’s chances immeasurably. When it happened, I said to myself, “That’s why AJ Preller traded him. He’s got tools, but comes up short against the Dodgers. Stupid & selfish play.” The Rays committed zero fielding errors in 6 WS games, but that base running error was more than they could afford.

I snoozed on Game 5 shortly after Manny Margot got thrown out trying to steal home. The Dodgers were making the plays & getting all the calls, so I didn’t think the Rays had a chance. The home plate umpire was very generous with Clayton Kershaw’s strike zone as compared to Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow.

I thought Corey Seager was out at second base on his 1st-inning stolen base attempt, even though replay upheld the safe call. That gave the Dodgers what they needed to win easily. East coast bias works against the Rays because Yankees & Red Sox staffers in the league office (& replay booth) despise them much more than the Dodgers.

It’s just as important to know when to give up, as it is to know when to pay attention. This video above at 2:04-05 shows Seager is tagged by Willy Adames just before he reaches second base, which means he’s out. Replay is there is correct that, but instead it upholds an incorrect call– because of human bias.

My alternate channels weren’t so great for Game 5, which was another reason I snoozed. Classic Columbo, ruined by that annoying dopey side-kick jerk Dennis Dugan, who got that part on every great 1970’s TV series– from The Rockford Files to any action show. He married Joyce Van Patten, so I think that explains it. Ghost Whisperer is always muted. I don’t know any of the characters names, I just like to look at Jennifer Love Hewitt.

All this made Game 6 feel like impending doom for Rays fans. Randy Arozarena homered in the 1st to put them up 1-0, and from there they tried to hang on. Trying win 1-0 games against $200M+ payroll teams in the World Series is next-to-impossible. Even when the Rays win, it’s often not an enjoyable experience, more a combination of surprise & relief. They’re amazing to admire & learn about, but painful to root for.

The Rays are locked into their 30-year lease on the Tropicana Dome in St. Petersburg. Tampa won’t build them a new stadium, so that means in 2028 they’ll be the Charlotte Rays. It sucks being a Rays fan for so many reasons.

It was an inexcusable & irresponsible act by Dodgers 3B Justin Turner, after being pulled in the 8th inning for testing coronavirus positive, to rejoin his teammates for celebrations after the game– without a mask [!] on top of that.

Dave Roberts lowering his own mask to spit (over & over) in the Dodgers dugout wasn’t good either. The final lesson is that these athletes (for the most part) haven’t taken this pandemic seriously. They are privileged jocks, so they ignore science because know they won’t have to deal with any of the nasty consequences. I hope there is no more baseball until this pandemic is truly under control.

Ratings Review: The Los Angeles Dodgers-Tampa Bay Rays World Series TV ratings average was 32% below the previous low, which had been the Giants sweep of the Tigers in 2012. The NBA, NHL, and the rest of sports are down too. What explains this?

I watched parts of the NBA Playoffs & Finals, so I can say the basketball was as well-played as I had seen in a long, long time. LeBron James & Jimmy Butler both performed for their respective teams, and it was a good series, more competitive than most had predicted. It was the same with MLB in 2020, all the way through the World Series, the quality of the games were the best I have ever seen.

This means the problem is NOT the athletes. The problem is the COVID pandemic which has wrecked so many lives, to the point where people don’t care about sports the way they used to. The corporate messaging & political virtue-signaling are HUGE turn-offs too. Whenever you read a mainstream article on the internet about the ratings being down for sports, they never tell you why, because they can’t admit they are the problem. One final fact, no one has lower ratings than Trump.

Since it’s so close to the election, I’ll shift towards politics for the conclusion. If you’ve voted, or are planning to vote for Biden because you hate Trump, then you’re wasting your vote. Biden & Trump are the same. They are rich, who represent the rich, and despise all those who work for a living. I’ve read more than a few partisan supporters (on both sides) framing this political position as that of a ‘Russian communist,’ who wants to destroy the American way of life.

That’s nonsense. I’m a baseball fan, as I have proven here, and there is nothing more American than baseball. The truth is capitalism is dead, and we need a revolution. This is a war they started, which revolutionary socialists are going to finish. Read the WSWS, and support them. That my political line.

This Conway/Underwood banner above is what Election 2020 is about to become, a real-life nightmare installment of Netflix’s original series House of Cards. We need a massive intervention of international youth & the working class. The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) attacks both Democrats & Republicans as fascists, which is correct. The SEP are the only ones who tell people the truth.

The Socialist Equality Party, which has sections around the world, traces their roots to the founding of the Fourth International in Paris in 1938 by Trotsky, two years before he was murdered by an agent of Stalin in Coyocan, Mexico. Troskyists are historical materialists, and insistent there is objective truth.

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Confessions of a Russian bot

I don’t support either the Democrats or Republicans, therefore I’m a Russian bot. I criticize both parties for social inequality, global warming, their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the rise of fascism– but this only means I’m a tool of Putin. It’s so easy when you turn off your brain, and think only in binary terms.

The title and above paragraph are, of course, satire. I’m not a Russian bot, I’m a US citizen. I’ve been across America & back; traveled to Canada, Mexico, and a few Caribbean islands–and that’s the extent of my worldly travels.

I’ve read English translations of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace (1869) and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1867). I would compare the experiences to taking Organic Chemistry for pre-med/pre-dental students; it’s something you have to understand and get through in order to call yourself educated in the field.

The primary Russian authors I’ve read & studied are VI Lenin & Leon Trotsky. This is what makes me a “Russian bot,” according to official opinion makers at the New York Times. The Russian Revolution is a taboo topic for MSM. Trotsky is forbidden in bourgeois politics, and that’s why socialists are censored & blacklisted.

Reading Marx & Engels used to make you educated, but now it brands you as a Russian bot. When did this change & why? The collapse of the Soviet Union (1989-91) is another cataclysmic event which never gets seriously discussed in MSM. What it meant, and it’s implications going forward, are still relevant today.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 was an Earth-changing event, that transformed a 3rd-rate global power, a crumbling czarist regime, into the Soviet Union that defeated Adolph Hitler’s Nazis in WWII. The USSR engaged 80% of Germany’s war resources in WWII, at the cost of 27 million dead. Millions of others were purged by Stalin’s terror before the war. Trotsky himself was murdered by a GPU agent– in Coyocan, Mexico City in August, 1940. It was a Revolution Betrayed.

These issues are relevant today, because political revolution is on the table. The ruling class will never admit to that, and fights against it with all its being. They want COVID-19, wildfires, and economic ruin to continue for the great majority. They encourage you to vote for Biden-Harris.

As an independent contractor dentist in Florida, jobs are hard to come by, and they now pay half-to-one-third what they did. Most contractor dentists are paid on production, and it isn’t there anymore with COVID-19. Furthermore, the risks & expenses of working in patients’ mouths are much greater, with no real protection for the operator and everyone else in the office.

That’s why I’m a hopelessly out-of-work dentist, who is not officially unemployed. As for being a musical artist, Florida is trying to re-open its clubs, with mixed-to-poor results. No socialist artists are allowed a venue. This is the situation in the professional ranks, so it’s surely much worse for blue-collar workers.

So what’s coming? An election that Trump will lose in a landslide, yet he will claim it’s rigged. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. That’s Trump’s strategy to stay in the Oval Office. The question is not who will win the vote on November 3, but who will be President on January 21?

The Trump White House cabal of fascists are organizing right-wing militias to be his shock troops. Their objective is to sow fear & intimidation into the population. They are also meant to eliminate socialist leaders. The Democrats pretend like nothing is happening, because they are fascists too. They are helping Trump get his right-wing Supreme Court nominee rammed through before the election.

All this recalls childhood memories with my mother. I would say something that gets everyone (kids & adults) upset. Mom gets a call, or whatever, and then has to have this discussion with me.

Mom: Eric, you can’t say that.
Me: But it’s true.
Mom: Yes, I know… but you can’t say that.
Me: Why?
Mom: Because people will get mad, and want to hurt you.
Me: [wide-eyed stare]
Mom: Eric, you can’t say that.

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Fake Economics & the Nobel Prize

This is such garbage. Among the profound Nobel Prize-winning insights of U.S. academics Paul Milgrom & Robert Wilson is the “winner’s curse,” which is when a bidder pays too much in an auction. It’s essentially the same as when the LA Angels overpaid for Albert Pujols in MLB free agency, to use one example. But everyone knew this already, so where’s the genius here?

Milgrom & Wilson are also noted for their various bourgeois theories on “perceived value,” which have little to do with actual value, since all the stock, bond & derivatives markets are divorced from reality. It’s the Federal Reserve that keeps these zombies upright, but academics never focus on those realities. These are pseudo-intellectuals who rationalize capitalism, by obscuring its horrible inequalities, and they are richly rewarded for it.

The amount of actual value in a commodity is precisely determined by the amount of human labor needed to produce it. Karl Marx published Capital in 1867, and since then, bourgeois economists everywhere have been unsuccessfully trying to refute it.

Paul Milgrom & Robert Wilson are professors at Stanford, one of the most prestigious universities in America. Stanford is also one of the most well-connected to the US deep state. These “auction theories” allowed broadband signals to be sold (cheap) by the US government to cell phone giants such as T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, etc.

These corporations now have access to everyone’s data, which sells it to governments & other institutions around the world– for profit. No user allows this consent, but all cell phone users are forced to agree to a boilerplate policy set by corporate, which allows this.

As far as government protection for the consumer goes, there is none. It’s toothless alphabet soup oversight (SEC, FCC, etc…), where waste & bureaucratic incompetence are systematically encouraged. The same now applies with social media platforms & search engines, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google & Yahoo!.

Paul Milgrom & Robert Wilson have provided finance capital with a post-modernist rationale for their monopoly of digital, internet & cell phone technologies. That wins the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2020.

Karl Marx was right. Today there are too many fake awards for fake theories to justify class interests. It’s the same deal with the CDC, NHS, etc, when it comes to coronavirus. The theory of all post-modernist award winners is: all profits go to the few, while the rest get hosed because they aren’t worthy. That’s nothing more than a pseudo-intellectual justification for fascism.

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Trump catches Kung Flu

United States President Donald Trump was airlifted to Walter Reed Medical Center Friday evening after testing positive for Kung Flu. According to the extremely limited information released by the White House, he was treated with a cocktail of experimental drugs during the day but had a persistent low-grade fever.

I posted a poll question on my Fakebook page, but at this point I don’t think anyone sees me anymore due to Democratic party (Zuckerberg-CIA) censorship, so here’s the question.

Donald Trump has come down with Kung Flu. Do you hope that: A) he recovers well; or B) he suffers & dies?  Vote here.

You can be sure Donald & Melania Trump won’t have bleach or Lysol injected into their veins and/or lungs. That’s not the way professionals treat Kung Flu. The dedicated staff at Walter Reed will provide the best doctors & nurses, drug therapies, and PPE in Trump’s medical suite. This is to help Donald Trump in recovering from Kung Flu.

Trump is a fattie, so he needs this help– for sure. Without it, he would be at the mercy of Kung Flu, which is merciless. For those not privileged, this pandemic has been a nightmare. In just over six months, over 210,00 dead in the US, and over one million globally as of this publication. That’s probably an undercount. Economies wrecked, jobs lost by the tens of millions, and tens of thousands of small businesses going bankrupt– never to return under capitalism.

Question: Is this Kung Flu an attack on the US Presidency, by China? Has Kung Flu put our “national security” at risk? How should the US strike back at China for their Kung Flu aggression? I know this looks like three questions, but it’s really just many variations of the same fake question: how does the ruling elite blame China? Or Russia?

When the seriousness of something such as an outbreak of Kung Flu is ignored, and turned into a sick joke, there will come a time for the masses to stop laughing & start thinking seriously. How is humanity going to defeat Kung Flu, a deadly & contagious virus? Professionally speaking: COVID-19 attacks the body, while Kung Flu afflicts the mind.

Coronavirus positive Donald Trump is the leading global super-spreader of Kung Flu. His ‘herd immunity’ policy is malign neglect, an impeachable & criminal offense against the American people, yet the Democrats refuse to attack Trump from the left, which proves their bankruptcy. We now have medical proof of Trump’s sickness with his hospitalization. Trump is positive, it’s Kung Flu.

The führer and his trophy wife were supposed to fly into Sanford International Airport last night for a campaign event, but this much ado was cancelled, due to Trump being positive with Kung Flu. Biden-Harris spread Kung Flu too. Who knew about Kung Flu, and what did they do? I ask you.

Nancy Pelosi knew about Kung Flu back in January, but what did she do? It’s a false choice between red or blue. We aren’t animals in a zoo. Herd immunity is malign neglect, it’s true. It only spreads this bad ju-ju, known as Kung Flu.

Let me ask you, “Who flipped Kung Flu?”

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2020 Political Math

Seated at a table are the following: a Black Lives Matter protester, a #MeToo feminist, a LGBT activist, and a Biden-Harris voter; along with a Blue Lives Matter advocate, a US military fanatic, a Christian fundamentalist, and a Trump supporter.

The zombie petty bourgeois reductionist insists the score is 4-4, good vs. evil (either way), with an urgent need to appoint a tie-breaker. The Trotskyist knows it’s 8-0, in favor of political reaction, against the working people & youth.

I don’t answer dumb questions anymore, unless I’m paid to do it. The problem with dumb questions is the selfish nature of the person asking them. The are needy of attention, and always have follow-ups. Once you answer one (1) dumb question, the floodgates are open.

It’s the kid in class who won’t stopping raising his hand, and in the process slows down everyone else’s learning. These are special-needs children, who need special help. Read serious books to avoid asking dumb questions, or saying stupid stuff.

For those ramping up their personal politics because a Presidential election is near, beware there are people who take politics seriously ALL THE TIME. Trotskyists know the issues & facts, and consider those who parrot dumb stuff to be dilettantes.

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The Banksy effect

As an artist, you either own your work, or you don’t. Taking ownership strengthens its power. Hiding from ownership weakens it. When you graffiti someone else’s property, that isn’t ownership.

There’s a fine line between street art & vandalism. When you court bourgeois society, as Banksy has done, you are no longer a street artist. Banksy is an opportunist, full of contradictions, to the point where his only message is political confusion. In the art world, this is known as the “Banksy effect.”

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Reading & Politics

My genius is reading comprehension. This allows me to completely absorb anything I set my mind to understanding, as long as it isn’t abstract mathematics, heavy science, or a foreign language. I also have performing genius, in that I’m a natural, and don’t get nervous in front of an audience. The tougher the audience, the better I get. That last part is character, physical conditioning & strength of will.

So when it comes to English language literature, I’m well read. Beginning in fiction, I’ve read Dr. Seuss, Peanuts, and plenty of kids stories. All the classic short stories from middle school including The Power of the Written Word, The Lottery, The Most Dangerous Game, etc… were absorbed. High school stuff like Lord of the Flies, The Pearl, The Iliad, Odyssey, etc… were read & comprehended.

Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Jack London, William Shakespeare, Daniel Defoe, Herman Melville, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy & Naguib Mahfouz have been experienced. You should read them too. John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway & William Faulkner are major 20th-century novelists. Also read Brave New World, Catch-22, Invisible Man, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, A Scanner Darkly, etc… to be (minimally) up-to-date modern. As far as fiction goes, just about all the great novels have already been written, so that’s where you start if you want to be literate.

As for non-fiction: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, V.I. Lenin & Leon Trotsky as essential political writers & theorists. If you haven’t read them, then you are politically ignorant. Marxism, specifically Trotskyism, will carry you through philosophy, so you can overwhelm all the pseudo-intellectual nonsense of post-modernism, structuralism, etc…

In short, all these false philosophical systems of bourgeois ethics are post-WW2 constructs, meant to apologize for capitalism’s destructive & unequal class nature. It is purely subjective irrationalism, with the unknowable always flowing back to ‘god’– therefore rejecting science & rational thought. The hypocrisy of it all is that these post-modernist university intellectuals compose their treatises on computers, and would be lost on facts without the internet. Most never attend church.

Reading the World Socialist Web Site daily, is now a requirement to be a modern Marxist. What you come to learn over time & diligent study is that many of the arguments, tactics & strategies with which the ruling class uses to attack & manipulate the masses have already been done before. This is where that cliché’, “you need to know history in order not to repeat its mistakes,” comes into play. Once armed with Marxism down to your marrow, then you can go out and become a significant political force in the world, instead of becoming someone else’s pawn.

In the 21st century, the written word is now consumed online, and blogs changed news delivery forever. What is a blog? A blog is anything the creator wants it to be. My imagination took this to mean a blog to be an online newspaper, or newsletter. In the 1900’s, news was delivered by print newspapers, magazines & books. Books took the longest to publish, meaning they were the most out-of date, but the most in-depth. Magazines split the difference by being more in-depth & timely, while newspapers were up-to-date with headlines, but the least in-depth.

With a 21st century blog, a blogger can publish up-to-the-moment articles, and then expand upon them with a scrolling blog such as mine. There’s also social media now, which revolutionized information sharing. A good 20th century newspaper had quality in all sections: News: global, national, state & local; Sports: MLB, NBA, NFL, tennis, and anything else relevant to American sports fans; Arts & Entertainment: music, film, television, video games, etc; and a Comics section: meaning can you make your readers laugh?

The question then becomes: is it serious? Most politics is a joke. The entire establishment media is fixed by big money. The billionaires control both political parties, and no one else can even get on the ballot anymore, much less any media coverage. This is due to extreme political prejudice in the judicial system from the same kind of professional liars that are attempting to extradite Julian Assange.

How do you feel about Julian Assange? That reveals your true political position. Black Lives Matter is a campaign run by the Democratic Party, the same at #MeToo. It’s purpose is to divide the workers & youth racially, to prevent them from unifying in solidarity against the ruling class. That is the propaganda war which the Trump administration & the Democrats are threatening to escalate into a shooting war.

Trump’s provocations come in a daily torrent of hatred & ignorance, yet they go unchecked by the Democrats. The mass media message is vote Biden on November 3. Trump’s ordering the assassination of Michael Reinoehl, an anti-fascist protester from Portland gunned down Sept. 3 by police belonging to the federally-led Pacific Northwest Violent Offenders Task Force, is not grounds for impeachment according to the Democrats. Phony “Russian collusion” charges are impeachable offenses for the Democrats. Both sides are evil, and 100% wrong in the mad charade. Meanwhile COVID-19 rages unchecked, as do wildfires & global economic catastrophe.

The only rational & serious solution is Permanent Revolution. The ruling governments, and their corporate-military-intelligence-police apparatuses must be smashed. The police & military must be broken up, and reorganized into a working people’s militia. The Nazis must be rooted out, and disarmed. The intelligence apparatuses, from the NSA, CIA, FBI, ICE, must all be disbanded, and their dirty secrets exposed completely– names, photos, dates, places, etc…

      1. Permanent-Revolution-1.mp3

 

This is the only serious political solution to prevent the ruling classes from starting a World War. The American economy needs to be shut down, with massive unified strike action from workers & students, to halt this murderous back-to-work (school) campaign. This means overthrowing the union labor bureaucracy. These parasites with mafia backing must be outed and brought to justice. This criminal underworld has historically worked with J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, and the CIA, in countless blood-stained adventures which have been kept hidden from the American public since their inception. Every union apparatus is corrupt, in that they always partner with corporate ownership, while betraying their rank-and-file constituents.

The workers & youth of the world will not tolerate a uncontrolled coronavirus pandemic as the “new normal.” Global warming has reached a tipping point, where if we don’t get serious now, it’s going to be a bleak future. The mass majority rejects this presidential ‘race’ with only the choices being between an ignorant unstable sociopath, and a zombie Wall Street warhead.

The Socialist Equality Party is running Joseph Kishore for President and Norissa Santa Cruz for Vice President. The point of this campaign is not to win the Electoral College, since that is impossible under the US two-party straitjacket. The SEP is the party of Trotsky, which means international revolutionary socialism.

That is a policy which EVERY ruling class around the world fears & despises. That is why Trotskyists are blacklisted, and Marxism slandered. Trotskyism has nothing to do with terrorism & the BLM campaign, and yet every act of political violence by anarchists & provocateurs against the establishment, is taken by Trump as an opportunity to incite his fascist supporters to shoot their guns at Marxists. That’s how fascist propaganda works, and the Democrats are all-in on it.

This is the reality of being a Trotskyist. It takes a lot more than intellect & learning. It also requires true courage & fortitude. This is the polar opposite of publicly wearing a BLM slogan. That is opportunism, and it pays well for a reason.

Not a single supporter of Black Lives Matter can seriously explain the assassination of Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, Jr. The primary reason is because so few BLM advocates have actually read their works. Therefore they don’t understand their positions. Instead, they rely on others to tell them what these leaders meant. The problem there is that the leaders of the Nation of Islam (black militants), and the future NAACP (black Democrats), were involved in these political killings, with help from the NYPD & FBI. What about the killings of Tupac & Biggie? If black lives matter, then black lies matter. None of these fakers can face that, or the greater truth, which is that all lies matter.

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Not missing the fans

I’m okay with no fans in the stands for MLB & the NBA. What anyone will quickly discover is that much of the bias in umpiring & officiating disappears when the fans are removed from the equation. So when I hear an announcer begin by saying, “We miss you– the fans in the stands,” I don’t identify with that. That’s mostly just what they are made to say, but there is some truth in their words. They miss the revenue, They miss the adulation.

I don’t miss the noise. I don’t miss the drunken & abusive fans, especially at places like Fenway Park & Yankee Stadium. I like the Rays/Yankees games much better when idiots like Yankees manager, Aaron Boone, can’t start provocations by throwing at Rays hitters, and then incite the home crowd. No home fans, diffuses Boone’s cheap-shot antics. With no fans in the stands, it makes it MUCH easier for umpires to do the right thing, and throw out a Yankees pitcher in Yankees Stadium, for throwing at opposing hitters. It removes a LOT of East coast bias, and makes the game much more fair.

All sporting contests should be between the players and coaching staff (when allowed) only. If you are a player who needs the crowd to “pump you up,” then what are you doing out there? Too much of sports is hype. Too many athletes, teams & organizations well-past their prime are held up as dynasties. Sponsors want the marquee names, and the biggest-market teams playing for championships. It’s what drives ratings, as well as corporate & league profits. This is why the Boston Red Sox don’t get punished by MLB for sign stealing, the way the Houston Astros did. The Red Sox are old guard, and therefore have all the bias in their favor.

With no home park advantage, and no Mookie Betts & David Price either, the Red Sox aren’t so intimidating at Fenway. They are going to finish last in the AL East in 2020, and will be second-division for awhile, as they have a barren farm system & lots of veterans with hefty contracts. This is an organization that needs fans back in the stands more than anyone. They are screaming for it behind closed doors.

I’ll bet if you asked the NBA & MLB players privately, they would share these same thoughts & narratives. The NBA is the most manipulated game in sports, as a home court advantage is worth 8-12 points for the host team. That’s the crowd influencing the calls, and in tough arenas it can be even more extreme. Now, in the Disney bubble, there’s none of that. These 7-game series don’t shift back & forth between host cities this year. It’s going to come down to who has the best team in the playoffs, and nothing else, which is the way it should be. My perspective is that of a real sports fan.

When these professional baseball & basketball seasons’ end, there’s going to be serious discussions about next season. Money, viability & safety are all issues that have been put off, but linger into our uncertain future. The NFL is going to try fans in the stands for its upcoming season, and that will be a social disaster. When I see fans in the stands these days, I’m turning it off. That’s my message to NASCAR, MLS &  football.

It’s the same with these fake protests, led by the Black Lives Matter campaign run by the Democrats, against the fascists incited by Trump. If you don’t have a good reason to be out, then you should not be mingling with others, especially without wearing a mask. When I see people intentionally misbehaving, I just don’t want to meet them. I don’t miss seeing them, and running into them at the ballgame either. Neither do most of us.

No fans in the stands means Next Gen players completely rule. Next Gen fans want to see Fernando Tatis, Jr.– ‘mic’d up’ again. This is a 21-year old phenom, playing MLB shortstop, wearing an earpiece & mini-microphone, listening to & answering questions between Chris Paddack pitches. Paddack had lost command of his fastball, so Tatis had to be ready– and he was, with laughable ease. He shows everyone why he is so great, right from the start, talkin’ back to Eric Karros about his dad’s feat. More of that makes MLB more marketable to fans. Notice that fans in the stands (AKA, haters) interfere with that. It’s much more like a video game experience, without fans in the stands. That’s the youth appeal.

San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler is good with all this, which makes him an asset– a rare bird in a MLB dugout. Tingler has been the target of some unfair East coast bias, cited on Wikipedia, which is deep-state controlled by now. On August 19, 2020, Padres manager Jayce Tingler publicly (& mildly) criticized SS Fernando Tatís Jr., for breaking an “unwritten rule of baseball,” by hitting a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch while the Padres were leading the Texas Rangers 10-3 in the top of the 8th inning.

Jayce Tingler faced a hailstorm of fake media criticism for his remarks, when he was simply trying defuse a tense stand-off situation with his former team. Tingler & Padres GM A. J. Preller, both came from the Texas Rangers organization. That’s why Preller hired Tingler to replace Andy Green, after a disappointing 2019. I still think Green is very good, but Preller needed a bi-lingual dugout manager, so he hired Jayce Tingler, whom he already knew. Tingler played college baseball in his home state, at the University of Missouri, and later managed teams in Latin America for the Rangers organization. He is fluent in Spanish.

 

Jayce Tingler’s current Padres team responded to this fake media criticism of its young superstar, by hitting grand slams in the next three games to “grand slam sweep” the Texas Rangers, and set a MLB record with slams in four consecutive games. Shown below is a screenshot of the current Wikipedia page for Jayce Tingler, and it doesn’t add any of this further context in his San Diego Padres section. It criticizes Jayce Tingler as being weak, but I ask, “Who is really weak here?”

To indicate how unserious this is, Wikipedia uses a fan tweet as a link (#20). In short, it’s very shoddy & disrespectful. East coast bias for sure.

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A.J. Preller Strikes Again!

Every MLB Trade deadline has had the same front-office superstar owning it, since 2016. That genius is San Diego Padres general manager (GM) A.J. Preller. In the past, Preller had been dumping MLB assets, and acquiring young talent. It began with his legendary 2016 campaign, where Preller traded his entire rotation & All-Star closer, along with dumping OF’s Matt Kemp & Melvin Upton, Jr. That trade deadline was Preller’s calling card to MLB, in which he acquired SS Fernando Tatis, Jr., and young RHP Chris Paddack, for spent veterans. The Padres broke the J2 draft in 2016, by grabbing every young player they liked, and happily paying the fine for ‘overspending’. Teams can’t do that anymore, because of A. J. Preller.

Ace lefty set-up man, turned closer, Brad Hand was the card Preller held onto in 2017, when he didn’t receive a fair offer, in comparison to what the Yankees got in 2016 for lefty relievers Aroldis Chapman & Andrew Miller. The Dodgers needed Brad Hand most, but wouldn’t cough up the prospects, and they lost in 7 games to the Astros, in one of the most exciting World Series ever. In 2018, after Preller had signed Brad Hand to a 4-year deal over the winter, he dealt him to Cleveland, along with righty reliever Adam Cimber, for top catching prospect Francisco Mejia, who has struggled so far and is currently on the IL with a bruised thumb.

In 2019, Preller & the Indians made the biggest deal of the deadline, in a 3-way trade that send RHP Jake Bauer to the Reds, CF prospect Taylor Trammell to the Padres, and OF/DH Franmil Reyes to Cleveland. The Indians have got the better of both those deals so far, but that doesn’t make A.J. Preller afraid to make another deal with the Indians. The Padres needed RHP Mike Clevinger to lead their rotation, so Preller did what was needed to do to get him. It cost him a lot, but not as much as you may think. Preller needed to deal away a lot of these young players who weren’t championship-level, such as Austin Hedges & Cal Quantrill, due to upcoming roster crunches.

Corner OF/1B/DH Josh Naylor is the main bat for Cleveland in the deal. Recall that Josh Naylor was the key (remaining) piece in the infamous Andrew Cashner/Colin Rea deal to the Marlins in 2016. Quick recall: manager Don Mattingly wrecked Colin Rea in 3.1 innings, the night they acquired him along with Cashner. See the picture below.

The whiny Boston Red Sox then got involved, over “undisclosed anti-inflammatories” in the Drew Pomeranz deal (for RHP prospect Anderson Espinoza, who has had 2 TJ surgeries since), and A.J. Preller was forced to return RHP Luis Castillo to the incompetent crybaby Marlins, for a wrecked Colin Rea who didn’t pitch in the majors again until this season, with the Cubs. A. J. Preller was later suspended by MLB for a month, for winning too many trades. Luis Castillo was later dealt again by Marlins GM Mike Hill, this time for Cincinnati Reds righty meat-baller Dan Straily. That was before Derek Jeter took over as owner. Things have gotten much worse in south Florida since.

Back to the 2020 deadline, and this time around A.J. Preller is buying talent, with prospects & young players. The Padres have the deepest organization in MLB, as far as talent 1-60 goes. This MLB season is unique, with the coronavirus pandemic. Teams have 60-man pools of players, and no one else. Active rosters have been reduced from 30 to 28, meaning up to 32 players are at each team’s alternate site. A lot of mediocre & bad teams have no talent to draw upon for reinforcements, with the minor leagues shut down.

In the NL, the Brewers, Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Giants, Marlins, Mets & Nationals have little-to-nothing helpful at their alternate sites. The Phillies & Braves are running dry, and coming up short. Only the Dodgers & Padres can bring up impact talent to help, or trade from depth. The Dodgers got OF Mookie Betts & LHP David Price in February. Price opted-out in April, and Betts was extended. Those were the Dodgers’ big moves, and it put them in a position where they didn’t need anything at the deadline. They still have talent at their alternate site.

There’s no fan revenue in MLB in 2020, so a lot of owners are sellers at this deadline, because every dollar counts. The Padres have ownership that is still willing to spend. They are led by a hungry, aggressive GM who smells blood, and just devoured the 2020 MLB deadline. It’s a buyer’s market for MLB talent, and A.J. Preller had all the best chips to deal. He needed to deal quantity for quality, to avoid losing tradeable talent to waivers & the Rule 5 draft. A. J. Preller redefined how to steal talent in those markets, years ago. Now he’s just proven he won’t give it away when he’s on the other end. Preller knew exactly what he needed, and got the best available talent at each position: catcher, DH, relief pitcher & starter.

Above is a screen shot of the Padres top-10 remaining prospects, after all the trades, and it’s still impressive. As far as the top prospect they dealt goes, the Padres were discouraged by CF Taylor Trammell’s progress in 2020, and saw him as expendable with the acquisition of CF Trent Grisham from the Brewers last winter– another A. J. Preller heist. The Padres not only got a young lead-off hitting CF with pop in the deal, but also a reliable rotation piece in Zach Davies. Preller dumped banjo-hitting 2B Luis Urias, and lefty gopher-baller Eric Lauer. Both stink, and the Brewers probably aren’t even making the post-season in 2020, largely because of this disastrous deal.

Stealing Trent Grisham allowed Preller to dump CF Manny Margot (low OBP, no pop) to the Rays for hard-throwing reliever Emilio Pagan. That, and the Tommy Pham/Jake Cronenworth deal, transformed the Padres roster into a contender. By adding C Austin Nola (Mariners) & DH Mitch Moreland (Red Sox) at the deadline, the Padres lineup when they get LF Tommy Pham off the IL will be: CF Trent Grisham*, SS Fernando Tatis Jr, 3B Manny Machado, 1B Eric Hosmer*, LF Tommy Pham, 2B Jake Cronenworth*, RF Will Myers, DH Mitch Moreland*, C Austin Nola. Lefties are asterisked. Notice these are mostly AL players (the better league) that Preller has acquired, to create an AL lineup which will bludgeon opposing pitching from both side of the plate, with high OBP & power: 1-9.

The Padres rotation is now: Mike Clevinger, Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, Zach Davies & Garrett Richards– all right handed. They have a reinforced & balanced bullpen, with an ace closer in Trevor Rosenthal. This team, which hasn’t made the post-season since 2006, is now built to win in October.

Baseball is so random that anything can happen, and the Padres could get swept out by a team like the Cardinals in the first round. That’s just two losses, and it can happen to any team. But the Padres have taken measures to significantly increase their odds of winning the World Series, which was less than 2% at the beginning of the season. They’ll also be better in 2021, presuming there will be a 2021 MLB season.

This is why AJ Preller is the best GM in MLB. In the past few days he’s completely upgraded the Padres catching platoon, from replacement level to championship level in getting Austin Nola from the Mariners & Jason Castro from the Halos. Austin Nola is a stud, and is team-controllable. Preller added a big DH in Mitch Moreland, since that position didn’t exist in the NL back in March. Moreland has a $3M option in 2021– which is nice. A.J. Preller also got the top closer on the market in Trevor Rosenthal, and bullpen reinforcements. He got them cheap, because these teams were told to sell by ownership.

A. J. Preller got the best starter available in Mike Clevinger from Cleveland, who has two years of team control remaining. What Preller gave up is largely stuff he doesn’t need, along with fringy prospects that were going to be exposed to the Rule 5 draft in December. There was some upside in there too, of course, as you have to give up value, to get value.

But this was beautiful asset management by AJ Preller, and the Dodgers have been put on notice. The Padres now have a line-up that is better than the Dodgers, and can mash with the Yankees. The Dodgers still have better pitching, but Preller has closed that gap significantly in the past week. The Dodgers are elite defensively, while the Padres make a few too many errors, mostly because they are young. The Padres have the talent, and the time to come together to improve as a unit, but their bench is thin with all the deals they’ve made. The Padres need to stay healthy to win it all in 2020. There is still plenty young talent to draw upon in their future.

Above is the San Diego Padres September schedule, and then it’s the post-season. As it stands now, the Padres will be the #4 seed, meaning they get home field advantage in the 1st round, which is a best of three, win two. All games are played in the higher-seed’s park. That should be exciting, if it gets that far. If the Padres & Dodgers survive, then they’ll face-off in the 2nd round. These are the two best teams in the NL. The Cubs rotation is old, and the Braves don’t match up with either the Dodgers or Padres– at all. We’ll see how it goes, but that’s how I handicap the NL after this unique trade deadline.

In the AL, it’s the Yankees, Rays & Indians in the elite class, with the A’s, White Sox & Twins a notch below them. The Blue Jays made a lot of mediocre starter acquisitions (mostly rentals), which may help them get into the post-season, but doesn’t get them past the AL elite. Note that the Blue Jays were the 2020 deadline buyer that helped themselves the 2nd-most, finishing miles behind the Padres. The Phillies got some needed relief help, and since they are all-in, they placed a distant 3rd as buyers this deadline.

Obviously the Indians & Mariners got the best prospects (from the Padres), but it was the Arizona Diamondbacks (who dumped everything) who scored the best haul for sellers. Look for the Snakes to be the next sustainable powerhouse in a few years, they have a smart GM.

The Texas Rangers were rumored by some baseball insiders to “hold the keys” to this year’s trade deadline, with RHP Lance Lynn & OF Joey Gallo made available. Neither were traded, as their asking price was too high, so the Rangers still hold these keys. The Dodgers & Braves could have used Lance Lynn, for sure, but would not overpay.

This was a unique trade deadline in that there were no Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Nationals, Astros, or Cubs— oh my!! All these behemoths have maxed themselves on payroll, and (except the Dodgers & Yankees) have emptied their farm systems. That left the field open for A. J. Preller, who scooped up all the best talent, and in a few magical days, turned the San Diego Padres into heavyweight contenders with a bright & sustainable future. The Dodgers are stunned by what just happened, for sure.

As of these deals, the Padres are a shade north of $150M in 2020 payroll, and one of the five best teams in baseball, The MLB luxury tax was set to be ~ $208M before COVID-19 changed everything. This puts the Padres in position to hang onto their young stars with payroll increases into the future. A big part of winning a WS in 2020 (& beyond), will be avoiding a coronavirus outbreak within the organization. That is the final unknown variable to all this. So far in 2020 MLB, the NL West has been the best division in avoiding outbreaks.

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