A sportswriter with imagination

Right now there are no sports going on anywhere, so there is virtually no sports writing. But this is when we need writers & reporters the most. So why isn’t there anything worth reading in the media? The truth is that most sports “journalists” are nothing without their VIP access & being spoon-fed information by the machinery.

I’m going to use three screenshots from ESPN.com, which were all taken on this publication date, to discuss & analyze their content. Let’s start with the NBA, which is supposed to be finishing it’s regular season and starting its play-offs in a few weeks.

Of course the NBA was the first major American sports league to shut down, when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert test positive for COVID-19, only days after conspicuously wiping himself all over press corps tape recorders. He’s been in quarantine & all apologies since.

This was to be the “Kobe season” after Bryant’s tragic death in January. But now it’s the “coronavirus season.” This puts reality in its proper perspective, I say. Too many NBA-ers still want to try to finish the season, which is insane. Too many spoiled rich athletes don’t really understand what it takes to put on one single event, such as a NBA game.

Unless it’s the Lakers-Clippers, it involves one team traveling to another city, which means air travel, ground transportation & hotels. The players are taken care of by their handlers, so they don’t always appreciate the labor involved.

Once at the event, the arena needs service personnel of every type. Players need trainers, medical & coaching staff. The fans expect food & drink vendors, and clean facilities. You need engineers to design these wonderlands, and labor to build them. To maintain them, every skill set from electricians to janitors are essential, and they are needed in numbers.

How is the NBA going to get service personnel back to work under pandemic conditions? There is little-to-no testing for the workers, and no proper PPE. So what’s their incentive to risk their lives to restart these carnivals? I write about sports all the time, and honestly I’m fine without them for now. It’s one less beat for me to have to cover. The point is, I don’t miss them that much, and a lot of other people feel the same way.

If you want to crown a NBA champion in 2019-20, it will only be by fan debate. I don’t follow too closely anymore, but I thought Clippers were going to win it, defeating the Lakers in the Western finals, or something like that. As far as Kobe Bryant goes: he was an all-time basketball great, but his legacy pales in comparison to the importance of what humanity is facing with COVID-19.

The ESPN headlines for the NBA today are the same as yesterday, and the day before, etc. “No decisions until May according to commissioner Adam Silver.” “NBA is eyeing faster testing.” Some no-name Kentucky Freshman guard has declared for the upcoming NBA draft…

ESPN always broadcasts the NBA draft which was to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. But now that’s a pipe dream, as this will have to shifted to a virtual event. Once again, how are you going to get service people to work without protection in a pandemic? They need PPE and hazard pay. The ruling classes scream in unison that this is not feasible. That’s going to be the stand-off. All reporting on the NBA draft & mock drafts don’t discuss these realities and their implications. Makes you wonder.

Coronavirus is changing everything today, and into the future. How are sports leagues going to get fans packed back into stadiums & arenas during a pandemic? I don’t want pay to go, do you? That’s the current unreality of the NBA and its media.

Above is ESPN’s MLB homepage today, with Jeff Passan being left to answer the title: Is it safe to start the MLB season in May? The answer is obviously no, but the current MLB proposal is a 4-and-1/2 month “biodome quarantine” for players, coaches and staff, with all games to be played in the Phoenix area. No contact with family & friends during the season, and no fans in the stadiums. Television, radio & internet broadcast only. I hope that makes sense to you, because it makes no sense to me.

MLB was force to shut down near the end of spring training, so what this comes down to is money, which is why such crazy ideas are being floated. The players are for it, only so they can get paid, Canceling the season means no player paychecks. That’s a lot of families that need to eat, especially for pre-arbitration players with league-minimum contracts. These are the vast majority of younger players which dominate MLB rosters today.

Of course, the minor leagues are cancelled too. MLB owners wanted to scale back MiLB, so here it is. Zero baseball. The truth is that there will be no MLB season in 2020. How these “guaranteed” contracts are to be paid out, will be a contentious labor issue– for sure. It’s still quiet on this front, only because it’s early.

Beyond that, how do organizations scout for amateur drafts beyond 2020, with no baseball being played anywhere this year? The 2020 J-2 international draft probably needs to be cancelled. Any analysis & discussion of this in the sports media? They’re all afraid to ask, much less answer these questions.

One final footnote on MLB 2020. I theorized during the Mookie Betts salary dump saga that MLB would not sanction the Boston Red Sox for their iPhone cheating scandal during their 2018 World Series championship season with manager Alex Cora. It’s clear now that MLB has let their transgressions go. The Houston Astros will be the only MLB organization to be punished for electronic sign stealing, and then thrown to the media. The Astros are still taking heat for this, and the many Red Sox boosters in the MLB commissioner’s office are there to make sure this doesn’t happen to Boston.

The NFL (above) is to start its draft on April 23, broadcast on ESPN & ABC. This is a prime-time annual event on the ESPN calendar, with Mel Kiper Jr & Company ready for analysis on every selection, and then at the end, the “big board” for next year. The NFL confirmed yesterday it will be a virtual draft, with team personnel at their homes.

The draft was originally scheduled to be held in Las Vegas, the new home of the Raiders. Since all the scouting & combines have happened, a NFL draft can be accomplished online. The issue is the upcoming season, which is supposed to begin its training camps on July 15. No way that happens for all the reasons discussed above. What’s the point of draft picks & agents negotiating contracts with teams, if there isn’t going to be a 2020 NFL season?

What about NCAA football? When 2020 gets cancelled, then teams will have no scouting for the 2021 draft. Same with high-school football, and college recruiting.
Do you see how tied-in all this is? This is why Donald Trump conference-called all these league commissioners (& NHL) on Saturday, April 4.

“President Trump said he believes the NFL season should start on time in September, sources familiar with the call told ESPN. ‘I want fans back in the arenas,’ Trump said later in a briefing at the White House. ‘I think it’s … whenever we’re ready. As soon as we can, obviously. And the fans want to be back, too. They want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey. They want to see their sports. They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe nice, clean, beautiful fresh air.'”

For reference in Europe, less than a week ago professional tennis cancelled its men’s & women’s tours through the French Open & Wimbledon, which was to run June 29 to July 12. No comment on 2020 US Open, which is scheduled August 24 through September 13 in Queens NY. The site is the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which is currently closed until further notice– due to coronavirus.

The last ATP & WTA major before coronavirus COVID-19 was the 2020 Australian Open in January. That event was affected by wildfires raging across the continent at the time, and this was considered the major world news story of the day. Everywhere except China & their region in Asia. Both these pandemics (wildfires & coronavirus) are linked to global warming.

The tours that have responded best are the ones that have pivoted online. One somewhat surprising example is NASCAR, whose top drivers are now competing in iRacing, which is competitive video game racing online. The top drivers are nowhere near as good as the gamers at this, but racing fans still have interest. Dale Earnhardt, Jr discusses this Kyle Busch here:

The best part is that fans can follow their favorite participating drivers, observe their skills, and see their personalities come out– without NASCAR BS.The ruling establishment connected with every nation needs these carnival tours to recommence in real life, otherwise it’s going to be a revolution on all fronts. That’s what a sportswriter with imagination has to say today.

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Coronavirus checklists: What to do?

If you’re out-of-work due to mass quarantine, then this is the question. All the carnivals & circuses have been shut down, live & on TV. ESPN & all the sports leagues are airing re-runs. Except for the NFL, which is still delusional for its 2020 season. They have just “negotiated” a new CBA with the NFLPA that runs through 2030 which extends the regular season by one game in 2021, and the playoffs to 14-teams in 2020. These fools still act like there is going to be football in the fall. The problem is there isn’t.

Everyone of these megalomaniacs has under-estimated the impact of this pandemic. Two months ago, coronavirus was labeled a conspiracy theory by the “right-wing” mainstream fake news. Here is the first report from the WSWS on coronavirus, published January 24, 2020. It still holds up, and was light years ahead of the rest of the media.

In contrast, Donald Trump with all the resources of the CDC, NHS, WHO, etc, available to him, only reversed himself on coronavirus on Monday, March 16, 2020. Since then he has done nothing to stop the spread, in fact he has allowed it to get worse.

There are too many essential American workers toiling under hazardous conditions due to this willful neglect, which is bipartisan. The political response has been to bail out those responsible (again) with trillions more in cash for the banks, major corporations & elite hedge fund firms– which qualify as “small businesses,” so they’ll be the ones soaking up all that “economic stimulus” money.

That’s what you do if you are rich. You divest all stocks, bonds, derivatives, etc, and cash out. You then stockpile essential supplies & foodstuffs, while setting up electronic billing, delivery service & everything else. Retreat to your hideaway mansion and wait it out in relative comfort & safety.

For those who work, it’s a different set of circumstances & instructions. First, you have to make a decision about working. Am I essential personnel? If no, then you should stay home. That’s what I’ve done. I’ve converted all my bills to credit card. I don’t get unlimited free money from the Federal Reserve Bank, so it costs either 12.5% or 21% depending on how it’s categorized by them. There’s also a few service charges, but having Bank of America pay my bills in the meantime is better than running out of cash. That’s the choice you face when you live paycheck-to-paycheck, or take extended time off, as I had.

I was set to start working again at dentistry in an promising private practice, but March 16, 2020 was my first (and now possibly) my last day. Before coronavirus, this owner dentist needed an experienced associate to keep up with the growth. Now he needs to cut staff, protect himself & stay healthy so he can treat emergencies over the coming period.

Masks, gloves and other PPE are in short supply, with price gouging already in effect. How long he can remain open, and how affordable will he be, are unknowns. Will I see him & his staff again? If yes, then when? I don’t know? I’m just one of millions, soon-to-be billions, who have been thrown into total uncertainty. It makes you wonder.

Being essential labor, and having to work due to economic circumstance, is the worst position to be in right now. Farmers need to work & produce, because we all need food. Water, power & internet need to remain on. The workers who make this happen are our everyday heroes being made to face disease & death due to greed & class hatred.

The elite response is bail out the rich, mobilize the military-police apparatus, and get labor back to work. This must be opposed with a demand for ALL workers to be properly protected, compensated, and cared for. These are serious demands for revolutionary times, and it requires coordinated organizing action among the rank-and-file in all industries.

What to do with all the free time?

In quarantine, I sleep in & nap more– and have no regrets about that. Learn to adapt by needing less. Personal hygiene & fitness are top priorities. So is politically educating oneself. Proper nutrition is essential. Fruits, legumes & vegetables are 90+% of my diet. This is cheaper & healthier than meat. Most weeks, this is the only thing I need to go out for. Food markets are hotspots for contagion, so only go out when needed.

The idea is to avoid spreading disease & going into a hospital as a patient, because too many don’t walk out. Frontline medical workers have been swamped & under-supplied for decades, so they are getting sick here too. There isn’t enough testing, so no one knows who is infected, and how extensive it really is? We’re just getting started here in the US. It’s about to get much worse, because there is no coordinated response from government– on all levels.

Everyday people are voluntarily quarantining themselves to prevent this pandemic from getting even worse, while Donald Trump & the Democrats are cashing in their portfolios, as they let this contagion spread far & wide. They want mass casualties among the working masses, to thin & weaken the poorer ranks. This COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic reveals how every national ruling class uses an unleashed bio-weapon against its own population. These are chilling political realities in our world.

The answer to this criminality must be decisive. Workers need to take action and seize control of workplaces, to either halt non-essential production, or make sure essential services are carried out safely. There can be no reliance on bureaucracies of any sort: union, corporate, or government– who all collude against the workers to keep them enslaved under capitalism. Every capitalist institution must be seized and reorganized by placing labor in control. All bureaucrats, and especially their puppet masters, are to be arrested & tried in court for their criminality.

Since the media tries to manipulate everyone with beauty, here are a few final thoughts on this pertaining to coronavirus. COVID-19 has de-sexualized global society in a sense, as survival is now the primary instinct. This allows human beauty a chance to reveal itself and form its own identity. In becoming better understood by the majority, true beauty opposes business-as-usual which uses sex as a weapon to maintain imperialist authority. Being honest & true to everything only increases one’s influence due to beauty.

This means spending serious time at home, dealing with internal pain to make oneself more beautiful. In the process, you will become more influential, and able to share more intelligently & effectively on social media. That’s what you can do, when you have nothing else to do.

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The Coronavirus Concerts, Part 2

The Coronavirus Concerts deserved a full encore, so here it is. The first Coronavirus Concerts were about breaking new ground & figuring out how to do it– in a new era. With that knowledge & experience already in hand, this follow-up was captured in only a few hours. Part 2 probably flows better as a program from start to finish, because this time I knew what I was doing from the start.

As a production note, you need to be your own cameraman & director to do this. This is about being totally responsible for sound, lighting & your appearance. After the performance is captured, you must upload it to a computer & get it online with everything labeled & thumb-nailed correctly. Then marketing & promotion… Don’t worry, I couldn’t do it all at first either.

For me the performances are the easy part. This time it’s mostly my songs, with only three covers out of the fifteen songs. This shows I can play either way, covers or originals, all night long while keeping it strong. Fugazi used to call it “throwing down.” It’s good to be able to throw down.

I intentionally featured songs that haven’t been made into official videos already. Therefore songs like “Talented”, “Sugarcoat”, “Ridiculous”, “DDSeuss”, “Sun-Wind-Bird”, etc., aren’t covered here. Perhaps if/when I do Part 3. The format is the same, with the video posted above, followed by a description below.

“Self Made” is one of the first songs I ever wrote. When you start songwriting in the rock genre, you’re going for 3-minute rockers & anthems. I throw in a Modern Lovers “Roadrunner” lick at the end in that spirit.

“Problem Solved” is a favorite for women. TomP & I never did any videos for Hwy 19 & Main St, so I’m glad to get this song officially up on YouTube. We were too busy doing Fully Covered.

“Just Because” has a much different feel on Electrified!, with the extra vocals. Here it’s pretty much a straight blues-boogie number, with my lyrical twists.

“You are my Brother” was inspired by the owner of Elijah’s café in Eustis, which doesn’t exist anymore. Back when I had my own dental practice, which also doesn’t exist anymore, I ate there frequently. Elijah would say to me, “You are my brother,” and then he would serve me his delicious food. Absolutely.

“Atheist Psalm” is an ambitious song, from an ambitious album. I deliver it about as well as I can here. People have strong feelings about this one, so I never played it to a live audience. But if provoked, I would have.

The full title to this song is “Crime in the City (Sixty to Zero Part I).” Neil Young was re-energized in the late-1980’s by grunge & alternative, and Freedom was a huge artistic comeback for him. This song is never played on the radio, or covered, but I say it’s the best song on this record. Rust Never Sleeps is my favorite Neil Young album.

“Weird Ideas” is one of my favorite Hwy 19 songs. I played it a few times live at a place called Norm’s in Mount Dora back at that time, and the yuppie audience would go blank on it. But the riff, which I stole from A Tribe Called Quest, gets in you head.

“Rolling Stoned” is always a crowd favorite. Understand that my live crowds consisted mostly of baby boomer classic rockers. My friend & colleague Bill Pelick ran an open-mic jam at a place called Pug’s in Eustis for years. It’s no longer there, but Bill would let me come out whenever I wanted and perform. I got three songs, and that was it. After a few times, I was well-known, so I started trying crazy new stuff like “DDSeuss” & “Haters Step Aside” on them. “Rolling Stoned” always got huge applause from an old-timer audience that typically sneers at originals.

“Working Class” is one of my favorite early songs. It’s tight, with punch, and this is a strong version, save for the fluff at the beginning of the guitar solo. I guess that proves this is really difficult, and the trick is making it look easy.

Being from Wisconsin, I’ve seen the BoDeans live three times, more than any other ‘name band’. “Dreams” was their big single from their second record, but this is from their first album, which are both Americana classics. Other famous Milwaukee bands include the Violent Femmes & Die Kreuzen.

“Anna Rex” is another song that obviously appeals to women. This may be the best song on Electrified!, with the talent we had on it. Here I have to use a slide to simulate Jessica Lynn Martens violin effect.

“The Birth of Song” is one of my favorites from Over & Out. It’s economical & elegant, like this description.

“Obvious” is one of my favorite early rockers from Magnified. I was thinking specifically of the Counting Crows, Hootie & the Blowfish, Dead-Eye Dick (who was being payola promoted on Orlando radio at the time), etc, when I wrote this song.

“Moneybug” is a riff copped from Wire’s “Straight Line.” I had a lot of help with this tight rocker on Electrified! Jessica Lynn Martens on violin & backing vocals. Craig Roy came up with a great bass line, and Tom Pearce hit the beats & then produced it. This is one I re-worked the lyrics on a lot over the years, so I don’t remember them completely here, because I haven’t played it in awhile. I don’t practice much anymore, I just play. That’s how it goes.

This is the first artist I’m repeating on my covers. On Fully Covered, I did “Down Payment Blues.” This one is also from Powerage, which along with Dirty Deeds, is my favorite AC/DC record. Bon & Malcolm are gone, so here’s the best version I can do.

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The Coronavirus Concerts

Here’s my new cover album, self-recorded at home on an Amazon Fire. This is going to be the new (& live) music delivery model for awhile, so of course I’m leading the way. That’s what it means to be a revolutionary artist.

These videos are listed in the order they were recorded, with publishing info on YouTube. One general performance note: I wear sunglasses because these aren’t my songs. It’s impossible to sing someone else’s song completely honestly, hence the dark shades when I do covers for the camera. Each video is presented, followed with a blurb.

I loved this song since high-school, even though I didn’t know what it meant. This is the single from their debut album, released in 1969. Mott the Hoople was a deep band, and are have always been disrespectfully under-represented by classic-rock radio. My style is to keep it simple, so I cut out a lot of the jamming. BTW, if I’m doing MTH covers, then I can’t be credibly accused of anti-gay bias.

It’s really hard to do Eddie & Dave well, but this is a good try, I say. No way I can do Eddie’s guitar wizardry, so I play it as a simple blues number. I mess up the intro, and start again, but who cares– right? David Lee Roth was a genius in so many ways, as this song really isn’t about ice cream. Van Halen through 1984 were the greatest rock super-group ever. If you don’t cover them, then you don’t rock.

This is a really difficult song to barre on guitar and sing as a man, so I shortened it where I could. Being able to mimic the electronica feel is the tricky part. I really loved this song from the first time I heard it. It’s also the first song I ever downloaded on Napster. The rest of the CD wasn’t up to par for the $20 it cost (IMO), and 45 singles weren’t available anymore. That’s how Napster changed the internet back then. Getting back to Madonna, anyone who can get “zephyr” into meaningful song lyrics, is a artistic genius. Take that from someone who knows. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with Madonna on Facebook for a long time now, so I’m paying her my respect. Love

Final production note: This was the only song I recorded with a fan blowing on me. Like I already said, it’s an electronica-type song, so I thought I’d experiment with an electronic device. It mostly kept me cool, so I could sustain the vibe. Anyways, that’s the slight difference in fidelity from all the rest.

Remember when I said this was a cover album? I lied. I took the sunglasses off to perform this song is about payola. “P2P” is fun for me to play live (whenever I can get a show), observing so many blank expressions in the audience. You either get it, or you don’t. I ham it up a bit here, so you can get it easily. This is a punk-pop song.

I reviewed this album here already. This was their MTV single, and every female singer-songwriter today should know & play it. Tanya Donelly uses an androgynous voice in this song, so it’s fairly do-able for men. See & hear more my link.

Liz Phair was the musical girlfriend all us lonely college guys could listen to, back around Exile in Guyville. I’ve listened to her CD hundreds of times. Somewhere around this song, running through “Canary” & “Mesmerizing,” it becomes sublime. This is another songwriter every woman (& man) with a guitar & voice needs to respect. Otherwise you’re fake.

“Kararak” is from Electrified! The riff was copped from “The Ballad of the Green Berets,” with the lyrics turned around.

“Haters Step Aside” is from Hwy 19 & Main St. I’ve done it live a few times, and it always works great. Sometime the club pulls the plug on me before I can get to it, so here it is forever.

Fugazi was perhaps the tightest punk band ever. They were masters of songwriting, sound, production & packaging. I blogged about them here.

“Tubthumping” is a great single, so I have it in my covers playbook. It’s party, as well as defiance. Chumbawumba was much more than a one-hit wonder. They also do a version of “Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire,” which I cover below.

This is from Over & Out, and I’ve thumb-nailed an image from the liner notes. I try to do this as a beer drinking sing-along, so feel free to yell out when cued. I’ve always thought this was a catchy novelty song, so I’m resurrecting it here.

“Millennial Whoop” is our latest single, as Tom Pearce & I extensively collaborated on this one. I delivered the song, while TomP produced the hell out of it. Rachel Decker is the vocalist. We were going for a Beastie Boys feel, if you can dig it. Here, I strip everything away and give you a rap song straight on guitar & vocals.

“Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire” is a soldiers’ song from WWI, so it is public domain. It’s only four verses, but very powerful in it’s economy & accuracy.

This is my favorite Tom Waits song, from my favorite Tom Waits album. You really need sunglasses (& a capo) for a song like this, because there is no way you can completely get to Waits’ abstractions. That’s the kind of artist he is. Someone who relates, but is also unknowable.

There was a time when the only way you were going to hear the Sex Pistols was to go to the record store and buy the album. I remember when I did and put on side 1, and then “Holidays in the Sun” exploded out. “EMI” is the closing track to their classic debut, which never lets up.

I felt obliged to do this song. Woody Guthrie was perhaps the original singer-songwriter. Bob Dylan & Bruce Springsteen also have moving versions of this classic. Everyone from Neil Young to John Fogerty were deeply influenced by Woody Guthrie.

I will end when I began, with “Primary Colors.” The coronavirus concert encore is my latest anthem, recorded & published on March 20, 2020. I believe it caps the show off nicely, delivering a compelling new song for the times.

Program notes: All this was performed & put together in 3 days, from March 20-22, 2020. I never left my home to do any of it. Now that “quarantine” & “social distancing” have entered our lexicon, these performances prove that meaningful music can still be delivered to people everywhere. What it takes is talent & heart.

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Coronavirus & Revolution

The stock & bond markets around the world have crashed. As of this publication, mid-afternoon EDT, Europe is paralyzed due to the coronavirus epidemic. China is starting to recover, but nothing is moving economically yet. Wherever it isn’t an epidemic, it’s a pandemic, waiting to become an epidemic. That’s because the nationalist governments of the world are unable to come up with any kind of scientific & coordinated response to this human disaster. History will remember coronavirus as the pin that popped the bubble of capitalism.

There are several things that are becoming increasingly clear as this global crisis unfolds. First is that our way of life is now changing forever. For those who are still working, many are doing it at home. For most of them, this is the way it should be, as texting, email & video conferencing no longer necessitate that management personnel meet in the same building. We have global warming, and this change for the better will cut down on unnecessary business meetings & travel, which under capitalism are almost always useless.

A second lesson that is being learned is that sports aren’t very important, in the big picture. These were the first activities that were shut down, when this coronavirus was spreading globally. Sports are an integral part of this fake economy which is meant to provide bread & circuses for the masses. But when things get tough, sports & entertainment get put on hold, as history collides with class forces.

Does anyone care what LeBron James or Jennifer Lopez have to say right now? The answer is no, because they have no expertise on the problem. All they know is what they are good at, so their opinions on anything else aren’t any better than anyone else who doesn’t know. So why are celebrities idolized & elevated so much? People staying at home have lots of time to think about stuff like this.

To take it a step further, it’s educational to go onto YouTube & watch any older version of your favorite sport(s), and observe how much better most leagues were in the past. Not that is was perfect back then (it wasn’t), but there were far less commercials, less exploding graphics, and less-annoying announcers. The contests were shorter, and more action-packed. The same holds true for Hollywood television & cinema being better in much of the 20th century, as compared to today. Since the old stuff is more entertaining, so why do we need all this new garbage? It’s progress to have this 24/7 fakery machine shut down.

The final truth here is that capitalism is responsible for this coronavirus pandemic, and unable to meet its challenges. US President Donald Trump has hopelessly poured trillions of dollars into the stock & bond markets to keep them afloat over the past two weeks, but to no avail. Any brief rise in the markets has been a “sugar high” from these injections of trillions, that quickly wears off as reality sets in. There are no markets left to trade in, because the global supply chains have collapsed. Thus it’s futile to throw money at the markets.

All this started in China in December 2019, with the coronavirus COVID-19 mutating in bats, then spreading to humans. The rest of the world’s governments had months to prepare for this contagion, but arrogantly & ignorantly refused to take it seriously. Now what do they have to say? The coronavirus denialists are now being shouted down everywhere, by the facts on the ground, and the workers who are on the front lines.

Every government’s policy is trillions more for the 0.01%, while the rest of us must face this coronavirus without mass testing & protection. Without testing, there can be no tracing, nor effective treatment & quarantine of the ill. It was bipartisan policy for the US government to reject WHO test kits over eight weeks ago, the most essential front-line tool for containing coronavirus.

You can’t fight what you can’t identify. US officials wanted “our” pharmaceuticals to make their own proprietary tests so they could profit handsomely, but the pandemic has spread too quickly. Today, we still don’t have mass testing for coronavirus in America. Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden & Bernie Sanders only make excuses for this colossal failure. That’s how this two-party political system fails all of us.

What these parasites, strawmen & figurines have done to the world is unforgivable, and it won’t take long for the masses to realize this. Workers have bills to pay, with little-to-no reserves, and now no cash flow. When people can’t afford food & rent, that’s when the pitchforks & torches come out, looking for retribution against those responsible.

The biggest shame of all this is the fact there are millions of workers (in America alone) who are skilled & are heroically doing everything they can to contain this virus, while providing essential services to the population, despite the willful neglect of political leadership. These are the true heroes, but they are unrecognized by the media; starved of funding, supplies & necessary protective equipment by a corrupt system. These everyday heroes are forced to work because they care, and also because they live paycheck-to-paycheck. These are the people who live & work in reality, and therefore need to be in charge, not capitalist politicians.

Both US political parties, Dems & Reps, are eventually going to call off Election 2020, due to their inability to deal with this coronavirus. That will be another clear signal for revolution, as maintaining the status quo won’t do for the 90+%. This is now a revolutionary situation, and requires class-conscious leadership within the working class. Workers & youth need to organize amongst themselves. Appeals to the union bureaucracies & the capitalist class are a dead end.

Trump & the Democrats listen closely to the screams of Boeing, and how they need hundreds of billions. Meanwhile angry workers & youth are asking, “Why does this zombie corporation, that knowingly committed mass murder with their MAX 737 crashes, deserve a bailout?” As already stated, it’s not going to take long for youth & workers to put a revolutionary political program together, and it will be led by the Trotskyists of the World Socialist Web Site & SEP/ICFI.

What’s become apparent is that the working population & kids of the world are far ahead of any government. They understand the realities of global warming, social inequality & now the coronavirus better than their elected leaders. Many offices, stores & small businesses closed on their own, before they were ordered to, proving they recognized the risks better than our so-called “leaders.”

In this age of the internet, we now can identify the enemy. They start with all the names you see on Fox, CNN & Yahoo!, then it goes to those behind-the-scenes. It’s Wall Street, silicon valley, Hollywood, the East coast media, the pentagon, CIA, NSA, FBI, White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. This is the criminal capitalist class, which must be ousted, and replaced with a workers government of the world. This is called socialism, and it’s only achievable through an international revolution. Please join us.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 basics

In the healthcare professions, doctors, surgeons & support staff all adhere to “universal precautions,” which means assuming every patient has an infectious disease, even if their medical history is clear. This is because the patient may have an infection without knowing it, or they may be intentionally omitting data.

Therefore frequent hand-washing, gloves, masks, protective eye-wear, et al, are required. All this was recognized & widely adopted as standard practice in the 1980’s, when AIDS came along. This extends to personal hygiene, such as covering coughs & sneezes (into the shoulder), and other courtesy measures that educated & civilized people do to prevent the spread of disease.

The rapid-spread quality of coronavirus COVID-19 means that just about everyone will eventually be exposed to this pathogen. The questions are: Will your body be able to resist it, or will you become infected? If you are infected, then how bad will it be? Will it kill you?

We make ourselves more prone to infections by not sleeping enough, by not getting enough exercise, by not eating right, etc. Alcohol & drug consumption weakens any immune system. Tobacco smoking is a particular risk with any respiratory infection. The deaths from coronavirus COVID-19 have been mostly a result of pneumonia. This is what you need to know to avoid panicking, and making a big mistake for yourself & others.

Professionals don’t politicize the coronavirus COVID-19 into a weapon of fear against the population, as that only increases the spread of contagion. Empty reassurances & ignorance are tools to cover up ruling elite malfeasance. Every nation’s government is currently doing exactly this, by closing off borders, targeting certain ethnicities, and spreading fear.

Putting a backwards religious nut in charge of the coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic in the US, should be considered an impeachable offense, a crime against the American people. But not for the fake media, nor for official politics. Vice-President Mike Pence as governor of Indiana endorsed a policy to “pray away” the HIV epidemic. This wasn’t in the 1980’s when HIV & AIDS was new, but from 2013-17. Mike Pence is the exact opposite of a good solution to this coronavirus COVID-19 problem.

Obviously research & testing must be fully funded, publicly, so the people can have input on progress. Leaving it to the pharmaceuticals, who look only at profit, is a recipe for secrecy, monopoly pricing & pushing bad drugs onto the market– out of desperation.

Science has known that coronaviruses have had this potential for decades, with the SARS outbreak in 2002–2004, mainly in China, and MERS in 2012–2014, mainly in Saudi Arabia. Already we know the COVID-19’s RNA code, outer shell & much else that is necessary to develop a vaccine. But there is need for publicly coordinated research & policy, to prevent this from becoming a global epidemic which kills hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. It needs funding, but all that goes to the military these days.

This is NOT being discussed anywhere in the corporate news or official politics. This is just another crisis to be exploited, and another bailout for the rich. The big US stock market losses last week have already been repaired. At ~10:00 AM EST this morning, it was announced that the US Federal Reserve Bank is cutting their rate by 50 base points for overnight bank lending to 1%-1.25%.

It’s not hard to predict what these zombies are going to do, once you know what’s going on. The ruling elites took big losses with this epidemic affecting their global supply chains. They have no serious answers for this global health epidemic, so they decided to print more money for themselves. This is called looking out for #1, which is considered a good thing. Ask any capitalist.

Conclusion: A virus does not distinguish between class, race, sex, or nationalities, It infects anyone & anything it can. It infects silently, and can be extremely mobile & resilient. It’s going to take a combination of ingenuity & resourcefulness to deal with this coronavirus epidemic, and the viral plagues of the future.

What this crisis already proves is that the current global political set-up has no serious answers to meet these challenges, and therefore must go, in the better interest of everybody. It’s now time for the workers of the world to wash our hands of this filth, as science & revolutionary socialism is the only path forward for humanity.

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Super Tuesday Preview

Since yesterday, Pete Buttigieg has dropped out, after blandly saying to his supporters just a few days earlier, that his campaign was going to “shock the world on Super Tuesday.” Hardly anyone was saddened or surprised by this.

Now, Amy Klobuchar’s campaign is under attack from Black Lives Matter, as she’s cancelled a home-state rally. Amy Klobuchar is currently being made to answer for a 2002 conviction of Myon Burrell, over a black girl killed by a stray bullet.

Myon Burrell was sentenced to life in prison. At the time, Klobuchar served as Hennepin County’s head attorney. An Associated Press investigation revealed no gun, fingerprints or DNA recovered, and evidentially questionable police tactics were used.

Make no mistake, this is a full-scale, all-hands-on-deck, deep state campaign to clear the Democratic field for Joe Biden. Mike Bloomberg is their main target, as he stands to reap a few delegates tomorrow.

Joe Biden needs every delegate he can get, so the remaining also-rans are under heavy Party pressure to quit and throw support to him. For example, I’m sure if Amy Klobuchar suddenly dropped out, and kicked her 7 delegates to Joe Biden, all of her pain would go away. Tomorrow will go a long way towards deciding whether there will be a brokered Democratic convention in Milwaukee this summer. The only reason for a brokered convention is to steal the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders.

Above are the latest polling numbers showing Bernie Sanders poised to win the most delegates among Democrats tomorrow. Of course, those counting the votes should be under intense scrutiny when the stakes are this high, so we’ll see. That, and the global economy tanking due to the spread of the coronavirus (Trump’s problem), are the causes of all this media panic.

Breaking News Update: Mon 02 Mar 2020 3:15 PM EST

Less than two (2) hours after publishing this piece, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has bowed out of the race for the Democratic nomination, and will endorse Joe Biden.

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The Charleston pageant

This was quite possibly the worst political debate ever broadcast. It was completely stage-managed, with unabashedly biased “moderators” throwing daggers at those they hate (Bloomberg & Bernie), while lobbing softballs to Elizabeth Warren, who tried her best to identify with Sanders and get some progressive shine. Anything to “Stop Bernie,” it quickly reached bad political theater, and wallowed there for two excruciating hours. Nothing serious was debated.

The Democrats have lost their individual & collective minds. It was sadly comical how every time Bernie Sanders held his hand up to respond to someone else attacking him, Elizabeth Warren raised her hand too. Then when Sanders put his hand down, down went Warren’s. She played this political charade of “follow Bernie” for a good part of the “debate,” to make herself look strong & progressive.

But because she’s a phony, Warren finally got caught near the end– on a question concerning US troops in Syria. She was unprepared when acknowledged by the moderator, after it was Bernie Sanders who really wanted to speak. Warren gasped, stumbled, and then had nothing but stock answers for a recovery. The moderators then moved on. It was a most-telling moment for Elizabeth Warren in Charleston, SC. Warren was handed this debate by CBS & the fake media, but she fumbled it away, because she doesn’t have the chops.

What do I mean by chops? That’s a performing term, meaning skills which hold up under pressure, such as delivering the goods to a live global audience with fierce competition in your face. Elizabeth Warren clearly has none of the stuff to handle serious politics. She’s been propped up by the Hillary faction of the DNC, which is politically powerful in Washington, but despised everywhere else. Why are they so widely hated? Because these elitists have all the money and always abuse it in their interest, because they have no chops.

CIA Democrat, Pete Buttigieg is the definition of a stiff, another industry term I keep using, since this is a pageant. No chops, no charisma & no brains means you’re a stiff. This non-entity should have been given the hook a long time ago, but he too has powerful deep-state backers. The problem for the DNC is that Pete Buttigieg is too queer. Gay doesn’t have a broad enough appeal when it comes to identity politics, and comes with too much backlash in terms of running for President. Trump can rally anti-gay bigotry against Buttigieg, which will be stronger than the Democratic party’s LGBT supporters.

Same thing applies to Amy Klobuchar, as far as blandness goes. On stage, she looked like an over-ripe grape. Obviously representing Minnesota Golden Gophers purple, she needed a complimentary color in Charleston, but doesn’t have one. Her bland fashion sense mirrors her uninspired stumping. Amy Klobuchar was given repeated opportunities to speak freely without being attacked, but no one can remember anything she said. Klobuchar is a stale vintage: old wine in a boring bottle, quickly turning to sour grapes. Undecided voters will pass on that, you can bet.

Mike Bloomberg was repeatedly attacked and set-up for Warren to grandstand. He was bloodied for sure, but fought back admirably against a #MeToo-style gang-up. But it’s too late for Bloomberg to recover, and he will win very little on Super Tuesday. Mike Bloomberg will have spent more dollars-per-delegate than any US Presidential candidate in history. That’s how “Mike will get it done,” which is incidentally one of the lamest Presidential campaign slogans ever.

When Elizabeth Warren attacked Bloomberg, she came off as nagging & petty on non-disclosure agreements, tax returns, et al. This doesn’t help when you’re trying to look tough & Presidential. My analysis is that the Trump team would eat Warren for breakfast if she was the 2020 Democrat nominee, just like they did with Hillary Clinton in 2016. Sanders can’t say that, because she’s a woman, but it’s a political truth nonetheless.

But it’s clear that Elizabeth Warren is who the DNC now favors. She’s got #MeToo backing, and is tacking to the left, in order to woo Bernie Sanders supporters, but it’s too late. Warren is an establishment Democrat with little popular appeal. It’s mostly to older professional women, in what’s left of the upper-middle class. That’s a limited reach, at best, with a lot of backlash behind it.

Joe Biden is toast. Since Nevada, Biden has ludicrously claimed that he was arrested in Soweto, South Africa in the late 1970’s for trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison. This fabrication was meant to gain him the black vote in South Carolina. No record of this Biden “arrest” exists, and it has been disputed by insiders.

Biden is also running some really weak TV ads which claim Bernie Sanders didn’t support President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. Comments on this are overwhelmingly negative. “Obama doesn’t shine like he used to, Joe,” are typical.

Support for Mike Bloomberg is even less, as he fools no one except himself. My favorite online response to him is, “I wouldn’t vote for Bloomberg even if he was the only person running in either party.” These centrist conservative clowns are ALL going to get wiped out on Super Tuesday, which is only a week away. That’s the cause for all this media hysteria.

The two billionaires, Bloomberg & Tom Steyer have no significant Democratic voting base from which to appeal. Tom Steyer is perhaps the biggest stiff in this field. This clown has no political skills & no grassroots support. Notice that Steyer gets the least amount of speaking time during these “debates,” because everyone tunes him out when he starts to babble on about whatever. This is an example of how your brain stagnates when you spend your entire life in a billionaire’s bubble.

Is being physically unappealing & arrogantly reactionary a requirement for two-party candidacy?  Everyone of these windbags makes themselves look foolish getting worked up over issues they really don’t care about, but have to pretend like they do in 2020. Watching Biden, Warren, Klobuchar & Buttigieg in particular getting heated to save their failing candidacies from the gallows pole in a week, is entertainment.

As I’ve already repeated, this is a pageant. The 2020 Democratic primary is a political popularity contest, to see who can best lie to the voters who are demanding real change. Without question the most skilled Democratic candidate is Bernie Sanders. All of Bernie Sanders 2020 Democratic opponents are stiffs, with the notable exception of Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who has political chops & a lot of energy.

Gabbard famously took down Kamala Harris in an early CNN debate, which infuriated centrist Democrats. On January 22, 2020, Tulsi Gabbard filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton, seeking damages in excess of $50 million for sabotaging her presidential campaign. This was definitely a deep state dirty tricks operation.

Tulsi Gabbard was the only Democratic nominee who challenged Bernie Sanders from the left, and that isn’t allowed. She’s physically attractive, intelligent enough & charismatic, which means she would have been a formidable contender– if she had had the backing.

For the Democrats, everything on the left has to go to Bernie, so he can surrender policy over to the centrists when it’s time. That’s why Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign got smashed by the DNC & fake media. It’s also why she’s been excluded from these “debates,” despite her resume as a CIA Democrat.

The DNC finally finished counting the Nevada caucus. Sanders won 24 of the 36 available delegates, putting him at 45. Buttigieg won 3 and now has 25, while Biden won 9 and now has 15 total. Warren (8) & Klobuchar (7) are being asked to drop out by MSNBC, after not winning anything in Nevada, in order to unite the “stop Bernie” moderates.

I see Sanders picking-up a good share of both their supporters, so that strategy won’t help the DNC centrists. It’s between Buttigieg, Biden, Bloomberg & Steyer. Three of them have to go, in order for the centrists to unite. But NONE of them have the ego to quit for the good of something outside of themselves.

That’s the Democrat’s conundrum. No one is ready to quit, even though the writing is on the wall. This nomination race could be over by March 17, so it’s probably already too late for any of this to make a difference. Sanders is far ahead of the rest in voter support & political momentum.

What most of the “undecideds” are looking for is a Democrat who can beat Trump in November. Bernie Sanders has the best head-to-head polling numbers versus Trump, winning most projections. All the arguments from centrist Democrats who claim they can unite the party are worthless in the face of this.

Don’t be fooled by the false narratives. Donald Trump fears Bernie Sanders more than any other Democratic candidate, and rightly so. Bernie Sanders is the most popular left-leaning front-runner of an open Democratic primary nomination since Bobby Kennedy in 1968. All options will be on the table to neutralize Sanders. Trump will ask the DNC through the media to sabotage the Sanders campaign, and they may very well comply. It’s understood by many deep state centrists to be essential for maintaining the two-party system.

The existing political set-up is no longer able to accommodate a leftist US President. Jimmy Carter was the last one, and he was unceremoniously dumped for Ronald Reagan in 1980. The deep state is the Black Hand that will coerce Bernie Sanders into capitulating to the ruling establishment, whether it’s losing in November, or by betraying those populist promises he made to get himself into the White House. Sooner or later, this is how Bernie Sanders will fold, in favor of the ruling establishment.

Final thoughts:   Thu 27 Feb 2020 12:15 PM EST

Who will be Bernie Sanders’ VP? Elizabeth Warren definitely fits what Bernie needs. He doesn’t need a Joe Biden breathing down his neck, Sanders needs a compliant “respectable” Democrat who checks boxes. That’s Elizabeth Warren. Tulsi Gabbard would be his choice on the left, but Bernie needs to placate the establishment, so he’ll go with moderate woman for a running mate. That’s my analysis.

One final point. VP choice matters, particularly for the TV debates, ever since Dan Quayle proved what a liability a weak VP could be, when Bush/Quayle lost to Clinton/Gore in 1992. On the other (dark) side, a powerful VP like Dick Cheney can control a Presidency. Most serious historians believe that LBJ conspired to assassinate a beloved President. It’s choice they live & die with, and it’s VERY murky behind-the-scenes.

The good news for Bernie Sanders is that his to-be-determined running mate is up against a non-entity in Mike Pence. Trump wanted a nobody loyalist for the job, and that’s why he’s still there in 2020. Elizabeth Warren will be more ambitious than Pence, because she DID run for the Presidency. I speak of her presidential campaign in the past tense, because its death is only impending, like all the other Democrats opposing Sanders.

Sun 01 Mar 2020 1:01 PM EST

The big win for Joe Biden doesn’t matter so much, because South Carolina is a red state in November. The Obama & Clinton machinery won it for him, but all of this only magnifies Biden’s reactionary politics. Super Tuesday is now a huge test of establishment machinery vs. the grassroots campaign of Bernie Sanders. One final note, billionaire Tom Steyer dropped out of the race, just after the SC results were announced.

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Flushing the Mookie Betts salary dump

Preface: This is my fourth & final piece with “Mookie Betts salary dump” in the title. My initial installment was published on February 1, a few days before the proposed deal hit the media. “Postscript on the Mookie Betts salary dump” was published on February 5, shortly after the deal was announced, and it looked like everything was over. “‘Adjusting’ the Mookie Betts salary dump” was published on February 7, as the fake media went silent on this mega-deal falling apart. These four essays will endure in sports literature as the best analysis of what happened here– in real time.

It looked so clean & elegant when it was first reported in the sports media on Tuesday evening, February 4, 2020:

DODGERS GET: OF Mookie Betts, LHP David Price & ~$48M [!] cash (all from BOS)
RED SOX GET: OF Alex Verdugo (from LAD), RHP Brusdar Graterol (MLB Pipeline’s No. 83 prospect, from MIN)
TWINS GET: RHP Kenta Maeda (from LAD)

…and then the clincher for Dodgers GM Andrew Friedman…

ANGELS GET: OF Joc Pederson, RHP Ross Stripling, OF prospect Andy Pages
DODGERS GET: IF Luis Rengifo

Joc Pederson was to be Andrew Friedman’s salary dump, to keep the Dodgers under the CBT. Pederson is a free agent in November. With Mookie Betts apparently in RF, the Dodgers were ready for a championship run in 2020. For Angels GM Billy Eppler, this was an opportunity to upgrade his outfield, and possibly extend Joc Pederson if it worked out well.

Instead, Joc Pederson had the distinction of going through an arbitration hearing with the Dodgers (which he lost), while believing he was being traded to the Angels. If MLB had any ethics, it would have: 1) suspended the Pederson arbitration hearing until after the proposed trade deal was resolved– one way or another; and 2) set a hard deadline for the deal’s resolution.

MLB did neither.Why? Because it was acting as an agent of the Red Sox to get the deal done on Boston’s terms. The Red Sox kept pushing for more time, but time eventually ran out.

A lot of really diligent & talented front offices worked very hard this winter to make their teams better, only to have it destroyed by Red Sox pettiness, arrogance & greed. What a colossal waste of time! This is now officially, “The greatest baseball trade that never happened.”

The Dodgers were always motivated to get this deal done. In the end it was on them to deal more prospects to Boston. They didn’t, as they felt they had given up enough already, and were probably correct. Here’s a good analysis from their perspective.

In short, the Joc Pederson arbitration hearing was a disaster for the Dodgers, even though the team won the case. They will pay Pederson $7.75M in 2020, but the Dodgers & MLB look really bad. It resembled a Julian Assange hearing in many respects. Kenta Maeda wants to be a starter so he can earn contract bonuses, but is being used as a reliever, especially down the stretch. The Twins would have put Maeda in their rotation. It would have been a great deal for the Twins.

The third Dodgers piece was Alex Verdugo, a high-end young talent in RF. I’ve been wondering why Andrew Friedman had been so willing to part with him. I had speculated in an earlier piece that it could be a core injury which was lowering his value.

But due diligence & sticking with a story eventually brought me here. It’s been alleged that Alex Verdugo was witness to his minor-league teammate, James Baldwin, sexually assaulting an underage girl at a team party in Rancho Cucamunga. There was a police report filed. This is an ugly organizational story. Dealing Alex Verdugo moves a big part of it to Boston. Apparently MLB is aware of all this, but hasn’t taken action. Very murky.

At ~3:15 PM EST, on Saturday, February 8, it was reported by MLB that Brusdar Graterol had been pulled back by the Minnesota Twins from the proposed Mookie Betts blockbuster. This announcement all but killed the deal, along with the concurrent proposed Dodgers-Angels swap.

An hour later, and the news is reverberating through the baseball world. It will soon be announced by MLB that the whole deal(s) is off. So I’m now finally able to publish this piece (which I had already written) at ~4:20 PM EST. This story actually wrote itself is how I look at it. So what the bleep happened?!

Once the Twins pulled back Brusdar Graterol, the Dodgers took back Kenta Maeda. This probably happened on late Wednesday or early Thursday, looking at the fake media reporting, but was kept quiet to try to get the Twins management to change their minds. They rightfully didn’t. This means the Red Sox take back David Price and all of his 3/$96 remaining. That leaves only Alex Verdugo for Mookie Betts at $27M.

All that puts the Dodgers-Angels proposal in jeopardy. You can see how quickly this unraveled. The money the Red Sox were going to eat on Price was never nailed down. It was reported to be “around half” of his remaining deal, but this was still being hotly negotiated after the deal was announced.

This means money, between the Red Sox & Dodgers, was an issue in killing this deal. Once it’s down to Betts-for-Verdugo, the $27M for one season becomes a problem, because this one season is all there is for the Dodgers. Especially when they are giving up a promising, cost-controlled young player to the Red Sox.

That’s why David Price had to be in the deal, for GM Andrew Friedman to part with Alex Verdugo. That’s why Verdugo-for-Betts straight-up doesn’t work. From the Dodgers GM perspective, the Red Sox needed to eat salary on Mookie Betts. The Red Sox wouldn’t (and couldn’t) do this, because this was supposed to be a salary dump in order to get under the CBT. The problem is Red Sox dysfunction, all down the line.

The final story is about the Minnesota Twins [!] taking a stand on medical/player ethics. This is a case of an “unethical medical records leak” in professional sports by the Boston Red Sox, used to gain leverage in trade negotiations. This is now a union grievance with the MLBPA. For the players involved it’s a privacy issue, just like for patients in any doctor’s office or hospital setting.

By today (Saturday), noon EST, Brusdar Graterol’s agent, Scott Boras finally responded to these unethical Red Sox assertions. “To suggest that this player is not healthy going forward, or has any form of substantive medical defect that would in any way damage his career, all of that is false,” Boras told The Boston Globe.

“This is a scant supposition created by medical review, by someone who has never seen him physically. I don’t know Boston’s position on this. I know that people are suggesting that Graterol has some malady about him medically, which is inaccurate. That supposition is false. He is in spring training. He’s ready to throw without limitations going forward through the season. And there’s no suggestion that there’s anything at issue with this player in the current or immediate aspects of his career.”

The medical rule is: don’t discuss patient/player data with outside parties, without their recorded consent. It’s a serious breach of doctor-patient ethics to do so. The same ethics exist for team-player relationships in professional sports.

As a practicing dentist for over 25 years, I know the professional lines in discussing patient information. Basically, you don’t do it. Patients don’t want it leaked, because once it’s out there, it’s public domain. The Red Sox blatantly breached a player’s right-to-privacy in their leaking the confidential medical records of RHP Brusdar Graterol. The Twins fairly deserve some form of compensation from the Red Sox.

Hypothetical question: How would you like another company interested in your services, leaking private medical & personal information to the media, in order to de-value you? This was done by the Red Sox in order to gain advantage in grabbing more assets in the already-agreed-upon Mookie Betts deal.

How do you think Brusdar Graderol felt about being traded to the Red Sox after hearing all this uproar? Terrified, possibly? I think that’s a reasonable assumption. A responsible GM can’t trade a top young prospect under the toxic circumstances created by the Red Sox. It would be unprofessional. What kind of message would it send to all the players in the Twins organization?

Patients (players) don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. That’s the golden rule in dealing with human beings. GM’s running their organizations are like doctors running a practice, in that they are responsible for a lot of people. If you throw someone under the bus like that, everyone sees it, and it kills morale.

The Red Sox have no such ethics on this, they only care about winning & whining– in debatable order. They are again about to be sanctioned by MLB, this time over using iPhone watches to stream live center-field camera video of the opposing catcher’s signs to the pitcher. A bench coach under manager Alex Cora would relay it to Red Sox runners-on-base. That’s quite a Fenway advantage, and it puts an asterisk on their 2018 World Series season. Just like the Houston Astros in 2017.

I believe the best deterrence for illegal video usage is fan disgust with this type of cheating. That, and serious MLB investigations & sanctions for proven offenders. Live video used to steal signs totally sucks, because it’s completely unfair to the opposing team. When fans start losing respect for the players & the game, changes must be made. That’s perhaps the biggest storyline in baseball this past winter.

Since the Yankees were also involved in this, and likely originated it, expect the sanctions for the Red Sox to be less severe than they were for the Houston Astros. It’s Carlos Beltran signing with the Astros as a free agent on December 5, 2016, after nearly three years with the Yankees, that helped Houston perfect its system of video cheating. Beltran brought it from the Bronx to Houston.

That’s why Beltran was fired by the New York Mets this winter, after being hired weeks earlier. Carlos Beltran’s career MLB managing record will forever be 0-0. The Yankees don’t want an investigation into their original 2014-16 sign-stealing schemes, so they’ll make a deal with Red Sox wheels in the MLB commissioner’s office to go lightly on Boston, as a quid pro quo for no New York Yankees investigation. That’s east coast bias in action. Watch for it.

Coincidentally, ESPN just published an article implicating an Astros intern as the source of MLB video sign stealing. That’s been the top headlines on MLB & ESPN for the past two days, while the silence on the Betts deal in limbo is deafening. All this immediately confirms my conspiracy theory that the impending Red Sox punishment will be less severe than it was for the Astros. The AJ Hinch apology videos (& Astros players defiance) can all be seen as pro-Red Sox propaganda, to deflect attention from their sins. We’ll see who is correct here, soon enough.

After all this, the Red Sox deserve yet another investigation, this time in breaching player medical privacy ethics for gain in trade talks. There’s lots of corporate media complicity here, so I don’t see this going anywhere. The Red Sox & MLB are a mafia, and they’ve both had difficult winters. More & more fans outside of these inner MLB circles are now understanding the depth of this corruption. I’ve used The Office (2005-13) as a pictorial metaphor for all this corporate dysfunction.

The Los Angeles Dodgers can still get Mookie Betts in free agency, next winter, if that’s what they want. You can be sure that Andrew Friedman & the rest of his GM colleagues don’t want to deal with the Red Sox again anytime soon.

For me as a sportswriter with an outsider’s perspective, it’s been a fascinating story which I’ve been enthusiastic to cover. I understand that I’m strictly censored, but I’ve learned that the truth (when well phrased) quickly gets out to enough of the right people in time to make a difference.

This Mookie Betts deal was so tense, emotional, & tightly wound, that the excess strain from Red Sox meddling caused it to burst apart. Once the Twins pulled back Brusdar Graterol, out of respect for their valued young player & themselves, this mega-deal fell apart. When that happened, all the king’s mouthpieces, and all the Red Sox yes-men, couldn’t put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. The dominoes all tumbled, and the Dodgers, Twins & Angels are left with nothing for all their weeks of time & energy spent.

They, all probably deserve some compensation from MLB over this despicable dealing in bad faith by the Boston Red Sox. All the Red Sox had to do was sign on the bottom line, and it was over. They had a great deal. Their real fans knew it. Just sign it, you bleeping bleep-holes!!

But no, it was unacceptable in its tiniest detail, so management had to insist on more. And now the Red Sox have Mookie Betts & David Price back, and they’re still well above the CBT, which ownership mandated they get below back in November.

Question: Who wants to deal with the Boston Red Sox now? Answer: Nobody. Would you? It’s pitchers & catchers starting next week, so now nothing is possible until July at the earliest, if at all, after especially so much bad blood. By then Mookie Betts will have already earned approximately two-thirds of his 2020 salary. That makes it too late for Boston to dump him, and get below the CBT.

The Red Sox & Dodgers desperately tried all the way to the end to find another trade partner to make this deal go through. If I was Padres GM AJ Preller, I would have gotten both these teams together on a three-way call to pitch a final offer. Something like, “So you both need another player to make this deal work, huh? Wil Myers is available.” Click. Click. LOL!! Call it payback for being suspended by MLB over “undisclosed anti-inflammatories” in the Drew Pomeranz deal. No love lost for the Dodgers either.

How can the GM (& a lot of other people in upper management, medical, legal, media, etc) keep their privileged Red Sox jobs, after blowing the biggest deal this organization had to make, since they traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees? Roughly 100 years after that infamous baseball disaster deal, the Red Sox again grasped defeat, this time after victory had been painstakingly negotiated, They wouldn’t claim it.

Losing sight of one’s primary objective, as badly as Red Sox management has bungled it here, is astoundingly incompetent. In Taipan they would all grade out as shipwrecked galley hands. But I don’t expect any high-level firings in Boston management for this fiasco, because the Red Sox (above all else) take care of their own. They will use their media clout to blame the Twins for not “playing ball,” or the Dodgers for not giving up enough, or some other hateful nonsense meant to acquit themselves.

There were obviously forces within the Red Sox organization, and their rabid fan base, that didn’t want this trade to happen. They did everything to sabotage it. Those are their haters, and they won– again. Any kind of respectable ownership would ruthlessly purge this self-defeating filth from its organization, but not the Boston Red Sox.

And finally, let’s be clear on the role of the corporate media in this sordid, manipulative affair. Every time Buster Olney, Ken Rosenthal, et al, speculated on Brusdar Graterol’s “shoulder injury” over the past few days, they were acting not as baseball journalists, but tools of the Boston Red Sox. These willful & repeated violations of privacy prove these “reporters” have no ethics, and thus no credibility. They are all backed by an east coast mafia, so unfortunately they aren’t going to go away, despite their shameful actions in plain sight.

This is a classic case of the Red Sox being their own worst enemy. Anyone following along, could see it, and did. I commend Twins management & ownership for sticking it to the Red Sox. No one deserves it more than Red Sox Nation, and they’ve have had it a-coming for a long time. It’s the only satisfaction the Twins & all other baseball fans will get here. There was no other reasonable option.

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