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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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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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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The NBA Boycott & Athletes’ Rights

For the record, this was not a strike. Strikes are organized workers refusing to labor, due to grievances against ownership. The NBA players were not protesting the work conditions of the bubble, money, etc. They were boycotting to protest social injustice, and other issues, that extend beyond their profession. Same with MLB, WNBA, NHL etc… It’s important for Marxists to recognize the difference.

The NBA players & NBA board met separately (& together) inside the Disney bubble on Thursday, August 27, around 11:00 AM ET, and the results were that the league announced it would re-start by the weekend.  This had a ‘domino effect’ on MLB, as the postponed baseball games were re-scheduled as doubleheaders– 7-inning games, per the new rule. Many have already been made up. More MLB games were boycotted on Thursday & Friday, but they too are expected to be made up as doubleheaders. The WNBA had shut down, but returned Friday night, as it takes its cue (& name) from the NBA.

As I had suspected, many high-powered black politicians were back channeling with NBA player reps (LeBron James & Chris Paul, particularly) during this boycott.
Led by Barack Obama and multi-millionaire owner Michael Jordan (Charlotte Hornets), these black Democrats steered the players towards a reformist compromise, which will do nothing to abate police violence against the working class. Other hucksters such as Donna Brazile have been asked to weigh-in on this & help with policy, through the corporate media.

This would be a good time for many NBA fans to curtail their LeBron James worship, after seeing this linked Stephen A. Smith (ESPN) clip on how King James turned off all the young players (and others) with his selfish stance at NBA player meetings these past few days. This is a high-school graduate who is a basketball genius, but he is neither ready, nor equipped to lead a mass movement. You need to be educated & in solidarity to lead disenfranchised workers & youth out of dead-end capitalism. That’s what’s required, and the NBA players had nothing close to that revolutionary program.

The truth is that the vast majority of NBA players still in the bubble want to finish the season. These are young men who have sacrificed their personal lives for their profession, and to earn income. It’s been mentally tough & exhausting, and it’s like that for anyone who has had to work in close contact during this coronavirus pandemic, but the NBA players are determined to finish what they’ve started. Next season? That’s another matter.

What players are most frustrated about is not being able to speak their minds on trigger-happy, killer cops. The NBA, since David Stern, has applied strict censorship towards its players concerning ANYTHING controversial. Players & coaches get fined for complaining about the officiating– even when it’s Tim Donaghy or Joey Crawford. The young players, especially, don’t honor those rules anymore. They understand that they are the product, more than ever. These are unconscious Marxists. That’s the real conflict here, which has been papered over, through the use of star-powered union bureaucracy & back channel politics.

The NBA bubble courts have ‘Black Lives Matter’ stamped on their hardwood. The NBA has obviously thrown in its lot with the Democratic Party. It’s safe to oppose Trump, since everyone knows he’s a fascist sociopath. You just can’t say it. That’s why secret negotiations were held immediately after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court on Wednesday night, August 26. One NBA team does this, and the entire league shuts down, because all the players are together in a bubble. They can meet and talk at length, instead of just passing-by, like they normally do during the season. New ideas are being discussed by the players, and it’s a young league.

It then spills over to other sports, as they feel solidarity. The WNBA, MLB & NHL all stopped play, either collectively, or as individual teams in protest over the Jacob Blake shooting. Women’s tennis star, Naomi Osaka boycotted her semi-final match, and was willing to accept the forfeit. Her opponent refused the forfeit win, just as NBA & MLB teams refused. The USTA wanted Naomi Osaka to play, and convinced her to change her mind. She did, and she made the finals, then withdrew. This hands the Western & Southern Open women’s trophy to Victoria Azarenka.

The US Open starts on Monday, August 31, and this was a tune-up tournament. Therefore it’s not in either players’ interest to play, so Naomi Osaka graciously withdrew. Fans must accept that. Don’t expect a protest from Serena Williams (or Venus) to cancel the US Open, so the event will go on despite all the withdrawals from top players concerning coronavirus safety.

Without athletes, there are no sports. What fascists don’t like is athletes asserting their political power, and their right to speak out on important issues. “Just shut up and play,” is an elitist & de-humanizing attitude towards athletes. If you care about sports, then you have to recognize these athletes as human beings. That means respecting their personal decisions & political statements, especially if you don’t like them.

Fans are allowed to criticize, but only rationally. Save morality for when you look in the mirror. Too often, professional & college athletes have been shackled by owners, universities & sponsors, and therefore can’t defend themselves. For this reason, media & fans should not be allowed to attack athletes personally, or use them for nefarious political purposes.

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NASCAR & Nooses

There is always stupidity in NASCAR, but this one is surreal. The FBI investigated a noose hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega. Wallace is the only black driver in NASCAR. It appears to be a pull rope in the form of a noose. It’s not functional for lynching, but the intent is certainly clear. This is to be condemned.

Bubba Wallace, NASCAR & the FBI maintain this was a noose. Therefore, the racists & denialists must to admit what the evidence proves, or else they lose all credibility. Marxists were unable to definitely support Wallace until the camera footage obtained by the FBI was released to the public, which you see in this interview.

As a rule, the FBI is never to be trusted, unless it can be corroborated– which Bubba Wallace does here. The time lag between the discovery of the noose, and his definitive CNN interview, allowed right-wing propaganda to seep into the story, which played left-leaning publishers like Russia Today on this story. It’s naive to believe there isn’t malicious intent in that time lag, by the FBI & corporate media.

Amazing show of solidarity against Jim Crow racism by all the drivers & crews on Monday. No word on the alleged noose at Sonoma yet.

These are the messages I sent to the people I’m connected with on social media, that I felt could be most influential in this matter.

Mon 22 Jun 2020 12:47:37 PM EDT to Bubba Wallace: PM FB

I covered NASCAR extensively when Danica Patrick was running, up to her retiring. You were the heir to her, in that you are different and everyone knows it. That’s unfair, but you can’t escape it, and the times are a-changin’. You are ready for this challenge. The best advice I can give to you is be your own man. Speak thoughtfully when needed, then let others speak for you.

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Mon 22 Jun 2020 12:22:19 PM EDT to Dale Earnhardt, Jr: public comment FB

You definitely need to say something substantive to NASCAR fans concerning confederate flags, hanging nooses & using the n-word.

This (above pic) is not an actual noose, but a length of rope tied into a loop knot. A noose will pull tight when tension is applied, a loop knot will maintain it’s shape. Loop knots have lots of useful applications in camping, boating, fishing, etc. Stupidity doesn’t help, so learn the difference. Loop knots meant to resemble nooses are racist symbols. There are lots of lies being spread on the internet to cover this up, and they all matter.

Postscript: Thu 25 Jun 2020 04:30 PM EDT

This turned into an even bigger mess by NASCAR withholding this photo, which they finally released today. If they would have posted this on Monday, everything would have been clear to everyone. Instead they hung Bubba Wallace out to twist in the wind, with the media on at full blast. He took a lot of right & left-wing flak, all BS, which was unfair to him. Lots of murky politics involved here.

It was a noose, and it had been hanging for 9 months. According to NASCAR, it was random that it ended up being in the garage Bubba Wallace was assigned to. But NASCAR hung him out by not releasing the video footage right away on Monday. It wasn’t until his CNN interview (Tuesday evening) that the public finally saw the noose with their own eyes. All the other drivers saw it, and that’s why they pushed Bubba Wallace to the front, in solidarity. That’s the moment the Nazis were defeated forever in NASCAR. There are some hard feelings about that.

Everyone please take a good read of my social media thread on this before it disappears down the feed. Note that I was WRONG with what I initially posted, yet I leave it up. That’s because the investigative & creative process is social, and not perfect. It’s important to admit mistakes, figure out where things went wrong, and then get back on the right track. It’s also unfair to call anyone a racist, because they made an honest mistake.

This is an illustration of how anyone can be influenced by media manipulation. When valuable information is withheld, the people hoarding it are much smarter on that topic. Until the information is shared. Then it turns to who is smartest, and can write best. NASCAR, the FBI, ESPN & CNN were all in on this manipulation. They are the real story here. Very murky.

One final FYI, Bob Pockrass covered NASCAR for ESPN for years, and he was serious & dedicated. We’ve never met, but we learned to respect each other. Not coincidentally, we both stopped covering NASCAR around when Dale Jr & Danica retired. Bob Pockrass was laid-off by ESPN, supposedly due to budget cuts in 2018.

Since then, ESPN’s NASCAR coverage has been a disaster. Sometimes there are no new articles for weeks, even months. Thus, NASCAR really got caught with their pants down on this one, with no reliable friends at ESPN to spin their narrative. Conflicting interests all around. Bob Pockrass now covers NASCAR for Fox.

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Black Lies Matter

The title & content is racialist, but it’s to make a point. The truth is all lies matter.

With all the Black Lies Matter fake politics going on, it is helpful to review this classic WSWS piece by Philip Guelpa, published August 3, 2016, titled, ‘The anti-scientific character of “race” as a concept.’ We need to use science & history against the black racialists.

The bourgeois corporate media is one dimensional in everything they do. They can only broadcast one narrative at a time, which reduces everything to false choices. In 2020, it’s been the Democratic primaries, then COVID-19 & getting people back to work, now it’s channeling the death of George Floyd into Black Lies Matter. Trotskyists are the only ones who discuss all these complexities, and how they relate together.

The Democrats are countering Trump with their reactionary Black Lies Matter campaign. This is augmented on the ‘left’ by the Tom Steyer & George Soros funded Antifa campaign, which deserves serious ridicule. The Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in Portland, OR took over a few abandoned blocks, and announced the revolution with “free meals, culture & arts for all.” So the homeless people came, and cleaned them out of food in one night!

The next morning CHAZ was soliciting food donations in the form of organic oats, soy, vegan meals, etc. CHAZ also attacked kids who were tagging (graffitiing) their walls, which they had put up for unexplained reasons. The requested donations on social media never materalized, so CHAZ gave up & went home by the next evening. The same garbage is happening with CHAZ in Seattle.

Black Lies Matter is perhaps best personified by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the author of the ‘1619 Project,’ developed by the New York Times in 2019. She’s also intimately tied-into the reactionary #MeToo campaign. The goal of the ‘1619 Project’ is to re-write American history, with a racialist narrative. It makes reactionary assertions, such as “racism being in the DNA of America,” and that Abraham Lincoln along with all the white soldiers who fought & died died to abolish slavery during the American civil war, were racists. Nikole Hannah-Jones was just awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, for her contribution to this pack of lies.

Above: Bill Cosby, family entertainment & children safe

Below: White Helmets (2016)– Tagline: Al-Qaeda wins the Oscar for best short documentary. I know they’re not black, but their lies matter too– and it all fits in.

On the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre:

Omar Mateen’s father is a deep state asset, so there was never any justice for the 49 killed during the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, FL in the early hours of June 12, 2016. The OPD had to use drones to finally kill Omar Mateen. Police on the scene after it ended, described the eerie sound of cell phones buzzing throughout the club– never to be answered. If gay lives matter, then gay lies matter. Why doesn’t the LGBT campaign support prosecution of the deep state for its part in this horrific crime? Explain this conflict of interest.

Sports may be the biggest black lie. Here’s a quick round-up since my last update.

‘Maybe I should send UFC fighters out there to stop this sh*t’ – Dana White on George Floyd unrest

Maybe the fighters won’t go, the way UFC godfather Dana White pays & treats them.

Below in italics was my post on Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s Fakebook page, when NASCAR’s banning of the Confederate flag on their property was the hot topic. The comments section was turned into an airport, where ‘fans’ announced their departure from NASCAR forever over this. It remarkable how no one misses Nazis when they go away. It’s also remarkable how they always slink back when no one is looking.

Banning the stars & bars was a demand from corporate sponsors, and is tied into the Black Lies Matter/Joe Biden presidential campaign. NASCAR is so bankrupt, that it had to finally cave-in on the Confederate flag, just to assure themselves that there will be fans at the races, starting at Homestead [Miami] this weekend. That’s the biggest social significance, the allowing of mass fan gathering for sports, while the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging. People are upset, but for all the wrong reasons.

On the push to hold the US Open tennis tournament this September in New York, one must engage the most foul racialist & feminist in sports: Serena Williams & her camp.

To coach Patrick Mouratoglou: Roger Federer just has knee surgery, so that’s how older athletes are affected [by the time off]. Especially her [born September 26, 1981], as she’s a red-flag injury risk. Her motivation is the same as ever, as the Serena Williams camp is pushing the Black Lies Matter & back-to-work campaigns, out of self interest. She is well-paid, but this also creates an opening for the US Open to happen, where only a limited number of top players would compete, due to international travel restrictions, unsafe conditions, players boycotting, etc. More than anything, Serena Williams wants that elusive 24th (& 25!) major, and she’ll do anything to get that. She is the most despicable, manipulative & disgraced figure in modern professional tennis, and history will prove that.

Update: Thursday June 18, 2020, 1 PM EDT: Serena Williams yesterday released a video statement (ESPN/tennis) saying she will play the US Open, as I predicted. The millstones of history grind slowly, but exceedingly fine. This is how fake black power will be crushed into black powder for worker use.

There’s been a lot of stories on college football ramping up to re-start in the fall, and it’s effect on universities & their finances. The week of June 1, there was a report on the Alabama Crimson Tide holding a practice where 5 players were COVID-19 positive. “The workout included nearly 50 players. They were tested Tuesday, practiced together Wednesday, and received the test results Thursday.”

This means they practiced, with five COVID-19 positive players, before the results were known. University of Alabama football braintrust, personified by head coach Nick Saban, couldn’t even wait TWO DAYS for test results, so the infected players could be quarantined to ensure the safety of his team. What kind of leader is that?

The NBA announced it’s ‘bubble dome’ plan to finish the 2019-20 season, but all is not assured. This is to be held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, outside of Orlando, FL. Over 100 NBA players held a conference call, in which opposition was expressed to Chris Paul’s privately negotiated deal with the owners, which player reps rubber-stamped last week. There appears to be significant opposition over logistics, player health, and why they are trying to do this during an uncontrolled pandemic?

There is also player frustration over being excluded from the process. Of course, money is an issue, and both sides are ready for war. I don’t see the NBA getting re-started, and if it does, it’s going to fizzle quickly.

And finally, Governor Ron DeSantis has just announced the moving of the Republican convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville. Of course, this is a huge mistake, the kind a madman makes, when he’s running out of time & options. There will be a Jacksonville historical anniversary involving the Ku Klux Klan during this convention. It’s called “Ax Handle Saturday,” and in happened on August 27, 1960, as Klansmen terrorized & violently attacked a civil rights sit-in, and then rampaged against black civilians.

This is the base Trump is seeking to whip up, for his fascist coup plot. It’s the only way he can retain the White House, which he can see slipping away from him daily. The COVID-19 pandemic has killed the global economy, and no country in the world has been hit harder that the United States. This is a capitalist failure, and the biggest political failure in the world is Donald Trump.

Every country in the world has turned their media guns on Trump. This is a Nazi who threatens the survival of humanity, and he must go. The question is, what will replace him? A ‘ Joe Biden/reactionary-old-feminist’ ticket doesn’t do it, and the masses & youth know it. We have a revolutionary situation developing, and it’s global in dimension. Only a party with international roots & perspective can guide the long-suffering masses to victory.

The Joe Biden campaign has been teasing the public on VP. This allows zombie Joe to stay in his basement, where he belongs. He has been completely incoherent in the few statements he’s tried to make on topics including: the COVID-19 pandemic & the police murder of George Floyd. If Democratic party leadership liked his VP choice, they would be promoting it. But they aren’t, so what does that tell you? I expect we’ll be teased until the virtual convention. Right now, black lies is winning for Biden, so why throw a wet blanket on that? That’s the DNC strategy, and it paves the way for a hated reactionary such as Hillary.

The fake media keeps trying to present everything as black & white, in order to divide workers & youth. It’s really a green thing, meaning how much money one has, determines how much ‘justice’ one will get. This has become patently absurd when zombie billionaires, who are bankrupt under a mountain of debt, still insist the game be rigged in their favor– and get bailed out again. Parasites have nothing of value to offer. Their lies of every shade have been exposed. These are white lies that matter.

If black lives matter, then black lies matter. That’s because all lies matter. White lies are ugliness that’s hidden because people think the truth hurts too much. Black lies are an open attempt to divide workers & youth with racialist propaganda. All lives matter, and all lies matter. That’s the dialectical truth.

It’s time for workers & youth to claim their labor power, and halt all non-essential work. Essential workers must be tested & quarantined as needed, with full pay & benefits. The trillions of dollars that were just handed to Wall Street criminals through CARES, must be confiscated & re-allocated towards society’s most pressing needs: inequality & fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Self-interested politicians must be shouted down, and eventually arrested for their crimes against humanity. The same applies to the media, deep state apparatus, and the military brass. National Guard troops that were sent to Washington DC, to fight the population are largely demoralized. It’s largely the same with the police.

The time is ripe for revolution as the existing ruling class has proven itself hopeless. Join the fight by becoming active on all fronts. This includes social media, and in your own streets & neighborhoods. We must learn to rely on ourselves & work together, because we know Biden & Company aren’t going to help poor blacks, whites & Hispanics when it gets rough.

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Sports propaganda round-up

Preface: I cover the big three US sports: football, basketball & baseball– as well as NASCAR, because I live in Florida. This gives a fair cross-section of American athletics & values. Sports are king in Florida. Republican governor Ron DeSantis has declared its facilities are available to any league or event series that needs a venue. UFC & WWE events have already been held in Florida, as lockdown restrictions were lifted. Everyone knows DeSantis is Trump’s puppet in Florida, and Trump wants sports, because they are essential to his survival.

The back-to-work campaign is a bi-partisan propaganda offensive designed to lure & coerce workers to operate under unsafe coronavirus conditions– permanently. Neither political party has done anything significant to see that an adequate number of tests are being done to isolate hotspots, to break the chains of infection. Getting sports leagues, circuits & tours going again, is part of this deep-state campaign to make us feel safe about working again.

The NBA & collegiate hoops were the first to shut down, and have their respective seasons cancelled. The NBA is still currently trying to work out a play-off model the players will accept, but apparently it’s hopeless. The NBA players got most of their seasons’ salary, so they are good, and mostly unwilling to risk their health, and that of their families. That’s the player chatter I read. October is a long way off, but the question already hangs– will there be a 2020-21 NBA season? What about free agency? Signing bonuses to draft picks? Etc…??

Final edit: On June 5, 2020, it was announced by ESPN that the NBA will return, to be played at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex located outside of Orlando, FL. Star players were forced to give in to the sponsors & ownership. It will be a disaster for all the reasons I’ve discussed.

As for college hoops, what do you do about eligibility, since March Madness never happened? Will the universities even be open by fall? This quickly bleeds into college football. As far as the NFL & NCAAF go, there is no way to ‘social distance’ these games. Football is where two sides with 11 players each, line up and smash each other in the mouth to impose their will-to-win. Only one side can be victorious, unless it’s a tie.

American football starts with training camp, and practices on a field where young men go chest-to-chest in the hot sun. With an unchecked COVID-19 pandemic still raging through its first wave, every team’s training camp will have coronavirus infections by the second or third week.

This has probably already happened in NASCAR. The angle for the owners of all these sports operations is to keep tight control of information, so no news of athletes testing positive gets to the media & public. The ‘protocols’ being set in place are to keep athletes, trainers, coaches, staff & all other workers tight-lipped, and in-the-dark as to the whole truth. This safety model also applies to auto workers, meat packers, Amazon hub workers, delivery drivers, grocery clerks, etc. There’s trillions for Wall Street, but nothing for worker safety, or those 40 million workers thrown out of work since mid-March.

The truth is ugly, and well as scary, because it’s real. But big business owners don’t care, because it’s not their lives that are being put at risk, and they got their bailout money already. But, these moguls need these leagues to operate, otherwise all their profits will disappear, and they will go bankrupt. Just like that. That’s the ‘labor value of athletes in sports’ by Karl Marx.

Here’s another observation from a fan turned sportswriter. Getting these traveling circuses operational again, without fans in attendance, is a loser. Television is being turned off by everyone, and streaming is very easy to walk (or click) away from. People have to be there, and show interest (by paying money to attend), otherwise it just isn’t the same.

For instance, I watched Kevin Harvick (pic above) in his video interview after he won the initial comeback race for NASCAR at Darlington, and he was shocked at the joylessness of it all. No fans cheering. No celebration with teammates. Just an interview with masks on for those watching ‘live’ on television (or streaming later), and then go home. If athletes don’t get to enjoy the win, what’s the point– besides money?

Major League Baseball was the sport that never got started, so they occupy a unique position. Since COVID-19 shut everything down in March, baseball never got through its spring training, meaning only one or two player paychecks went out in full before the shutdown. MLB players get paid bi-weekly during the season. So in professional baseball, we have athletes who were ready to go, signed to guaranteed contracts, but aren’t allowed to play.

Like everything else, it’s going to come down to money. Here’s the pay scale MLB ownership proposed, and the MLBPA rejected: Player salaries at $563,501 to $1 million paid at 72.5%; $1,000,001 to $5 million paid at 50%; $5,000,001 to $10 million paid at 40%; $10,000,001 to $20 million paid at 30%; $20,000,001 and up paid at 20%.

There is no way MLB superstars are taking a prorated 80% pay cut, as these are the players with the strongest union support. Furthermore, the logistics of playing baseball are impossible. The players & owners are too far apart. There will be no MLB in 2020, and the ‘guaranteed’ contracts of all the MLB players is going to be a HUGE fight. Look for it to end up in court.

Also, many minor league players have been cut off from their paychecks, and are about to be unemployed permanently, as MLB is scaling back the minor leagues to save money. The Oakland A’s have already stopped paying their minor league stipends.

Miscellaneous stuff:

An unidentified white male broke a window to ex-Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith’s vehicle, so he beat his ass, and then let him run away. My thoughts on that, are that if someone broke the window to my vehicle in front of me, I’d do the same as J.R. Smith– as any man would. The problem is that police don’t serve & protect the public, so people are now taking the law into their own hands. America (and everywhere else) is about to break out into civil war– workers vs rich people. The cops & military are the stormtroopers for the ruling class.

I recommend that you don’t rely on icons & celebrities. Stop all hero worship. When I see stars from the past posting muddled & reactionary thoughts, I feel an urge to expose them. They preach peace & equality, just don’t take away their mansions & status. The problem is capitalism, and Michael Jordan is a capitalist. So is LeBron James, and anyone else paid over $20M a year. So don’t expect any substance from them, as they’re all pawns of the Clinton-Obama Democrats.

Blowback is a bitch. And it comes quicker & harder than ever– with global warming, COVID-19, and everything else we have going on. So don’t be talkin’ all gangsta, when you don’t know the situation & circumstances. It just feeds ignorance & hate. Black Lives Matter is toxic black racialism, the same way Blue Lives Matter is sick white supremacy. Everyone with an ‘authorized’ media voice takes one reactionary side, or the other, but they are all losers.

The only way to defeat Nazis is to reject identity politics in all forms. Democratic party leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton & Barrack Obama are black Nazis, along with OJ Simpson, Bill Cosby & Kanye West. They conspire with white Nazis such as Bill & Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden & Donald Trump to unleash police violence and COVID-19 upon us.

You never hear sports celebrities speak like this, because they can’t. The sponsors have them all by their gonads & bankbooks, so they can only issue timid blather– that feeds either into the Democratic or Republican party. As if Joe Biden will save us! This isn’t leadership, it’s a celebrity pacification campaign, and we are the targets. We deal with the realities, while they sit it out in their mansions, private islands & yachts.

If you aren’t out in the streets, talking to real people, and seeing what’s really going in your area, then you are useless in this process. You are letting others tell you how to think & act, because they are so good at dunking basketballs & throwing touchdowns. Some may think that’s the pinnacle of human achievement, but it isn’t.

There are far more important activities than professional sports, and none of these games are essential to our economy. We can get along without them for a time, until we resolve all these issues of class inequality & violence. Sports never take precedence over class politics, and in a revolutionary period such as now, they lose much of their social significance. That’s an unreported sports truth you need to know, during the coronavirus shutdown.

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May Day solidarity vs. the back-to-work campaign

“I don’t take responsibility at all.” March 13, 2020

“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total.” April 13, 2020

COVID-19 is real, and still spreading out-of-control across America because the US government (at every level) has done little-to-nothing to stop it. This is what’s happening everywhere. Therefore, we need to maintain social distancing to slow the virus spread, until testing & contact tracing can be widely done, and a vaccine developed. In the meantime, it’s time for a revolution.

Governments are using this coronavirus crisis (for which capitalism is responsible) to employ more authoritarian measures. Their primary concern is getting us back to work when it isn’t safe, because to them, profits matter more than lives.

If what happened with oil last week, when it plunged to -$27 a barrel was a “pure freak of markets,” then what is milk dumping & plowing harvested crops into the ground about, and why is it still going on? This is nothing less than sabotaging necessary food supplies, which are already needed in many places, in order to keep prices artificially high. This means more taxpayer subsidies for agri-business, and more tax-payer funded profits for speculators. This is all criminal activity, by any rational definition.

Doctors are unappreciated & overworked heroes who are finally getting their due with the public. Those who actually work in it, already knew. For a long time, doctors have been coerced into working at the mandates of insurance conglomerates, hospital chains & big pharma. For example: if insurance doesn’t cover it, then the patient doesn’t get that treatment, due to affordability. Conglomerates take the biggest profits in the field, from equipment & supplies, to office build-out, and billing patient treatment. Patients are now sicker than ever.

Most recent physician & dental graduates owe student loans. Therefore they are coerced to work for these corporate chains as new graduates, since they lack the experience & resources to open up a solo private practice. That’s why independent doctor offices have largely vanished. Most physicians are contracted corporately, and trained (in the real world) to prescribe pharmaceuticals for patient treatment, which can be life-saving, but also creates side-effects, chemical dependency & enabling of disease. And profits.

Today’s doctors & health care staff are mostly working class. They are facing an unprecedented situation, either on the front lines (above), or quarantined because they are non-essential. I’m an independent contractor dentist, and I need the work, but I’m non-essential right now, so I stay home.

There are a few misguided owner doctors with non-essential practices who are pressuring their staff to re-open. They are in the minority, but yell the loudest. We are led to believe there are more of them than there actually are. It’s bottom lines & politics that are driving them. The problem is that an owner risks wiping out staff & patients with a deadly virus, which isn’t a practice builder.

It’s highly risky, with little pay-off, as most people aren’t going out for elective stuff these days. Those who will, are the ones who don’t practice best hygiene & social distancing, so they are more likely to be infected with COVID-19. This is the deadly game business owners play if they attempt to re-open early. It puts the staff in a tough position where they have to choose between ethics & safety, and a job. I professionally recommend staying closed, for the best of all. Everyone is going bankrupt here anyways, so stop your own crying. It’s selfish.

Dentistry is one of the most hazardous professions in the world right now. Practicing dentists go into people’s mouths, and cut on hard & soft tissue to treat diseases such as tooth decay, periodontitis, and occlusal disorders. Dental surgery creates an aerosol contaminated with saliva, blood, bacteria & viruses. The biggest risk typically is hepatitis, HIV, TB, and the seasonal flu.

Unless the operator is wearing a “spacesuit” for protection, that doctor is being exposed to every disease the patient has. The same for the assistants & hygienists. With a novel coronavirus now at a global pandemic level, this means medical & dental surgery have been changed forever. It means one procedure can infect an entire office. The numbers I’ve seen predict a 90+% risk for dental operators, if a patient is infected with COVID-19, without proper PPE. Cutting back on unnecessary procedures is the future of medicine, including dentistry. Tighter medical screening will be another.

Science is rigid for a reason. There are still too many idiots in power who think the laws of science can be mutated for political convenience. The entire ruling establishment is desperate to get workers back to work. It needs us for the surplus value it steals, which is its life-blood. A massive injection of trillions of electronically printed dollars was just handed to Wall Street, but it’s only enough to last a few more weeks– at best.

The oligarchy needs this fake economy to resume. But the problem is, 1) it doesn’t work for the vast majority; and 2) it is unsustainable for human life. In my rough estimation there are currently worker shutdowns in most industries, with about 1/3 of “non-essential workers” still laboring under the whip. This is the number over which the on-going war between capitalists & revolutionists will be fought. May & June will be deciding months.

I’m even more optimistic than before, because it has just been announced that NASCAR plans to be racing again, starting on May 17 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. There are to be seven (7) NASCAR events in May; four Cup Series, two Xfinity, and one Truck Series.

NASCAR had the lead going into this coronavirus shutdown, which I discussed in an earlier piece, due to the fact that it is a technology-driven sport. NASCAR equipped all its top drivers with state-of-the-art simulators in their homes, and encouraged them to join iRacing– for the good of the sport. After a promising first few weeks, the sponsors started getting in on the action, which is never good. First, Bubba Wallace, who isn’t too keen on video games, quit a virtual race early on, and was dropped by his sponsor, Blue-Emu.

Then its brightest, most clean-cut young driver, Kyle Larson, dropped the N-word during an iRace, and he has since been dropped by NASCAR & all his sponsors. Matt Kenseth has popped out of retirement again, and is scheduled to replace Kyle Larson in the #42 car on May 17 at Darlington, SC.

With all the advantages NASCAR had in the early stages of this global coronavirus shutdown, it hurt itself much more than it helped itself. That’s why I’m optimistic about NASCAR failing in May. A lot of people are going to get sick & possibly die, unnecessarily, but that’s a price they are willing to pay. These elitist blow-hards & rednecks never think of the doctors & medical staff that will be expected to take care of them due to their recklessness.

As for every athlete, in every other sport in existence, you are all non-essential workers. What you need to acknowledge is that you need to have fans who care, otherwise there is no prize money or glory. You need service personnel everywhere to maintain your rock-star personas, so maybe you aren’t such rock-stars after all? Maybe it’s the people who have made it possible for celebrities to succeed & stay healthy who deserve the love? But we aren’t getting any in the media. They are our biggest haters.

As for Election 2020, not much new, huh? Except that Trump bankrupted the economy by failing to prepare for coronavirus, and then there was a bi-partisan bailout for only the rich– again. They don’t have to go back to work, but they are the ones behind this campaign to get everyone else to go back to work. They don’t even know what work is. Still no politicians out campaigning in public, so how can we believe that it is safe?

Laurence Olivier: Is it safe?

Ruling class: It’s very safe. It’s so safe you wouldn’t believe it.

Global science: No, it’s not safe. It’s very dangerous. Be careful.

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