Wednesday, November 04, 2009

NY Yankees are World Series Champs; don't hate them for their payroll

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The New York Yankees just captured their 27th World Series Championship, in 48 playoff appearances, beating the defending World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies 7 to 3 and in six games as Hideki Matsui carried this game on his shoulders.

Hideki Matsui drove in three runs, first with a home run, then a single to center, then a double to deep center. The Phillies didn't threaten until the 6th inning, when Ryan Howard homered to bring the defenders to within striking distance 7 to 3.

But a Phillies threat in the 7th inning was blunted as Chase Utley, the hero of Game 5, struck out swinging at the plate.

The hero of the series? There were many, but I'm swayed by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who explained on TV and at his blog "Baseball Nerd" why Johnny Damon made the smartest play in World Series history, Sunday, when he stole a third base the Phillies left uncovered because of a defensive shift.

Yankees payroll puts them in a hard place

With the perennially highest payroll in Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees are in a damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they don't position. With a payroll hovering around $200 million, they're supposed to win the World Series, or at least get to it. But when they don't win, fans are happy they didn't because they have such a high payroll.

According to an article in Psychology Today, when we teach our kids to hate the Yankees because of their high payroll, we cause them to forget that the baseball game is played on the field. In other words, hatred for the Yankees is so great, we have shrinks telling us how unhealthy it is.

I don't hate the Yankees at all.

As I've explained to students who use my Oakland Baseball Simworld in the classroom, its possible to construct the revenue to create a Yankees competitive player payment base. It's better to join the Yankees than beat them at their payroll game. That said, many teams opt for the "Moneyball" route, employing Sabermetrics (statistical analysis for baseball-related playing decisions) to find the best players and use them is specific situations, and keep salaries at manageable levels.

Improving Twitter - how about emailed tweets?

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I was reading TechCrunch blogger MG Siegler's post on the newest improvement to Twitter, that of notifications in a new "ticker tape" bar just above the list of tweets, when it hit me: Why not emailed tweets?

See, what Twitter's staff is trying to do is keep users engaged, according to MG's post, people tweet for a while or a period of time, then lose interest. The problem with the fix that's installed is one still has to come to the Twitter page to see it.

My idea is to send the tweet to the user via email so that it appears in one's mobile phone email account, thus the person doesn't have to have an app on their phone or go to their computer to know what tweets they're getting.

To clarify this would not be any tweet but just those directed at the user starting with the @zennie62 indicator. That would theoretically reduce the number of tweets flooding one's email in-box.

What do you think? Send an email or comment at my video page.

LA Lakers - Will The Lakers go 20 and 1? Record 3-1

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My LA Lakers watch, where I make a bet that the Lakers will go 20 and 1 has already taken a bit of a beating because the Lakers are 3 and 1 as I write this and face the Houston Rockets tonight.

NBA Western Conference, Pacific Division foe Phoenix Suns are the best team at 4 and 0. For the Lakers to help me win bet, they have to go 16 and zip. Can they do it? We shall see.

Take my poll:

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Unemployment benefits extension approved by Senate

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I was just informed that the U.S. Senate voted 98 to 0 to extend unemployment benefits for 20 weeks, which means those GOP Senators who were standing in the way of help for many Americans got the message and stopped being a road block to assistance, which they were as recently as Tuesday.

According to CNN, the benefits will be extended an additional six weeks for states, like New Jersey and California, where the unemployment rate is greater than 8.5 percent.

The measure now moves to the House for a floor vote, perhaps as early as Thursday. Then it goes to the White House for President Obama's signature.

AMPAS event "Brave Women In Wartime" a must see show

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS, home of The Oscars) announces a really cool, must see event, Wednesday, November 11th, 7 PM at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood, CA.

I call it "Brave Women In Wartime" because it features two films: “Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh” and “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” which are about women who coped with difficult situations during the Holocaust and The Liberian Civil War. Both films were drawn from the 2008 Academy Awards pool of nominated films. 

"Blessed Is The Match" is the first documentary about Hannah Senesh. Described as a modern day Joan-of-Arc, she was a paratrooper and resistance fighter. In 1944, Hannah participated in what turned out to be the only military rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust. Her life ended sadly as she was captured, tortured and killed by the Nazis and all seen by her mother, Catherine.

(This is the kind of movie Taylor Swift and A.J. English should jaunt over to see, given their now famous Swastika row and the incredibly high level of insensitivity expressed about the issue, both is Swift's silence and in some of her defenders actually writing to me that the Swastika is a symbol of peace! As of this writing, Swift still hasn't apologized for the photo.)

Pray the Devil Back to Hell” concerns the story of thousands of Liberian woman, armed only with white T-shirts, who came together to stage a silent protest that forced peace talks ending the conflict and the atrocities of Liberian dictator Charles Taylor during the 90s. It's a movie

Again, the event is at the The Linwood Dunn Theater,  located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit

Carly Fiorina called "Failed CEO" by California Dems

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I just got an email from California Democratic Party chairman John Burton that's a blistering attack on Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who recently announced she was entering the race for California's next U.S. Senator as a Republican, thus challenging Senator Barbara Boxer. I can actually hear the legendary Burton say these words:

“The last thing Californians need in a U.S. Senator is a failed CEO who was fired by her last employer after taking $100 million for herself.

“In these tough times, hard-working Californians need a Senator who will fight to create jobs, not a millionaire former executive who laid off more than 28,000 Americans and shipped jobs overseas.

“Carly Fiorina may have millions to spend on a Senatorial race, but Californians will not be snookered by yet another millionaire neophyte in search of a new hobby.

“Maybe Fiorina’s ill-advised run for Senate will finally inspire her to take the time to vote.

“Senator Boxer and the California Democratic Party will be ready for Assemblymember Chuck DeVore, Fiorina or whoever wins the Republican primary in 2010.”

Now we see how "Carly 2.0" is going to be attacked by the California Democratic Party: first on political experience as she has little save for advising then-Presidential candidate Senator John McCain (and where she said neither McCain or Vice Presidential Running Mate Sarah Palin could run a company) ; second on wealth as Florina didn't leave HP poor but her income is after yesterday's election officially a liability (New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg almost lost his bid for a third term after spending almost $100 million in that city's mayor's race.); third on her voting record, where she's only voted five times in the last 18 elections.

Senator John McCain and Carly Florina

That kind of disengagement can and will be used by Dems as a "hammer and pound" message in the campaign. And why not: it works. The only person I can think of who was similarly disengaged in his past was Ross Perot, but the famous entrepreneur over came all of his weaknesses with a blast of personality in his Presidential run.

The other question I have is will Carly invite the Right Wingnuts to help her in her Senate bid. They lost their last election, that in New York State's 23rd District when Bill Owens beat Doug Hoffman, and were rejected by Republican gubenatorial candidate and now Governor-elect Bob McDonnell in Virginia.

Can Carly keep the Right Wingnuts off her campaign and present a blast of personality that overcomes her weaknesses? I have my doubts, but let's see if "Carly 2.0" is really a new version of Carly Fiorina or just a marketing slogan. Frankly, I can't wait for the first debate in this contest!

Unemployment insurance extension delayed by GOP; who to call?

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In my last blog post on the unemployment insurance delay problem, I explained how the GOP was delaying the much-needed extension of unemployment insurance.

To recap, on Tuesday it was revealed that legislation to extend unemployment insurance was being held-up by GOP Senators who were trying to dump a large list of amendments concerning ACORN and also (as The Hill reported) taking the money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) rather than the the unemployment surtax.

In other words taking money from the program to create jobs, thus weakening The Stimulus. Wild.

And the concern for the the unemployment surtax shows how little GOP Senators understand America's own unemployment funding system - that surtax is funded by the worker when they're employed. It's not a burden on the employer, or it should not be.

Many want to know who to call to place pressure on ending this bit of political gaming because Americans who need the extension ASAP are suffering. According to a number of sources, this is the GOP call list:

GOP Senators who voted against extending benefits:

JOHN BARASSO (R-WY) 202-224-6441
CHRISTOPHER BOND (R-MO) 202-224-5721
JIM BUNNING(R-KY) 202-224-4343
THOMAS CODBURN (R-OK) 202-224-5754
JOHN CORNYN (R-TX) 202-224-2934
JIM DEMINT (R-SC) 202-224-6121
MICHAEL ENZI (R-WY) 202-224-3424
LINDSY GRAHAM (R-SC) 202-224-5972
ORRIN HATCH (R-UT) 202-224-5251
JAMES INHOEF (R-OK) 202-224-4721
DAVID VITTER (R-LA) 202-224-4623
ROGER WICKER (R-MS) 202-224-6253

I will continue monitoring this problem. Stay tuned.