Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday's Grapeshot

More dispatches from Paradise (with air quality warnings):

  • Ben’s Brewers lost to the league-leading Red Sox by a final score of 19-11 last night at Wilson Park. Again, it was clear which team was superior, but the Red Sox were also superior sportsmen. After building a large lead on the Brewers’ depleted pitching staff, the Sox did something I haven’t seen before this year; they actually called off the dogs. They gave two of their younger, more inexperienced players a chance to pitch. Not surprisingly, our Brewers actually were able to mount a modest rally against these youngsters, including a rocket that Ben hit to the outfield; only a fine play by their center fielder kept it from being Ben’s first extra-base hit of the year, but Ben greatly enjoyed his powerful single and a 1-2 night overall. This is how the game should be played; the Sox coaches were more interested in having their kids learn new skills (and, by extension, giving our kids a chance to taste some success) than demonstrating their superiority and running up the score. A much better result all the way around and an example that other coaches in the league might consider; it’s still difficult to see what the point was when the Nats pounded our squad 41-4 earlier this week. Ben and company will take the field again twice over the weekend, first against the White Sox on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Wilson; then a Father’s Day tilt against the Mariners, at 3 p.m. and also at Wilson.
  • Mr. Dilettante’s health continues to improve, although I continue to be impatient about it. I’m able to do many of the things I want to do these days, but I still find that I get tired easily and that my internal clock is pretty weird these days. I find myself waking up at 5 a.m. some mornings and then struggling like heck to answer the alarm (set for 6:30) other days. Two and one-half months on, I still don’t quite know for sure what the new normal is. But I do appreciate that my headaches are still pretty much under control; that’s a huge thing.
  • My brother has invited me to the Dome tonight to see the Brewers and the Twins. After the hot start the big-league Brewers had, things have cooled off considerably. Meanwhile, the Twins are coming off a pretty impressive sweep of the Atlanta Braves, who still don’t seem to have mastered winning in Minnesota. This is the time last year when the two teams really started going in opposite directions; the Twins got red-hot and stayed red-hot all season long, while the Brewers faded out of contention with almost shocking speed. I don’t think 2007 is the same as 2006; my sense is that the Brewers are a better team this year and that the Twins will ultimately be short a few players this time around. But this has become a better rivalry now that it is inter-league. And I’m looking forward to seeing the game.
  • You didn’t see a lot about it in the news this morning, but the Supreme Court made an interesting decision in a case involving public employee unions. The Court ruled 9-0 that the state of Washington can require unions to ensure that they receive prior consent from union members before they can spend union dues on political matters. The case applied to public sector unions, which have a propensity to use a lot of their resources for politicking. On a personal level, it’s potentially good news for Mrs. Dilettante, who was essentially compelled to join AFSCME when she took her job with Hennepin County (even if she didn’t join, she’d have been forced to pay dues) and who is routinely annoyed when she receives a steady stream of left-wing political stuff via the mail, e-mail, phone, etc., all the while she watches the intrepid local negotiate wage increases that have not covered inflation in recent years. Mrs. D tends to keep her politics to herself, but she’s certainly not a supporter of all the worthies that her union supports. It will be interesting to see what happens, but this ruling could have a huge impact on the political power of unions going forward, especially in the public sector.
  • For those of you keeping score, this represents the 400th post on Mr. Dilettante since I began this little adventure in late 2005. If you’ve read them all, thank you. If you haven’t, chances are pretty good that you have a life and should be thankful about that, too!


Anonymous said...

Nice blast by Jenkins. Hope you enjoyed the Brewers' victory, Mark.

Let's see ... Peter Ladd or Jerry Augustine. Thank God we have better options these days.

P.S. Where the hell is George Mitterwald?

Mark said...

I enjoyed it a lot, anonymous. Ben, not so much.

Peter Ladd and Jerry Augustine are definitely former Brewers greats. Bad hair, but not as bad as Lary Sorenson's though.

Where have you gone, George Mitterwald/A nation turns it lonely eyes to you/What's that you say, Mrs. Mitterwald/Joltin' George has got a case of the gout, hey hey hey/hey hey hey.

When I want obscure former Twins catchers, I always go with Sal Butera.