Join Me for a Nats’ Game

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Once again I have some tickets available for Nats’ games, some to join with me and some I cannot use.

For the seats with me, there’s no cost to you, other than possibly buying me a bag of peanuts and listening to my natterings about baseball.

For the ones I cannot attend, I’m flexible. If you are going to take a kid, then I’ll give you the tickets. If not, then I’d like to recover the cost of the seats ($50 a seat, less than the printed price), but I can be persuaded otherwise.

I’m offering tickets for games through June and will announce later games later in the season.

And I’m doing it a bit differently this year.

Rather than focusing on who saw this post first, if you’re interested in seeing a game with me, send me, by Opening Day, Sunday night, April 5, two games you could attend. Then I can juggle a bit if more than one person wants a certain game.

If you’re interested in two seats without me, those will be on a first to contact me basis.

The available games:

1.   Thursday, April 9, 1:05 vs Mets (with me)

2.   Thursday, April 16, 7:05 vs Phillies (with me)

3.   Sunday, April 19, 1:35 vs Phillies (with me)

4.   Tuesday, April 21, 7:05 vs Cards (with me)

4.   Monday, May 4, 7:05 vs Marlins (with me).

5.   Tuesday, May 5, 7:05 vs Marlins (two tickets, without me)

6.   Wednesday, May 6, 1:05 Marlins (two tickets, without me)

7.   Friday, May 8, 7:05 vs Braves (two tickets, without me)

8.   Sunday, May 24, 1:35 vs Phillies (with me)

9.   Sunday, June 7, 4:05 vs Cubs (with me)

10.  Friday, June 19, 7:05 vs Pirates (with me and two without me)

You don’t have to be knowledgeable about baseball to join me. It’s enough simply to enjoy an afternoon or evening at the park.

And, I can easily be persuaded to take a kid along with me to one of these games.

Remember, give me two possible games that work for you by Sunday nite, April 5.

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Not connected to these tickets – a reminder that your 2015 MillersTime Baseball Contest predictions are due by Sunday, April 5, 8:05 PM.

 

Where Do You Stand on Pete Rose?

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Baseball’s Rule 21(d):  “Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

Pete Rose: Player 1963-86 and Manager 1984-89 broke this rule, betting on baseball games, including games he managed. After lying about his betting on baseball for 15 years, he signed a deal in 1989 with MLB Commissioner of Baseball Bart Giamatti that banished him from the sport forever.

Hall of Fame: A permanently ineligible player cannot be considered for the Hall of Fame. Had Rose not bet on baseball and not been banned, he would have easily been elected to the HOF. See His Accomplishments if you doubt that.

Rose has sought ‘parole’ in the past (5 times?), but neither Commissioners Fay Vincent nor Bud Selig ever considered rescinding the banishment. Now, 25 years later, there is a new Commissioner of Baseball, Rob Manifred, and it is likely he will have to decide if Rose should be reinstated. (Reinstatement would not mean automatic entrance into the HOF as Rose would still have to be voted into the HOF in the usual manner by the Baseball Writer’s Association of America.)

The Debate:

1. Rose has served his time and should be reinstated.

2. Rose broke a cardinal rule and should not be allowed back in baseball.

3. Rose should remain out of baseball but be voted in or out of HOF by the BBWAA just as any other rule breaker (PEDs, etc.).

Two articles that address these issues that are worth your time:

Tyler Kepner, NYT: Pete Rose’s Statistics: 4,256 Hits and a Big Error, where in Mike Schmidt says Rose has served his time and should return to baseball. Paul Molitor disagrees.

Thomas Boswell, WaPo: Consider Pete Rose for HOF, but don’t let him back in baseball, where in Boswell says ‘No Way’ Rose should be let back in, but he could/should be considered for the HOF.

My thinking on this ‘debate’ has changed, particularly after reading the Boswell article. I agree with his reasoning and conclusion that Rose should not be reinstated. Not so sure about the HOF issue, however.

Where do you stand? Please so state in the Comment section of this post.

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Reminder:  If you haven’t submitted you picks for the 2015 MillersTime Baseball Contests, tempus fugit.

 

Return to My Lai, Seymour Hersh cont.

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 Pham Thanh Cong, the director of the My Lai Museum, was eleven at the time of the massacre. His mother and four siblings died. “We forgive, but we do not forget,” he said.Credit Photograph by Katie Orlinsky  - The New Yorker

Pham Thanh Cong, the director of the My Lai Museum, was eleven at the time of the massacre. His mother and four siblings died. “We forgive, but we do not forget,” he said. Credit Photograph by Katie Orlinsky – The New Yorker

Having recently returned from a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia and being continually disturbed, and sometimes mystified, about the US role and legacy in that part of the world, I was attracted to the current issue of the New Yorker and Seymour M. Hersh’s article Return to My Lai: The Scene of the Crime – A reporter’s journey to My Lai and the secrets of the past.

Hersh, as you may remember, particularly if you ‘came of age’ during the Vietnam War, broke the story about the My Lai massacre, which, in part, led to a reexamination of our role in that war and in that part of the world.

Now, 47 years later, Hersh returns to Vietnam and specifically to My Lai and discovers things he did not know when he uncovered and wrote about the My Lai massacre.

Check out: Return to My Lai

Also, in a companion ‘article’, there are photographs by New Yorker photojournalist Katie Orlinsky, who accompanied Hersh on this trip. Check out: The Memory of My Lai.

MillersTime Wins an Award

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For real.

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Normally I wouldn’t brag, but my wife Ellen insists I post the following:

While looking at my email in the middle of the night recently (I know, bad form), I saw this: Congrats! You’ve won a Thommie Award for outstanding work on your blog “MillersTime”.  I thought it was spam and almost deleted it.

But I took a chance and opened the email. Don’t we all like winning awards?

I saw that a group named Thomas Wolfe Was Wrong was looking for writers who have commented on whether or not you can go home again (the adage taken from Wolfe’s 1940 novel You Can’t Go Home Again).

In choosing MillersTime as “our first recipient of the prestigious Thommie Award” — for excellence in literary interpretationthey cited me for “rescinding (my) initial comment regarding Thomas Wolfe’s faultiness.” They cited my post A Sad Apology and quoted from what I had written:

In October of last year, I wrote, “Thomas Wolfe was wrong. You can go home again – almost.”… . Sam Wo’s is closing. You can read about the details as written in the SF Chronicle, but basically, the place is so far from being acceptable to the Health Department, that it would take a mammoth rebuilding to keep it open… … And so my apologies to the also deceased Thomas Wolfe. After going ‘home’ to Sam Wo’s for the last 50 years, that is now no longer possible.

Basically, after returning to my favorite San Francisco Chinese Restaurant, Sam Wo’s, I wrote a review (You Can Go Home Again…Almost), saying it was still a good restaurant, and, therefore, Thomas Wolfe was wrong in his famous adage.

Not long after that post, I was ‘forced’ to write another one acknowledging the closing of Sam Wo’s. I think it was that post (A Sad Apology) that accounted for my winning of the Thommie Award.

I sincerely want to thank the Thomas Wolfe Was Wrong folks for this ‘prestigious’ Thommie Award.

Miami Film Festival – 2015

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We spent an all-too-brief time this past weekend at the Miami Film Festival. As we found and enjoyed in last year’s Philadelphia Film Festival, we loved the idea and actuality of seeing three films a day, often very different films.

The main drawback, of course, is the lack of time to savor each film. Still, I suspect we will make a habit of going back to both Philly and Miami, where it is possible to get into almost every film, assuming just a bit of advanced planning. And the costs are reasonable.

Six of the seven films we saw over two plus days are ones that are worth considering if you love movies.

Here are very brief notes on them:

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It’s Gonna Work – Betcha

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I was in Jupiter, FL Monday and Tuesday to take in a couple of Spring Training games, and I noticed something that I suspect we’ll see continue in the regular season this year.

Now I know, Spring Training is not indicative of the regular season. And you can find at least a dozen reasons to question what I’m about to say. But if I were a betting man — and I have been known to make an occasional wager on both baseball (and blackjack) — I would bet on the following statement:

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How Selma Changed Todd Endo’s Life 50 Years Ago

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      (Todd Endo, 73, portrait by Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Todd Endo, a long time friend, was featured in an article in the Washington Post last week. In A Japanese American in Selma, he describes how a trip to Selma 50 years ago changed his life.

Todd is returning to Selma this week to compare 1965 to now and “to make a connection again.”

I look forward to hearing about his return trip to a place that had such an impact on him and suspect he’ll find a very different Selma.

Or maybe not.

Check out the WaPo article.

“He Wanted the Moon”

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He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him. By Mimi Baird, with Eve Claxton. Crown. 272 pages.

The book is autobiography, biography, science, history and literature all in one, as instructive as any textbook and utterly impossible to put down.

from NYTimes review by Abigail Zuger, M.D.

If you’ve read William Styron’s small masterpiece Darkness Visible, you’ve ‘heard’ from a wonderful writer what “madness” is and what it feels like.

If you’ve read Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind, you know, from both a personal and a scientific perspective, what it is to experience bipolar disease today (manic depression).

Now comes a just released book, He Wanted the Moon, to add to those two wonderful insights into what it is like to experience mental illness. Or in the case of this book, what it was like to experience bipolar disease before we understood it or had any treatment for it.

This one has many of the strengths of the two previous books, and more. I indeed agree with the review quoted above that it is “autobiography, biography, science, history and literature all in one, as instructive as any textbook and utterly impossible to put down.” And, I would add, it is told in such a manner that you haven’t read anything quite like it before.

At least I haven’t.

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“Ghost Boy” and “Wonder”

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I’ve read two books recently that I think will have interest for some MillersTime readers, especially for those of you who have had some involvement with children, adolescents, and/or adults with some form of disability, either in your teaching or counseling, in your own family or with someone you know. Both books have been ‘out’ for a while but are new to me. Both books are quick reads. One is nonfiction; the other is fiction. They address somewhat similar issues, and both are positive books that have much to teach all of us.

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“Hip, Hip, Hooray” – Photos of the Third Grandchild

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Usually, by the time there’s a third grandchild, particularly if all three are siblings, there aren’t many pictures of the ‘last’ one.

So that’s our excuse for posting these of Ryan, age 20 months, as ‘captured’ at a recent play date at our house. Photos come courtesy of Ellen Miller, known as “Nonna” to the three grandkids.

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Chronicling “The Fallen Slugger’s Winding Road Back to Pinstripes”

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PEOPLE HATE HIM. Boy, wow, do they hate him. At first they loved him, and then they were confused by him, and then they were irritated by him, and now they straight-up loathe.

More often than not, the mention of Alex Rodriguez in polite company triggers one of a spectrum of deeply conditioned responses. Pained ugh. Guttural groan. Exaggerated eye roll. Hundreds of baseball players have been caught using steroids, including some of the game’s best-known and most beloved names, but somehow Alex Rodriguez has become the steroid era’s Lord Voldemort. Ryan Braun? Won an MVP, got busted for steroids, twice, called the tester an anti-Semite, lied his testes off, made chumps of his best friends, including Aaron Rodgers, and still doesn’t inspire a scintilla of the ill will that follows Rodriguez around like a nuclear cloud.

from The Education of Alex Rodriquez by J.R. Moehringer

If you don’t know the name or writing of J.R. Moehringer, you’re in for a treat. He won a Pulitzer Prize for feature newspaper writing in 2000 and at least two of his books over the past few years have been among my favorite reads of the year(s): The Tender Bar, a wonderful memoir of Moehringer’s own growing up and Open, the most honest and most informative sports memoir (about Andre Agassi) I’ve ever read. (Agassi’s name is on the cover of the book, but Moehringer wrote it). He also wrote what I think was the best tribute to Derek Jeter in his ESPN article The Final Walk Off.

If you do know of him, then know that he has once again produced an article that goes beyond what all other writers have produced about a current story in the news – A-Rod’s return to baseball after his 162 game suspension.

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Not True That the Rich Are Getting Richer While the Poor Are Getting Poorer

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I was quite surprised when I was led to a NY Times article yesterday by a particularly astute (and younger) former colleague of Ellen’s (thanx Matt Stoller) that basically said what most people think is the case about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is not the case.

At least not since 2007.

The article tells us that even though income inequality is high historically, “The income of the top 1 percent – both the level and the share of overall income – still hasn’t returned to its 2007 peak. Their average income is about 20 per cent below that peak.”

While this may be more of a statement about who lost more in the period between 2007 – 2010, there is much in this article that is worthy of consideration.

Take a look at the article for yourselves:

Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis, by David Leonhardt, NY Times, Feb. 17, 2014, p.3.

Easter Island: Thru Ellen’s Lens

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As I wrote earlier (see The Trip: Easter Island & Antarctica), the time we spent on Easter Island was a revelation to us. Tho it was an ‘add on’ to our Antarctica trip, it turned out to be a fascinating few days.

I’m posting here a few of Ellen’s photos from that part of the trip and then linking below to her full slide show of Easter Island (Rapa Nui).

A bit of explanation might help as you look at the photos. The island is small and the moai (pronounced mo-eye – statues representing ancestors) and their ahu (platforms) are spread over the 64 square mile island. While there are remnants of as many as 887 statues spread throughout the island**, only about 100 are ‘standing’. There are only about 5 or 6 principle sites where they have been restored to their ‘original’ positions. There are also other historic sites on the island which relate to how the Rapa Nui people lived. The Explora Lodge, where we stayed, arranged guided hikes which often took in visits to several sites on the same day. (We couldn’t always arrange these at the optimal time from a photographic point of view, but Ellen has made the best of what she had to work with.)

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