September 20th, 2015



So... the Northwestern Wildcats were 2-0 going into this weekend's games. I had not realized that they'd made the #23 spot in both major polls. NU hasn't been in the NCAA Division I top 25 since October 2013 -- I remember, because I was still in the hospital watching them. Now don't get too excited. We haven't hit the rest of the Big Ten juggernaut yet, so most years any top 25 ranking happens early in the season. On the other hand, some of the mighty Big Ten teams have struggled early. Michigan has lost a game. And #1 Ohio State was tied 10-10 at the half with Northern Illinois today -- they only won by 20-13, not a Buckeye slaughterfest. I keep telling people, you've got to take the Huskies seriously.

Just before I went to take my nap at 12:10, after a late breakfast following my ER adventures (DW) (LJ), I remembered that the Northwestern game was actually going to be on in West Michigan.

#23 Northwestern at Duke, 12:30pm on MyTV -- cable channel 789.

No problem, I figured they'd still be at it when I got up in two hours. And they were. Northwestern, wearing white and new dumb looking Wildcat logo helmets -- much prefer the simple N logo -- was ahead 12-7 with most of the third quarter to go. So as we settled down to lunch, it was Northwestern football.

Duke managed a field goal, and it was 12-10. Then we got a touchdown and the game ended at 19-10.

Hey, ho, Northwestern is three-and-oh! Go Cats!

Dr. Phil
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Crossposted on LiveJournal


We're past mid-September now. NCAA college and NFL football has begun. And I guess Tuesday is the first Detroit Redwings pre-season hockey game.

But there's still baseball.

Two leagues, six divisions and as of this morning, only one team has clinched the playoffs -- the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals. Ah, too bad. The Chicago Cubs are also NL Central, so no Division championship for them this year. Worse, they're in third place, behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.


The numbers are much more interesting than that.
z-St. Louis  --
Pittsburgh   4½
Chicago Cubs  5

So, there's only a half game behind the Pirates. And not all that far from first place -- they didn't put the key in the paper, but I think z = clinched at least a Wild Card (x = won, y = Wild Card). But even better, is the Cubs' record as of this morning:
Chicago Cubs  87-61 (.588) 5

That's better than the leader of the AL East:
Toronto       85-62 (.574)

And better than the AL Central:
Kansas City   86-61 (.585)

And better than the AL West:
Texas Rangers 79-68 (.537)

And better than the NL East:
New York Mets 84-64 (.568)

And better than the NL West:
Los Angeles D 85-61 (.582)

In other words, if the Cubs played in any other division in either league, then their record would put them in first place.

Now, of course this is a nonsense argument of statistics. But if the season ended this morning, the Cubs would be in the playoffs through the NL Wild Card:
Pittsburgh    +½
Chicago Cubs  --
Giants        10
Nationals     10

I haven't had much to say about the Cubs this year, because ever since they got sold, WGN just doesn't carry the games anymore. And Fox Sports Detroit is naturally showing the Detroit Tigers. And other TV games usually feature the usual suspects -- St. Louis, NYM/NYY, Dodgers/Giants... The hapless Cubs just don't get much coverage.

It's been a strange season. Poor Detroit is now in the basement of the AL Central, 69-78 (.469) 16½ back, where once they were leading it. The Tigers are long out of the playoffs, and today's non-page 1 headline asked the dreaded question: Can the Tigers serve as spoilers? It also looked like it would be the Washington National's year, as they led the NL East for a long time. Now they've folded, 7 games behind the Mets. And the Boston Red Sox? At the bottom of the AL East along with Tampa Bay? The Yankees are only three back, but the current Wild Card race is all the leaders -- Blue Jays, Royals, Rangers.

The word "hapless"? Well in late September 2015, it doesn't deserve to go to the Cubbies, but rather the poor All of Major League Baseball trailing Phillies:
Philadelphia  56-94 (.373) 29

But they aren't the farthest behind team, either. The Brewers are 30 games back.

One thing for certain, while there will be plenty of the usual suspects in the playoffs, there will also be some surprises. And at least the playoff games get shown on TV.

Shall the Cubbies battle cry be, not "Wait Til Next Year", but "Wait Til Next Month"?

Dr. Phil
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Crossposted on LiveJournal


Today's Sunday GRPress also had, on page I1 of the Opinion section, the following editorial at the top of the page. It was a joint statement of the editorial boards of The Press and the Kalamazoo Gazette, which both encompass the 80th Michigan state legislative district, and in its entirety is says, "No":

It took several tries to get this -- the Kindle Fire HD has a user-facing camera only, so I had the paper in one hand and the Kindle in the other. But the shutter release is on the screen and even with the case, the Kindle is slippery. Finally I rested the Kindle on the top of my four-footed cane. (evil-grin)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

I posted this to Facebook, adding the comment:
Philip Edward Kaldon And the cowardly adulterous compatriot who was the other half of this pair and resigned rather than be expelled, after wasting money and time in the Michigan legislature, has decided he may run for his old seat. Agreeing with his girlfriend that the voters should decide, with permission from his wife. Ugh. -- Dr. Phil
In case you need context, Cindy Gamrat (R) and Todd Courser (R), managed to merge their offices in Lansing "to save money". Actually, though both married to other people, they used their shiny new combined office to cover their affair. It was eventually exposed, in part because the staff members refused to be part of the coverup. Courser thought he could put the dogs off the scent by producing a fake email smear campaign, outing him as gay -- apparently a fate worth than death or adultery.

In case you think this is only about the sex, remember they spent government money in order to conduct their affair. It was, apparently, a "mistake".

Rather than resign and let the State Legislature work on stuff like a third Real Try at funding desperately needed road repairs, they insisted on staying put until weeks of investigations and hand wringing and a vote late into the night resulted in... Gamrat being expelled from the State House and her brave suiter, Courser, bravely deciding to resign just before he was voted out as well.

Then this past week, Gamrat decided that since the voters hadn't weighed in on this, she was going to run for her seat in the special election. It is apparently legal to do so. But previously the Allegan County Republican Party had expelled her as well. Then Courser announced he was going to do the same -- run in the special election -- after getting approval (this time) from his wife.

The Detroit Free Press said "Disgraced lawmakers Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat apparently think their constituents are suckers, as they seek to win back their seats."

Should either succeed, they will have proudly thumbed their noses at the morality they have previously professed and, given their stand on cutting costs, forced the state to expend a small fortune on both their investigations, hearings, votes and, of course, the special election. Oh, I suppose all those costs were ALREADY spent -- all because they neither one of them were capable of doing the honorable thing and resign from office once their duplicity was discovered.

But I guess it's a Michigan thing.

Dr. Phil
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Crossposted on LiveJournal