Above caption: L.A. lands Betts in blockbuster trade, MLB
For over thirty years the Los Angeles Dodgers have been trying to win the World Series. They have come close and in the past decade they have regularly won their division. In the past three years they made it to game seven of the World Series only to lose to the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox respectively. Enough is enough!! For their 2020 run they have a lot at stake. Among other things they will host the All-Star game. As they prepare for spring-training in a couple of days, up until yesterday it looked like business as usual; favored to win their division but a longshot of getting back to the World Series.
Yesterday evening they vaulted as the perennial favorite to be thronged as 2020 World Serieschamps, at least on paper. They grabbed superstar Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox. Both are impact players the Dodgers badly need if are to be taken seriously. Betts brings all of the tools which have made him a coveted “find.” Price brings a veteran arm to strengthen a pitching corps which recently saw Hyun-jin Ryu and Kenta Maeta depart via trades.
The bigger picture
Professional sports is a lucrative business. Like any organization or corporate body, they are defined by how they embrace corporate responsibility. When the Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson in 1945 as the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball (M.L.B.), it was more than just a regular signing. He made his debut on April 15, 1947 and it was a turning point in our society. The Dodgers were rewarded then and up until recently by many, particularly the African-American community for taking a gesture that can be traced as the beginning of the modern civil rights era. People, even those who didn’t live in Brooklyn or for that matter weren’t necessarily baseball fans, the Dodgers became their favorite team.
Jackie Robinson’s legacy gets stronger every year especially for those who have access to information like never before. Unfortunately for the Dodgers all of the goodwill from their Jackie Robinson connection has recently come under question. Last year the genie came out of the bottle as the media started reporting what many had known: the 2019 team did not have one African-American player on their roster. To the chagrin of many, yes David Roberts who is the manager is African-American and some have African ethnicity but it was an eyesore that could not be explained, especially in Los Angeles. A city that prides itself as a leader of a diverse population. There are many reasons for the lack of African-American players but it was a new level of hypocrisy for the Dodgers to tout the signing of Robinson and round out their 2019 roster with a goose-egg.
Interestingly, both Betts and Price hail from Tennessee. Their presence gets the Dodgers off the hook from a social and community perspective and more important their talent may be what is needed for them to get to the World Series and claim the crown. In the meantime, only time will tell as winning is the name of the game. While much has been written about the Robinson phenomenon, to their credit M.L.B. has taken on a strategy of incorporating more players of color by internationalizing the game. While there has been a dearth of African-American players there has been a spike of players coming from the Caribbean and beyond (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Curacao, Venezuela and of course Puerto Rico). So, the bottom line is the Betts, Price trade to the Dodgers allows them to refocus the spotlight on something positive versus something negative.
Fred Thomas, III is a lifelong Dodgers fan having attended his first game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with his father and older brother in the late ’50’s.
A Special Report on the Robert Mueller Testimony delivered Jul. 24, 2019
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally completed his long-awaited testimony before the House of RepresentativesJudiciary Committee and the SenateIntelligence Committee. It was aired so the public had the opportunity to tune-in or in the case of those who read the 448 report to complement what they had discerned.
In the era of hyper-partisanship those who support the republican party and Donald Trump have claimed victory stressing the testimony did not deliver any negative news. On the other hand, those who support the democratic party have stressed Mueller’s testimony makes it clear the wrongdoing committed by Trump and those associated with his 2016 presidential campaign.
Mueller stated with clarity the investigation uncovered numerous examples of criminal behavior by Donald Trump and some of his associates. He further stated the core reason Trump was spared being charged was due to the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel guidance which prevent a sitting president from being indicted.
Donald Trump is known for his bombasity and his vociferous attacks on those he deems as opponents. It has been mentioned more than once by his team that when attacked he will hit back with vigor. Has the presidency descended to what might be compared as a school yard brawl or a place where adults act with restraint and discipline? Perhaps it is that behavior why his approval rating has never exceeded 50% or a majority?
His supporter’s view him as some wordsmith master claiming he is a genius at using media to his advantage. Despite his rhetoric being challenged as outright lying or misleading his philosophy has been repetition or a drum beat to try and convince anyone who listens that what he states must be accurate? He takes pride in mesmerizing crowds that attend his political event. Unfortunately, most understand it is more show than actually factual but as mentioned in the world of Trump many are enamored by his celebrity and enjoy the entertainment provided, as well as countless promises of how their lives will improve. The result is a basic smoke and mirror exercise; make people believe they are part of the team so they dismiss any questionable behavior or actions being employed.
I’m not your savior, I’m your president!
Some with a sense of “street culture” define Donald Trump’s behavior as “gangster.” He surrounds himself with associates who have been defined as questionable. The result is a veil shrouded by what experts have defined as criminal behavior.
Trump has understood bombasity gets your attention. He also has been cleaver in generating support by making sure he delivers the “goods.” Such action seems pretty simple as many admire him for accommodating their public desires. His questionable reputation or criminal behavior becomes a non-issue for those who support him or otherwise known as his acolytes. They quickly dismiss anything negative about him stressing they did not vote for a savior or squeaky-clean person. Instead, they support him based on him delivering on issues they view as important. The problem with that summary is supporters are trading Trump’s lack of integrity for their personal gain. Therein, lays a conflict as those with a “hustler’s personality” understand human nature can be compromised and many will do anything to get what they want…..even if it might be questionable.
No collusion – total exoneration
Mueller kind of laughed when asked about the notion of Trump’s claim that his report resulted in no collusion and 100% exoneration.
Surely Trump is not stupid and understands his statement is totally incorrect but he has embedded it into those who support him and figures now is not the time to come clean? As Mueller stated, “the report speaks for itself, If I could exonerate the president I would have.”
Lack of cooperation and lies
Mueller surprised some by stating not only did Donald Trump fully not cooperate with his investigation, he instructed staff or those who were called by the Special Counsel to do the same.
Donald Trump is known to have very little restraint in dealing with basic questions about him or his administration. When engaging with the media, except FOX or those he considers friendly, his posture is very combative. Following the Mueller testimony he could not sit still so the media was summoned to the lawn area so he could provide his perspective. Yamiche Alcindor who represents PBS and is a noted White House correspondent questioned him about Mueller’s assertion he was not honest during the investigation.
Here is a short-clip of the exchange.
You mean my White House aides lied? You are untruthful! Donald Trump
It’s your turn at-bat
Republicans or those who support Donald Trump are claiming Mueller’s testimony did nothing to negatively impact them.
Imagine this, you’re a baseball player who is better than average. You are known as an All-Star, yet when it is your turn to bat…. everyone comes out of the wood-work to tell you how to hit?
That is perhaps the feeling of democratic leader Nancy Pelosi? Every pundit, every critic, every person on the bench and stands feel it is perfectly acceptable to pontificate on the next move. They have bought into the notion of wanting blood or for the Mueller testimony to reveal the block-buster they have long wanted. In their mind, anything less would signal a defeat. Thus, they marginalize their own position by being overzealous or having unrealistic expectations. They forget or don’t accept there is a process that is not necessarily designed for the insatiable reporting we have come to expect from cable news programs.
The facts are clear. Robert Mueller clearly stated despite uncovering actions of criminal behavior by Donald Trump, the DOJ OLC ruling has served as his shield or protection. Instead as articulated in the report the primary resolution to address Trump’s behavior as long as he is president cannot be adjudicated by our criminal institutions but instead solely rest politically, and that is the responsibility of Congress.
“The Mueller testimony had been billed as some blockbuster. Mueller is Mueller. He is not a game-show host, a reality TV star or the type of communicator whose goal is to entertain. The core criticism I have heard is about his style or how he presented his responses. There has been very little criticism on the more important issue – the substance or the facts!” Joe Madison, Sirius XM The Urban View
It can’t be stressed enough that some who support Donald Trump proudly state, “so what…. he was not found guilty of anything!!!” While that is a true statement what gets lost is when you do something that is criminal, not getting caught or charged does not dismiss the act, or in Trump’s case the acts.
Impeachment speaks to criminal intent and unlike legal statues, thus as mentioned it is Congress or more importantly the House of Representatives that decide and define what is criminal or worthy of being charged.
Based on what Robert Mueller has communicated outlining specific criminal behavior by Donald Trump the solution can only be addressed politically. That is initiate the impeachment process or wait for the 2020 presidential election with hopes he is defeated at the polls.
The 2020 campaign
For many on the democratic side or who oppose Trump, defeating him in 2020 is the most viable remedy. Unfortunately, the democrats resumed control of the House less than one year ago. Otherwise with all of Trump’s behavior as outlined in the Mueller report there would have been oversight hearings and the public might be better informed.
For many the election can’t come quick enough. But as mentioned, it is a process and as of today there are still over twenty candidates vying to be the nominee going up against Trump. That could be yet another reason for all of the angst the democrats are dealing with because from their perspective Trump has been getting away “with murder.” In time that will all change as by this time next year both issues will be crystal clear resulting in a crossing intersection: deal with the impeachment process of have a known candidate who is positioned to defeat Trump next November.
In the meantime, Muller has publicly testified or spoken – finally! Many in the media and those who didn’t fully understand the importance of Mueller finally coming forward are disappointed a big bombshell didn’t go off or the testimony did not result in a Perry Mason moment, or whatever big shocking revelation they were anticipating. At the same time, those who support Donald Trump have echoed relief that “nothing was produced” or the Democrats wasted everybody’s time while costing the public nearly 42 million dollars, Or, in the zeal to protect their leader, claim everybody can now see what they see and accept Donald Trump is the best president we have ever had? By doing so, they dismiss the core reason of why Wednesday, July 24th will go down in history as a monumental day as the person who was charged with investigating Russian interference from our 2016 presidential election finally gave voice to his findings.
Above image courtesy of Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg
[Washington, D.C.] Today First-Time homebuyers received more welcomed news at Nancy Pelosi’s (Speaker of the House/D-CA/12th) House of Representatives passed HR2161. Labeled as the “obstruction party” by leaders of the Trump administration the bill was passed and headed to the Senate where members are hoping majority leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t try and high jack the bill. Lately he has proudly accepted the moniker to be known as ‘the grim-reaper.”
The bill essentially can result in borrowers using FHA mortgages saving $5,375 and is based on an average loan of $211,000. Current FHA borrower must pay three percent which is known as the standard rate for mortgage insurance or the program which allows the agency operate. Unlike conventional mortgages where insurance is normally mandated if the mortgage exceeds 80% of the value of the home, FHA mortgage through their mortgage insurance premium (MIP) is mandated regardless of loan to value.
HR2161 would allow borrowers who successfully complete authorized counseling to have their premiums reduced to 2.75%. If passed and Donald Trump signs it into law you could see millions of buyers enter the marketplace.
Many borrowers use FHA insured mortgages as their entry into home ownership. Contrary to popular belief, especially political leaders who have attempted to vilify the program, historically it helped the United States of America define a middle-class standard.
[Oranjestad] For the first year we will feature baseball players from the Netherlands who are playing in MLB (Major League Baseball).
The Netherlands is located in Europe; however, it has six countries in the Caribbean that are part of their governing system. Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire are known as the ABC Islands. Due to the climate Aruba and Curacao long ago embraced the sport of baseball. A new dimension of Netherlands pride was created in 2013, as 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts who hailed from the Lago Heights community of Aruba staked his greatness as the starting shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. Coincidently, the Red Sox surprised many by going all the way and winning the World Series. Currently there are seven players from the Netherlands who are part of MLB. Four are from Curacao, one is from Aruba and one is from the Netherlands.
During my recent visit to Aruba I came across a new eatery just adjacent downtown called Parada. There I encountered Mr. Humphrey Mohammed who is passionate and knowledgeable about the game. He proudly stated, “there is great talent in Aruba and Curacao and we are very pleased of the way they are representing our country. I am fortunate as I have access to the MLB channel so I can stay informed of the progress.”
While the sport of baseball….is baseball, games in the Caribbean/Latin America are a bit different than the USA brand. And, that is not a bad thing but it boils down to your perspective of understanding the game and the cultures who have adopted it. There is lots of emotion and fan engagement featuring bands, horns and other devices and instruments presenting enthusiastic sounds.
Currently Netherlands is ranked 8th determined from the World Baseball Confederation.
This year’s edition has been expanded to include the 40-man roster instead of the 25-man roster. This was done since technically they are eligible to play at a moment’s notice.
To understand the difference please read here
25 player roster – known as the Active Roster – A club’s 25-man roster is its full roster of active Major League players.
40 player roster – The 40 Man roster is the group of players who are eligible to be added to the active (25 man) roster.