For Chicago Cubs fans and Cleveland Indians fans, it's an easy choice. For baseball fans in general, it's an easy choice. For fans of America, it's a good choice, too. You can ignore the presidential election from he** for a few more days.
After 71 years, the Cubs have won the National League pennant. My dad and mom didn't get to see it. But Mom and Dad, thanks for all the games we watched and listened to and went to. This one's for you.
------- UPDATE (10/23-16 1:35 pm): I added a couple of links.
Groups favoring Democrats in Illinois are running commercials attacking Republicans for saying they would vote for Donald Trump. After some of Mr. Trump’s more egregious statements, which he made years ago and are, somehow, only being discovered now (color me cynical re the timing), I understand why some people might consider that an effective commercial. (On the other hand, I cannot figure out why any of these statements should surprise anybody. Anybody paying attention would have figured out long ago that Mr. Trump said things like this in the past.)
A large number of migrants are camping out in and around Calais, in northern France on the English Channel. The Wall Street Journal reports:
“By the end of the year – and as early as this month – [French President François] Hollande plans to transfer thousands of migrants from the blighted port to shelters in far-flung corners of France.
The goal is to dismantle the Jungle, a sprawling migrant camp skirting the port that has become a symbol of Europe’s failure to manage the flow of migrants across its borders from conflict zones in Syria, Afghanistan and beyond.”
The Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, has announced a suspension of bombing in Aleppo and the establishment of humanitarian corridors to the city. According to the Russians, the bombing suspension will allow humanitarian aid to reach the city, which is not the purpose, and militants to leave the city, which is closer to the purpose.
What the Russians and Syrians have been trying to do is to regain control of all of Aleppo for the Bashar al-Assad regime. You can do that by either killing those in Aleppo who oppose the regime or getting them to leave. There is a limit to the number of people you can kill by bombing. Plus there are the public relations problems. Eventually, even Russia cares a little about this, especially when the bad publicity threatens to carry over to other areas. For example, the EU is considering additional sanctions on Russia because of the Aleppo bombing.
The award of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature to Bob Dylan created a mini-brouhaha as to whether the Nobel Prize for Literature should be awarded to somebody who merely wrote songs (and sang them), as opposed to somebody who wrote books. But I have no complaint. Songs are just poetry set to music.
I also have no objection to Bob Dylan winning the award. My only comment is that, when it comes to songs that speak to me, the ones that do it best are country. I understand many people see country music as “depressing songs about divorce and pain.” But the best of country is not just “three strings on an old guitar.” The best songs speak to life. And when it comes to that kind of country song, nobody does it better than Donna Fargo. But instead of me trying to tell you that, let her songs do it themselves. Here are two I especially like:
I have watched a little over half of the debates so far. All of the first presidential debate. Two-thirds of the vice-presidential debate. And none of the last one. One of the problems, especially in the VP debate and from what I read about the second presidential debate, is the constant interruptions of one candidate by the other. (I am not going to criticize the moderators too much for this. If a candidate wants to be a jerk, there is not too much the moderator can do about it.)
Here is my suggestion. I realize it may sound juvenile, but with the candidates being juvenile, we may not have a choice.
With Paul Ryan saying he will neither campaign for nor defend Mr. Trump (but not withdrawing his endorsement) and Donald Trump seeming to spend almost as much time attacking Speaker Ryan as Hillary Clinton (who is, the last time I looked, Mr. Trump’s actual opponent), Mr. Trump’s loss on November 8 is looking pretty certain. The Senate is likely to go Democratic, too.
I saw it last night, and I still almost do not believe it. Obviously, I could not listen to the national broadcasters; I never do, especially when the Cubs are not going well. And on “the hometown call” (i.e., WSCR). Pat and Ron the 2nd were constantly talking about the Giants’ winning streak in elimination games, too, so I couldn’t listen to them anymore, either. There was only one thing to do: I turned the radio off, turned the sound on the TV down, and I watched. Just like at a game. There was baseball. Why did I need commentary? (I did turn the sound up for the commercials during the pitching changes, but that was just to pass the time.) I watched, without distraction, and saw a comeback to remember forever in the top of the ninth.
I didn’t watch the bottom of the ninth on TV, however. Ever since Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams, I haven’t watched the last half inning on TV if the Cubs are up. Back in 1989, it seemed if I watched Mitch on TV, the Cubs lost. So I stopped watching the last half inning when we are ahead. Therefore, I turned the radio back on in the bottom of the ninth last night and “watched” on the radio – and promptly ran into the den, where the TV is, as soon as Chapman struck out the third batter. Fortunately, the delay between the radio and the TV meant that I got there just as the batter was striking out – on TV.
Score one for Wrigley. I asked Angel Pagan if he'd have caught Javier Baez's home run if there hadn't been a basket overhanging the warning track. No basket, catch that ball? Pagan: "Yes. Of course. I was right under it. It looked like it was coming back. It was coming (down), but it was coming back. So I could see the ball coming back, but it was right in the back of the basket. It was right on the edge. But it was good enough." Question: So it caught the very edge and dropped in? Pagan: "I haven't seen the replay, but that's what it looked like. I saw (the) baseball. Right before I got to the wall, I saw (the) baseball right there. So you could see that if it kept (going), I could catch it."