Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People III

It sometimes bothers me, and I would be willing to bet it bothers most of you, that there seems to be no “divine” exceptions when it comes to pain and misery for nice people. Most nice people, if asked, would cast their vote for catching a break when suffering is involved. (Now that I think about it, most not-so-nice people would also vote that way – but good people are more deserving, right?)

My wife is one of the nicest people God ever put on earth. There is no one who knows her would disagree - even those who don’t know her personally but have heard of her kindnesses would agree. It would seem that if God were truly on the ball when it comes to dishing out fair treatment where pain and suffering are concerned, Mary would catch a break. That God would be nicer to her, if for no other reason, so she can keep doing for people the way she does. But no, that’s not the case. She battles neck pain, back pain, and really bad pain in her legs most every day. Then there’s the pain in her shoulders and the arthritis in her hands … well, you get my drift. She is just one of many good people who suffer the aches and pains of growing older.

But Mary does not blame God for the pain she suffers. Quite the contrary. She attributes the pain she doesn’t have to God. She’ll have a good day, one without much pain, and she thanks God for it. She also thanks God for being otherwise healthy. (In fact, at this very minute, she can’t wait for the grass to dry so she can mow.)

I only bring this up because, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s a way of looking at God that’s a bit different. Too many of us blame God for things that befall usa crippling injury, a terminal illness, the loss of a job, a financial setback, etc.but seem to forget about Him when perhaps a bit of praise is due. I often complain about my physical problems, but as painful as they are at times, they do not compare to cancer or Alsheimers  or the many other serious maladies that afflict mankind. I always thank God for my lack of such illnesses (I often wonder why I bother. It would seem that if he can keep cancer away, he could fix a bad back, but He doesn’t bother).

Ever think what it would be like to live forever? Of course, as mortals living forever isn’t possible. But what if it was? Would people who suffer from pain suffer forever? Or would the pain go away at some point? Would people who suffer from cancer or Alsheimers  be afflicted until the end of time? It would seem that would be a suitable punishment for really bad people.

Have you ever read Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels? Goes something like this: In Swift’s land of Luggnaggians, occasionally a child was born with a red spot on his forehead. This red spot was a sign that the child would never die. Gulliver, our traveler, believes these people to be the most fortunate people imaginable, being born exempt from that most fearsome of human maladies, death. But the longer Gulliver stays in Luggnaggia, he comes to realize the inhabitants are the most miserable of creatures. The immortals grow old and feeble; their friends die off. At the age of eighty, their property is confiscated and given to their children, who would never, otherwise, inherit from them. Their bodies acquire various ailments, they accumulate grudges and grievances, they grow weary of living, and they can never look forward to being released from the drudgery of life.

The reader of Gulliver’s Travels comes to pity the person who cannot die. A person who lives with pain might agree with that assessment. At some point, death would be agreeable.

If people lived forever the world would become impossibly crowded. The amassed throngs would likely not be allowed to have children. In fact, you and I may never have been born. The way things are, the way God designed the world(?), is an efficient way for the old to make way for the new. It is never good that the new make way for the new. The death of a child is a sad, sad affair.

Although there are instances when death is agreeable, it is something else again to try to tell a person who has lost a parent, a spouse, or a child that death is appropriate. We have seen instances of this, and it is a thoughtless practice to try to convince parents that their little boy who was run down in the street chasing a ball that the little fellow is in a better place. It’s a callus practice, still in use by many priests, in an effort to make us feel better.

Thing is, we can’t explain untimely death any more than we can explain life itself.

And nobody has been able to offer a satisfactory explanation for that.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People II

As a result of our last meeting, it is right to say that life ain’t fair.

That’s odd. I was always told, as a kid, life is fair; life is what you make it. It was only later I starting hearing something closer to the truth: Life’s a bitch and then you die.

True, it’s not that way for everybody. Some people get through life without major calamity befalling them. I don’t think that’s fair. It’s not fair to the rest of us who have suffered to some degree, or a lot, whatever we believe God has stricken us with.

But is all the pain in the world really God’s fault?

Some say yes, because is he not all-powerful and is he not responsible for everything that happens in the world? Some are a little kinder in their assessment of God; they say, God is just and fair and wants people to get what they deservethe good will prosper and the bad are punished. Into this we must add a plea for ourselves: We are good people. (If you’re not good; if you sell drugs, molest children, kill people, are a thief, this applies to you also, as there is no guarantee God will punish you. For some reason, the rules break down here.)

If God is both just and powerful then we deserve whatever he deems is fitting and should consider it our due. But we’ve agreed that God is not fair in His treatment of us. So perhaps we need to erase the word “just” and just think of God as powerful. Like one of the kings of olden times who held the power of life and death of all their subjects in their hands. Think about that. Having that kind of power and not even being gods. They just thought they were. You can bet their subjects had other words for them.

So now God is not “just”, he’s just powerful. We can pray for interventions on our behalf, or the behalf of others, but God is free to ignore them. Or is He just so busy He doesn’t hear us? At any rate, even with all his power, he chooses not to alleviate our suffering.

No matter what, we are still asked to believe God is good and has control of everything in the universe. But the one thing I’ve never been able to understand is why God chose to not reveal himself in the past two thousand years. It is precisely that he does not respond to prayers and never appears that he loses fans. Millions of people still flock to church and pray to him simply because humans need a supreme being to pray to. If He showed up just once and let us know He really and truly exists, you can bet the world would be a more moral place in which to live. You know the TV commercial in which two guys are mooning over a couch. One guy is holding a crowbar (we suspect he used the tool to gain entry) and he says, “I gotta have it,” meaning he plans to steal the couch. I wonder if he’d dare do it if he thought God might be watching.

But of course, it is God’s sympathy, accountability, and fairness that are at issue, not His existence. Most of us would not deny the existence of Godof course, there is a god; the universe, the earth, the human race all had to come from someplace.

 Of course, with a god we believe to be all-powerful but not just, we must recognize that with those creds he doesn’t have to be fair. All we can do is hope … and pray, just don’t count on it doing any good.

I would think that God wants the righteous to live peaceful, happy lives, but it’s pretty obvious he cannot always bring it off. On a planet with 6 billion people, how could it be possible for even an all-powerful god to keep cruelty and terrorism and disease from claiming innocent victims. But you must ask yourself, would a world without at least the concept of God be better off? There are a lot of good people in the world who are good only because of their belief in and their fear of God. How the others avoided God is beyond me. He’s supposed to be everywhere.

So now if we swap out all-powerful for just and fair, where does that leave us? Our usual response to a diagnosis of disease or a crippling injury is to blame God. But we have just absolved God from blame for such things. He simply doesn’t have the time or, when you think about it, the motivation to pick you out of all the people on earth to hammer with a bad disease or injury. (Let’s face it, kiddo, no matter how bad you are or have been, there is someone out there much worse than you) And let’s get serious, is there any way He could keep an eye on the hundreds of trillions of chemical reactions going on in the bodies of every human being, every second of every day?

We have all (well, most of us anyway) grown up believing in an all-wise, all-powerful, all-knowing God and it will be very hard for us to change our way of thinking about Him. To change our thinking on any of these ideals of Him is, well, unthinkable. We want to hold on to our thoughts about what God is, just as we wanted to hold on to our conceptions about our parents when we were childrenall-powerful, all-knowing. Remember? Dad with his know-how and magic hands could fix anything and Mom could fix the most painful boo-boo with a peck on the nose and a hug. Later, however, we discovered the fallibility of our parentsbroken toys had to be thrown out because they could not be fixed, not because Dad didn’t want to fix them. And there were some boo-boos Mom could not kiss away. Just as these things were realized, we must come to grips with the knowledge there are some things God does not control. With this knowledge we can afford him the same consideration we gave our parents when we had to change our minds about them.

 We can then quell our anger, and maintain our self-respect and sense of goodness about ourselves, without feeling that God has judged us and condemned us because we were bad in this or a previous life. That bad things happen to good people and God isn’t picking on just you.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

Today’s topic will upset some people; some, probably most, will agree. It has been in the forefront of my mind for some time as I am reminded of past friends who had not completed their lives peaceably, and recently met some new ones with debilitating ailments.

From time to time I read on Facebook comments made by a, seemingly, young woman who is suffering from cancer. I do not know her but I know about her, as I have known many under such circumstances. When I read her comments and those of others, I ask myself why is this happening? Why does this young woman, who I believe has young children, and my many friends and acquaintances have to suffer before they die?

I had always thought the reason for pain was to inform the body there was something wrong, so it could be fixed. But what is the reason for ongoing pain, which is what most of us experience?

The woman on Facebook’s words echo the pain she suffers from cancer every day, long after she is aware of the condition. Her words are pleas for a release of her suffering. She must know, as we all know, there is only One with power to help her. All of us in pain, all who suffer some sort of grief, pray that He will response in a kind and gentle way. After all, is He not kind and gentle?

Why is it then I’ve never seen an instance where He has shown a suffering person His mercy? Suffering people continue to suffer. Family and friends stricken by the tragedy wait for their prayers to be answered, but they never are. They must come to terms in whatever way they can. It’s best not to wait for God’s help.

Throughout our formative years, listening to sermons or homilies, we are reminded of God’s promise to reward those people who behave well and do good things and to punish those who stray and do evil. But is this really the way it works? Looked at with an objective eye, God’s system of reward and punishment seems arbitrary, or more appropriately, totally unfair. By all accounts Lou Gehrig was a nice man, but he ended his days suffering from the horribly debilitating disease that bears his name. One of the greatest Yankee hitters of all time is remembered more for the disease God would not take away than for his accomplishments on the baseball diamond. Where’s the justice in that? Pointless suffering seems more the rule than the exception.

There are thoseand I’m acquainted with severalwho believe those that suffer are being punished for some foul deed committed either as an adult or as a child, in this life or a previous one.

I don’t know about you, but I would have a terrible time attending services sponsored by a god who caused a tiny child to bear the ravages of leukemia or would lay the burden of cancer on a young mother for a morally wrong deed committed in a previous life.

If this belief were not a part of the fiber of some religious ideal and thought of as sacrosanct, it would be considered ludicrous.  Yet when you tell these people that it cannot be, that a kind and sensible God doesn’t work that way, they look at you with wide, round eyes that say, “That’s what we believe. Nothing you say (no matter how much sense you make) is going to change that. So there!” They stop a bit short of sticking their tongues out at you.

I’ve wondered if the severity of the punishment is intended to reflect the degree of naughtiness committed. If so, the poor soul on Facebook must have been a monster. But somehow I don’t believe that to be the case. She doesn’r come across as a Stalin or a Hitler or a Ma Barker, for that matter.

My friend Don Terry, a truly wonderful man, died of Alsheimers at age 56. Don suffered the ravages of dementia , as did his family and friends, from age 51. Suffered, died, and was buried in only five years. I’m not aware of any offense that deserves that fate.

Sometimes it’s not the afflicted who suffer. By wife’s brother John drown in Long Island Sound at age 19. No one knows the exact circumstances, he was found in the water by his cousin (who, by the way, is currently dying from a brain tumor). The “compassion” of some members of the NYC police department was on full display when John’s parents returned home from work to find a note stuck to their front door. The note said, “Your son DOA, Bronx Hospital.” That’s it. Nothing more. The shock to these two kind and gentle souls, and John’s two brothers and his sister, was profound. John was a really good kid and surely didn’t deserve to die at such a young age.

As an additional kick in the teeth, the priest, during the funeral, spoke of how God does not lay heavier burdens on us than we can bear.  My father-in-law responded to this hoi polloi by saying, “I wish He hadn’t thought we were so tough.”

It’s odd, isn’t it, that so many people who have had burdens laid on them, burdens they were supposed to be able to bear, thought the burdens were almost too much. Many lives were ruined by such burdens.

I once heard a homily in which the priest did his best to make a case for pain and suffering as educational. I paraphrase his closing remark: “The purpose of suffering is to repair that which is faulty in a man’s personality.”


He was saying that just as a parent must punish a child whom he loves, for the child’s sake, so the child will learn an important lesson, God must punish us for being “bad men and women.” When God’s in a good mood he gives us a bad cold or the flu. When He’s feeling a bit crotchety, he hits us with cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease or MS in place of a slap on the butt for being naughty.

I don’t buy it, not a bit of it.

How can a kind and merciful god belabor good folks with unbearable suffering (never offering a bit of relief) and allow those who bring unspeakable misery to the rest of us to live long lives unscathed?  It makes no sense. And if it makes sense to God, he’s wrong

I don’t believe God has anything to do with any of this. He doesn’t prevent and he doesn’t promote.  I’m not even sure He can make suffering disappear. Keeping track of hundreds of trillions of chemical reactions wouldn’t be possible for even God. He’d have to goof up someplace.

The conundrum is this: If God is all-powerful then he should be able to cure our suffering; if he can’t (or won’t) then he’s not the kind and merciful God he’s made out to be. What are we going to do about that?

I haven’t the faintest idea.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Building a Worthwhile Liberal

I was exploring the origins of political types when I happen to wander into the pits of Hell.

Well, come to think of it, I wasn’t quite to Hell just yet, but, judging by the heat, I knew I was close.

I stumbled into a large room. There were two human-like people there, one in a gown and sported a pair of wings and a halo. The other was all red and naked, had a long tail with a spear point at the end and a set of horns. The two were making plans to work on a project together.

“So what are we going to make,” asked the winged one.

“A humanoid political type, replied the one in red.

“Sounds interesting. Where do we start?”

“First, we fill these molds,” sweeping an arm to direct attention to several thousand more or less human-shaped molds scattered throughout the room, “with this mixture of sludge and muck dare we call it schmuck, for shortand allow it to harden. This, of course, is the concoction for building Liberal types.”

“The mixture is different for Conservatives?”

“Oh, gosh yes. For the Conservative political type, we will use a much more refined, but as yet undetermined, mold full of muck.”

“But where do we find more refined political muck?’

“Don’t forget, we are in the early stages of our experiment. There will be mistakes. It’s best to make all our mistakes with Liberals. Then when we get to making Conservatives, we’ll have worked out all the kinks, and have a blueprint for fine, upstanding human beings. Worthwhile people.”

“Liberals aren’t worthwhile?”

“Nah, not by a long shot. So far we just have prototypes with a half a brain. They really shouldn’t have any legitimate standing in the human community. But crap happens. Look, you can’t realistically expect us to get it right the first time. Maybe after cooking up a few more batches of schmuck, we’ll get the hang of it.” He said this while pouring a large chunk of schmuck into a mold, lowering the lid, and turning up the heat. 

“Whoa, boy, does that stuff stink,” waving her hand in front of her nose.

“Yep, that’s liberals for you. A smelly bunch.”

“Will these Liberals talk and think?”

“Oh, boy, will they ever talk. Yak, yak, yakety yak, all the time.  Mouths going a mile a minute. Never shutting up, especially if one feels he’s been offended, then they all chime in to protect the damned fool. Thing is, for the most part, they’ll make no sense.”

“That’s strange, human-types are usually pretty smart.”

“Not so with Liberals. Brains are a scant commodity in Liberalville. Ones with brains are hugely rare and highly regarded because of their rareness.”

“Can you name a highly regarded Liberal?”

“I can’t, no. But if you ask Liberals, they’ll name some, I’m sure. For instance, Liberals think Barack Obama is the cat’s ass, as well as Slick Willie Clinton and his wife, Nutty Nancy, and Cherokee Elizabeth Warren.”

“Conservatives don’t believe these are worthwhile people?’

“Let’s just say Conservatives think we’d all be better off if they weren’t around.”

“You were saying Liberals don’t think very well. Don’t you think they will be upset about that and demand more brains?”

“Hell, these fools think they have all the brains, now. They criticize Conservatives no end for being stupid. Hillary called Conservatives despicable, when it is Liberals that are despicable because of their total disregard for the truth, and the lies they spread about other people.”
“If these are the prototypes of Liberals, how is it we have such horrible examples of liberalism already?”

“There is batch of early protoLiberals out there. We didn’t do anything right with that bunch. The group includes all the usual suspectsDingy Harry Reid, HRC, Nutty Nancy, Cherokee Liz, Chucky Shumer. And, of course, BHO. The project nearly fell apart when he came along. The Boss was tempted to move up the Second Coming and smite the Liberal population. But, being the good guy that he is, he relented. Conservatives howled, sure the Boss left them here to irritate the hell out of decent people, making them more suitable for Heaven.”

“Tell me. What went wrong with the early prototypes and is likely to go wrong with this bunch we’re cooking up, now?”

“Well, to make a really good human political type you need lots of really good glue. One of the problems we had was that the glue we received was substandard. We didn’t know this and went and made quite a number of substandard Liberal political typesNutty Nancy, Dingy Harry, HRC, to name a fewall of whom became unglued at one time or another. It was an ugly thing for regular Liberals to see their political leaders lose their freaking minds.”

“Doesn’t that ever happen to Conservatives?”


“What else can happen to Liberals to cause them to lose their sloppily designed minds?”

“Many things, actually, but the most important thing is that we were so anxious to release our invention, we got into too much of a hurry and released them too soon.”

“What on earth happened?”

“We were using apprentice mechanics, to save some money, and, of course, come Friday afternoons and Monday mornings, we weren’t seeing their best work.”

“Oh, yes, the long weekend syndrome.”

“Exactly. Those little devils got in a hurry and released onto the world massive numbers of Liberals with loose screws. Some had light bulbs in their heads that flickered out. And there were those walking around strumming their lips and making goo-goo sounds. Somehow there were an inordinate number of these who got spots on cable television.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Gaggle Has Ruined Major Media

As a member of the press for many years, I am understandably upset with the shenanigans of major media.
While I was writing news for The Evening Tribune there was a concerted effort on the part of the editorial staff to assure the news was reported in a fair and straight-forward manner. Both Managing Editor Kelly Luvison and City Editor Neil Coombs read every submission for publication with a practiced and critical eye.  Facts had to be checked. If possible, the item had to be balanced, with both sides of the story told (at times this was not possible as there were times when one of the parties refused comment. This was noted in the item so readers would know attempts were made to convey a fair and balanced piece.)The item, of, course, had to be truefiction had no place in a newspaper (unless it was labeled as such). Editorializing (the writer inserting his own opinion) was not allowed in a news story (although opinion pieces could be submitted for the Editorial Page.) And there was no such thing as an ‘Unnamed Source’. If there was a citation, there was a source. Period. All of these criteria fell under the rubric of responsible journalism.
It’s not like that anymore.
Somewhere along the line “fair and balanced’’ was tossed aside and replaced with the swill currently being presented as “news.”
Where does it say it’s okay to call the President of the United States a liar – not just once but routinely? Most of the nation’s major newspapers and news agencies have made a habit of besmirching the name and character of the rightly and unanimously elected leader of our country. The New York Times and the Washington Post are leading the way. Neither of these organs ever called Barack Obama a liar, despite such obvious opportunities as “you can keep your doctor” and “the Bengazi attack was caused by an internet video.”  Indeed, the Times and the Post, along with the White House press corps, spent eight years cheerleading the BO administration, never seeing even an iota of corruption or dishonesty. They have been tough on Hillary Clinton at times, but they never called her a liar, despite such lulus as “I set up my own computer server so I would only need one device,” “I turned over all the government emails,” and “I never sent or received classified emails.” Apparently only Donald Trump is fair game to be called a liar, although there has been no reason to do so. But then the Donald has an R after his name.
The New York Times at one time had a reputation for the highest standards of journalism. The standards stated above were reinforced over decades to force reporters and editors to be fair and to gain the public trust. Many times during my college years I referenced the Times to research an article or for a paper I was writing. I also used the Times as a journalist to verify certain information to use in a piece for the paper. The Times was, after all, the newspaper of record. You could count on everything in it being true and factual. Not anymore.
Years ago, the editorial staff of the paper was run by managing editor Abe Rosenthal. Reportedly, Rosenthal was a tough but fair taskmaster when handling the reporters in his charge. He set the rules and they were followedor else.  Rosenthal was an adherent of responsible journalism, as were Luvison and Coombs. Abe Rosenthal is no longer with us and with him went the high standards of the Times. Its true that the journalistic standards of many of the country’s major newspapers took a licking as the leanings of editors and reporters went Left and there were no Rosenthals to put a stop to it.
The current editor of the Times, a guy named Dean Baquet, sees no harm in allowing his writers to trample the standards the paper was noted for for decades. He relishes the practice of calling the president a liar and freely prints that whatever the president says is false. Under his dominion the age-old standards of determining who, what, where, how, and why has been added the reporters’ opinion. Baquet has decided that the standards of fairness and nonpartisanship can be abandoned in favor of Liberalism, apparently without consequence.
I don’t believe that is possible. I think that not only the public trust shared by the Times but many of the other major newspapers that have deemed to abandon sound journalistic standards has been lost, not to be recovered. The internet will provide truth seekers with their news

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sticking It To the Gaggle

I’ve been waiting all morning to hear a report that President Trump started the horrific forest fire in Portugal that has swept a good part of the country and burned many towns and scores of homes.

After all, it’s just the sort of thing the Left would accuse the president of doing.

Also, I’ve been listening for an item that reveals the president’s complicity in Bill Cosby’s mistrial. Or the shooting of Congressman Scalise.

This just smacks of Republican shenanigans. There is no other reason for it. The Republicans have nothing better to do than perform outrageous skullduggery on the hapless populace. Then, of course, use the Left’s trick of blaming someone else.

Certainly the worst of Republican crimes is leaking. The scoundrels in the White House have a frolicking good time leaking on the government they have stewardship over, or so the Left would have us believe.

In my many years as an observer of politics I have seen nothing like the spectacle we’re seeing now. The unprofessional conduct of the Left leaning gaggle is momentous, frightening, and unforgiveable. That the once-trustworthy news media could turn colors and betray an entire country is unconscionable. The treachery displayed by them against Mr. Trump and his government approaches treason, in my view anyway. 

I well remember how the gaggle went after Richard Nixon. It’s doubtful whether the gaggle cared if Nixon was guilty; they wanted him out of office. (Though one wonders why they settled for Gerald Ford.)

The gaggle pulled out all the stops to see President Nixon off into retirement, but did all they could to cover the many crimes of Slick Willie Clinton and his thoroughly corrupt wife. We all know there is no shame on the part of the gaggle, so we won’t look for any. But how about some jail time? I have an abiding opinion in my soul that says if the Right stopped acting like a bunch of whipped pups and prosecuted some of the obvious crimes against the Trump administration, there would be a lot fewer crimes committed. Makes sense. Right?

The problem with this scenario is that the Left has the Right on the run. Republicans and those that lean right are afraid they will be accused of something. So they run and hide. When was the last time someone on the Left was accused of something that anyone in law enforcement took seriously? Makes one wonder what’s going on in law enforcement, huh? The idea that an eager investigator can’t come up with something with which to charge a guilty party on the Left is patently ridiculous. All the lying and the leaking and lowdown skunky behavior: There has to be some illegal activity somewhere; after all, this is the Left we’re talking about.

The thing that irks is instead of jumping in and helping the Trump administration Make America Great Again, the Honking Gaggle chooses to dig in its heels and go the exact opposite way. I realize there are those out there who like what BHO did to the country. Hell, I know one and this asshole brags about how wonderful he thinks the country is doing right now. Sure, he was doing fine on his NYS teachers retirement, never mind the 95 million people out of work. He didn’t care about them. Typical Leftist asshole.

It doesn’t appear that the Leftist media or the Leftist world at large wants to see America get straightened around after the devastation of the BHO years. They must like things the way they are. As long as they have a paycheck coming, the hell with everybody else.

Most of the people I talk to are of a Conservative bent. Few of them could explain what a Conservative is, other than “I ain’t no damn Commie.” But they can tell you what a Conservative America looks like – happy people, plenty of jobs, a means of taking care of themselves (meaning no welfare), opportunities for starting businesses – all things the Left despises. 

What Conservatives don’t do is turn on the President of the United States, tell lies about him and his family, and among other things, accuse him of crimes that amount to treason, with no proof whatsoever. Conservatives may disagree with the president, may even become angry with him and yell a few dirty words. This is legitimate.

But you don’t carry on the way the shitheads on the Left are doing. What they are doing amounts to treason and arrests should be made and prison sentences handed out. The Left has promised it will never let up in its attacks on the president. Powerful people on the Right need to grow a set of balls.

One way to stop the onslaught is send a few thousand Lefties up the river,  see them leak from Sing Sing.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Enjoying Yankee Baseball Again

Yankee fans who have slipped away over the past few years may want to revisit the YES channel for some really good baseball.

Bronx Bomber management has added some darn good players over the last couple of years that just might – maybe – provide a few World Series appearances in the near future – and maybe a ring or two.

Rookie outfielder Aaron Judge just might be the real thing.
What real thing, you ask? Would you believe Joe DiMaggio or Mickey Mantle?

Yeah, I know it’s much too early to know for sure what Aaron Judge will bring to banquet over the next eight, ten years or longer. But currently he’s leading the American League in homeruns (22) and RBI’s (49), BA at .347. Judge won the game against the Anaheim Angels yesterday with a two-run dinger in the 8th. He’s a big fellow, bringing a six-feet, eight inch, 280-lb frame to the plate with mucho power. Sunday he rammed a near line drive 495 feet for a his 20th homer. Reportedly, he’s a cool dude with no ego. Just an easy laid back guy.

Catcher Gary Sanchez is getting his eye at the plate, after a slow start and a spell on the DL.

DiDi Gregorius, the best all-around shortstop in the league, is hitting .344. Second baseman Starlin Castro is second in the league in hits (81), while batting .328.

Aaron Hicks, currently in centerfield, is hitting .313 standing in for injured Jacoby Ellsbury. Last year Hicks couldn’t hit a lick. Time changes everything.

Four starting players batting over .300 – sounds like an all-star team.


The past few years I’ve strayed from my attraction for watching Yankee baseball. They just weren’t playing well – or it could be that that team just wasn’t a good team. They lost games they should have won, and it seemed that if they ever fell behind, the game for all intents and purposes was over. At seasons end they managed a one game playoff with the Astros, in which they failed to score. My opinion of the talent on that team cratered – it seemed to me they weren’t even trying to squeeze into the playoffs. All they wanted was to head to the golf course or go fishing, or otherwise start their vacations. My interest – because of the talents of Judge, Gregorius, Sanchez, Castro, Hicks, and veteran Matt Holiday (all new talent)  has returned, and I am once again enjoying watching Yankee baseball.


Back in ’04, I was in the same quandary. It got to the point I wasn’t  watching TV in the pm, except for an occasional western movie. My wife had started back to work – she always worked nights – and I was back to my job of waking her.  At that time of day it was always too easy to fall asleep myself, so I turned on the TV. Not wanting to get involved in anything lengthy, I went to the YES channel to watch the Yankees for a few minutes.

A curious thing was happening. Not only were they winning nearly every game, they were coming from behind to win. Game after game. I began watching again. Who doesn’t like to watch their team win? Especially in come-from-behind style.

Then came the ’04 playoffs. Remember? Yanks up three games to none in the ALCS over the Red Sox. Everyone believing the Bombers were going to the World Series. Then the bottom fell out. The Bean Towners won the next three. The first sports team to come from an 0-3 deficit and win a best of seven series. Then to show they were not to be trifled with, Boston took out the St. Louis Cardinals in four straight in the World Series. It was their first series win in something like 86 years. The Curse of the Bambino held up for a long time, but was finally over.

Then just last year we saw the end of the Curse of Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow (or whatever) in Chicago. I find myself sort of thinking it would be nice to see Cleveland win a series and break its long drought – but not if they happen to be playing the Yanks, of course. We all have our priorities.

The Flip Side