November 6, 2003

Former Red Sox Prospect Murdered. Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson (and former Red Sox prospect) was found dead yesterday on a residential street in a Phoenix suburb after he was shot and apparently run over. Stenson had been playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. (Coverage from the Cincinnati Enquirer and Post and the Dayton Daily News.) A man driving Stenson's vehicle was apprehended two hours later and is being questioned. ...

Terry Francona was interviewed yesterday. The managerial search may last into mid-December. ... The Yankees are interested in Todd Walker (Soriano's range must be even worse than I thought). ... The Hot Hand: (1) Players and teams go on streaks; (2) Announcers and fans often assume some kind of special psychological or physical state on the part of the athletes, such as being "in the zone"; (3) Even random processes with inanimate objects (coin-flipping) can yield occasional long steaks; and (4) hot hand research seeks to determine whether sports streaks are more pronounced than what might occur by chance.

Cowards. When they agreed to spend $87,000,000,000 on the US's continued occupation of Iraq, the Senate decided they didn't want to be held individually accountable, so they went with a voice vote rather than have their votes placed on the record (as they usually do). The Democrats are chronically spineless, unable to oppose the Bush administration on anything without apologizing for their disagreement right afterwards. Don't they realize by now that they'll be tarred with the "unpatriotic" brush no matter what they do, so why not actually be an opposition party? I'm one of millions and millions of Americans waiting for that. It's also clear that (despite claims of continued success) the Republicans don't believe things are so rosy in Iraq either. If they did, they'd jump at the chance to show how they're "supporting our troops." Instead, the voice vote is clear proof that the "progress" reports are lies and no one wants his or her name shackled to this growing disaster. This is, quite simply, an abdication of political responsibility of historical proportions.

The New York Times reports that Iraq apparently tried to negotiate a last-minute deal to avert war last March. Iraq said it "no longer had weapons of mass destruction, and they offered to allow American troops and experts to conduct a search. ... [T]he Iraqis also offered to hand over a man accused of being involved in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 who was being held in Baghdad ... [and] pledged to hold elections." A White House spokesman said the US had "exhausted every legitimate and credible opportunity to resolve this peacefully with Iraq." ... TPM looks for the "ripple": why this story now? ... Awhile back, Time reported that during the same month as the alleged Iraq offer, Bush told a group of Senators meeting with Condoleezza Rice: "Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out." [also here]

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