November 8, 2003

"I don't like to say I'm tired, but that's why they hire coaches." Pedro Martinez held a press conference yesterday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. When asked about Game 7 of the ALCS, he said that when he came back to the bench after the 7th inning, he told the coaching staff that he was "a little tired'' (or "worn out") and the bullpen should be ready in case he got into trouble. And despite pointing skyward at the time, which he does when he's leaving a game, Martinez says now he thought he'd begin the 8th.

"I actually relied on their decision at that point. I know I've done enough. ... He asked me when we were in the dugout and I said, 'Get the guys ready in case I get in trouble.' After he asked me [at the mound] if I could face Matsui, I said yes. Then after that it was in his hands." ... I wonder if years from now, we'll be sorting out who said what in the dugout, a la 1986's Blistergate? ... The sheer stupidity of Gump's decision hit me all over again while listening to this conference. It's unfair, so completely unfair. How does that idiot get the power to deprive the Red Sox and their fans of a trip to the World Series?

When Martinez was asked if he would sign a contract extension or become a free agent after next season, he said it was up to the Red Sox. "It would hurt leaving Boston. But it's in their hands. If they want me, they can keep me. If they don't want me, they can trade me. It's up to Boston. I can't stay with a woman who doesn't love me."

Boston exercised their 2004 option on Derek Lowe ($4.5 million - cheap). Epstein said he might not be able to come to terms with Mike Timlin before Monday, the last day teams can speak exclusively with their own free agents. ... The team's next managerial interview will be with Joe Maddon. ... Former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee also threw his hat into the ring. "Theo and I should get along fine. We both like music and nightclubs." ... Should Boston go to a 4-man rotation?

The war crimes continue. The US military swept through Iraqi neighborhoods early Saturday, firing at houses suspected of harboring hostile forces in the wake of an apparent attack on a Black Hawk helicopter that killed six US soldiers. Jets also dropped at least three 500-pound bombs around the crash site. The AP reports US troops bombarded buildings with machine guns and heavy weapons fire. ... It is still unclear whether this was an attack or an accident. Regardless, the reaction is a violation of the Geneva Convention, Part II, Art. 33: "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited." The US is also in violation of Article 34: "The taking of hostages is prohibited."

WaPo: "The Bush White House, irritated by pesky questions from congressional Democrats about how the administration is using taxpayer money, has developed an efficient solution: It will not entertain any more questions from opposition lawmakers. ... Democrats [will be prevented] from getting questions answered without the blessing of the GOP committee chairmen." As Bush told Business Week on July 10, 2001: "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it." (He said much the same thing on CNN in December 2000 ("If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.") and to Governing Magazine in July 1998 ("You don't get everything you want. A dictatorship would be a lot easier.").)

Former Army private Jessica Lynch is speaking out, actively countering the "made up stories" from and manipulation by the Pentagon in the days after her rescue. In a book written about Lynch's POW experience, there is an allegation she was raped at some point. Lynch was held captive for nine days. It's not clear who is making the claim. It isn't Lynch. The book cites only "medical records" -- but whose medical records? The US has not commented and the Iraqi doctors say they saw no evidence of rape when they operated on Lynch one hour after the ambush. Newsday reports Lynch was awake and talking to doctors thirty minutes after surgery. She has said that from the time she awoke, she was treated wonderfully. Based on the available evidence, the Pentagon's many lies and the subsequent investigations corroborating the accounts of Iraqi doctors and nurses, I'm highly skeptical of this claim. It could be propaganda, similar to the tall tales of Lynch killing Iraqis Rambo-style prior to her capture.

Speaking of propaganda, a book by the man who may have told the Marines where Lynch was being held (and who now is employed by the Livingston Group, a high-powered DC lobby firm) is being promoted by Lauri Fitz-Pegado (also of the Livingston Group). Fitz-Pegado is infamous for her work at Hill & Knowlton on behalf of Kuwait's ruling family, coaching a girl called Nayirah in her testimony to Congress that she'd seen Iraqi soldiers killing Kuwaiti babies by taking them out of incubators. Nayirah was actually the daughter of Saud Nasir Al-Sabah, Kuwait's ambassador to the US, and her testimony was completely bogus. The PR stunt did, however, help propel the US to war against Iraq in 1991.

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