November 3, 2003

Leading Off. Glenn Hoffman is the first interviewee in the Red Sox search for a new manager. Theo: "We're going to try to do more than the typical interview situation in which the guy sits across from you at a desk and answers questions you fire at him. You're not hiring someone to perform well in an interview. You're hiring someone to manage a ball club. ... You don't want to push it too far. You don't want to scare anyone away by having an interview that's too off the wall. But it is fair to be creative and try to simulate group dynamics in the interview process . . . and at least get close to game situations so you can see how he handles quick decision-making with a lot of factors involved."

The House That Dewey Built looks at the Red Sox arbitration cases. ... One of my favorite Baseball Reference pages is this one: progressive leaders -- all-time, single-season and active -- for various stats. For example, Guy Hecker held the single-season record for fewest hits and walks allowed per 9 innings from 1882 to 1999 (6.923); Pedro Martinez set a new record in 2000 (6.636). Also, the 2003 player stats are up.

The Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian notes that the Boeing B-29 was "the largest and most technologically advanced airplane for its time" but omits any mention that the World War II plane carried the first atomic bomb and dropped it on Hiroshima. David Nasaw, a cultural historian at the City University of New York Graduate Center: "You wouldn't display a slave ship solely as a model of technological advancement. It would be offensive not to put it in context." ... Smithsonian Tour Guide: "Here we have this World War II plane. What? Why this one? Uh, we can't say. It's a nice plane, though, huh?" ... Xymphora is on fire this morning.

New York Times Magazine: "It is becoming painfully clear that the American plan (if it can even be dignified with the name) for dealing with postwar Iraq was flawed in its conception and ineptly carried out. At the very least, the bulk of the evidence suggests that what was probably bound to be a difficult aftermath to the war was made far more difficult by blinkered vision and overoptimistic assumptions ... Despite administration claims, it is simply not true that no one could have predicted the chaos that ensued after the fall of Saddam Hussein. ... What went wrong is that the voices of Iraq experts, of the State Department almost in its entirety and, indeed, of important segments of the uniformed military were ignored. ... [T]he fact that it may be turning into a quagmire is not a result of fate, but rather (as quagmires usually are) a result of poor planning and wishful thinking." ... Today's Language Lesson: Out: "Body Bags"; In: "Transfer Tubes"

The Bush administration denied (after six months) California's emergency request for $430 million to clear dead trees from fire-prone areas of Southern California only hours before wildfires roared out of control in what has become the largest fire disaster in the state's history. Rep. Mary Bono (R-Palm Springs): "We knew this disaster was going to happen with certainty. It was only a matter of when, and we were trying to beat the clock with removing the dead trees." ... Last week, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said the Clinton and other past administrations ignored evidence of growing terrorist threats, although she neglected to say what the Bush administration had done did in 2001. Blogger Atrios did a Nexus search of all major American newspapers and found no articles -- not even one -- mentioning Bush and al-Qaeda from January 20, 2001 to September 10, 2001.

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