Opinions in the Shorts: Vol 91

Announcing

On DOTY Nominations are Open
The first quarter of 2011 has ended, so it’s time to accept 2011 Dolts of the Year nominations. I nominate Terry Jones, Charlie Sheen, and Lindsay Lohan.

On Baseball’s Opening Week & College Basketball
Brewer broadcaster and great personality Bob Uecker is great to quote. On attending his 56th consecutive season opener: “Still not in the starting lineup.” On gaining weight following his illness: “I’m back to 190. That was my sitting weight when I played.”

This is from a Cincinnati Gazette editorial over 110 years ago. ”The baseball mania has run its course. It has not future as a professional endeavor.”

VCU and Butler in the Final Four was great for college basketball. Butler in the finals was great for college basketball. Butler winning would have been great for college basketball. In other words, all elitists can stick it in their ear – plus congratulations UConn on your great run and for beating Kentucky!

On Politics
Meanwhile, columnist David Brooks had an interesting view of the Rep Ryan’s [R-WI] proposed budget.

Sarah Palin said the US is spending $600 million per day in Libya. Secretary of Defense Gates said the bill was $550 million to date. I wonder who is lying.

Newt Gingrich continues to seek approval from the religious right by asking them to forgive him for his transgressions. If Newt really gave a hoot, he would publically forgive Bill Clinton not only for his transgressions, but Mr. Gingrich would seek forgiveness for all the words he said in the 90s about President Clinton’s immorality.

The US Supreme Court will eventually determine the fate of health care legislation. Here is a solution to appease this disenchanted by getting the government out of the business. Everyone against the legislation could purchase insurance for any uninsured. What a novel idea!

On a Local Convention Snafu
Cincinnati hosted a convention last weekend of homeschoolers. Interestingly, the Creation Museum is located near the city. The convention cancelled Dr. Ken Ham, from Answers in Genesis (who built and operates the museum), for behavior that was deemed as unkind, not gracious, unprofessional, ungrateful, and divisive.

On some Blogs
Thanks to Nancy for discovering this graphic illustrating 5000 years of Middle East history in 90 seconds.

Padre Steve is a Navy chaplain who shares his experiences from the military, politics, faith, baseball, and life. Here’s worth a visit.

Thanks to Don in Mass for exchanging links and providing good, short posts to ponder.

In the land of Uterusia, the home to Hysterical Raisins, Nonnie wrote lyrics for It’s My Uterus (to the Bill Withers tune Just the Two of Us). Such a Uteropian response to a political comment in Florida. To full appreciate the lyrics, click her video to hear Bill Wither’s original tune.

On a Movie
Last weekend we saw The Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon. It’s a fast-moving drama that will hold your attention; plus it will get you thinking.

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On Opening Day and Predictions

Although the weather is miserable, it’s Opening Day in Cincinnati, so the day is special. Back in the day before the mad pursuit of TV money, the Reds opened first, and then all others followed. Although those days are gone, Opening Day in Cincinnati includes excitement, a traditional (yet simple, even cheezy parade), and a sold out ballpark. It’s simply a time-honored special event.

Here’s a reminder of the 2007 opener … poor mayor, yet the look by Eric Davis is priceless.

Today’s parade is the 90th, so here’s a sample of the parade from the past along with some background.

On Divisional Predictions
AL West: The Angles are the class of the division, but expect the A’s to challenge.
AL Central: The most competitive division, so drawing the names out of a hat has just as good a chance. Crazy Ozzie will get the Chisox to the top.
AL East: Jays and O’s won’t contend. Although CC wins the Cy Young, Boston wins the division.
NL West: Dodgers survive the Diamondback’s challenge.
NL Central: By far, the Cubs the class of the division.
NL East: Mets face through issues and somehow get it done. The Braves will surprising be in the mix.

On the Reds
Since my Reds have some of the better young talent in baseball, some pundits designate them as the surprise team. Adam Dunn prodigious blasts are gone, so it’s a different type of team.

To me, it’s a team with a lot of ifs: If Votto and Bruce continue to improve; If Harrang returns to form; If Volquez and Cuetto win a combined 30; if the RH bats of Encarnacion and Hernandez hit 55-60 HRs with 150 RBIs; If SS Gonzalez stays heathly and has an average year; If Willy Taveras improves his OBP by 100 points, which means he may have to find a way to steal first; If the team batting average with RISP improves at least 50 points; and so on.

For a team with that many ifs, third place is a reasonable expectation, but I say it will be lower.

On Awards
AL MVP: David Ortiz
AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia
AL Rookie of the Year: David Price
AL Manager of the Year: Bob Geren
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Eric Chavez
AL Batting Crown: Ichiro Suzuki
AL Home Run Title: Josh Hamilton
AL RBI Title: Mark Teixeira
NL MVP: Manny Ramirez
NL Cy Young: Dan Haren
NL Rookie of the Year: Jordan Schafer
NL Manager of the Year: Bobby Cox
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Chris Carpenter
NL Batting Crown: Albert Pujols
NL Home Run Title: Ryan Howard
NL RBI Title: Ryan Howard

On the NCAA Basketball Championship
Two semifinals wins moves my tournament prediction record (since Round 2) to 24-6 (80%). Go with North Carolina.