Mismatches in boxing, football, basketball and baseball…

I watched Bradley University play Illinois College (D-3) and Robert Morris (Springfield, NAIA) in baseball. Needless to say, Bradley won both games easily. But the thing was, the games were still relatively fun to watch; I wondered why.

Here what I think is going on: in baseball, the real “player to player” duel is between the pitcher and batter; once the ball is hit, it is the player versus the ball. Hence the losing team can still make great fielding plays and hence it can still be entertaining, even if lacking in drama.

Basketball: Yes, D-III Eureka can still play Bradley, but the game was boring; the Bradley players were too quick, too fast, and too strong. The action in basketball is player versus player. But the competition is still “safe”; there is little extra danger of injury.

Football: too big of a difference in level can lead to unsafe conditions; I can only imagine the bloodbath a D-III team versus a Big Ten team would be. The difference in strength, speed, quickness and power could well lead to injuries.

Boxing: a tough sport, but could well be dangerous, even fatal if the mismatch is too great.

May 5, 2016 Posted by | baseball, basketball, boxing, football | Leave a comment

Bad run, bad blood, faulty memories …

Ok, the day was beautiful. And I went for an 8 mile run through West Peoria and half of my Cornstalk 8.1 course. And I sucked. It took me 1:31:09 to cover the 8.3 mile course, 43:57 for the first 4 or so, 1:20 for the segment between and 45:51 for the final 4 (slightly more). energy, though it was a perfect day. There are days like that.

Politics (what else?)

David Horsey talks a bit about the unreasonable attacks on Hillary Clinton from Sanders supporters. Yes, it appears to be that way. And no, the national race is NOT tied, though a poll or two shows “margin of error” gap. Oh, it doesn’t really matter as the race is effectively over. But if you are a Clinton supporter and have any online presence at all, you’ll be bombarded with nonsense of all sorts.

Bottom line: we had an election (just a bit to go) and one side has an insurmountable lead, period. It is to Clinton’s credit that she is winning/has won fair and square. Though this blog article unfairly discounts the strength of Sen. Sanders’ message and his skill in delivering it, paragraphs 2-6 are excellent.

Now that we will be focusing on the general election, it should be noted that both sides have a nostalgia for the 1950’s: the high economic growth rate, relative equality and higher taxes entice the Democrats, and the regressive social order and apparent societal homogeneity appeal to Republicans.

And Donald Trump is being very shrewd in exploiting the Sanders-Clinton rift:



I think that Hillary Clinton will eventually win, but we won’t have very many easy breaths between now and the election. This will NOT be easy.

Bad Blood: this Republican tow truck driver refused to help a woman with a Bernie Sanders bumper sticker, though he was the one called to the stalled car on the highway. Sorry, but that is just too much. Legal…but unethical.

May 5, 2016 Posted by | political humor, political/social, politics, politics/social, running, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Onward to the general….

Yeah, I know; the Sanders campaign is a bit like:

He might have to be dragged off of the stage as his fundraising is going very well:

Clinton’s lead has shrunk from the 290’s to the 280’s and there are now fewer delegates in play. This is a bit like a football team being down 38-10 in the 4’th quarter and then going on a 5 minute end up with a field goal. They are closer, but they have a lesser chance of winning after the drive than they did prior to the drive starting.

Now Trump is now the face of the Republican party, at least at the top of the ticket.

So it is probably time to focus on the general and Clinton leads in most of the polls.

Odds: Clinton has gone from 1/3 to 5/12 (ever so slightly worse odds, but still a heavy favorite)


And Obama’s job approval is above 50 percent and is roughly where Ronald Reagan’s was at this time in their respective administrations. That will help Clinton, I think.


May 5, 2016 Posted by | 2016, political/social, politics, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Study day fun and games

I got a quick workout: weights and a 4 mile walk:

weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (15-15-10-10), incline presses (10 x 135, 10 x 150, 10 x 140: strong), military (3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell), row (3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell), head stand, planks (front/side/side)
Then 4.2 miles through Bradley Park (Cornstalk classic course)




It was “school day” for the Chiefs game. It was cold; I wore thermal underwear and was glad that I did.

The game featured a lot of action, but the Bowling Green Hot Rods jumped on the Chiefs and didn’t let up.

They knocked out the Chiefs starting pitcher in the FIRST INNING; he got one out, but gave up a walk and 3 hits (including a triple); it was 4-0 after the first inning. It ended 11-2 with Bowling Green racking up 18 hits including 2 home runs and several extra base hits. The Chiefs got 12 hits of their own, but wasted opportunities. For example, with the game still in doubt, the Chiefs had the bases loaded with only one out…and could only manage two pop ups…no runs.

That is life in A ball: if your team is good the year before, all of the players will get promotions.:-)

May 5, 2016 Posted by | baseball, walking, weight training | | Leave a comment

Please take my two polls: who are you voting for, and who do you think will win?

May 4, 2016 Posted by | politics, poll | | Leave a comment

Ok, it is Trump vs. Clinton

Oh yes, I know; Sanders won Indiana and took about 5-7 delegates off of Clinton’s lead of about 290-300. And there are 83 fewer delegates on the board, which makes Sander’s chances even more remote.

Let’s get the JV match up out of the way and bring on the varsity game!

Here are two good companion editorials:

Kathleen Parker on Trump’s attacks on women and Dana Milbank’s on Trump’s calculations with regards to these attacks.

This will be an interesting contest on many levels: Democrat vs. Republican, Men vs. Women, conventional politician vs. political novice, celebrity vs. cerebral policy wonk.

May 4, 2016 Posted by | political/social, politics/social | , , | Leave a comment

Into baseball but no my run…

Ok, this was a picture perfect morning for a run; cool, but not cold, sunny, dry, no wind. And yet it took me 1:27:34 to do my Cornstalk 8.1 mile course (44:34/43:00; 10 minute final mile). I just had no desire to push; I was lazy from the get-go. Then I walked 5K more after that.

Later, I played hooky and went to a Bradley baseball game; it was called after 8 innings with BU up 12-0. BU pounded out 16 hits; Robert Morris got 0. But BU used several pitchers; it was a “let everyone play” sort of makeup game.

I have to admit; Bradley’s baseball team is fun to watch.

I got to talk to one parent who watched his son pitch and I bantered with a Robert Morris parent.

Politics When politicians get desperate, it can get embarrassing. Bernie Sanders can’t admit that it is over. Hillary Clinton had similar trouble in 2008. Now she is the leader.

It is sad to see.

May 3, 2016 Posted by | running, walking | , | Leave a comment

How would I react to this in real life?

Ok, it is highly unlikely that I’d be in a Walmart to begin with. And if I overheard this, I’d be a bit stunned.

Would I jump in? Or would I burst out laughing…for many reasons.

Yeah, I despise this “having kids just ’cause I want them whether I can afford them or not” ethic. Yes, I know that economic stimulus at the bottom of the economy has a multiplier effect and might keep those kids from ending up on public aid as adults.

And yeah, I have contempt for the woman doing the berating; she doesn’t know the full story, and it is my guess that I/we pay a hell of a lot more in tax than she does.

So there might be the temptation to laugh “at a fight between them”…kind of like this:

May 3, 2016 Posted by | social/political | , | Leave a comment

What have I changed my mind on?

Excellent question from Jerry Coyne’s website.

I’ll probably have to think about this further.

Sure, some attitudes and tastes have changed, and some of that has come from living a longer period of time. Though many of my attitudes have changed for the better, not all of them have. But I don’t think that this is what the question is about.

So here are some things:

1. Gays. There was time (early 1980’s) when I thought that homosexuals were bad people, just because, well, that is what a good person thought. Then in early 1982 I saw some gays at a party (the classical, skinny, effeminate, lisping type) and they hugged and kissed each other and sat on each other’s laps. My date (female) was bothered, but I wasn’ all. I suppose that I wasn’t bothered because I am not gay. My attitude was “oh…that’s it? Ok..” and I just didn’t care after that. That was kind of like a switch being flipped.

2. Evolution. I was a creationist as a grade school kid and, well, outgrew it. I didn’t understand speciation (why did one species “morph” into another?) and when the idea of “genetic error/mutations” was explained to me…it was all over.

3. Religion: devout Catholic, to agnostic, to a Richard Dawkins style atheist. The more I learned about science and how non-special the earth is….well, the idea of some deity that was concerned with human affairs just became laughably absurd to me. Oh sure, there could be some super grand creative force that our instruments haven’t detected (and possibly can’t), but that has nothing to do with the deities that were conjured up by earlier humans who knew next to nothing.

Note: this is not to say that there are no benefits to religion and religious practices (and of course, some severe liabilities). Yes, I still do yoga poses though I reject the “spiritual” stuff.

4. Science and statistical world view:

a. No, you cannot be “anything you want to be if only you work hard enough”. Genetics and opportunities matter. For example, there is nothing I could have done to have turned myself into an athlete. I didn’t have the correct genetics.

b. Statistics: I can’t tell you how much learning about concepts such as “outliers”, variances between groups and variances within groups have changed how I view the world. Yes, someone wins the lottery, but it won’t be you. Yes, with rare exceptions, you won’t be nearly as good as your dissertation advisor. Yes, we’ve read about that one student with a 19 ACT got an engineering degree…but not about the other 99 percent who didn’t have a chance.

c. Yes, I know; that “new result” that the mainstream media reports is probably wrong; it could be simple experimental error or just a false positive. I accept nothing unless we have a super tiny p-value or if we have replication..a lot of it.

5. Social: no, being a liberal doesn’t make you smart and being a conservative doesn’t make you dumb. And visa versa. I much rather talk to a smart conservative than a dumb (but sure of himself) liberal anyday.

6. Human behavior: I accept the hypothesis that much of our behavior is genetically driven. I really have rejected the “blank slate” hypothesis for people. Example: there appears to be evidence that some people are driven to exercise whereas others are not. Hence things like beginning running programs and exercise classes really do get some “off of the couch”, even if I needed no such extra support.

There is much more, but the above is a decent start.

May 3, 2016 Posted by | social/political | | Leave a comment

Sanders resisting the verdict …

Yes, Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead in pledged delegates and leads in every April Indiana poll (3 to 15 points).


But Sanders is not going quietly:

Here’s how the narrative could have run: although he fell short of actually getting the nomination, Sanders did far better than expected, giving him and his movement a good claim to have a big say in the Democratic agenda for 2016 and perhaps setting the movement up as the party’s future. But to take that position — to turn defeat in the primary into a moral victory — he would have had to accept the will of the voters with grace.

What we’re getting instead is an epic descent into whining. He dismissed Clinton victories driven by black voters as products of the conservative Deep South; he suggested that his defeat in New York was unfair because it was a closed primary (you can argue this case either way, but requiring that you identify as a Democrat to choose the Democratic nominee is hardly voter suppression — arguably caucuses are much further from a democratic process); then, with the big loss in the mid-Atlantic primaries,he has turned to a sort of fact-free complaint that any process under which Bernie Sanders loses is ipso facto unfair, and superdelegates should choose him despite a 3 million vote deficit.

At this point it’s as if Sanders is determined to validate everything liberal skeptics have been saying all along about his unwillingness to face reality — and all of it for, maybe, a few weeks of additional fundraising, at the expense of any future credibility and goodwill. Isn’t there anyone who can tell him to stop before it’s too late?

And the true believers have gone off the rails. To them “the will of the people” means…well…*their* will. You might see them as similar to our Tea Party. So sad…not sure it will make that much of a difference in the end.

May 3, 2016 Posted by | politics, politics/social | , | Leave a comment


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