Tag:Mariners
Posted on: August 9, 2010 4:54 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 4:58 pm
 

Wakamatsu could still be great, but not with M's

A year ago, Don Wakamatsu was the most impressive Mariner, on a team that was easily exceeding expectations.

Now he's out of a job, cut loose by a team that has easily underperformed expectations.

A year ago, he looked like one of the most promising young managers in the game . A year later, he still is.

So what happened in Seattle? The simple answer is that in a trying season, the relationship between Wakamatsu and general manager Jack Zduriencik frayed to the point where it couldn't be repaired.

It's hard to know who was most at fault for that, but in recent weeks Wakamatsu and the people around him had become miserable. There was a strong feeling that the manager was getting no backing from Zduriencik and the rest of the front office.

Some of that tension is to be expected, based on the Mariners' sky-high (far too high) expectations, and on the team's 42-70 record. Some of it was no doubt caused by the problems Wakamatsu had with Ken Griffey Jr., a franchise icon, and then with Chone Figgins, who was Zduriencik's big signing last winter.

What happened this season will no doubt serve as a lesson for Wakamatsu, because dealing with adversity and maintaining working relationships with bosses is a big part of managing. He'll learn from it, and he'll be better prepared for his next job.

Will there be a next job? Almost certainly there will be. Wakamatsu is 47 years old, and he impressed many people around the game with the job he did last year. And the general view of this year's Mariners is that they were a flawed team from the start.

Plenty of great managers got fired from their first job. It happened to Tony La Russa, and to Joe Torre.

It's too early to declare that Don Wakamatsu will be a great manager. But there's still every chance he could become one.


Category: MLB
Posted on: August 9, 2010 3:12 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 3:39 pm
 

Mariners fire Wakamatsu

The Mariners have fired manager Don Wakamatsu.

The team also fired three of Wakamatsu's coaches (pitching coach Rick Adair, bench coach Ty Van Burkleo and performance coach Steve Hecht), and promoted Daren Brown from Triple-A Tacoma to serve as interim manager.

The relationship between Wakamatsu and general manager Jack Zduriencik has deteriorated over the course of the season, as the Mariners have become one of baseball's most disappointing teams. The M's are 42-70, and have been buried in last place in the American League West since the start of May.

Wakamatsu had trouble dealing with Ken Griffey Jr. before Griffey abruptly retired, and also had run-ins with Chone Figgins, the M's high-profile free-agent signing. There was a sense around the team that management didn't stand behind Wakamatsu, who won praise for the way he handled the M's last year, in his first season on the job.

Wakamatsu's firing was first reported by 710 ESPN radio in Seattle.



Posted on: July 22, 2010 10:43 am
 

3 to watch: The Showdown in the West edition

The last time the Angels were this far out of first place on July 22, they were playing in Texas against the first-place Rangers.

It was 2004, and the Angels pounded the Rangers 11-1 that night . . . and went on to win the American League West.

It fits the stereotype, doesn't it? The Angels are AL West royalty, and can always come back. The Rangers can always fade in the late-summer Texas heat.

You wonder if it will happen again, and you wonder if the turnaround will begin one of the next two weekends, when the top two teams in the West will meet for seven seemingly crucial games.

But you also wonder if what we're seeing is less the makings of a turnaround than of a turnover, a takeover of the division by a young Rangers team that's finally ready to win.

There's a sense that this year is different, and that the Rangers' current five-game lead feels bigger than the six-game lead the Rangers woke up with six years ago today.

The Angels remain dangerous, but without Kendry Morales, they seem to lack the needed punch (despite 16 runs the last two days in New York). And while the Angels say they'll try to trade for help in the next week, the general sense around the club is that this isn't 2008, they're not one Mark Teixeira trade away from being a threat to win it all, and the farm system isn't going to be deep enough to allow a significant addition.

And the Rangers?

The Angels are convinced they're good. Torii Hunter called them "one of the top three teams in baseball right now," and another Angels player said the Ranger lineup is better than the Yankee lineup.

"They've been playing great baseball for the last month and a half," Hunter said. "They really play well in their own park. They hit for power. They just hit."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia insists that the standings don't matter in July, that individual series aren't crucial and that the only key is that the Angels "play our game."

But the Angels have "played their game" in the month and a half since Morales was lost for the season in that home-plate celebration. They were 24-27 when he got hurt, and they're 27-19 since.

The reason that the Rangers are five games up in the standings is that they've gone 29-14 over the same span.

"Five games is not a great lead," Hunter said. "If we were up five, Texas would be good enough to catch up. We have a good enough team to catch them."

If so, this weekend would be a good time to prove it.

On to 3 to watch:

1. Remember back this spring, when the Angels said they didn't really need a true ace? Well, it sure would help if Jered Weaver acts like one now, beginning with his series-opening matchup with Cliff Lee, in Angels at Rangers, Thursday night (8:05 EDT) at Rangers Ballpark . Weaver pitched seven shutout innings when the Angels beat the Rangers 2-1 on July 1 in Anaheim, but he gave up seven runs in 4 2/3 innings in a May start in Texas. As for Lee, so far he's given the Rangers 18 innings in two starts -- and no wins. Despite missing the first month of the season, he's second to Roy Halladay in complete games (with six), and rival executives are already speculating that the Rangers will push him every bit as much as the Brewers pushed pennant-race rental CC Sabathia in 2008.

2. Like the Angels, the Red Sox seem to be at a crucial point in the schedule, as they're now seven games behind the Yankees in the American League East, and 4 1/2 games behind the wild-card leading Rays. Unlike the Angels, who lost Morales for the season, the Sox are getting key players back from injury. This week has already seen the return of Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie and Jeremy Hermida, and next week could see Victor Martinez rejoining the lineup. And, perhaps most crucially, Boston is getting Josh Beckett back, with his first start since May 18 scheduled for Red Sox at Mariners, Friday night (10:10 EDT) at Safeco Field . How has Boston done in Beckett's absence? A lot better than you would have thought. The Red Sox are 33-22 since he last pitched, which means they lost only 1 1/2 games to the Yankees, who are 34-20 over the same span. They gained ground on the Rays, who are 29-26.

3. Normally, there's no way I'm including a Royals-Yankees game in 3 to watch. But here goes, because there are two things that make Royals at Yankees, Saturday afternoon (1:05 EDT) at Yankee Stadium potentially interesting. It's Sergio Mitre's first start since replacing Andy Pettitte in the rotation, which means that if he fails, there's sure to be an outcry in New York for general manager Brian Cashman to trade for a starting pitcher (not that Cashman worries about outcries). It is worth remembering, as Cashman has tried to remind people, that Mitre pitched well enough this spring that some people in the organization preferred him over Phil Hughes as the fifth starter. But it's the other starting pitcher that really could make this interesting, because the Royals' Kyle Davies is the same guy who gave up Alex Rodriguez's 500th home run three years ago. A-Rod, who has been at 598 since Sunday, hit both 499 and 500 against the Royals, although those two home runs were two weeks apart.
Posted on: July 11, 2010 7:37 pm
 

If you like Smoak, you like M's deal

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- You could call it the Summer Meetings.

Not the All-Star Game, because so few baseball executives show up for it anymore. But Sunday's All-Star Futures Game might be the biggest gathering of baseball people outside the Winter Meetings.

Here's what some of them were talking about Sunday:

-- How well did the Mariners do in Friday's Cliff Lee trade? That depends what you think of first baseman Justin Smoak, the acknowledged centerpiece of the package that the Rangers sent to the Mariners. And among a handful of baseball people surveyed Sunday, the reviews on Smoak are decidedly mixed. "He's not [Mark] Teixeira," one veteran scout said. "They think they're trading for a batting champion. I'm not sure he's that." Other scouts were much more positive, one going so far as to say he has no questions about Smoak's value. And this was a decidedly top-heavy package, in part because that's how the Mariners asked for offers to be made.

-- While New York newspapers quoted some Yankee officials as being upset with the way the Mariners handled the Lee talks, officials from other teams scoffed at the idea that the Yankees could be upset. "The Yankees?" one official asked. "How can they say anything. They held up [last winter's three-team trade] by insisting that Curtis Granderson first get his eyes checked and then insisting that [Granderson] agreed to wear contact lenses."

-- The Rangers were among the teams that scouted Dan Haren on Friday night in Arizona, although by the time that game began they had completed the Lee deal and no longer needed to trade for a pitcher. Could the cash-poor Rangers have afforded Haren, who makes $12.75 million each of the next two years? Only in the highly unlikely event that their long-delayed sale is completed by the end of this month. The Rangers were able to afford Lee because the Mariners kicked in $2.25 million to help pay his salary, but also because they spent less than usual on things like Latin American scouting, specifically so they could make a trade like this one.

-- As one scout said, the group watching Haren included all the usual suspects, the teams still in need of a top starting pitcher. The White Sox, Phillies, Reds, Cardinals and Angels were all represented. So were the Yankees, although it's unlikely they would be interested in trading for Haren.

-- The Twins never had a real chance to get Lee, because while they have depth in prospects, they didn't have anyone Seattle would accept as a centerpiece of the deal (as Smoak was with the Rangers, and as Jesus Montero would have been in the proposed deal with the Yankees).

-- One thought on Roy Oswalt, whose $16 million contract for 2011 is a big obstacle for teams thinking about trading for him: A team, such as the Twins, could acquire Oswalt with the idea of trading him away after the season. Oswalt has a full no-trade clause, though, so he still needs to approve any deal, now or in November.

-- While the Yankees are still the best bet to sign Lee as a free agent this winter, don't discount the possibility that the Rangers could try hard to keep him. Rangers officials believe their chances at retaining Lee would hinge on two necessities: First, obviously, the ownership situation would need to be resolved. Second, the team would need to win, which would generate both the revenue and good feelings needed to get a deal done.

-- On Friday morning, the Rangers had given up on the idea of getting Lee, because the Mariners told them they were moving on a deal with the Yankees. But while the Rangers were deciding what to do next, Zduriencik sent word that there was "a window" in which he would field other offers. That's when the Rangers decided to offer Smoak and the package that got the deal done, replacing a four-player package that didn't include Smoak (but which some Rangers people considered superior).

-- Cubs people say the Ricketts family, which took over ownership of the team last winter, are committed to spending money. But they also say that money may not show immediately in spending at the major-league level, because the new owners plan to concentrate first on upping the budgets for scouting and player development.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:55 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 6:20 pm
 

3 to watch: The It takes (more than) 2 edition

So maybe the Mariners did just fine.

Maybe Justin Smoak and the prospects they got from the Rangers are better than the three players they gave the Phillies for Cliff Lee.

But let's remember, that was never the idea. The idea was that by teaming Lee with Felix Hernandez, the M's would have an unbeatable 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation.

That idea didn't work.

For five weeks now, the M's started Lee and Hernandez in back-to-back games. For five weeks now, Lee and Hernandez were nearly unbeatable, with a combined 10-2 record and 1.98 ERA -- with five complete games.

And for those five weeks, the Mariners have still been well below .500.

They won most of the games that Lee and Hernandez started (11 of 16). They lost almost every game with anyone else on the mound (18 of 23).

And they went from 7 1/2 games out of first place in the American League West to 16 games out of first place.

It didn't work, which is exactly why Lee is on the way out of town. He could still win the AL West, but it would be for the Rangers, not the Mariners.

As for the Yankees, the team that thought it was winning the Lee trade sweepstakes (and remains the favorite in this winter's Lee free-agent sweepstakes), all they get is the pleasure of not facing the Lee-Hernandez duo this weekend at Safeco Field. They could face Lee in August in Texas, and maybe in September in Texas, too.

Oh, and they could face Lee in October.

On to this final pre-All-Star edition of 3 to watch:

1. If the All-Star Game is about rewarding players who have performed the best in the first half of the season, then Stephen Strasburg doesn't belong. If it's about putting on the best show for the fans, it's hard to see how Strasburg doesn't belong. Think of it this way: When I tell you that Strasburg will be the starting pitcher in Giants at Nationals, Friday night (7:05 EDT) at Nationals Park , does that make you want to tune in and watch? Thought so.

2. Instead of facing the first-place Yankees Friday night in Seattle, Lee will get last-place Baltimore, probably in Orioles at Rangers, Saturday night (8:05 EDT) at Rangers Ballpark . Lucky Orioles. They've never beaten Lee in five tries, and already lost to him once this year. Of course, Lee has beaten the Yankees five of the last six times he has faced them, including twice in the World Series and once last month in New York. Meanwhile, the Yankees get Seattle's David Pauley, who lost both his starts against them when he pitched for the Red Sox.

3. So the way we understand this, the American League isn't going to replace CC Sabathia on the American League All-Star team until he actually starts Sunday's game in Seattle. Then, according to what AL manager Joe Girardi told reporters this week, he'll pick Jered Weaver to replace Sabathia on the roster. Which is nice, except that Weaver will then himself need to be replaced on the roster, because he's scheduled to start in Angels at A's, Sunday (4:05 EDT) at the Coliseum . Oh, and Trevor Cahill, the A's representative on the All-Star team, will need to be replaced, too, because he's pitching Sunday, too. Maybe Girardi can pick Zack Greinke (no, he's pitching Sunday!) or Carl Pavano (no, he's pitching Sunday!). Or maybe he'll find someone who actually will be eligible to pitch for him on Tuesday.





Posted on: July 2, 2010 10:28 am
 

3 to watch: The What are the chances? edition

The folks at Cool Standings put the numbers in their computer and gave the Brewers a 4.1 percent chance of making the playoffs this year. The computers at Baseball Prospectus said no, that's not true; by their reckoning, it's actually a 2.4 percent chance.

Sometime soon, very soon, the computers -- and the humans -- at Miller Park will need to decide whether they believe those numbers. They'll need to decide whether the Brewers have any realistic chance to get back into the race, and what it means if they don't.

And if not, they need to decide whether this month is the time to trade Prince Fielder.

Two things seem clear about Fielder and the Brewers: First, that the team has very little chance of signing him long-term (probably less than 4.1 or 2.4 percent), which means he's headed for free agency after the 2011 season. Second, that while trading Fielder might be the best long-term decision, it's unlikely (less than 4.1 or 2.4 percent) to make the Brewers better this year.

So that brings us to the Brewers series this weekend in St. Louis, which might just have greater impact than any early-July series should. Brewers decision-makers are scheduled to meet next week in Milwaukee, and a few wins (or a few losses) in the Cardinals series could easily influence their thoughts.

Yes, it's true, the Reds are actually in first place in the National League Central. But the Cardinals remain the division powerhouse (Cool Standings and Baseball Prospectus both still give them the best chance at winning the Central, and so do we).

The Brewers are still seven games back of the Cardinals, even after Thursday's 4-1 win in the series opener. But they don't need to catch them this weekend. They do need to give their front office and ulta-competitive owner a sense that this season can still be saved.

Fielder seems to be doing his part, with nine home runs in the last 19 games (including one Thursday night).

It may be that the Brewers don't trade Fielder even if they're out of it. General manager Doug Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last week that he believes the winter is a better time to trade a position player. The Brewers, who have drawn big crowds ever since their 2008 trip to the playoffs, can't afford to be seen by their fans as giving up too early on 2010 (and perhaps on 2011, as well).

Still, a few wins (or a few losses) now could tip the balance. Especially this weekend.

On to 3 to watch:

1. After Stephen Strasburg lost to the Braves on Monday night, winning pitcher Tim Hudson said that opposing hitters and pitchers naturally gear up for games against the phenom. "Everybody he pitches against is going to come up with their best at-bats, and every pitcher is going to try to throw a shutout," Hudson said. So what should we expect from R.A. Dickey, in Mets at Nationals, Saturday afternoon (4:10 EDT) at Nationals Park ?

2. The Mariners, like the Brewers, keep wondering whether they have any chance to get back in the race (Cool Standings says 0.2 percent for them). But Cliff Lee, unlike Fielder, is going to be a free agent at the end of this year. But where, and when? Perhaps we'll know more after Lee's next scheduled start, in Mariners at Tigers, Sunday afternoon (1:05 EDT) at Comerica Park .

3. One reason the Brewers might have a chance is that their starting rotation is miles better than what it was last year. The starters have a combined 3.73 ERA since May 25, and they've been even better (3.07 ERA) over the last 16 games. And 24-year-old Yovani Gallardo (8-1, 2.04 ERA since the middle of April) is emerging as the ace they always believed he could be. Gallardo gets a big assignment, in Brewers at Cardinals, Sunday afternoon (2:15 EDT) at Busch Stadium , with Adam Wainwright starting for St. Louis.
Posted on: June 21, 2010 12:44 am
Edited on: June 21, 2010 11:22 am
 

3 to watch: The Good to see you? edition

When Manny Ramirez went back to Boston, we at CBSSports.com went there with him.

This week, Garret Anderson goes back to Anaheim, Chris Carpenter goes back to Toronto and Carlos Silva goes back to Seattle.

Sorry, we can't be everywhere.

For all the problems with interleague play, it does provide us with homecomings and get-togethers that we might never see otherwise. Like Joe Torre and the Yankees, who will meet up this weekend at Dodger Stadium but will no doubt talk about it all week.

"Those kids, they made me famous," Torre said, while overseeing the Manny-in-Boston circus over the past weekend. "It'll be a little tough. I've never pulled against them before. I've always pulled for them, even when I was watching the World Series [last fall]."

The Torre vs. Yankees story would have been more compelling if the games were at Yankee Stadium, because the people Torre clashed with in his final days in New York (and most of the people he complained about in his book) likely won't be at Dodger Stadium.

But it will still be Joe Torre, and it will still be the Yankees, and it will still make us tolerate interleague play, at least for a few more days.

With that, here's the next-to-last interleague edition of 3 to watch:

1. Stephen Strasburg's fourth start isn't a coming-home story, but we promised to highlight every Strasburg start, and the way he's going, we're not going to stop now. Besides, Herb Score struck out 16 in his fourth career start, so Strasburg has something to shoot for, in Royals at Nationals, Wednesday (4:35 EDT) at Nationals Park . Already, he has two double-digit strikeout games in his first three starts. But according to research through the baseball-reference.com play index , there are two other guys who had two double-digit strikeout games in their first three starts (Karl Spooner and Daisuke Matsuzaka). There's no one that baseball reference shows as having three double-digit strikeout games in their first four starts.

2. Carpenter was 49-50 in his six years with the Blue Jays. He's 76-25 in his six-plus years with the Cardinals. So maybe the fans in Toronto, where he'll pitch in Cardinals at Blue Jays, Wednesday night (7:07 EDT) at Rogers Centre , don't remember him as fondly as they remember his good friend Roy Halladay. Halladay will also face the Jays this week, but the G20 summit that forced this weekend's series to be moved from Toronto to Philadelphia denied the Doc his homecoming.

3. At least the Toronto fans don't dislike Carpenter. Not sure you can say the same about the Mariner fans and Silva, who they'll see again, in Cubs at Mariners, Thursday afternoon (3:40 EDT) at Safeco Field . Silva went 5-18 in his two seasons with the M's, after signing a ridiculous four-year, $48 million contract. He's 8-2 in two-plus months with the Cubs, which would make the contract look a lot less ridiculous, even if he hadn't helped the Cubs dispose of Milton Bradley (who will also face his old mates this week).

Posted on: June 7, 2010 5:19 pm
 

The 28-out perfect game (there, I said it again)

Five days later, people are still talking. People are still asking.

And readers are still writing.

With Armando Galarraga set to start Tuesday night in Chicago, in his first start since the "28-out perfect game" (see below), the talking, asking and writing aren't likely to stop anytime soon. So if I don't get through the mailbox now, it will completely overflow (do e-mail boxes overflow?).

From David:

Keep saying it! The 28-out perfect game. Yes!! Justice is served. He will get credit if you stay on message. Use the power of the pen.

If I'm typing on a laptop and writing on the internet, is it still the power of the pen? If so, the least I can do is to link to the column David refers to.

From Breensway:

If [Miguel] Cabrera had done his job the play wouldn't have even been close. It took him too long to turn and finally throw the ball to first, where Galarraga was waiting. Whether the runner was safe or out, it was not a well-executed 3-1 play.

Can't argue with you, and others have made the same point. But it's a little silly to blame this all on Cabrera. He made the play, made the throw, and the throw beat the runner.

From Jeremy:

Why is everyone harping on the fact that Jim Joyce is such a reputable umpire? I don't care if he apologized. It's absolutely stunning that Galarraga was so gracious in the aftermath, but even that can't excuse this call. It's the single worst officiating decision in the history of baseball. . . . Since it affected such an astounding feat in baseball, Selig should make the one right decision he's ever made and reverse the call. And Jim Joyce should be banned from baseball for life.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people want Joyce fired. When I write a column they don't agree with, they want me fired. And that's even when I'm right.

From Brandon:

Well said. I totally agree with your article. Being from Detroit, I was one of those guys hooting and hollering last night as well. But all said and done . . . human game . . . human mistake . . . and at least he spoke up about it. Good reading.

So not everyone out there wants Joyce -- and me -- fired.

From Matt Mieske:

Danny, I am a retired MLB player, and I think Jim Joyce is one of the better umpires in the Majors. I respect him for apologizing. He apologized on more than one occasion for missing calls during games when I played. I have a lot more respect for him than those umpires who make mistakes but refuse to admit them in humility. I played for Bud Selig in Milwaukee as a Brewer, and I would challenge him to overrule the call and give Galarraga the perfect game; even though that would go against baseball tradition. This is the only time that a perfect game has been tainted.

OK, so if people won't take my word for it that Joyce is a good umpire, what about Matt Mieske's word?

From Michael:

You've said it better than anyone has so far. We learned more about Galarraga because of what wasn't than what could have been. I've watched over five hours of MLB Network and read countless blogs and opinions and you said exactly what is true. I think Galarraga puts it into perspective. As mad and angry as I was when it happened, watching Armando's reaction throughout the night and listening to his interviews made me feel more sick that it didn't happen to a great human being. The article is great, because it's completely accurate. We learned more about him because of what happened than we would have if the call was correctly made. Thank you.

You're welcome. And thank you, too.

From Tilan:

At the very least, I think that Selig should award Galarraga the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award for Galarraga's on-field perfect game. He has the power to award that, I respect Selig's decision not to alter game statistics, but here Selig can actually demonstrate that he means well after releasing a bland corporate statement about the perfect game that wasn't. I love the fan respect Galarraga gets and his reaction to the botched call, but he should really win something more than just hearts and minds for his efforts on 3 June 2010. Galarraga should be in serious consideration for the Roberto Clemente Award this year also. Do you agree?!

The Tigers and General Motors gave Galarraga a new car. You'd think MLB could give him something. And, as colleague Scott Miller said, is there any way that Galarraga and Joyce can't be Sports Illustrated's Sportsmen of the Year?

From Jeff:

Let me preface by saying I'm an Orioles fan -- condolences accepted. But why is more being made of the blown call in the Tigers game than the one at the end of the Twins-Mariners game? Granted, the Detroit pitcher lost a no-hitter, but the missed call in the Twins-Mariners game directly affected the outcome of the game. At least the Tigers still won.

And the Twins didn't, because Dale Scott called the runner (Josh Wilson) safe at second base when the replay showed he was out, leading to Ryan Langerhans scoring the winning run in the 10th inning. Jeff, you're absolutely right.

From Burton:

Mr. Knobler, there wasn't [just] one bad call at the hands of Mr. Joyce yesterday. In the bottom of the eighth, Johnny Damon was called safe at first on an infield hit. Replays clearly showed he was out, albeit not as blatantly out as Donald in the ninth. That is the problem. Joyce made two critical errors - the first that led to two runs in the eighth to give Galarraga more of a cushion, and the second to steal from him the perfect game. Yet because no one cares about wins and losses; no one cares that the first error did more to affect the outcome of the game, we ignore that in dismissing the calls for Joyce to be fired. Joyce missed two calls at first base in a game where there were only two calls to be made. Neither call was really even close. That's why I can understand calls for Joyce to be dismissed. Consider both calls before rejecting the argument.

I went back and looked at the Damon play, and with super-slow motion, it does appear that Damon should have been called out in the eighth. Replay might well have overturned it. But no, no, absolutely no, no way should Jim Joyce be fired for missing a call that we need super-slow replay to tell that he missed. The point about the Donald call was that most of us called it right at game speed -- and he shouldn't be fired for missing that, either.

From Dick:

The sanctity and purity of the game demands the commissioner stand up today and say that the game and all it means to the fabric of being America's past-time demands that we make correct what is the obvious. If we don't . . . then we truly have become a nation that is unworthy of our heritage of truth, justice and liberty for all! Let baseball and its leaders, at a time when all of America could use a little bit of the obvious, take a stand. This is a clear-cut example of a correctable error after the fact that with a simple press conference could be righted. For the sake of the purist, it keeps the game pure. For the sake of the realist, it keeps the outcome real, and for the sake of us that look at our country and say where in the heck has gone our common sense, it gives us hope that all who are in a position of leadership over situations such as this have the ability to do what is right, not hide behind some veiled notion that makes no more sense as a decision than most being made by so-called leaders today. Print that to your readers!

I guess I just did.
 
 
 
 
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