July 31, 2004

Anyone with questions why Paul DePodesta traded away his all-star catcher, top set-up man and starting right fielder for Brad Penny, Hee Seop Choi and a top minor league prospect in the middle of a pennant race would be well-advised to note the ages of the players traded and the players acquired, and, especially, the discrepancy in the on-base percentage between Choi and both Paul Lo Duca and Juan Encarnacion. Lo Duca was a fan and media favorite, whose solid defensive play and hustle had allowed DodgerNation to get over the loss of his more illustrious predecessor, but his play in the second half the last few seasons had left a lot to be desired, and his defensive numbers were declining precipitously.

July 29, 2004

Night of the Living Kerry:  That was a nice piece of oratory tonight.  Of course, the Big Guy had me at "I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty."  This was a good round, maybe a critical round in the fight; let's see how strong a finisher he is.  Choosing to frame his speech around issues that Bush has been perceived to be strong, national security and social values, is a cagy maneuver, and his use of the time-honored GOP line about how the Federal Government should exercise the same discretion towards its budget as the average American family must have been a punch to the kidneys of Karl Rove.

I had heard awhile back that the Bushies were going to upstage Night of the Living Kerry by announcing the capture of Bin Laden (as it turns out, the Pakistanis did capture someone today), but this stunt reeks of desperation.

I have watched about an hour of live coverage from the Convention so far, mainly the speeches of Bill Clinton (one of the best he's given) and Barack Obama (terrific content, but I have a feeling that the buzz was over how well it went over to a live audience; on TV, his flat delivery made him seem more like a good motivational speaker than the second coming of WJB).  What can I say, it's been a slow news week...actual substantive contributions from the blogosphere can be found at WaMo and Reason, which have avoided the sort of treacly cheerleading and navelgazing that typify most of the other credentialed bloggers at the Fleet Center. 

July 26, 2004

Who said no news would happen at the Democratic Convention.  It turns out "Atrios" is a 32-year old econ prof at Bryn Mawr named Duncan Black.  TalkLeft has the candid photo...and he's definitely not Sidney Blumenthal.