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Sunday, September 27, 2015

It Ain't Over 'Till It's Over, and Now It's Over


If you like baseball, you should learn about Yogi Berra, one of the best catchers in baseball history. The news of his death on Tuesday took the baseball world and rest of the world by storm. Though not extremely surprising, the loss of him was eery. It was hard to imagine that a man with such charisma and excitement, most evident in his celebration after Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, could be beaten. It is an odd thing to see Yogi Berra, a stranger to losing, lose his life. Hall of Famer Yogi Berra was a 13-time World Series champion and 18-time All-Star. Not only was he an enthusiastic guy and amazing ballplayer, but the man served in World War II as a gunner’s mate on D-Day; this was before he was even in the big leagues. Following his playing days,
Yogi Berra became manager of the New York Mets, the New York Yankees, then the Houston Astros before finally retiring in 1989. 
Yogi wasn’t known solely for what he did on the baseball diamond, but what he said off of it. There is a multitude of quotes Yogi has said that are baffling, to say the least. If you had heard his ‘Yogi-isms’ without knowing who he was, you would have thought English was his second language. Here are a few samples to lighten your day:
You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.”
“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.”
It's like deja-vu, all over again.”
“When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it.”
“You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours.”
Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.”
“I never said most of the things I said.”
“It ain’t over ‘till it’s over.”


If you think about these quotes, they start to make sense, but in a way you wouldn’t think. Yogi was a different thinker and his distinct perspective made Yogi Berra, Yogi (Bear). Yogi Bear was a cartoon based on Berra’s personality and odd quotes. Children already loved Berra and Yogi Bear became a hit. With Yogi Berra’s death comes nostalgia to those who followed him and sparks the memories that the pastime of baseball brings. For the younger generations, like mine, Yogi is a man who could never be truly appreciated but he will definitely be a great person to learn about. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What Trump Didn't Say

Have you been hearing a lot about Donald Trump? The reason for that is he is all over the news for the things he has been saying while running for president. Recently, though, his publicity has been for what he decided not to say. While at a rally Q&A session, a supporter asked what could be done about a problem: "It's called Muslims. You know our current president is one... we have training camps growing where they want to kill us... When can we get rid of them?" Trump laughed and said the question was necessary. While Trump was a strong supporter of the movement that proposed Obama was not American and a Muslim, it has been proven that Obama is American and a Christian. Regardless of this fact, Trump decided to not correct the supporter on these extremely disrespectful and anti-semitic comments. Trump would rather keep that supporter and the like-minded people than do what is right and call the supporter out on the false comments. By not intervening nor disproving the supporter, Trump agrees with the man. This is generalizing that all Muslims are problems and this could not be further from the truth. As a presidential candidate, the objective is to appeal to as many voters as possible. Deciding not to speak out against the man leaves Muslim voters and outraged and opposed to Trump. A president shouldn't be stereotypical nor hold any accusations that will affect their relationships with other countries. The reason Trump is under fire is because what he didn't do. Choosing to not correct the supporter makes people believe that he believes what the supporter said is true. The comments the man made leave Trump supporters looking like they are all anti-semitics, which all of them deny. No one wants to be labled as anti-semitic, and this shows in Trump's recent poll numbers. He is on the decline as the gap closes between him and other candidates. The people have spoken that they will not stand for this semitism.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Injustice of Killing Linden Lark

In the novel The Round House by Louise Erdrich, Joe's actions are not justified because Cappy is killed after participating in the killing of Linden Lark.  A little while after the death of Linden Lark, Joe, Cappy, Zack, and Angus are driving to Montana when they get in a fatal car accident: "I feared that Cappy had been flung in... The wind came up and blew my friends' cries away from me. The sounds I made, too, when I found Cappy, were taken into the boom of air" (Erdrich 316). Joe, who didn't actually kill Linden, survives the crash while the person who committed the actual murder, Cappy, dies. Joe fears for Cappy's life because it was not Cappy's problem to deal with. The sounds Joe makes when he finds his friend's body are a result of his guilt. If Joe had killed Lark instead of just injuring him, Joe would be dead because of the consequential theme of the book. There is a sense of karma that happens to the killer. Joe knows that since he had the intention of killing Lark, he was the one in the wrong. Cappy's immoral actions are due to his loyalty to his friend. Joe is not saddened solely because of the death of his friend, but also because Joe realizes his intention of murder are wrong and he feels guilty that Cappy carried out that intention.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Joe Happy-don

Have you heard about the best manager in baseball? He manages the electrifying Chicago Cubs with a nonchalant attitude. His name is Joe Maddon, and the irony in that name is amazing. Maddon has the best attitude and relationship with his players than any other in the league. His players admire him because of his respect for the players. Maddon never allows them to take too many hacks in batting practice with the theory that, "There's certain things we do in this game that I think are overrated and I think batting practice is one of them. If they need to get loose, they can go get loose in the cage a little bit. They don't need to swing on the field." Maddon compares MLB to little league, saying you didn't need to do this when you were a kid; you showed up and played and had fun. I like that he recognizes the simplicity in the game that little leaguers have. As a kid, you show up and play ball, not do all the pregame warm-up exercises that the league is so caught up in. Maddon wants to have fun and not make an amazing game a business. He understands that the players get weary of playing six game per week and need to blow off steam. That is why he invited a magician to the clubhouse one day. That's right, a magician. 

The players loved it, and went on to win that day. Recently, ESPN asked 117 MLB players what manager they would rather play for. Joe Maddon came in first place with 35% of the votes with Bruce Bochy in second place with 18%. Joe's most recent accomplishment is shaping pitcher Jake Arrieta into a Cy Young Award candidate with a no-hitter. Coming close twice in 2014, Jake Arrieta had right leader a week ago to make sure his dream came true. Maddon loves to shuffle around the lineup, giving everyone a chance to do their part in a potentially historic season. Maddon plays for October. Being a veteran and having reached to postseason four times, he seems to know what it takes to bring a struggling team's dream to fruition. I think Joe’s simple yet thoughtful approach to the game is a good one, and one that will help the Cubs win.