Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Wednesday
May232012

The Reading Room--Questioning The Babe

Babe: The Legend Comes to Life

           
Babe, The Legend Comes To Life
by Robert W. Creamer (1974)

 

In this, the summer of baseball in the reading room, it was only a matter of time before I got to a Babe Ruth biography.  I wish I could say I chose the one most highly acclaimed, but—I cannot tell a lie—I grabbed the only one I could find at Manchester’s West Side Library.  As with every baseball book I’ve reached for, this bio of the Babe is a real gem.  Can it be that there are no bad baseball books out there?  I’ve moved on to another gem, the Boys of October on the 1975 Red Sox.

As I noted on my TV show, an old professor once taught me that quizzes are good not merely for grading students but also as means of reinforcing what was learned.

I’ve used that approach for 40 years, as will be noted if you watch my visit to the Essen Alte Synagogue (it’ll air Thursday at 9 p.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon on Manchestertv23 and is now up on line at vimeo.com/channels/libertyx).  There’s a 50 question quiz on German history there.

Following a session day last week, rather than “discuss” issues we disagreed on, I noted to Rep. Irene Messier that we could play a game of baseball trivia.  She was game, and she was actually rather good at it (she knew the exact year the Chicago Cubs were most recently world champs).

Thus, in reading Babe, I’ve decided to get back in the game of trivia, and rather than offering a review here, let’s play.

 1.  True or False—All his life, Babe Ruth held a deep animosity toward the six foot, six inch Brother Matthias, the head of the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore (it wasn’t really an orphanage) where the Babe lived for most of his teenage years.

 2.  True or False—Although Babe Ruth was among the all time leaders in both home runs and lifetime batting percentage, he lifetime average as a pinch hitter was only .217.

 3.  Which uniform was the Babe wearing when he hit homer number 714, the last of his career?   Boston Red Sox; New York Yankees; Boston Braves; Cleveland Indians; or Chicago Cubs.

 Here are four men who managed the Babe for most of his major league career (although there were three others).  Match them with the clues below.

Miller Huggins

Joe McCarthy

Edward Barrow

Bill Carrigan

 4.  Neither as Red Sox manager nor Yankee general manager did he get along well with the Babe.  In fact, once they almost came to blows.  As Red Sox manager, he was so in need of pitching that he didn't react well when the Babe wanted to give up pitching to become an every day player and hitter.  As Yankee GM, he went on to become a legend.

 5.  He was undoubtedly the Babe's favorite manager.

  6.  Although he didn't hit it off well with the Babe at first (there's a story, probably not true, that the Babe dangled him by the feet off a railroad car), this five foot six inch "giant" of a manager ultimately became somewhat of a father figure for Ruth.

  7.  Babe thought he should have been named Yankee manager rather than this man (who, after much success in New York, went on to manage the Red Sox through some heart breaking moments, like the finales to the 1948 and 1949 seasons).

  8.  Add the number of women the Babe married to the number of children he fathered (at least legitimately fathered).  What do you get?

  9.  How did the Babe's father die?  Old age; cancer; drowned; in a fire; in a bar room brawl; shot through the head by his mother.

  10.  How Babe's wife Helen die?  Old age; cancer; drowned; in a fire; shot by her second husband. 

  11.  True or False--Author Creamer spends the better part of a page writing about how the Babe's sexual organ was much larger than the normal that of the normal man.

   12.  All teams combined, how many winning World Series was the Babe a part of and how many losing World Series teams. 

   13.  Although the Babe never got to manage in the major leagues, he did serve as a base coach for a brief time.  With which team?  Yankees; Red Sox; Braves; Dodgers; or Giants.

Answers

1.  False-- Ruth always admired Brother Matthias.  2.  True-- (15 for 69) and Ty Cobb was even worse as a pinch hitter (.193).  3. The Boston Braves.  4.  Ed Barrow.  5. Bill Carrigan (the first years with the Red Sox).  6.  Miller Huggins.  7. Joe McCarthy.  8.  Three (two wives and one daughter).   9.  In a bar room brawl (he owned the bar).  It was Ty Cobb's father was was shot by his mother...but that's another story.  10.  In a fire (she had been separated from the Babe for three years).  11.  False.  Babe had a huge sexual drive, but the organ was apparently normal.  Creamer does allude to Home Run Baker's unusually large organ.  As for the Babe (page 321), "Babe's wasn't noticeably big.  What was extraordinary was his ability to keep doing it all the time.  He was continualy with women, morning and night.  I don't know how he kept going."  The Babe was also apparently very noisy in bed.  "He was the noisiest fucker in North America, a whimsical friend recalled."   12. Six winning and four losing (3-0 with the Red Sox, 4-3 with the Yankees, all the more reason to become depressed when considering what the Red Sox could have been had they not sold him for cash to Colonel Ruppert and the Yankees.) 13.  Brooklyn Dodgers--it was more of a gimmick to sell tickets than anything else.

The kind of stuff you really need to know.  If you have a stumper question, add it below.

The Creamer book gets a five star rating, so apparently I chose well.  I would quibble that he went into too much detail on play-by-play accounts from early in the Babe's career (even in the minor leagues) at the expense of delving into the later years as much as I would have preferred, but it's a mere quibble.  It's a fun book.    

Oh yes, the last year for a Cubs World Series win was 1908.  I think I'll start rooting for the Cubbies.

Wednesday
May232012

Mirski Calls Liberal Media "Fascists Or Marxists"

So here's an email making the rounds among Republcians these days, from Enfield Republican Paul Mirski (chair of not one but two committees, mind you) and apparently with the blessing of the Majority Leader.  If I had deigned to call all liberals either Fascists or Marxists, no one can doubt that I would have been hauled before the court of political correctness...but apparently it's all right for Rep. Mirski to do so.   Where is Alan Dershowitz when we really need him?  Out hailing victory ambulances undoutedly.  If the twisted cross fits, wear it.

From: Paul Mirski [pmirski@mindspring.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 2:07 PM
To: Flanagan, Jack
Cc: D.J. Bettencourt; ~Republican House Members
Subject: Re: Concord Monitor Cartoon


Fellow Republicans,

Keep in mind that virtually all so-called "liberal" politicians, and "liberal" journalists are, at their root and in their hearts, whether they know it or not, either thinly veiled fascists or Marxists for whom ends justifies means.

The Monitor cartoon is simply a transference of their own underlying predispositions to a principled opponent, the Speaker. It's the way the left and it's (SIC) media stooges have always worked.

There's no sugar coating it.

Paul

Tuesday
May222012

It Was Good Enough For Gypsy Rose Lee

Why is it I feel a Vaillancarnak bit coming on? Riddle me this, oh great jokemeister.  Who is that once boasted, "Some of my best friends are pole dancers"?  I guess we'll have to wait for my TV show next week for the answer.  "Having never before seen the question, Vaillancarnak divines the answer to be...."  Here's the cross promotional tie-in.  The show is, of course, "The Liberty Express" which airs Mondays at 10 p.m., Thursdays at 9 p.m., and Sundays at 6 a.m. and noon on Manchestertv23 (always available on line at vimeo.com/channels/libertyx).  As promised, I take you to Alte Synagogue in Essen this week...call Alan Dershowitz...he needs to watch it.  We also do some baseball trivia which I'll offer here tomorrow.  Babe, The Legend Comes To Life by Robert W. Creamer (good book).  The Babe undoubtedly enjoyed a pole dance or two in his day!

 

The Pole is My Friend

 

Tuesday
May222012

Two GOP Primaries For County Commission (?)

Although the filing period for state offices is more than two weeks away (longer than that for State Rep seats depending on what happens in court June 6), some races appear to be taking shape.

Republican Hillsborough County Commissioner Carol Holden will face a primary challenge from Merrimack State Rep Chris Christiansen.  This is a district (neither Manchester nor Nashua; many of the towns)which no Democrat has won in the memory of most of us.  Holden must be considered a heavy favorite; she's a true fiscal conservative, and easily survived a challenge from Pam Manney (where have I heard that name earlier today?) four years ago.  The Christiansen decision presumably means that a State Rep seat will be open in Merrimack (I say presumably becuase nobody knows what the court will do). 

It's not my district and I have nothing against Rep. Christiansen, but I would wholeheartedly endorse Commissioner Holden.  We need true conservatives in county government more than just about any place!  As I recall, Carol was a State Rep when I was first elected in 1996, but stepped in to fill a commissioner vacancy at that time and has been there ever since.

(In many (not but not all), these commissioner positions are the closest thing we come to liftetime appointments--just ask Ray Burton.   Keep the job till you graduate to that great budget table up above).

In Rockingham County, I haven't heard whether Commissioner Donald Strith is running again (he's been ill lately), but I've heard that two Republican State Reps, Derry's Phyllis Katsakiores and Deerfield's John Reagan, are in line to run for the seat.

Stitch, of Auburn, one of the more eloquent men to ever serve in the NH House, chaired the redistricting committee ten years ago then moved on to the commissioner's seat when a vacancy opened up.

The primary here would mean two more vacancies for State Rep.

My guess is that Phyllis would be the favorite; she usually tops the ticket for State Rep in Derry which is the largest town in the district.  In fact, were Reagan to ask me for advice, I'd say, "Forget about it; run again for the State House."  Regan had little success in his run for Speaker two years ago, but he'd be the perfect compromise candidate for Speaker when O'Brien is ousted this fall.

As always, you don't have to thank me John.                

Tuesday
May222012

O'Brien Opponents Come Out Swinging

            With the appearance of former Deputy Speaker Linda Foster, a Democrat from Mt. Vernon, in the State House gallery last week, I half expected to see her announce that she’s coming out of retirement to lead the charge against Speaker Bill O’Brien on his home turf this fall.  After all, Foster topped the ticket there in 2006 when O’Brien was thrown out of office (it was a four member district then).

            However, as I dined in beautiful downtown Goffstown today in between Hillsborough County budget hearings (very poorly attended by the way—hey folks, we’re talking about an $84 million budget here), I picked up a copy of the Goffstown News, a weekly freebie, and lo and behold, there was a four column letter to the editor on page A7.

            It was headlined “Let us be your voice in the state legislature” and was signed by Kary Jencks and David Woodbury of New Boston (the larger town which is paired with Mt. Vernon in the House-approved redistricting plan, the one which will be aired in court June 6).

            Thus, it appears that these two Democrats have a head start against the lame duck Speaker.

            Here’s part of what Jencks and Woodbury say in their letter (in quotes).

            “Both of us have lived in New Boston since the 70s and both of us have been active in our community all of our adult lives.  We are both troubled, well more than troubled, with the situation in Concord as it has unfolded in the past two years.  Speaker Bill O’Brien and his right-wing followers have upended the values that so many of us here in New Hampshire hold dear:  a commonsense approach to making law, civility, and respect for our neighbors.”

            Amen!  (My words, not theirs).

            “This is what needs to happen if we are going to regain our footing.  We need to invest in the people of this state.  The citizens of New Hampshire need to be healthy, productive, and prosperous, and the present leadership in Concord is working hard to see this doesn’t happen.”

            They sound more liberal fiscally than I am, but then I could never vote for O’Brien, but then, I don’t live there either.

            “We need to support the middle class by protecting workers’ ability to achieve and keep safe and livable wage jobs and to negotiate effectively for them.”

            Sure sounds like O’Brien will be taken to task for his right to work shenanigans.

            “We need to stop the war on women.”

            Talk about irony; the letter to the editor appears just below one penned by District 20 Senate candidate John Hikel who has managed to push two German words off the front pages with his pole dancing comment about a fellow Goffstowner…but I digress.

            Back to the letter…

            “We need to stop the dismantling of education from kindergarten to the university system.”

            “We need to create a health system that truly serves the medical needs of our citizens in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

            “We need to recreate a workable transportation network.  Those are just a few of the jobs in front of us.
            Sure sounds like Jencks and Woodbury have a plan.

            Of course, O’Brien conceivably could decide to run in a floterial district; or the courts could strike down his unconstitutional redistricting plan entirely—he should be so lucky!

            In my ranking of towns in the state (remember than 50 in absolutely neutral, anything higher is Republican territory; anything lower is Democratic), I have New Boston at 57.17 (rather strongly Republican) and Mt. Vernon at 52.61.

            For comparison purposes, New Ipswich is 67.38 and Peterborough is 37.80.

            Let the games begin.

            Wanna bet Jenks and Woodbury don’t have any trouble raising a ton of money!