PHOTO INDEX: HAMMERIN' HANK AARON AND YANKEE SLUGGER ROGER MARIS, PROMOTING THE ONLY FOREIGN SUBSTANCE ANYWHERE NEAR HIS BODY, CAMELS!
IN DEFENSE OF BARRY BONDS
Okay, just kidding, there is no defense for Barry Bonds. The man was having an incredible Hall of Fame career without steroids and then became jealous of Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire. He then made the decision to "enhance". Bad one.
I've got this friend Jim from the Abingtons by way of Scranton, Pa. and Cleveland, Ohio. I first met him in 1996 when I went for a job interview at Rock 107. On that Open Day, a baseball umpire died of a heart attack and when I was introduced, there wasn't a hello, or greeting, but the news about the ump. During the course of our friendship, Jim has forsaken greetings to me and either blurted out a news bulletin or his opinion on something. He is one of my cherished friends from broadcasting. But like most friends these days, our encounters are too far and too between. Last spring we met for lunch at the Beer Deli and as I waited in line to order, watching him stride through the door with a brand new Cleveland Indians jacket, I saw him approach. There was not going to be a big hello. Getting next to me in line, Jim blurts out, "Before we discuss anything else, let me say that in my mind the all time career home run record will be Hank Aaron's and the all time season home run record will belong to Roger Maris". I think the people in line thought I was having lunch with a savant but no matter, his point was made. And I thought about my friend Jim this week and that very salient point he made. Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record amid a torrent of racial hate. Perhaps that fueled him. Roger Maris, away from home, a country boy in the big city dominated by the likes of Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra relied on his steady midwestern work ethic and a couple of Camels a day. There were no boosters, no hits to give either of them jolts. They did it by the sweat of their brow and the ache of their muscles. Barry Bonds has now been indicted for perjury regarding his role in steroids, Mark McGuire got less than 25% of the vote to get inducted into Cooperstown, Rafael Palmero has disappeared and Sammy Sosa is hanging on by a thread in Texas. There is no dispute that both Aaron's and Maris' records have been eclipsed by larger numbers. That fact will never change. But somewhere in Cooperstown or maybe in every Major League ballpark in the country, my friend Jim's simple declaration should be posted in big red letters.
COMMENT ON CHIP
While scanning the net, I came across this gem of a letter in the Harrisburg Patriot:
President Bush, the oil-soaked billionaire bully who pretends to be a God-fearing man of the people, has blocked access to affordable healthcare for millions of middle-class children. Apparently, in the president's delusional universe, a family of four struggling on $44,000-60,000 a year is plenty rich enough to pay $10,000-12,000 per year for private insurance -- with that cost increasing as much as 25 percent annually. Did you hear Bush's corporate-financed congressional stooges lying on the evening news? They said that SCHIP would take health care access away from poor children. (It doesn't; states would not receive the additional SCHIP funding until they provided health insurance for families with incomeb elow the poverty level.) They said it would cover families making up to $83,000 a year (a number proposed, and already shot down, exclusively for high -cost-of-living New York). They also said that "we" can't afford it. (The increase in SCHIP would be financed by tobacco taxes -- which could only be a bad thing if you feel sorry for the government-sanctioned drug pushers who make obscene fortunes by luring our children into lifelong addiction.) Why should we ever believe them again?
-- JOHN F. KATZ, Penbrook
The prison authorities in Maryland released Arthur Bremer, the would be killer of Presidential candidate George Wallace from jail. In May of 1972 at a shopping center in Laurel, Maryland, Bremer shot and wounded the Alabama Governor paralyzing him for life. (I met Wallace during the 1976 campaign at a news conference at the WB Scranton airport. He looked fit and alert but you could tell he was in pain). Reaction from the Wallace family has been predictable, they think he should have served longer than the over 35 years he was jailed. People say that Bremer might have changed the course of history. If Wallace had not been hurt, perhaps he would have soared to the nomination and run against Richard Nixon. That might have happened but Nixon would have prevailed against a candidate from the right instead of the left. Here's a classic TV spot from the 1968 Presidential campaign courtesy of YOU TUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RZ4G251WR4.
OUT AND ABOUT
Today Mrs. LuLac was taking the dog to the groomer and using her new leaf blower in the front yard. Since my accident, our roles are reversed but truth be told, even before getting hurt, I wouldn't have known a leaf blower if it fell on me. With her playing with her new toy, I had mother in law duty taking my 91 year relative to the hair dresser. But before that, we had o have lunch. We wound up at the Dough Company because the food is good, the service is fast and the place is clean. While there I spotted former local radio legend Harry West. (Harry and I might be working on a project together but we have to get together first). Then I saw local politico Christine Katsock and her family enjoying a meal there too.
Later on that night, Mrs. LuLac and I went to Dominick's in Plains. While there we saw State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski and his party. Ironic that in the same day, I saw the two foes from a hot 2006 political race at two different eating establishment. Starting to wax philosophic about it, Mrs. Lulac said, "shut up and eat your pizza". I did and it was good.