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Hall of Fame 2017 ballot

The end of the year always brings a new Hall of Fame ballot with it.

Prominent names, old and new, highlight the annual ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which was released Monday and mailed to eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Outfielders Vladimir Guerrero and Manny Ramirez and catchers Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada are the prominent newcomers. First baseman Jeff Bagwell, outfielder Tim Raines and closer Trevor Hoffman missed election in the 2016 vote by slim margins. And with the lack of a first-ballot lock, Bagwell, Raines and Hoffman all have good chances again this time around.

The announcement of the Class of 2017 is scheduled for Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. ET, live on MLB Network and MLB.com. The induction ceremony will be held on July 30 behind the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“I do think about it,” Rodriguez said when asked about his first time on the ballot. “Now that the year gets closer, I think about it almost every day.”

The ballot will grow tighter again during the next three years, with first-ballot certainties Chipper Jones (2018), Mariano Rivera (’19), and Derek Jeter (’20) set to enter the mix. Jim Thome, who hit 612 homers in 22 seasons, will also be on the ballot for the first time in ’18.

The complete ballot:

Jeff Bagwell
Casey Blake
Barry Bonds
Pat Burrell
Orlando Cabrera
Mike Cameron
Roger Clemens
J.D. Drew
Carlos Guillen
Vladimir Guerrero
Trevor Hoffman
Jeff Kent
Derrek Lee
Edgar Martinez
Fred McGriff
Melvin Mora
Mike Mussina
Magglio Ordonez
Jorge Posada
Tim Raines
Manny Ramirez
Edgar Renteria
Arthur Rhodes
Ivan Rodriguez
Freddy Sanchez
Curt Schilling
Gary Sheffield
Lee Smith
Sammy Sosa
Matt Stairs
Jason Varitek
Billy Wagner
Tim Wakefield
Larry Walker

I’ve highlighted my choices in bold, which includes all of the still-eligible holdovers from last year plus Pudge. Unlike last year, I have room for two more candidates, and will add Vladimir Guerrero to Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Curt Schilling, and Billy Wagner as my list of Others To Think About. I love Jorge Posada and may consider him going forward, but I think there are enough concerns about how his defense affected his overall value to defer that for a year. As for Manny Ramirez, he’s got the stats and I care less about PEDs than your average HOF obsessive, but he was suspended twice for PED usage, and I do see a distinction between people who may have used PEDs before they were formally banned and people who got caught using them after that. And yeah, that standard will have to apply to Alex Rodriguez too, which bums me out personally. No one ever said life was fair, and I may change my mind later, but for now ManRam is off the list.

This is Tim Raines’ last year on the ballot thanks to the change to ten years of eligibility instead of 15, and I will be Very Upset if he doesn’t get in. Results will be announced on January 18. Craig Calcaterra and Jay Jaffe have more

Griffey and Piazza reach the Hall, Bagwell and Raines come close

Congratulations to the new inductees.

Ken Griffey Jr., the sixth-leading home run hitter in history and one of the most complete players of his generation, and power-hitting catcher Mike Piazza were elected Wednesday to baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Griffey set a record for highest vote percentage, as he was named on 437 of 440 ballots for 99.32%, breaking the record of 98.84% set by Tom Seaver in 1992. Piazza received 83% of the 75% of votes required for election.

In some ways they will enter the shrine in Cooperstown, N.Y., together as polar opposites. Griffey was baseball royalty all along, the son of a three-time All-Star who played 19 seasons in the majors, the last two alongside him. Junior was the first overall pick in the 1987 draft, reached the big leagues two years later and always seemed destined for greatness without the need of chemical enhancement.

Piazza was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft as a favor to his father’s friend, manager Tommy Lasorda, converted from first baseman to catcher and was dogged by steroid rumors for parts of his career. Nobody drafted that late ever made it to the Hall before.

The official announcement is here and the voting results are here. Jeff Bagwell got 315 votes for 71.6%, and Tim Raines received 307 for 69.8%. Both should be in good shape for next year, though in Raines’ case that will be his last chance. Both may have benefited from a reduction in the number of voters, as 90 former BBWAA members who hadn’t covered the sport in the past 10 years were dropped from the rolls. Mike Mussina, who had a big jump in support may have also done better as a result of that. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds ticked up a bit, but not that much, while Mark McGwire went nowhere in his last year on the ballot. First timer Trevor Hoffman got 67.3% and feels like a favorite to get in next year as well. I’d have liked to see a bigger class, but at least there’s nothing this year to make me throw a fit, and that’s about all I can reasonably ask for. David Schoenfield and Craig Calcaterra have more.

2016 Hall of Fame ballot

The other election of importance going on right now.

Under new voting rules established this summer by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the annual Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot was released Monday on the earliest date in recent history.

Ken Griffey Jr. and his 630 homers and Trevor Hoffman and his National League-record 601 saves are the top candidates among a bevy of first-time qualifiers for the Class of 2016. Billy Wagner, who had 422 saves in 16 seasons for five teams, is another significant new name on the ballot.
Mike Piazza (69.9 percent of the vote last year), Jeff Bagwell (55.7 percent) and Tim Raines (55 percent) are the returnees with the best chances of being elected this time around.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held on July 24 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

[…]

The BBWAA ballot announcement commences the Hall of Fame voting season that includes elections by the 16-member Pre-Integration Committee and nominees for the Ford C. Frick Award and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, all slated to be unveiled at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., from Dec. 7-10.

This year’s version of the Veterans Committee will vote on six players, three executives and an organizer who were all active in baseball prior to Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947. The Frick Award voters will pick a baseball announcer who was a pioneer during that same period. The BBWAA honors a writer with the Spink Award for meritorious contributions to the baseball writing profession.

The new rules for the BBWAA ballot winnowed the rolls by about 125 voters, a Hall official said. While 625 ballots were sent out last year, about 475 were put in the mail on Monday. The ballots historically had been mailed just prior to Thanksgiving and had to be returned by New Year’s Day. Voters will now have until Dec. 24 to mail their ballots.

The results are to be revealed on MLB Network on Jan. 6, with a news conference involving any of the electees to be held the following day.

In the past, all members of the BBWAA with more than 10 consecutive years of membership received a ballot. Under the new rules passed in July by the Hall’s board of directors, members who have not actively been a member of the BBWAA for 10 years must apply every year for their ballot. The Hall then determines by the number of games an applicant covered in the previous season whether to issue a ballot.

As you know, I’ve had my issues with the way the BBWAA has done its thing in recent years. Perhaps this winnowing will make the process a bit better by eliminating some of the writers who haven’t actually watched a game since the Carter administration. I’m not nearly naive enough to think that this will absolutely be a change for the better, but it’s hard to see how things could get worse.

The full ballot, with the choices I would make highlighted:

Garret Anderson, Brad Ausmus, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Luis Castillo, Roger Clemens, David Eckstein, Jim Edmonds, Nomar Garciaparra, Troy Glaus, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark Grudzielanek, Mike Hampton, Trevor Hoffman, Jason Kendall, Jeff Kent, Mike Lowell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Mike Sweeney, Alan Trammell, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker, Randy Winn.

I think Trevor Hoffman is a Hall of Famer, but Alan Trammell is running out of time, and as voters are limited to ten selections and there’s still a backlog that needs to be worked through. I’d give more consideration to Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Curt Schilling, and Billy Wagner in a different year, but these are the conditions, so make the best of it as you can. Given the plethora of qualified candidates and the lack of space on the ballot, anyone who votes for the likes of Luis Castillo or Mark Grudzielanek, even as a joke or to pay off a bet, needs to have their privileges forcefully revoked. We’ll know shortly after the new year just what fresh hell the HoF voters have unleashed on us this time. Who would be on your ballot?

Hall of Fame elects nobody

Truly, utterly, ridiculous.

Steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa were denied entry to baseball’s Hall of Fame, with voters failing to elect any candidates for only the second time in four decades.

Bonds received just 36.2 percent of the vote, Clemens 37.6 and Sosa 12.5 in totals announced Wednesday by the Hall and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. They were appearing on the ballot for the first time and have up to 14 more years to make it to Cooperstown.

Craig Biggio, 20th on the career list with 3,060 hits, topped the 37 candidates with 68.2 percent of the 569 ballots, 39 shy of the 75 percent needed. Among other first-year eligibles, Mike Piazza received 57.8 percent and Curt Schilling 38.8.

“I think as a player, a group, this is one of the first times that we’ve been publicly called out,” Schilling said. “I think it’s fitting. … If there was ever a ballot and a year to make a statement about what we didn’t do as players — which is we didn’t actively push to get the game clean — this is it.”

Jack Morris led holdovers with 67.7 percent. He will make his final ballot appearance next year, when fellow pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine along with slugger Frank Thomas are eligible for the first time.

It was just the eighth time the BBWAA failed to elect any players. There were four fewer votes than last year, and five members submitted blank ballots.

I’ve run out of ways to express my loathing for the Hall of Fame voters, who to my mind are as contemptible as a room full of Rick Perrys. I had to stop the embedded video on that ESPN link because I was about to start yelling obscenities at Pedro Gomez and Harold Bryant. At least Tim Kurkjian was making some sense, as do Jayson Stark, David Schoenfeld, and Joe Posnanski. But hey, it’s not all negative. Despite the BBWAA’s epic fail, there will be inductions this year, as Deacon White, Jacob Ruppert, and Hank O’Day will all be enshrined. If you have any idea who even two of these fellows are, go to the head of the class. If this isn’t a clarion call for a complete John Byrne does “Superman”-style reboot of the whole process, I don’t know what would be. Linkmeister has more.

Mills and Clemens

Enjoy your paid time off, Brad Mills.

General manager Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane see no reason to wait until the season ends to begin the search for the next Astros manager after Brad Mills was fired and replaced by interim skipper Tony DeFrancesco.

Some candidates might not become available until after Oct. 3 — or after the World Series should their employers advance far enough — but the search begins now and interviews will likely start during the season for those unattached.

“Right now, we’re at the very first stage, which is gathering information,” Luhnow said Sunday. “Once we get past that stage and determine which candidates we want to speak to, there’s going to be a lot of factors involved in that.

“There’s no reason to wait, so we’re going to move as fast as we can.

“We’re going to be working diligently on that for the remainder of the season and into the offseason or however long it takes.”

Crane said the Astros have four or five candidates in mind but have not compiled a list, which is expected to be larger than that once phone calls start today.

That Mills was fired isn’t a surprise. Changes in ownership almost always mean changes in management, and it’s not like Mills has a long record of managerial success to mitigate against that. Of course, it’s hard to imagine any manager from John McGraw to Casey Stengel to Bobby Cox getting a whole lot more out of the talent on hand. Still, I am curious what the actual case against Mills was, since no one is saying anything bad about him and I don’t recall seeing anyone argue that he’s been a failure. When a club is in complete tear down and rebuild mode, you need a manager that’s good at teaching and who won’t unnecessarily risk the health of his players to win a game that in the long run doesn’t mean much. I don’t know if Luhnow and Crane didn’t like what they saw with Mills or if they just wanted to get their own guy in there. Not that it really matters, as whoever they bring in is unlikely to still be there when the team finally turns it around. That’s usually the way these things go in the process, and with the Astros years away from being competitive, I’m pretty sure that’s how it will go here. Best of luck to whoever will be nurturing them in the interim.

Then there’s Roger Clemens.

Roger Clemens, whose remarkable 30-year baseball travelogue has taken him from Houston to Austin, Boston, Toronto, New York and points in between, will make his next stop in Sugar Land.

Clemens, 50, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner who last pitched in 2007 and was last in the public eye for his acquittal on federal perjury charges earlier this year, will return to the mound on Saturday night to pitch for the minor league Sugar Land Skeeters.

Clemens threw for about 90 minutes Monday morning at Sugar Land’s Constellation Field and pronounced himself ready for his comeback against the Bridgeport Bluefish, which along with the Skeeters plays in the independent Atlantic League.

[…]

“It is a fun, local, one-time kind of thing,” said Clemens’ longtime agent, Randy Hendricks. “The hitters will let him know Saturday if he should pitch another game.”

Whether it is indeed a one-time curtain call or a return to action that could at some point lead to Clemens’ return to the major leagues, it is an unexpected swerve in the career of one of baseball’s most charismatic yet polarizing athletes.

“We’re going to take things one game at a time and see where they lead us,” said Michael Kirk, operations manager for the Skeeters. “I am fascinated to see what happens this weekend, and we’ll take it from there.”

I think a little Pete Townshend is appropriate here:

“After the fire, the fire still burns
The heart grows older, but never ever learns
The memories smolder, but the soul always yearns
After the fire, the fire still burns.”

There’s two ways for an athletic career to end: For the athlete to accept that it’s over and move on, and for the athlete’s performance to make it clear to anyone who might think of hiring said athlete that it’s over. Neither has happened yet with Roger Clemens. As long as he’s got the fire, and until the objective evidence says otherwise, I say what the heck. For all we know he may still be a viable option for the Astros a few years down the line when they’ve finally put together a team that can win again. Or perhaps sooner than that, as Campos speculates.

So here’s the deal. If he does OK in a couple of outings, the ‘Stros will pick him up for three games in September when they can expand the roster. The ‘Stros will let him start against three non-contending clubs at The Yard – Cubbies, Phillies, and San Luis (soon to be non-contenders) – and they will let him pitch four or five innings and sell out The Yard. It is gate money the team wasn’t counting on. They will pay The Rocket the minimum but since he’ll be an MLBer, he’ll be knocked off the Hall of Fame ballot for the next five years and won’t have to face the humiliation of not getting the votes next January to join the Hall of Fame. By 2018, some of the old school BBWOA members won’t be around to leave The Rocket off of their ballot and the most recent Rocket memory will be of the 2012 Comeback at The Yard. That’s not a bad strategy if you ask me. Plus, at least it would be something to look forward to at The Yard this September.

That actually makes a lot of sense, for all involved. We’ll see how it goes.

Why I hold the Hall of Fame voting process in contempt

This story has the best distillation of why the Baseball Writers Association of America should have had the Hall of Fame voting privilege taken away from them years ago.

Former BBWAA president Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer didn’t need a jury to help him with his decision.

“I wasn’t going to vote for him anyway, so this won’t affect it,” said Hoynes, who is in his 30th year covering the majors. “I just think he’s guilty. I don’t care what the court said. I think he did it. I think he knew he was cheating, and I’m not voting for him.”

He doesn’t need any facts. He knows what the truth is, and that’s good enough. To steal from William F. Buckley, I’d rather have the Hall of Fame decisions made by the first thousand people in the Houston telephone book than these arrogant ignoramuses.

Even if you do truly believe that Roger Clemens cheated and got away with it, the simple fact remains that he would not be the first cheater, admitted or not, the be enshrined. Whitey Ford wrote at length in his co-memoir with Mickey Mantle about the various ways in which he doctored the baseball. Gaylord Perry’s spitballing was the worst kept and most openly joked about secret in the game. (Anecdote reported by Thomas Boswell: Among the substances Perry allegedly used to lube the ball was Vicks Vap-O-Rub. This led Billy Martin, who might have been managing the Tigers at the time, to ask the home plate umpire to “smell the ball, please”, to which the ump replied “Billy, I have allergies and a deviated septum”, leading Martin to fume “Great, I have an ump who can’t see OR smell!”) Both are members in good standing in Cooperstown, and last I checked people like Paul Hoynes – who would have been a BBWAA member when Perry was on the ballot – have never uttered a peep of protest about that. Because that kind of cheating is totally different than this kind of cheating.

My way of looking at it is that if cheating is all it took to be a Hall of Famer, everyone would cheat and everyone would be better than they would be otherwise. It turns out that it’s hard to cheat successfully and actually gain an advantage from doing so. Doctored baseballs are hard to control. Way more scrubs than stars have tested positive for steroids, mostly in the minors. Corked bats don’t actually help you hit a ball farther. You can’t cheat your way to the top in baseball. I don’t know why that’s so hard to accept.

Clemens cleared

The saga ends.

A federal jury today acquitted baseball superstar Roger Clemens on charges of lying to Congress about the use of performance enhancing drugs in a stinging rebuke to a four-year campaign by legislators and federal prosecutors to turn the legendary pitcher into a cautionary icon for baseball’s doping scandal.

The 49-year-old Houstonian, winner of seven Cy Young Awards for pitching excellence during a 24-season career, mounted a successful multimillion dollar defense led by famed Houston lawyer Rusty Hardin to defeat six felony charges with maximum cumulative penalties of up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

The charges stemmed from Clemens’ sworn testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2008 where the retired veteran of four major league baseball teams vehemently denied receiving injections of anabolic steroids or human growth hormone from long-time strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee between 1998 and 2001.

The committee, accepting McNamee’s version of events, referred Clemens’ contradictory testimony to the Justice Department for a perjury investigation.

The protracted inquiry involved 93 federal agents and four assistant U.S. attorneys interviewing 179 people at 68 locations to collect evidence that led to the charges and ten weeks of legal proceedings featuring 46 witnesses.

All for nothing, as it turns out. Can we please now consign the whole “steroid era” thing to the past and move on? I’d appreciate it. Allen Barra has more.

Will the feds get another shot at Clemens?

Probably.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton is considering the possibility that putting Clemens on trial again would subject him to double jeopardy.

Walton, who declared a mistrial on July 14, has ordered both sides to submit their arguments in writing and has scheduled a Sept. 2 hearing.

Attorneys and scholars who have reviewed case transcripts provided by The Associated Press say a second trial seems likely under rules established by the Supreme Court.

“It is one thing when something like this happens three weeks into a month-long trial where the defense has poked big holes in the government’s case and effectively crossed main witnesses,” said Andrew Wise, a white-collar attorney with the Washington firm Miller & Chevalier. “But when you are on day two of a month-long trial, it is harder to argue that the government was throwing in the towel and goading the defense into seeking a mistrial so they could have a fresh start.”

Protection against double jeopardy is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which says in part, “nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

The Supreme Court has ruled that a defendant is considered to be in jeopardy once a jury is sworn in, so Clemens had been in jeopardy for just over one day. But the question is whether the jeopardy ended with Walton’s declaration of a mistrial.

At least one prominent expert disagrees with the chorus of his colleagues who are predicting a second trial. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said there’s no innocent explanation for why prosecutors put inadmissible evidence in front of the jury.

“The government constantly does this because they think they can get away with it,” Dershowitz said. “When you are preparing a case for so long, you don’t make errors like this. I have a high level of confidence that a good lawyer could keep this case from being retried.”

I’m not a lawyer, so I have no idea what the “correct” ruling should be. As a non-lawyer, I think the prosecution screwed the pooch badly enough the first time around that they don’t deserve a second chance, but that’s an emotional opinion, not a legal one. Whatever happens, it won’t change my opinion that Clemens belongs in the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible. To me, the only true disqualifier is what is spelled out in baseball’s rules: Thou shalt not bet on games. I don’t expect the writers to see it that way – the opportunity to pontificate about the evils of steroids, which they missed doing for basically the entire time that players were actively using them, will be way too much for them to pass up. As such, I will go back to paying only minimal attention to this until we get a result.

Judge declares mistrial in Clemens case

You’ve got to be kidding me.

The judge declared a mistrial Thursday in baseball star Roger Clemens’ perjury trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that the judge had ruled out of bounds.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said Clemens could not be assured a fair trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence against his orders in the second day of testimony.

Walton scheduled a Sept. 2 hearing to determine whether to hold a new trial. Rusty Hardin, Clemens’ attorney, said he needs until July 29 to file the motion for the hearing. The prosecution has until Aug. 2 to respond.

Walton told jurors he was sorry to have wasted their time and spent so much taxpayer money, only to call off the case.

“There are rules that we play by and those rules are designed to make sure both sides receive a fair trial,” Walton told the jury, saying such ground rules are critical when a person’s liberty is at stake.

[…]

Walton interrupted the prosecution’s playing of a video from Clemens’ 2008 testimony before Congress and had the jury removed from the courtroom. Clemens is accused of lying during that testimony when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs during his 24-season career in the Major Leagues.

One of the chief pieces of evidence against Clemens is testimony from his former teammate and close friend, Andy Pettitte, who says Clemens told him in 1999 or 2000 that he used human growth hormone. Clemens has said that Pettitte misheard him. Pettitte also says he told his wife, Laura, about the conversation the same day it happened.

Prosecutors had wanted to call Laura Pettitte as a witness to back up her husband’s account, but Walton had said he wasn’t inclined to have her testify since she didn’t speak directly to Clemens.

Walton was angered that in the video prosecutors showed the jury, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., referred to Pettitte’s conversation with his wife.

“I think that a first-year law student would know that you can’t bolster the credibility of one witness with clearly inadmissible evidence,” Walton said.

He said it was the second time that prosecutors had gone against his orders — the other being an incident that happened during opening arguments Wednesday when assistant U.S. attorney Steven Durham said that Pettite and two other of Clemens’ New York teammates, Chuck Knoblauch and Mike Stanton, had used human growth hormone.

I haven’t followed the trial much because I only have so much bandwidth, but I never expected this to happen. What a massive screwup by a federal prosecutor. At this point, I think for the charges to be dismissed is the best outcome. We’ll see what happens next.

Clemens indicted on perjury charges

Not a good day for the Rocket.

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens for allegedly lying to Congress about using steroids and growth hormone.

Clemens faces charges of obstruction of Congress, making false statements and perjury.

The six-count grand jury indictment said that Clemens obstructed a congressional inquiry with 15 statements that he made under oath, including denials that he had ever used steroids or human growth hormone. The indictment alleged that he lied and committed perjury regarding the same matters.

I said some things in Clemens’ defense back at the time all this was happening, mostly because I hold the whole steroids witch hunt in such contempt, but he’s on his own now. Well, his and his lawyers’ own, anyway. The one thing I know for sure is that it will be a long time before I read anything written about him by anyone who has a Hall of Fame vote. If there’s anything I hold in more contempt than steroids madness, it’s the BBWA.

UPDATE: Thankfully, there’s still Allen Barra. And Tom is sensibly skeptical, too.

Weekend link dump for September 13

Carla Bruni and Woody Allen, together at last.

Yeah, some publicist will lose his or her job over this.

Bush 36,000. They deserve each other.

A less ugly power strip. I have a feeling Tiffany will want one.

Roger Clemens’ defamation lawsuit against Brian McNamee has been dismissed. From this point forward, he’s a defendant.

Ten computing conspiracy theories and their viability.

Jim Henley on what health insurance is, and what it is supposed to do.

The poverty surcharge.

Serialized commercials.

Good Lord, is Mark Sanford still talking to the press? Dude, do us all a favor and go back out on the Appalachian Trail.

Too bad these folks say they don’t want to secede. It would be good riddance to them all.

In defense of stupidity. Well, no, not exactly.

Every week should be Shark Week. But I’d be happy with the occasional Sivatherium Week, too.

Best lawyer name ever.

If only President Obama had given his speech to students in a football stadium.

More from the party of family values.

Sen. Kennedy’s letter to President Obama.

South Carolina Rep. Joe “You Lied!” Wilson is not only a classy guy, he’s also a massive hypocrite.

The Saskatoon Islanders? Say it isn’t so. I’m reminded of the line from the song “Moving Right Along” from “The Muppet Movie” that goes “Send someone to fetch us, we’re in Saskatchewan”.

Ever heard the expression “Don’t tug on Superman’s cape?” This is why that’s good advice.

More reasons to never shop at Wal-Mart. Evil, evil, evil.

If Newt Gingrich didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him.

Teabaggers lie. I know, I’m shocked, too. Well, to be fair, maybe they’re just really bad at math.