Chicago - Oct. 20, 2017
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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
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« September 2017 | Main

October 20, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #172: Worn Cubs' Panic Exceeds The Pleasure

Bullpen bullshit. Plus: Bears Media Loves Development Of Quarterback Team Won't Let Throw; Chicago Bulls Shit; Blackhawks Playoffs Not Here Yet; Fire Playoffs Not Here Yet.


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SHOW NOTES

* 172.

2:32: Joe Maddon Is A Terrible Playoff Manager.

* John Lackey and the raggedy-ass bullpen.

* Coffman: "That was Joe Maddon managing out of spite."

* Wade Chapman.

* Willson Chapman.

* Kris Bryant: Tired, Drained, Complacent, 'Maybe Need To Train A Little Harder.'

* Bryant, Rizzo Came Up Small.

29:20: Bears Media Loves Development Of Quarterback Team Won't Let Throw.

* Bears' Defense Aided By Youth Movement In Secondary.

* Jordan Howard's Pending Season-Ending Injury.

* Brett Hundley Betting Props.

* Jay Cutler Voted 'QB You Would Not Want As A Teammate' By NFL Players.

* Gase: Cutler Was Supposed To Look Uninterested On Wildcat Play.

46:40: Chicago Bulls Shit.

* Bobby Portis LOL.

* Unfireable John Paxson Sold Jordan Bell To 'Build Equity' With Immensely Wealthy Owners.

58:08: Blackhawks Playoffs Not Here Yet.

1:03:27: Schweinsteiger!

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STOPPAGE: 4:42

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For archives and other shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:49 PM | Permalink

October 18, 2017

Chicagoetry: My Bastard Heart

My Bastard Heart

I mean to introduce articles of impeachment
Against my heart

For high crimes and misdemeanors, betrayal,
Corruption, lying, cheating,
Bad faith, emotional infidelity, abandonment,
Psychological cruelty:

Sneaking out to the opening night charity gala for the Chicago Auto Show
With Allison Rosati,
High-fiving Eddie Vedder in a Wrigley Field skybox
During the NLCS,

Sampling edgy new IPA recipes at Revolution with David Eigenberg,

Regaling fellow guests at Book Club at Sugar Rautbord's
With off-color anecdotes of bone-dry wit,
Three martini brunches at Gene & Georgetti's
With highly-placed members of the Cook County Board,

All without my consent, without my knowledge,
Under a brittle guise of commitment and monogamy;
Leaving me at home alone under my Slanket, binge-watching
"Transparent" and "I Love Dick" with dry toast, herbal tea and fresh boxes of Puffs

For the sensitive nose;

I've got wire-taps, camera-phone footage, leakers,
Sworn depositions, deep background, sources close to the administration;

Now I'm readying the noose and hood,
The blindfold and cigarette,
The kindling-based stake, the lethal injection;

It's a disgrace, an outrage, a mockery of the institution, an injustice of the first water;

Fatty, distended, irregular,
And I've been putting up with it
All these years . . .

Time to take care of myself, be here for me,
Rebuild my confidence, independence and pride.
Today is my New Beginning!

And if any of you decide to let the damn thing
Into your life don't say I didn't warn you...

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J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

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More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:07 PM | Permalink

October 16, 2017

SportsMonday: Oblivion

Let's hear it for a win yesterday that gives us reason to watch the Bears for another week. I'm afraid that's just about all there is to celebrate. And the same will be true next week, i.e., beat the Panthers in Chicago on Sunday or say hello to oblivion for another season.

Speaking of oblivion, the Cubs seem headed in that direction, don't they? Without shortstop Corey Seager, the Dodgers' lineup simply isn't that impressive. But the Cubs have been even less so as they've fallen behind 2-0 in the NL Championship Series. The lack of hitting is the primary story. The wacky bullpen decision per game, well, I'm just tired of talking about that stuff. And on we go with football again this week.

The 27-24 overtime Bears victory over the Ravens wasn't well-executed football but it was certainly a roller coaster ride, one that featured bad execution - numerous breakdowns during the crushing punt return touchdown - and bad luck - the kickoff return touchdown.

On the latter, a Bears defender could be seen pulling up to avoid making even slight contact with Ravens' ball-carrier Bobby Rainey when he was on the ground. He had no idea Rainey needed to be touched down because he had just watched Rainey be submarined and hit the deck. The problem was, Rainey was submarined by his own blocker.

And no wonder the Bear defender didn't want to touch him. The emphasis on calling personal fouls around the league makes it extremely difficult for players to play with an extra bit of aggression.

That's probably good for overall health but when you see Bears linebacker Christian Jones called for what could have been a critical late hit near the end of the first half on a play when Jones started to tackle his foe when the guy was clearly still in bounds, well, it is understandable if guys try hard to avoid giving foes the sort of little, slightly late shot that would have resulted in Rainey being called down.

On the bright side, cornerback Kyle Fuller had his best game as a Bear. The Ravens targeted him throughout the game and he answered the challenge upwards of a dozen out of a dozen times. He officially broke up three passes but he made sure receivers weren't going to be making a catch in front of him time after time. Fuller also delivered a couple of big hits during a huge day for the secondary in terms of physical play.

Both Fuller and Adrian Amos were playing in front of friends and family in the town, Baltimore, they have called home. Amos finally made a big play in his third season (!) of playing safety for the Bears. And Bryce Callahan also chipped in a spectacular pick and a great return to set up the Bears' first touchdown. On offense, Jordan Howard is as tough as tough can be. How amazing was that final run of his? He pounded away against a defense that knew he was coming dozens of times and finally broke free to set up the winning field goal.

On the dark side, I'm not buying that Mitch Trubisky showed any significant development during the 27-24 overtime victory over the Ravens. The Bears currently aren't running anything that even begins to resemble the sort of NFL offense that makes the playoffs let alone win there. We won't know anything about Trubisky until the Bears start to open up the scheme at least a little. Then again, can they possibly do so with their remarkably bad receiving corps?

Have Tre McBride or Tanner Gentry gotten open yet, even once? Surely there has not been a Bears game in my lifetime with such a completely overmatched duo of starting wide receivers.

I know Josh Bellamy has had the dropsies in the past but he runs good routes and he has been better at catching the ball this year. The Bears seem like they don't want to use him more at receiver because he is a special teams ace but guys, come on. Bellamy needs to get more of a shot to catch more passes.

Finally of course at least one of the Bears' bright sides has a dark future. As well as Fuller is playing, he will be a free agent at the end of the year. The Bears thought he was slacking last year when he missed the whole season due to what they thought was a minor knee injury but the resulting ill will leaves a fan believing the cornerback will be headed elsewhere next off-season. It would be just perfect if the Bears finally developed a difference-maker in the secondary only to see him sign with someone else.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:11 PM | Permalink

October 10, 2017

SportsMondayTuesday: Ryan's Hope

Ryan Pace's roster sucks. And Mitch Trubisky isn't ready to win tough NFL games yet after his terrible late interception handed the Vikings a 20-17 victory on a silver platter Monday night.

Wait a minute, why do I have to be so negative? Why don't I just write about the Cubs? OK, OK, I'll go ahead and toss in a Cubs note. But that's it. Yesterday featured the Cubs winning a pressure-packed, high stakes contest (2-1 over the Nationals to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five NLDS). There was no news there - we already knew this group can do that.

On the other hand, while we were confident Trubisky had shown real, live, massive potential in the preseason, we had no clue how he would do against a very good Vikings defense in a real game. So that was my primary focus last night.

Then again . . . my favorite part of the baseball game was when the fans let Joe Maddon have it after he gave Jose Quintana the quick hook. And then the fans were proven right when Quintana's sixth-inning replacement, Pedro Strop, gave up an RBI double to Ryan Zimmerman. I think everyone knows at this point that Maddon is a little out-of-control proud of himself. He needs reminders that he will be held accountable. And nothing delivers that message like 40,000 fans letting rip with a deserved "Booooo!!!" when he makes a questionable move.

Longtime Cubs beat writer Paul Sullivan reported after the game that the fans' reaction to that move by Maddon was the loudest negative response directed at the manager at Wrigley that Sullivan had heard by a considerable margin. Cubs fans can take a well-deserved bow.

And back to the Bears . . . continue to remember that if anything needs to be changed after this season, it is the weak general manager, not the coach. The coach isn't perfect but he has taken two separate teams to the Super Bowl in his career. The overmatched Pace has accomplished nothing. Last night Fox made a couple beautiful calls - springing a delightful fake punt on the Vikings at exactly the right time . . .

. . . and going for two to tie the game early in the fourth quarter with an awesome trick play.

Pace is the genius who didn't re-franchise tag wide receiver Alshon Jeffery despite the Bears' obvious need at the position. Pace is the one who gave Mike Glennon $18 million instead of giving Jeffrey $17 million. In the process, he gave away the Bears' best asset last off-season for absolutely nothing. There is simply no justifying that move. Period.

Pace is the genius who traded four picks to move up one pick to take Trubisky second in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was so desperate to not draft Deshaun Watson that he made an on-its-face completely ludicrous transaction.

Why was Pace so determined to take Trubisky, just like he was so determined not to take Dak Prescott the year before that he (after having said previously that teams should draft a quarterback every year) drafted once, twice, three times in the fourth round before the Cowboys swooped in? They grabbed the guy, Prescott, who was by far the best rookie quarterback in the league last year and who has continued to play well this year despite the Cowboys' so-far disappointing record.

If Pace was a good general manager, he would have picked up a couple picks as he traded down to 10th or 11th in the first round at this year's draft. Then he would have picked Watson (who was drafted 12th by the trading up Texans) and also found himself with at least five more picks than he ended up with after he was fleeced by a general manager, the 49ers' John Lynch, who was in his first half hour on the job at the draft.

And so we watch a Bears team this year that, again, has no playmakers in the secondary and no difference-making wide receivers. The team lacks quality depth at numerous other positions. Think the squad might be a little better off with all the picks it gave up during Pace's big 2017 draft misadventure?

Watson, by the way, spent this past Sunday throwing five touchdown passes. It was the second consecutive week he was responsible for five touchdowns (he ran one in the week before to go with four touchdown tosses).

Watson, who was only one of the greatest quarterbacks in college football history at Clemson, leading his team to two consecutive national championship games and winning the second in spectacular fashion, did so against the Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday, only the best team so far in the NFL in 2017.

To all the geniuses who tell me that if Trubisky is good, the trade details won't matter, do us all a favor and zip it. That sort of reasoning is nonsense. When Trubisky leads the Bears to a Super Bowl shortly after Watson has flamed out as a starter, then I'll re-consider my assessment of Pace's brutal malpractice, not before.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:19 AM | Permalink

October 5, 2017

Certified Angus Beef® Brand Honors Chicago-Area Beef, Retail And Culinary Stars

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Meat companies, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs were recognized by the Certified Angus Beef® brand for their leadership in product quality and marketing at the group's annual conference in Nashville on Sept. 27 - 29. Brand partners, including meat processors, distributors, chefs, retailers and cattle ranchers, gained strategies to nurture their focus on delivering premium beef to consumers.

"Quality and integrity unite their focus on delivering the finest beef," says John Stika, the beef brand's president. "They are stars in their markets for bringing the Certified Angus Beef® brand's ranching heritage and focus on quality and integrity to their customers, and ultimately, consumers."

*

Cermak Fresh Market, Chicago, Ill., received the Retail Small Chain Marketer of the Year award. Cermak excels at serving customers with fun promotions and attention to detail. Training at the Certified Angus Beef® Culinary Center energized the team for a meat manager contest that helped Cermak also receive Top Average Volume Retail Store with more than 10 stores.

#McKinleyPark #Chicago

A post shared by Bernardo (@beingbernardo) on

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Topco Associates, Elk Grove Village, Ill.: Top Volume Cooperative.

best-practices-in-managing-global-supplier-and-item-risks-13-638.jpg

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About The Certified Angus Beef® brand
Founded in 1978, the Certified Angus Beef® brand is the original, and the best, brand of Angus beef, which got its start when a group of family ranchers set out to create a brand of beef that delivers superior taste and tenderness.

Today, the Certified Angus Beef® brand remains true to its roots, providing consumers with superior beef through a gate-to-plate network of family ranchers, chefs and retailers worldwide.

Renowned for its exceptional quality, each cut meets 10 exacting standards to make it more selective than USDA Choice and Prime.

For more information, visit CertifiedAngusBeef.com, or look for the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Certified-Angus-Beef-logo_burger_conquest_what_is.jpg

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See also: Angus TV.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:49 AM | Permalink

Indiana Farmer Complaining About Estate Taxes With Trump Cashed $3.3 Million In Farmer Subsidy Checks

Kip Tom, the Leesburg Indiana farmer who appeared last week with President Trump complaining about the federal estate tax, cashed over $3.3 million in farm subsidy checks, including $2.6 million between 2004 and 2014, the most recent data available.

Kip Tom and Tom Farms is one of the biggest corn and soybean producers in Indiana and the 9th-largest farm subsidy recipient in Indiana.

Arriving at a total for Tom Farms subsidies required examining subsidies to three different ownership entities, as the farm went from individual ownership to an LLC in roughly 1995 and then formed Tom Farms Partners in 2004.

Between 2004 and 2014, Tom Farms Partners received $2,612,561 in subsidies, mostly commodity subsidies. Between 1996 and 2006, Tom Farms LLC cashed $667,732 in farm subsidy checks. In 1995, Kip Tom took in $42,826, but then refunded $17,494 for a net of $25,332. Between 1995 and 2014, this equals over $3,305,625 in government subsidies,

About 41 percent of Indiana farmers do not receive any subsidies, according to the USDA.

The federal estate tax is a levy on the intergenerational transfer of immense wealth. The tax only applies to households with more than $11 million in assets.

In Indiana, where President Trump kicked off his anti-estate tax campaign, fewer than one in 1,000 estates are subject to the estate tax, a grand total of only 70 people, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Republicans have been using farmers and ranchers for decades to justify estate tax repeal. I have written extensively about the history of using farmers as the face of estate tax repeal, instead of the billionaires and multi-millionaires who actually pay the tax, going back to 2000.

SOURCES
From the Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database:

* All three Tom Farms entities combined received $3.3 million in subsidies, which would place them number 9 on this list of biggest subsidy recipients.

* Data on subsidies to Tom Farm Partners, 2004-2014.

* Information about 1996-2005, Tom Farms LLC Direct subsidies.

* Direct 1995 farm subsidy to Kip Tom.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:55 AM | Permalink

The Season In Verse | They Needed A Nurse

They started out cold
David Ross got old
He retired to dance
Clark still has no pants

Schwarber went down
to Iowa town
He came back up
he's still just a pup

Montero was right
about Arrieta's pitch flight
But he was also to blame
though cutting him was lame

Bryzzo came through
Jon Jay too
Russell went down
Baez went to town

Lester got hurt
Lackey stayed curt
Willson kicked dirt
Umps on alert

Quintana came over
from trash to tall clover
same with Avila
Bret Anderson - see ya!

Joe was Joe
thanks Bosio
Theo and Jed
Hendry's Cubs are dead

On to the playoffs
for the third straight year
let's leave Dusty
crying in his beer

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:42 AM | Permalink

October 4, 2017

Substance Abuse Prevention Month - Reaching Teens

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, which focuses on the role substance abuse prevention plays in promoting safe and healthy communities.

Underage drinking, non-medical use of prescription drugs, and illicit drug use take a devastating toll on our families and in our communities, exacting more than $740 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and health care.

"Stopping substance abuse before it begins can increase a person's chances at living a longer, healthier and more productive life," said Karel Homrig, executive director of Prevention First. "An excellent way to stop abuse before it starts is to work with teens. The teenage brain is very 'plastic,' just as it was in early childhood. This means it transforms, grows, and learns more fluidly than the adult brain. The experiences a teen has shapes their life as an adult."

When a teen uses drugs or alcohol, his brain is rewired to continue the unhealthy behavior. Because of the plasticity of the teenage brain, addiction can happen relatively easily.

However, the same plasticity causes teens to respond well to interventions, programs, and services that promote a healthy lifestyle.

Because of this unique development period, it is important and beneficial to provide teenage substance abuse prevention services.

Evidence-based programs and practices are essential tools to reduce substance use and help people lead healthier lives.

According to The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's 2012 National Drug Control Strategy, each dollar invested in an evidence-based prevention program can reduce costs related to substance use disorders by an average of $18.

There are many evidence-based ways families, communities, and schools can help adolescents be healthier, safer, and head into adulthood stronger and at less risk for addiction:

* Communities can start a dialogue discussing their commitment to the prevention of substance abuse. Starting this conversation is the first step toward change, and putting it into action is where change happens. If a community coalition focused on prevention doesn't already exist, here are some tools to get one started:

-> Prevention First Alcohol Policy Resource Center.

-> Community Tool Box.

-> Coalitions Work.

* Schools can start a Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter by contacting robyn.block@prevention.org, or consider implementing effective programs that provide substance abuse prevention programs, by visiting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

* Parents can talk to their kids about the dangers of drugs and underage drinking. This free toolkit from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids can help.

The Partnership also provides a help line (1-855-378-4373) and live chat.

Among Illinois youth, the most commonly abused substance is alcohol. As indicated on the chart, nearly 45% of high school seniors consumed alcohol in the past 30 days. However, the following activities are on the decline from 2012 - 2014:

* underage drinking overall
* binge drinking
* driving after drinking
* several other health and academic consequences of underage drinking

Additionally, use of alcohol in the past year and in the past 30 days is lower among 8th- and 10th-grade youth in 2014 than in 2012, and trends indicate that fewer 10th- and 12th-graders also choose to binge drink (i.e., consume five or more alcoholic drinks in a row).

Prevention is also needed as our nation is faced with the unprecedented consequences of opioid misuse and addiction.

According to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2016 an estimated 11.8 million people misused opioids in the previous year, including 11.5 million pain reliever misusers and 948,000 heroin users.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that in 2014, more people in Illinois died from an opioid drug overdose (due to heroin and prescription opioid pain relievers) than from homicide or motor vehicle accidents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois is one of 19 states that saw a statistically significant drug overdose death rate increase (7.6%) from 2014 to 2015.

Provisional data from the Illinois Department of Public Health Illinois Center for Health Statistics indicates deaths from any opioid increased from 1,072 in 2013 to 1,889 in 2016.

Removing unneeded supplies of commonly prescribed opioids such as Vicodin, oxycodone, OxyContin, and Hydrocodone from homes is a vital step to take in preventing abuse of these highly addictive drugs. These drugs are similar to and affect the brain the same way as heroin, especially if they are used for non-medical purposes.

One way to prevent the abuse of the potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs is to participate in National Drug Take Back Day, which is October 28, 2017, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:45 AM | Permalink

October 3, 2017

The Sun-Times Paid Mary Mitchell To Write This Astounding Column About The Las Vegas Shooter

"The man who killed at least 59 people and injured more than 527 in Las Vegas is a terrorist," Mary Mitchell writes for the Sun-Times.

Is he?

I don't think so.

A terrorist is someone who uses violence to create fear in advance of a cause.

So far we don't know what motivated Stephen Paddock to unload a hail of automatic gunfire on hundreds of people attending an open-air concert in Las Vegas. He may have just lost his mind.

Does it matter if we Paddock a terrorist?

Yes. The only way to prevent such horrors is to understand what they are. Preventing terrorism calls for a different response than preventing the result of, say, mental illness.

*

"And he's a terrorist who could operate under the radar because few would suspect a white man to be tangled up with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS)," Mitchell writes.

But the FBI has already declared that they have found no ties between Paddock and ISIS - even if ISIS is claiming him as one of its soldiers.

*

"That could explain why Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, was able to get 16 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition into the Mandalay Hotel, and why he was able to hole up for three days without raising the suspicions of the cleaning staff."

Paddock's white maleness could explain that, but we don't know that it does. Mitchell is presuming the hotel staff was aware of his weapons cache.

*

"Paddock blended in with the Las Vegas crowds. Whereas Omar Mateen - the terrorist responsible for the Pulse Nightclub massacre in which 50 people were killed and 58 were wounded - stood out. Before the massacre, Mateen had been investigated as a threat because of comments he made to co-workers."

Look, I take the point - boy do I take it - that white (and male) privilege extends to mass murderers. But Mateen had made comments to co-workers worthy of investigating. We have no information as yet that Paddock acted in a way that should have touched off suspicion among authorities.

*

"Donald Trump, then the presumptive Republican candidate for the presidency, used the Pulse Nightclub tragedy to reiterate his call for a 'temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.'

"But what do you say when a well-to-do white man stands in a window and fires at thousands of country music fans like he's shooting ducks in a barrel?"

Easy. You point out that white males by far commit most acts of mass murder on American soil. Then you discuss gun control.

*

"An 'act of pure evil,' Trump said on Monday.

"It also is domestic terrorism."

Wait, what? We don't know that yet.

*

"Eric Paddock is adamant that his brother did not belong to a terrorist or hate group.

"He's just a guy. He lived in Las Vegas. He played at the casinos. There's nothing. That's what's so bizarre," the distraught brother told reporters.

"No trouble with the law. No mental illness. He was a wealthy guy playing video poker . . . on cruises," the brother said, shrugging his shoulders in frustration.

"That would make him the perfect terrorist. After all, who would suspect a guy like that being capable of mass murder."

Wait, what? How does a well-compensated columnist for a major news organization make that kind of leap at just the time when clear thinking is most needed? How does that columnist's editor let a piece so lacking in logic be published? Why not, as editor, ask the columnist for a clearer thesis, perhaps even helping her think through what she wants to say?

*

"But on Monday, the FBI was quick to dismiss ISIS' claim that it was behind the horrific mass shooting.

"'We have determined at this point no connection to an international terrorist organization,' the FBI told the New York Post."

So your whole column has been invalidated!

*

"For now, Stephen Paddock is being described as a 'shooter,' and a 'lone wolf,' as law enforcement officials try to find a motive that could explain why a seemingly 'normal' guy would launch such a deadly attack.

"Whatever the motive, America has been dealt an agonizing blow.

"'If he had killed my kids, I couldn't have been more dumbfounded,' Eric Paddock told reporters.

"'I mean he was not an avid gun guy at all. The fact that he had those kind of weapons . . . he had no military background . . . he's a guy that lives in a house in Mesquite,' Eric Paddock said, as if that excluded his brother from possibly being a terrorist."

As if!

Um, does Mitchell know something the rest of us - including the FBI and Paddock's own brother - don't?

*

"Something changed dramatically because Stephen Paddock didn't suddenly run amuck.

"He was planning this for a long time. These were fully automatic firearms. You can't even buy those in Illinois. I think you can buy them in Nevada, but they are federally licensed," said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Sure, let's take it from from the ISRA, our state's version of the National Rifle Association.

*

"'They had to be licensed by the FBI. So far there is no evidence of that. He must have gotten these things off the black market,' he said.

"Pearson also pointed out that Paddock could only fire these automatic weapons for a minute.

"'They get too hot and you have to change the barrel on them or the barrel would melt. These guns came from an illicit source, that's my guess,' he said."

Let's just let the rifle guy guess - about something that may not even be relevant except, if you follow logic, in suggesting ways to, um, crack down on guns.

*

"Stephen Paddock may not fit the profile of a terrorist, but he acted like one."

But you told us he was one.

*

"That makes this the scariest mass shooting thus far."

No. What makes this scary - one could argue Newtown was the scariest, given that the victims were almost all children and the setting was a school - is that we may never know what compelled Paddock to kill so many people. It would be much easier to understand if he was a terrorist. That, though, doesn't mean we should make him so before we know it's true.

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Also:

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:00 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

UPDATE Oct. 18: Getting there.

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UPDATE Friday the 13th: Still sick. You can follow the travails over on Facebook if you wish. Hope to be back next week.

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UPDATE Monday: You can read all about it here.

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UPDATE Saturday: I'm miserable with the flu, haven't been able to update the site in recent days, beyond my intention to take some time off this week anyway.

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The site will be touch-and-go this week, I need to focus once again on finding ways to make a living. Suggestions, assignments, job offers welcome!

There was no column on Monday, for completists. For today, and possibly the rest of the week, some fresh-ish material:

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Beachwood Sports Radio: It's Not About Trubisky
All narrative roads lead to Ryan Pace. Plus: The President Of The United States Is Pro-Brain Damage; The Best Part Of The Cubs' Week; White Sox Making Believers; Blackhawks Backup Goalie Sitch; Wade Era vs. Glennon Era; Millennials Killing Football; Rick Pitino Was Just The Worst; and Schweinsteiger!

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SportsMonday: Lester & Co.
Our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman takes a stab at the Cubs' playoff roster and rotation.

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The Season In Verse | It Could've Been Worse
The first year of The Rebuild
Is now in the past.
But it wasn't so awful
The Sox didn't finish last . . .

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ADDED 11:40 A.M.: The Sun-Times Paid Mary Mitchell To Write This Astounding Column About The Las Vegas Shooter.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

Smarties Is Actually A Company!

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France Cracks Down On Photoshopped Bodies In Ads.

*

MUST-READ: Kate Millett, Sexual Politics & Family.

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MUST-READ: Production Of A Lifetime: Whitney Houston And Clive Davis.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Not in Congress there aren't.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Touch and go.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:26 AM | Permalink

October 2, 2017

SportsMonday: Lester & Co.

Jon Lester has to start Game 1, doesn't he? Followed by Kyle Hendricks in NLDS contest No. 2 and Jose Quintana in the one after that?

The Cubs brain trust will apparently meet Wednesday to hash out the postseason rotation and I suppose there is some uncertainty going into that pow wow. But the answers seem relatively clear. The fact that the Nationals are better against righties, but only slightly better, gives going with two lefties in the first three games the most appeal.

But given Quintana's lack of playoff experience, no way do you move him up past Game 3.

One more thing in favor of this order: going lefty-righty-lefty in the first three games has a fundamental baseball appeal of giving the Nationals very different looks each day.

As for the fourth starting pitcher spot, well, that all depends on Jake Arrieta's balky hamstring. Fortunately for the Cubs, John Lackey is ready to step in if Arrieta can't go. The fact that Lackey pitched an inning of relief of Sunday seemed a clear sign that he will not be inactive when the playoffs kick off on Friday in prime time (6:31) in the District (of Columbia).

The toughest part of starting Lester is the potential mayhem on the bases. Washington speedster Trea Turner is back after a long stint on the disabled list in the middle of the season and the Cubs have to be having flashbacks to a mid-season match-up with the Nationals that went quite poorly thanks in large part to Turner's aggressiveness on the basepaths.

Then again, the starting pitcher in that game who saw Turner steal four bases in late June was Jake Arrieta, and the catcher was the dearly departed (from the Cubs, not the living) Miguel Montero. And of course, that was the 6-1 loss that was followed by Montero popping off about Arrieta not releasing his pitches quickly enough (he made no mention of his own poor pop times - the time it takes a catcher to release a throw - contributing to the problem as well). That was followed by Montero's release.

Anyway, a few starts ago (Sept. 20) against Tampa Bay, Lester had one of his worst outings as a Cub. He was distracted early by baserunners taking liberties and he gave up seven runs in 4.1 innings. It appeared he had not completely recovered from a back injury.

But he was much better in his last two starts, as the Cubs won nine of 11 down a final stretch that featured eight road games with the Brewers and the Cardinals.

Turner could be a significant problem. But he can't steal first base (Yes, I know I am approximately the one millionth sportswriter to write those words. All I can say is, they work). And what Lester has shown time and again is that in clutch situations, he does such a good job keeping guys off the bases that the negative consequences that come with his difficulty throwing to bases are almost moot.

Now, about that roster. It seems clear that the Cubs will use 12 pitchers and 13 position players. The players are Albert Almora, Jr., Alex Avila, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, Jason Heyward, Jon Jay, Tommy La Stella, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist. Leonys Martin is the odd man out and I supposed they could keep him and drop a pitcher or maybe La Stella (and his .488 on-base percentage as a pinch-hitter? No). Neither of those moves seems even slightly rational.

The pitchers are the aforementioned five starters plus Wade Davis (a righty of course), Brian Duensing (L), Carl Edwards, Jr. (R), Mike Montgomery (L), Hector Rondon (R), Pedro Strop (R) and Justin Wilson (L). I suppose Justin Grimm could sneak in there somehow but again, not bloody likely.

You have to worry about the bullpen, especially with Joe Maddon's tendency to pull starters early even if the bullpen doesn't seem properly equipped to take games the rest of the way.

But why worry at this point? The Cubs won the division title for the second year in a row with a rock-solid 92 victories. They are the first defending World Series champs to even make the postseason the next year in five years. They even finished ahead of the Cardinals again. This is only the second time since the turn of the millennium that the Cards have missed the playoffs twice consecutively.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2017 playoff Cubs! It is a hell of a roster with great balance and flexibility.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:18 AM | Permalink

The Season In Verse | It Could Have Been Worse

The first year of The Rebuild
Is now in the past.
But it wasn't so awful
The Sox didn't finish last.

Hahn warned us,
"Have low expectations,
Keep an eye toward Charlotte
For future sensations."

We enjoyed a few highlights
Like Abreu's 33 and a hundred-two.
He also hit .304.
Well, that's not so new.

Avi Garcia lost weight
But remained very sturdy.
Finishing second to Altuve,
The guy hit three-thirty

Carlos became Yolmer.
This Sanchez was much better.
He hits, he fields,
A leadoff man and table-setter.

Our shortstop Anderson,
The errors were too much.
But the past two months,
Tim regained his touch.

We waited patiently
For the arrival of Moncada.
Unfortunately once he got here,
He hit close to nada.

But that's the point.
These things will take time.
The fans all recognize
That Yoan will be fine.

The Sox began the season
Missing Eaton and Sale.
But that was just the beginning
As Hahn continued to deal.

First it was Quintana.
He didn't go far.
Now he pitches for the Cubs.
Will he smoke a victory cigar?

In return the Sox got Jimenez.
This could be a great deal.
The kid's only 20.
We think he's for real.

Hahn kept on dealing.
He showed us some spine.
The fans were in suspense
Until the trade deadline.

Frazier departed
Followed by Melky.
The bullpen was emptied.
We were left with Pelfrey.

But we liked the new faces,
Surprises like Delmonico.
Then came Lopez
Followed by Giolito.

Fulmer stumbled at first
Then suffered a blister.
But when he was healthy,
He added to the mixture.

The prospect Kopech
Looks hungry and lean.
He just might make it
In 2018.

The fans seemed to buy it.
They're content to wait.
An average of 20-thousand
Showed up at The Rate.

Ticket prices remained reasonable
Just what you'd expect.
But once the Sox contend,
It will cost more, I suspect.

Despite all the losses,
Renteria liked his outfit.
One thing about Rickey's boys,
They never said, "Quit."

How long will it take
Before the Sox are a winner?
Stay tuned, Sox fans
We've seen things much dimmer.

Will it be next season
Or the year thereafter?
Be assured when it happens
We're going to enjoy this chapter.

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Roger's previous season-ending poems:
* Ode To 2014.

* The Season In Verse | Could Hardly Be Worse (2015).

* The Season In Verse | Back Up The Hearse (2016).

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Former Bill Veeck bar buddy Roger Wallenstein is our White Sox correspondent. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:47 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
TV - No Rehabilitating Vietnam.
POLITICS - Trump's Farmer Heavily Subsidized.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Maddon's Lousy Playoff Managing Exceeds Playoff Pleasure

BOOKS - Dots & Dashes.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: My Bastard Heart.


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