A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Thursday Headlines: Come On, They're the Pirates


Cubs Manager Piniella Listens to Questions in Denver


The Cubs offense that scintillated us over the weekend disappeared on the way to Pittsburgh. Even facing someone who was 0-5 with a 12.57 ERA couldn't help them Wednesday night. Sad Lou, any thoughts?

"We better be able to win with 2 runs once in awhile," said manager Lou Piniella, whose team fell to 13-15. "I thought the way we swung the bats at the end of this homestand we'd come on the road, and it would be a nice carry-over. We still got four games, but the first two games didn't start the right way."

(snip)

"What are you going to do?" Piniella said. "Look, I don't know. I don't have answers for this. It's just a disparity between the numbers that we put up at home offensively and the numbers that we put up on the road. I don't have an answer for it, I really don't. But there's a remarkable difference.

"Outside of (three wins in) Milwaukee, it's been a chore to score runs."

Lou had more to say when he was questioned about all his lineup changes.

"You know what the amazing thing is?" he asked. "When you lose baseball games, the manager gets questioned. If I stayed the same for the next 15 games, the first thing I'd be asked is, 'Why in the (heck) aren't you doing anything?' Look I understand the whole process.

"I'm not going to win regardless. I recognize that. I've been this for 23 years, and I recognize the fact that I'm not going to win. If I did nothing, it's, 'Why haven't you done something?' And if you do something, it's, "Why did you do something.' So what the (heck's) the difference. It's the truth. The question is you need to win baseball games. Then you won't get asked questions."


I know we've all been dying to hear the reaction of Derrek Lee and Marlon Byrd to the taser incident in Philly Monday night. Our prayers have been answered. First up, Marlon:


'A person runs on the field, you've got to get them off. That's it. Bottom line,'' said Marlon Byrd, who broke into the majors in Philadelphia, where a 17-year-old fan trying to elude several security guards during a game Monday was Tased by a Philly cop.

''The question is: What happens if they let the guy run around, run around, and he ends up hurting somebody,'' said Byrd, who referenced the 2002 attack of Kansas City Royals first-base coach Tom Gamboa by a father-son pair at U.S. Cellular Field. ''Especially in Philly. You never know how much drinking's involved. It's silly when you have four or five security guards running around trying to grab one person.''

Now Derrek:

''I think if you're going to run on the field, you pretty much know you're going to get yourself in trouble. So I don't have a problem with the guy Tasering him. I don't know if it's dangerous, but it doesn't seem dangerous.''

(snip)

''We need to do whatever we can to keep fans from running on the field,'' Lee said. ''I'm sure they'll think twice now that the one guy got Tasered.''


Today, I've saved the most mind-boggling article for last. Crazy Uncle Phil thinks that Alfonso Soriano is rehabilitated. He's writing like an eager fan.


Soriano's fall-off from 2008 to '09, a trend Cubs general manager Jim Hendry always attributed to an aching knee and additional health problems, had as much to do with the Cubs' 14-win slide than any other factor, including those centered on Milton Bradley, Carlos Zambrano and Aramis Ramirez's left shoulder. A return to form by the 34-year-old Soriano would figure to be huge but in the first weeks of the season it was hard to see beyond Soriano's dropped pops and his failure to hustle out of the batter's box.

Look at him now.

With six home runs in his last 11 starts, including five in a span of 11 at-bats Friday through Tuesday, Soriano is trending toward the most productive -- dare we say best? -- of his four seasons in Chicago.

Phil Rogers as Polyanna? Where is the point where he tears him down?

Baseball is never about one man. It's a great team game. But the last three seasons suggest that when Soriano is very good, his team will follow along.

That could happen again this year, although I know what you're saying.

It's something along the lines of, "Dude, it's early. You're looking at a small sample. He's not going to keep this up.''

You would be right too. It is early, and Soriano almost certainly won't maintain his slash line of .318/.371/.670.

If he came close, he would finish with an OPS (on base plus slugging) above 1.000, and he never did that in his best season. Only three qualifiers did that last season ( Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer and Prince Fielder).

But what if Soriano's OPS can jump from a lowly .726, where it was last season, to .897, where it was in 2007? If Jaramillo helps him to continue recognizing pitches and laying off slop off the plate, it could happen.


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Teebob2000 said:

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Join us for the next dramatic episode of "As The Milton Turns: Seattle."

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100505&content_id=9815660

We should have an LOHO "what's-Milton's-next-former-team-after-the-Mariners?" pool. Or maybe a "what's-Milton's-psyche-diagnosis?" pool.

JulieDiCaro said:

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My first prosecutor and dear friend is the judge I have to go in front of this morning on an emergency order of protection. Maybe get the bail money ready in case I call him my personal nickname for him instead of 'judge.'

Umbra said:

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Move to strike, Fluffyfingers!

kiwibob said:

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Is it going to play out like some sort of Boston Legal style scene?
Will he bang his gavel and tell you to approach the bench and say under his breath "You call me Pooky one more time I'm going to sling your ass behind bars"?

JulieDiCaro said:

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HA. We were both disgustingly civil, detached, and professional. So boring.

We used to be so much more fun.

secdelahc said:

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I can pitch in a dollar!

Umbra said:

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The complete lack of professional discretion here is crazy to me.

This is how it was explained to me (by a man whose goal in life is to one day be a DA!): some fans were violent in the past. An officer cannot know what a person's intentions are. Therefore in the interest of safety the default has to be that they are about to act violently, so using a taser is justified.

I'm sorry, but I need more evidence of violent intentions than simply running onto a baseball field. If they're headed right for a player or coach or umpire or have a weapon, go ahead and tase them. But if they are running around because they are drunk and starved for attention, don't tase them. As a security professional, you should have the professional discretion to make that distinction, and I'll give you my support in the gray areas.

But that was not a gray area. The guy was waving his shirt around for attention, and was surrounded by 5 security people. He constitutes no immediate threat to anyone.

kiwibob said:

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Hey, that was a towel in his hands. And not just any towel. A rally towel.
You get take an eye out with one of those things...

flyball said:

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I thought it was over the top, maybe technically it was in the rules and regulation of whatever the rules and regulations are, but I don't think I would want to be known as "the cop that tasered the kid in Philly"

and clearly it didn't make people think twice about running onto the field since someone did it a day later, my guess it went like this
"dude, I wonder what its like to get tasered"
"yeah, we should totally find out, I bet you can buy one online, we should try it"
"eff that, I'll go find out right now"

aaaand scene

kiwibob said:

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It was ludicrously over the top.
The idea that somehow it will now "send a message" to other fans and will stop it happening is equally lame. As are the various talking heads who claim that fining BP staggering amounts of cash will somehow "send a message" to other huge multinationals not a spill their oil everywhere.
Fans will still run on the field and fuck ups will still occur when you poke a big metal straw under the sea bed...

Umbra said:

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Look at us: so topical, today! I agree that excessive fines meant to "make an example of" a company are unlikely to do much good: they already have huge incentives to not spill precious oil all over the place.

But making them pay for the cleanup is only fair: if it's your mess, you pay for the cleanup.

kiwibob said:

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I have no objection to the fine or the cleaning bill. I'm just tired of claims this will teach the oil industry a lesson and they won't do it again.
A tremendous amount of modern law enforcement is trumpeted as "sending a message". It's like the final claim you make before you say "I give up".
In NZ they have "Booze Blitzes" They set up roadblocks all over the city and dish out random breath tests. At the same time the press will harp on about how this "two week booze blitz" is sending a message to people who drink and drive.
It does. It sends them the message that, if you wait a couple of weeks, you'll be able to drive back from the pub smashed cos the blitz will be finished...

flyball said:

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but aren't most punishments/consequences there as deterrents? its whether they are enforced, and enough to make the next person think twice that makes them effective or not

BP will have a bunch of pissed off Cape Codders when they realize those windmills they don't want are going in because offshore drilling is a nogo

secdelahc said:

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The "punishments" are supposed to set an example. But the company looks at whether it is cheaper for them to make changes or just pay the fine. In most cases, there isn't a financial reason that is strong enough for them to make the change, since the fines are minuscule compared to what they make in a year. Usually, the rewards systems in place place emphasis on short-term goals, which emphasizes sacrificing long-term goals for short-term gains. Which means that they will choose not to fix the problem, but to pay the fine, even though in the long run it's cheaper to fix than keep paying fines.

Holy crap! I actually learned stuff this year! Yay for me!

berselius said:

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What's been surprising is that there has been VERY little backlash for BP at the pump. Exxon lost a ton of business from the Valdez spill.

Maybe things will change once/if we start getting images of oil-coated beaches and animals.

Umbra said:

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I think it's the name recognition. No one called it the Valdez. Everyone called it the Exxon Valdez. I've been following the story pretty closely, so I know whose oil it was. But I don't put two-and-two together immediately, viscerally.

ClydeR said:

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I don't want Hendry around to clean up his mess!

Umbra said:

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I object to the deterrence defense on different grounds than that it's ineffective. Even if it were effective, it would still be unjust: the punishment has to fit the crime. If they had a guillotine in a trap door under center field and then summarily executed this guy after catching him, it would serve as a terrific deterrent. But it wouldn't be just for obvious reasons.

The only possible justification for this is that it is too hard to tell if someone is an imminent threat or not. I'm not a police officer, so it's easy for me to criticize a decision made in the heat of the moment.

kiwibob said:

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Well I also agree the level of force used was hardly warranted.
It does worry me where (and it happens here too albeit to a slightly lesser degree) officialdom will react with overwhelming force in situations where once a stern talking too was a fairly effective tool.

Just to rewind, perhaps there has been a message sent. Run faster and wear a rubber shirt....

flyball said:

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yeah, I definitely wouldn't tell the cop he did his job wrong, they got the guy off the field and nobody was seriously injured, plus its Philly and it seems there is a different concern regarding how fans might act once on the field

so my criticism isn't really about what happened, but what should happen in the future

MN Pat said:

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Not to mention, how many people can be categorized as "thinking" even once - much less twice - before they run onto a baseball field? No deterrent in the world is going to be effective against someone who's by nature an idiot.

Umbra said:

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Again, treating a taser as a tool of punishment is a weird way to look at it, I think. Properly viewed, it's a non-lethal tool that quickly incapacitates someone who poses a violent threat to themselves or others. It carries substantial risks, too: Amnesty International claims that people have died as a result of being tased. I think those risks are serious enough to warrant that the tasers only be used as a last resort.

JulieDiCaro said:

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that's the argument cops ALWAYS use. "I didn't know what he was going to do!"

Give me a break. Cops shoot and tase people because a part of them a) likes doing it; b) likes power; or c) are so ignorant and frightened that anyone NOT like them is a threat.

I worked with many, many cops who, if they weren't cops, would have been behind bars.

MillsChC said:

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You forgot d) knows a lot of people will get many laughs out of watching the dashboard video camera footage once it gets posted on Youtube... especially the one where the dummy wouldn't get off the cell phone after being pulled over.

secdelahc said:

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I'm done with exams!!! Hooray for the end of the school year!

flyball said:

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woohoo!!! do you get to enjoy the summer?

secdelahc said:

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I get a break for about a week, and then I'm off to Phoenix to start my internship. I'm hoping to catch a Cubs game when they play the Diamondbacks, though!

Eric From The Dugs said:

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Went there for Spring Training. Chase Field is a crazy place.

They have sushi there. And while I like sushi, I don't know how I feel about having sushi at a park.

secdelahc said:

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I'm honestly not a fan of sushi. But it is a little weird having it at a ballpark.

Dmband said:

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On some metaphorical level, isnt this discussion, at its root, a capital punishment discussion.

I agree, it never seems like these measures are an effective deterrent for anything.

Dmband said:

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So as you may or may not know, I have been one of Milton's biggest haters, but heres actually a very well written article about what he's going through. As a baseball player, I hate him. As a human being, I sincerely hope he finds peace.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/jerrybrewer/2011791825_brewer06.html

gravedigger said:

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I love how Byrd said "especially in Philly." He's just saying what everyone else was thinking but didn't want to say.

Teebob2000 said:

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I'm thinking when we play there next, Marlon's gonna find himself dodging batteries out in CF.

Dmband said:

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Sec-

You're off to Phoenix? Be sure to bring your passport and birth certificate and set of matching fingerprints.

secdelahc said:

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I'm hoping my passport comes back before I leave. i had to renew it. I guess it's also a good thing that I don't look Latin. No racial profiling of me...

secdelahc said:

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Although it could be really interesting to see what happens while I'm there with this new law and all.

gravedigger said:

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It doesn't officially take effect until June sometime.

secdelahc said:

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I'll be there until the beginning of August.

Teebob2000 said:

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Except that to prove they're NOT profiling, they WILL nab you just because you're a white-looking person.

secdelahc said:

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Except that under their new law, they can legally profile. So they don't have to prove that they're not profiling. At least, it's legal until someone challenges it and it (hopefully) gets revoked.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm back. The Score is debating whether or not Milton Bradley is mentally ill. I say yes.

Discuss.

plamorte said:

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nothing to discuss really, though I'd love to hear an argument for "no"

JulieDiCaro said:

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this has actually been my thinking for a while, especially as clinical depression often manifests itself as "everyone is out to get me," and "he/she doesn't like me just because (insert stupid reason that makes no sense)."

Of course, if you latch on to a legitimate complaint, like racist baseball fans, it's often hard to separate the real societal issues (people yelling racist things at him from the bleachers), with the thinks that he perceives to be true, even if they're not (the parents, kids, and teachers at his son's school calling his child the n word).

To me, this makes a lot of sense.

thisyearcub said:

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I definitely think there's some sort of imbalance with him. And I still hold steadfast that he's telling the truth on everything, especially in what's come out afterwards. But I agree, he takes it a step further with the me against the world stuff and then turns to what he knows best, which is rage.

I think it's great he's realized he needs help and hope he gets the best available.

For any Bradley naysayers/haters, I implore you to watch ESPN's 30 for 30 episode, "Run Ricky Run." Ricky Williams was about as mentally twisted as Bradley (though not as violent, likely thanks to weed) but then got help and it truly is an amazing transformation.

Their paths are similar to the point where fans hate them, they hit rock bottom, etc., and I can only hope the outcome is similar as well.

JulieDiCaro said:

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So believe, that in one of the most liberal states in the Union, there exists a daycare where parents, teachers, and kids all called the child of a professional athlete the "N" word?

Do I believe there is racism in Chicago? Absolutely.

Do I believe that preschool exists? No I do not, even in the South. You definitely would have heard other parents speaking out.

I don't believe a word of it.

thisyearcub said:

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Actually, you know what, when I remember, this was never spoken by Bradley. It was his mom who said so. Who knows, maybe she's part of the problem.

Preschool exists in the South. All other parts of the country too...did your kids bypass that? :)

thisyearcub said:

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And while Illinois may be a liberal state, Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in America.

/take that, South-jabber!

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'M usually the one that says that!

Look, even my black friends didn't believe that one.

jarowcliffe said:

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Im from downstate...people from Chicago would be floored by the amount of racism down here...even by preschoolers. Illinois my vote typically vote liberal in national elections but it is far from "one of the most liberal" when you get down this direction.

JulieDiCaro said:

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The problem with tasering fans, Derrek, is that when you get away with tasing a white kid on national tv who is obviously just goofing around and is no threat to anyone, it makes it that much more permissible for the cops to tase some black kid on the south side who is "resisting arrest" because he has the gall to ask what crime he's committed or why the cops are stopping him.

thisyearcub said:

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100% correct spot on, Jules.

I think if the Gamboa attack had never happened, this wouldn't be such a big deal. Proving yet again, that most of society's problems somehow have something to do with White Sox fans.

gravedigger said:

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This discussion wrapped around quite nicely.

JulieDiCaro said:

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And it really ticks me off that DLee said that. How often have major league players been "attacked" by fans? Far, far less than they attack each other. Maybe we should let the umps tase players to keep them from fighting? After all, you never know what another player is going to do.

This the problem with America: One bad thing happens and everyone wants to write a law to stop it from happening again. You can't outlaw or deter everything. Sometimes bad (or in this case stupid) things just happen.

jarowcliffe said:

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That was kind of what I was thinking...do you see the cops running onto the field to stop two ball players from beating each other senseless? If this kid had run through a supermarket waving a shirt and yelling would they tase him? Absolutely not they would look at him like he was bat shit crazy then tell him to leave. Why does a sporting event get special treatment? Its bullshit!

Same thing that if a cop were to act as security for a celebrity...If there is no threat leave the person alone if the celebrity doesn't like being bothered then they can pay for personal security.

ClydeR said:

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It's already been proven. He got off when he killed the Cubs last year.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Roger Ebert did a hilarious review of "The Human Cenitpede," LOHO's favorite movie.

The best line from his review "You don't want to be part of the human centipede, but you really don't want to be in the middle."

Teebob2000 said:

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OMG that's a real movie. Like in movie theaters. (Which ones, I want to know!) I thought it was just a viral trailer for a non-existent film. I expected funnyordie.com to take credit/blame.

plamorte said:

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Logically the front would be the best choice, as it frees up your mouth, but depending on the woman in the middle, i might opt for the end...

Umbra said:

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GROSS-SHUN-GROSS-EWWW-ICK-GROSS-SHUN

JulieDiCaro said:

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I TOLD YOU NOT TO LOOK AT IT!!!

kiwibob said:

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Oh great.
And now you've made ME look at it.... bleeeeuuurgh!

flyball said:

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I need baseball

flyball said:

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Phillies and Cards, sigh, better than nothing

Umbra said:

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The Cards are losing! This is fun.

flyball said:

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the Phils play Celebrate after a win? i expected better than that

Dmband said:

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TYC-

I saw Run Ricky Run and it was great. I think you're absolutely right that there are many similarities there.

However, when I give Ricky the credit is when he had the guts to walk away from the game and "retire". He promptly moved to Austrailia and lived in a tent!

If Milton is truely this unhappy, which in all likelyhood he is, he should really step away from the game, instead of continuing to be a detriment to his team.

thisyearcub said:

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I think that's what he's doing right now. Him taking the rest of the season off isn't that far-fetched. In fact, that's what I would suggest.

Dmband said:

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Its reassuring to hear him say that he needs help...

Thats usually step one...

jarowcliffe said:

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I may just be insensitive but its not to far fetched to think that he might just be an asshole using "stress" as a cop out for asshole behavior

kiwibob said:

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Hee Hee...
Sir Ian McKellen AKA Gandalf is in Melbourne at the moment appearing in Waiting for Godot. While taking a break from rehearsals he sat down on the porch of the theatre still in costume and a passer-by dropped a dollar into his hat thinking he was a tramp.
He's put the dollar up in his dressing room as a lucky talisman.

AndCounting said:

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I'm amazed at how little I care about the taser incident. Normally I form multiple opinions and argue each one in different forums to see which one plays better, but I can't even feign interest. It doesn't seem like tasering is that dangerous. Maybe people have died from them, but people die from falling out of bunk beds, too. If tasers are more dangerous than bunk beds, I wouldn't know. I just don't care enough to look it up, and I don't believe they are so dangerous or inhumane to warrant my concern.

I do, however, hope that whoever is using said tasers would have a better understanding of their dangers than I do.

Dmband said:

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for the record:

Pepper spray is far more painful than tasering. Far, far more. The effects linger for significantly more time as well.

Dont ask me how I know this.

AndCounting said:

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How do you know this?

Dmband said:

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Ive been pepper sprayed...during a scuffle by an officer of the law.

If you do not have access to water immediately its the equivalent of lighting your face on fire. You do not regain your vision for sometime.

jtbwriter said:

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Evening from sunny and warm CA....
I'm sorry-but the taser incident is overblown-I hope the Philly cop doesn't get in trouble for tazing the little punk. Having seen yahoos like this get away with holding up a game because they are more important then the rest of us, maybe the next idiot will thing twice about interrupting the proceedings.
That said, maybe the Cubs need a shock or two-this game is hideous! It's the Pirates-you can at least score a run or two!

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