(Posted: 3/7/11; update 3/8)
We wrote last time of the fan embarrassment caused by the scandalous mismanagement of the Mets. The situation is at the point where the team’s continued ownership by the Wilpons seems almost unsustainable. A much more seriously embarrassing – no, best viagra help shameful – game is being played in a remote corner of the political field overseen by Skipper Obama.
It concerns Army Private Bradley Manning, implicated in the WikiLeaks disclosures that have discomforted Team USA and, obviously, its skipper. Manning has been held for nine months, all but one hour a day in solitary confinement and forced to remain naked much of rhe time as part of a far-fetched “suicide watch.” Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, who has been tracking the foul game from the start, is calling the U.S. team to account:
“Is there anyone who doubts that these measures — and especially this prolonged forced nudity — are punitive and designed to further erode his mental health, physical health and will?… The treatment of Manning is now so repulsive that it even lies beyond what at least some of the most devoted Obama admirers are willing to defend…The (treatment) is being carried out by the military of which Barack Obama is the Commander-in-Chief. Yes…our Nobel Peace Prize winner is well aware of what’s being done and obviously has been for quite some time. It is his administration which is obsessed with destroying and deterring any remnants of whistle-blowing and breaches of the secrecy regime behind which the National Security State() function(s).”
The box score shows the presumption of innocence has no place in the National Security bailiwick. Manning stands accused, but, neither tried nor convicted, he has been locked off-field under torture-like conditions for nearly a year.
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Phenom-Time: The Yankees’ early-season phenom Manuelo Banuelos will only turn 20 next Sunday; he’s supposed to report to Double-A Trenton soon thereafter. But the lefthander has impressed Joe Girardi enough up to now to prompt the manager to say Banuelo should feel a “glimmer of hope” about making the big team. But Girardi also said on YES that “young pitchers need their innings” and it’s therefore likely Banuelos will start at Trenton with a chance of being called up later in the season.
Speedsters: The Globe’s Nick Cafardo asked scouts about the identities of baseball’s world-class runners. Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner headed a list that also included Carlos Gomez of the Brewers, the Astros’ Michael Bourn and Julio Borbon of the Rangers. In a special category is Ichiro: “He’s still very fast,” a scout said, “but not in the class of the guys we’re talking about. He used to be. But he’s 37 years old.’’
Hopeless in Seattle? You know a team has little hope going into a season when the MLB-TV people devote much of their preview-time to reviewing its proud history. The Mariners are a case in point: Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez and even John Olerud were names invoked in discussing Seattle. Current Mariners (King) Felix Hernandez and Ichiro received appropriate mention as well, but the MLB team had to work hard to find much positive to say about the 2011 M’s.
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