Sunday, February 20, 2011

What Are Your Baseball Predictions for This Year?

OK, it's mid-February, and that can only mean one thing.

For us long-suffering fans, still nursing our hangovers from Jets and Eagles playoff losses, and the Giants' flameout (depending on what part of NJ you live in), the only real cure is knowing that the Boys of Summer have reported to Spring Training and opening day of our National Pastime is just over a month away.

So, what are your predictions for the 2011 season?

No, I'm not asking who will win the World Series; everyone knows that will be the Fightin' Phils. What I'm asking is, what Phan misbehavior can we look forward to this year?

The 2010 season is a tough act to follow, with Vomit Guy (a/k/a "Pukemon"), Taser Kid, and Copy-cat Would-be Taser Guy (who never got tasered) leading the pack.

But, Pick's Place has high hopes for this season, so here are some predictions:

1.) On opening day, former catcher Darren Daulton attempts to deliver the game ball through out-of-the-body astral travel from his home in Florida, but arrives without the ball, which was lost in transit. Angry fans storm the field but fail to reach the virtual Dauton before he beams himself back to Florida.

2.) On the first Dollar Dog Day,  the game is delayed by rain. Former PA Governor Ed Rendell, scheduled to throw out the first pitch, calls the Phillies "a bunch of wussies" for rain-delaying the game. Once the tarp is removed and Fast Eddie takes to the mound, angry fans pelt him with dollar dogs.

3.) On "Cliff Lee Appreciation Day". the Phillies unwisely hand out Cliff Lee bobble-heads to fans on the way into the stadium. By the 7th inning, as Lee is being pounded by the Atlanta Braves, angry fans plaster the outfield with bobble-heads. The outfielders are forced to wear helmets.

4.) On a positive note, the Phillies give Christina Aguilera a second chance to get the National Anthem right.

What are YOUR predictions for this season?

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Sound of Silence in Trenton

A Republican governor is elected in a traditionally "blue" state on the platform of restoring fiscal sanity. Upon taking office, he declares war on the public unions, including the teachers' union, firefighters, police. He scapegoats public sector workers and attempts to turn public opinion against the state workers, because, after all, their outrageously bloated salaries, benefits, and pensions are to blame for the state's fiscal woes.

Outraged, teachers, police, firefighters, and other public workers storm the State Capital by the tens of thousands, protesting the governor's attempts to balance the state budget on the backs of public sector workers.

The whole world is watching! Why is the Liberal Media not in Trenton covering this?

Because it's not happening in Trenton, it's happening in Madison, WI. Unlike their brothers and sisters in NJ, the state unions in Wisconsin decided not to wait. Perhaps they looked east and saw what happens when you have a governor run amok, storming the state, and now the country, ramrodding his anti middle class agenda and getting fawning coverage by the press while he's at it, and the people do nothing. The story in Wisconsin is fluid and it remains to be seen how this will play out. However, I'm certain there will be no "Scott Walker for President" movements anytime soon.

Barbara Keshishian, are you listening?
Hetty Rosenstein, are you listening?

The people of Wisconsin took a lesson from the complacency in New Jersey and decided to fight back now.

It's time the people of New Jersey take a lesson from Wisconsin.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Have You Written to Your Elected Officials Lately?

Have You Written to Your Elected Officials Lately? I have.

Recently I wrote to the triumvirate who represent  my Legislative District, #4: Senator Fred Madden (D), Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D), Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco Jr (R), along with Washington Twp Mayor Matthew Lyons (D). The subject was the growing number of once-thriving, now vacant, retail properties in the Township (which will be a topic for a future blog).

I received two responses: one from Mayor Lyons, who suggested that I attend the next planning meeting . The other was from Assemblyman DiCicco, the sole Republican Legislator in my District, who expressed that he shared my concerns, and included the usual Republican boilerplate about making NJ more business-friendly. I believe he was sincere. I am disappointed by the silence form the two Democrats who represent my District, especially Mr. Moriarty, who is a Township resident and former mayor. At least Mr. DiCicco had the decency to respond. Perhaps he is the only one who realizes that he is up for re-election this year, and re-election is not a given. 

I also wrote to the Governors office, one sentence:
"When can we expect the Governor to unveil his 2012 budget proposal?"

Here is the robo-response I received, which included a self-congratulatory link to a YouTube video from the recent Union City town hall:

Dear Friend:
As we continue our push for fiscal sanity, meaningful education reform and a lasting fix to our broken pension and benefits system, we've launched a website to detail the reforms and track our progress.  You can find it here:
As we continue to hold open town hall forums up and down the state, I'll do my best to share them with you.  Here's a clip from our latest town hall in Union City last week:

Best wishes.
Governor Chris Christie

My response was:

That's not what I asked.
I asked:
"When can we expect the Governor to unveil his 2012 budget proposal?"
 - JRP

I'll keep you posted.