Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Short Takes

The Persian Gulf states are on board with the Iran nuclear pact.

President Obama announced major goals to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.  Expect major power outrage.

Major wildfires continue to devastate California.

Senate Democrats blocked an attempt by the GOP to defund Planned Parenthood.  It’s not over.

Tropical Update:  Invest 95L moves inland.

The Tigers had the night off.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Short Takes

Massive California wildfire spreads.

Trump surges in new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

Person of interest in custody in Memphis cop killing.

Two churches damaged in bombings in New Mexico.

Israeli teen stabbed at Jerusalem gay pride parade dies.

Tropical Update: Invest 95L is soaking the Florida panhandle.

The Tigers are doing a bit better with some of their new teammates.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Short Takes

Serial number confirms that the piece of the airliner found on Reunion is from Malaysia Airlines MG 370.

The University of Cincinnati policeman indicted for murder in the killing of an unarmed man had his bail set at $1 million.

A California wildfire near Napa Valley has forced 650 people from their homes.

Six people were stabbed by a lunatic in the Jerusalem gay pride parade.

Athletes will swim in filth at the Rio Olympics according to the AP.

The Tigers beat the Orioles 9-8.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Short Takes

Afghans say Taliban leader Mullah Omar died in 2013.

Remains of a plane washing ashore on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean could be from the missing Malaysia jet.

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) indicted on corruption charges.

Cincinnati police officer indicted for murder in the shooting of an unarmed man.

Refugees are camped out in France trying to get to England by the chunnel.

Finally!  Justin Verlander gets his first win as the Tigers beat the Rays 2-1.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Short Takes

Turkey called an emergency NATO meeting over ISIS in Syria.

President Obama told African leaders who overstayed their welcome to get the hint.

Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel, will be paroled in November.

Tom Brady’s four-game suspension because he deflated his balls is upheld by the NFL commissioner.

Talk about an upgrade: Delta offers a private jet.

The Tigers lost 10-2 to the Rays.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Short Takes

Turkey and the U.S. unite to fight ISIS in Syria.

President Obama was in Ethiopia to talk about South Sudan.

“Ridiculous if it wasn’t sad” was how the President responded to Mike Huckabee’s oven door statement.

Boston bows out of the 2024 Olympics bid.

Europe approves world’s first malaria vaccine.

The Tigers lost 5-2 to the Rays.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Short Takes

At least 13 killed in Somali hotel blast.

Boat belonging to missing 14-year-old boys found off Florida coast.

Fiat Chrysler faces record $105 million fine for safety issues.

President Obama delivers tough-love message to Kenya.

Senate resurrects Import-Export Bank.

The Tigers got walloped 11-1 by the Red Sox.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Short Takes

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter dropped in on Baghdad.

Autopsy results on Sandra Bland showed injuries consistent with suicide.

Secretary of State John Kerry went to Capitol Hill to persuade Congress to approve the Iran nuclear deal.

NASA mission discovers another Earth-like planet 1,400 light years away.

The Tigers lost 3-2 to the Mariners in extra innings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tough Time For A Tough Team

Craig Calcaterra visited Comerica Park to see why the Tigers are struggling this month.

DetroitTigersNo, the Tigers were not in first place, but they hovered between four and six games back of the Royals. We’ve seen this sort of thing from them before. In 2014 they were three games back in late August. They were six games back in June of 2012 and still trailed by four and a half as late as July 7, but again won the division. They’ve rarely been a perfect team, but they have the best hitter in baseball and you can never go more than a couple of days without having to face one of their former Cy Young winners. The Tigers have always had another gear.

On the Friday night of my first weekend trip, however, Miguel Cabrera was on first base and then broke for second base on an attempted hit-and-run. He pulled up lame and was eventually diagnosed with a Grade 3 calf strain. He’d be placed on the disabled list the next day and is not expected back until late August at the earliest.

Cabrera’s prognosis was announced on the morning of July 4, before a daytime tilt with the Blue Jays. And, that morning, everyone seemed pretty relaxed. Despite losing Cabrera, the Tigers won the game the night before.

Manager Brad Ausmus was certainly not pleased to lose the man he called “the best hitter on the planet,” but he was pretty zen about it all, saying “We still have a very good offense, with names like Cespedes, and [J.D.] Martinez and [Victor] Martinez. And we’re going to need some contributions from other places as well. It doesn’t have to be one person that steps up. It can be a number of people that step up over the course of this timeframe.”

Justin Verlander has more time in with this club than Ausmus does and he, for one, was not panicking.

“You can either look at it negatively or positively. And I think this is a positive clubhouse,” Verlander said. It’s time for everyone to step up . . . If the veterans aren’t panicking the young guys aren’t.”

Catcher Alex Avila said “I don’t think anyone is going to feel sorry for us . . . I’m not giving up in here, and if there’s anyone else giving up in here you can pack your bags and leave. With him going down, it hurts us, but there’s still a lot of good players on this team. We’ve got to keep it there for when he gets back and make a run at this.”

Mr. Calcaterra goes on to explore the possibility of Tiger management swapping out some players and getting fresh blood.  But one of the things that have served the Tigers well has been their loyalty — sometimes to a fault — to their players.  Their coaching staff is made up of veterans from years past such as the legendary Al Kaline and Gene Lamont.  Unlike some teams I could name (*cough*Marlins*cough*), they know the value of keeping the team together for more than just stats, and their record over the last twenty years has proven it.

Mark my words: they’re going to be in the running for the pennant this year.

Short Takes

Three Spanish reporters missing in Syria.

Iran’s parliament put off voting on the nuclear deal for 80 days.

Sweet Sixteen: Ohio Gov. John Kasich joins the GOP field.

Part of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s sentence for corruption is vacated.

Check your mailbox: Citibank is going to pay credit card holders $700 million for ripping them off.

R.I.P. Theodore Bikel, 91, actor, singer, humanitarian; E.L. Doctorow, 84, author of Ragtime and Billy Bathgate.

The Tigers lost to the Mariners 11-9.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Short Takes

As noted below, Cuba and the U.S. re-opened their embassies in Washington and Havana.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to support the Iran nuclear agreement; votes to lift sanctions.

The military plans to increase security at recruiting centers following the shooting in Chattanooga last week.

Greek banks re-opened on Monday for the first time in three weeks.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a restrictive abortion bill.

The Tigers beat the Mariners 5-4.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Short Takes

U.S. and Cuba set to re-open embassies today.

Keep it up, Trump; you’re doing great.

Hobby drones hinder California wilidfire-fighting efforts.

Former President George H.W. Bush leaves hospital.

The Tigers‘ annual mid-season slump continues after losing two of three to the Orioles.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Short Takes

Not Again — Shooting in Tennessee leaves four Marines dead.

Aurora, Colorado, gunman found legally sane and guilty on all counts.

President Obama visited a prison, calls for reform.

Japan votes to expand military’s role.

Doctors expect former President George H.W. Bush to recover from neck injury.

The Tigers resume play tonight against the Orioles.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Short Takes

Leaders work past deadline on Greek debt crisis.

Mexican drug kingpin escapes prison via tunnel.

Texas burger chain challenges state open carry law.

Kentucky gets swamped with torrential flooding.

Alligator Alley across the Everglades closed to rescue airboaters.

The Tigers head into the All-Star break at .500.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Short Takes

Iran nuclear talks go on past the deadline.

The Confederate flag in front of the South Carolina statehouse will come down at 10:00 a.m. today.

France steps up for Greece in Eurozone debt negotiations.

F.B.I. chief says ISIS-inspired plots for attacks on 4th of July were foiled.

Florida Supreme Court throws out Congressional redistricting map; eight districts to be re-drawn.

The Tigers best the Twins 4-2.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Short Takes

Glitches: United Airlines and the New York Stock Exchange suffered computer problems yesterday.

Greece proposed a three-year debt plan to a skeptical Eurozone summit.

Baltimore police commissioner given his walking papers.

South Carolina House votes 94-20 to take down the Confederate flag.

Washington NFL team loses trademark appeal.

The Tigers beat the Mariners 5-4.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Short Takes

Greece’s new finance minister showed up at an emergency financial summit without doing his homework.

Wildfires are scorching the Northwest.

The Chinese stock market is cratering.

London commemorated the tenth anniversary of the subway bombing of 2005.

Heroin deaths have quadrupled in the U.S.

The Tigers lost 7-6 to the Mariners in 11 innings.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Short Takes

Germany is keeping the pressure on Greece.

President Obama says we will battle ISIS on two fronts: militarily  and ideologically.

Many non-violent drug offense prisoners could be freed by the president.

South Carolina Senate votes to take down Confederate flag.

Scientists excited about possible AIDS vaccine.

R.I.P. Jerry Weintraub, 77, Hollywood producer.

The Tigers beat the Mariners 12-5.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Short Takes

U.S. women’s soccer team for the win over Japan 5-2.

Greece votes “OXI” (“No”) to the bailout.

Secretary of State Kerry locked in negotiations with Iran as deadline approaches.

New York prison escapee returned to the joint.

South Carolina legislators brace for Confederate flag debate.

The Tigers had a topsy-turvy weekend against the Blue Jays.

(Footnote: this is the 2,400 edition of Short Takes.  Good morning.)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Short Takes

Grecian Turn: Another attempt at getting out debt is proposed.

Six predominately black churches have burned in the last two weeks.

The government is investigating whether major airlines colluded on keeping prices high.

A federal judge in Alabama has ordered judges to issue marriage licenses to all comers.

R.I.P Nicholas Winton, 106, a Briton who saved nearly 700 children from the Nazis.

The Tigers lost 9-3 to the Pirates.