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Breaking News out of Hollywood

The Channel 5 news, anchored by furniture peddler and Mayor Daley suckup Alison Rosati (more on that later), informed me tonight there was “breaking news out of California” after the commercial break. Curiosity kept me there.

What was this breaking news? An earthquake? A fiscal crisis spurred by some action or inaction by the state general assembly? Unrest in Los Angeles or San Francisco or Oakland?

No, it was more important than that. Apparently Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are separating.

Who says hard-hitting TV news is dead?

Temporary Revival?

The Pittsburgh Pirates won their third straight game, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight 4-1. This puts them exactly one game over .500.

The Pirates haven’t been over .500 past the first week of the season in seven years, when they last topped .500 on May 29, 2004.

That’s how bad it’s been for the Pirates, whose fans have had nothing to cheer about since Francisco Cabrera’s two-RBI single in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS. No winning seasons, just life as an also-ran for 19 seasons. In the 21 seasons prior, Pittsburgh won two World Series and six division titles. Pittsburgh’s a football town, sure, but baseball ran a close second.

These days, it’s not so much a baseball town unless locals are discussing Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente or Bill Mazeroski. It’s a shame, and I HATED the Pirates in their heyday of the early 1990s.

Baseball has some problems, and as tough as it is for small-to-medium market teams to be competitive, it’s not unheard of. Kansas City and Cleveland are enjoying a nice start, and Cleveland, Minnesota, Detroit, Atlanta, San Diego, Oakland, Seattle, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Milwaukee have all enjoyed runs of at least a little sustained success.

It’s management that screws it up in Pittsburgh. They haven’t had a good ownership situation in some time, and while they have developed some of the league’s better players, they don’t hold onto them long enough to get any dividends out of them.

Improvement is incremental, but decline seems to be exponential until you hit bottom. One thing cascades into another into another, and soon you are the Pittsburgh Pirates. Or the KC Royals. Or the Cubs.

19 seasons of futility is pretty bad, though.

Privacy, please?

I was going to cackle at all the Iphone users whose precise locations are known to the databases in Cupertino, Cal.

However, I own an Android device (a Motorola Droid X, which is excellent, by the way), and I read that my locations are probably also known to Sergey Brin at the Googleplex in Mountain View, Cal.

I didn’t sign up to have my movements tracked and stored. Worse yet, the government now knows these databases exist. How long until the government talks Google into handing over the information.

Disgraceful.

Family Business Paralysis!

Apropos of nothing, here’s a new twist to the continuing Frank and Jamie McCourt divorce saga.

Major League Baseball has moved to seize control of the Dodgers, a famed franchise that fans and much of the baseball world had come to see as crippled by an owner who does not appear to have enough money to operate the team.

A lot of employees will be hurt in this spectacle. And by employees, I do not mean Andre Ethier. The 9-to-5ers for the Dodgers (ticket sales, customer relations, etc., etc.) will have some sleepless nights as this mess gets sorted.

I suppose when ownership is at 50-50, you need to make it work out somehow, or be a selfish ass and screw everyone else, even when you say you care about them out of the other side of your mouth.

Visit smartlyheated.com for more information.

Thought of the Day

Courtesy of David Bowie:

And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

A lot’s been on my mind lately. To me, one who does not keep trusted friends’ counsel, who does not outwardly show any interest in learning from any outside force, who asserts his or her leadership prowess simply by pointing out the shortcomings he or she perceives in others, and who chooses no solution over acknowledging that there’s a problem is no leader, and really is just one step from dead.

I’ve witnessed someone, who in 15 short years went from being a young man who carried a bit of an aura about him to becoming a bitter old man with no original ideas. He has become a man who measures achievement and accomplishment by “activity.”

Anyway, the time’s come to bury the remnants of an old friend who passed 11-plus years ago. Now that was a leader.