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Ozzie's on the mark

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 06/03/2008 - 00:38
Ozzie Guillen didn't throw Kenny Williams under the bus Sunday. He just sent a very pointed message to his offense, and he also threw a well-deserved "I've got your back'' to the White Sox' pitching staff, which has a chance to be as good as the 2005 crew. End of the latest White Sox controversy. Guillen probably took it a little too far after Sunday's loss at Tampa Bay when he said: "If we think we're going to win with the offense we have, we're full of (do-do).'' Most managers would have said: "We'll get 'em tomorrow.'' Well, Guillen isn't most managers. And he said the aforementioned kind of do-do far too many times last season, when the Sox didn't have hitting or pitching. They have the pitching now, a solid rotation and a even better bullpen.

Galileo, Figaro / Magnifico!

Posted by Sean Stangland on Mon, 06/02/2008 - 19:08

I missed about 15 minutes of Sunday's awful MTV Movie Awards, and they were apparently the only 15 minutes worth watching: The return of "Wayne's World"! (Click on Clip No. 15 on the linked video player.)

"Wayne's World" began, of course, as a sketch on "SNL," and it instantly won over suburbanite metalheads everywhere with its casual references to all things rock, Mike Myers' perfect mullet, the breakfast nook, and Garth's Aerosmith T-shirt. It was especially meaningful to me as Wayne seemed to be interested in everything I was interested in, including the Chicago Blackhawks.

"Save the clock tower!"

Posted by Sean Stangland on Mon, 06/02/2008 - 00:04

Universal disaster:

The brave firefighters of Los Angeles County tried, but they just couldn't do it -- the iconic Hill Valley clock tower, and the city scene around it, was engulfed in flames Sunday in the second fire to strike Universal Studios' back lot in the last 20 years.

The clock tower was my favorite part of the studio tour when I took it way back in 1988; who needs an animatronic shark when you can see the actual fake (actual fake?) clock tower from "Back to the Future"?

Tough to change White Sox

Posted by scotgreg on Sun, 06/01/2008 - 16:48
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was obviously frustrated after Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay, and who can blame him? Guillen said changes are coming before Tuesday's game against the Royals, but general manager Kenny Williams doesn't have much wiggle room. You can't trade Jim Thome, his value his way too low right now. You can't trade Paul Konerko because he's a 10-5 guy and has veto power. You can't trade Nick Swisher because Williams just dealt three top prospects to get him. Here's what I would do. Sit Swisher for a couple games because he is mentally fried. Put Alexei Ramirex in center field. See what Juan Uribe can do with the bat for a couple games at second base. That's it.

Madigan talks

Posted by JP on Sat, 05/31/2008 - 23:53
House Speaker Michael Madigan made a rare appearance in the Capitol press conference room where he took reporters questions for more than 30 minutes on everything from government ethics to the Catholic Church. Here are some highlights ... On his relationship, or lack thereof, with Gov. Rod Blagojevich ... A: "I have no ill will toward Rod Blagojevich. Rod Blagojevich has his own problems." On the governor likely changing ethics legislation lawmakers sent him ... A: "I kinda suspect he would not be well intentioned." On his legal staff researching impeachment of a governor? Q: What would it take to impeach Blagojevich? A: "It's going to take 60 votes in the Illinois House."

Governor makes House call

Posted by JP on Sat, 05/31/2008 - 20:18
While House members were arguing (but not voting) about a nearly $34 billion state construction spending program, Gov. Rod Blagojevich showed up on the House floor. He pressed the flesh, talked to numerous members on each side and in the midst of his visit had Woodstock Democrat Jack Franks take to his microphone to remind everyone about the governor cutting projects and broken promises. At one point, Blagojevich sought out House Speaker Michael Madigan and began talking to him about shared values. From where I was, it didn't look like Madigan was responding. I did hear this exchange just before they went their separate ways: Blagojevich: I'll call you. Will you take it? Madigan: Ha, ha, ha

Suburban roll call on Senate lottery vote

Posted by JP on Sat, 05/31/2008 - 14:55

By a vote of 43-8 the Illinois Senate approved leasing out the right to collect 80 percent of the losing lottery ticket take in exchange for at least $10 billion upfront. The lease could be up to 65 years. The lottery brings in $600 million annually. The money the state would get now would be split -- $3 billion for education and $7 billion to pay for construction projects.

Here’s how state senators from the Daily Herald’s area voted:

Those supporting the lottery lease deal:
Pamela J. Althoff, McHenry Republican
Dan Cronin, Elmhurst Republican
Kirk W. Dillard, Hinsdale Republican
Don Harmon, Oak Park Democrat
Linda Holmes, Aurora Democrat
Dan Kotowski, Park Ridge Democrat
Terry Link, Waukegan Democrat
Michael Noland, Elgin Democrat

Rolling the dice

Posted by JP on Sat, 05/31/2008 - 00:39
In order to fund an ever-growing construction spending plan – now up to nearly $34 billion from $31 billion – the Illinois Senate is likely to approve three new casinos. One would be a land-based casino in Chicago. One would be a land-based casino elsewhere in the state. The third would be a riverboat casino that couldn’t be closer than 15 miles from an existing casino. The existing casinos would also be allowed to add more slot machines and there’d be slot machines at Arlington Park and other tracks. So that would bring the total number of casino licenses to 13. Nine are currently being used and the 10th has been in limbo for years. “I wanted 15,” said Senate President Emil Jones Jr., a Chicago Democrat, as he hurriedly left the governor’s office late Friday.

Final countdown?

Posted by JP on Sat, 05/31/2008 - 00:02
Lawmakers appear confident they'll be able to wrap up a deal before midnight Saturday and avoid a summer of overtime session at the Capitol. Not even tornado warnings could thwart their optimism. Lawmakers, staff and reporters spent about 45 minutes huddled in the basement tunnels under the Capitol Complex Friday night after funnel clouds were reported in Springfield. It wasn't that long ago that two tornados hit the city on the same night, so bad weather isn't something to joke about here. But I'll try. Did you hear a tornado was in town? It was applying for Blagojevich spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch's job (her last day's Saturday). It was impressed with her ability to spin.

Root, root for the Rays?

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 22:19
Bad night for the White Sox Friday, specifically the offense. Good night for the Rays. Finally. Been coming down here since the "Devil'' Rays were born in 1998 and never felt a buzz, bump, nothing. Most of the times, the sparse crowds were made up mostly of Sox fans. Only 14,679 were on hand Friday night, but after Cliff Floyd homered off Scott Linebrink in the ninth inning to snap a 1-1 tie, the fans were louder than I've ever heard. I think it's a good thing that baseball is finally starting to matter down here on the West Coast of Florida. It gets a little hot in the summer, but this is one of my favorite travel spots and I hope Tampa Bay puts it together and doesn't go the way of the Montreal Expos.