By C. Thompson
June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Our love of baseball was just really starting to mature when Bob Welch was torching the American League in 1990, and the awakening was mostly from a better appreciation for pitching.
Before that, in our less sophisticated years, we identified more with the mashers and the magicians -- growing up a Phillies fan, the former was embodied by Mike Schmidt and Greg Luzinski, and the latter by wizards like Manny Trillo. A light-hitting infielder in schoolboy days, we regarded pitchers the way we did hockey goalies: They’re a little different.
Perhaps it was our attention span or that by 1990 we were sharing a house with guys who had a more evolved understanding of the sport’s intricacies, but with Welch -- and Tom Glavine and John Smoltz throwing for Atlanta, later to be joined by Greg Maddux -- the chess game suddenly revealed itself to us.
The Phillies had finished a distant fifth in the division that year, 18 games out, which was pretty much a normal season in Philadelphia. Schmidt retired that year. (We didn’t know it at the time, but the sparks that would lead to the 1993 National League pennant were just beginning.) So if we wanted to enjoy baseball, it was other people’s baseball. That summer, that guy was the pitcher.
In 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, the Cold War was ending, Drexel Burnham Lambert filed for bankruptcy, Imelda Marcos went on trial, “Driving Miss Daisy” won the best-picture Oscar, West Germany won the World Cup mere weeks before that distinction would vanish, the Channel Tunnel connected France and the U.K., the first website was tested, and Slobodan Milosevic became president of Serbia.
It was such a short time ago, wasn’t it? When we were young?
Today’s economic indicators are mortgage applications at 7 a.m. EDT and the monthly budget statement at 2 p.m. Earnings reports coming from H&R Block and Restoration Hardware. Annual meetings will be held by Zynga, United Continental, UPS, Target, Caterpillar and SeaWorld.
U.K. unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in more than five years, the Office for National Statistics said a short time ago.
+ Jack Lew addresses the Economic Club of New York at 8 a.m.
+ Goldman Sachs’s Energy summit begins at 7:30 a.m. in New
exclusively at 11 a.m.
+ The E3 Expo continues in Los Angeles, and the TV people will have Oculus VR Chief Executive Officer Brendan Iribe at 1 p.m. EDT. To get an idea of what Oculus is doing with the Bloomberg terminal, check this out.
+ The Worcester, Massachusetts, Technical High School commencement gets under way at 4 p.m. So? So Obama is their speaker.
+ OPEC ministers are meeting in Vienna and don’t seem poised to make any changes in output.
+ AIG named Peter Hancock to succeed Benmosche
+ Harvard Management’s Jane Mendillo resigned as CEO. Who could replace her?
+ The World Bank cut its global growth forecast last night to 2.8 percent from a January projection of 3.2 percent.
+ China’s A shares were left out of the emerging-market index in MSCI’s rebalancing last night, and instead will get their own index.
+ Toyota is adding 650,000 vehicles to its recall over faulty airbags.
+ Tax breaks at Starbucks and Apple provided by Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are the subject of a formal investigation in the EU.
Well, they can’t say they weren’t warned. Establishment Republicans, and Washington in general, staggered today by the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in yesterday’s primary election in Virginia, were feeling pretty confident about having beaten back the Tea Party this year.
Then came the haymaker.
Now issues guarded by the Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street, like immigration, the debt ceiling, etc., are in play, while the Tea Party can lay claim to leadership in the House and probably will. Al Hunt has the overview.
We’re still not sure what the Tea Party really stands for beyond the omnibus concept of government spending, or whether their principles are even cohesive. It still feels pretty splintered, with some factions leaning harder on certain issues than others.
This guy David Brat with the unfortunate name for headline writers doesn’t look like the pitchfork type, and there may be some irony in the fact that a college academic is running for office in a party that likes to take its shots at academia, ivory towers and elitism.
It remains to be seen if they really want what they say they want. When the gears of government, already jammed, come to a definitive grinding halt and nothing gets done anywhere by anyone, maybe something will change. Or maybe this is the new normal.
If you haven’t done so already, soon you’ll have the ability to run anything and probably everything with your smartpad.
It’s an expensive undertaking last we checked, and we did, to install the necessary infrastructure in your home, but those prices will fall eventually and allow you to crank up your home’s air conditioning or start the oven from your office an hour before you leave.
Which means it also won’t be long before some enterprising sort tries to make your house look like a scene from “Poltergeist.” As is the case with a large element of how technology has enhanced our daily lives or intruded on them, depending on your age, the security aspect seems to be the last thing people worry about.
Which may explain why almost none of the companies Amy Thomson tried to contact for her story today about the security aspect of these “smart” homes would offer a comment.
We’ll stick with keys. Metal keys.
Maybe today’s installment of this week’s Bloomberg National Poll will show us one day whom the politicians really work for.
Because while the coal-state pols are standing behind the companies opposing the EPA’s coming carbon-emissions regulations, almost two-thirds of the country is behind efforts to address climate change, would support candidates who would make those efforts and would pay for the privilege.
Forty-six percent of Republicans, 82 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of independents said they would pay higher taxes for cleaner energy. A majority of Americans see climate change as a threat. Half of them want the government to adopt policies to combat it in the next decade.
“It is a rare poll where people responding will stand up and say ‘tax me,’” J. Ann Selzer, founder of polling company Selzer & Co., tells Lisa Lerer.
Obama won’t be in office at the end of that decade, but that’s probably for the best from the perspective of this policy initiative, because the same poll showed his popularity at the lowest of his presidency, with 44 percent expressing positive feelings about him. The Veterans Administration and Bowe Bergdahl episodes didn’t help him any.
If you want to make the most money in working in London, aim for a job in the biggest banks.
North Korea won’t like this. The NSA will probably love it.
The satellite-imaging company Google bought yesterday for $500 million produces high-definition images so clear and precise, you can watch clouds scud by. Skybox Imaging’s videos look like they were taken from a drone or a helicopter, except they’re stable and almost crystal clear. They’re freaky. Here’s their YouTube channel: http://ww.youtube.com/channel/UCRJ1IiCsukaep0BGInSbEgg
Tracking troop movements? Easy.
Watching activity at your favorite rogue state’s nuclear installation? Yep.
Surveying operations at your copper mine, analyzing traffic patterns, monitoring refugees movements, all of it. They’re offering detail down to a meter.
What this means for Google’s plans to improve Internet access around the world and for disaster relief, we will see.
Tracking the salmon run in our favorite river? Hmm.
It’s difficult to see how the labor unions at the Metropolitan Opera House could claim their situation is unfair, what with vacation benefits that would make the French blush, salaries that would make us blush, work rules out the wazoo, etc.
Yet with opera going the way of boxing in Americans’ entertainment choices, and with the Met facing insolvency, the unions, as unions do, because they can, are vowing war if the Met tries to balance its cost structure with its reality.
Our Manuela Hoelterhoff, Pulitzer-winning arts editor, speaks today with Peter Gelb, the Met’s managing director, who lays out in seemingly even tones just what they’re looking at if the unions don’t share the cost of keeping the host alive enough so that they can keep feeding off it. Admittedly it’s a one-sided presentation.
Gelb is the son of the recently deceased, venerated New York Times editor Arthur Gelb, so you figure he’s got a little bit of New York flowing inside him, and being responsible for an institution like the Met probably isn’t something he takes lightly. Along the way he’s taken some shots.
In the end though, we question what culture means to us. What will we let come down around us in our time?
In the theme of what our colleagues do in their spare time, now that David Papadopoulos is in his off-season, meet Karen Goldfarb.
By day she’s on the front lines of the newsroom, monitoring the rest of the world’s media for what we don’t have, auditing conference calls and writing newsworthy headlines. She’s a first responder.
Out of the newsroom, her short film was accepted at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and she was well prepared for her 15 minutes of fame (literally 15 minutes; that’s how long the films are) under the crush of paparazzi.
Because when you’re being whisked to after-party after after-party, or settling in with a cappuccino to ink that distribution deal, you don’t want to disappoint.
We’ll leave the details of her glamorous other life to her. Like most American movies, it has a poignant ending.
San Antonio bounced back to win Game 3 of the NBA finals last night, beating Miami 111-92, pretty much running the Heat off the court in the first half with a shooting percentage of 76 percent.
Is tonight the last NHL game of the season? Going to the game? Have heart (unless you’re rooting for the Kings, in which case, take heed). The Rangers can still do it. It’s been done before.