A U.S. Navy C-2 Greyhound engaged in Carrier Onboard Delivery aircraft carrying 11 people crashed in the Philippine Sea south of Japan on Wednesday as it flew to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan and three people were missing. “Search and rescue efforts for three personnel continue with U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships and aircraft on scene,” the U.S. Seventh Fleet said in a news release. The C-2 has had a good safety record and has not been involved in a fatal accident since 1973 and has been in service for more than fifty years.
North Korea Back On The List As A State Sponsor of Terrorism
I was a bit surprised North Korea was not already on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. President Trump announced on 21 November his administration would redesignate North Korea to this category which carries with it additional sanctions (how many more can there be?). So, practically speaking this redesignation is more symbolic than practical, as the most serious sanctions have already been put in place, and to date those sanctions have not had the desired effect of persuading North Korea to either abandon or negotiate regarding their nuclear weapons program. The North spent 20 years on that list before being removed in 2008 by the George W. Bush administration for meeting nuclear inspection requirements. Pyongyang later violated the agreement. In a speech to the South Korean national assembly two weeks ago, Trump cited atrocities carried out by the Kim regime and called the North “a hell that no person deserves.” Among other acts, Kim’s regime stands accused of carrying out the assassination of his half brother, Kim Jong Nam, with a chemical nerve agent at a Malaysian airport in February. “Importantly, this is just continuing to point out North Korea’s illicit, unlawful behaviors internationally,” United States Secretary of StateRex Tillerson said at the White House daily briefing Monday. “And we felt it was important to reimpose the designation for that reason.” Tillerson cited other recent sanctions from the United States and the United Nations on the North and added that the redesignation “continues to tighten the pressure on the Kim regime, all with an intention to have him to understand, ‘This is just going to get worse until you’re ready to come and talk.'” Iran, Sudan and Syria also are on the list, which is administered by the U.S. Department of State. According to that agency, sanctions for those nations on the list include “restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.”
Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger Win Rookie of the Year Awards
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger won the Rookie of the Year Awards unanimously in their respective leagues, as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Judge, 25, hit .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs, 114 RBI, and 128 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. He led the American League in home runs, runs scored, and walks (127). Judge made the AL All-Star team during the summer and just took home a Silver Slugger Award. He’s a major contender for the AL MVP Award as well. Judge is the first Yankee to win the Rookie of the Year Award since Derek Jeter in 1996.
Robert Mueller Can Now Close Down Russian Investigation
In May 2017, Robert Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department as special counsel to oversee the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, one of several investigations looking into the matter. Mueller can now close down that investigation because after chatting with former KGB agent and now President of Russia Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit President Trump is contradicting the overwhelming consensus among current and former U.S. officials that the Russian leader tried to manipulate the 2016 election. In a 26-minute question-and-answer session with reporters aboard Air Force One, the president managed to dismiss probes into whether his campaign colluded with Russia as an “artificial Democratic hit job,” said he believed Putin was being sincere when he insisted that Russia did not attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, and warned that the continued focus on Russian election meddling risks lives. I was worried there for a while that perhaps Russia didn’t respect us or value our way of life. So now I guess we can close down Mueller’s Russian investigation and get on with the real work of the Administration, that of giving a tax break to corporations as well as the wealthiest tax payers. And let’s create more ciaos in the health care system that will result in people paying more for health care no matter who they are.
Astros pitcher Charlie Morton got Corey Seager to send a weak ground ball to second baseman Jose Altuve, shifted into shallow right field, who made the throw to first baseman Yuli Gurriel to clinch the World Series 5 – 1.
They scored twice in the first inning and three times in the second against Yu Darvish, sustaining them over the remaining seven innings. No surprise here: Astros outfielder George Springer was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 World Series. A game seven for the World Series is always good. It’s the last winner-take-all event and is the buildup of all the series games prior to that combined with the culmination of the 162 game regular season.
It was fitting that Altuve made the final out for the Astros, as he was the most valuable player on the team and arguably in all of baseball. He finished the regular season batting .346/.410/.547 with 24 home runs, 81 RBI, 112 runs scored, and 32 stolen bases. He won the batting title and led the AL in hits. Aaron Judge led him in FanGraphs’ version of WAR (8.2 to 7.5). Baseball Reference’s version gave Altuve the edge (8.3 to Judge and Corey Kluber‘s 8.1). We’ll have to wait a couple weeks to find out if he won the AL MVP award. While my vote would have been for Judge, after seeing Jose Altuve in action over the course of the World Series, I can see why the two players are in such a close battle for the MVP vote. So the AL MVP will either be 5’6” or 6’7”. Yasiel Puig had a bad night. His Dodgers lost Game 7 of the World Series AND some yahoos broke into his house. This is a least the second time thieves have broken into his house. You think he could afford a security plan! If he is the target of a future break-in at least they won’t be stealing his World Series Ring. Catchers and pitchers report for Spring training on February 13, 2018.
David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 and NBC Sports Chicago reports that Yankees manager Joe Girardi will not return for the 2018 season. It was the team’s decision to part ways. Girardi guided a youthful Yankees core to this year’s American League Championship Series, but there had been growing chatter that a change might be coming both before and at various points during that impressive postseason run. Girardi finishes up his 10-year tenure in New York with a 910-710 managerial record and one World Series championship (2009). He’ll be a hot name on the open market if he wants to jump right back into managing somewhere else. There are a few managerial candidates out there. The Boston Red Sox hired the Houston Astros’ bench coach, Alex Cora, to be their manager on Sunday. The Red Sox announced the hire a day after the Astros eliminated the Yankees in the American League Championship Series. With two days off before Houston opened the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston had a chance to hire Cora without running afoul of Major League Baseball’s ban on major moves during the Series. He may end up being a good manager, but he has no managerial experience. While there are some people who speculate he should have been a leading candidate for the job, I disagree. You can’t come to the Yankees with no experience. I like Don Mattingly for the job, but the Yankees will have to hire him away from the total rebuilding effort planned for Derek Jeter’s Miami Marlins. Mattingly served as captain of the Yankees from 1991 through 1995. Returning to the Yankees as a coach in 2004 for manager Joe Torre, he followed Torre to the Dodgers in 2008, and succeeded him as the Dodgers’ manager in 2011. The Dodgers and Mattingly mutually parted ways after the 2015 season, and he became manager of the Miami Marlins. “Donnie Baseball” – where would you rather be – Yankees of Marlins?
World Series – Games 2, 3 and 4
A great comeback in the second game of the World Series on October 25th.by the Houston Astros to win the game in Los Angeles tying the Series
at one game apiece. The great Vin Scully was in the audience and I was reminded of another great World Series game finish in 1986, when with one strike from defeat, the Mets tie the game on a wild pitch and then, thanks to Red Sox’s Bill Buckner’s error (let the ball go through his legs) (below right), win Game 6, knotted the Fall Classic at three games apiece. This event was selected as one of baseball’s 30 most baseball memorable moments. “If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.” – Vin Scully, describing the aftermath of the play after a long silence. And of course the Mets went on to beat the Red Sox. Game three showed the value once again of home field. A good back and forth game with the Astros prevailing. Game 4 was moving along with some really good pitching as you would expect until the eighth inning and then the train came off the tracks. The Dodger’s first baseman Cody Bellinger‘s struggled through the first three games of the World Series. He went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in Game 3, which ran his hitless streak up to 11 at-bats in the Fall Classic. Bellinger turned his fortune around in Game 4, helping the Dodgers even the World Series at two games apiece with a 6-1 victory at Minute Maid Park. And we’re tied at two games apiece going into tonight’s game at publishing time.
In the wake of the collision between the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) (below left) with the Liberian-flaggedAlnic MC off the coast of Malaysia east of the Strait of Malacca on August 21, 2017 and the earlier collision of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) (below right) with the Philippine-flagged merchant ship ACX Crystal, the US Navy is adopting some new as well as some old technologies to improve their crew’s situational awareness. Well actually their both pretty old techniques. The Navy has at now instructed commanders to use their Automatic Identification System, or AIS, as discussed in the 28 through 31 August edition of FOD. It has been around for some 20 years and has long been required aboard all commercial vessels. It is used to share vital information among ships, including the type of vessel, its name, speed, location and whether it might be on a collision course with another ship. “It’s important for situational awareness,” says John Konrad, an author who has also captained commercial vessels. “AIS is certainly not the only means to avoid collisions at sea, but it’s an important tool.” And the other tool is perhaps the oldest one out there – get some more sleep for watchstanders. On ships at sea, officers and senior enlisted leaders have ignored the fact that a lack of sleep jeopardizes individual performance and unit readiness. That ‘tradition’ unmarred by progress has extended itself from the days of wooden sailing ships when crews served 4 on and 4 off for months at a time because that was what was required to service a sailing ship at sea. Earlier this month, Vice Adm. Thomas S. Rowden, the commander of the U.S. Surface Fleet, issued an internal directive that ordered more predictable watch schedules and sleep periods for sailors. So it was welcome news when the Navy announced recently that the surface fleet would issue new sleep and watch schedule rules.
The NY Yankees beat the Twins in the AL Wild Card Game 8-4.
And congrats to the Arizona Diamondbacks who beat the Rockies 11-8.