4/4- Patiently Waiting

Happy Opening Day of Baseball week. It’s a beautiful day here in Las Vegas, the sun is out and it’s hot! The Grammys were here yesterday, but are they really the Grammys with no Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift, or Kanye West (I know he’s batshit and troublesome, but still.)? Tomorrow night I’ll be watching the Las Vegas Aviators open their AAA season against the Reno Aces (Oakland vs. Arizona), but the big news here is the A’s considering a move from Oakland to Sin City. This comes days after some billionaire proposed a new casino and arena on the Las Vegas strip. Is there a new basketball team moving here or something? No, not at this point. But why not build a new arena with no tenant?

This is not a unique issue to Vegas, but it is particularly visible here. The Governor of New York (more on this in a moment) has so far proposed a new Madison Square Garden (a couple of years after renovating the old one) and is about to build the Buffalo Bills a brand new Taj Majal stadium on the state’s dime. In Nevada, the stadium/arena craze fits into a larger attitude of building to build. There’s a ton of open land around Las Vegas, it’s in a desert, so why not just keep expanding metro Vegas. Build a new arena, casino, or condo complex, tear down the old one, build something else. If you drive in metro Vegas during the day you see lots of work and construction trucks weaving in and out of traffic. If casinos and gambling are the primary industries of Vegas (with all apologies to the music industry, sex workers, bail bondsmen, and the weed industry), construction is their sidekick here. I’m not sure that’s a sustainable model in a West that lacks the resources they need, but absolutely nobody asked me.

Andrew Cuomo really might do it. He might launch a primary challenge to his successor, Governor Hochul. Hochul went from a smooth entrance to a mess. Her Lt. Governor might be jail bound for bribery. Her and the legislative leaders who ran Cuomo out can’t pass a budget or get much done. Her money for arenas and stadiums is getting a cold response in the press. Her polling leads on Cuomo are somewhere between 4-8% suddenly, meaning she’s in a world of hurt. In short, she’s vulnerable and the spurned predecessor still has millions in his campaign account to spend. The cheap, canned thing to write here is that after Trump, smart money is on Cuomo shocking the world. Right now, that’s wrong. If he enters, and one more bomb drops on her, that very well might be true.

Other than Andrew Cuomo, I can’t think of anyone this race really benefits. I guess that would “vindicate” him against the Democratic establishment all the way up to the White House, and that is more than a bit amusing to me (because somehow they probably deserve it), and it would deliver an absolute death blow to the New York City far-left crowd, which I’d be happy with. Honestly, Cuomo would be betting that public sentiment of the Democratic Party being awful would fuel his campaign, and it might. He may in fact prove that even Democratic primary voters didn’t care about the accusations against him, which I suspect is partially true. But who really cares if he’s right or not? This is a vanity run, meant to show he’s bigger than his critics. It’s nothing more than that. It doesn’t disprove the harassment or nursing home accusations, or that his brother used his media position to help him, or really mean anything. I suppose you could kindly say it proves New Yorkers thought he was a good governor, but didn’t his three victories prove that? In my humble opinion, many of Cuomo’s fiercest critics in their liberal enclaves of the city, are awful. I think he was a pretty good Governor, but I’m not sure he’s a great guy either anymore. We don’t need a primary to re-litigate this.

I think the “off-season” is finally over enough to put out my MLB regular season predictions. These will inevitably be wrong, but why not?

AL East- x1. Tampa Bay Rays 97-65 x2. Boston Red Sox 91-71 x3. Toronto Blue Jays 88-74 4. New York Yankees 84-78 5. Baltimore Orioles 56-106

AL Central- x1. Chicago White Sox 90-72 2. Minnesota Twins 83-79 3. Detroit Tigers 80-82 4. Cleveland Guardians 72-90 5. Kansas City Royals 62-100

AL West- x1. Houston Astros 95-67 x2. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 86-76 3. Seattle Mariners 81-81 4. Texas Rangers 73-89 5. Oakland Athletics 62-100

NL West- x1. Los Angeles Dodgers 106-56 x2. San Francisco Giants 90-72 3. San Diego Padres 80-82 4. Colorado Rockies 74-88 5. Arizona Diamondbacks 60-102

NL Central- x1. Milwaukee Brewers 92-70 2. St. Louis Cardinals 83-79 3. Chicago Cubs 78-84 4. Pittsburgh Pirates 62-100 5. Cincinnati Reds 58-104

NL East- x1. Atlanta Braves 95-66 x2. Philadelphia Phillies 88-74 x3. New York Mets 84-78 4. Miami Marlins 76-86 5. Washington Nationals 70-92

As for the individual awards, I’m going with the following:

NL MVP- 1. Freddie Freeman 2. Bryce Harper 3. Christian Yelich

AL MVP- 1. Vlad Guerrero Jr. 2. Mike Trout 3. Shohei Ohtani

NL Cy Young- 1. Walker Buehler 2. Aaron Nola 3. Corbin Burnes

AL Cy Young- 1. Lucas Giolito 2. Noah Syndergaard 3. Shane Bieber

NL Rookie of the Year- 1. Seiya Suzuki 2. Oniel Cruz 3. Bryson Stott

AL Rookie of the Year- 1. Spencer Torkelson 2. Bobby Witt Jr. 3. Adley Rutschman

NL Manager of the Year- 1. Brian Snitker 2. Craig Counsell 3. Joe Girardi

AL Manager of the Year- 1. Charlie Montoyo 2. Alex Cora 3. Joe Maddon

It wasn’t that long ago that Republicans were a bunch of prude squares, trying to impeach a President for having a consensual affair. They were full of religious fanatics and blowhards, televangelists that routinely said completely insane stuff that even they couldn’t possibly really believe. Not much has actually changed, only two years ago they put a fully unqualified, religious fanatic in Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court, and she will probably write at least part of the opinion overturning Roe v. Wade when it comes out next month. Yet, perception has changed. It’s Republicans (incorrectly) ranting about suppression of First Amendment rights, while it’s Democrats who threw a fit about the last President having an affair with a porn star. To at least a chunk of the public, it’s the GOP that is now “live and let live,” while the Democrats are the annoying party arguing for repercussions for your every vice. Sure, House Democrats just passed legal weed on a near party line vote, but who would even know it? Our messengers in DC are simply terrible at this.

Back in the next couple days…

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