Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for June 1st, 2011

Odds and Ends — including the End of the WI State Supreme Court race

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I have so many different things to discuss right now that I’ve decided to make this an “odds and ends” post — otherwise known as a “quick hits” post.

The first is that the race for the Wisconsin state Supreme Court has come to an end as JoAnne Kloppenburg conceded.   The recount, which I viewed from the beginning as a mandatory one due to the closeness of the vote and the chicanery going on in Waukesha County in particular, brought her a few hundred votes closer to David Prosser but not nearly enough for her, apparently, to keep on fighting despite the hundreds of irregularities and errors found in Waukesha County alone.  Ms. Kloppenburg is a very good lawyer and knows the law regarding recounts much better than I do, so she must’ve felt that it was unlikely she’d win a court case, so prolonging the race any further made no sense to her.

My reaction to all of this, however, is that while I found out by observing the recount in Racine County for a day that our election proceedings here are on the up-and-up, I really think the election was stolen and that Ms. Kloppenburg was the true winner.  I cannot prove this, and it’s possible no one will ever be able to prove it — or maybe someone will after the fact, as some observers did in Florida after the Bush v. Gore incident, or in Ohio with the numerous problems there in the 2004 election — but it’s how I feel.

I also feel that the state of Wisconsin has missed out, because Ms. Kloppenburg had an outstanding record and would’ve made a great judge.   Republicans, especially of the Scott Walker variety, liked to paint Ms. Kloppenburg as a “liberal,” but what she really was happened to be an independent, someone who’d worked for both Republican and Democratic Governors.  We needed a centrist on our extremely polarized Supreme Court, and we didn’t get it — what a terrible day for Wisconsin, and what an awful thing to have to say . . . but it’s all true, and it’s sad.

Now onto a happier update.  Vinny Rottino hit .373 in May for the New Orleans Zephyrs (the AAA affiliate of the Florida Marlins); this was after suffering a 1-for-26 slump to start the season.  Rottino has stolen 7 bases, being caught stealing twice; he’s hit 20 RBI, 2 HR, has 10 doubles and one triple, and his current on-base percentage is .407.   Rottino now appears to be playing every day in right field and is playing excellent defense and a fine overall game while putting together another quiet, but good season as a contact hitter.

Here’s a story from that was written on May 15, 2011, about the Zephyrs and the hot-hitting Rottino in particular:

Vinny Rottino continued his hot hitting Saturday night, and New Orleans Zephyrs relievers continued their shut-down pitching.

The result was a 5-4 Zephyrs victory against Tacoma at Zephyr Field.

Rottino, who has reached base in 21 consecutive games, drove home the go-ahead run in a three-run rally in the sixth inning and also scored two runs.

And here’s what Rottino had to say about it all, especially his 1-for-26 start:

“I never panicked,’’ he said. “That’s the key. I’ve gone through spells like that before at the beginning of the year. … Now I feel pretty good at the plate, just waiting for the pitcher’s mistake. That’s the main thing.’’

Rottino’s game is similar to someone like the Brewers’ Nyjer Morgan; he’s speedy (though not as speedy as Morgan), he plays excellent defense and has a strong arm, and he’ll rarely make mistakes on the basepaths.   Rottino plays all positions except pitcher and second base (unlike Morgan) including catcher (though he’s more of an emergency catcher due to taking it up late) and would be an asset to any major league team whose General Manager is using his brain today.

Finally, there’s the Milwaukee Brewers update.  They actually won their first game against Cincinnati last night and Corey Hart hit yet another home run, raising his season total to five.   Hart’s still not all the way back to last year’s All-Star form, but he’s looking good in the outfield and is hitting steadily now, with some power . . . though I’m a big fan of Hart, the best thing about the ’11 Brewers is that so far, their pitching has been anywhere from OK to outstanding, with Shawn Marcum and Randy Wolf in particular pitching much better than expected.  (Yovani Gallardo is still a little inconsistent, though his last two-three games have been great, and Zack Greinke is still rounding himself into form.  As for Chris Narveson, while he’s a very nice man and can pitch, he’s had some really rough outings lately.   And I keep thinking the Brewers would’ve been better off to keep Chris Capuano, who’s doing well for the Mets despite a 3-5 record because of how poor the Mets are playing as a team.)

So that’s it for updates . . . what I’d encourage you to do is to keep your eye on Rottino (when he finally makes it to the majors to stay, that’ll be one of the best human interest stories of the past several years as he’s now thirty-one years old and has been the apparent victim of what I like to call “age prejudice” as most teams would rather look at a really young guy than an older one with a steady batting eye and a steady presence in the field), keep an eye on the Brewers (especially their pitchers), keep an eye on Capuano, and watch for the upcoming Wisconsin recall elections in July.