Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We're talkin' Baseball...

The Twins finally did it... they traded Santana. Not Carlos, genius... Johan. As in "two-time Cy Young Award Winner" and "Roger Clemens without steroids". Not to Boston or the G*dda*n Yankees, but to the Mets. Traded him for four minor-league prospects. I'm surprised Bill Smith and Carl Pohlad didn't ask for a case of baseballs and a bottle of Jack Daniels!

I'm a bit mixed, emotions-wise. For starters, why the Hell didn't we lock up Santana to a long-term contract back in 2006 when he was younger (and infinitely cheaper)? We could have had a helluva rotation this year... Santana in the 1 position, Liriano would be back from Tommy John surgery and fill the 2 role. Boof Bonser would be a solid 3 pitcher, and Baker fourth. Pat Neshek would be a good set-up man and as a part-time starter, while Nathan would come in and close. Forget that jazz, Jack!

Now we're going to have a very untested pitching squad. Santana would have been the captain and keep the young turks in check. Now, we go with Liriano going into the 1 spot... which is tenuous at best because of two factors... 1) Youth and 2) Durability, especially since he's been gone for over a year due to major reconstructive surgery and rehab. Bonser's better I think at the 3 than he would be at the 2. With the absence of Silva, you also lose a solid 2-3 pitcher, and I wouldn't move Baker out of the 4 spot yet. And if Nathan goes bye-bye as expected, I see more fireworks in the Metrodome than Disneyworld on the Fourth of July!

We just spent a butt-load of dough to resign Morneau... why couldn't Pohlad pry open that wallet just a little more to keep Santana? Hell, you're worth over a billion fricking dollars thanks to foreclosing on mom-and-pop farms in the 80's, Carl. You're old... and you can't take it with you when you die so don't start going all cheap in your twilight years. Besides the State of Minnesota is building you a shiny new stadium... you owe them and all the farmers you evicted at least a competitor!

T. Denny... HELP!!!

If I were Bill Smith... I'd be on the horn trying to find some experience for that staff. Not Clemens and his roided butt. But ya gotta find someone. Hell, get Randy Johnson! He's not a 1-starter anymore, but he could be good at the 2 or 3 and he'd also give some stability to that staff.

Okay, so I'm talking out of my backside... but if you're going to trade the golden goose, why not get some instant return? Someone like Coco Crisp out of Boston (and his cousin "Sugar Golden")? Hell, we just lost Hunter to California (which might not be such a bad deal, considering he'd been on the schnide until the last year of his contract). If we're going to be giving up 2,000 fricking home runs this year, why not get someone who can help us level the playing field, offensively?

Okay, now that I've turned off Heidelberger and left Mork and Goeman in stitches at my Dennis Miller-style rant, I'll leave you to your posting... and your grief over a very long season. Anyone care to join me in a "Premo"? Or a Schmidt's "Brown Grenade?"

Monday, January 28, 2008

A thousand miles in one week...

The great Chinese philosopher Confucious once wrote "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Funny... I didn't know they used that measurement of distance in 2000 B.C.!

In any case, this week's going to feel like a thousand-mile journey for yours truly. We're in the "meat" of the sports broadcast schedule, so the next few days will be busy.

So in addition to my regular stuff, here's what I have going on sports broadcast wise.

Tonight: Madison girls vs. Lennox, AM 1390
Tuesday: Madison girls vs. Sioux Falls Christian, AM 1390
Wednesday: no game, BUT, I get to read for READING ROCKS! 11:00 am Tina Denne's 1st Grade -Madison Elementary
Thursday: Madison boys vs. West Central, AM 1390
Friday: Madison girls at West Central, AM 1390
Saturday: Madison boys vs. Sioux Falls Christian at Dakota Schoolers Classic in Sioux Falls (AM 1390)

So I'm asking all my loyal readers (i.e. Cory, DeLon, "Pantusso")... will someone PLEASE record "NCIS" and "Boston Legal" for me on Tuesday???

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pretty cool...

Got a little tired of the political talk today... so I thought I'd show you this.

No rhyme or reason. It's just pretty darn cool!

Why, oh why, didn't I take guitar lessons!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Legislative Fun and Games...

Back to back posts about public policy... man, I must be getting more serious!

So once again, we begin the three-ring circus in Pierre known as the legislative session. Since we don't believe in career politicians, the session is pretty short... 40 days in odd-numbered years and 35 days in even-numbered years. This year is 35 days, which means less time for those legislatures to play grab-butt with the pages!

Speaking of which, the Legislature finally passed a "Code of Conduct" for themselves this year. Isn't that something? To be able to determine your own rules as well as pay? What other job can you do that BESIDES politics? Anyway, the measure passed resoundingly, with the exception of a few Republicans (including the guy that used to sub for me in Doland, Brock Greenfield) poo-pooing the idea.

Frankly, I'm glad they passed this. A lot of folks say that passing this code of conduct won't prevent such episodes as Dan Sutton and Ted Klaudt. They're probably right, but what I'm glad this thing does is provide some modicum of accountability that our lawmakers can be held to.

That's the key word right there... "Accountability". You go to any profession, be it media (even though I'm not a reporter, per se, I do follow the Code of Ethics set down by the Society of Professional Journalists. When I was a teacher, I had to follow the Code of Conduct set by the South Dakota Department of Education. Doctors, lawyers, even my brother, who is a real estate agent, all have to follow codes of conduct established by the State of South Dakota. If they fail to follow those rules, they are held accountable and can even get stripped of their licenses, certifications, etc. So doesn't it make sense that the folks that are setting up the rules also be subject to the same means of accountability themselves?

Now that the Legislature has established these rules, they're now turning around and trying to do away with the constitutional amendment dealing with term limits. Here's the poop... a legislator can only serve in one particular house for no more than eight years. They can serve in the other house as well as governor, but they are also held to the same 8-year limit for each position. Now soon-to-be term-limited folks like Bill Napoli (R-Rapid City) are whining that the limits "take away a lot of experience."

What arrogance! To think that these folks are the only ones that can do the job! Frankly, I like the idea of "changing the plant water" every once in a while, to get new ideas and new perspectives, instead of the old fuddy-duddies that should have left office but decided to make it a career.

I know what you're thinking... why not let voters do the term-limiting at the polls? Well, because there is precedent with the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, limiting an elected official (i.e. the President) to just 2 terms. What's good for Dubya, Clinton, and Reagan should be good enough for Napoli, Gassman, and Olson!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Emergency Service by the Wayside?

Being that I'm a native of Dell Rapids, I've been watching with interest the plan to create a rural ambulance district in Minnehaha County.

Here's the story in a nutshell. Most communities in Minnehaha County are served by volunteer ambulance services. These folks donate their time, and in many cases, their money, in order to provide good medical service not only to their communities but the rural parts of the county.

However there's been a problem. The pool of available volunteers is shrinking. It used to be that the folks that volunteered were able to take time off from there jobs should an emergency arise. For example, if the butcher in Dell Rapids was on-call and a call came through, it wouldn't be but a 5-minute drive to the garage and hop in the ambulance. Nowaday, many folks have to work out of town, which makes daytime service difficult, if not impossible. So that volunteer may now have to drive 15-30 minutes just to get to the ambulance, which is pretty impractical.

The County Commission recognized this and gave the services a one-time grant of around $250-thousand so they could hire full-timers to man the ambulances. Still rely on volunteers, but also ensure reliable service. But the County Commission said that the money was a one-time deal to help get the services on their feet.

As a result, several communities, including Dell Rapids, Hartford and Garretson drew up plans to create a special tax district. Essentially, property would be assesed and the funds would help pay for full-time personnel to ensure that there would be reliable ambulance service. Essentially, property taxes would go up $15 per $100,000 of valued property (which is valued significantly lower than market price).

However, voters in Minnehaha county overwhelmingly defeated the proposal in a special election on Tuesday. Basically, these services are now on their own.

Now I'm not one to vote for every single tax increase that comes along. I hate taxes as much as the next person. But at the same time, I see this as being an essential service that is in now in serious jeopardy.

Look, it's like paying insurance. You pay premiums every month, and then pray to God you never have to use it. But there's always those times where something does come up and that service is (usually) there for you. Same principle applies here. You hope you never have to need the ambulance service, but it's good to know it's there. After all, it's not like you're paying for a pool (sorry, AQUATIC CENTER) that you'll never use!

But now these communities are forced to go back to the drawing board. And I wonder... is our desire to be on the cheap going to hurt us in the end? Already we're a humiliating 51st in teacher salaries, we have to claw tooth and nail to get decent schools built, and we have this NIMBY quality whenever someone comes in to offer some economic opportunities.

I'm a fiscal conservative, don't get me wrong. If a project is not worth the cost, I won't vote for it. I think the Sioux Falls was idiotic to try and pass a bond issue for a downtown events center, then turn around and take out a loan to upgrade flood prevention and drainage facilities. And if you can get some private funding involved in some of these projects, all the better! In fact, I joke that the only way that Madison is going to get a proper high school gym is if some old rich person kicks off and leaves an inheritance!

Frankly, what this district was asking was pretty much on the cheap. The newspaper that Cory Heidelberger thinks is evil says it will cost $360,000 to properly fund this service each year. Imagine what Rural-Metro Ambulance or some other for-profit service would charge to cover such a vast area! Frankly, I think the voters turned down one HELL of a deal!

I'm hoping some of my fellow Dell Rapidians and Minnehaha-ites see the light and come up with SOMETHING before people begin to suffer from lack of services.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


As most of you know, I am the sports director at KJAM Radio in Madison, South Dakota. I would like to take this moment to remind all of you that the views and opinions expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of KJAM Radio, its parent company Three Eagles Communications, Madison Kiwanis, Cory Heidelberger, the King of Sweeden,, Fox News Channel, the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo, or the Democrat or Republican Parties.

In other words... MY THOUGHTS ARE MY OWN!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Top 5

Okay, everyone is doing it... Newspapers, TV Channels, even my blogging friend at Lake Herman is doing it. The insipid Top 10 list of events in the past year/predictions.

So I'm going to buck tradition... and go with my Top 5 best things that happened to me this year!

5) Going on my first vacation in nearly 2 years.

4) Being elected president of Madison Kiwanis.

3) Watching South Dakota State University win its first conference football title in 44 years.

2) Madison making the State Boys' Basketball tournament

and of course

1) The birth of my niece, Zoey!

Now... my top 5 predictions for 2008

5) Zoey turns one year old and signs with the William Morris Agency. (What can I say, she's a cutie!)

4) All opponents from now til March forfeit their games to Madison, allowing the Bulldogs to win their first State Basketball title since 1945.

3) Adrian Peterson becomes the first ever NFL player to rush over 400 yards in a game.

2) A certain sports director in Madison, South Dakota wins the 300-million dollar Powerball lottery. He will give the Madison School District 10-million dollars to build a new gym and name it after T. Denny Sanford. His reason? "It's inevitable!"

And the Number One Prediction of 2008....

1) New News Director... Cory Heidelberger! LOL

Oh, as a bonus... the new Star Trek Movie is such a hit, that it vaults to the top of AFI's top 100 films, gets every single Oscar at the Academy Awards, and create a special one for William Shatner, to say "We forgive you" for Star Trek V! Paramount quickly renumbers all the movies in the series, effectively saying ST: V "never existed!"

Happy New Year, Everyone!