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Men Convicted of Selling Oreo Cookie Secrets to China

Men Convicted of Selling Oreo Cookie Secrets to China


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Two men have been convicted of selling industrial secrets

Wikimedia/Kelly Bailey

Two men have been convicted of selling the secret recipe for titanium oxide, a chemical used to whiten, among other things, the cream in the middle of Oreo cookies.

Two men were found guilty this week of economic espionage for stealing a U.S. company’s secret recipe for a chemical that is used to whiten, among other things, the soft, creamy middles of Oreo cookies.

According to Shanghaiist, the men were charged with stealing the recipe for making titanium oxide from Delaware-based DuPont Co. Titanium oxide sales are worth $17 billion a year, and DuPont accounts for 20 percent of that. The chemical is used to whiten all kinds of things, from cars to Oreo cookie cream..

DuPont’s method of making titanium oxide is a patented process that the company was unwilling to sell to competitors in China. The manufacturing process is reportedly dangerous and quite difficult, but it’s much cleaner and quicker than the technique used by factories in China.

The two men, including a former DuPont scientist, were convicted Wednesday of selling the titanium oxide technology to a state-controlled Chinese company. They are facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and more than 15 years in prison.


Men Convicted of Selling Oreo Cookie Secrets to China - Recipes

One day very soon, the focus on Obamacare will turn from signing up new enrollees to quantifying the law's success - or failure.

The six-month open enrollment period, during which consumers sign up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act, is supposed to end today. But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as many states running their own marketplaces, are giving some extra time to consumers who've had trouble signing up.

It'll probably all wrap up by April 15. Then, the final numbers will be tallied and the pronouncements will begin. Politicians on both sides of the aisle will use the same data to proclaim that they were right about the law.

Last Thursday, the Obama administration said that more than 6 million people have signed up for coverage on the health insurance exchanges, meeting the projections set out by the Congressional Budget Office. Republicans have countered by questioning how many enrollees have paid their first month's premium, the final step necessary for coverage to be in effect.

Dr. David Blumenthal of the Commonwealth Fund recently told me that any attempt to review the success of the law must go beyond those who sign up for coverage on the exchanges. It should include those who gained coverage through the expansion of state Medicaid programs for the poor, as well as young adults who are now able to stay on their parents' health plans because of the law.

"I think the real success of the law will be judged over five years, not six months," he said. "In fact, this president, President Obama, has until January 2017 to establish it as a fixture in the American social policy firmament."

That may well be true, but now seems like a reasonable time to take stock. So, how should success - and ultimately the law itself - be judged? Here's what some experts are saying about which metrics to use and the problems with each.

What percentage of previously uninsured people are finding coverage under the exchanges?

We can't answer this question yet because we don't know whether those signing up for coverage were previously uninsured. In fact, some enrollees, perhaps many, had their insurance plans canceled at the end of 2013 because the plans did not meet the requirements set out by the ACA. Obama administration officials have not released any numbers on this.

That said, a recent report from the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation compares enrollment data through the end of February (with one month left to go in the official open enrollment period) to the number of eligible uninsured people in each state.

Here's what the researchers found:

"Overall, more than 4.2 million people have enrolled and picked a plan through the exchanges, about 14.8 percent of all potential eligibles. The enrollment rate varies from state to state, with a high of 54 percent in Vermont to a low of five percent in Massachusetts. We should note that Massachusetts had the lowest rate of uninsurance in the nation since its health reform in 2006 its previous success might mean that the remaining uninsured population could be especially difficult to reach."

Here's a graphic from the report showing the states in which the greatest share of uninsured received coverage (through February).

(ENLARGE)


Did states meet estimates from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services?

MarketWatch had a story last week comparing enrollment in each state to the HHS projections. By that measure, Connecticut led the pack, signing up 218 percent of its projected enrollment through the end of February. It was followed by Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York and Maine.

(ENLARGE)

The problem with this approach is that the goals are "in many cases, based on little more than educated guesswork," writes Charles Gaba, creator of ACASignups.net, which has become akin to the Bible for tracking sign-ups under the law.

He noted that CMS's state-by-state projections were based on 7 million enrollees nationwide, the original projection of the CBO. That projection has since been revised downward to 6 million because of the problems with HealthCare.gov, the online sign-up portal for 36 states. In addition, some states provided their own figures while CMS simply sliced up the rest to fit the 7 million projection.

He elaborated in an e-mail: "Ten states out of 50 gave their target numbers to CMS, but those numbers were higher than CMS was figuring, so they had to drop the other 40 states down so that the grand total fit the CBO's 7 [million] total. As a result, you get some absurd numbers - both NY and KY had the same 220K (actually, KY's was 220K, NY's was less at 218K) even though NY's population is much, much higher and so on."

Gaba suggests an alternate measure more like the one used by the Leonard Davis Institute researchers, which looks at the percentage of eligible enrollees in each state.

What percentage of enrollees are young adults, aka the "young invincibles" who typically are regarded as healthier?

A number of news outlets have focused on the relative dearth of young people choosing plans through the end of February to point out that the insurance companies may not have so-called balanced risk pools, meaning enough young, healthy enrollees to offset the costs of older, sicker ones. The Washington Post noted this month:

"Strong participation by young adults is critical to the program's success, because they tend to use less medical care. Because they are cheaper to insure, young people offset insurers' costs of covering the sick, many of whom are eager to sign up for coverage. Under the health-care law, people with preexisting medical conditions can't be rejected.

Initially, officials had hoped that 40 percent of the sign-ups would be adults under the age of 35, but only about 27 percent of February enrollments were young adults, about the same as in January. On Tuesday, administration officials said they were nevertheless encouraged and predicted more young people would enroll closer to the deadline."

Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, is critical of such efforts to equate young enrollees to healthy ones.

"Young people benefit the risk pool because they are healthier, but it's really the percentage of healthy people that make or break the risk pool," Altman wrote in a column last week.

"Even if enrollment of young adults stays where it is - at about one-quarter instead of 40 percent, which our analysis shows they make up among potential enrollees - premiums would only increase by two to three percent. Though even that isn't quite right, since many insurers expected this and already built it into their premiums."

What we really need to know is what percentage of enrollees are healthy vs. sick. That will take time.

What will happen to insurance premiums in 2015?

Some experts are looking beyond this year's enrollment numbers and are focusing on what the insurance rates will be for those renewing their plans this fall - or selecting plans for the first time.

Scott Gottlieb, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told me this month that he thinks attention will quickly shift from this year's enrollment cycle to insurers' rates for next year.

"The rates are going to come out early spring, so that's going to be the next big story. And I suspect they'll go up quite a bit," he said.

That view was echoed by an anonymous insurance executive who talked to The Hill newspaper.

Dylan Scott at Talking Points Memo isn't convinced they will uniformly rise. He also notes that insurance rates were increasing before Obamacare and will increase after the law.

"The real data for measuring Obamacare's success aren't in yet, but they eventually will be," he wrote last week.

"At the top of the list: What happens with premiums in 2015? Plus: Do insurance companies leave the market or enter it? And the ultimate barometer: Has the number of uninsured Americans dropped significantly?

"In simpler terms: Did Obamacare, in year one, create a sustainable insurance market for the long term?"

Another problem with looking at rates is that an insurer's increase for 2015 may mean that it didn't set the right price for this year, not that medical costs have increased dramatically.

In the end, some hints of the law's success - or failure - will be available this year, but it will take longer to assess how much it has reduced the number of uninsured and moderated health care costs (the two key metrics of success).

An article in the New York Times on Friday suggests that rather than judging the success of the law nationally, it may make more sense to look at it state by state:

"A review of state-by-state enrollment data and other research, as well as interviews with patients, advocates, health policy analysts, elected officials, supporters and critics of the Affordable Care Act, suggest that, for consumers at least, the state of health care under the national law depends almost entirely on where a person lives."

At the end of his column, Kaiser's Altman wondered if the American public would wait for the facts to make up its mind:

"The problem is that it will take time to learn if the mix of enrollees is healthier or sicker, and how premium increases vary around the country, and how people feel about their coverage. Meanwhile Republican politicians will lambast the law and Democratic ones will offer lukewarm support and overall popularity of the ACA probably won't change very much. Anybody willing to wait for a judgment based on the right metrics?"

Have you tried signing up for health care coverage through the new exchanges? Help us cover the Affordable Care Act by sharing your insurance story.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:25 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Theo's Real Track Record

Who remembers who the Cubs traded for Anthony Rizzo several years ago? It couldn't have been anyone valuable, could it? Theo Epstein wouldn't have given up a real asset to acquire a player he was most interested in for sentimental reasons, would he?

Rizzo was a kid that Theo and his boys had drafted into the Red Sox organization in 2007. And he earned the admiration of one and all after he battled cancer and emerged victorious shortly thereafter. But when the opportunity arose for the Red Sox to acquire stud first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres, San Diego insisted that a certain prospect in particular be part of the transaction. Rizzo was shipped to the Padres in the blockbuster that resulted in Gonzalez moving to New England.

The next year, Rizzo got the call. The young first baseman who had beaten cancer was on the verge of claiming a spot in the middle of a major league lineup. But he was a bust. Rizzo barely batted .100 before San Diego finally gave up on him after a couple months in the majors.

The next offseason, Epstein and his minions pursued and finally landed their longtime favorite. But another problem soon arose. The price was Andrew Cashner, the Cubs' best pitching prospect. And in case you missed it, there was Cashner mowing down Dodger hitters on national TV last night.

After going 10-9 for a weak San Diego squad in 2013, Cashner was promoted to No. 1 starter this time around. And that was where he started the season by holding Los Angeles to one run during six rock-solid innings. After the Padres were shut out through seven, it turned out Cashner had kept them close enough to rally to win it. San Diego scored three in the eighth and eventually prevailed 3-1.

The moral of this story is not that Theo made a dumb move - although Theo did make a dumb move. Rizzo and his .238 lifetime batting average projects as a mediocre first baseman with less than mediocre power during the next three or four seasons. By 2016, the Cubs better have someone ready to generate real power at first.

Cashner's upside is slightly better.

The moral of the story is that, contrary to so much accepted sports commentariat "wisdom" in this town, there is a great chance that Theo and his minions are only average talent evaluators. Theo was the general manager for a couple Red Sox World Series winners in Boston but the vast majority of the players on the first one, in 2004, were brought in by the previous regime. And throughout his time in Boston, Theo took full advantage of Red Sox ownership's bottomless pockets to bring in high-priced free agents when his prospect didn't quite make the grade.

Here in Chicago, this was the year the Cubs should have started bringing in free agents to fill in the gaps in their talent pipeline from the minors (hell, they should have done it last year). But Tom Ricketts' determination to pile up sizable profits instead of making his baseball team as good as it can be has apparently stood in the way of any significant additions to the major league roster.

The Rizzo trade is obviously not Epstein's only failing the last four years. Another delightful element of his tenure running the Cubs has been his utter failure to properly assess Cuban prospects. It started in 2012 when he allowed the tiny-revenue A's - the A's! - to outbid him for Yoenis Cespedes, an awesome outfielder who has averaged 25 home runs in his first two years in the majors and whose OPS is just under .800. Oakland signed Cespedes to a $36 million, four-year deal.

Then the Cubs overreacted and overpaid Jorge Soler. They signed the Cuban free-agent outfielder who everyone knew was a lot further from the major leagues than Cespedes to a $30 million deal. After a mediocre spring, the stalled Soler was projected to begin this season in Double A.

Next up was Yasiel Puig and now the Cubs were back in ultra-cheap mode. The Dodgers signed the outfielder for $42 million later in 2012. All Puig did last year was set the National League on fire. The Dodgers were a bad baseball team before he arrived a few months into the season. His passion and, more importantly, his production kick-started a run of winning baseball that took Los Angeles all the way to the playoffs.

And finally there is Jose Abreu. The Sox signed him for $68 million in this past off-season and after a great spring he appears ready to become the young, power-hitting first baseman they desperately need. Why hasn't more attention been paid to the fact that the Cubs could have had him with a decent offer? They already had a first baseman? Really? Did I mention Rizzo's career batting average?

And finally (in this column), if last year is any indication, Theo erred mightily in giving Rizzo and Starlin Castro rich, multi-year contracts. Both regressed in a big way in 2013 with big money already in the bank. We'll see if they can pull out of it in the coming months.

Theo is also threatening to trade ace pitcher Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs' only real ray of promise at the major league level (okay, him and Junior Lake), because Samardzija won't give the Cubs a discount on a similar long-range deal. Huh?

The larger moral of all this is that the Cubs will not turn into one of the better franchises in baseball because Theo and his boys are better at drafting and developing prospects than their peers. They aren't. The only big advantage the Cubs have is that they bring in far higher revenues than average MLB clubs. They need to use those revenues to bring in big-time free agents, like previous GM Jim Hendry did as he led the Cubs to playoff berths in 2007 and 2008.

Theo and Ricketts have a long, long way to go before they come close to matching Hendry, let alone build the kind of consistent winner they have promised Cubs fans.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:46 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"The Cubs aren't even fun to hate-watch anymore," I write in The Cub Factor.

I have to say I've never been less interested in an Opening Day in my lifetime.

Thank you, Theo Epstein, for sucking the joy out of even hating being a Cubs fan.

And even more so, a giant Fuck You to the Ricketts family. You've done the impossible: You've made the previous owners look magnanimous.

"The spacious new Cubs Park in Mesa was a big hit this spring, with the Chicago Cubs setting new attendance records for a Cactus League season and for per-game average," the Arizona Republic reports.

Meanwhile, Theo's track record isn't as good as you think it is. Our very own Jim Coffman explains in SportsMonday.

Oh, Sun-Times

the chicago sun-times has randomly run a column I wrote ages ago for someone else on Russia's vodka problem http://t.co/k5yu35CcBO

&mdash Oliver Bullough (@OliverBullough) March 31, 2014

Walgreens Whiff
"A powerful member of the Indiana Board of Pharmacy was quietly involved in discussions with state pharmacy regulators about a $100 million project that benefited his employer - Walgreens pharmacies," the Indianapolis Star reports.

"And now a government watchdog group and a labor federation say those actions not only violated state ethics laws, but have allowed Walgreen Co. to dramatically remodel dozens of stores across Indiana, compromising patient privacy and increasing the chance of errors in filling prescriptions.

"One of the groups persuaded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to look into the matter. It recently launched an investigation into the patient privacy allegations at Walgreen."

Shady trips to Chicago involved. Click through for the details.

Rahm Woos Black Journalists
Eats collard greens in Austin.

Exclusive! Inside O'Hare's New Terminal 5!
Another Beachwood Special Report.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
People, I beseech you!

Not saying it's not true - Obamacare sucks - but a fact-check of this anecdote from Mark Kirk is in order: http://t.co/sOLgmlghqy

&mdash Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) March 29, 2014

Sponsored by Lunesta RT @Chicagoist: The CTA says they plan to reopen the O'Hare Blue Line station Sunday at 2 p.m. http://t.co/gxNd9mW7QD

&mdash Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) March 30, 2014

Since 1970, virtually all the benefits of productivity gains have gone to capital rather than labor. NYtimes chart: pic.twitter.com/ZIDBFtj9GP

&mdash Nils Gilman (@nils_gilman) March 30, 2014

The Beachwood Tip Line: At a tipping point.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:17 AM | Permalink

The Death March Begins Again

The Cubs aren't even fun to hate-watch anymore.

Every last ounce of joy has been sucked out of this franchise. Goodbye Dioner Navarro, you were the last Cubs legend.

The team is even celebrating the death this year of Wrigley Field (1914 - 2014).

Goodbye, Wrigley. Now you're just a gum company again.

It's gonna be one boring season, from Sleepy Jim Deshaies in the booth to charisma-deficient Anthony Rizzo as team leader. Some interim coach we can't even work up an opinion about is managing the team this year and we don't even have a closer identified yet whom we can pour our frustrations onto.

The Opening Day pitcher is nicknamed the Shark but his performance is more akin to imitation crab.

* Welington Castillo will take a step backward - into a hot tub. Out six to eight weeks.

* Darwin Barney will once again hit below his weight.

* Junior Lake will defy management's low expectations and thus, as the obvious fan favorite, get traded by July.

* Emilio Bonifacio will hit .270 but be treated like he's hitting .720.

* None of the five pitchers in the starting rotation will make it through the season three will be traded and two will get hurt.

* Starlin Castro will be . . . Starlin Castro.

* At least one of the Core Four will suffer a serious injury while another will simply have a terrible season.

* Clark The Cub will accept a better offer driving a Blue Line train.

* Attendance will be so bad by July that the team will get started on the renovation early and just work around the handful of fans.

The Week In Review: The Cubs went 4-3-1 in their last week of spring training, finishing 15-18 for the exhibition season. They will be hard-pressed to match that winning percentage in the regular season.

The Week In Preview: The Cubs are the homecoming home opener patsies of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday in the first of a three-game series. Then they come home to host the Philadelphia Phillies for three over the weekend. By this time next week, they'll be mathematically eliminated.

Wrigley Is 100 Celebration: A pyre of 100 corked bats bearing Sammy Sosa's name will go up in flames in right field before every home game this week.

The Second Basemen Report: They all play shortstop now.

The Junior Lake Show: A .284/.332/.428 slash line in spring training uncannily foresees his exact slash line for the entire season.

Mad Merch: Saturday is Cubs Magnet Schedule Day. Affix to your refrigerator and know what the Iowa Cubs are up to every day!

Laughable Headline Of The Week: Cubs, White Sox Will Be Bad, But Watch Anyway. There are also a couple of movies from rebuilding directors we recommend.

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of I Don't Care are easily outpacing I'm Happy To Wait A Couple More Years.

Theo Condescension Meter: 9.

Shark Tank: Jeff Samardzija gets the Opening Day start on the road because he'd be too keyed up to take the Opening Day start at home, which goes to the much-better Travis Wood.

Jumbotron Preview: 5,700 square-feet of backup catcher Strummin' John Baker.

Kubs Kalender: Wait 'til next year 2016 2017 2018.

Over/Under: Days the Cubs will be over .500 this season: +/- 2.5. Days after April the Cubs will be over .500 this season: +/-: .5.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that Edgar Renteria is better than Rick Renteria.

The Cub Factor: Unlike Starlin Castro, you can catch 'em all!

The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:52 AM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

1. Carsick Cars at the Burlington on Friday night.


2. White+ at the Burlington on Friday night.

3. ONO at Quenchers on Friday night.

4. Warpaint at the Metro on Saturday night.

5. Gary Numan at the Metro on Saturday night.

6. Larry and His Flask at Reggies on Thursday night.

7. Vac da Hawk at the Empty Bottle on Friday night.

8. Woody Pines at Mayne Stage on Thursday night.

9. Mountain Sprout at Mayne Stage on Thursday night.

10. Eric Lambert and Friends at Mayne Stage on Thursday night.

11. Model Stranger at Beat Kitchen on Friday night.

12. Bear's Den at Schubas on Sunday night.

14. Cherub at House of Blues on Saturday night.

15. The Diggity at Martyrs' on Friday night.

16. Rhett Miller at City Winery on Friday night.

17. Breathe Carolina at Subterranean on Thursday night.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:14 AM | Permalink

Exclusive! Inside O'Hare's New Terminal 5

"Westfield is pleased to debut a never-before-seen video sneak peek of the New International Terminal 5 (T5) at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. The massive $26 million transformation by Westfield features more than 18 new premier dining and luxury retail shops - including 11 local Chicago brands - cutting-edge design, and world-class amenities.

"The New T5 showcases local airport firsts like modern Italian eatery Tocco, artisanal market Goddess & Grocer, and (5) concepts by Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, including Hub 51, Big Bowl, and Wow Bao a new 10,000 SF European-style duty-free shop, a first of its kind in North America which all departing passengers pass through after clearing the new TSA checkpoint and luxury boutiques like Salvatore Ferragamo and a luxury watch shop."

But that's not all. The Beachwood has learned that Terminal 5 will also include these special features:

* Animatronic Cheers bar with Chicago postman who keeps your mail buried in his backyard.

* Get Screamed At By Rahm Simulator now featuring 50 languages.

* Duty-free international tax breaks.

* State-of-the-art profiling using CPD's proprietary MuslimStat.

* New Welcome Ambassador Dennis Rodman.

* TSA agents trained in the international language of love.

* Bitcoin currency exchange.

* Slot machines technically located in international airspace.

* Closed-circuit television broadcasts of Chicago city council meetings so visitors from tyrannical nations can see how real democracy works the second they step foot in America.

* The new Taste of Chicago, featuring McDonald's, Sbarro and video of Rahm dancing to Robin Thicke on an endless loop.

* Streamlined international graft processing.

* Pre-approved voter registration cards with pre-approved ballots.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:38 AM | Permalink

Cracking The Chicagoland Code 4: LollapaRahmza

It's Rahmfest off the rails.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:17 AM | Permalink

Cold Predictions

My favorite cold-weather baseball story actually comes from a high school game.

I was teaching and coaching at the posh Francis W. Parker School in Lincoln Park when the athletic director was a soft-spoken, wonderful guy named Bob Steffens. Before becoming AD, he coached a number of sports, including baseball, during his long career at the school.

Parker, in its continual effort to bolster the self-images of its students, had a no-cut policy. Anyone who wanted to play on a team could do so, although there was no requirement that everyone got playing time.

Parker's home baseball field was what could best be described as tundraesque during April in that triangle at North Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. When the wind blew from the east - which it tended to do every time we played at home - there was no stopping it.

O'Hare could be basking in 60-plus degree sunshine while The Hawk kept wind chills in the 20s and 30s just yards from the lake.

When Steff was varsity coach, he gazed down the bench during one of those frigid afternoons only to find one of his less-talented players stripped to the waist.

"What the hell are you doing?" he asked.

"I'm not putting on my shirt until you put me in the game," was the response.

Since I consider myself a sensitive, caring individual, I said, "Of course, you put him in, didn't you, Steff?"

"Absolutely not," he replied. "I told him to stop acting crazy and get a shirt."

The weather prognosticators indicate that this afternoon's Sox opener will be far more comfortable than that wind-blown, freezing day long ago, but before the opening series with the Twins ends on Thursday, our guys will experience their share of the vestiges of winter.

Before he left Arizona last week, Sox ace Chris Sale, a Florida native, said, "I know it's going to be cold up there [in Chicago], but it's going to be cold for the other team, too."

That's true, but the players can retreat to the heated clubhouse when their team bats, and they have the luxury of all kinds of modern clothing and gadgets to warm them.

Not so with the fans. Many may be well-equipped - after all, they go to Bear games - but that may include a flask which, as far as my research has taken me, has never been a recommended antidote for hypothermia or frostbite.

Fortunately this season's openers will be played primarily in warm-weather cities like Tampa St. Petersburg, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego, Oakland and Los Angeles.

Nevertheless, there will be big crowds at the Cell, and in Milwaukee and Detroit this afternoon regardless of the temperature. The winter has been long and nasty, and Opening Day is a positive marker in our lives that signals better times ahead.

At a recent luncheon in the California desert, legendary Detroit News writer Jerry Green was reminiscing about baseball openers in the Motor City where, according to Green, "everyday in April is cloudy."

Green covered the 1959 opener against the White Sox, one of those blustery, cold days with a few snowflakes mixed in with the fly balls. That game went 14 innings before Nellie Fox of all people drove a pitch into the right field stands with Fenger alumnus Sammy Esposito on base. The final was 9-7.

"It was the only homer he hit all year," reported Green, who was half right. Fox, the league's MVP that year, led the Sox to the World Series, and he hit one other home run along the way. Of course, Fox was a fixture at second base for the Sox throughout the '50s and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997. He began that glorious season 1959 going 5-for-7, just a portent of things to follow.

The Sox's other World Series season since started off with Mark Buehrle shutting out the Indians 1-0 in 2005 on two hits. Shingo Takatsu - remember him? - pitched the ninth for the save.

Wouldn't it be nice if this season's edition got off to the same kind of rousing beginning?

Make no mistake - I'm not suggesting that this group will approach the heights of the '59 or '05 teams. But more wins than losses in April would set a much-needed tone, providing a dose of early confidence for this crew.

Sports Illustrated has pegged the Sox for 97 losses this season, while USA Today quoted one scout - why are they never identified by name? - who said they could be "decent - or really, really bad."

With the acquisitions and changes the team has made, only two fewer losses than a disastrous 2013 doesn't compute. Won't Jose Abreu, a full season of Avisail Garcia, and speedy centerfielder Adam Eaton make a difference? Of course, they will. SI predicted the Sox would finish 81-81 a year ago, and we know how that worked out.

Pitching is the biggest question mark, as well it should be, with a rotation of Sale, Jose Quintana, John Danks, Felipe Paulino and Erik Johnson. Last season the ballclub began the year with Sale, Quintana, Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd and Dylan Axelrod. That quintet looked promising on paper. but only the first two finished the season in the rotation due to Floyd's injury, Peavy's trade and Axelrod's batting practice deliveries.

Our interest is piqued by all this mystery. As fans we're curious whether the new faces will help the Sox improve. As the days, weeks, and months roll by, the pieces of the puzzle gradually fall into place just as the thermometer inches upward in its slow march toward summer.

And we'll see if this new White Sox edition warms up right along with the weather.

Roger Wallenstein is our man on the Sox. He welcomes your comments.

1. From Andrew Foertsch:

I'm a transplanted White Sox fan here in beautiful St. Pete FL. My dad grew up in the Back of the Yards and brought his love for the White Sox to the Nort'west Side.where I grew up an outcast in Cubbie Hell.

I love the Sox and I'm OK with the Rays unless they're playing the White Sox but for the record you got your cities mixed up. The Rays may be called the Tampa Bay Rays but they don't play in the Bay and they sure as hell don't play in Tampa.

The Rays play in St. Pete so please don't get the two mixed up. Tampa's on the east side of the Bay, has the Bucs, and other that that they got nothin'. I take that back. They have a lot of strip joints but they don't have a decent beach.

St. Pete is on the west side of the Bay and is a lot more laid back. I'm so over people getting St. Pete and Tampa mixed up so please remember that. Thanks. BTW the Rays beat the Blue Jays 9-2.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:01 AM | Permalink


March 29, 2014

The Weekend Desk Report

Upon reading the actual decision by a National Labor Relations Board officer, I can say with complete confidence that the media analysts are getting the story about Northwestern football players being designated employees of the university exactly wrong.

I explain on this week's Beachwood Podcast. Also: also discuss the latest episode of Chicagoland. Also, Tuffy and the Angry Aussie once again dissect the sad sack that passes for doco-journalism that is Chicagoland.

Opening Day, Ray
"Baseball returns to Chicago on Monday, bringing with it the promise of better weather, lazy afternoons at the ballpark and, inevitably, a handful of rowdy fans celebrating with too many beers," the Tribune reports.

"With that in mind, police met Friday afternoon with bar and restaurant owners from the area surrounding U.S. Cellular Field in Bridgeport."

That reminds me of an article I wrote for the Tribune in 1993 about White Sox bars. I met two women along the way who became my Sox Side tour guides - including getting me in to the Stadium Club, as the article mentions. They also introduced me to the Redwood Lounge.

In another bar, a group of guys told me they were close to kicking my ass - or at least chasing me out - when they heard I worked for the anti-union Tribune, but then they noticed I was wearing union sneakers (Converse, I believe) and drinking union beer.

I had a few beers during the reporting, naturally. When I returned to the newsroom, editors asked if I was okay to write the story. I do believe I couldn't have been better.

I still have some White Sox swizzle sticks I swiped from somewhere, probably the Stadium Club, along with some cheap White Sox coasters. One of the women gave me her phone number, and somehow I lost it - to my immediate regret.

Bruce Rauner introducing a Quinnochio mascot isn't news whether Pat Quinn lied is. #journalism

&mdash Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) March 28, 2014

Paging Cook County RT @SunshineWeek: FL supreme court OKs county's online records access system as model for state. http://t.co/rnFXolElFQ

&mdash Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) March 28, 2014

[email protected] Fran Spielman once again a "useful idiot" for "City Hall sources."

&mdash Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) March 28, 2014

Chicago teachers union holding press conference on #pension negotiations w mayors office Karen Lewis: We have not been at the table at all

&mdash Tony Arnold (@tonyjarnold) March 28, 2014

One day Chicago developers will turn attention to journalism | Chicago Developers Turn Divvy Data into Dating Site http://t.co/I6Ohu8NEn3

&mdash Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) March 28, 2014

[email protected] No wonder if he started name-checking Edgar in interviews this week in ways that would make Kirk Dillard proud.

&mdash Beachwood Reporter (@BeachwoodReport) March 28, 2014

The Weekend Desk Tip Line: We're No. 2.

The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "Since 1969 The Allman Brothers Band has captivated fans with its virtuosity, soul and unique blend of rock, jazz, blues and psychedelic rock. In what might be its last year as a band, Jim and Greg discuss its complicated history with Allman biographer Alan Paul. Then they review the new album from Atlanta garage rockers The Black Lips."

The CAN TV Weekend Viewing Report: CAN TV brings you local, relevant issues from Chicago's neighborhoods and communities. See what's happening around the city in education, the arts, government, cultural events, social services and community activities.

Perspectivas Latinas: La Casa Norte

Sol Flores and Christina Obregon of La Casa Norte discuss how the organization serves as a catalyst for families confronting homelessness to find assistance and transform their lives.

Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on CAN TV21 / Es Espanol on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on CAN TV21.

Perspectivas Latinas: Casa Aztlán

Executive Director Carlos Arango shares how Casa Aztlán serves as an educational and social center for the community, providing cultural activities, educational services and community organizing for immigrants' civil rights.

Saturday at 8 p.m. on CAN TV21.

CAN TV Complete Coverage: Creative Chicago Expo

CAN TV provides complete, unedited coverage of the 2014 Creative Chicago Expo keynotes. These speakers are all Chicagoans who've gained national and international acclaim for pioneering new strategies in their creative fields.

Designer Maria Pinto

Maria Pinto, whose unique designs were worn by Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, launched her own ready-to-wear line with a successful Kickstarter campaign and currently has work on display as part of the permanent collection at The Field Museum in Chicago.

Sunday at 9 a.m. on CAN TV21.

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Chef and Restaurateur Carrie Nahabedian

Carrie Nahabedian opened NAHA in Chicago, which won a James Beard Award and Michelin stars four years in a row, making her one of only 10 female chefs in the U.S. to earn a Michelin star.

Sunday at 10 a.m. on CAN TV21.

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Producer Robert Teitel

Robert Teitel produced some of the most successful urban films and television series' in motion picture history, including the comedies Soul Food, Barbershop and Beauty Shop.

Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on CAN TV21.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:19 AM | Permalink


Watch the video: Kraft Marketing Oreos Globally (June 2022).


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