Tag Archives: Josephus Daniels

Padre Steve Loves the MLB Winter Meetings now More than Ever, Ron Santo Elected to Hall of Fame and Happy “Repeal Day!”

The Big Prizes at the Winter Meetings: Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder (Photo Jeff Curry/US Presswire)

“You win pennants in the off season when you build your teams with trades and free agents.” Earl Weaver

Yes my friends it is the time of year that the great Earl Weaver said was the most important to building championship teams.  The off season, particularly the winter meetings which are taking place this week in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  It is only Monday but things are heating up with discussions surrounding some of the league’s biggest stars and just who might sign them to big time contracts.

Every team has needs and during the winter meetings the goal is to find ways of meeting those needs from sources outside your system with the goal of producing a winning team.  At least that is what one hopes but things don’t always work out as planned.

Now the Miami Marlins are spending money like a drunken sailor and eying the biggest “fish” in the Sea of Free Agency.  So far they have spent 26 million on closer Heath Bell and 102 million for 6 years on Jose Reyes and are heavily engaged in courting Albert Pujols. Other teams are working hard to sign other major Free Agents and make deals and for me this is so much more exciting because I have finally gotten on Twitter and I am getting to hear the trade rumors, speculation and deals as they happen. This is cool.  Of course it is so much information that I cannot process it all at once and it will give me grist for later posts about how I see things stacking up for the various teams.  Big stories other than Pujols and Fielder include C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehle and even speculation about the possible return of Manny Ramirez.

As for my hopes…I hope that the Giants get some solid hitting this week, I would love to see Fielder or Pujols in San Francisco or for that matter Baltimore but that probably will not happen. I hope that the Giants get hitting and that the Orioles get some pitching and maybe another big bat.  Of course bad deal for the Dodgers is always welcome and a meltdown of the rest of the AL East greatly appreciated.  Hey I can dream can’t I?

The Ron Santo that I remember

One great thing to happen today was the vote to induct the late Ron Santo into the Hall of Fame. Santo received 15 of 16 votes from the Golden Age Committee composed of 16-member Golden Era Committee comprised of Hank Aaron, Pat Gillick, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal,Brooks Robinson, Billy Williams, Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gene Michael, Al Rosen, Dick Kaegel, Jack O’Connell, and Dave Van Dyck voted Ron Santo into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Santo played as a Third Baseman for 14 years for the Chicago Cubs and one year for the White Sox and was an outstanding player.  Santo was a 9 time All Star who hit 342 Home Runs and 2254 hits, a .277 Batting Average and had 1331 RBI and was excellent defensively winning 5 Gold Glove awards.  But the raw numbers don’t tell the whole story.  Santo also had 1108 walks a .362 OBP, .464 SLG and .826 OPS.  Santo played the majority of his career battling Type I Diabetes and concealed it until 1971 fearing that he would be forced to retire. He began a broadcasting career with the Cubs in 1990. He had his legs amputated in 2001 and 2002 and died December 10th 2010 of complications from bladder cancer and diabetes. Some may contest his election but I always thought that he should be in the Hall of Fame.

But on a more serious Constitutional issue I wish all of my readers a Happy Repeal Day. Yes this is the anniversary of when Congress righted a gross wrong by passing the 21st Amendment to the Constitution which repealed the 18th Amendment and restored balance to the universe.

You see back in July of 1919 following the Great War a large group of “values voters” got together and decided that it was the consumption of alcoholic beverages that was leading the nation to ruin. The fact that we had been on the winning side, or God’s side in what was not the “Mediocre War” but the “Great War” and were moving into economic dominance was of little matter.  Pharisees like to make their own rules as they go along.  So the Congress passed the 18th Amendment which banned the production, consumption or transportation of said alcoholic beverage in the country.  One of the promoters of this was a man named Welch who coincidently marketed Grape juice.  If you go to a church that uses grape juice for communion this is where it bean as churches used wine before that time because it was accepted as Biblical.

Of course when organized and for that mater disorganized crime took over what had been the previously legal activity of producing alcoholic drink the prohibitionists decided that tougher law enforcement was the answer. Of course that didn’t work and the problems that had been previously associated with the consumption of alcohol in its legal form got worse everyone knew that a great fraud had been perpetrated on the American people.  When that failed as it was bound to do groups of people, decided to disobey the law, including my grandfather Ernie and great uncle Johnny who ran “stills” in Wayne County West Virginia while others who lobbied to repeal the dreadful act.  Finally on December 5th 1933 with great irony the vastly prohibitionist and Mormon legislature of the great state of Utah ratified the 21st Amendment to end the fraud that religious hucksters masquerading as promoters of family values perpetrated in 1919. Let’s hope that that we don’t have top go down this road again. After all we in the Navy are still suffering from the decision of prohibitionist Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels ended the use of alcohol in moderation on Navy ships in 1914 making us one of the few non-Islamic in the world navies to be “dry.”

So I wish everyone a Happy Repeal Day and God bless America!


Padre Steve+


The Big Prizes at the Winter Meetings: Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder Jeff Curry/US Presswire

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The Dining Out

Tonight was a lot of fun.  I went to our 2009 Naval Medical Center Intern Class Dining Out. Now for those that do not know what a dining out is I must take some time to in the words of Ricky Riccardo, to “‘splain it to you.”

Dining outs, and their counter part the Dining in go back to the times of the Roman Legions, when the officers of the Legion would get together to honor to honor individuals or units.  In these events they would recall campaigns and battles, shared hardships and parade the booty from their campaigns.   Transplanted to Northern Europe the Viking and later the people of Britain. The Viking War Lords gave a new shape to these feasts.  Of course the Vikings, like the Klingons were quite the people for a hearty celebration of victory.  They ensured that the feast was something special. “These celebrations saw all clan members present with the exception of the lookout, or watch. Feats of strength and skill were performed to entertain the members and guests. The leader took his place at the head of the board, with all others to his right and left in descending order of rank.”  Transplanted to England the tradition further developed with the various councils of knights such as the Knights of the Round Table and the lesser known Knights of the somewhat Oblong Table with One Short Leg.

For those who are clergy and somewhat put off by such displays, we too have a hand in this.  The monastics of Europe had these types of events.  The clergy of course, being the learned educators of the day spread the custom to universities.  Professional British officers who graduated from these universities carried the tradition to their units where they became more developed.   Thus to all the officers who find these functions a waste of time or money, you can blame your chaplain.  He or she may not have any idea about this, but hey, you can call them out.

The tradition grew in Royal Navy and Royal Marines and was transplanted to the American Colonists.  These traditions continued to grow and prosper until Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, a strict prohibitionist who definitely could not spell or even comprehend the concept of martial camaraderie and fun banned alcohol from US Navy ships in 1914.  The following World War, Great Depression and the Second World War contributed to its dormancy in the Navy.  The Marines kept the tradition of the Mess Night alive and by the 1950’s the tradition also began to return to the Navy.  The Air Force adopted the Tradition from the Royal Air Force while the Army had such events from the beginnings of their Service in the Continental Army.

The Dining In is something shared among the members of the Mess themselves.  The Dining Out can include spouses or other civilian and military guests from outside the Mess.  The two are very similar in most regards including an opening invocation by the unit chaplain, in our case tonight yours truly.  It is followed by other events such as the National Anthem, the parading of the beef, the testing of the beef by “Mr Vice,” the formal dinner, toasts and remarks of the guest speaker.  During the event there are certain infractions that can cause a member of the Mess to be fined or to have to partake of “the Grog.”  The Grog, depending on where you have a Mess Night can be quite an experience.  The Grog has its roots in the mixture of watered down rum and added citrus (to fight scurvy) aboard ships of the Royal Navy.  The daily ration of rum, or Grog was perhaps one of the few pleasurable moments for sailors and Marines on warships of the 18th and 19th centuries.   When I came in the Army in the early 1980s the grog was quite the witches brew, usually a nearly undrinkable concoction of whatever alcoholic beverages Mr Vice might decide to mix together.  I do think the grog has become a bit tamer over the years, but it still can have a good effect on the violator of one of the rules of the Mess.

Tonight’s event was as I said the Dining Out for our Intern Class.  They will be graduating in about two months, some will remain with us for residencies or go elsewhere in the Navy for their residency, or go for three years to be a Flight Surgeon, Diving Medical Officer, or General Medical Officer in the Fleet or with the Marines.  I have gotten to know a lot of these young men and women through my contact with them on the ICU or Pediatric ICU during good times and bad times.  I love being around them. They work hard.  Interns at our medical center spend about 79.5 hours a week in house, I’m sure some do more because they need to do research and study all the time they are there.  Some will end up in Iraq or Afghanistan in the next few months, they all are to be commended on their work in this year.

Tonight was a really good night.  I even missed a home game at Harbor Park to be at this event, but it was worth it. Unfortunately the Tides dropped their first game at home this year after 9 consecutive wins, losing 4-1 to Durham. Norfolk left 7 runners in scoring position.

Now my day in trying to get ready for the Dining Out got sporty as far as my uniform went.  In fact things reached Ludicrous Speed this afternoon as I tried to get ready for the event.  As a Lieutenant Commander I have to wear the Mess Dress Uniform.  A formal, black tie uniform complete with cummerbund, miniature medals, bow tie and jacket. It is a very sharp looking uniform, but it has a lot of moving parts.  I had to re-do my medals as I have picked up a few since the last time I wore the uniform before I went to Iraq.  I now do this myself and discovered during the process that I was missing a medal and a couple of devices to affix to a medal as well as some hardware to put things together.  After two trips to the uniform shop at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek I thought I was ready.  I was wrong.  I mounted my medals and got them on my uniform.  So far so good.  Then I discovered with under two hours until showtime that I was missing the gold, studs to my formal white shirt.  They were in my office sitting on my desk.  I had a choice to make.  Do I go to my office at the medical center and take my chances with the traffic and the bridge tunnel, which oh by the way is closed east bound for re-paving, or do I make a third trip to Little Creek?  I opted for the latter figuring that I could get dressed in the dressing room of the uniform shop after I got the studs.  The ladies at the store, who now had become used to me showing up every other hour were gracious.  I bought the studs and started to get dressed.  Then I discovered that I did not have shirt stays to keep my shirt from riding up. Putting on my cargo shorts and Birkenstocks which did not go well with the black socks which I had just put on, I wore my formal pleated shirt with the aforementioned items and bought the shirt stays.  I was now absolutely sure that this would be it.  I got my uniform on and put on my jacket.  To my astonishment and disbelief I noticed that my button and chain set which are used to fasten the jacket were missing.  Yet another trip to into the store and to the cash register before I could safely pack my stuff and race across the town to get to the Spirit of Norfolk on which the Dining Out was to be held. I felt like an idiot, something that I am not in the habit of feeling as I made each trip to the cash register at the Uniform Shop, I’m sure that the ladies got a kick out of my antics.  I could almost see such a thing happening to George Costanza on Seinfeld.  Serenity Now!

Peace, Steve+


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