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Never Again? Holocaust Days of Remembrance 2018

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Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

April 8th to 15th are the Holocaust Days of Remembrance in the United States. I am glad we do this but sadly I don’t think that the vast majority of Americans really care about the Holocaust or its eternal precedent because frankly we live in an age where history, unless it is being bastardized to fit the propaganda message of political ideologues matters not a wit.

Historian Timothy Snyder refers to the current trend of history being cherry picked and perverted in support of ideology as the  politics of eternity. Over the past two decades this concept has replaced the politics of inevitability  which defined the immediate ear after the Cold War. Inevitability presumed that no-matter what happened that the future would unfold in a manner that ultimately benefited everyone.

That understanding lasted until the disastrous American war against Iraq, the collapse of the banking system, and the politics of inequity that by 2010 made most Americans feel that they were being shortchanged. The social contract that had buttressed society has given way much in the way that it had in Europe following the First World War. Many, regardless of where they lay on the political spectrum feel victimized and angry. Their victimhood and anger require scapegoats who in turn become victims and many times the scapegoats are those who were traditionally exploited and persecuted based on race or religion, or new immigrants who have taken the place of the previously persecuted peoples that now embrace the very ideologies used to persecute their ancestors.

Snyder noted that the politics of “eternity places one nation at the centre of a cyclical story of victimhood. Time is no longer a line into the future, but a circle that endlessly returns the same threats from the past. Within inevitability, no one is responsible because we all know that the details will sort themselves out for the better; within eternity, no one is responsible because we all know that the enemy is coming no matter what we do. Eternity politicians spread the conviction that government cannot aid society as a whole, but can only guard against threats. Progress gives way to doom.”

To those that practice the politics of eternity, no matter what nation they hail from the precedent of the Holocaust looms large.

Snyder correctly observed that “The world is now changing, reviving fears that were familiar in Hitler’s time, and to which Hitler responded. The history of the Holocaust is not over. Its precedent is eternal, and its lessons have not yet been learned.”

That is something that we must never forget lest the would be architects of annihilation of our day; the politicians, preachers, propagandists, and profiteers, who demonize the Jews, Muslims, dark skinned immigrants, LTBTQ people and other inconvenient elements and prepare people to do evil or ignore it: the ordinary men who just obey orders. Primo Levi wrote:Primo Levi wrote, “Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” 

Levi was right, the common men, those that don’t think but simply follow orders or turn their heads and ignore the evil who are the most dangerous.

But of all of the people victimized by the politics of eternity it has to be the Jewish people  who have suffered the greatest from often disparate enemies. Anti-Semitism knows few boundaries and is not just one prejudice among many, even though the purveyors of it often persecute and massacre others. Christopher Hitchens noted about the Nazi crimes in Eastern Europe which were often aided by local militias: “We should not at all allow ourselves to forget the millions of non-Jewish citizens of Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and other Slav territories who were also massacred. But for me the salient fact remains that anti-Semitism was the regnant, essential, organizing principle of all the other National Socialist race theories. It is thus not to be thought of as just one prejudice among many.” 

That is one major reason why I fear the surge in the politics of eternity in the United States, Europe, and other nations. I fear that the Jews will again be a sacrificial victim especially because a part of the American electorate which allegedly supports Israel, Evangelical Christians only do so because their theology requires the sacrifice of the Jews and Israel at the hand of the Anti-Christ during Christ’s Second Coming.  Sadly, these are the same people who unabashedly support a President that mocks their faith and Christ in word and deed, and whose often disparaging tone toward American Jews is well known. As such I cannot help but think that it could indeed happen here. If this is what it means to make America Great again then we are deep trouble. Snyder wrote: “When exactly was the “again” in the president’s slogan “Make America great again”? Hint: It is the same “again” that we find in “Never again.”

Milton Mayer wrote in his book They Thought They Were Free about a German colleague during the 1950s that had lived through the Hitler years as an academic. The man tried to explain how changes were so gradual that people like him who should have known better did not take action, if they did at all until it was too late. The man asked Mayer:

“How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated ordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have. And everyone counts on that might.”

With what is happening on the border of Israel in Syria I am very much afraid that there will be a backlash against American Jews, as well as American Muslims from both the political left and right. The precedent of the Holocaust is indeed eternal and it is incumbent on us to ensure that it does not happen again. That being said if it does and some of us have the courage to resist and even risk martyrdom it will not be the martyrdom of the innocent. Sadly, most of us regardless of our ideological or political point of view have contributed to the situation that we see today. Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke these words as the Nazi Party became the largest and most powerful in Germany before Hitler was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg:

“the blood of martyrs might once again be demanded, but this blood, if we really have the courage and loyalty to shed it, will not be innocent, shining like that of the first witnesses for the faith. On our blood lies heavy guilt, the guilt of the unprofitable servant who is cast into outer darkness” 

I am one of those unprofitable servants because for some thirty years I supported the party and policies that brought about Trump and turned a blind eye toward the consequences until I saw the terrible results of the polices that I supported when I went to Iraq in 2007 and 2008.

Until tomorrow,

Peace

Padre Steve+

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The Failed Mayan End of the World Prediction and the Chicago Cubs

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The Mayan Calendar: Note the Disgusted Cubs Fan in the Center

I woke up this morning and what did I see? I saw a world that was still in existence. The sun was shining, and the dog yawning and I knew that it was going to be a good day for the world had not ended.

Not that I believed it would as the Chicago Cubs did not win the World Series. But there were believers who now that the end of the world has come and gone are left asking themselves why, kind of like the Jehovah’s Witnesses do every couple of decades, or those of more extreme millennial Christian viewpoints. Last year a preacher named Harold Camping was predicting that Jesus would come back on on May 21st 201, it was his second swing and a miss which led him to apologize. But he is not alone, there have been over 100 predictions of Jesus’ return since I have been alive that have fizzled as well as plenty by others ranging from New Agers to Death Cults.

So the world didn’t end but the shills that predicted it to certainly made some fast cash which since the world did not end they can now spend on themselves.

That being said I do have a theory that explains the whole metaphysical side of this.

I believe that the Mayan seer that carved out the great Mayan calendar was probably probably a very early, like before they existed Chicago Cubs fan.

From my cursory knowledge of the universe and end times prophecy it is the only explanation. I believe that the soul that worked his ass off carving this masterpiece did so based on the erroneous proposition, that the world was based on the 154 game baseball season of 1908, when the Cubs last won the World Series and that he did not foresee the 162 game season or the baseball strike of 1994-95.

Like any real seer he had no real ideal what he was seering about and to use a biblical term “saw through a glass darkly.” In other words he really didn’t know exactly what he was predicting and in his limited way did the best that he could. Instead he had to rely on interpreters that neither knew him or his world to understand and publicize his carvings.

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The End of the World in 1908

I do think that the Mayan calendar carver looked deep into the future and saw the end of the world. However the end of the world that he saw occurred on the afternoon of October 14th 1908 when the Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series a point in history where the world as we knew it ended and a new world began. Yes he saw the end of the world in a sense, but not as those that profited off of his work have over the past few years.

I believe that when he looked into the future and he assumed that the universe was based on the 154 game season. He did not anticipate the 162 game season, which if he had he would have known that as we know it ended on October 14th 1908 when the Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series.

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Yes my friends, even the end of the world does come down to baseball and in particular the Chicago Cubs.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Camping Out: Hubris is Never Having to Say you’re Sorry

Well despite getting it wrong yet again and making off with tens of millions of dollars over the past few years Harold “I’m absolutely sure” Camping has revised his prediction. In fact I almost expected such a thing when I saw that his website was still accepting donations on Saturday night. Yes he was wrong but only in the manner of the Rapture.  His new ploy:

“On May 21, this last weekend, this is where the spiritual aspect of it really comes through. God again brought judgment on the world. We didn’t see any difference but God brought Judgment Day to bear upon the whole world.”

Camping claims now that “The whole world is under Judgment Day and it will continue right up until Oct. 21, 2011 and by that time the whole world will be destroyed.”

He also explained again contrary to his Judgment Day build up that “It won’t be a five-month terrible difficulty…that we have learned… Instead… the world will end quickly on Oct. 21 without any build up.”

So “Judgment Day” is now October 21st 2011 when the whole wide world of sports will be consumed in a ball of fire.  Of course this is a complete contradiction of his last prediction where he claimed that the “rapture of true believers” me and probably you not included would happen.  In the manner that he taught the rapture was a physical event. Jesus comes back and gathers the church before the Great Tribulation which if you really are into it is 7 years and not 5 months but who is counting? If Camping was sure that he had another 7 years left in his 89 year old body he would probably set the date as sometime in May of 2018.

Instead he has told his followers that donated their life savings to his infernal ministry and quit their jobs to proclaim the message to pack sand saying “Family Radio is not in the business of financial advice. They should turn to God and pray.”

Well this is a travesty. The man has defrauded thousands of followers and turned the Second Coming of Christ into a joke.  He mocks his followers and denies personal responsibility for leading them astray.

Jesus was quite right about men like Camping:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:10-15

If there is a judgment coming Harold Camping should be up at the top of the batting order. Anyone that gives him the time of day or a nickel from now on should have their heads examined, but they should have not listened to him in the first place. He preyed on people’s fears and has destroyed lives. He should be shunned.  If I was a follower I would hire Denny Crane and Alan Shore to take this fraud to court.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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O Lord I Missed the Rapture Again: Padre Steve Comments on yet another False Profit Prophet

Molly Advises me on False Prophets

Well it looks like Harold “I can predict the end of the world in 3 notes” Camping has missed his prediction again.  The “Rapture of the Church” didn’t happen as he so confidently predicted and once again we have to look elsewhere for the spot on prediction of the end time except that even Jesus said that “no one knows the day or the hour, not even him.”  I think that Jesus, had it right…no one knows except the Big Guy, his “Father in Heaven.”

However as a Christian, even an apostate type as some people in my former church referred to me I still believe the Creed where it says that “He (Jesus) shall come again to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.”  Of course nowhere in the Creed or for that matter Scripture does it give a date, time, year, decade or even millennia when this will happen despite the best for profit predictions of Mr. Camping, Hal “The Late Great Planet Earth,” Jack Van Impe, John Hagee and the hundreds if not thousands of for profit prophets running about, Christian, Jewish, New Age, Jehovah’s Witness, Adventists of various types and even Apocalyptic Atheists.  Yes my friends the End of the World is a money making operation especially when it doesn’t happen as predicted.

Since I was born in 1960 there have been well over 100 predictions setting the date or year of the Rapture, the Second Coming, Armageddon or the End of the World as we know it.  It is a money making industry and the more outlandish the prediction the more money is to be made.

This time was Harold Camping’s second attempt, his first swing and a miss being back in 1994. Now with Camping having to go back and recalculate so he can make another prediction to attempt to make more money as Edgar “88 Reasons for 1988” and “89 Reasons for 1989” Whisenaunt did and as Hal Lindsey continues to do every time that he screws up.  Heck Tim LaHaye has made a mint on his “Left Behind” series of religious fiction books and movies. It’s shameful.

There is an old joke about the passage in the Book of Revelation about why there is a 30 minute silence in Heaven mentioned in Revelation Chapter 8.  The joke is that the reason there is a silence is so that the prophecy teachers can correct their charts.  I’m sorry but anyone that claims to have cracked the code on the end times is a false prophet and I don’t care who I offend in saying this. So let me say it again. Anyone who claims that they have cracked the code concerning the end times is a false prophet. Back in the Old Testament false prophets got the death penalty and we crushed by heavy stones or in the case of the prophets of Baal that Elijah challenged got turned into cinders, poof and they were gone. Even Jesus had some harsh words for these kinds of knuckleheads and he was pretty loving and forgiving if I recall correctly.

Tonight I was in line waiting to get into Harbor Park to see the Norfolk Tides when Camping claimed the Rapture was to occur.  Well it didn’t happen, the Tides won 8-6 over the Louisville Bats and up in Boston the Chicago Cubs defeated the Boston Red Sox by a score of 9-3.  The Cubs may have won but they didn’t win the World Series so according to my understanding of the end times it isn’t time.

One of the funniest things I saw tonight was a man carrying a sign which said “Worst Rapture Ever.”  Now I don’t know if it was the “worst ever” but it had to be up there, especially for those that screwed up their lives and blew their fortunes promoting this heresy thinking that it was really going to happen the way that they said that it would.  Personally despite being a pretty big grace of God advocate I think that there is a special place in Hell for those that perpetrate such falsehoods under any pretense on people seeking hope in a chaotic world.  Who knows maybe they’ll get a place alongside Adolf, Saddam and Osama in this year’s South Park “Christmastime in Hell” episode.

I think that these kind of for profit prophets do all kinds of damage.  I think that they cheapen what Christians refer to as the “Blessed Hope” something that is both hopeful and holy although it is veiled in mystery is a time where justice and mercy embrace.  The actions of such people mock that hope and drive people away from God.  In fact such predictions by these charlatans are embarrassing, irresponsible and reprehensible.

May that sounds harsh and I actually mean it to be. Camping and others like him should be shunned by any responsible person.  Unfortunately there will be more like him and others will set dates because that is where the big money is to be made, making a profit out of “prophecy.”

God help us.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Mixed Nuts: Apocalypse Soon, Conspiracy Theories and Other Nuttiness

Who did the Dye Job?

It was an interesting week and I took a couple of days off of writing to spend some time with Judy and it was interesting just to talk with her and others about some of the nutty things that are going one. Of course the big news was that Osama Bin Laden dyed his beard and had a fetish for watching himself on his Direct TV.  I wonder what he used to dye the beard with Grecian Formula, Clairol, Loreal, Herbal Essences or Manic Panic. If he hadn’t been on the lam so long he might have been their spokesman in the Middle East pitching hair beard dyes for men.  But he died undyed. I guess had he known that the SEALS were coming that he would have ensured that his beard was black.  I think the conspiracy theories inside Al Qaeda’s web were more about how he fooled them into thinking that the beard was its natural color and wondering where they can get the same brand than how the SEALS got him.

Of course in the West we could care less about the hair color we just wonder if the United States faked killing him and sent him to run the Donut shop in Buenos Aries that we had Hitler running after we faked his death at the end of the Second World War.  Rumor has it is that Elvis is still down there doing Elvis impersonations and has coffee there every morning along with the surviving aliens from Area 51.  People are demanding that President Obama produce a death certificate but the coroner’s office in Karachi Pakistan won’t issue the long form and thus conspiracy theories will abound so Jerome Corsi can write another book.

Harold Camping…The Rapture on May 21st?

Of course if you haven’t noticed only 13 shopping days left until the Rapture, at least by the calculations of a certified California nut named Harold Camping.  Evidently the 89 year old Camping believes that he alone has cracked the code about when Jesus is coming.  According to him the “Great Tribulation” began on May 21st 1988 when Fat by Weird Al Yankovic hit #99 on the Billboard Pop Chart and the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 11-6. The score is important because 11+6 equals 17 which according to Camping equals heaven. This proves my point that the Cubs are the key to understanding the Second Coming of the Lord. See Discerning the Second Coming: The Cubs are the Key and on the 21st of May 2011 the Cubs will be at Fenway to play the Red Sox in what could be the last inter-league game before Jesus comes back to whack and shwack the unraptured for 5 months until Friday October 21st 2011 which will be two days after the World Series begins.  Since there is no way to get the World Series in there is no way that the Cubs can win it and thus Camping has to be wrong.  Of course he was wrong in when he predicted the Rapture to occur in September of 1994 during the regular season but attributed this to a mathematical error.  Nonetheless there is no mathematical error on the donation link on his ministry website which he does take credit cards, so you can spend madly buying his stuff without having to pay for it…not.  See you the 22nd Harold unless you have absconded to Turkmenistan with your loot.

Speaking of “Nuts” evidently Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamadinejad is being accused of “sorcery” by his political opponents on the Council of Ayatollahs headed by Ayatollah Khamenei.  Evidently he was caught with the entire DVD collection of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed.  He bowed to Khamenei’s order to reinstate the former Intelligence Minister who Mahmoud had fired after that man discovered the collection and sold both sets on Ebay with the proceeds going to the Old Ayatollah Home in the Holy City of Qom.  Ahamadinejad who has been on the lecture circuit tour proclaiming the return of the 12th Mahdi and doing all that he can to ensure the long absent Mahdi returns but he has not been so bold as to predict the date.

Los Angeles Apocalypse?

Of course the citizens of Los Angeles are pretty sure that the Apocalypse is coming soon after the Dallas Mavericks swept the vaunted Los Angeles Lakers. Adding to their apocalyptic misery the Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly unable to afford the end of May payroll and Arnold Schwarzenegger is coming back to Hollywood for a number of projects to include a Terminator story and a movie appropriately called Last Stand.

Mona Lisa: Where is her body?

Meanwhile in Italy an attempt is being made to find the remains of the real Mona Lisa using some kind of advanced riding lawn mower system.  Lisa who disappeared under mysterious circumstances after a photo shoot with Leonardo Da Vinci has been the source of constant speculation since her disappearance.  Elsewhere people are less concerned with finding Lisa and more concerned with their own apocalypse a massive earthquake predicted to shake Rome on May 21st.  The long dead pseudo scientist Raffaele Bendandi made the prediction that the earthquake would be so bad that the entire city of Rome would be shaved off the map to make way for a new Disney World campus.  Bad news for the Pope he will have to move back to Avignon. At least the Germans and French are getting along better.

In the United States people in the Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana are building high tech Arks to survive the real flooding that is predicted to occur about around the 21st of May….coincidence?  I think so.

Have a great week

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Minor League Moves: The Dance Begins, Connecticut Defenders move to Richmond

007Minor League Moves: The Orioles Affiliated with The Norfolk Tides in 2007

Minor League Baseball teams move around for many reasons with a fair amount of regularity.  At the end of every season there are almost always a number of teams that either changes their major league affiliation or moves to another city.  A few years ago my team here in Norfolk told the New York Mets and the Minaya – Bernazard Axis of Idiocy to “get out of town and don’t let the door hit you.”  The Mets had treated their AAA affiliate badly for years and these guys gutted the Mets farm system.  I talked with various Mets scouts this year who although not saying anything on record nodded in agreement about my observations of the Mets.  So the Mets went to New Orleans and this year to Buffalo and managed to continue their mangled management of their minor league system.

However teams change affiliations for a number of reasons.  One reason that Baltimore relocated to Norfolk was the entrance into the Hampton Roads TV market.  Other reasons include facilities, distance from the home club, fan base issues, tradition or local government policies.

When I was a kid I lived in Stockton California where I got my first taste of Minor League ball watching the Stockton Ports of the California League in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  At the time the team was affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles.  A few years back I had opportunity to talk with Orioles great Paul Blair who remembered his days playing in Stockton at Billy Hebert Field.  The Ports have since been with the Brewers, the Rangers, the Reds and the Athletics and maybe a couple of others over the years.  This is not unusual as teams try to move their teams closer to the major league club or local owners negotiate deals with major league franchises to move teams to their markets.

Last year there were several moves in the International League and the Pacific Coast League. In the PCL the biggest news was the relocation of the Dodgers AAA affiliate from Las Vegas to Albuquerque, a move that returned the Dodgers to one of their tradition minor league cities.    The Ottawa Lynx franchise left that city for Allentown Pennsylvania to become the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. This left that city without any baseball.  A Canadian league that was supposed to move a team there folded.  This is actually sad for Canada as both Ottawa and Montreal which had a long baseball heritage with the Major and Minor leagues no longer have teams.  This is in large part due to the Canadian government’s tax policies that ensured that minor league players would be taxed by both the US and Canadian governments.  This made the situation difficult if not impossible for many minor league players from the states and as a result the major leagues moved all of their teams out of Canada except the Vancouver Canadians in the Northwest League.  Since the Northwest League is a short season single “A” league and most of the players are college players there is a different dynamic at work than the rest of the minors.

In 2009 the New York Mets brought the team once known as the Norfolk Tides from their home in post-Katrina New Orleans to Buffalo. In Buffalo the Mets replaced Cleveland who had moved their team to Columbus.  This ensured that the city of Buffalo and especially Bison’s fans would bask in the misery inflicted on both Norfolk and New Orleans fans for the foreseeable future.  The Bisons under Mets management finished the season with the worst record in Triple “A” ball.  I saw them several times in Norfolk and there wasn’t a young prospect of any caliber on the team.  There was an ass-load of older “has been” players who are deep into the tail end of their careers and I looked like I was in better shape than some of them, some of the guts and butts were simply huge.   The Mets under the current Oscar Minaya management are pathetic.  They have no prospects, their minor league system is broken and if the Bison’s plight was not enough their AA affiliate the Binghamton Mets were the worst team in AA Ball.  If Ross Perot was talking to Larry King about them he would say “That’s just sad Larry.”

Cleveland moved its affiliation to Columbus to be closer to the major league team while the Washington Nationals who had been in Columbus moved to Syracuse when Toronto moved its Triple “A” affiliation to Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League.    In the mean time Atlanta which had been embroiled in a decade long contest with Richmond’s clueless city council led by Doug “I have no plan or clue” Wilder for a decent stadium to replace the cesspool called “The Diamond” gave up.  Since they and not a local owner controlled the franchise, they moved the Braves to the Atlanta suburbs of Gwinnett County.  Richmond has one of the worst if not the worst ball park in the International League and maybe the minors.  Having been to the Diamond many times I have to say that it was the worst venue that I have ever seen a ball game, decrepit and uncomfortable seating, poor amenities, and a field that flooded if so much as a thimble full of rain fell made it a horrible venue for fans as well as players.  Thus the city which refused to work cooperatively with the Braves lost its team and AAA franchise, a franchise that has been for many years one of the best in the minor leagues.  Richmond lost their hockey team as well to this bunch’s inept leadership.  These people have to be one of the most clueless city government s in the entire United States and certainly the worst managed state capital.

All of this leads to the first move of the 2009-2010 off season.  On the 23rd of September the Eastern League announced that the Connecticut Defenders franchise would move to Richmond in time for the 2010 season.  The city has agreed to make improvements on the Diamond to keep it viable until a new stadium can be build by 2012, a plan that should be doable unless the city has decided to make their plans for the new stadium on the Mayan calendar which assumes that the Cubs will win the World’s series, that Jesus will come back and the world as we know it will end.

The team is an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, which means that if the Tides are not in town that I may make a number of trips to Richmond in 2010.  The Giants will stay with the team through the end of 2010 and hopefully for me will remain in Richmond for many years.  Richmond is allowing fans to suggest new names for the team.  A link to that site is here: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/sports/baseball/name-the-team/

There will be more team moves announced in the coming month or so as cities and major league teams alike assess what they need.  Cities with a long minor league heritage may lose teams, some cities are building stadiums to get teams and some cities may end up with teams in the independent leagues.  Regardless Minor League Baseball will continue to do well and fans will come.

Peace,

Padre Steve+

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