|Taijuan Walker pitching to Ronny Mauricio in the first inning of Game 1. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets swept a doubleheader from their rival Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday at Citi Field, as they took the opener, 4-3, and the nightcap, 11-4.
|Taijuan Walker pitching to Ronny Mauricio in the first inning of Game 1. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets swept a doubleheader from their rival Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday at Citi Field, as they took the opener, 4-3, and the nightcap, 11-4.
|David Peterson pitching to Jake Burger in the first inning on Thursday night. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Thursday night at Citi Field ended chaotically, as the Mets' game with the Marlins was suspended with two outs in the ninth inning and Miami ahead 2-1.
|Kodai Senga striking out Xavier Edwards for #199 on the season in the third inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The second game of the Mets' doubleheader with the Marlins featured Kodai Senga's final start of a superb first year in Flushing for the Japanese import, and with that came some history from him and another one of their key contributors.
Senga needed six strikeouts to hit the 200 K mark for the season, and he hit it with his strikeout of Jake Burger to end the third inning. Yes, six of the first nine outs Senga recorded were via the strikeout.
That brought a massive ovation from the crowd and Senga took a curtain call between innings, and there was an acknowledgment on the center field video board.
|The crowd buzzing after Senga returned to the dugout on his history-making strikeout. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Senga is just the second rookie in Mets history to have 200 strikeouts in a season, with the first being no surprise: Dwight Gooden in 1984.
That wasn't all for Senga, as he notched another two strikeouts, one apiece in the fourth and fifth innings, before he exited.
The Marlins were able to touch Senga up for a pair of solo home runs. Jon Berti led off the game with a solo shot to left-center field in the top of the first, and Jesus Sanchez blasted one into the bullpen in the top of the fourth.
Senga went five innings, and he allowed those two runs on three hits and three walks, with eight strikeouts. He wound up with a no-decision to give him a record of 12-7 on the season, and his ERA went up a tick on the night to 2.98, but keeping it under 3 was significant, especially since he is in Cy Young Award conversation.
In his 29 starts, Senga threw 166 1/3 innings, and allowed 55 earned runs (60 overall) on 126 hits and 77 walks, giving him a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.22.
The 202 strikeouts he notched gave him a K/9 inning rate of 10.93. He had five outings of 10-or-more strikeouts this season.
Francisco Lindor had a two-run home run in the Mets' 11-2 win in Game 1, and he kept the momentum going in the second game.
The shortstop blasted one to right field in his first at-bat to lead off the second inning.
Then, he was set to lead off the fourth, and he blasted one deep into the bullpen to tie the game at 2, and that sent Citi Field into a frenzy again.
That home run gave Lindor 30 home runs on the season, and a 30-30 campaign, as he has 30 stolen bases on the season.
|Francisco Lindor gestures to the crowd as he crossed home plate on #30. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Lindor is now just the fourth Met in history to have a 30-30 season, as Howard Johnson had three (1987, '89, and '91), Darryl Strawberry had one (also 1987), and David Wright in 2007.
That Lindor home run tied the game at 2, and it stayed that way until the ninth inning when the Marlins broke through against Mets reliever Adam Ottavino.
Edwards opened the inning with a single, moved to third base on a single by Berti. and he came in to score when Brett Baty committed an error on a hit by Yuri Gurriel.
That gave Miami the lead, and then Berti came in to score on a single by Bryan De La Cruz that put them ahead 4-2, which would be the final.
|Pete Alonso connecting on his first-inning home run. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets and the Miami Marlins commenced their doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon, a beautiful one after four days of rain in the area that led to Tuesday’s game being washed out.
The Mets took the opener, 11-2, with Kodai Senga set to take the ball in the nightcap starting at 7:35.
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso got the first game started with a bang, as he blasted a two-run shot to left field in the first inning for his 46th home run of the season, off Miami starter Braxton Garrett.
This was Alonso’s 192nd career home run, and that ties him with Howard Johnson for fourth all-time on the Mets franchise home run list.
Alonso had to wait 12 days to match HoJo, who became a Met Hall of Famer this past June 3. His last homer came on September 15 against the Cincinnati Reds, and he went homerless in the next two games of that series and the seven-game road trip at Miami and Philadelphia.
Since he now has 46 homers this season, Alonso is now in sole possession of second place in the Major Leagues on the home run list this season, behind only Matt Olson of the Atlanta Braves, who has 53. Kyle Schwarber is third with 45, and Shohei Ohtani, who has been shut down for the season, is fourth with 44, which is still the most in the American League.
|Pete Alonso reaching out to shake third base coach Joey Cora’s hand. Photo by Jason Schott.|
|Pete Alonso approaching the plate. Photo by Jason Schott.|
|The scene on Tuesday evening at Citi Field. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets' game against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night was postponed due to the field conditions after four days of rain that went up until a few hours before the scheduled first pitch.
Killing the Witches: The Horror of Salem, Massachusetts
By Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
St. Martin's Press; hardcover, 304 pages; $32.00; available today, Tuesday, September 26th
This is the latest book in TV journalist and radio host Bill O'Reilly's Killing series, which he has written with Martin Dugard, who has authored several bestselling books of history, including Taking Paris and Taking Berlin. This is the most popular series of narrative histories in world, with 19 million copies in print and a remarkable run of #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers.
There have been 12 books in the Killing series to this point, including last year's releases were Killing the Killers (please click here for our review), which focused on the War on Terror and became a #1 New York Times and national bestseller, and Killing the Legends, on Elvis Presley, John Lennon, and Muhammad Ali. (click here for our review).
Killing the Witches takes us back to Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 and 1693, with O'Reilly and Dugard going into excruciating detail - starting 70 years before with the Pilgrims' arrival on the Mayflower - about one of most frightening and inexplicable episodes in American history.
What started as two young girls' mysterious affliction, as they suffered violent fits and exhibited strange behavior, soon spread to other women. Salem then became consumed by rumors of demonic possession and witchcraft.
Three women were eventually arrested under suspicion of being witches, but as the hysteria spread, more than 200 people faced accusations. Thirty were found guilty, twenty were executed, and others died in jail or had their lives ruined.
O'Reilly and Dugard reveal the dramatic history of how the Puritan tradition and the power of early American ministers shaped the origins of the United States, influenced the Founding Fathers, the American Revolution, and all the way up to the Constitutional Convention.
The repercussions from Salem continue to the present day, notably in the real-life story behind The Exorcist and in contemporary "witch hunts," also known as cancel culture, on social media. The running themes, then and now, are good and evil, community panic, and how fear can overwhelm fact and reason.
In this excerpt, O'Reilly and Dugard write of the journey on the Mayflower: "SEPTEMBER 6, 1920 - PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND - MORNING
The New World beckons.
It is a cool English day as John Alden, a twenty-one-year-old barrel maker and carpenter, stands at the rail of the merchant ship Mayflower, watching the chaos on the wharf just below. He is about to risk his life on an extremely dangerous voyage. What he sees terrifies him.
Today is Sunday, a day of rest, yet dozens of workers are loading provisions onto the ship. It looks unlikely there will be enough to last the 102 passengers as well as roughly thirty members of the crew and officers the entirety of the ten-week voyage. In addition to the lack of food, some of those who have booked passage are growing apprehensive about the journey because the Atlantic Ocean has been wracked by gale-force winds. In fact, many of them refuse to board.
Even though Alden is young and a relatively inexperienced member of the crew, he knows this is not an orderly departure.
And perhaps an omen of troubles to come.
The truth is that the Mayflower should have been long at sea by now. The planned three-thousand-mile voyage to the American coast is harsh even in the calm summer months. But the North Atlantic turns mean in autumn. Two previous attempts to depart in good weather ended when the Mayflower's companion ship Speedwell began leaking. Repairs failed and the small vessel eventually had to be abandoned in port. As a result, the Mayflower will have to carry far more people and belongings than originally intended. One of the leaders of the venture, Robert Cushman, writes to a friend, 'If we ever make a Plantation, God works a miracle.'
John Alden, a husky blond adventurer, understands this risk. He knows that only one other English settlement has survived in America. This is Jamestown in Virginia, where as many as 3,000 of the 3,600 settlers have perished since the colony's founding in 1607. Those colonists are members of the Church of England, a faith swearing loyalty to the king. Many of the Mayflower voyagers are Protestants of the Puritan sect, often known as 'dissenters' due to their strong disagreements with the king's religion. This is their reason for seeking a new life in America. But for some on board, such as Alden, faith has nothing to do with the journey. It's just a job. Furs and tobacco can be very profitable when shipped back to England. No matter the motivation, all are willing to sacrifice comfort - and perhaps their lives - for a better future.
This is not the first time the Puritans have fled England. Twelve years ago, they sailed to Holland because the Crown was persecuting them. However, the Puritans, mostly farmers, found it difficult to purchase land in Holland. They were relegated to working in the wool industry, where wages were low. In addition, Puritan leadership believed the Dutch were corrupt - the Devil was working among them in Holland. Thus, the group returned to England, knowing they would eventually have to find another place to settle.
Almost immediately, the Dissenters and King James clash. Puritans believe in religious law but reject the laws of the Crown. That is unacceptable to James. But rather than punish them, the king sees a chance for the Puritans to actually help him: the fundamentalists would be allowed to sail off once again, on the provision that they establish an English colony in the Americas.
At first, the Puritans consider going to South America but eventually decide that Virginia might be a better place. A British merchant company agrees to support their settlement in return for profitable exports from the New World. Thus, the Mayflower is chartered by the merchants. For this reason, the Puritans are also required to take on board many other paying passengers that do not share their extreme faith.* (*All passengers were required to pay the merchant company more than $3,000 in today's money in order to come to America. That payment and their commitment to build a settlement have them each a share in the New World profits, which they used to pay down their substantial transportation debt.)...
Mayflower is known as a 'sweet ship,' because the leakage from wine casks over a decade has left a pleasant aroma in the hold. But that will soon change. One hundred and two passengers living in tight confinement below the main deck quickly turns the space dark, damp, and malodorous. Living quarters are divided with curtains. Ceilings are just five feet high. Passengers live by lantern, rarely knowing if it is day or night. To make this fetid hold even more crowded, all materials needed to build a settlement - from seed to cannon, from Bibles to cauldrons - are also stored below. The Puritans believe themselves to be a peaceful people, but they are also realistic, and well armed to defend their new colony from pirates, the French, and local Indian tribes. They have dragged on board muskets, fowling pieces, swords, daggers, and several heavy guns, including two 1,800-pound sakers, three 1,200-pound minions, and four smaller cannon.
As the Puritans and Strangers soon learn, the Mayflower has not been built for this type of village. She is a sturdy merchant vessel, built to carry 180 tons of cargo in her hold. In more than a decade at sea, the Mayflower has carried a wide variety of goods, from wine to furs, to European ports - returning to England with brandy and silk. The ship has never attempted a voyage of this length with so many passengers.
Autumn storms soon turn the Atlantic treacherous. Winds blow so strong that, at times, the ship is forced to 'lie ahull,' lowering its sails and being carried on the waves. Puritan leader William Bradford writes, 'The ship would be badly shaken. Conditions aboard are dreadful.'
This is true. Passengers are subjected to hardships they have never known. Meals are cold: hard biscuits, cheese, smoked and pickled meats, salted fish. It is always wet and filthy, with no relief from the incredible stench. They recline side-by-side with absolutely no privacy or hygiene. The air is barely breathable and the only activities are card playing for the Strangers and Bible reading for the Dissenters."
By Eliza Clark
Harper/HarperCollins Publishers; hardcover, 336 pages; $30.00; available today, Tuesday, September 26th
Eliza Clark was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the UK in 1994. Her debut novel Boy Parts was written after she received a grant from New Writing North's Young Writers' Talent Fund. It released in Britain in July 2020, when it was made Blackwell's Fiction Book of the Year. Boy Parts was released this past May in the U.S., and please click here to check out our review. In 2022, Eliza was chosen as a finalist for the Women's Prize Futures Award for writers under 35 and was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2023.
The Great Gatsby And Related Stories
By F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by James L.W. West
Library of America; paperback, 388 pages; $15.95
The Great Gatsby is the definitive novel of the Jazz Age, and it features some of the most recognizable characters in literature, the conflicted narrator Nick Carraway, the golden girl Daisy Buchanan, and the mysterious Jay Gatsby. Its indelible symbols and soaring prose, with its large themes of money, class, and American optimism have an enduring fascination.
|Gerrit Cole pitching against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 12. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Gerrit Cole has had his best season in pinstripes, and the Yankees ace's performance against the Toronto Blue Jays cemented his front runner status for the American League Cy Young Award.
|Aaron Judge watching his third home run of the night travel to right field. All photos by Jason Schott.|
Aaron Judge hit three home runs on Friday night, and drove in all but one of the Yankees' runs in a 7-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium.
Judge is now the first Yankee to have two three-homer games in a single season.
Murder on the Orient Express: The Graphic Novel
By Agatha Christie; adapted and illustrated by Bob Al-Greene
William Morrow Paperbacks; paperback, 288 pages; $25.99
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, as only the Bible and Shakespeare sold more copies. Her books have sold over a billion copies, and it has been released in one hundred foreign languages, which have also sold another billion copies. She passed away in 1976 after a career spanning six decades.
Bartleby And Me: Reflections of an Old Scrivener
By Gay Talese
Mariner Books; hardcover, 320 pages; $28.99; available today, Tuesday, September 19th
Gay Talese is a treasured writer who created, according to Tom Wolfe, an inventive form of nonfiction writing called "The New Journalism." He began his career at the New York Times in 1953 and worked at "the paper of record" for twelve years before moving on to Esquire, where he wrote some of the most celebrated magazine pieces ever written. Talese was born in Ocean City, New Jersey, in 1932, and he currently lives in New York City with his wife, Nan. His celebrated books include The Kingdom and the Power, on the inner workings of the Times; Honor Thy Father, Thy Neighbor's Wife, Upon the Sons, and The Voyeur's Motel.
|Bartolo Colon waves to the crowd before throwing the first pitch. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Bartolo Colon, one of the most colorful characters who became a fan favorite in Flushing, officially retired as a Met on Sunday.
|Ronny Mauricio at third base on Friday night, with Francisco Lindor at shortstop and Jeff McNeil at second base. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Ronny Mauricio has made his mark on the Mets, as the top prospect has fit in well in his two weeks in the Major Leagues, while each day can bring a new thing for him to experience.
At the plate, through Thursday, the switch-hitting Mauricio has hit .306 (11-for-36) with one home run, five RBI, two walks, two doubles, and four steals in 10 games. He is one of five players in Mets franchise history to record a hit in each of his first five career Major League games.
In the field, he played second base in all of his first ten games, and when Friday’s lineup for the Mets’ game against the Reds was announced, it showed he would make his debut at third base.
“I think he’ll present a lot of good options for us as we go forward and things shake out,” Mets Manager Buck Showalter, in his pregame press conference on Friday afternoon, said of Mauricio. “You know, I like the fact that we’ve given him a lot of looks at different places, so we’ve got some options there…you know, the good news is that he presents himself well at three or four positions.”
Showalter was asked how long he sees Mauricio at third base, and he said, “Depends on the needs of everybody, you know, things, Brett (Baty), see how he’s going to be (with his groin injury), you know. Mark (Vientos) played yesterday, I’m just trying to solve a lot of things, so tonight it fit and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
On what he’s looking for from Mauricio at third base. Showalter said, “One game’s not going to - I got a pretty good idea, I think, Joey (Cora) and I, of what, Chavy (Eric Chavez), we’ve got some good people here that got some trained eyes about it, got some history doing this. I’m not going to get into comparing players, but the mode of operation with Manny (Machado) years ago (when Buck managed the Orioles), you know, Bobby Dickerson, we go down to Bowie almost for three weeks and work out around 2:00 when nobody was there, so it was king of old to him by the time he got (to the Majors); we knew that was where he was going to end up with J.J. (Hardy).
“This is a different dynamic here, hope to get him a game or two at shortstop before he gets done. Keep in mind that Mo played third a lot at winter ball, so this is nothing, really. It’s an adjustment - I think it’s more of an adjustment going to second than it is from short to third; biggest adjustment was going to the outfield.”
With Licey in the Dominican winter league, Mauricio played nine games at third base, while the lion’s share of his games were at short stop (27), with one game at second base.
In the minor leagues this season, he played exclusively at Triple-A Syracuse, and in 116 games overall, he played 56 games at second base, 27 at shortstop, 26 in left field, 6 as the designated hitter, and 2 at third base.
Showalter said of what he’s seen of Mauricio, “I like him at all three of them (infield positions), really, didn’t get a whole lot of looks in the outfield. Everybody likes what they see of him; offense is going to come and go, it’s where can you impact things defensively? These looks are fleeting, so we want to take looks at it. You’re also trying to solve the needs of everybody, and it’s not just him.”
On how the transition from shortstop to third base appears easier than to second, Showalter said, “You might get some debate on that, but the pivot is completely different. First time, you’re not looking at the runner coming to you; now you’ve got your back to the runner, it’s a different angle. It’s like Jeff (McNeil) playing right field instead of left field - as a second baseman, he’s looking at the ball coming off the bat the same way, but the ball comes off the bat differently for right-handed hitters to right field than it dies for most left-handed hitters to left field. I think that’s what people miss a lot is the left-hander’s swing of the ball comes off compared to a right-hander’s, for the most part.
“It’s different spin; you’ve got more time in one place, less time in another place. There’s different types of plays, but at some point, infield’s infield, catch and throw it.”
|Kodai Senga firing one in against Arizona's Ketel Marte on a beautiful Thursday afternoon at Citi Field. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Kodai Senga continued his sensational season on Thursday, as he threw six shutout innings as the Mets cruised to an 11-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field.
|#1 for #10: Ronnie Mauricio returning to the dugout after hitting his first career home run on Tuesday night. A game summary will be at the end of this report. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Mets Owner Steve Cohen said in late June that the priority for his club moving forward would be to hire a President of Baseball Operations, and a little over two months later, they are closing in on their top choice.
Multiple reports are indicating that David Stearns has signed a five-year contract and will begin in his role at the end of the season. It is likely that General Manager Billy Eppler will stay on and report to Stearns.
The 38-year-old Stearns is a Manhattan native who grew up a Mets fan. He began his career with the Houston Astros, where he was an Assistant General Manager from 2013 to 2015. He joined Milwaukee at the end of the 2015 campaign, and he was General Manager from 2016 through 2018 and President of Baseball Operations from 2019-22 before serving as a consultant this season. Under Stearns, Milwaukee made the playoffs four straight seasons, from 2018 through 2021.
The focus now turns to what will happen to Mets Manager Buck Showalter, who will have one year left of a three-year, $11.25 million contract he signed ahead of last season, with $4 million guaranteed for 2024.
Showalter, in his pregame press conference on Tuesday afternoon, was asked about how he has dealt with uncertainty in the front office, and he said, “You’re always trying to improve, you know, you stay focused on what your job is, and that’s the 26 players in that locker room. I have a lot of confidence in, you know, the people running our farm system, scouting department, had nothing but good dealings with them, excited to watch (Double-A) Binghamton in the playoffs, wish I could get over there, that’s an exciting club to watch…
“You really try to stay on task in what your job is, and follow the lead of the things that people know are best for the organization, whether it be consultants - I come down here everyday because I don’t read or listen to anything, and I get what I need to know, what’s out there, and they told me that some of that stuff was out there. Doesn’t mean I’m going to answer any of that; I just need to know. Sometimes they tell me things that aren’t pleasant, but I need to know, but this one, I’m just trying to stay, and we as a staff, and I’ve talked to our coaches and everything, it’s stay on task. These things usually work themselves out if you stay true to the game and what your job description is. It’s when you start speculating and try to get in all the - it’s all about the game, it’s about these nine innings and what the players need today.”
Last season, Showalter led the Mets to a 101-win regular season, second-most ever in franchise history to the 108 wins by the 1986 Mets, and he was honored as the National League Manager of the Year.
This season, the Mets entered with incredible expectations, but their hopes were dashed early when they lost closer Edwin Diaz to an injury at the World Baseball Classic, and prize acquisition, starting pitcher Justin Verlander missed the first month of the season. The Mets stumbled through the first few months, and by the end of July, Eppler traded his pair of aces, Verlander and Max Scherzer, and closer David Robertson, effectively commencing a rebuild.
Showalter was asked if he had talked to Cohen and Eppler about his future, and he said, “I don’t, you know, been all focused on the baseball and the games, abs everything, I don’t know. No, that’s the short answer.”
On if he expects to be back next season, Showalter said, “I don’t think about those things; right now, it’s about today and it’s about tonight, and we’re all trying to win in a very competitive business.
“This is not the time or place for my mind to be going there. If you choose to, and your job description tells you you should, then God bless you, go ahead. I’m not going there.”
Showalter also commented about Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers being done for the season after he suffered a torn Achilles tendon in the opener Monday night.
“You know, somebody’s going to get a great opportunity,” Showalter said. “Zach Wilson may be everything they think he will be, hope so, just like the Ravens lost their running back (J.K. Dobbins, also to an Achilles injury). Isn’t it funny how one day, like, without correlating it to something else, can change a lot of fortunes.”
METS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 4: The Mets broke out the bats in this one, starting with Ronnie Mauricio hitting the first home run of his Major League career, a solo shot in the fourth inning.
An inning later, Pete Alonso blasted his 44th home run of the season, a two-run shot that gave the Mets a 6-1 lead.
Francisco Alvarez hit his 23rd home run of the season, a solo shot in the eighth inning that put the game away, at 7-4.
The Mets other runs came when Brandon Nimmo laced a triple, his fifth of the season, and scored on a Francisco Lindor sacrifice fly in the third inning that tied the game at 1. The tandem nearly repeated it in the fifth when Nimmo doubled, his 24th of 2023, into the right field corner and came in to score on a Lindor single.
Jose Butto got the start for the Mets in this one, and he earned his first career victory. He went five innings, and allowed one run (earned) on two hits and three walks, with seven strikeouts. He is now 1-2 with a 3.46 ERA (earned run average).
|Jose Butto pitching to Geraldo Perdomo in the fourth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.|
American Breakdown: Why We No Longer Trust Our Leaders and Institutions and How We Can Rebuild Confidence
By Gerard Baker
Twelve; hardcover, 288 pages; $30.00; available today, Tuesday, September 12th
Gerard Baker served as the Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief from March 2013 to June 2018. He is currently an Editor At Large at the Journal and writes the WSJ Opinion column "Free Expression," which is the basis for his podcast of the same title, where he speaks to leading writers, influencers, and speakers every week. He also was Dow Jones Managing Editor and hosted WSJ at Large on Fox Business until this past May.
American Psychosis: A Historical Investigation Of How The Republican Party Went Crazy
By David Corn
Twelve; paperback, 416 pages; $19.99; available today, Tuesday, September 12th
David Corn is a veteran journalist and political commentator who is the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine and an analyst for MSNBC. He is the author of three New York Times bestsellers, including Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Battled the GOP to Set Up the 2012 Election and Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, co-written with Michael Isikoff.
American Psychosis, now available in paperback, became an Instant New York Times Bestseller when it was released last year, and Corn tells the wild and harrowing tale of the Republican Party's decades-long relationship with far-right extremism, bigotry, and paranoia.
This story is as relevant as ever, with the Republicans on track to make former President Donald Trump their nominee in 2024. Corn delivers this fast-paced, boisterous, behind-the-scenes account of how the Republicans starting in the 1950s encouraged and exploited extremism, bigotry, and paranoia to gain power.
It is a deep dive into the netherworld of far-right irrationality and the Republican Party's dealings with the darkest forces in America. Corn reveals the hidden history of how the Party of Lincoln forged alliances with extremists, kooks, racists, and conspiracy-mongers to foster fear, anger and resentment to win elections.
This was what Trump used to win the 2016 presidential election and led him to transform the party into a personality cult around him that foments and bolsters the crazy and dangerous excesses of the right, including conspiracy theories on how the 2020 election, in which he lost to Joe Biden, was rigged.
To Corn, the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, which Trump has been charged with inciting, was no aberration. It a continuation of the long and deep-rooted Republican practice of boosting and weaponizing the rage and derangement of the right wing.
This is chronicled in an evolution of Republican battles and known figures that became champions of the right. This starts with Senator Joseph McCarty and his Red Scare in the 1950s that became known as McCarthyism, to the libertarian and anti-communist John Birch Society to segregationists in the 1950s and '60s, to the New Right, which began with the 1964 Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, to the religious right, to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, whose show ran from 1988 until his passing in 2021, to the militia movement to the rise of Fox News, which began in 1996 and held massive sway for the past two-plus decades, to 2008 GOP Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin to the Tea Party movement in 2010, when Barack Obama was President, to Trumpism.
Corn contends that Republicans have deliberately nurtured and exploited rightwing fear and loathing fueled by paranoia, grievance, and tribalism. They have harnessed the worst elements in politics to poison the nation's discourse and threaten American democracy.
In this excerpt, Corn writes of the fierce battle at the 1964 Republican convention: "Nelson Rockefeller stared into a sea of hate.
Standing at the podium of the Republican National Convention of 1964, the fifty-six-year-old patrician politician who symbolized dynastic American power and wealth was enveloped by waves of anger emanating from the party faithful. Delegates and activists assembled in the Cow Palace on the outskirts of San Francisco hurles boos and catcalls at the New York governor. He was the enemy. His crime: representing the liberal Republican establishment that, to the horror of many in the audience, had committed two unpardonable sins. First, in the aftermath of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, these turncoat, weak-kneed Republicans had dared to acknowledge the need for big government programs to address the problems and challenges of an industrial and urbanized United States. Second, they had accepted the reality that the Cold War of the new nuclear age demanded a nuanced national security policy predicated on a carefully measured combination of confrontation and negotiation.
Worse, Rockefeller had to thwart the hero of the moment: Barry Goldwater, the archconservative senator from Arizona, the libertarian decrier of government, the tough-talking scolder of America's moral rot, and the hawkish proponent of military might who had advocated the limited use of nuclear arms. Rockefeller, a grandson of billionaire robber baron John D. Rockefeller, had competed for the presidential nomination against Goldwater, but his campaign had been subsumed by the right wing's takeover of the party. Still, at this late stage, on July 14, the second night of Goldwater's coronation, Rockefeller and other moderate Republican dead-enders were praying for a last-minute political miracle that would rescue their party from the conservative fringe - the kooks, as they were widely called. This evening they were taking one final stab at keeping those kooks at bay.
Clenching his square jaw, Rockefeller had hit the stage with an immediate task: to speak in favor of a proposed amendment to the Republican Party platform denouncing extremism, specifically that of the Communist Party, the Ku Klux Klan, and the ultraconservative, Red-baiting John Birch Society. The platform committee, controlled by Goldwater loyalists, had rejected this resolution. Yet the moderates hadn't given up. On the opening night of the convention, Governor Mark Hatfield of Oregon had declared, 'There are bigots in this nation who spew forth their venom of hate. They parade under hundreds of labels, including the Communist Party, the Ku Klux Klan, and the John Birch Society. They must be overcome.'
This was not the predominant sentiment within the Cow Palace. Hatfield was met with a barrage of hisses and boos. He later called the response 'frightening' and reflected, 'It spoke to me not merely of strong political disagreement, but of a spiteful kind of enmity waiting to be unleashed to destroy anyone seen as the enemy - domestic or foreign.'...
It was late in the evening when Rockefeller hit the rostrum for his allotted five minutes. As he had walked toward the stage, people threw paper at him. Senator Thurston Morton of Kentucky, the convention chair, claiming concern for Rockefeller's safety, asked him to postpone his remarks. Believing Morton was shoving him, Rockefeller snapped, 'You try to push me again, and I'll deck you right in front of this whole audience.'...
Rockefeller complained that he had been the victim of these 'extremist elements,' pointing out that he had received 'outright threats of personal violence.' A young Goldwater volunteer shouted, 'You goddamned Socialist!' Baseball legend Jackie Robinson, a Rockefeller supporter in the hall, called out, 'C'mon Rocky' - and nearly got into a fistfight with an Alabama delegate.
As veteran political correspondent Theodore White, who was present, later put it, Rockefeller 'was the man who called them kooks, and now, like kooks, they responded to prove his point,' and the 'kooks' were 'hating and screaming and reveling in their own frenzy.' A call for reasonableness, a plea to spurn the paranoid, irrational, and conspiratorial tenets of the far right - this was not what Goldwater's people wanted to hear. Some reporters feared Goldwater supporters were about to storm the stage and physically attack the governor.
Maintaining an wry and cocky smile, Rockefeller told the audience, 'This is still a free country, ladies and gentleman.' and he condemned the 'infiltration and takeover of established political parties by Communist and Nazi methods.' He added, 'Some of you don't like to hear it...but it's the truth.' He declared, 'The Republican Party must repudiate these people.'
The Republican Party - those then in control of it - thought otherwise. On a voice vote, the nays overwhelmed. 'God save the Union,' Senator Tom Kuchel, a moderate Republican, remarked."
The Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts
By Loren Grush
Scribner; hardcover: $32.50: available today, Tuesday, September 12th
Loren Grush is a reporter for Bloomberg News who specializes in reporting on space. The daughter of two NASA engineers, Grush grew up surrounded by astronauts and Space Shuttles. She was a senior science reporter for the technology news website The Verge and has been published in The New York Times, Popular Science, and Nautilus magazine.
In The Six, Grush's debut book, she focuses on the groundbreaking achievements of the first women astronauts - Sally Ride, Judy Resnik, Anna Fisher, Kathy Sullivan, Shannon Lucid, and Rhea Seddon. They helped build the tools that made the space program run, despite enduring claustrophobic, and sometimes sexist, media attention, undergoing rigorous survival training, and preparing for years to take multi-million dollar payloads into orbit.
NASA began sending astronauts to the moon in the 1960s and '70s, but the agency excluded women from the corps, arguing that only military test pilots, a group then made up exclusively of men, had the right stuff. Women were even steered away from jobs in science and deemed unqualified for space flight.
By 1978, NASA recognized its blunder and opened the application process to a wider array of hopefuls, regardless of race or gender. From a pool of 8,000 people, these six elite women were selected. Each of The Six would make their mark, with some of their stories well-known to the general public. Sally Ride had a history-making first space ride, and one of them, Judy Resnik, sacrificed her life when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded at 46,000 feet in 1986.
Grush tells this story in a captivating way that weaves together history, science, and the human spirit. The work currently going on with NASA's Artmeis project, which aims to put the first woman on the moon, is a testament to the groundbreaking achievements of these six remarkable women pioneers.
Loren Grush was part of a Zoom discussion with veteran journalist Lynn Sherr, known best for her work on ABC News' landmark show "20/20" and her coverage of the space program. Here is a sampling of their discussion:
Lynn Sherr: These were the first six American women to go into space. As someone who grew up with rockets all around you, what did you find about these six women to be the most annoying thing about the way they were treated?
Loren Grush: Well, I have to say I wasn't quite as impressed with the press that was around them at the time, with you as the biggest exception, Lynn. I think one of the things I talked about with the women is that they were pretty adamant they were treated pretty fairly at NASA. You know, sometimes there were hiccups along the way, but they were pretty happy with their colleagues and the men that they worked with. It was really the press and the questions that they were asked throughout their journey that were just laughable. There's an infamous question asked by the Time reporter at Sally Ride during her press conference asking her if she weeps in the simulator when things go wrong. By the way I had to FOIA NASA for that press conference (referring to the Freedom of Information Act) because it is deep in the archives, and so I was able to watch that press conference in full, and boy, there's some real great questions in there (she said sheepishly), that we would all cringe if we heard them asked during in a press conference today.
Lynn Sherr: Let's point out that was 1983 that Sally first flew. 1983, folks, is when the first American woman flew. Of course, the first Soviet woman, Valentina Tereshkova, 20 years earlier, but Loren you got to these women in a very real way. I knew them all reasonably well and you really portrayed them as they were and as they are. For our audience, why don't you run down the names and give a description of each one.
Loren Grush: I would love to. Of course, I feel like everyone knows Sally Ride, and I just want to reiterate, if you really want the complete story about Sally Ride, please read Lynn's book (Sally Ride: America's First Woman in Space). Sally Ride, we know her as a tennis player, but one of the things I really love with her is she had a really dry sense of humor; as Lynn points out in her book, she's a great compartmentalizer. She didn't put up with any chauvinism or sexism, also she didn't like to be treated any differently, which reflects some of the ways that she approaches that in the book.
Followed by her (note: Grush is going in order of how they flew) is Judy Resnik, who is one of my favorites of The Six. You know, she has a real tragic story...She was also one of the first Jewish astronauts to fly, but same with Sally Ride, she really did not like to bring attention to herself, did not like the press, did not like talking to them because they did bring up her divorce, and they wanted to talk about her family life, which she really did not want to get into, but she was also kind of known for yukking it up with the guys a little bit. I spoke with Mike Mullane, because if you haven't read his book, that's a fantastic and hilarious book the class of astronauts they were a part of, and he describes her personality, and she's just a really vibrant and funny person.
Following her is Kathy Sullivan, she's the first American woman to conduct a space walk outside of the shuttle, and Kathy's just so smart and amazing, so qualified. She's known for being the explorer, and so she knew early on that she wanted to be a part of the spacewalking, you know, do a space walk, so she kind of maneuvered her way into working with the Air Force and using their pressure suits, and that put her in the perfect position to be a space walker...
Four to fly is Anna Fisher; she's famously the first mother to fly. I was actually going to bring up, as the women flew, and America became more comfortable with women flying, the questions became less intrusive, but Anna still had to deal with a lot of opinions from women thinking that it was a terrible idea for her to go to space and leave her daughter, Kristin, behind. Also, what a great way for things to come full circle, Kristin Fisher is a great friend of mine who is reporting for CNN and reporting on space, too, so, as space babies, we all like to come full circle. There was a question that Anna got while she was in space asking how being astronaut makes her a better mom, you know, wild things, and you know, none of the men ever got those questions and all them have questions.
Followed by her is Rhea Seddon, and Rhea is fantastic. Rhea was the first to, well, okay, Anna Fisher was married to an astronaut, Bill Fisher, but he became an astronaut after he had been selected...Rhea also married a fellow astronaut, (Robert) Hoot Gibson. I spoke with Hoot for this book, he's a fantastic interview. I highly recommend anyone who can meet him to meet him, and they had the first astro-tot, which is the first child to be born of astronauts, so Anna was the first mother, but Rhea and Hoot had the first child while they were in the program together...Rhea and Anna are both medical doctors, and so they brought that expertise when they were flying. Rhea flew with an eco-cardiogram experiment that she got to use. Also, Rhea's flight is really interesting because she got to fly with the first politician to fly. Many of you know that Bill Nelson also flew on the Shuttle; he's the NASA Administrator now, but Jake Garn was on Rhea Seddon's flight, so that was a new initiative that NASA was working on at the time to make the Shuttle more accessible to the public or lawmakers, in this instance. (Garn was the first member of Congress to fly in space)...
Lynn Sherr: I wonder now that Bill Nelson runs NASA; when he flew, it was widely seen as a boondoggle because he was on the committee that was funding NASA basically, or voting to fund NASA, but the crew all liked him very much, and he acquitted himself extremely well. My question to you, Loren, is, you know the program so well, Bill Nelson is now the NASA administrator, as you mentioned, you think it's a good thing that he flew, you think it's helpful to him that he had that flight?
Loren Grush: I think it definitely gives you a certain perspective. I haven't been to space myself, so I cannot say, but there is the talk of the overview effect, you know, it's being in space versus training for space is just night and day difference from what I hear, and so I think it definitely gives you an idea of what all of this money and all of these politics are working towards, and so I definitely think it does give him an added perspective that we don't have, but also Bill loves to bring up his space flight whenever he does do his press conferences, which I find really funny.
And then I have to move on to Shannon Lucid, who, unfortunately, didn't get into all of her accomplishments in the book, but Shannon is probably one of the most accomplished in the group of The Six that I write about. I mean, she, well, the flight that I write about in the book, STS-51-G, she was flying with the first member of a Royal Family, Prince Sultan from Saudi Arabia, but Shannon would go on to fly on the MIR Space Station, and she would live there, and for a time, she would be the only woman to have the longest-duration space flight, and she held that title for a really long time...Also, Shannon's fantastic because Shannon is slightly older than the other women. She experienced quite a bit of sexism. Writing about her early history was extremely illuminating. While the other women had their issues growing up as well, they were younger, America was getting its act together a bit more when they were growing up, but Shannon, she had the damnedest time to get just a job in chemistry, and left and right, people refused to pay her, people told her she would never get a job because she was a woman, and she just kept fighting and fighting and fighting, and it eventually led her to NASA, and so I really enjoyed speaking with her and hearing about that history, and it's just a reminder for someone like me what women had to deal with back in just the '70s, not that long ago."
The Mets honored the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center, on Monday ahead of their game with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A Beautiful Rival: A Novel of Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden
By Gill Paul
William Morrow Paperbacks; paperback, 384 pages; $18.99
Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specializing in history from recent times. She has written two novels about the Russian royal family, The Secret Wife, published in 2016, about cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia's last tsar; and The Lost Daughter, released in October 2018, that tells of the attachment Grand Duchess Maria formed with a guard in the house in Ekaterinsburg where the family was held from April to July 1918. Gill's other novels include Another Woman's Husband, about links you may not have been aware of between Wallis Simpson, later Duchess of Windsor, and Diana, Princess of Wales; Women and Children First, about a young steward who works on the Titanic; and The Affair, set in 1961-62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fall in love while making "Cleopatra."
A Beautiful Rival is Paul's newest novel, and it reveals the unknown history of cosmetic titans Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein, whose rivalry spanned decades and included broken marriages, personal tragedies, and a world that was changing drastically for women.
Elizabeth Arden was Canadian-born and brought up in poverty, but she changed popular opinion, as she persuaded women from all walks of life to buy skincare products that promised them youth and beauty. Helena Rubinstein left her native Poland, and launched her company using scientific claims about her miracle creams composed of anti-aging herbs.
Arden and Rubinstein each founded their empires and became self-made millionaires who invented a global industry, in an era when being a wife and mother were supposed to be the highest goals for their sex. Instead, their feud spanned three continents, two world wars, and the Great Depression.
Nothing was off-limits when it came to business, as they poached each other's employees, copied each other's products, planting spies, hiring ex-husbands, and one-upping each other every chance they had. They both were determined to succeed, no matter the personal cost. The passion, bitterness, and ambition of these larger-than-life fashion icons come alive as they seek out the American Dream.
Elizabeth and Helena changed the beauty industry forever with their groundbreaking products and marketing tactics, which set the path for female business owners everywhere. A Beautiful Rival tells each of their stories simultaneously in alternating chapters.
This excerpt chronicles Elizabeth in January 1915: "Elizabeth Arden held her first meeting of the day in her yoga routine, dressed in a loose pink gym top and matching bloomers. Irene Delaney, her personal assistant - known to all as Laney - perched on the window seat, legs crossed and spectacles balanced on her nose. She began reading out messages from a notebook, then scribbling Elizabeth's instructions with a pencil sharpened to a point.
Outside, snow was drifting past the tall picture windows but a brisk fire kept the room cozy. A pot of English tea was brewing on a side table, alongside two rose-patterned gilt-edged cups and saucers and a tiny milk jug.
Elizabeth bent forward into Downward Dog pose, feeling the stretch in her calves. She had broken her hip as a teenager after falling badly while trying to high-kick a chandelier on a dare. She'd spent months bedridden while it healed, and ever since, her joints got painfully stiff without the morning yoga, which had been recommended by a progressive Toronto doctor. It had the added benefit of helping to keep her figure trim. She was in good shape for a woman of thirty-six - an age she would never admit, as she hoped to pass for a decade younger.
'Mr. Pease rang yesterday,' Laney said. 'From Pease and Elliman. He wanted to tell you they've found a tenant for 673 Fifth Avenue.'
Elizabeth hoisted herself into a neat headstand, proud of the strength in her arms. She'd been looking for a new Fifth Avenue salon, one with a street entrance. Her current New York beauty salon was on the third floor at number 509, so it didn't attract passing customers. She had viewed the premises at 673 but felt they weren't spacious enough for her plans.
'Do we know who the new tenant is, dear?' she asked, feeling her skin tingle as blood rushed to her head.
'She's another beauty salon owner,' Laney said. 'Name of Helena Rubinstein.'
Elizabeth wobbled, lost her balance, and let her feet topple to the carpet with a thump. 'You're not serious.' She sat up, adjusting her top, which had ridden up, exposing her flat stomach.
Laney consulted her notes, and nodded. 'That's what he said. Why? Do you know her?'
Elizabeth wrinkled her nose as if at a bad smell. 'I visited her Paris salon in 1912 during my trip to Europe, and can't say I was impressed. She calls herself the 'Queen of Beauty Science' and blathers on about 'magical antiaging herbs' she's discovered' - she chortled dismissively - 'but the facial I had in her salon was run of the mill. I'm sure her Valaze cream brought me out in a rash. What's she doing coming to New York?'
She was thinking out loud. She knew Madame Rubinstein already had salons in Australia and London as well as Paris. Wasn't that enough for her? She had no place in America; this was her territory.
'If she's a charlatan, she won't have a chance of succeeding in Manhattan,' Laney said. 'New York women are very discerning.'
'Last time I saw her she didn't even speak English fluently,' Elizabeth scorned, remembering the woman's peculiar vowel sounds and the way she placed emphasis on the wrong syllable of words like 'astringent' and 'complexion.'
She was worried, though. All things Parisian were in vogue. There was a lot of sympathy for the French because of the war in Europe and, from what she had seen in Paris, Madame Rubinstein didn't hesitate to promote herself. But she, Elizabeth Arden, was founder and sole owner of the most successful beauty brand in America, having outstripped all the other pretenders with her upmarket packaging, her clever advertising, and her stylishly decorated salons. She was well connected in this city. Women knew and trusted her."
As the calendar has turned to September, and people are back to work and school, the need for moments to unwind becomes important, and there are three new novels that are a perfect way to spend that time: Ravage & Son, by Jerome Charyn; Counting Lost Stars, by Kim van Alkemade; and The Air Raid Book Club, by Annie Lyons.
|Jasson Dominguez connecting on a double against Detroit on Tuesday night. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Jasson Dominguez has been on Yankees’ fans radar the past couple of years, with his evident "out of this world skills" leading to the adoption of his moniker, The Martian.
|Pete Alonso connecting on his 41st home run of the season on Sunday afternoon. Photo by Jason Schott.|
|Alonso and Seattle pitcher Trent Thornton react to No. 41 as it hits the seats. Photo by Jason Schott.|
Mets first baseman Pete Alonso hit his 40th and 41st home runs of the season on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, as he led the Mets to a 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners, in which they took two of three in the weekend series.
Alonso also got his 100th RBI on Sunday, as he drove in four RBI, and it's the third time in his career he has hit the 40 home run and 100-RBI plateaus, which brought with the milestone a lot of history.
Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor also made some history in Saturday night's game, in which the Mets lost a hard-fought battle, 8-7. He hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning, which was his 25th of the season, and he joined the exclusive 25-25-25 club in Mets history, as he has hit those plateaus in homers, doubles, and stolen bases this season.
ALONSO: On Sunday, Alonso started his day with a bang against Seattle starting pitcher George Kirby. He got an RBI single in the first inning, as Lindor, who reached earlier in the inning on an error by second baseman Josh Rojas, came around to score from first base to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.
Then, in the third, Alonso crushed one to left field for No. 40, a two-run shot that put the Mets up, 4-0.
|Pete Alonso being greeted by Daniel Vogelbach on his way back to the dugout after blasting No. 40. Photo by Jason Schott.|
After striking out in the fifth against former teammate Dominic Leone, he came up against Trent Thompson with one out in the seventh inning.
With anticipation in the air, Alonso blasted another one to left field for a solo home run, which gave the Mets a needed insurance run, as it made it 6-3. That was No. 41 and it also was his 100th RBI of the season.
Before we get to the superlatives of Alonso's day in the 6-3 Mets win, Tylor Megill's performance should be noted. The right-hander got the win to improve to 8-7, with a 5.28 ERA (earned run average) on the season, as he went 5 1/3 innings, and allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. Adam Ottavino earned his eighth save of the season, in which he pitched a scoreless ninth inning and struck out the side.
For Alonso, this was the third season he has had 40 home runs and 100 RBI, joining his Rookie of the Year campaign and last year as ones that he hit the milestone. In 2019, he had 53 HR and 120 RBI, and last season, he hit 40 homers and drove in 131 runs. In the 60-game pandemic season in 2020, he hit 16 homers and drove in 35, and in 2021, he just missed the two marks by hitting 37 homers with 94 RBI in 152 games.
Alonso is the only player in Mets franchise history to have three seasons with 40 or more home runs. His 187 home runs since he began his Major League career in 2019 are the most in baseball. Since 2019, only two players have multiple 40-plus home run seasons, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, and only one other active player has more than three 40-plus HR campaigns, Nelson Cruz, who has four.
In Major League Baseball history, Alonso is just the fifth player with three or more seasons of 40+ home runs in a player's first five years, along with Pirates star and Mets announcer Ralph Kiner (4), Ryan Howard of the Phillies (3), Albert Pujols of the Cardinals (3), and the Braves' Eddie Matthews (3).
Alonso is fifth in Mets history with 187 career home runs, just five behind Howard Johnson (192), and that list is headed by Darryl Strawberry (252), David Wright (242), and Mike Piazza (220).
With his 100 runs driven in this season, Alonso is just the fourth player in Mets history to record three seasons with 100 or more RBI. David Wright is the leader with five 100+ RBI campaigns, followed by Carlos Beltran and Darryl Strawberry, who had three each.
Alonso now has 480 career RBI, which is 10th-most in Mets history. He has already passed Keith Hernandez this season, and next up on the list is Cleon Jones and Jose Reyes, who are tied for eighth with 521.
In the Major League ranks this season, Alonso is third with 41 home runs, behind Shohei Ohtani and Matt Olson, who are tied at the top with 44 apiece. Alonso's 100 RBI are now second-most in MLB, tied with Texas' Adolis Garcia, and behind Olson's 113.
LINDOR: Francisco Lindor hit his 25th home run of the season off Seattle relief pitcher Gabe Speier, a two-run shot in the sixth inning.
This was the final piece of him completing the 25-25-25 campaign, as he entered the game having already notched 29 doubles and 25 stolen bases on the season.
The Mets shortstop, now in this third year in Flushing, is now just the fifth player in Mets history to join this exclusive club.
The other four to do it are: Darryl Strawberry, in 1984, 1986, 1987, and 1988; Howard Johnson in 1989 and 1991; David Wright (2007), and Carlos Beltran (2008).
This was the second time in his career Lindor, who began his career with the Cleveland Indians (2015-20), has been a member of the 25-25-25 club, as he did it in 2018, when he hit 38 home runs, with 42 doubles, and 25 stolen bases.
Lindor is just the third shortstop in Major League Baseball history with multiple seasons of 25 homers, 25 doubles, and 25 stolen bases, along with Jimmy Rollins, the longtime Phillies shortstop who tormented the Mets, and Hanley Ramirez, who played most his career with the Marlins.
That makes a lot of sense, as shortstop was not known for being a position with offensive stars until Cal Ripken in the 1980s and the trio of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Nomar Garciaparra broke the mold.