Meanwhile, Virginia also welcomes former presidential candidate and Sen. John F. Kerry tonight. The Massachusetts pol was invited by Del. Brian J. Moran, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, to boost the campaigns of the Democratic House members.Albert Pujols' home run from last night has joined the list of memorable playoff moments. He kept St. Louis alive and away from elimination. He brought the series back to Busch Stadium.
"The nation's eyes are on Virginia!" the invitation says. "Democrats have a real opportunity to gain seats in the House of Delegates and keep the Governor's Mansion. Help Democrats keep Virginia on the right track!"
Kaine is planning to stay as far away from Kerry as possible. Aides say he is in Richmond tonight. "Oh, is that tonight?" was the basic message from the Kaine camp.
"I know we'll be talking about it for a long time," said the Cardinals' Larry Walker late on a pulsating Monday night, his retirement plans suddenly delayed by Pujols-esque forces beyond his control. "But I think it will get talked about a lot more if we win two more games."Rush Limbaugh gets his facts wrong about Senator Joe Lieberman, saying Joe quit the race first. Accoridng to Media Matters, Sen. Bob Graham and former Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun quit before Iowa. Rep. Gephardt dropped out right after Iowa.
Two more games. That's how many the Cardinals still need to win in this National League Championship Series.
But it seems eminently possible now. Doesn't it? When you've witnessed what you've just witnessed, anything seems possible. Anything.
The list of men who have done what Albert Pujols did Monday is a list that flips the switch on a video reel inside your brain. You know these men. You know these moments. You know these two-out, ninth-inning homers that turned October defeat into unforgettable triumph:
Kirk Gibson off Dennis Eckersley, Game 1, 1988 World Series.
Jack Clark off Tom Niedenfuer, Game 6, 1985 NLCS.
And Dave Henderson off Donnie Moore, Game 5, 1986 ALCS.
The closest parallel to this one is Henderson -- because, just like Albert Pujols, his team was trailing that series, 3 games to 1. And just like Albert Pujols, his team had been one strike away from The End.
And just like Albert Pujols, the team Henderson was losing to (in that case, the Angels) was about to head for the first World Series in its history -- and celebrate it in front of its very own fans.[...]
So what will we remember about this night?
We'll remember Lidge sprinting out of the Houston bullpen at 10:24 Central Daylight Time, as an entire stadium rattled.
We'll remember Lidge striking out the first two hitters in the ninth -- John Rodriguez, then John Mabry -- on two carnivorous sliders. We'll remember that the sound that erupted after those two strikeouts was so monstrous, you needed a Richter Scale to measure it.
And we'll remember, as much as anything, the peskiest leadoff man alive, David Eckstein, walking up there and taking two 96-mph smokeballs for the strikes that left his team one strike away.
But as grown men and women shrieked and leaped and hugged all around him, Eckstein took a deep breath and stepped back in to hit, feeling amazingly serene.
"The one thing I didn't want to do was get into any type of jumpiness," Eckstein said. "Any type of anything in my body besides just focus on the baseball. And it's pretty calming to step into at the plate in that situation. I have no idea, no reason why."
His teammates, watching him, were shockingly calm themselves. David Eckstein just has that effect on people.[...]
"Any time we go into the ninth with the bottom of the lineup coming up," said Jason Isringhausen, "all we're trying to do is get a hit, get a walk, get a couple of guys on -- because we know: We've got to get Albert up there."
It hadn't been one of Pujols' better nights. He was 0-for-4. He'd left five runners on base. He'd even struck out against Andy Pettitte in the third inning with men on first and third and nobody out. It was only the fifth time all season Pujols had struck out with a runner on third and less than two outs.
But none of that mattered now. This was the game. This was the season. This was history.
"Unbelievable," said Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter. "I'm sitting there thinking that we've got the best closer in the game on the mound -- but we also have the best hitter in the game at the plate. ... It was an unbelievable feeling."
Pujols tapped the plate with his bat, dug in and took a messy, off-balance swing at a first-pitch slider for strike one. The noise began to build again. Towels waved everywhere you looked. Thousands of Thunder Stix crashed together. Pujols stepped back in to hit.
Interesting article on some events that took place in Owensboro, Kentucky lately. It's rather interesting. You can read it in full but here is an excerpt of it:
Named after retired Senator Wendell Ford, the picnic's keynote speaker this year was state senator Dan Mongiardo, from Hazard in the Eastern (and poorer) part of the state. (Mongiardo nearly beat Jim Bunning, the incumbent Republican, last year--losing by 22,000 votes after the national GOP unleashed a vicious smear campaign against him, implying that because he was single he was gay.) Mongiardo, a dark-eyed, intense man, lashed out at the Bush Administration for rolling back prevailing wages in the Gulf Coast, calling it "modern-day slavery."Is Mitch McConnell ready to become majority leader?
I also had a chance to talk briefly with another state representative, Mike Weaver (D-Elizabethtown), who hopes to challenge Republican incumbent Ron Lewis in the state's 2nd District in next year's congressional elections.
Weaver, a Vietnam vet, denounced Bush for misleading the country into a war which had made us less secure. Weaver also helped craft--and pass--a freedom of information style bill that protects the public's right to examine governmental performance. As a result, his legislation has pushed the Associated Press of Kentucky to take on the state's corruption-challenged governor, Ernie Fletcher, demanding that he release the most basic information about the state government's role in Vice-President Cheney's visit to Kentucky. (While Fletcher fights back against the public's right to know, his administration is the focus of a wide-ranging criminal investigation into politically-based hirings in violation of the state merit system law. Eleven current or former aides have been indicted in the probe, and in late August Fletcher announced a pardon of the first nine people indicted--and anyone else who might be charged, not including himself. The day I left, the local paper reported that the lawyer just hired by Fletcher to weed out political bias in Kentucky's hiring process had been a blogger who "routinely praised Republicans and jeered Democrats." "Does he think we're stupid?" asked Jerry Lundergan, Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party.)
In some bad news, the Sacramento Kings have released former Wildcat star Erik Daniels.
Tim Kaine is leading Jerry Kilgore with 47% to 45%. Rep. Ben Cardin is well-positioned to take over for Senator Paul Sarbanes. The following was in an email sent out by the campaign to listserv members.
A recent poll confirmed what all of us already know: Marylanders want an experienced leader in the U.S. Senate – they want Ben Cardin! With over a year to go before the general election, the race is sure to tighten, but this poll makes it clear that Ben's commitment to campaign in every region of the state is paying off, and his vision for a future in which every family in our state can pursue its dreams is exactly what Maryland voters are looking for in their next U.S. Senator.Well, as you can tell, I was excited late last night during the 9th inning when Albert Pujols hit one of the greatest home runs I have ever seen. Just to think, Astros fans were ready to celebrate. We won't let them.
Among likely Democratic primary voters, Ben holds a 20-point lead on Kweisi Mfume. No other candidate in the primary has more than 3% of the vote. Ben’s advantage increases to 28 points when those who initially are undecided are assigned to the candidate they would "lean toward supporting if the election were held today."
The poll also shows Ben to be the strongest Democratic candidate to take on Republican Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. Ben currently enjoys a 14-point lead over Steele among likely voters in the general election. This lead expands to 20 points when undecided voters are asked to whom they currently lean.
The poll was conducted by Harrison Hickman of Global Strategy Group. It sampled only voters who said they definitely or probably will vote in the primary and/or general election.
While these early polling numbers are certainly very encouraging, there is still a long way to go, and this race will inevitably tighten as Election Day approaches. Let's keep up the good work!