Showing posts from 2013

Remembering Mandela

"...a man who took history in his hands and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice..."

So, this is 50

I've never been the sort to wish I was a different age. When I was 10, I genuinely liked being 10 and didn't want to be anything other than 10. If later years happened to come my way, I'd accept them, but I was in no rush to reach them. As I passed through my teens and into my twenties, I found reasons to enjoy those years too, but never really wished to stay in any of them longer than my allotted time. When I hit 30 and then 40, I experienced no yearning to go backwards to childhood or teenage or young adulthood. Been there, done that. (I am convinced, by the way, that those of later years who yearn to return to childhood, failed to truly experience childhood because they spent those early years wishing to be older. Just can't please some folks.) So, here is 50. I've heard many of my peers speak of the age with dread and quite a few with outright denial. Doesn't seem a bad number to me. In fact, I like 50. And with good reasons: - It's the numbe

Series win just wasn't in the Cards

Almost anything can happen when two teams compete on a baseball diamond. And we saw much that was unexpected in the just-ended Red Sox-Cardinals World Series: improbable fielding errors, baserunning miscues, controversial calls by umpires, unbelievably strong pitching performances and some miraculous hitting. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the series is how unsurprising - even predictable - the end result was. The teams entered the postseason with identical 97-65 regular season records, and sportscasters constantly referred to the Red Sox and Cardinals as very similar in strength and as the best regular season teams in their respective leagues. As far as overall regular season records go, they were correct. However, there was a difference between the two that most failed to notice. Despite the fact that the World Series is an interleague competition, virtually no one discussed the teams' regular season interleague records. Or course, merely glancing at interleague wins

Biography of Buffalo Mafioso Joe DiCarlo

Michael Tona and I just completed work on the two-volume historical biography, DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime . Mafioso Joseph J. DiCarlo was once known as “the Al Capone of Buffalo” and as western New York's “Public Enemy No. 1.” DiCarlo - Vol. I Son of the region's first known Sicilian underworld boss, DiCarlo was rejected as heir to his father's criminal empire. After spending troubled years as a vassal of the influential Stefano Magaddino, DiCarlo and his underlings wandered, seeking their fortunes in Youngstown, Ohio, and Miami Beach, Florida, before returning home to witness the bloody disintegration of western New York's Mafia organization. Through the two volumes, DiCarlo's colorful and violent life story becomes a window into the history of the powerful Magaddino Crime Family and the American Mafia network. Volume I covers the period through 1937. Volume II focuses on the period 1938 to 1984 and includes an epilogue describing event