The division-winning Astros, Yankees and Twins dominated from the start. The Rays began the season on fire and didn’t go away. The defending-champion Red Sox really couldn’t put it together and the Indians made a nice run but couldn’t close the deal. The A’s started the season with two losses in Japan and were sluggish after returning to the U.S. Strong play through early summer put them in good position at the All-Star break and a strong finish allowed them to secure home-field advantage for Wednesday’s American League wild-card game. And then there are the 100-loss teams. The Tigers, Orioles and Royals were dreadful all year. With the AL playoffs beginning Wednesday, here’s the season at a glance, starting with the wild-card race. Six weeks into the season, the Rays were 22-12, the best record in the AL. The A’s, meanwhile, were 15-21, last in the AL West and third worst in the league. Their 5-13 stretch from April 14 to May 5 put them eight … [Read more...] about How the A’s fought back to host the wild-card game
What makes a great hamburger? It seems as if every restaurant that opens puts a hamburger on the menu. In looking at what makes some rise above, there’s a formula that separates the great from the good. Like a building, a hamburger needs a great foundation — otherwise you’ll find yourself in a Millennium Tower situation and will need a fork to stabilize the layers above. That means the bun can’t be too hard or all the ingredients will shoot out the back, or too soft because the bun will collapse. The ingredients that go between the halves need to be chosen strategically so that a diner can actually get his or her mouth around the entire bun. I usually cut the burger in two, and if it disassembles while being bisected the bun is probably too big for its intended purpose. More by Michael Bauer Bay Area RestaurantsBy Michael BauerPopular Dumpling Time brings a party to your palateBay Area RestaurantsBy Michael BauerZ & Y in Chinatown: Where the spice is … [Read more...] about Michael Bauer’s five favorite burgers so far this year
The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll should send a shudder through the Republican Party. Only 38% of Americans approve of President Donald Trump's performance, while 58% disapprove, 48% strongly so. The majority of the poll was taken after the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (for which a majority gives Trump credit). Trump's approval ratings in battleground states such as Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Wisconsin (40 to 55%) are only slightly better than his overall numbers. A plurality (49 to 47%) approve of impeachment and removal, while a large majority (58 to 34%) disapprove of how he is handling impeachment. Perhaps smearing respected civil servants, threatening the whistleblower and insulting members of Congress is not the way to go. By a margin of 55 to 35%, Americans think Trump did something wrong regarding Ukraine; 47% say he did something seriously wrong. It is a good thing the House is moving to open hearings - by a 65 to 33% margin, Americans do not like the … [Read more...] about Poll warning for Trump and Republicans: Danger ahead
Garrison Keillor Garrison Keillor Photo: HANDOUT Photo: HANDOUT Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close Image 1 of 1 Garrison Keillor Garrison Keillor Photo: HANDOUT A trip to New York 1 / 1 Back to Gallery Slight panic in the airport out in Texas. Waiting to check a bag, pull out my billfold, no driver's license. Check pockets, briefcase. Credit cards, no license. The brain flutters. Hotel? Taxi? Pickpocket? A teen terrorist from Izvestistan perhaps, trying to persuade TSA he is 75 and from Anoka, Minnesota? How about dementia? Loss of license today, tomorrow can't conjugate "lay" and "say," next day my wife's name is missing along with the three branches of government. OK. License found. In jacket … [Read more...] about A trip to New York
Garrison Keillor Garrison Keillor Photo: HANDOUT Photo: HANDOUT Image 1 of / 1 Caption Close Image 1 of 1 Garrison Keillor Garrison Keillor Photo: HANDOUT It's Thanksgiving. Be Happy. 1 / 1 Back to Gallery For evolution, the Constitution, And the ATMs of banks, The Times and Post and the whole West Coast, I want to give sincerest thanks. A Mozart sonata, my inamorata, And a first-rate BLT. For Silverman (Sarah) and the Obama era, I give thanks most thankfully. I'm a fraud, a fake, a big mistake, a creep. I'm over a barrel but I care a lot for Meryl Streep. And so, once again, the feast of gratitude for the gifts of Providence -- profiteroles, procreation, Prokofiev, the profession of faith, the … [Read more...] about It’s Thanksgiving. Be Happy.