Tuesday, October 9, 2018

2018 World Series Quiz

Major League Baseball's postseason has begun and we are on our way to the October Classic.  Here is a quiz to test your knowledge of the World Series.  


1.  Which player has won the most World Series rings?

A.  Mickey Mantle

B.  Joe DiMaggio

C.  Yogi Berra

D.  Babe Ruth

E.  Lou Gehrig

2.  How many has Tommy Lasorda managed the Los Angeles Dodgers to victory in a World Series?

Tommy Lasorda
A.  Twice

B.  Never

C.  Once

D.  Three times

E.  Four times

3.  What Los Angeles Dodger pitcher recorded 29 strikeouts in the 1965 World Series between the Dodgers and the Minnesota Twins.

A.  Wally Bunker

B.  Don Drysdale

C.  Claude Osteen

D.  Sandy Koufax

E.  Mudcat Grant

4.  To date the New York Yankees have won the most World Series with 27 victories.  Which team has won the second most World Series?

A.  Boston Red Sox

B.  San Francisco Giants (previously the New York Giants)

C.  St. Louis Cardinals

D.  Los Angeles Dodgers (previously the Brooklyn Dodgers)

E.  Pittsburgh Pirates

5. Which of these teams has never won a World Series?

A.  Seattle Mariners

B.  San Diego Padres

C.  Washington Nationals

D.  Milwaukee Brewers

E.  All of the Above

6,  Which pitcher has thrown the only perfect game in World Series history?

A.  Whitey Ford

B.  Don Larsen

C.  Roy Halladay

D.  Cy Young

E.  Tom Seaver

7.  Who hit the first pinch-hit home run in a World Series?

A.  Joe DiMaggio

B.  Mickey Mantle

C.  Yogi Berra

D.  Stan Musial

E.  Bobby Thomson

8. When the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series in 1979, what was their theme song?

A.  We Will Rock You (Queen)

B.  We Are Family (Sister Sledge)

C.  Get Down Tonight (K.C. & The Sunshine Band)

D/  Takin' Care of Business (Bachman-Turner Overdrive)

E.  Celebration (Kool & The Gang)

9.  In 1990, the Oakland Athletics were heavily favoured to win the World Series.  The defending champion A;s won 103 games to finish atop the American League West division.  Yet, they were defeated soundly in a four-game sweep.  What team defeated Oakland in the 1990 World Series?

A.  Cincinnati Reds

B.  New York Mets

C.  St. Louis Cardinals

D.  Montreal Expos

E.  Philadelphia Phillies

10.  Who is the first Black manager to lead his team to a World Series victory?

A.  Dusty Baker

B.  Frank Robinson

C.  Ron Washingon

D.  Cito Gaston

E.  Hal McRae

11.  Which manager(s) has led his team to a World Series championship the most times?  (Note: the ones with the slash between them have won the same number of times).

A.  Sparky Anderson/Miller Huggins

B.  Joe Torre/Walter Alston

C.  Connie Mack

D.  Tony La Russa/John McGraw/Bruce Boschy

E.  Joe McCarthy/Casey Stengel


1. C

Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra won 10 World Series rings during his years with the New York Yankees from 1946 to 1963. Joltin' Joe DiMaggio earned 9 World Series rings.  Catcher Bill Dickey was on the roster of 8 World Series victors, as was Phil Rizzuto, Frankie Crosetti and Lou Gehrig.  Mickey Mantle played on 7 championship teams, as did Babe Ruth.

2.  A

Tommy Lasorda managed the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series championships.  Under Lasorda's stewardship, the Dodgers won the World Series in 1981, defeating the New York Yankees four games to two.  They won again in 1988, defeating the Oakland Athletics four games to one.

3.  D

Sandy Koufax
Left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax recorded 29 strikeouts in the 1965 World Series.  Koufax, who is Jewish, did not pitch in Game One of the Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.  After losing Game Two, he pitched a four-hitter in Game Five and a three-hitter in Game Seven.  He finished with a remarkable 0.38 ERA.and was chosen World Series MVP that year.

4. C

To date, the St. Louis Cardinals have won the second most World Series with 11 victories.  The Boston Red Sox have won 8 championships - 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918, 2004, 2007 and 2013, The New York Giants have won five World Series, and the San Francisco Giants have won three times since the team began playing in California at the beginning of the 1958 season.  That's a combined total of 8 World Series wins.  The Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series once(1955).  Since playing their first season in L.A. in 1958, the Dodgers have won five World Series - 1959, 1963, 1965 1981 and 1988. That's a total of six World Series championships.  The Pittsburgh Pirates have also won five World Series - 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971 and 1979.

5. E

All of the above.  None of the teams listed have ever won the World Series.  Milwaukee Brewers franchise began in 1969, as did the San Diego Padres and the Washington Nationals.  The Seattle Mariners franchise in 1977.

6. B


On October 8, 1956, Don Larsen pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees in Game Five of the World Series.  Larsen needed just 97 pitches to complete the game and the Yanks won the game by a score of 2-0  and went on to win the World Series over the Brooklyn Dodgers four games to three.  Larsen's perfect game was the only no-hitter of any kind ever pitched in postseason play until Roy Halladay threw a no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies on October 6, 2010 in Game One of the National League Division Series against the Cincinnati Reds. (Halladay's only flaw was a fifth inning full-count walk.  Larsen's perfect game remains the only perfect game in World Series history.

7.  C

Yogi Berra became the first player to hit a pinch-hit home run in the World Series in Game Three of the 1947 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Yogi hit the home run off Dodgers' pitcher Ralph Branca.  It is interesting to note that in a 1951 National League playoff, Branca allowed a walk-off home run to Bobby Thomson of the New York Giants.  That home run was nicknamed the "Shot Heard 'Rond the World" and the Giants won the NL pennant.  They were defeated by the New York Yankees in the 1951 World Series.

8.  B

Sister Sledge

When the Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series in 1979, the team's theme song was We Are Family by Sister Sledge.  That year, the Pirates defeated their American League opponents, the Baltimore Orioles four games to three.

9.  A

The Cincinnati Reds of the National League upset the heavily-favoured Oakland A' in the 1990 World Series. 

10.  D

Cito Gaston
Cito Gaston managed the Toronto Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series championships in 1993 and 1994.  Gaston is the first Black to manage a World Series winner.  To date, he is the only one who has accomplished this. Venezuela native Ozzie Guillen is the only other minority manager and the only Lation-American skipper to won a World Series (Chicago White Sox in 2015).  If the Boston Red Sox or the Los Angeles Dodgers should win the Fall Classic this year, another minority manager will be added to the list.  Alex Cora of the Red Sox.was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico.  Dave Rogers of the Dodgers was born in Japan to an Asian mother and a Black father.

Cito Gaston's Blue Jays defeated the Atlanta Braves in 1992 and the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993.  The 1992 World Series marked the first time the October Classic was played outside of the United States and the fist time it was won by a team not based in the U.S.

11.  E

Casey Stengel

It's a tie between Joe McCarthy and Casey Stengel.  Both managed seven World Series championship teams.  Connie Mack managed five winners.  Joe Torre and Walter Alston managed four.  Sparky Anderson, Miller Huggins, Bruece Bochy, Tony La Russa and John McGraw managed three.

- Joanne

Friday, September 21, 2018

Memo to American Conservative Evangelicals

Many American evangelicals have given their support to President Donald Trump, even though Trump's policies are contrary to the teachings of Christianity.  I do not pretend to be a Biblical scholar, but I am well aware of the basic tenets of Christianity. They been made crystal clear by Jesus Christ.  He commanded us to "Love your neighbour as yourself."  He made no restrictions as identity of our "neighbour."  This is evident in the beautiful parable of The Good Samaritan.  Without exception, all human beings are our neighbours.

The American president stirs up hate against immigrants, both documented and undocumented.  He enables white supremacists to spew their venom against African Americans, Muslims, Jews, Latinos and others.  He has detained the children of suspected illegal border crossers, separating innocent babes from their parents.

In the Book of Genesis, humans are called to be stewards of the Earth.  Yet, the Trump administration has shown no regard for the environment.  He encourages the use of fossil fuels and the useof dirty and non-renewable resources such as coal.. In fact, he is a cheer leader for the revitalization of the coal mining industry.  The president makes fun of wind turbines and refers to them as windmills in a derogatory fashion.  He thinks that climate change is a hoax, even though the Earth is burning.

President Trump spurs hatred and division.  He does this at a time when the United States and the rest of the world need to build bridges, not walls.  His actions have encouraged white supremacists and bigots.  As the great English poet John Donne put it, "No man is an island."  That is why I have difficulty understanding how Christians can vote for such a politician as Donald J. Trump..  He is the Great Divider.

As the November 6th midterm elections draw closer, I hope you will give some thoughtful consideration to what I have written.

- Joanne

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Little Good News (for a change)

Are you sick and tired of all the bad news out there?  Do you want a break from reading about terrorism, racial strife, bigotry, gun violence, war, environmental degradation and Donald Trump?  You can't ignore the bad news forever, but you can escape it for a time.

Conventional wisdom says that bad news sells.  The old newspaper adage is "If it bleeds, it leads."  However, I have a hunch that many people would like a respite from all the doom and gloom right now.  So, for today, I have written a good news post.  Here are five good news items from around the world.


1.  Despite Donald Trump's pull out form the Paris climate deal last June, many of the largest corporations in the United States have said they intend to honour the agreement anyway.  They have vowed to pursue cleaner energy and reduce emissions on their own.  Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Google and General Motors are voluntarily investing billions of dollars in renewable energy.  They are investing in new wind and solar projects to fuel their operations.  They are becoming major contributors to renewable electricity growth. 

(Information taken from a New York Times article by Brad Plumer (August 4-5, 2018)

2.  New Zealand is scheduled to ban single-use plastic bags by next year.  This is excellent news because single-use plastic bags are one of the most common items found in coastal litter in New Zealand.


3.  Older people in Thailand are going back to school in order to order to combat loneliness.  Groups of people in their 60s and 70s are returning to school at a time when changing demographics mean that more seniors live by themselves.

(Information taken from August 3, 2018 article by Lucy Purdy on the Postive.News website).

4.  A homeless man in Mountainview, California, USA has reportedly received hundreds of job offers.  The man, David Casarez, stood on a highway medium, holding a sign that read "HOMELESS HUNGRY 4 SUCCESS. TAKE A RESUME."  He arrived in the Bay Area in September of 2017, with a college degree and three years of experience as a software developer.  Unfortunately, he underestimated the high cost of living and was unable to find work in Slicon Valley.  He lived in his van until he could no longer afford payments.  He was then forced to sleep in a park.

Someone snapped a photo of the 26-year-old  Casarez and posted it on Twitter on July 27, 2018. It immediately went viral.  Since then, Casarez has been inundated with offers of employment.


5.  Doctors in Vancouver, Canada have unveiled a procedure that could change the face of heart surgery.  Cardiologist Dr. David Wood, of Vancouver General Hospital,  has studied over 400 patients and provided the results to doctors at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Conference in Denver, Colorado.  The procedure, called 3M transcatheter aortic valve replacement and is for treating aortic heart valve disease,  It  has taken place at 13 centres across North America, 11 in Canada.  It is an alternative to open heart surgery and usually takes about 45 minutes.  Instead of cutting into a patient's heart, a small tube is placed into the leg, which sends a balloon into the heart valve.  The new valve starts working immediately and you get twice as much blood flowing into your head, your lungs and your body.  According to Dr. Wood, the patient "is walking four hours later and is discharged the next day."

(Information taken from News 1130 Denver, Colorado website, posted October 30, 2017

- Joanne

Friday, August 10, 2018

An Open Letter to John Tory, Mayor of Toronto #3

This is is the third in a series of open letters to Mayor John Tory regarding the serious issues facing the city of Toronto. until this fall's municipal election.  The election will be held on Monday, October 22, 2018.

Dear Mayor Tory,

There have been three major developments since I last wrote to you on May 18th.

1. On June 7, 2018, the Conservatives, led by Doug Ford, came to power in Ontario.  On June 29th, Mr. Ford was sworn in as premier of the province.  

2. On July 27th, Premier Ford confirmed his government's intention to cut Toronto City Council from 47 members to 25 for the October 22nd election.

3. That same day,,in response to Ford's announcement, Jennifer Keesmaat, City Planner of Toronto from 2012 to 2017, announced her candidacy for mayor.

Jennifer Keesmaat
Finally, we have a race!  At the 11th hour, you were challenged by a high profile candidate.  That's good for Toronto and it's good for you, Mr. Mayor.  Did you really want to sleepwalk your way to victory?  Any worthy leader should welcome such a challenge.  If you win, you will be benefit from it.  Your performance during your second term in office will be much better than if you had cakewalked to victory.

This is a win-win situation for everybody.  Toronto will have an engaging mayoralty race.  Voters will be much more involved and voter turnout will be higher.  More issues will be debated and brought to the forefront, especially since Toronto's future is at stake.  Furthermore, someone will have to stand up to Premier Ford.  You and Jennifer Keesmaat both oppose his ill-timed plan to reduce the size of Toronto City Council without public consultation and debate.

In a letter to Queen's Park, you urged Ford to reconsider his plan to have fewer Toronto councillors.  You wrote: Something as fundamentally important as an election - a primary mechanism of civic democracy - should not be changed without public impacts or costs.  You exhorted the premier to "put the process on hold to allow for a referendum so we can let the people speak."

Toronto is facing many issues that must be discussed during this campaign.  This summer, there has been a tragic spate of gun violence in our city.  I hope it was an aberration.  Unfortunately, it has harmed Toronto's reputation as a safe city.  Spending more money on policing is not enough.  More preventive action must be taken.  Stronger gun control is needed as well as more programs for youths.

Unfortunately, the gun violence has diverted attention from some other serious issues, such as poverty, affordable housing and the environment.  Those three topics should be major issues in the coming election.  There are too many people living in poverty in this city.  There is also a lack of affordable housing.  It is too expensive for many people to live in Toronto.  Renting or owning a home is beyond thair reach.

Furthermore, Doug Ford's government is environmentally unfriendly.  The premier has vowed to scrap Ontario's cap-and-trade program, a program that serves this province well.  His party has budgeted $30 million over four years for a legal challenge against the federal government's ability to impose a carbon price upon the provinces.  What a waste of taxpayer's money!

Ford's government has claimed that removing cap and trade would save each Onario household an average of $260 in 2019.  However, it acknowledged that the saving would largely be cancelled out by the federal carbon tax, which will increase over time.  Moreover, on July 25th,Ontario's fiscal watchdog, Financial Accountability Officer Peter Wellman said he will review the cancellation of the cap-and-trade to determine how that decision will end up costing the province.

Ford's decision has already led to the cancellation of a number of green initiatives that were funded through cap-and-trade initiatives.  For example, the GreenOn program that provided rebates for energy-conscious homeowners has been axed, as well as a fund for school repairs.  The mayor or Toronto must speak up and protect the environment of the province's most populous city.

So, let the race for mayor begin in earnest.  It should be fascinating.  May the best man or woman win!